The March 7, issue # 527, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefMarch7.html
While much has been said and written recently about the direct impact increased ethanol production will and is having on the agriculture economy, little has been mentioned about some of the longer term ramifications of a National policy that seemingly trades food for fuel. This week’s BEEF Cattle letter focuses on some of these less obvious issues surrounding ethanol production.
Articles this week include:
* Ethanol and Animal Agriculture: Opportunities, Challenges, and Issues
* Distillers Grain Notes
* Can We Afford to Feed $4 Corn?
* Seven Breed Sales Featured at 20th Ohio Beef Expo March 17
BeefTalk: Vaccinate and Get a head of the Storm
The Dickinson Research Extension Center is busy vaccinating the cows for scours and getting better prepared for the calving season.
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist
NDSU Extension Service
We seem to expect and accept some level of illness from the people we associate with and from the living things that are entrusted to our care. During certain times of the year, there seems to be a marked increase in sickness. Now seems to be one of those times.
Blame it on the weather. The “cooping” phenomenon because of the weather causes everyone to remain in fairly close contact. In fact, one has the tendency to ask if anyone actually is feeling well.
USDA won’t extend comment period on Canadian rule
by Peter Shinn
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and R-CALF USA have both asked USDA to extend the comment period on a proposed rule that would re-open the U.S. border to all Canadian cattle born after March 1st, 1999. According to USDA, that’s the date when Canada’s ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban should have taken effect, so cattle born thereafter shouldn’t be at risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
But three of the last five Canadian BSE cases occurred in animals born after March 1st, 1999, a fact pointed out by both NMPF and R-CALF USDA. Nevertheless, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight told Brownfield Friday the public comment period on USDA’s proposed rule will close on March 12th as originally planned.
Cattlemen’s group want to ensure quality grades in cattle
By Donna Farris,
The Prairie Star
A gradual trend of declining marbling levels in beef has become more dramatic in the past 18 months, and a session during the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association Convention will delve into why and what can be done about it.
“Marbling, because of its relationship to flavor in beef, is very important,” said Larry Corah, vice president of Certified Angus Beef. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen a decline in marbling levels over the past 25 years, which has been particularly accentuated in the last 18 months.”
CAB Cattle Update: Parasites Rob Gain, Grade, Profits
Parasites may be little, but they can cause big problems for beef producers. Gary Sides, nutritionist for Pfizer Animal Health, said the pests cut profits in many cattle operations.
“When you look at parasites from a nutritionist’s standpoint, they do two things that are really detrimental: depress feed intake and depress digestibility of the feed cattle do consume,” he said. Sides spoke at a seminar cosponsored by Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) last fall.
Montana vet says ranchers should screen herds for BVD-PI animals
The Prairie Star editor
Montana cattlemen can improve their herd health and biosecurity on their ranch operations by screening their cattle for those who are persistently infected with bovine virus diarrhea and eliminating those animals, according to a Montana veterinarian.
A new problem for Canadian feed ban
by Peter Shinn
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Friday announced that nine livestock operations in Saskatchewan had potentially received feed contaminated with ruminant bone meal. A statement on the CFIA’s web site said the error apparently occurred when a processor accidentally delivered the contaminated material to feed mills, which passed it on to the livestock operations in question.
County approves expansion of Darr Feedlot
Sioux City Journal
Dawson County commissioners have approved expansion plans for the Darr Feedlot.
The 25-year-old feedlot currently houses 36,000 cattle, most of which are north of the Platte River.
The owners have bought another 93 acres south of the Platte River with the hopes of adding another 15,000 head of cattle over the next five years.
Man eats steak. Steak wins…
By Ed Stoddard
Intrigued by the possible consequences of the task ahead – consuming 72 ounces (2,04kg) of red meat in one go – I sought advice from my brother-in-law, a South African doctor.
“Your cholesterol level will shoot through the roof and you’ll probably get gout. Humans are just not built to eat that much meat at once,” was his response.
