Daily Archives: March 16, 2007

Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The March 14, issue # 528, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefMarch14.html

With the 20th annual Ohio Beef Expo set to begin Friday, and the many breeding stock sales to follow on Saturday, this week’s focus is on bull buying strategies.

Articles this week include:
* Basic Strategies for Buying the Right Bull
* Understanding Neonatal Calf Diarrhea
* Forage Focus: Are Your Cows Mud Wrestlers?
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report

Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

Ethanol shifts the debate on farm subsidies

Ethanol shifts the debate on farm subsidies

 By Alan Beattie and Eoin Callan

Financial Times

 As one veteran observer of Washington farm politics put it recently: commodity prices are high, ethanol is boosting demand and farmers are happy, so there has never been a better time to reform agricultural subsidies. Then again, commodity prices are high, ethanol is boosting demand and farmers are happy, so there has never been a worse time to reform farm subsidies.


Micro Beef Technologies Acquires CattleLog

Micro Beef Technologies Acquires CattleLog

 Amarillo, TX (March 15, 2007) – Micro Beef Technologies, Ltd., a privately-held, technology-based animal management solutions innovator, is excited to announce the addition of CattleLog Animal Information Systems to its offering of integrated feed, health, information and marketing management systems.  The acquisition creates the beef industry’s most comprehensive offering of management systems for complete lifetime animal management, traceability and process verification.

 Formerly held by eMerge Interactive, Inc., CattleLog provides a suite of comprehensive tools to help individual cattle producers participate in value-added marketing opportunities, including a USDA-approved Process Verification Program and the CattleLog Listing Service.

 “CattleLog is made up of proven management systems technologies that help producers capture the value that exists in the marketplace for age and source verified livestock,” says Micro Beef Chairman and Founder Bill Pratt.  “And today is a significant day for Micro Beef as we welcome CattleLog as another option for the forward-thinking, value-driven producers we serve.”

 “CattleLog and Micro Beef Technologies share a vision of innovative value creation and provide complementary product lines used throughout the beef industry.  Micro Beef has a trusted record of serving America’s cattle feeding industry, and as we join forces with CattleLog, which has traditionally served the non-confined segment of the industry, we look forward to more effectively serving a larger portion of the beef supply chain than ever before,” says Mark Shaw, chief executive officer of Micro Beef.  “From the individual producer level, to America’s feedyards, to the packing plants and on to the retailer, Micro Beef and CattleLog create the industry’s most unique and complete solution, and we are ready to move forward with a vision of unprecedented value growth.”

 “At Micro Beef, we recognize that individual producers hold the power to create added value in their cattle, and through our innovative systems and decades-long commitment to unparalleled customer service, we provide a tried-and-true mechanism for producers to realize that value,” says Shaw.  “In an ever-changing marketplace, it’s important for our customers to know they can count on the same trusted systems they’ve relied on in the past,” says Shaw.  “We’re excited about the opportunity to serve CattleLog customers, and we’re up to the challenge.”

 “As we work to seamlessly integrate CattleLog with existing Micro Beef systems, we look forward to providing a proven system for qualifying cattle for premium programs backed by the trusted reputation and stability that Micro Beef has built over more than three decades in the industry,” says Shaw.

Current Status Of Applied Reproductive Technologies For Beef Cattle

Current Status Of Applied Reproductive Technologies For Beef Cattle

 by Dr. Cliff Lamb, University of Minnesota Beef Team
American Red Angus

Cattle producers may be aware of numerous methods to utilize reproductive management to enhance the productivity of their operations. Quite simply, the use of a bull to breed cows to obtain pregnancies tends to remain the most widely exploited form of reproductive management used. However, to become more efficient producers manipulate the breeding season by inserting and removing bulls at predetermined times to ensure that calves are born at the ideal time for each producer.


Add Value to Bulls

Add Value to Bulls

 by Boyd Kidwell
Angus Journal

Angus bull sales are booming. There are many seedstock producers with excellent genetics competing for buyers, and commercial cattlemen are becoming much more sophisticated in their sire selections.

As they adapt to attract buyers, here are several ways veteran bull producers are adding value for customers.


