Daily Archives: March 20, 2007

Some Reminders on Extralabel Drug Use in Food-Producing Animals

Some Reminders on Extralabel Drug Use in Food-Producing Animals

 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA) of 1994. Prior to AMDUCA, veterinarians were not legally permitted to use an animal drug in any way except as indicated on the label. Following the passage of AMDUCA, veterinarians gained the right to prescribe/dispense the “extralabel” use of drugs but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) places limits the extralabel use of drugs to protect public health.


Body Condition Score at Calving is the KEY

Body Condition Score at Calving is the KEY

 Glenn Selk , Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma


 One of the major constraints in the improvement of reproductive efficiency of beef cows is the duration of the post-calving anestrus period.  If cows are to maintain a calving interval of 1 year they must conceive within 80 to 85 days after calving.  Body condition at calving time determines to a great extent the re-breeding performance of beef cows in the subsequent breeding season.   Based research of mature and young cows from several studies, cows that maintained body weight and therefore ample energy reserves before parturition exhibited estrus sooner than cows that lost considerable body weight and consequently had poor energy reserves.   Body weight change during pregnancy is confounded with embryo and placenta growth.  Therefore the estimation of body fat by use of body condition scores is more useful in quantifying the energy status of beef cows. The numeric system of body condition scoring is an excellent estimator of percentage body fat in beef cows.  Body condition score accounted for 85% to 91% of the variation in stored body energy in cows. 


Pace of U.S. beef export growth to slow in 2007

Pace of U.S. beef export growth to slow in 2007

 by Peter Shinn
Brownfield Network

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) issued its latest outlook for the livestock, dairy and poultry sectors Monday morning. Among other things, the ERS report projects slower growth in the pace of U.S. beef exports this year, in part because beef exports to Asia aren’t expected to grow much in 2007.

“Exports to Japan edged up only slowly when the market reopened last fall and do not appear to be accelerating in early 2007,” the report narrative said. “U.S. exports have been constrained by a limited supply of age-verified cattle in the United States and by occasional suspension of exports from packers sending non-approved products in their shipments.”


Extension agent: Agriculture still viable part of economy

Extension agent: Agriculture still viable part of economy

The Daily Press (WI)

While the Chequamegon Bay region maintains a reputation for its forests, the area’s agriculture operations continue to be a viable and vital part of its economy, said Jason Fischbach, agriculture agent for the UW-Extension program.

Over the course of two days, Fischbach gave a presentation on the “State of Agriculture in Ashland and Bayfield Counties” as part of the month-long “March for Food” series of events.


Producers urged to vaccinate for anthrax

Producers urged to vaccinate for anthrax

 Farm and Ranch Guide

 ST. PAUL, Minn. – Following the second largest anthrax outbreak in the state’s history in 2006, State Veterinarian Bill Hartmann is advising cattle producers to consider anthrax vaccinations for livestock that will be grazing this summer in areas where the disease has been present. Anthrax is a naturally occurring disease caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. All warm-blooded animals are susceptible to the disease, but cattle, horses, sheep, and goats are most commonly affected.


National Ag Week celebrated March 18-24

National Ag Week celebrated March 18-24

 Kent Thiesse
Vice President, MinnStar Bank
Minnesota Farm Guide

National Ag Week is being celebrated March 18-24 all across the United States, and Wednesday, March 21, has been designated as “National Ag Day”.

It is a good time to reflect on all the traditions and advancements that help make the U.S. agriculture industry second to none.


Disposal of large animals presents problem

Disposal of large animals presents problem


When a family pet dies, it’s relatively easy to bury him in the back yard.

But farmers and ranchers face a bigger dilemma when a large animal dies.

Cows and horses may die of old age, disease, lightning strikes or other causes.

In the “good old days,” these dead animals could be taken care of by the “dead wagon,” which took the animals off to the rendering plant at no charge. Later, they began charging a fee.


Ban not the answer to CAFOs

Ban not the answer to CAFOs

The Star Press (IN)

AS A LIFELONG member of this community and a pork producer, I’d like to make my voice heard in the ongoing debate about concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

I became concerned about where this debate is taking the state and our community when I read feedback from an Indiana Land Resources Council open forum. The discussion had turned toward what was considered an acceptable setback for CAFOs — the proposed 600 feet. There were many challenges to that, with some people contending that there should be as much as five miles between a CAFO and the closest residence, school or business.


