Daily Archives: March 5, 2007

Are your cows qualified?

Are your cows qualified?

 By Miranda Reiman
Certified Angus Beef

Maybe you had to sum up your qualifications when you applied for an off-farm job. Perhaps your FFA Star Farmer application required it or, if you never actually had an “official” résumé, you’ve helped a son or daughter fill one out. A good résumé makes a positive difference.

The idea is to fit everything you want to say about yourself on one standard page and then hope the person reading it understands your value to the company, organization or community. Have you ever thought about what you’d put on your herd’s résumé? What accomplishments and experiences could you convey that might help potential buyers understand their value?


Culling Based on Disposition Helps the Entire Beef Industry

Culling Based on Disposition Helps the Entire Beef Industry

 Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University

 Problems with excitable cattle are becoming a more important issue in the beef industry, both from the standpoint of handler and animal safety and economic returns. Colorado State University (Voisinet, et al. 1996. Colorado Beef Program Report.) conducted an experiment examining the effects of temperament on weight gains and the incidence of “dark cutting”. Cattle were temperament ranked, on a 5-point system, while animals were held on a single animal scale. Their results show that there is a highly significant effect of temperament ranking on average daily gain. Animals exhibiting the highest temperament ranking also have the lowest average daily gains. Conversely, animals that were the calmest had the highest average daily gains. Their results also show that those cattle that have the highest temperament ranking, those that were berserk, also have the highest incidence of dark cutters. Dark cutter carcasses have a very undesirable dark-colored lean that is difficult to market through normal grocery store meat counters. Dark cutter carcasses will often be discounted approximately $35 per hundred pounds compared to the brightly colored carcasses. In the Colorado State University study, 25% of the cattle that had a temperament score of 5 exhibited dark cutting, while less than 5% of the cattle that had temperament scores of 1,2,3, and 4 exhibited dark cutting. These findings show that animals that have very high temperament scores have reduced feedlot performance and increased incidence of dark cutting.


Arkansas Dept. Of Ag Achieves USDA QSA Approval In Partnership With IMI Global

Arkansas Dept. Of Ag Achieves USDA QSA Approval In Partnership With IMI Global

Arkansas Is Second State to Utilize IMI Global’s Verification Services


Integrated Management Information, Inc. (IMI Global) (OTC Bulletin Board: INMG – News), a leading provider of verification and Internet solutions for the agricultural/livestock industry, today announced that it has assisted the Arkansas Department of Agriculture with a Quality System Assessment (QSA) program that has received approval by the USDA. The approval gives Arkansas cattle producers access to age and source verification services required to make their beef eligible for export to Japan.


Night feeds can bring day calves

Night feeds can bring day calves

 Springfield News-Leader (MO)

 Many research trials show when cows are fed in the evening, they are more likely to calve during the daytime, according to Dona Funk, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

 Studies of movement in a cow’s rumen (the first chamber of the cow’s stomach) show the frequency of rumen contractions falls a few hours before calving.

 In fact, the pressure in the rumen begins to fall in the last two weeks of gestation, with a rapid decline during calving.

 “Feeding at night may cause that pressure to rise at night and decline during the day, which will lead to calving in the daytime,” said Funk.


Cloned beef–the other red meat

Cloned beef–the other red meat

Some of the steaks and burgers were from the offspring of a cloned steer. Some were conventional. Could diners tell the difference?

 By Karen Kaplan and Betty Hallock,
Los Angeles Times/Chicago Tribune

Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

The cloned steak was served medium rare.

Inside the unusually hushed atrium of Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles, the guests lifted slices of beef onto their plates. Executive chef Mark Peel had prepared the porterhouse with fleur de sel and cracked black pepper before pan-searing it with a little canola oil–a simple preparation to highlight the meat’s natural flavor.


Grazing school offers spring classes

Grazing school offers spring classes

Bryan College Station Eagle

The Grazing School for Novices is accepting enrollment for spring 2007 classes that will be held at the Texas A&M University System Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Overton.

