The March 21, issue # 529, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefMarch21.html
With calving season around Ohio in full swing, this week we focus on farm safety, especially as it relates to the sometimes experienced atypical behavior that’s observed in some cows immediately after calving.
Articles this week include:
* Think Safety When Working with Animals
* Proper Cattle Handling Facilities Make Things Easier
* HEIFER DEVELOPMENT: Selection for Other Factors Beyond Growth
* Forage Focus: US Court Halts Sale, Planting Of GMO Alfalfa
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130
Certified Hereford Beef LLC Launches Consumer Web Site
Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC staff is proud to announce the launch of a consumer-based Web site, http://www.herefordbeef.net. The Web site is geared toward the everyday consumer, but also contains useful information for CHB® retail and foodservice customers.
HerefordBeef.net provides a fresh look at CHB LLC’s already familiar, quality product. The Web site not only showcases exciting new recipes and the latest nutritional and healthy living information, but also smart shopping techniques for families and information on the CHB community in the agricultural world. Most importantly, it also has a complete list of CHB retail supermarkets, retail distributors and foodservice distributors by state. Along with contact information, there are direct links to these CHB providers’ Web sites.
Dealing with embryonic and fetal mortality
by Bill Beal, beef cattle reproductive physiologist, Virgina Tech
Getting cows pregnant is only part of the battle. Breeders must design their vaccination programs and management practices to avoid pregnancy loss. Having realistic expectations and understanding factors that influence embryonic mortality and abortion can improve management decisions that influence the rate of pregnancy loss.
Eliminating PI Animals Makes Economic Sense
Montana cattle ranchers still have time to screen their herds for animals persistently infected (PI) with the bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus. And the managers of the Montana BVD-PI Herd Screening Project believe there may be added incentive beyond better herd health for ranchers who identify PI-negative calves. They simply may be worth more money come marketing time.
“We think calves screened as PI-negative deserve at least a 4¢/lb. price advantage over unscreened calves,” says Clint Peck, Montana director of Beef Quality Assurance. “PI-negative status says the animals aren’t persistently infected with the BVD virus and greatly reduces the risk of spreading the disease throughout the production chain.”
Combat High Feed Costs by Utilizing Fat in Supplements
By: Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS
As every cattle producer is painfully aware, feed costs have continued to escalate as grain supplies, especially corn are drawn upon to produce ethanol as a supplement to fossil fuels. While this practice stimulates the farming economy and that in of itself is a good thing, nonetheless, high feed prices cut into livestock producing profits dramatically.
These high (and growing) prices will, in many instances, discourage many producers from feeding or supplementing their herds as they normally would. In the case of many breeding (i.e. cow/calf) operations, this may result in lowered body conditions and therefore decreased breeding efficiencies. To breed effectively cows need to be in a proper minimum body condition. In other words they must carry a certain amount of fat for reproductive systems to function normally. To maintain these fat stores, especially through the winter months, it is necessary to provide adequate energy levels. In most cases the producer uses a combination of stored forages and grain to provide for these energy requirements. As discussed above, higher grain prices may reduce the level at which producers may provide energy in the form of grain. So what can be done to provide the necessary energy to keep cattle performing reproductively?
Nutritional Considerations of Weaned or Purchased Bulls
Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University
Probably the most common mistake made in purchasing young, weaning age bulls is failure to provide an adequate diet to continue their growth and development. Often bulls are delivered, turned out with the other bulls, and let to “rough it” until breeding time. Thus, bull development is delayed, sexual maturity is not achieved, and the resulting calf crop is less than it should have been.
The first step in providing adequate nutrition is determining the desired level of performance. Typically, young bulls have 160 days to grow from weaning to yearling age. Because of the growth potential of our current beef population, yearling bulls are heavier than 1,000 pounds. Therefore, young bulls need to have gains of 2.5 daily. Moderate energy diets (those with grain) are needed to attain these performance levels.
What’s New in Using Distillers Grains?
With an ever-increasing amount of distillers grain being produced in Iowa, livestock will have to use more of them. With that in mind, many members of the Iowa cattle industry gathered in Ames last week to hear from experts on maximum feed rations, storage and handling techniques, feed values and co-products of the future.
The “Managing Distillers Grains In Cattle Feeding” workshop was sponsored by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa State University on March 14.
The audience was told by Dr. Dan Loy, beef nutritionist at ISU, to prepare for changing the way distillers grain is used in rations and diets. As the oil is removed from the corn kernel through new process technology, higher protein levels will likely result in the DDGs. Loy says 75% of Iowa cattle feeders are currently using corn coproducts from ethanol plants to benefit from the protein, energy and phosphorus content.
Where’s the Beef?
Weather Woes Burden Cattle,
By PAUL THARP
New York Post
Steakhouses may be facing a “mud-cow” crisis.
Cattle are so deeply mired down in rain-mucked feedlots that they’re overworking themselves just trying to maneuver through the mud – and losing too much valuable weight in the process.
Agriculture officials say the skinnier cows are triggering a shortage of beef that’s caused prices to jump 14 percent this wet winter.
Beef Prices on the Rise
By Bridget Shanahan
Beef prices are on their way up, they’ve gone up 3% over the past few months.
“Most costs do get passed onto the consumer, we’re seeing relatively good beef prices because of the supply side,” said Cole Erb, owner of Blackfoot Livestock Auction.