Severe Winter Brings Calving Challenges
After experiencing winter hardships, cow-calf operators must move quickly and decisively to avoid an economic train wreck.
by Ed Haag
The advice from those who have made a career of evaluating the long-term effects of severe winters on cow-calf operations is simple: Immediately evaluate your circumstances, consider all your options, consult with your experts, develop a long-term plan and act.
“Like it or not, many calf producers are now looking at some very tough choices,” says Bob Bellows, a retired Montana State University beef researcher and one of the world’s leading authorities on calving stress. “What they do over the next three months could decide their economic future.”
Bellows spent almost four decades studying how weather influences calving performance in Miles City, Mont., one of the coldest beef production areas in the U.S. If he learned one lesson from his research, he says, it is that having a well-thought-out recovery strategy is paramount after suffering through a particularly nasty winter.
NCBA Launches Weekly TV Program
On Feb. 6, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) launched a new weekly television program for America’s cattle farmers and ranchers on RFD-TV. NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen will air every Tuesday evening at 8:30 Eastern time. The program will be rebroadcast on Wednesdays at 4:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 10 a.m. (all times are Eastern). Previews of the program were shown at the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show, Jan. 31 – Feb. 3 in Nashville.
Cattlemen to Cattlemen will include interviews with high-profile individuals in the cattle industry. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns will be the featured guest in the premiere episode, which will also introduce viewers to incoming NCBA President John Queen. Also included will be tips on low-stress cattle handling and market information from Randy Blach, executive vice president of Cattle-Fax. The program will also look behind the counter of Boston Market, traditionally a chicken chain that is experiencing great success with its new beef entrees.
National Beef Tenderness Survey Results Announced
Increased aging times, slower chill rates and a jump in branded beef programs are among the reasons beef tenderness has increased 18 percent over results recorded in 1999, according to the 2005 National Beef Tenderness Survey, a checkoff-funded effort that recently evaluated beef from retail and foodservice establishments in 11 U.S. cities.
Following a baseline survey of retail beef in 1990, tenderness performance increased 20 percent, according to findings in a 1999 study of both retail and foodservice beef cuts. The 2005 report marks the third national tenderness survey in the past 17 years.
Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Controlling Spring Fly Populations In Pastures
Spring-early summer populations of stable flies in pastures develop at winter feeding sites of hay. When hay wasted during feeding is mixed with cattle or horse manure it develops into ideal larval habitats for stable flies. The production of stable flies from these habitats is a function of the amount of wasted hay and the accumulation of the hay/manure medium.
Breeding for heft changes longhorn
LUBBOCK, Texas // Rancher Debbie Davis has no beef with cattlemen who want the Texas longhorns they raise to be, well, beefier.
Her passion, though, lies with preserving the pure longhorn breed that roamed Texas and other parts of the West during the mid-1800s.
“A true Texas longhorn is endangered right now,” said Davis, president of the Cattlemen’s Texas Longhorn Registry, which is striving to keep the bloodline of the longhorn as pure as possible.
Cow Calf: Spring Compared To Summer Calving
The greatest nutrient demand of beef cows is during lactation. During lactation cows need to be fed high quality hay and, sometime, supplemented to meet the energy and protein requirements. In most Northern Plains locations, much like the sandhills of Nebraska, the primary grasses available for grazing are warm-season grasses that become available in late May to June. If cows calve in March, this means they are fed a lactation diet for about 90 days before summer grass. It has been documented that the highest quality in warm-season grasses in Nebraska occurs in late May to mid- June and gradually decreases.
Large animal vets are in short supply
By CHLOE JOHNSON
Foster’s Online (NH)
A large animal vet travels about 45 miles from South Berwick, Maine, to the No-View Farm in Ossipee to take care of owner David Strauch’s livestock.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen if he retires and there’s nobody to replace him,” Strauch said.
He and his wife, Lareen, sell beef, pork and poultry from the farm at a farmer’s market and a farm stand on the property.