Feeding Strategies in the Age of Ethanol
Story by Ed Haag
It is a given that ethanol production and the availability of distillers’ grains will dramatically increase during the next decade. What is still an unknown is how well individual beef producers will adjust to this new reality.
“When there is a major change, there are always winners and losers,” says Terry Klopfenstein, University of Nebraska (NU) animal scientist and one of the country’s leading researchers in feeding ethanol byproducts to beef cattle. “The winners will see the opportunities and have the foresight to take advantage of them.”
Cattle lice thrive through winter; have treatment plan ready
By Jamie Larson, U of M Beef Team
Minnesota Farm Guide
We usually think of the winter as our escape from pesky insects, however, cattle lice thrive during the cold weather and increase their populations on cattle. Now is the time of the year to evaluate cattle for lice and plan a treatment if necessary.
Lice have been accused of being the most underestimated livestock insect in terms of economic loss; USDA estimates that U.S. producers lose $125 million a year to cattle lice.
Cattle that are infected with lice are generally in poor condition with rough, patchy hair coats. Lice or their eggs can be visually detected, especially those severely infected. Heavy lice populations cause lowered milk production, decreased flesh growth, unthriftiness and anemia which can also affect reproduction and the immune system.
Weigh costs, premiums of raising ‘natural’ cattle
Tri State Neighbor
BROOKINGS, S.D. – Cattle feeders should weigh costs as well as possible premiums when deciding whether to raise “natural” cattle that could command a higher price.
South Dakota State University Extension beef feedlot specialist Erik Loe says cattle raised the conventional way put on beef faster.
“When cattle feeders are going to consider managing their cattle for natural programs, they have to consider what they’re going to get for cattle performance,” Loe said. “There will be a lowered rate of gain and a decrease in feed conversions.”
Trimming Feed Supplement Costs Can Be Key to Profits in the Lean Years of the Cattle Cycle
With 2007 likely to be one of the last years that Idaho’s cow-calf operators clear a noticeable profit before the 10- to 12-year cattle cycle once again levels and dips, Jason Ahola says producers should take a fine pencil to their trace mineral supplementation costs.
A national survey conducted in the mid-1990s-when the previous cattle cycle was bottoming-found that low-cost producers attributed their greatest savings to trimming their feed supplement expenses. That doesn’t mean eliminating them, but it does mean using them as efficiently as possible, says Ahola, University of Idaho Extension beef specialist at Caldwell.
Cattle Preconditioning: Dehorned Calves Receive Consistently Higher Prices
Cow calf producers are constantly looking for management techniques that can give them an advantage on sale date. A very simple, but increasingly important trait in feeder calves, is the absence of horns. With the increased emphasis on “beef quality assurance”, all segments of the industry are working toward methods of reducing product loss due to bruising. Horns on feedlot cattle can be an important source of carcass trim due to bruising. Therefore feedlot operators are discounting feeder calves with horns. Horned calves will have to be dehorned or have the horns tipped as they arrive at the feedlot.
The big question in ethanol: Do DDGs impact yield or quality grades
By Lura Roti, Freelance Writer
Tri State Neighbor
As ethanol production continues to drive corn prices, more cattle producers are looking to ethanol’s byproduct, distillers grain (DDG) as an economic feed alternative.
“Starting in September when corn prices increased, demand for modified distillers grains increased. It prices very economically into rations,” said Erik Loe, Extension feedlot specialist for South Dakota State University. “The plants were able to sell all of the co-product that they were producing. More producers would like to feed it if more product were available.”
While DDGs cut down on feed expenses, are they costing producers in the form of higher yield grades and lower quality grades?
Japan suspends beef imports from one U.S. facility
Japan has suspended beef imports from a U.S. facility after finding a meat shipment that may have violated the age limit of beef imports as agreed upon between Japan and the United States, the government said Friday.
Japan requires that the United States limit shipments to meat from cattle aged up to 20 months and remove the brains, spinal cords, bones and other risky materials in order to safeguard against mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.