A harsh winter in the Midwest is behind the lower supply.
Parasites rob gain, grade, and profits
Farm and Ranch Guide
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.
“When an animal has decreased intake and/or digestibility, one of the first places it shows up is in marbling score,” he said.
Ethanol’s growing list of enemies
As corn prices rise, unlikely allies seek end of government aid for bio-fuel
Maine-Anjou bulls feed on a fattener feed that includes corn at Kornegay Cattle Co. in Owasso, Okla. last week. Kornegay is in the midst of the spring calving season when normally feed is doubled, but rising corn prices due to ethanol demand has forced the livestock grower to cut feed by half.
Paul Hitch has spent his entire life raising cattle and hogs on a stretch of the Oklahoma panhandle he says is “flat as a billiard table.” His great-grandfather started the ranch in 1884, before Oklahoma was a state, and now Hitch, 63, is preparing to pass the family business on to his two sons.
But he worries that they’ll face mounting pressures in the industry, particularly because of the soaring price for corn, which the business depends on to feed the livestock. In the past year, corn prices have doubled as demand from ethanol producers has surged.
Protecting Livestock Producers from an Extreme Proposal by Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson
Manure is not Hazardous Waste
Southwest Nebraska News
When we talk about the Superfund, many people think about places like New York’s Love Canal, a chemical dumpsite that homes were built over.
Eventually, the toxic chemicals seeped upward through the soil causing noxious fumes and pools of thick black sludge. Some children complained of rashes and respiratory problems. One 8 year old boy who played in a creek where deadly dioxins were later found died of kidney failure. Kidney and liver problems as well as increased miscarriages and birth defects came to the attention of government and health authorities who found 82 chemicals including potentially carcinogenic substances.
Demands on extension rose during WWII
By Carrie Ann Knauer,
Carroll County Times (MD)
What pulled the nation out of the Great Depression, World War II, also pulled men off the farms, creating a national emergency as the country could not afford to produce less food.
County Extension Director Landon C. Burns wrote in 1947 that in Carroll County, thousands of people turned to the cooperative extension looking for help.
“It is no exaggeration to say that in all problems relating to the postwar effort in which rural people are involved, the problems are brought directly to the extension office.”
Cattle Feeding: What Is Fiber?
Fiber can be defined as carbohydrates that are not digested by mammalian enzymes but can potentially be digested by rumen microorganisms. Fiber includes cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and soluble fiber (fructans, pectans, galactans, and Â-glucans). Fiber in plant material is in the structural components of cell walls. In the rumen, fiberdigesting bacteria digest fiber (structural carbohydrates), while starch-digesting bacteria digest starch (nonstructural carbohydrates). In general, the starch digesters tolerate low pH levels, but the fiber digesters are inhibited by low pH. If the goal is to maximize forage intake and digestibility, then it may be counterproductive to add grain (corn, wheat, etc.) to the diet of cattle beyond a threshold of about 0.5% of body weight because of reduced rumen pH effects. A supplement with low levels of starch and highly digestible fiber (soybean hulls, corn gluten feed, dried distillers’ grains) is more appropriate to maintain forage intake, digestibility, and rumen pH. Rumen pH can also be buffered or kept from going too low by buffers produced in the animal’s saliva. Salivary flow is primarily stimulated during rumination (chewing of the cud) by effective fiber.
National Ag Day recognizes what’s in a lot of farmers’ blood
Belleville News Democrat
Wednesday is National Ag Day, the center of National Ag Week, which started Sunday and ends Saturday.
You might want to take your favorite farmer to dinner. Or wear your favorite farm cap while you quaff a few brews. Here’s a tip of my Select Sires hat to all you farmers out there.
The week isn’t going to overtake St. Patrick’s Day or Halloween as a party event, and it’s not the subject of any beer commercials, but Ag Day does attract some attention mostly from people writing about it and trying to let people know how important agriculture is.
Montana Rancher Earns Red Angus GridMaster Award
Patrick LoHof, owner of Quarter Circle U Ranch, Otter, Mont., was recognized at the 2006 Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) Convention in Kerrville, Texas, with the Association’s “GridMaster” Award. Century Feeders of Goodland, Kan. was also recognized as a 2006 GridMaster for their role in feeding the LoHof cattle as well as another set of GridMaster winning steers from Colo.
Red Angus Marketing Programs introduced the “GridMaster Award” to recognize those who had achieved outstanding carcass results through their utilization of Red Angus genetics in the feedlot. To be eligible for the GridMaster Award, cattle must be enrolled in the Red Angus Feeder Cattle Certification Program, a USDA Process Verified Program, now in its second decade of providing genetic traceability to Angus, and source verification to ranch of origin. Verified group age was added to the process verified program’s claim this past fall. LoHof’s GridMaster winners represent some of the nearly 100,000 head of feeder cattle that are marketed through the Red Angus program annually.
The 2006 GridMaster winners marketed a 30 head minimum lot size of Certified Red Angus through the Grid, which met and exceeded the following criteria:
* Minimum 80% Choice
* Minimum 100 Grid Score – (Composite score based on % Choice, % Premium Products, % YG 1’s & 2’s, and % YG 4’s)
* Maximum 7.5% Yield Grade 4 or higher
The outstanding Grid performance and profitability of LoHof’s Certified Red Angus cattle is detailed in the table below:
1s & 2s