Daily Archives: February 23, 2007

Beef Cow Nutrition Basics

Beef Cow Nutrition Basics


by Rick Rasby, Extension beef specialist, University of Nebraska

Angus Journal


Feed costs make up more than half the cost of producing a weaned calf. This year, due to drought and the more recent increase in corn prices, cow costs have the potential to be higher. Profitable cow-calf producers tend to have three items in line with one another: weaning weight, reproductive rate and the cost of producing a weaned calf.


Weaning weight and reproductive rate will likely not be maximums, but optimums given the feed, labor and capital resources available. However, reproductive performance of the cow herd has a major effect on the economics of the cow-calf enterprise.


Hereford AI Use Increases by 17%

Hereford AI Use Increases by 17%


The American Hereford Association (AHA) is proud to report a one-year 17% increase in the use of artificial insemination (AI) across the breed. “The possibilities for genetic improvement are unlimited with the use of AI,” says Jack Ward, AHA chief operating officer and director of breed improvement. “I’m pleased to see a significant increase in AI use by our breeders, and I encourage all cattlemen to consider AI for the advancement of the industry.”


The Hereford AI Book is one tool the AHA has implemented in recent years to make the AI sire selection process easier. This year’s book includes expected progeny differences (EPDs) and pedigrees on 137 Hereford sires available for AI use, semen and certificate prices, owner contact information, and some sire pictures, as well as a general listing of 262 additional AI sires. This reference proved to be extremely popular in 2005 and 2006; the 2007 version will be available March 1. To request a copy, contact AHA staff at (816) 842-3757. Hereford World subscribers will receive a copy with the March issue.


A feature new this year to the Hereford AI Book is the designation of “Non-Certificate AI Sires.” Calves from these sires can be registered without the purchase of an AI certificate. The AHA started the Non-Certificate AI Sire Program in April 2006. Sixteen bulls were enrolled in the program as of mid-February 2007, and Ward predicts there will be a large increase in this number as new bulls enter the market this spring.


Spring Liver Fluke Treatment in Beef Cattle Helps Boost Productivity

Spring Liver Fluke Treatment in Beef Cattle Helps Boost Productivity




Spring takes cattle back to the pastures, and, unfortunately, back in contact with production- and profit-robbing liver flukes.


“When cattle start to graze spring grass, they also can pick up liver flukes, especially if they are grazing low-lying, wet pastures,” says Dr. James Hawkins, Associate Director of Merial Veterinary Professional Services. “Left untreated, cattle will support those flukes throughout the grazing season, resulting in a multitude of problems for producers.”


Dr. Christine Navarre, Extension veterinarian, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, says even light to moderate liver fluke loads can cause significant damage.



Check out his Mama-Selecting Bulls to Raise Females

Check out his Mama-Selecting Bulls to Raise Females


by: Heather Smith Thomas

Cattle Today


When selecting a new bull, the stockman or seedstock producer can utilize information on weaning weights, yearling weights, birth weights, yearling hip height, milk EPD’s, etc. Much progress has been made in charting the genetics of beef production; there’s lots of data to help choose a bull that will sire growthy calves.


Perhaps most important, however, for breeding profitable cattle, is improvement of the cow herd. Pounds of calf to sell, or fast-growing young bulls that will sire heavy calves, are often the goal, but not as important as the heifers. To be successful, you need fertile, long-lived productive cows that raise a big calf while still breeding back on time to calve year after year — cows that give peak performance on the feed the ranch produces. The cow herd is your future.


A decade on from Dolly

A decade on from Dolly

By Rebecca Morelle

BBC News



The unveiling of Dolly 10 years ago marked the beginning of a new era for science.


A humble Finn Dorset sheep had turned on its head the widely held belief that mammalian cloning from adult cells was a scientific impossibility.


Dolly, who was created at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, was actually born on 5 July 1996 although her arrival was revealed on 21 February 1997.


But in the decade that has passed since, has the science of “duplication” lived up to researchers’ expectations and where might it lead us next in the not-so-distant future?


“I am slightly disappointed by the fact that, technically, cloning is only slightly better than it was originally,” explained Professor Ian Wilmut, one of Dolly’s creators who is now based at Edinburgh University.


Genetic material


It took 277 attempts to create one sheep back in 1997. Today, on average, it takes about 150 to 200 attempts to create one clone. Better, but not by much.


Mad cow testing facility closing

Mad cow testing facility closing




PULLMAN, Wash., Feb. 22 U.S. agriculture officials are planning to close the mad-cow testing lab at Washington State University in Pullman, despite increasing concerns.


