Daily Archives: March 12, 2007

Schering-Plough to Acquire Organon BioSciences (Intervet)

Schering-Plough to Acquire Organon BioSciences (Intervet)

Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP) today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a transaction under which Schering-Plough will acquire Organon BioSciences N.V., the human and animal health care businesses of Akzo Nobel N.V., for approximately €11 billion in cash ($14.4 billion based on closing exchange rate on March 9, 2007). The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of 2007, is anticipated to be accretive to Schering-Plough’s earnings per share (EPS) by about 10 cents in the first full year, excluding purchase-accounting adjustments and acquisition-related costs.


Rotation vs. Continuous Grazing

Rotation vs. Continuous Grazing

Even the experts disagree on grazing management practices.

 by Troy Smith
Hereford World

There might be nearly as many opinions about grazing as there are graziers. Perhaps that is as it should be. After all, every livestock grazing enterprise is unique. Each and every manager has different resources, different challenges and different goals. When you put a group of serious graziers together in the same room, it usually sparks lively discussion about what works and what doesn’t.


Cow Calf: Costs Of Heifer Development

Cow Calf: Costs Of Heifer Development


 At the 2006 Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Conference, Missouri commercial cow-calf producer Mike Kasten presented costs of heifer development in his herd. He successfully uses the Show Me Select Heifer Development Program (SMS). Today, over 98% of his heifers are cycling at the time of their prebreeding exam. This has been achieved by getting his heifers to 65 to 70% of their mature body weight and in a good body condition score at the beginning of breeding season. Following is a summary of his heifer development cost for 2005 spring-born heifers. His costs to develop fall-born heifers usually average about $50 per head less. He noted that approximately 55% of his gross income now comes from heifer sales.


How Many Heifers to Keep??

How Many Heifers to Keep??

 Glenn Selk, OSU Extension Animal Reproduction Specialist

 Matching the number of cattle to the grass and feed resources on the ranch is a constant challenge for any cow-calf producer.  Also producers strive to maintain cow numbers to match their marketing plans for the long term changes in the cattle cycle.  Therefore it is a constant struggle to evaluate the number of replacement heifers that must be developed or purchased to bring into the herd each year.  As a starting place in the effort to answer this question, it is important to look at the “average” cow herd to understand how many cows are in each age category.  Dr. Kris Ringwall, director of the Dickinson, North Dakota Research and Extension Center recently reported on the average number of cows in their research herd by age group for the last 20 years.  The following graph depicts the “average” percent of cows in this herd by age group.


New Limousin EPDs Now Available

New Limousin EPDs Now Available

 Cattle Today

 Expected progeny differences (EPDs) from the spring 2007 International Limousin Genetic Evaluation now are available on the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) Web site (www.nalf.org).

 Users can click the “Sire Selector” link at the top of any NALF Web page to specify EPD-selection criteria in searching qualified U.S. and Canadian Limousin and Lim Flex® bulls. The “Find a Pedigree or EPD” link at the left allows them to search for information – now including the Mainstream Terminal Index ($MTI) value and DNA-test results, if available – about a particular animal. The new EPDs also are available for bulls and females listed for sale on the Limousin Exchange, which is accessible via the NALF home page.


A steer named Ernie takes rodeo’s top prize

A steer named Ernie takes rodeo’s top prize

Houston Chronicle

Walking onto the Reliant Stadium floor with her steer named Ernie on Friday night, Mackenzi Lea Dorsey, 16, had only her lucky red shirt and the unfailing support of her older brother.

Minutes later, judges pinned her 1,278-pound Maine-Anjou with what amounts to the top honor among ranching families in Texas: Grand Champion Steer.

The high school student comes from a cattle ranching family in Seymour, a Northwest Texas town of just under 3,000 near Wichita Falls.


Ethanol Creation Cripples Beef Farmers

Ethanol Creation Cripples Beef Farmers


 If you notice the price of beef going up in the next few months, don’t be surprised. As the government continues to push for more ethanol research, the main ingredient in the fuel is becoming more expensive and rare. It’s hurting beef farmers.

 “Those cattle, we paid an average for the corn at that time $87 to $104,” said Rich Brown, owner of Equity Angus Farm.


US Beef Classified as Safe

US Beef Classified as Safe

 By Kim Yon-se
Yonhap News

 The United States is likely to put more pressure on South Korea to import American beef _ whether boneless or not _ as the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), a global animal health body, is moving to categorize the American meat as safe to eat.

 The Paris-based OIE’s move has been revealed at a time when the United States repeatedly says that there will be no free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea without Seoul’s full-scale opening of the beef market.


Diagnosing a Deadly Bacterial Disease

Diagnosing a Deadly Bacterial Disease

 Provided by Novartis Animal Health
Angus Journal

 Clostridium perfringens Type A has been implicated in serious and deadly gastrointestinal diseases in both cows and calves. In fact, the problems may be underestimated because necropsies are often not performed.

 “This emerging disease is an economic threat to dairy and beef producers, and diagnosing it is a critical step in control and prevention,” says Dan Keil, diagnostic laboratory manager for Novartis Animal Health US Inc.


Cattle Feeding: Purchasing Feeder Cattle

Cattle Feeding: Purchasing Feeder Cattle


 Feeder cattle prices fluctuate considerably in almost every season of the year. Higher-grade feeder cattle sell for a higher price per pound than lower grades.

 Lighter-weight cattle of the same grade cost more per pound than heavier feeder cattle. Although feeder grade is not supposed to be influenced by the amount of fat on an animal or its overall condition, cattle in better shape usually are assigned a higher grade and sell for a higher price per pound. The difference between the purchase and the sales price (the cattle margin or price spread) of feedlot cattle often is greater for healthy, but thinner, lower-grade feeder calves or yearlings because these animals usually increase in quality between purchase and sale time.


Horse slaughter plants needed

Horse slaughter plants needed

 Fort Worth Star-Telegram

 The Thursday news story about starving equines being seized in Parker County was another example of the damage that well-meaning, animal-loving people can do by (1) acquiring more animals of any kind than a person can adequately care for and (2) lobbying against horse slaughter plants with the idea of saving horses from some unknown and/or imagined cruelty.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Preparing For Pinkeye Season

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Preparing For Pinkeye Season


 Pinkeye may appear to be nothing more than an annoyance to cattle. But in fact, it is a costly infection that results in losses of an estimated $150 million annually.(6) Although cattle can suffer from pinkeye during any time of the year, it is most prevalent during mid to late summer. Proper management during this time of year can help calves reach their full potential.

 According to the National Animal Health Monitoring System division of the USDA, pinkeye is the most prevalent condition in replacement heifers and the second-most prevalent condition affecting unweaned calves more than 3 weeks old.


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.


Be wary of what’s in your beef

Be wary of what’s in your beef

Austin examines the health risks that hormone-injected cattle may pose to consumers and recommends alternatives.

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.

Laura Austin
The Daily Evergreen (WA)

The United States has one of the world’s safest food systems with its strict regulations, laws on food preparation and temperature control, along with a vast system used for tracking the origins of possible food contamination. But it is not perfect.

The Food and Drug Administration has set high standards regarding food safety to controlling micro flora, such as salmonella in poultry or E. coli in beef, but it needs to take further steps to ensure how healthy some meat is. Here’s my beef: Roughly 90 percent of beef cattle are injected with or fed hormones, according to the FDA. These steroid hormones are used to increase muscle growth, and can increase meat production per cow by 15 percent, according to the American Meat Institute.