Daily Archives: February 2, 2007

Virus may be the cause of mad cow

Virus may be the cause of mad cow

Jia-Rui Chong, LA Times

Mad cow disease and other related brain disorders may be caused by a virus and not the weird, misshapen proteins, known as prions, that scientists think are responsible, according to a study released Monday.

Researchers reported that they found virus-like particles in mouse nerve cells infected with two brain-wasting diseases similar to mad cow disease, but found no traces of the particles in uninfected cells.


Ohio Beef Newsletter available

The January 31, issue #523, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefJany31.html

With the present arctic conditions we’re experiencing, one of the primary topics of discussion for cattlemen as calving season begins is how best to manage hypothermia in newborns. Glenn Selk offers some thoughts.

Articles include:
* Animal Identification, a Reality or Simply a Perception
* Re-warming Methods for Cold-stressed Newborn Calves
* Dried Distiller’s Grains Can Help Produce More Beef
* Forage Focus: Ohio Forage and Grassland Council Conference
* Feedlot Inventories Continue to Shrink
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report

Cattle Update: Planning A Carcass Ultrasound Session

Cattle Update: Planning A Carcass Ultrasound Session


In recent years, beef breed associations have seen a dramatic increase in the use of ultrasound to evaluate carcass characteristics. With ultrasound technology, we are able to collect carcass data from animals without harvesting them. Thus, data are available from a much larger population of animals than traditional harvest carcass data. Breeding bulls and replacement heifers, which make up a very large portion of seedstock calf crops, can all have data collected and sent to breed associations for use in EPD calculations.


The 3 stages of Parturition Dr. Glen Selk, Okl…

The 3 stages of Parturition

Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University

Stage 1

The first stage of parturition is dilation of the cervix. The normal cervix is tightly closed right up until the cervical plug is completely dissolved. In stage 1 cervical dilation begins some 4 to 24 hours before the completion of parturition. During this time the “progesterone block” is no longer present and the uterine muscles are becoming more sensitive to all factors that increase the rate and strength of contractions. At the beginning, the contractile forces primarily influence the relaxation of the cervix but uterine muscular activity is still rather quiet. Stage 1 is likely to go completely unnoticed, but there may be some behavioral differences such as isolation or discomfort.


SDSU Extension plans beef cow drylot meetings for February

SDSU Extension plans beef cow drylot meetings for February

Tri State neighbor

BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Cooperative Extension is hosting beef cow drylot alternative meetings at six locations in northern South Dakota in February.

Here’s a look at dates and locations.

Feb. 12: 9 a.m. in the east half of the Brown County Courthouse basement in Aberdeen; 4 p.m. in the Beadle County Extension Center Meeting Room in Huron.


Bull selection and forage production clinic planned

Bull selection and forage production clinic planned

Tri State Neighbor

The Bennett County Extension Service will be hosting a Bull Selection and Forage Production Clinic Feb. 8 at the Library Community Room in Martin, S.D.

Cost is $10, which will cover breaks, lunch and handouts. The event will begin with the Bull Selection Clinic from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Julie Walker, South Dakota State University Extension beef specialist and Adele Gelvin, Extension livestock educator, will cover points to consider when selecting bulls, including nutrition, disease control, fertility and interpreting EPDs.


Current Status Of Applied Reproductive Technologies For Beef Cattle

Current Status Of Applied Reproductive Technologies For Beef Cattle


Cattle producers may be aware of numerous methods to utilize reproductive management to enhance the productivity of their operations. Quite simply, the use of a bull to breed cows to obtain pregnancies tends to remain the most widely exploited form of reproductive management used. However, to become more efficient producers manipulate the breeding season by inserting and removing bulls at predetermined times to ensure that calves are born at the ideal time for each producer. The breeding and calving seasons are dictated by each producer to ensure that cows calve to optimize production efficiency in each operation. Many producers are now familiar with more advanced methods to enhance reproductive efficiency which may further add potential economic efficiency to cattle operations. Artificial insemination, estrous synchronization, embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization, sexed-semen, and cloning are all procedures that have already influenced the beef industry or will influence the industry in the near future.


Downed animal ban proposed

Downed animal ban proposed


Legislation banning the slaughter of non-ambulatory animals has been introduced into the House of Representatives.

