Monthly Archives: April 2007

Mineral Supplements for Beef Cattle

Mineral Supplements for Beef Cattle

Chad Hale and K.C. Olson

Department of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri

Beef cattle require a number of dietary mineral elements for normal bodily maintenance, growth, and reproduction. Minerals that are required in relatively large amounts are called major or macro elements. Those needed in small amounts are classified as micro, minor, or trace minerals. These terms, however, have no relationship to the metabolic importance of a mineral in the diet. A trace mineral can be as essential to the health and performance of an animal as a major mineral. The major minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chlorine and sulfur. Among those needed in trace amounts are iron, zinc, manganese, copper, iodine, cobalt and selenium.


Marketing Toolbox Contains many Useful Components

Marketing Toolbox Contains many Useful Components

by: Clifford Mitchell

Cattle Today

Time and time again, we are reminded cattlemen often do just fine at their job. The production arm of the system can thrive in almost any conditions, with the availability of resources that will get the job done. Skilled operators make adjustments to the program to fight drought, winter storms and unforeseen changes in input cost. Even though producers can survive with that same tractor for another year or cull heavily when it’s dry, lack of time or experience can leave dollars on the table when it’s time to market what they worked so hard to produce.

In production agriculture, it is often the marketing department that fails the firm. After all, calving cows, preparing fields for crops or making sure the hay meadow is fertilized and ready to produce maximum yields are a full time job. The marketing model has been created for seedstock producers. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Tailor the marketing program to your strengths and borrow ideas from colleagues in the business. Sure differences exist, but the fundamentals are the same.


Agricultural site to link buyers, sellers

Agricultural site to link buyers, sellers

MarketMaker to be launched this summer

Sarah Bradshaw

Poughkeepsie Journal

“Larry” is a cattle producer who would like to sell his beef to high-end consumers. “Ingrid” makes wine jelly and would like to locate a company to can the jelly and place her labels on the jars. “David” is a chef at a French restaurant, who would like to buy fresh, organic ingredients. “Sam” would like to shop at farmers’ markets, but isn’t sure how to find them.

Hypothetically, they could turn to the Internet for help. “Larry” could go to the Pride of New York Web site and search the member database or “Sam” could search Google for farms in his area. However, the information is spread out among a variety of different Web sites and those sites are often hard to navigate.

Or, beginning this summer, they could visit the MarketMaker Web site for New York state. The interactive mapping system locates businesses and markets of agricultural products. It is designed to provide free information to farmers, grocery stores, restaurants, processors, consumers and others.


Ranchers left on the horns of a dilemma

Ranchers left on the horns of a dilemma

Antelope brought to Texas grow into a big problem

Baltimore Sun

BROWNSVILLE, Texas // South Texas ranchers brought nilgai antelope from a California zoo decades ago, when it became fashionable to stock their sprawling acreage with exotic quarry.

These days the species native to India and Pakistan are not so much a rarity in South Texas as a nuisance. For cattle ranchers, they are a possible nemesis, threatening to spread a deadly tick to the herds. Federal wildlife officials say the nilgai compete with native Rio Grande Valley species for food and trample the brush they are trying so hard to preserve.


Factory farms debate heats up near Rochester

Factory farms debate heats up near Rochester

Group aims to stop hog feeding operation


Springfield Journal Register(IL)

It’s a social, economic and cultural juxtaposition that sparks controversy in Illinois and other states: The rights of farmers to earn a living from “concentrated animal feeding operations,” also known as factory farms, versus the rights of nearby residents to not have to face diminished property values and potential environmental and health problems such farms can pose.

Concentrated animal feeding operations – or CAFO – can include more than 3,000 head of livestock fed and raised inside a specially built facility.


Ohio prisoners turn cows into cash, responsibility

Ohio prisoners turn cows into cash, responsibility

Reginald Fields

Once the cows have been beheaded, the workers use power saws to split the animals into halves.

Farther down the assembly line, they use knives sharp enough to stab through cutting boards to carve meat off the bones of the carcasses.

Just a typical, blood-splattered slaughterhouse, where in about two days a cow is reduced to hamburger patties.

Typical until you consider who the workers using these dangerous tools are: Ohio prison inmates serving time for crimes as serious as murder.

“It really is a unique environment. If you think about it, we’re actually handing the inmates weapons every day,” said Warden Jim Erwin of Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient, south of Columbus, where the slaughterhouse is.


The big, dirty list

The big, dirty list

By Wes Smalling | For The New Mexican

April 28, 2007

When you think of water pollution, you might picture industrial waste, chemicals, sewage or some type of toxic sludge pouring out of an old rusty pipe into a river.

That’s the kind of water pollution you’ll typically find in the Eastern United States. It’s usually easy to detect and to stop: There’s the sludge, there’s the pipe it’s pouring out of that should be turned off, and there’s the offender who should be fined.

But in New Mexico and other Western states, it’s a very different story. Almost all water pollution in the West comes from the activities of animals and people. The sources are difficult to identify, even harder to stop, and almost impossible to issue fines for to the responsible parties.


