Daily Archives: March 9, 2007

Variable cattle, variable profit

Variable cattle, variable profit

 Certified Angus Beef

 The number of Texas feedlot cattle sold on pricing grids has increased over the last 10 years. This value-based marketing provides premiums for cattle that fit certain specifications and discounts for those that don’t. Profitability on these grids can be improved by marketing animals at an ideal time. One common problem in meeting the ideal is variable size and finish in most pens of cattle. The more uniform a set of calves, the more opportunity for premiums and less risk of grid discounts.


Care of the Newly Purchased Young Bulls

Care of the Newly Purchased Young Bulls

 Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University

 Yearling Bulls

          Yearling bulls should be well-grown but not too fat.  The energy content of a ration should be reduced if bulls are getting too fat.  Fat bulls may fatigue rapidly, contributing to fewer cows conceiving.

         For a yearling bull to be used successfully, he should have reached puberty 3 to 4 months before breeding time.  The age of a bull at puberty depends on several interrelated factors, but size or weight and breed are probably the controlling factors.

        The production of semen by a young bull largely depends on his overall growth as well as the development of his testicles and other reproductive organs.  The size of testicles and volume of semen produced are positively correlated. 


Cattle Feeding: Selection For Feed Intake & Production Efficiency

Cattle Feeding: Selection For Feed Intake & Production Efficiency


 Much of the emphasis on genetic selection focuses on improving beef cattle productivity. Higher weaning and yearling weights and better red meat yield and quality are often emphasized in breeding programs. Yet there is remarkable potential to reduce input use and improve the profitability of beef cattle operations through selection for feed intake.


Take a Proactive Stance to Prevent Bloat

Take a Proactive Stance to Prevent Bloat

 by: Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS
Cattle Today

About this time each year my phone starts ringing with producers complaining of bloat problems. In some cases the producer is faced with an isolated case or two. In other cases the effect is disastrous with many cattle being affected. Each year in the late winter and early spring as temperatures warm and moisture levels increase in many areas, growth of lush grasses and legumes increases dramatically. This problem could be especially true this year in areas that have been under severe drought and have now been receiving some decent rainfall for the first time in months. While the improved moisture is a blessing the potential problems may not be.


Forage management steps for a dry spring

Forage management steps for a dry spring

 By Russ Mathison,
University of Minnesota, Minnesota Farm Guide

Several weather monitoring sources are indicating a dry spring in 2007 for much of Minnesota.

 A dry spring in 2007 combined with a dry growing season in 2006 and reduced snowfall in the winter between could have several implications for forage production, and management, for the 2007 growing season.


Livestock on the Brown ranch harvest cover crops

Livestock on the Brown ranch harvest cover crops

Farm & Ranch Guide

Gabe Brown is one of many no-till producers in North Dakota who are taking advantage of cover crops and other management methods to improve soil health.

Ultimately, he has been able to produce the kind of nutritious forages that can be grown from a high organic matter content soil on the Brown’s ranchland land located 25 miles east of Bismarck.


K-State Extension: Understanding Soil Nitrogen

K-State Extension: Understanding Soil Nitrogen


 MANHATTAN, Kan. – It´s understood that not all of the nitrogen (N) that crop producers pay for will actually be available for plant uptake. Some of it will be lost through volatilization, denitrification, leaching or surface runoff and some may even be unavailable due to immobilization, said David Whitney, Kansas State University Research and Extension Professor Emeritus of agronomy.


Farm: Winter grazing: The good, the bad, the ugly

Farm: Winter grazing: The good, the bad, the ugly

Zanesville Times Recorder (OH)

Winter grazing and feeding operations continue to be a challenge and a high priority resource concern for many livestock farmers. With an increased awareness of the potential for runoff water to carry sediment and manure into road ditches and streams the pressure is on to come up with a better way to handle winter feeding. The need to improve the year-round management of livestock on pastures and develop a management plan for how to handle the winter feeding without creating a water quality concern has become a popular topic among livestock farmers


Ethanol: A Few Myths Debunked

Ethanol: A Few Myths Debunked

 Seeking Alpha

 Todd Sullivan submits: Since President Bush is in Brazil this week to talk about ethanol, I though it would be appropriate to present portions of a paper by Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist who was a internet pioneer and a founder of Sun Microsytems (SUNW). You can view a bio of him here. Kholsa is himself investing millions of his own dollars building ethanol plants. The paper here, is very long and detailed. I am going to present the most topically relevant items based on what the media usually presents.


Cattle Fax Sees Opportunity in High Quality

Cattle Fax Sees Opportunity in High Quality

It’s a challenge to grow demand when the supply is limited.

 Cattle Today

 According to Randy Blach, Cattle-Fax vice president, the beef industry puts its future in jeopardy when it ignores consumer preferences and limits the supply of highly marbled beef. He spoke at a seminar that CAB cosponsored last fall.

 “We’ve got 300 million people spending $75 more per year for our product than they were in the 1990s. That’s a heck of a story,” Blach said. “The demand pool is coming to this higher-grade product, the upper two-thirds Choice and Prime.”


Parasites Rob Gain, Grade, Profits

Parasites Rob Gain, Grade, Profits

 Angus E-list

 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 co-sponsored by Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) last fall.


State veterinarian investigating cow deaths at Spokane-area dairyBy Scott Sistek

State veterinarian investigating cow deaths at Spokane-area dairyBy Scott Sistek


 SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – State animal health officials are investigating reports of dead cows at a Stevens County dairy farm, a Washington State Department of Agriculture spokesman said Thursday.

 The investigation by state Veterinarian Dr. Leonard Eldridge was in the initial stages, spokesman Jason Kelly said Thursday afternoon.

 “We don’t have any information that would lead us to identify one cause of illness or death,” Kelly said. “Right now, we’re just investigating these reports we’ve gotten about diseased animals.”


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Use Spring Pastures To Feed Cattle, Not Parasites

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Use Spring Pastures To Feed Cattle, Not Parasites


 Pasture management is a critical part of the success of raising beef cattle. However, it doesn’t matter how lush the grass is if the cattle grazing the pasture are fighting parasites and continuously contaminating the pastures. Because of this, parasite control, at or near spring turnout, is important to the health of both cattle and pastures.


Harsh winter spurs U.S. cattle prices

Harsh winter spurs U.S. cattle prices


Toronto Star


U.S. cattle prices sped to a three-year high in the Chicago markets today amid signs beef supplies will be tight for the spring and summer when demand peaks for steaks and hamburgers.


A harsh winter and high feed prices have reduced the number of cattle in feedlots and beef plants are now aggressively buying those cattle to ensure they can produce enough beef to supply the upcoming demand, livestock analysts said.