There will be two of the three-day classes in 2007: The first will be March 27-29, and the second is scheduled for April 3-5. Enrollment for each class is limited to 50 students and both are currently half-full.


Producers need to know value of ethanol co-products

Producers need to know value of ethanol co-products

By Jennifer Bremer
High Plains Journal

There are many benefits to feeding ethanol co-products to cattle, but there are also several factors that need to be taken into account when adding these feed stuffs to an everyday diet. Ethanol co-products are also commonly called distillers grains.

“When determining how much distillers grains to add to a beef feedlot diet, it is very important to know how it can impact the diet nutritionally,” said Iowa State University beef nutrition specialist, Dan Loy.

“Probably the most limiting factor in the co-products is sulfur. Sulfur is something that most people don’t always think about, but if the levels are too high, it can cause sulfur toxicity and lead to polio in cattle,” he said.

This condition is characterized by blindness, incoordination, staggering and seizures. Sulfur toxicity is responsive to thiamin treatment but is not caused by a thiamin deficiency.


Nebraska, Leader in Red Meat Processing

Nebraska, Leader in Red Meat Processing


 Nebraska’s growing ethanol industry is a vital asset that may help the state retain its lead in red meat processing and avoid contraction in the beef industry.

 Annual federal figures released yesterday say beef and pork plants in Nebraska combined for 15.2% of the record 2006 red meat production.

 Nebraska’s edge could get bigger. The state’s triangle trade of corn-cattle-ethanol gives cattle feeders a ready supply of relatively cheap leftovers from ethanol production, distillers grain.


FDA set to approve controversial cow drug: report

FDA set to approve controversial cow drug: report

 Scientific American

 The Food and Drug Administration may be poised to approve a controversial antibiotic for cattle despite fears it could hurt human health, The Washington Post reported in Sunday’s edition.

 The drug, called cefquinome, is a fourth-generation cephalosporin, a class of antibiotics used for a range of human diseases including serious gastrointestinal diseases in children and meningitis.

 The fear is that using such drugs in animals can lead to the emergence of new drug-resistant “superbugs” which will be immune to similar drugs when used in people.


What is the main factor holding back cellulose ethanol from becoming a reality? What can be done to overcome this obstacle?

What is the main factor holding back cellulose ethanol from becoming a reality? What can be done to overcome this obstacle?

 Mandy Chepeka, Iogen Corporation
Ethanol Magazine

Cellulose ethanol is ready to go. Demand today is greater than ever before. Environmental issues, energy security and the development of stronger rural economies are driving the development of cellulose ethanol technology and the industry.

Iogen Corp. has been producing cellulose ethanol at its demonstration facility in Ottawa, Ontario since 2004. At full capacity, the Iogen plant is designed to process approximately 30 metric tonnes per day of feedstock and produce approximately 2.5 million litres (600,000 gallons) per year. A blend of Iogen’s cellulose ethanol fuelled G8 leaders’ vehicles at the 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, and it has been demonstrated and proven on numerous other occasions, including fuelling a number of departmental E85 vehicle fleets for the Government of Canada and Iogen’s own E85 vehicle fleet.

Continuous improvement to both the process and technology are a given. We will always do research even when the technology is commercialized – just as automotive manufacturers continue to improve vehicle technology while we drive our vehicles.


Why Cattlemen Should Love Ethanol

Why Cattlemen Should Love Ethanol

By Gary Truitt
Hoosier AG Today

Say the word ethanol to a corn farmer and he will get all dreamy-eyed envisioning $5 corn. Say the same word to pork or poultry producers and their faces will darken with visions of skyrocketing feed costs. Say ethanol to Illinois, Indiana, or Ohio cattlemen and they should break into a smile. The explosive growth of the ethanol industry in the Midwest may finally accomplish what decades of wishing and hoping has not, bring cattle back to the eastern corn belt.

For at least the last 3 decades, cattle numbers have been declining in the Eastern Corn Belt. In 1975 Indiana had 2.125 million head of cattle and caves. By 1980 that had declined to 1.2 million head and by 2005 that number had declined to 850,000. Yet this trend may be on the verge of reversing, according to the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. ISDA Director Andy Miller recently told the Indiana Beef Cattle Association that his agency’s analysis indicates the cattle industry is ripe for expansion.


