Bull Breeding Soundness Exams, Do They Cost or Pay?
by Dave Sparks, DVM
Today lets look at three popular misconceptions about bull breeding soundness exams. The first is the idea that “He’s been getting calves for several years, why would he have a problem now?” Things change. Bulls get infections, tumors, and injuries, all of which can reduce their effectiveness. Even just advancing age can lower a bull’s fertility level. The second thought is “This young bull just came from a production sale and he was guaranteed.” Many bull sellers guarantee their bull in lieu of testing, not after testing. He might be guaranteed, but this isn’t much help if you are not aware of a problem until next fall when you pregnancy test. In addition, if you don’t get back to the seller until you know you have open cows, he may not honor the guarantee. He may feel that the problem is due to something that happened in the several months that the bull was in your possession. He sure isn’t going to assume the liability for your open cow problem. Have new bulls tested soon after you get them home. The third misconception is that the purpose for checking bulls is to eliminate sterile bulls. There are not very many sterile bulls, but there are a lot of bulls with reduced fertility.
Creekstone Ready, Willing & Able – But Waiting – To Test Animals For BSE
While awaiting a decision from USDA as to whether the agency will appeal a recent federal court ruling allowing Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to test its cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the company is preparing its testing protocols.
Creekstone has already constructed a state-of-the-art laboratory and, company officials say, “is positioned at this time to implement its stated plans for BSE testing of some or all of the cattle it processes” at its Arkansas City, Kan., plant.
Managing the breeding season
The hay shortage has forced livestock producers to make tough decisions that may have long-term repercussions on the health, performance and profitability of their animals. Jane Parish, beef cattle specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, says surplus hay is difficult to find, and the traditional spring forage flush is not yet available. She gets calls daily from producers looking for more hay.
“Now, producers have to make sure their cattle are in good enough condition for spring breeding in April and May. Once they calve, it is hard to get weight on them to be ready to breed the next season.” She is concerned that conception rates this spring will be lower because of the condition of the cattle.
A commentary on strategies for selecting your next yearling herd bull
by Bruce Gordon
American Chianina Journal
As a past sire selection specialist for Alta Genetics, I traveled the U.S. and Canada for nine years purchasing and leasing elite genetics from several top seedstock herds representing all breeds. Today the most frequent question I’m still quizzed on is what to look for in choosing a herd sire. So here are a few of my strategies.
Strategy 1 – Find reputable breeders to work with. As with any business, it’s a good idea to ask others who they’ve had successful relationships with based on customer service, integrity and bulls that have had longevity. When you hear favorable remarks about an operation numerous times, that’s a positive sign.
Leading Up to Breeding
Guidelines for getting cows and heifers ready for breeding season.
Though breeding season can be a frenzied few weeks in early spring and summer for most cattle operations, the key to a successful breeding season really begins much earlier. In fact, producers should plan for it year-round, say beef production specialists.
FULL STORY PDF
Lack of rain means no hay
Farmers find it difficult to grow grass, forced to pay higher feed prices
Huntsville Times (AL)
There’s no hay for sale at Harvest Feed Mill.
Owner Dian Henderson has turned down several customers, she said, because the lack of rainfall makes hay nearly impossible to grow.
“It all has to do with the drought,” Henderson said Monday. “We usually have enough to turn a surplus but not this year. It’s a bad situation.”
Phosphorus placement for forages key to success
By Dr. Adrian M. Johnston, Potash & Phosphate Institute
Farm and Ranch Guide
Forage crops have a big demand for phosphorus. This ranges from almost 10 pounds of P2O5 per ton of grass to 15 pounds per ton of alfalfa. Forages need phosphorus for photosynthesis, energy, cell division, carbohydrate production, protein synthesis, root development and early growth, winter hardiness, and nitrogen fixation in the case of legumes.
S. Korea, U.S. sign trade deal
By Kelly Olsen
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Saint Louis Today
SEOUL, South Korea — The United States and South Korea concluded a landmark free trade agreement Monday, officials said, culminating 10 months of negotiations in a final week of intense haggling that just beat a key U.S. legislative deadline.
Still, the deal failed to satisfy the U.S. beef industry, which worries South Korea still will block American beef.
The deal, which requires approval by lawmakers in both countries, is the biggest for the United States since the North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 1994. It is the largest ever for South Korea.
Grassley says South Korea trade deal good for everyone but cattle producers
By Matt Kelley
After ten months of negotiations, the U.S. has signed a trade deal with South Korea which Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says could bring big benefits for grain farmers and pork producers, but not to cattlemen. Grassley says South Korea is the United States’ ninth largest trading partner now, even in front of Mexico.
Grassley says “This would be the most significant trade agreement for the United States since the North American (Free) Trade Agreement was reached in 1993, even though we’ve had a lot of other trade agreements with single countries, called bilateral agreements, since then.” The trade deal still has to be approved by lawmakers in both countries and Grassley says he sees a lot of good — and some bad — in the agreement.
Changing Yields: Ag professionals look at 2007 Farm Bill
By Diane Strand
Five years ago, tractors that steer themselves were considered science fiction, said Steve Faivre, innovation manager for John Deere’s Enterprise Advanced Marketing Groups.
Today, more and more farmers are using auto-steer tractors.
A former DeKalb County Board member, Faivre recently addressed the Agri-business Professionals breakfast at the Farm Bureau.
Proposal favors small processors
Change would allow state-inspected meat to cross state lines
By DORIS HAJEWSKI
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
State-inspected meat would be able to be sold across state lines under a change to the federal meat inspection act introduced Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.).
Under current law, interstate sales of meat inspected under a state program, instead of by federal inspectors, is restricted.
“It’s put us at a competitive disadvantage as a state,” Kind said in an interview Tuesday. “I’ve heard from our meat processors. They’re frustrated.”
Data from the state Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection shows that Wisconsin has 299 meat establishments, of which 105 have slaughter operations.
Biofuels and Animal Agriculture
Biofuels and their impact on animal agriculture was the main topic at opening general session of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture annual meeting this week in Sacramento, California.
The keynote speaker was Bill Jones, chairman of Pacific Ethanol, whose topic was “Corn, Cattle and Carbon Credits – a California Perspective.”
Cattle industry huge in Oklahoma
The Woodward News (OK)
As sponsor for the April luncheon, the Northwest Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association provided everything from the steaks to the speaker at the Woodward Chamber of Commerce meeting Monday.
Members of the association even prepared the steaks, while members of Woodward FFA served the meal.
Before the guest speaker was introduced, Jay Bogdahn, an officer with the association, discussed some of the association’s recent and upcoming events.
Farm Bureau foresees challenges for U.S. cattle sector
High Plains Journal
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly cattle-on-feed report released Feb. 23 revealed a decline in the U.S. cattle inventory, as well as a significant decrease in the number of cattle placed into feedlots during January.
American Farm Bureau livestock economist Jim Sartwelle said severe winter weather conditions across a vast majority of cattle country accompanied by increasing prices for livestock feed contributed to the decline.
Poison plants killing livestock
By PATRICE ST. GERMAIN
The Spectrum (UT)
HURRICANE – Before hitting their four-week birthday, Hokey and Pokey found themselves orphans – the result of a seemingly harmless act.
Roaming on rangeland near Apple Valley under Bureau of Land Management jurisdiction, the mothers of the two Semintole and Red Angus/Hereford calves died after getting into some brush dumped on the area.