Cattlemen bolt from R-CALF

Cattlemen bolt from R-CALF

U.S. Cattlemen’s Association shies away from

Peggy Steward

Capital Press

A new national cattlemen’s organization has formed in the wake of changes at Billings, Mont.-based R-CALF USA.

The United States Cattlemen’s Association was formed a little over a month ago to help shape national policy that affects the cattle industry, said Jon Wooster, a San Lucas, Calif., cow-calf producer and interim president of USCA.

Many of the members at the core of USCA were involved with Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, said Wooster, who resigned as an R-CALF board member. Although Wooster is still an R-CALF member, he cited a difference in philosophy as the motivating factor in the formation of USCA.

FULL STORY Registration may be required

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Do the Math before Creep Feeding

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Do the Math before Creep Feeding

Calving is winding down in North Dakota, and producers soon will be making decisions that could affect their profit margin when they sell those calves months from now.

One of those decisions is whether to supply the calves with creep feed. That’s essentially any food a producer provides calves while they’re still nursing.

The amount of creep feed required to produce the desired result in the calves is a major factor producers must consider when deciding whether creep feed is cost-effective, according to Karl Hoppe, Extension Service area livestock specialist at North Dakota State University’s Carrington Research Extension Center.

“Make sure you do the math with the right feed conversions,” he advises.

Producers must keep in mind they will need more creep feed if they are using it as a replacement for pasture grasses than as a supplement, he says. For example, he estimates calves would need 5 to 7 pounds of creep feed for 1 pound of weight gain if creep feed is a supplement. However, if it’s replacing pasture grasses, calves might need 8 to 9 pounds of creep feed for 1 pound of weight gain.


Stocker Cattle Forum: Additives for Receiving Rations

Stocker Cattle Forum: Additives for Receiving Rations

Research has shown that vitamin E in receiving diets can improve gain and sometimes reduce sickness in stressed cattle. Levels of vitamin E fed have generally been from 300 to 400 IU per head per day. In a Texas study, an excellent response in daily gain during receiving was obtained with 100 IU vitamin E and 0.1 ppm of added selenium. Remember that selenium is low in many Arkansas forages and locally grown calves may need added selenium.

Copper, zinc and selenium all play roles in the immune response and should be included at proper levels in diets of stressed calves. However, there is much debate about just what constitutes optimal levels. Overfeeding of trace minerals seldom is beneficial and can cause toxicity, especially with some sources of copper and selenium. A good recommendation is to provide the upper end of the recommended levels from ingredients with good bioavailability. Feed ingredients like alfalfa and wheat middlings are, themselves, good sources on many trace minerals.


Love Affair

Love Affair

Marla Keown

The Emporia Gazette

Connie and Joe Mushrush met during their junior years at Kansas State University and were married between semesters their senior year. Connie said she always wanted to be a rancher while growing up on a “regular” farm in north-central Kansas. Her chance came because of Joe’s parents.

“When we got married, Joe and I had a pact,” she said. We would never live in town; we’d only have two kids; and we would never have hogs.”

They broke every part of that pact. While living in Emporia, Joe’s parents let them raise hogs on their land.

“Hogs used to be a real first generator of income,” said Connie.

Jon Mushrush weighs a day-old red angus calf born on the Mushrush Red Angus Cattle ranch located near Elmdale.

During those horrid hog years the Mushrushes raised enough money to purchase their first red Angus bull, in 1981. When their son Casey was 2 years old, the Mushrush’s bought their first feedlot, room for 60 cattle, near Council Grove.


Wabash Avenue neighborhood buzzed with activity after war

Wabash Avenue neighborhood buzzed with activity after war

Bob Kriebel

Lafayette Journal and Courier(IN)

Months after the 1862 Civil War prison was a memory, Wabash Avenue residents watched a building go up in their neighborhood with keen interest. In October 1862 the meat packer Henry Sample opened his brick, slate and concrete packinghouse near the Wabash River.

The job took all summer. The finished building contained 300,000 bricks shaped and fired in a couple of Lafayette area kilns. Some called the cavernous finished building “Mammoth Cave.”

In the fall meat packing season, Sample put 23 men to work dressing 28,000 hogs and 4,800 cattle for export in barrels of brine. During the same season workers at the rival J. H. Telford Company — whose slaughterhouse may have confined the prisoners — dressed 24,000 hogs and 3,023 cattle.


DVD addresses transport issues

DVD addresses transport issues

Checkoff-funded training program aims to mitigate injury to animals in transit

Capital Press

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Cattle are typically transported two to four times during their lives, making travel the second-most-stressful event for them, next to severe weather.

And if careful animal-handling practices are not followed during travel, stress can directly affect beef quality and cost producers money.

FULL STORY May require registration

Cattle Feeding: What Is Polioencephalomalacia?

Cattle Feeding: What Is Polioencephalomalacia?