The Seattle Times reports the facility — one of three slated for closure — will cease operations March 1. It opened three years ago after the nation’s first case of the brain-wasting disease — bovine spongiform encephalopathy — was found.


Congenital syndactyly in cattle: four novel mutations in the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 gene (LRP4)

Congenital syndactyly in cattle: four novel mutations in the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 gene (LRP4)


Cord Drogemuller , Tosso Leeb , Barbara Harlizius , Imke Tammen , Ottmar Distl , Martin Holtershinken , Arcangelo Gentile , Amandine Duchesne and Andre Eggen



Research article


Congenital syndactyly in cattle: four novel mutations in the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 gene (LRP4)

Cord Drogemuller , Tosso Leeb , Barbara Harlizius , Imke Tammen , Ottmar Distl , Martin Holtershinken , Arcangelo Gentile , Amandine Duchesne and Andre Eggen



Abstract (provisional)


The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.




Isolated syndactyly in cattle, also known as mulefoot, is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait with variable penetrance in different cattle breeds. Recently, two independent mutations in the bovine LRP4 gene have been reported as the primary cause of syndactyly in the Holstein and Angus cattle breeds.




We confirmed the previously described LRP4 exon 33 two nucleotide substitution in most of the affected Holstein calves and revealed additional evidence for allelic heterogeneity by the identification of four new LRP4 non-synonymous point mutations co-segregating in Holstein, German Simmental and Simmental-Charolais families.


R-CALF Co-Founder Leo McDonnell Testifies

R-CALF Co-Founder Leo McDonnell Testifies


Bismarck, N.D. – R-CALF USA Co-Founder/Past President Leo McDonnell testified here Wednesday on behalf of the organization at a hearing on the policy implications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) proposed rule on importing Canadian cattle older than 30 months (OTM) of age. The Interstate Commerce, Trade and Tourism Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation conducted the hearing.


USDA is considering allowing into the U.S. OTM beef and cattle from Canada – product that is banned for health concerns from nearly all international markets, product that the U.S. cannot even export to our primary export markets,” McDonnell said. “USDA’s action will make the United States a dumping ground for beef and cattle banned from major international markets, and at the same time, U.S. cattle producers are being lobbied against by major importers here in the U.S. from being able to differentiate their product with country-of-origin labeling (COOL).


Windrow Grazing

Windrow Grazing


Story by Troy Smith

Angus Beef Bulletin


You can go home again. Larry Wagner did just that, returning to his family’s South Dakota ranch after some 40 years on the road as a livestock hauler. In 1992, he and his wife, veterinarian Julie Williams, moved back to the Wagner home place near Chamberlain. When they first returned to the cow business, Wagner and Williams managed their commercial herd in a traditional manner. However, the couple found the old home place could be more profitable and sustainable after they strayed from tradition


Improve Cattle, Management and Efficiency with AI

Improve Cattle, Management and Efficiency with AI


by: Clifford Mitchell

Cattle Today


When top executives from many different walks of life decide to call it quits, the company often grooms a successor so the transition is smooth. From one season to the next, major league baseball teams prepare future stars in the minor leagues so the team is positioned for success.


Cattlemen often employ new management practices without preparing the herd to take advantage of the benefits this protocol has to offer. Consequently, the transformation is in turmoil and many dollars are lost due to lack of forward thinking.


Given the research done by land grant universities and the drive of the industry to improve, management alternatives are available to cattlemen today that might not have been practical before. The key to utilizing cost effective options is to prepare the cowherd.


Indiana Considers Large Livestock Ban

Indiana Considers Large Livestock Ban



Radio 790


An Indiana lawmaker sponsoring a bill that would bar large livestock farms from being built within a mile of schools, cities, towns and nursing homes said there was growing support for the measure across the state.


Democratic Rep. Phillip Pflum said Thursday that he hopes the bill, which is strongly opposed by the livestock industry, finds bipartisan support in the state Senate. The Democratic-controlled state House of Representatives, including 12 Republicans, voted 62-36 in favor of the bill Wednesday.


Pflum said there is strong support in Indiana’s rural areas for new restrictions on large livestock farms, where thousands of hogs, cattle and other animals are raised in tight quarters, producing large amounts of manure waste.


Residents near such farms have complained that their property values will plummet because of the smell, dust and heavy traffic from trucks hauling livestock. Others worry the farms could threaten their health.


“If you try to put one of these next to a small town or a city, people are just outraged. The point of this bill and the other ones out there is to send a message to these big corporate farms to be a little more respectful of people’s property,” Pflum said.


The Indiana Farm Bureau opposes the measure, or any other that would set uniform restrictions on large livestock farms, said the group’s president, Don Villwock.