KLA: Natural Compound Shows Promise As Carcass Wash

KLA: Natural Compound Shows Promise As Carcass Wash


 Research at Kansas State University has shown using green tea extract with wildflower dark honey as a carcass wash significantly reduced Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. Scientists are looking at the combination of these natural compounds as a replacement for the lactic acid washes used to control bacteria today.

 K-State Food Science Professor Daniel Fung supervised the research for the Food Safety Consortium. Institutions involved in the consortium are the University of Arkansas , Iowa State University and K-State.


When Organic Isn’t Really Organic

When Organic Isn’t Really Organic

Time Magazine

When you buy a gallon of organic milk, you expect to get tasty milk from happy cows who haven’t been subjected to antibiotics, hormones or pesticides. But you might also unknowingly be getting genetically modified cattle feed.

Albert Straus, owner of the Straus Family Creamery in the small northern California town of Marshall, decided to test the feed that he gives his 1,600 cows last year and was alarmed to find that nearly 6% of the organic corn feed he received from suppliers was “contaminated” by genetically modified (GM) organisms. Organic food is, by definition, supposed to be free of genetically modified material, and organic crops are required to be isolated from other crops. But as GM crops become more prevalent, there is little that an organic farmer can do to prevent a speck of GM pollen or a stray GM seed from being blown by the wind onto his land or farm equipment and, eventually, into his products. In 2006, GM crops accounted for 61% of all the corn planted in the U.S. and 89% of all the soybeans. “I feared that there weren’t enough safeguards,” Straus says.


Majority of dairy producers approve of beef checkoff

Majority of dairy producers approve of beef checkoff

 Tri-State Neighbor

 CENTENNIAL, Colo. – While milk may be their No. 1 commodity, a notable 68 percent of dairy producers surveyed said they approve of the $1-per-head beef checkoff program they contribute to as beef producers, according to recent independent research of dairy producers commissioned by the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board.


Horses alive but unwanted

Horses alive but unwanted

After a limit on horse slaughtering, many owners face tough choices on what to do with their animals


MURCHISON — There are scores of fowl, from Muscovy ducks to ostriches and emu, exotic critters such as a zebra and a puma, 22 iguana, an alligator, a water buffalo, a kangaroo, a baboon and about two dozen other primates, 20 prairie dogs, 42 cattle, 17 bison, 144 feral pigs, a pair of Vietnamese potbellied pigs, and two wolf hybrids among the 1,277 creatures great and small on Black Beauty Ranch.

The total includes 223 horses, some abused, others handed over by owners who were unable to care for them.


5 Cows Dead, Hay To Blame

5 Cows Dead, Hay To Blame


 Many of those driving near the intersection of Bryant and Broadway in Moore got quite a surprise this week.  Fifteen cows lying along the side of the road, dead. 

The cows have since been taken away; however, it’s left many in the area wondering what killed them.

Officer Gia Rodriguez, with Moore Animal Control, says, “When you see a lot of cows lying out on the side of the road people tend to get curious.”


Information is Power

Information is Power

 Gelbvieh World

 For decades, the cattle industry has worked to become more efficient, which usually means knowing information about each individual animal’s ability to perform. This information revolution has brought about expected progeny differences (EPDs), ultrasound technology and now DNA analysis. Today, producers get more inside information on their cattle than ever before — all from a single DNA sample. The process of applying the inside information from DNA analysis, to make better breeding decisions, has been coined as marker-assisted selection. John Pollak, the executive director of the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC), an organization committed to research related to the genetic evaluation of beef cattle, says making marker-assisted selection decisions can be an easy transition for producers.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth Pounds Of Performance

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth Pounds Of Performance


 Bovine coccidiosis occurs in all breeds of cattle, worldwide and year-round. In the United States, the annual cost of the disease to beef and dairy industries has been estimated at $400 million.8

 Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease caused by coccidia — a single-celled protozoan parasite. These protozoa are chiefly of the genus Eimeria, and 21 species have been described as occurring in cattle.8 Coccidiosis is a disease with a complex life cycle that last 21 days in a host animal and seven days outside. It’s continuous, so reinfection occurs daily with several stages occurring simultaneously. A single oocyst — where the cocicidia parasite resides — that has released sporocysts can survive in the environment for years. Once this sporulated oocyst is ingested and exposed to carbon dioxide and digestive enzymes, the organism splits open and releases multiple coccidia sporozoites, which can turn into 24 million oocysts after 21 days in a host.8 Considering that as few as 50,000 oocysts can result in death to the animal,8 the economic impact of coocidiosis to a herd can be staggering.