Marketing tools that can take some of risk out of cow-calf operation

Marketing tools that can take some of risk out of cow-calf operation

Farm & Ranch Guide

CARRINGTON, N.D. – One thing that has proven unpredictable in the past few months is the corn market.

Since the middle of September 2006, corn has shot up from around $2.50 per bushel to over $4 as of the middle part of February. And just during the first two weeks of January, corn fell from around $4 to $3.50 in a matter of a few days and then rallied to around $4.20 a bushel before settling back to the $4 figure.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Warm Weather May Increase Prevalence Of Pinkeye

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Warm Weather May Increase Prevalence Of Pinkeye


 Pinkeye, which is actually a group of symptoms and not a diagnosis of disease, can occur year-round. However, warm weather seems to be especially conducive to its appearance in a cattle herd. An outbreak can affect up to 80% of a herd, and calves affected by pinkeye can lose 10% of their body weight.(5)

 The major factors that predispose cattle to pinkeye infections include dusty conditions, flies, bright sunlight and any physical irritation to the eye, such as those that could come from any of the above or from irritants like grass seeds and thistles. Of course, in summer, flies are more prevalent and ultraviolet radiation is at its peak. At the same time, grasses and thistles mature and dry and drop seeds, and dusty conditions are more likely. So, all the conditions to predispose cattle to infection are in place.


Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo(TM) Celebrates 75 Years

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo(TM) Celebrates 75 Years


 The 2007 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo celebrated its 75th anniversary, as well as “The Year of the Volunteer,” honoring the approximately 18,000 volunteers who donate their time and talent each year for the youth of Texas. A “Revolution in Rodeo,” an amazing lineup of superstar entertainment and great weather added up to another successful year.


Animal Fats into Jet Fuel

Animal Fats into Jet Fuel


 Hydrocarbon Alternatives –  A team of NCSU scientists and engineers says it has developed a biofuels technology capable of converting animal fats – including lipids from dead chickens, hogs and cattle – into fuel for commercial airliners and fighter jets.


Horse processing is highly emotional property issue

Horse processing is highly emotional property issue

 Southwest Farm Press

 Charlie Stenholm allowed that many in his audience at the recent Texas Ag Forum in Austin would not agree with his stance on what he described as an emotional issue. He said it’s not something that’s likely to end up in the next farm law.

 But Stenholm, former U.S. Representative and ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee and now an agriculture consultant in Washington, said denying horse owners the option of taking unwanted horses to a processing plant, where they are slaughtered and shipped to foreign countries for use as food, restricts property rights.

 “The best way to end a horse’s life is humanely, with a veterinarian present,” Stenholm said. That’s mandated in processing plants, he said.


Be Aware of Animal to Human Disease Risks

Be Aware of Animal to Human Disease Risks

American Cowman

Zoonotic diseases are those that can be transmitted from animals to people. We’ve heard about several of these in the headlines – such as Bird Flu, West Nile Virus, SARS, and anthrax.

Other common zoonotic pathogens include E. coli, Salmonella, rabies, cryptosporidium, roundworms and ringworm.


Five Minutes With Paul Hitch

Five Minutes With Paul Hitch


 Most of you know Paul Hitch as a cattle feeder from Guymon, Oklahoma.  Actually, the term “cattle feeder” grossly understates what he does.  The original Henry C. Fitch Feedlot with room for 52,000 head, joined by Hitch Feeder I with capacity for 59,000 animals and Hitch Feeder II which room for 48,000 head is a business that can handle almost 160,000 animals at any one time.

 From the original feedlot, Hitch Enterprises Inc. has grown into an agricultural conglomerate that dominates the Oklahoma panhandle.  Hitch Cattle Co. is the cattle buying arm, Hitch Ag Credit finances feedyards, Hitch Commodities does hedging and risk management, Hitch Ranch owns a 150 head cow herd and the wide spread family business even includes pork farrow-to-finish operations.