Daily Archives: April 5, 2007

Cattle Market Symposium: Health Concerns In Naturally Raised Programs

Cattle Market Symposium: Health Concerns In Naturally Raised Programs


Specific animal health concerns in “naturally raised” programs

  1. Neonatal diarrhea (“calf scours”). Calf scours is a multifactorial problem that results most often from a combination of: excessive exposure to pathogens in the calf’s environment, inadequate immunity in the calf, and adverse environmental conditions favoring the organisms’ survival or weakening of the calf’s immune system due to stress. The causative agents of calf scours include viruses such as rotavirus and coronavirus, bacteria such as E. coli and Clostridium perfringens, and protozoa such as cryptosporidia and coccidiosis.


Ten Ways To Cut Cattle Feeding Costs

Ten Ways To Cut Cattle Feeding Costs


 Keeping costs down is one way to improve your chances of making money in the cattle feeding business. Here are 10 suggestions.

1. Good records. Monitoring feedlot performance and costs allows producers to make midcourse corrections. This is particularly important as feed costs rise and cattle prices change. Knowing current costs of production is essential to making timely marketing decisions and reducing corn use.

Several feed companies and veterinarians provide feedlot monitoring as a service. Feedlot monitoring software is available through Iowa State University Extension and commercial vendors.


Different Growing Programs for Replacement Heifers Go Different Directions

Different Growing Programs for Replacement Heifers Go Different Directions

 Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University

 Introduction to Replacement Heifers

 The economic importance of beef cows having a live, healthy calf to market every 12 months is obvious and has been emphasized in many publications. Heifer management is the cornerstone of the overall program. This is based on the premise that heifers that are given an opportunity to get off to a good start are more likely to be productive, profitable cows the remainder of their lifetimes. Proper growth and development of replacement heifers will aid in their ability to deliver and raise a healthy first calf and then rebreed for the subsequent calf crop. Two factors must be considered with replacement heifers: 1) they are expensive and (2) the management of first-calf heifers affects their productivity for the remainder of their lifetimes. Inadequate development of replacement females will be paid for eventually, usually in terms of an open two-year-old cow (nature’s way of catching up).


Priorities First

Priorities First

 by Tom Field, Colorado State University
 Angus Journal

Producers can pick up any agricultural publication or attend a beef cattle management seminar and find themselves facing a host of ideas, management protocols and suggestions designed to improve their cattle enterprise. In fact, the list of “should do” and “ought to do” is overwhelming to most.


Japan says too early to up age limit for U.S. beef

Japan says too early to up age limit for U.S. beef


 Japan’s farm minister has told the United States that it is still premature to discuss scrapping a limit on the age of cattle for U.S. beef supplies, a Japanese ministry official said on Wednesday.  Washington is pressing Tokyo to relax the age rule, which has limited the supply of eligible beef exports to Japan, a top export market for the U.S. meat before Tokyo imposed a ban on shipments in December 2003.  The official quoted Agriculture Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka as telling U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab in a telephone conversation that Japan had not yet completed its inspection of U.S. meat packing facilities.


WVU’s Shaffer earns Cattlemen’s prize

WVU’s Shaffer earns Cattlemen’s prize

 West Virginia University

 A West Virginia University senior has joined an elite group of college students to be recognized by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF) as future leaders in the beef industry.

Kevin Shaffer, an animal and nutritional sciences major in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, was one of 20 students nationwide to be awarded a $1,500 2007 Beef Industry Scholarship.

He is only the second student from WVU to ever receive the prestigious scholarship. Alecia Larew Naugle, a 1995 animal and veterinary sciences graduate, was the first University recipient. Naugle is currently a veterinary epidemiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in Washington, D.C.


Creekstone ready to test its animals

Creekstone ready to test its animals


Creekstone Farms Premium Beef is getting ready to test all the cattle it slaughters for mad cow disease, after a U.S. district court judge ruled that the federal government does not have the authority to regulate the test, a Creekstone official said Tuesday.

“We’re basically moving ahead if we have the right to test on June 1,” said Kevin Pentz, vice president of operations for Creekstone in Arkansas City.

U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson set June 1 as the date the ruling becomes effective unless the U.S. Department of Agriculture appeals.


Fertility testing bulls critical to profits

 Fertility testing bulls critical to profits

 By Mark Parker
Farm Talk (Parsons, Kan.)
The Express Star

Sterile bulls are going to take huge bites out of cow-calf profits.

Marginally fertile bulls, on the other hand, are going to nibble them to death.

“Cattlemen sometimes think that the reason to do a bull fertility exam is to identify sterile bulls,” said Oklahoma State University veterinarian Dave Sparks. “Actually, you won’t find a lot of completely sterile bulls out there but you will find a lot of marginally fertile ones.”


Cattle Health: Is My Herd Infected with BVD?

Cattle Health: Is My Herd Infected with BVD?


 Herds can be considered at low risk if they have excellent reproductive performance (a high percent of cows exposed to a bull actually weaning a calf), and if the appropriate herd samples have been submitted to a diagnostic laboratory to search for BVD and it has not been detected.

Herds at high risk of being infected are those that have previously had a laboratory confirmed diagnosis of BVD infection in herd animals; have reduced reproductive performance despite good nutrition and bull fertility; and have a high rate of calf illness and death despite good nutrition and sanitation.