Poor Calf Health is a Disease to Profitability

Poor Calf Health is a Disease to Profitability

 Black Ink Basics

 The Bottom Line

Postweaning calf disease can devastate producer profitability, accounting for as much as $200 per head in lost revenue. While the most dramatic losses are realized as increased death loss and treatment costs, lingering reductions in feedlot gain and quality grade also jeopardize the bottom line. Regardless if a producer retains ownership through the feedlot or sells calves at weaning, managing for improved calf health can add value and protect profit potential. Postweaning disease can account for as much as $200 per head in lost revenue.


Weekly Radio Program is Launched

Weekly Radio Program is Launched

 Billings, Mont. – This week, R-CALF USA launched a weekly radio program titled “The Weekly Roundup with R-CALF USA.” The package runs two minutes and 30 seconds, and will feature sound bites from various leaders within the organization on topics of importance to independent U.S. cattle producers.

 The weekly radio program is available to any U.S. radio station upon request, and already is being distributed to radio stations that frequently cover R-CALF USA activities. The program also may be downloaded at:


 “With so many of our issues coming before Congress this year, we thought it would be appropriate to offer this type of program free of charge to rural radio stations all around the country,” said R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry. “A lot of our members don’t have access to the Internet or use e-mail, so we’re hoping this program will help to keep them informed about the issues R-CALF addresses on their behalf.”

 R-CALF USA Communications Coordinator Shae Dodson said she looks forward to introducing the organization’s various leaders to listeners in the countryside.

 “I hope ‘The Weekly Roundup’ will be a tool that benefits not only our members, but I also hope those who aren’t that familiar with R-CALF will choose to give us a try after they hear what this organization is doing for independent cattle producers,” she said.

 “We’re also trying to expand ways our membership can utilize the R-CALF website to learn about our issues in the event they are contacted by their local media,” Dodson continued. “Members can read news articles in which fellow members have been quoted, and soon, they’ll even be able to listen to sound bites and full-length radio programs featuring our leaders. All they need to do is click the “In the News” link at www.r-calfusa.com.”

Stocker Cattle Forum: Improving Nutritional Quality With Legumes

Stocker Cattle Forum: Improving Nutritional Quality With Legumes


 Annual ryegrass and small grains vary in digestibility from >70% during the winter and early spring to about 50% by May, and crude protein will fall from 30% to 10-15% over the same period. Basically, these grasses are very good quality feed and you may ask what nutritional benefit do we really get from including clover in the mix. From a digestibility and crude protein standpoint, legumes on average are still greater in both these categories when compared to grasses, but it is fair to say that you might not always see a significant improvement in animal performance. However, clovers do typically have greater trace element levels than grasses, which can help with potential grass tetany problems (clovers have about 2-3 times the amount of magnesium and calcium than grasses). Clovers may also be of nutritional benefit in an annual grass system where the clover’s growth season extends beyond that of the grass. As the grass ages, and its quality declines, the average quality of the pasture may be supported by the continued growth of the higher quality clover as it becomes a greater component in the pasture. Clovers that fall into this category are annual clovers, such as Arrowleaf and Persian clover, and perennial clovers such as White and Red clover.


American Angus Association Heifer Pregnancy EPDs are Coming

American Angus Association Heifer Pregnancy EPDs are Coming


The deadline for submitting heifer breeding records to be used in the American Angus AssociationSM heifer pregnancy genetic evaluation is just around the corner.  The initial research release of sire heifer pregnancy EPDs is planned to follow the Association’s deadline for submitting performance data on June 15, 2007.  Breeders must submit their heifer breeding records by the June 15 deadline in order to be included in the heifer pregnancy EPD run.


The release of heifer pregnancy EPDs will be in the format of a web-based special research report listing sire EPDs with a minimum .30 accuracy.  To contribute data for this project, Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIRSM) participants can submit breeding records electronically through either AAA Login or the AIMS options, or by requesting printed forms.