Cause: Polioencephalomalacia is caused by a disturbance in thiamine metabolism. Thiamine is required for a number of important nervous system functions. This disease most commonly affects young, fast growing cattle on a high concentrate ration and may result from a thiamine-deficient diet, an increase in thiaminase (an enzyme that breaks down thiamine) in the rumen or an increase in dietary sulfates.

A thiamine-deficient diet is usually associated with an increase in the dietary concentrate:roughage ratio. When concentrates (feed grains such as corn) are increased and roughage (forage, cottonseed hulls, etc.) is decreased in the diet, rumen pH drops. This increases the numbers of thiaminase-producing bacteria in the rumen and decreases the amount of total useable thiamine. Thiaminase breaks down the form of thiamine that the animal could normally use. Some species of plants produce thiaminase and can cause a decrease in the useable amount of thiamine when consumed. Examples of these types of plants include kochia, bracken fern and equisetum.


Bill would boost production of methane fuel from cattle waste

Bill would boost production of methane fuel from cattle waste

By Kevin Diaz

McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – On Steve Whitesides’ dairy farm in southern Idaho, cow manure used to be just an unavoidable byproduct of doing business.

Now it’s a growing part of the business – and one that’s getting the attention of Congress.

Lawmakers are considering tax credits and other subsidies to encourage the use of methane gas, which can be produced from manure.

“We’re taking a product and enhancing the value of it,” said Whitesides, whose farm near Rupert has the first biogas production facility in Idaho. “It’s going to be an addition to what we already do.”

Biogas, the latest buzzword in the nation’s growing inventory of alternative fuels, has much in common with ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable energy resources. But unlike its “green” counterparts, it doesn’t receive a federal subsidy.


Feds say cattle feed not tainted, but Missouri poultry feed mill is being investigated

Feds say cattle feed not tainted, but Missouri poultry feed mill is being investigated

Brownfield Network

by Julie Harker & Peter Shinn

The government is not saying much about the poultry feed mill in Missouri that’s part of its investigation into contaminated pet food and other feed. The federal government –has- confirmed that pet food contaminated with melamine has made it into the feed chain in seven other states. Eight pork producers in those states are destroying about six-thousand hogs that ate the bad feed.


Animal Feed: Ever wonder what that burger ate before you ate it?

Animal Feed: Ever wonder what that burger ate before you ate it?

The Charlotte Observer

When officials announced last week that more than 6,000 hogs across the country may have inadvertently ingested an industrial chemical through contaminated pet food, consumer advocates weren’t surprised.

For years, advocates have been trying to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of leftover pet food in hog and chicken feed for fear it could spread mad cow disease because it contains cattle parts.

Now hogs are contaminated with a chemical blamed for killing dogs and cats, and new concerns have arisen that the meat could enter the human food chain. Late last week, the government said all those hogs would be destroyed. But about 45 people in California are already believed to have eaten the tainted pork.

That’s prompted some consumers to wonder: What exactly do hogs, cattle and chicken eat?


Spring cleaning applies to cattle sites, too

Spring cleaning applies to cattle sites, too

High Plains Journal

When the weather warms and cattle producers start moving cattle to summer grazing areas, it’s time to think about some spring cleaning, said a Kansas State University animal scientist.

“Once cattle are removed for the summer is a good time for producers to clean winter feeding sites or areas of manure accumulation,” said Joel DeRouchey, livestock specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

Unless properly cleaned and maintained, confined feeding pens and temporary feeding sites used during the winter months become prime contributors to odor emissions, DeRouchey said.


Cow Calf: Cattle Care after The Storm

Cow Calf: Cattle Care after The Storm

Spring time is thunderstorm season across the Plains.  Spring storms occasionally bring severe winds or even tornadoes.  Cleaning up after a severe storm is difficult enough.  Losing valuable cattle brings additional financial hardship to the situation.

Cattle loss can occur in several scenarios.  Livestock may be killed, lost, or stolen during a stormy situation. An accurate accounting of livestock and property is essential to a cattle operation’s storm preparedness. Keep a CURRENT inventory of all animals and the pastures where they are located.  Individual animal ID tags on all animals have several other purposes, but can become extremely valuable if cattle become scattered or even stolen.  If these records are computer based, consider having a “back-up” copy stored at a neighbor’s or a relative’s house.


World’s Largest Cattle Fair, Expozebu, Starts Its 73rd Edition in Brazil

World’s Largest Cattle Fair, Expozebu, Starts Its 73rd Edition in Brazil

Débora Rubin  

Brazzil Magazine

The city of Uberaba, in the interior of the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, is starting today the 73rd edition of Expozebu, a trade fair for zebu cattle that attracts farmers from Brazil and the world over and that is considered the world’s largest fair of the kind. 500 overseas visitors are being expected.

Foreign visitors will include an Egyptian delegation that will come to sign a cooperation agreement with the Brazilian Zebu Cattle Raisers Association (ABCZ), the organizer of the event.