Daily Archives: March 23, 2007

House ag chief wants to accelerate meat labeling

House ag chief wants to accelerate meat labeling

WASHINGTON — It’s been five years since Congress passed a law requiring meat to be marked with the country of origin, but shoppers will have a hard time finding those labels.

The food industry has succeeded in repeatedly delaying the labeling requirement. It’s currently put off until the fall of 2008.

But an end to that delay could be in the works. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Collin Peterson wants to marry the labeling program to a plan to require livestock producers to participate in a national animal identification system.



Calving Season – Calves

Calving Season – Calves

 Ropin’ the Web

Points to Remember

    * Calves should receive colostrum milk from the cow as soon as possible (30 minutes or less) after birth as this is important to its resistance to disease. Calf should consume 5% of birth weight in colostrum in first 12 hours of life. This is 3 pints for a 75 pound calf.

    * Calves which do not nurse within 6 hours should be given colostrum with a stomach tube.

    * In heavily used calving grounds, the navel of newborn calves should be treated with iodine.

    * Disinfection is very important in controlling the accumulation and spread of disease-causing microorganisms.

    * Develop an annual vaccination program with your veterinarian and maintain adequate records to insure that the beef herd health program is continued year after year.


For the hundredth time: Produce for the market

For the hundredth time: Produce for the market

 By Fred Knop

Produce for the market. Produce for the market. Produce for the market. If you’ve heard this advice once, you’ve heard it hundreds of times over the last 20 years — ever since the beef industry began studying consumer preferences. In the meantime, while many of you have made appropriate changes in your breeding programs, the industry as a whole has drifted farther and farther off course.

 I was reminded of this when I read recently that the Certified Angus Beef Program finished tweaking its carcass-selection criteria for better alignment with consumer preferences. It used to be that a Yield Grade 3.9 carcass would qualify for the CAB brand. That criterion wasn’t effective enough to control ribeye size, backfat thickness and carcass size. In a 2005 study, CAB found Yield Grade 3 carcasses were delivering 1.2 inches of external fat, a ribeye-area-range of 6.9 to 19 square inches and carcass weights of up to 1,169 pounds. The new criteria limit ribeye size to a range of 10.0 to 16.0 square inches, backfat thickness to 1.0 inch and carcass weight to less than 1,000 pounds. CAB expects almost 7 percent of previously qualifying carcasses will fall out of their mix, but they will find more than enough carcasses meeting the new criteria to compensate for this loss.


Know Your Genes

Know Your Genes

 By Steve Cornett and Sarah Aubrey

As the spring production sales roll on, you will see more and more evidence that gene markers have arrived big time in the registered cattle business.

DNA testing—after years of promising “too many silver bullets,” as USDA’s Ronnie Green put it recently—is quickly becoming a more reliable way to precisely identify genetic predisposition and, as Green said, “cost is no longer an obstacle.”


Grazing Riparian Areas

Grazing Riparian Areas

With management you can graze these special areas.

 Kindra Gordon
Hereford World

Riparian areas — the productive, lush, green zones along creeks and streams — have been and continue to be a contentious issue among land owners, federal land permittees, land management agencies and the public, especially in the West. As interest grows in multiple uses on public lands and more issues arise with threatened and endangered species, grazing livestock on riparian areas continues to draw debate.

In this Q&A, we visit with Sandra Wyman, rangeland management specialist, about what works and what doesn’t when grazing these delicate areas. Wyman is with the National Riparian Service Team (NRST), a group based in Prineville, Ore., and comprised of Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service specialists in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).


Don’t let ’em slide by after calving

Don’t let ’em slide by after calving

 Rick Rasby, Extension beef specialist, University of Nebraska
Angus Journal

Heifer development programs can be a major expense for the cow-calf enterprise. After investing all the money into selection, developing, breeding and getting a live calf, it is essential this young female be managed nutritionally so she doesn’t show up open after her second breeding season. If you want to challenge young females nutritionally, do it during the developmental phase. After she becomes pregnant, supply the groceries so she can continue to grow and develop.


Implants in suckling heifer calves intended for cow herd replacements

Implants in suckling heifer calves intended for cow herd replacements

 Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University

        Growth implants have not been widely used in heifer calves because of concern by herd managers about detrimental effects on subsequent reproductive performance of heifers kept as herd replacements. Currently three implants Synovex-C®, Component E-C® (estradiol and progesterone), and Ralgro® (zeranol) have been given FDA approval for use on potential replacement heifer calves. Past reviews of this subject have been quite thorough and generally concluded that one implant given at or after the heifer is 2 months of age has very little impact on future reproductive performance (Hargrove, 1994 and Deutscher, 1994). Also these reviews have both concluded that implanted heifers have significantly greater pelvic area when measured at about one year of age, but these differences are indeed very small at the time the heifer is delivering her first calf at or about two years of age. Consequently, the data on dystocia rate indicates that implanted heifers have no less calving difficulty than do non-implanted counterparts. 