Wet distillers grains help cattle feeder achieve goals

Wet distillers grains help cattle feeder achieve goals

By Kylene Orebaugh
High Plains Journal

High corn prices in 2006 and into 2007 have created a dilemma for some cattle feeders. Many may be asking what can be done to economically feed cattle.

The increase in the number of ethanol plants over the past decade has also increased the availability of ethanol by-products. Distillers grains and solubles or DGS are often available much cheaper to farmers and ranchers to use as livestock feed.

What it is

DGS, according to the Distillers Grains Technology Council’s website, http://www.distillersgrains.org, have long been thought of as a highly nutritious animal feed ingredient. With the starch removed and a high fiber content, DGS are often used in beef cattle rations.


Foster Calves May Cause Calf Scours Outbreak

Foster Calves May Cause Calf Scours Outbreak


 South Dakota State University veterinary researchers examined the cause of a scours epidemic in one spring calving herd.  Results of the retrospective, record-based investigation suggested that introduction of foster calves was associated with the calf scours outbreak.  The calf scours epidemic was clearly in swing by the 45th day of the spring 2000 calving season and first cases of the epidemic were observed between the 31st and 40th days (April 5 through April 14).  Prior to April 5, no scours cases had been observed, despite 39 calves being born.  Following April 5, records indicated there was the introduction of at least 2 foster calves. The outbreak commenced shortly after the introduction of foster calves.


Nine Canadian farms quarantined

Nine Canadian farms quarantined

Peggy Steward
Capital Press

Nine Saskatchewan farms have been quarantined after receiving shipments of tainted feed from a Saskatoon feed mill, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said today.

The feed included meat and bone meal, banned since 1997 as part of safeguards to protect against the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

Seven of the farms are located in the Saskatoon area, while two are in the Swift Current area in the southwest part of the province, Dr. George Luterbach, the chief veterinarian for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency , said in a conference call with reporters.

Two of the farms are dairies, two are deer farms and five are beef cattle ranches, Luterbach said. About 8,000 animals were on the quarantined farms.


Farmers praise ‘beef checkoff

Farmers praise ‘beef checkoff’

The Republican (MA)

Farmers do not often welcome a federally mandated fee, but more than 20 years after the “beef checkoff” program was started, dairy farmers are still overwhelmingly supportive of it.

The Department of Agriculture program, which was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill, assesses dairy farmers and cattle ranchers $1 per head on the sale of their live domestic and imported cattle. Half of the money goes to the states, and the other half to a national board that funds research relating to beef consumption.


Corn, Cars & Cows: the Good, the Bad, and the Truth about Ethanol



Corn, Cars & Cows: the Good, the Bad, and the Truth about Ethanol

Promoted as a farm economy miracle and green solution to energy independence and global warming, can ethanol deliver?

by Janet A. Ginsburg
Drive in any direction out of Chicago, where I live, on a hot July day and you will find corn. Towering green battalions of the stuff, 30,000 hybrid stalks-per-acre for as far as the eye can see, line I-65 heading south into Indiana. And west on I-88 into Iowa, and down I-55 to southern Illinois, and north to Wisconsin on I-90, and east on I-80/94 to Michigan. Chicago is surrounded, an urban island in a corn (and soy) sea stretching from Nebraska to Ohio to Minnesota and beyond.


Cattle Health: Understanding Neonatal Calf Diarrhea



Cattle Health: Understanding Neonatal Calf Diarrhea


Neonatal calf diarrhea or CALF SCOURS generally is caused by one or more of the following disease organisms: Rota virus, Corona virus, Cryptosporidium parvum, E. coli (K99 enterotoxigenic form), or Salmonella. Understanding the impact that these disease entities have on baby calves can help cow calf managers reduce the adverse effects of calf scours. Adequate colostrum intake by the calf is important for disease protection. A vigorous baby calf nursing a properly immunized, properly fed dam, will be a first line of protection against calf scours.