Daily Archives: March 22, 2007

Secretary touts aid for young farmers

Secretary touts aid for young farmers

Jon Emmert’s ears perked up when he heard the proposed farm bill had money to help start-up farmers.

“That’s just perfect for a guy like me,” said Emmert, a farmer and Purdue student who rents farmland.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns outlined President Bush’s farm bill in Fowler Hall on Wednesday after touring Purdue’s renewable fuel research areas.

The $1.6 billion in new funding for renewable energy initiatives, such as cellulosic ethanol, and $250 million to help beginning farmers interested the crowd of farmers, students and Purdue faculty.

Dustin Johnson, a Frankfort farmer, said the subsidies he gets only go toward land rental, while more established farmers who own their land can keep the money. He likes the idea of putting more into encouraging younger people to farm.


Heifer Development: Selection for Other Factors Beyond Growth

Heifer Development: Selection for Other Factors Beyond Growth


 Growth is an important trait in heifer selection but there are other important traits. What are those traits?

 MATERNAL/PRODUCTION TRAITS: The traits that are important in replacement heifers are the maternal traits: early puberty, fertility, calving ease, milk, soundness (longevity), temperament and efficiency. Early puberty is highly heritable (H2 = 50%) and related to early first pregnancy. Calving ease is important because it affects the time required for rebreeding. Soundness traits (feet, legs, udders, eye, etc.) are highly heritable and are related to longevity and productivity.


Forage quality important, but misunderstood

Forage quality important, but misunderstood

Know factors that affect feed’s quality

 by Rusty Evans
Leaf Chronicle (TN)

Forage quality, defined in various ways, is often poorly understood.

It is important, but forage quality often receives far less consideration than it deserves.

Adequate animal nutrition is essential if you want high rates of gain, ample milk production and adequate profits. Forage quality varies greatly among and within forage crops, and there are different nutritional needs among various animal species and classes.

If you want to produce suitable quality forage, it requires knowing the factors that affect forage quality, then exercising management accordingly.


Factors to consider when developing synchronization program

Factors to consider when developing synchronization program

 Western Livestock Journal

 When considering the implementation of an estrus synchronization program, most experienced cattlemen would advise one thing, absolutely every detail has to be in order. They would also say that the benefits far outweigh the costs of the investment. If implemented properly, estrus synchronization can lead to significant genetic gains and management efficiency of the cowherd.

  If a producer chooses to implement an estrus synchronization program, whether it be for breeding heifers or utilizing artificial insemination (AI) technology, he needs to also consider that there are many factors that determine the success of such a program. It’s like a great big puzzle and all of the pieces have to fit together before the program can be successful.


Parasites Present Big Problems for Producers

Parasites Present Big Problems for Producers

 Cattle Today

 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.


With fewer students interested in farming, schools shift focus

With fewer students interested in farming, schools shift focus

 The Orlando Sentinel
Susan Jacobson

 During the 23 years that Preston Wells taught agriculture at St. Cloud High, students learned to tend chickens, fatten hogs and cattle for market, and respect the land that produced their food.

 When Wells left in 2004 to become a dean at Harmony High in east Osceola, the program at St. Cloud closed.


Ohio State: Think Safety When Working With Animals

Ohio State: Think Safety When Working With Animals


 A few days back, while sitting beside the husband of one of my classmates at our annual Ohio Veterinary Medical Association meeting, he updated me about things that had happened in their family since I had last seen them. At one point, he said, “That was just before the bull got me.” I replied that I hadn’t heard about that and asked him what happened. He told me about being attacked by the bull in the heifer pen; an animal that had never acted mean before. The bull had mauled him badly, and he was fortunate to get out of the pen alive. He was in the hospital in the intensive care unit for eight days before the doctors told his wife they thought he would live!


Studying the Prion Gene

Studying the Prion Gene

 by Laura McGinnis
Angus Journal

While the first confirmed case of BSE on U.S. soil in December 2003 had little effect on domestic consumption, it carved into our international beef sales. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS), the United States exported only $552 million worth of beef in 2004 — down from $2.6 billion in 2002 and $3.1 billion in 2003 — a reduction due, in part, to the BSE case.


Legislature-Beef Marketing

Legislature-Beef Marketing


 A bill that would allow ranchers to produce so-called “natural beef” cattle was heard before the House Agriculture Committee yesterday. Democratic Representative Ken Hansen introduced Senate Bill 544 which would create a marketing program allowing the state to certify Montana “natural beef” cattle. It also specifies guidelines for certifying beef as grass-fed.


Family farms aren’t the answer, either

Family farms aren’t the answer, either

 by Lisa G. Leming
Mountain Xpress (NC)

 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.