Ethanol’s Very Big Footprint

Ethanol’s Very Big Footprint

 By Steve Cornett

Of unusual importance to the cattle market this year will be corn prices. The likeliest reason behind this is ethanol, the main ingredient of which is corn.

An analysis by Iowa State University shows how high computer models suggest ethanol can drive prices at given oil prices.  It’s quite the involved bunch of math, of course, but it seems at $60 per barrel for oil, ethanol production remains viable until corn hits $4.05 per bushel. Take oil to $70 and the value of corn approaches $5.


Jolley: What’s Going On At R-CALF?

Jolley: What’s Going On At R-CALF?


 Maybe I should call this “Three rounds with Dr. Max Thornsberry.  I contacted the R-CALF offices after reading an article by Steve Kay, editor and publisher of Cattle Buyers Weekly, which suggested that R-CALF was on its last legs.  Shae Dodson, R-CALF’s Communications Coordinator, was shocked at the content and tracked down Thornsberry, their new president, to get answers to several questions I had asked.

 Dr. Max was upset at the allegations, insisting that the group is still healthy and calling into question the accuracy of Kay’s story.  His quick response shows that R-CALF is still the feisty, ready-to-do-battle organization it always has been.


Police bust cattle embryo trade

Police bust cattle embryo trade

 Jim Kelly

A JOINT WA and NSW police operation has uncovered a lucrative trade in stolen cattle embryos.

Officers from WA’s stock have charged a 37-year-old Three Springs man after an extensive investigation into the unauthorised use of stud heifers and the alleged theft of cattle embryos.

It will be alleged that between October 2002 and January 2003, 116 embryos worth about $63,000 were flushed from stud heifers in Holbrook NSW before being shipped to WA.


Beef is past and future

Beef is past and future

Direct beef marketing is a cornerstone for this farm

Gil Gullickson 
Successful Farming

When Luke Linnenbringer, Auxvasse, Missouri, started first grade back in 1986, he was puzzled why he had to go.

“He went to kindergarten and didn’t miss a day,” recalls his father, Hadley Linnenbringer, Jr. “When it came time that fall to start first grade, he said, ‘What do you mean? I thought I was done with school.’ When he went to school, one of the first things he told his first-grade teacher was that he wanted to farm.”


Ethanol: What’s in future?

Ethanol: What’s in future?

 Des Moines Register

 EMMETSBURG, Iowa — This town wants to be to Iowa what Spindletop, the gusher that launched the modern petroleum industry, was to Texas.

 If all goes as planned, a $200 million project in Emmetsburg will turn 250,000 acres of corncobs into ethanol. Farmers would try to fulfill President Bush’s plan to replace 20 percent of gasoline use with alternative fuels by 2017. And Iowa’s rich soil would spout billions of dollars in new wealth.

 However, Iowa’s gusher could be a trickle.

 Iowa, the king of U.S. corn-based ethanol, is an early leader in renewable energy. But the nation’s top ethanol scientists question whether the state is the best place to produce fuel from biomass, including cornstalks and switchgrass.


UGA Mountain Beef Cattle Field Day set April 18

UGA Mountain Beef Cattle Field Day set April 18

 University of Georgia

 Anyone with hundreds of cattle or just a few is sure to benefit from the University of Georgia’s annual Mountain Beef Cattle Field Day April 18.

 The field day will start with 9 a.m. registration and end at 3:30 p.m. at the Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center in Blairsville, Ga.

 John Queen III, president of the National Beef Cattlemen’s Association, will serve as the luncheon speaker. UGA scientists and industry experts will provide up-to-date, research-based information. This year’s topics include:

 • Fire ant biology and control in mountain pastures.

 • Pesticide update for beef producers.

 • Using ultrasound data in cattle selection.

 • Visual selection of beef herd sires.

 • Hay and pasture herbicides.

 • UGA stocker research update.

 • Breeding new and improved Georgia forages.

 • Cool-season grasses and clover evaluations.

 • A pesticide calibration display.

 There is no charge for the field day, and lunch and refreshments will be provided. The field day is sponsored in part by DuPont Crop Protection and AgGeorgia Farm Credit. For more information, call (706) 745-2655.

Livestock growers concerns about corn demand persist

Livestock growers concerns about corn demand persist

 by Tom Steever
Brownfield Network

Not all of agriculture speaks with a single voice on ethanol production. Groups representing animal agriculture continue to express concern over the expansion of production of the corn-based fuel.

Swine producers have the jitters because of increased corn demand, according to Joy Philippi, a producer from Bruning, Nebraska, and immediate past president of the National Pork Producers Council.

The concerns are also expressed by those who feed cattle for living. Oklahoma cattleman Paul Hitch, the president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, quoted in a story by MSNBC, declares “this ethanol binge is insane.”

The concerns don’t seem to elicit much sympathy from Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.


Green grass grows valuable beef

Green grass grows valuable beef

The News-Review

During the spring months, cattle graze across the hundred valleys and hillsides of Douglas County.

But then just as the green grass turns to brown in late June and into July, most of the critters disappear.

What is their story? Where did they go?

Cattle are raised in the county because its grass-covered landscape is prime for raising beef.