Legislation banning the slaughter of animals that cannot stand or walk because of illness or injury has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) and Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-New York) introduced the “Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act.” The measure has 75 original co-sponsors.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) sponsored the companion bill in the Senate.

Both housed approved similar legislation in the past. The earlier bills never received final passage by the full Congress.


Brutal weather devastates cattle industry

Brutal weather devastates cattle industry

In Southeastern Colorado, ranchers struggle to stay in business


“Normally they’re tough little guys, get right up and get eating, but they just don’t have the energy to do it,” says rancher Bill Brooks.

For nearly a century, Brooks’ family has raised cattle in this southeast corner of the state. But now they’re still reeling from back-to-back blizzards that have dumped four feet of snow here in the past six weeks. Across Colorado more than 10,000 head of cattle have perished.


NCBA: US Cattle Herd Growth Could Slow In 2007

NCBA: US Cattle Herd Growth Could Slow In 2007


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dow Jones)–A combination of high corn prices and continued dry weather patterns could slow the growth in the U.S. cattle herd in 2007 and could stretch out the entire rebuilding phase of the cattle cycle, market economists said Thursday.

The economists all were part of the Cattle-Fax Outlook Seminar at this year’s National Cattlemen’s Beef Association annual convention here, and said it could be a tough year for cattle feeders this year, and the margins of cow/calf operators and stockers could thin as well. Cattle-Fax is a private market consulting firm.

Cattle feeders suffered losses in 2006, and the structure of the industry makes it very difficult to pass the added costs on to consumers, the economists said. As a result, the added costs will be passed back to the original producers of the cattle in the form of lower prices.


Michigan Cattle About To Get Tagged

Michigan Cattle About To Get Tagged

WXMI.com (MI)

Starting next month, Michigan will be the first state in the country with a mandatory electronic ID system for cattle.

What it amounts to is a little computer chip placed in their ears. It’s meant to track animals and prevent disease, but it’s caused national controversy.

Some farmers say it’s a costly process that just isn’t necessary.

The tags are radio frequency IDs or RFID.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture is requiring all cattle moved off site to have one by March first, which is just 30 days from now. They want to track diseases like tuberculosis.


Linkage of U.S. beef issue to FTA ‘inappropriate’: minister

Linkage of U.S. beef issue to FTA ‘inappropriate’: minister

Yonhap News

South Korea’s top economic policymaker expressed opposition Friday to the United States raising the issue of the nation’s U.S. beef import quarantine within ongoing bilateral free trade pact negotiations.

“Connecting the issue of resuming U.S. beef imports with the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) talks seems inappropriate,” Kwon O-kyu, minister of finance and economy, said in a press briefing.

South Korea reopened its market to American beef last year, ending a three-year import ban prompted by the discovery of mad cow disease in the U.S., but has since turned back three shipments totaling 22.3 tons after bone chips were found in the meat.


Hay scarce after 2 dry years; farms have fewer fatted calves

Hay scarce after 2 dry years; farms have fewer fatted calves

Supermarket steak might get a little cheaper, before the price soars later



CHRISTIANA, Tenn. — Normally, Dana Yancey’s cattle would walk all over the hay he put out for them. They would lie in it to take a nap or stomp it into the ground.

Needless to say, they would get to eat as much of it as they wanted, knowing that a fresh bale was coming tomorrow, regardless of whether today’s was gone.

But these days, the Rutherford County farmer’s a lot more frugal with his hay.


President of Swift talks; says ICE rebuffed company’s offer to help

President of Swift talks; says ICE rebuffed company’s offer to help

Bill Jackson

Greeley Tribune

The president and CEO of Swift & Co. predicted Thursday that Swift’s meatpacking plant would remain open in Greeley, regardless of whether it’s under new ownership or not.

Sam Rovit, in an exclusive interview with The Tribune, said he is fed up with other people talking about the future of the Greeley-based meat company. He discussed what led up to the raid on Swift in December by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, what happened the day of those raids on six plants, and the company’s recovery.


(registration may be required)

Cattle Industry Convention to update members on Web

Cattle Industry Convention to update members on Web


Cattle producers who are not able to attend this week’s Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville can still participate in committee discussions and decisions.

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board has established the Beef Board Meeting Web log at http://www.beefboardmeeting.com to allow producers who pay into the $1 per head national Beef Checkoff to keep up with the discussions taking place at the convention.

During the annual meeting, which runs through Saturday, producers decide how checkoff dollars will be spent.