Grazing Guidelines

Grazing Guidelines

 Story by Kindra Gordon
Angus Beef Bulletin

“Businesses that are going to be profitable have a business plan and, likewise, grazing operations that want to be successful should have a grazing plan.” That’s the advice of Mark Kennedy, state grassland conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Missouri.

Kennedy is a proponent of conservation planning and inventorying the resources available on a livestock operation. He calls it the “starting point” that will enable livestock producers to move toward their goals. Thus, we will begin there in this countdown of grazing guidelines.


USDA extends mad cow testing at WSU veterinary college

USDA extends mad cow testing at WSU veterinary college

 The Columbian (WA)

 PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — The only mad cow testing laboratory in the Pacific Northwest will remain open for another six months, but officials insisted Wednesday it isn’t because of increased fears of the chronic brain-wasting disease in the region.


Hidden Dangers: Endophyte-Infested Fescue

Hidden Dangers: Endophyte-Infested Fescue

 by: Les Sellnow
The Horse

When it first arrived on the scene in the United States during the early 1940s, tall fescue was considered a wonder grass. It was easy to establish, it was a good forage yielder, and it was tolerant of a wide range of management regimens. In short, it was a very tough grass that could stand heavy grazing and a high rate of animal foot traffic under a variety of climatic conditions and still continue to flourish.

Acre after acre was planted with tall fescue until its lush greenery covered some 35 million acres in the United States. However, problems soon began to be observed in animals grazing these lush pastures and fields. Horse breeders noticed that they were having foaling problems with some mares which were grazing fescue grass or being fed fescue hay. Cattle producers reported that steers on fescue pastures or being fed fescue hay appeared to be unthrifty and that milk production in lactating dairy and beef cows was reduced.



Producers gain forage facts

Producers gain forage facts

Country World (TX)

South Central Texas ag producers took advantage of a break in the rain on March 28 to walk the muddy trails on the Luling Foundation farm to learn about cool season forages.

With the recent, heavy rains in the area, crops and forages are lush green, and the Texas wildflowers are in full bloom, creating scenic sites at the farm.


Two times the beef

Two times the beef

 By James Beaty
Mcalester News-Captial (OK)

Bully for them — they’re the pride of the Medley Ranch in Tannehill.

Ranch owner Frank Medley beamed on Tuesday as he watched the latest additions to his herd while they stood in the lush, green grass on their still-unsteady feet.

After all, they weren’t even 24 hours old yet and they represent a relative rarity in the animal world —a pair of identical twin bulls, similar in weight and size.

Most twin calves are fraternal twins, with one calf typically much larger than the other.


Enlightened carnivores

Enlightened carnivores

Burger King wants to serve meat without torture.

 Houston Chronicle

 IT wasn’t always such a drama choosing what to eat. But in the 21st century United States, dinner has become a maze of choices about pesticides, fats, fossil fuels — and animal welfare. Though most consumers are vaguely aware of it, cruelty is the rule, not the exception, when it comes to producing the meat most of us buy. Recent actions by mass-market food distributors are showing this cruelty to be unnecessary.

Burger King, of all places, has taken the biggest initiative to pull savagery off the menu. After several years of consulting animal welfare groups, the chain last month announced significant changes in the way it buys meat.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Managing The Environment For Controlling Scours

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Managing The Environment For Controlling Scours


 Calf scours is one of the most common animal health concerns of Ohio producers at this time of year. Various studies have suggested that scours are the cause of 15-20% of all calf deaths prior to weaning. Scours are caused by bacteria (E. coli, Salmonella spp., Clostridium perfringens), viruses (coronavirus, rotavirus) and protozoa (Cryptosporidium parvum, or “crypto”, and in older calves – coccidia of the Eimeria spp.). Most of these infections are actually carried and spread in manure and on body surfaces by healthy-appearing adult cows. Disease results when management and environmental conditions favor their transmission and the calf’s resistance is reduced. In fact many of these organisms are present on many, if not MOST, farms (dairy and beef) but may not cause enough loss to be recognized until conditions are favorable for an outbreak of scours. As an example, in an Ohio State study of Cryptosporidium on dairy farms, all four farms studied were infected, and over 85% of all calves on each farm became infected during the first 3 weeks of life. Calf scours were not identified as a significant problem except on one farm on which Salmonella in scouring calves was also identified. Other studies have revealed similar data. Reports of studies by the National Animal Health Monitoring System suggest that at least 40% of cow/calf operations have Cryptosporidia infections. Cold and wet weather, mud, overcrowding, poor sanitation, poor nutrition of the cows, and dystocia (or calving difficulty) are all factors that favor the development of scours.


Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The April 4, issue # 531, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefApril4.html

A variety of studies suggest that calf scours are the cause of 15-20% of all calf deaths prior to weaning. Most of the bacteria that cause scour infections are actually carried and spread in manure and on body surfaces by healthy-appearing cows. This week, Dr. Shulaw offers suggestions about a pasture management system that might minimize the negative impact to the herd of calf scours.

Articles include:
* Managing the Environment for Controlling Scours
* Forage Focus: Grass Needs N  But Not Now
* Cattle Demand Strengthens
* HEIFER DEVELOPMENT: Target Weight Concept
* Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Seedstock Improvement Sales Catalogs Now Online

Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

e-mail:  smith.263@osu.edu
voice:   740.653.5419 ext. 24
fax:      740.687.7010