 Am I to understand correctly that one of Nathaniel [Beuer]’s justifications [“The Vegetarian Drama,” Letters, March 7] for animal slaughter is that it provides vegetable fertilizer, without which gardening is impossible? This is one of the dumber (albeit humorous) rationalizations I have seen. Vegetarian societies, monasteries, communes and religions have existed since time began (including, many believe, Eden) without the benefit of animal slaughter. It is also possible to keep animals without slaughtering them, as many people do with their pet chickens, geese, ducks, goats, pigs etc., and as I myself have done. Yes, chickens make great pets, as well as provide fertilizer and bug control.


New CEO for Cattlemen’s Beef Board

New CEO for Cattlemen’s Beef Board

High Plains Journal

 OMAHA (DTN) — The Cattlemen’s Beef Board, based in Centennial, Colo., will see a new chief executive officer at the end of April, according to a news releasefrom the board.

 Tom Ramey will take over as chief executive officer of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) effective May 1, 2007, the board’s executive committee announced this week. Ramey, now CBB’s chief financial officer, will take the reins from current CEO Monte Reese, who retires April 30 after 17 years of service to the Beef Board.


University Of Minn: Proper Cattle Handling Facilities Make Things Easier

University Of Minn: Proper Cattle Handling Facilities Make Things Easier


 Cattle handling facilities are an essential part of any cattle operation.

Producers who want to improve cattle health as well as marketing and production (along with family and worker relations) must invest in some type of livestock handling facilities.

A well-designed handling facility can save you time and money by making the task of treating and conducting preventive health practices, pregnancy testing, implanting, controlling parasites, vaccinating, castrating and dehorning practices easier and safer to conduct.


The Presence of Estrogenic and Androgenic Substances in Effluents from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

The Presence of Estrogenic and Androgenic Substances in Effluents from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

 Environmental Protection Agency

 Abstract:          In February 2003 the U.S.EPA published a final rule on National Polllutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Regulation and Effluent Limitation Guidelines and Standards for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Manure and wastewater from CAFOs have the potential to contribute pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus, organic matter, sediments, pathogens, heavy metals, hormones, antibiotics and ammonia to the environment. Excess nutrients in water (e.g., nitrogen and phosphorus) can result in or contribute to low levels of dissolved oxygen (anoxia), eutrophication and toxic algal blooms. The CAFO rule mainly covers the control of nutrients and bacterial contamination.


Northey reflects on Agriculture Day and Iowa’s farmers

Northey reflects on Agriculture Day and Iowa’s farmers

 by Bill Northey, Secretary of Agriculture for Iowa
Brownfield Network

(The following is an editorial piece from Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture. And while it is written specifically for Iowa, it is equally well suited on National Agriculture Day for any state that is economically dependent on the production of food, fiber and fuel and on those families who produce it. — ed.)

Iowa Celebrates National Agriculture Day

Agriculture impacts Iowa every day and has done so for centuries. Agriculture Day represents an opportunity for all Iowans to pause and recognize the contributions of agriculture to the Iowa economy and the good quality of life Iowans enjoy. On March 21, 2007 I celebrated my first Agriculture Day as Secretary of Agriculture. Iowa’s rich and tillable soil has made it one of the most productive areas for food production in the world. Iowa is the top producer in the country of corn, soybeans, pork and eggs.

Iowa agriculture faced many dark days in the 1980s and then again in the late 1990s. Iowans from all different sectors of the industry worked through these difficult times to expand markets overseas and to create new products for domestic consumption. Farmers and industry leaders worked tirelessly to make ethanol and biodiesel viable in the energy market and to create new markets for Iowa meat and grain products.


Group blasts FDA plan to allow food from clones

Group blasts FDA plan to allow food from clones

 Scientific American

 By Christopher Doering

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Findings of a U.S. government study that would help pave the way for the sale of milk and meat from cloned animals was “flawed” and failed to adequately check for possible side-effects, a consumer group said on Wednesday.

The Center for Food Safety’s report said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s risk assessment of food from cloned animals used data that was “selectively reported to fit predetermined conclusions” and relied heavily on unpublished data from two cloning companies.


Cattle producers must deal with change

Cattle producers must deal with change

 By Jennifer Bremer
High Plains Journal

Changes in the agriculture industry has created new opportunities for cattle producers according to University of Wisconsin Extension Forage Specialist Dan Undersander.

“While cattle producers do have concerns with the price of corn and the price of land, they can also take charge of the changes and set goals as to how to better their production,” he said to a group of producers at the Cornbelt Cow-calf Conference in Ottumwa, Iowa, on Feb. 24.