Daily Archives: April 6, 2007

Are You Prepared To Document Your Animal Welfare?

Are You Prepared To Document Your Animal Welfare?

 By Troy Marshall
Beef Magazine

This week, Burger King announced its plans to eliminate the use of crates among its pork and poultry suppliers. Cynics will say the chain is talking the talk more than walking the walk, as its initial plans are to procure only 2% of its eggs and 10% of its pork from such sources, but Burger King is a very big customer for eggs and pork.

It’s true that Burger King can’t procure enough of such product at the current time, but the chain is among a growing number of food providers responding to consumer demands. It may be activist groups that are driving the animal welfare bus, and their goals may be drastically different from those of cattlemen, but it would be a mistake to not appreciate that the American consumer is the engine of growth for this movement.


Effects of Calving Difficulty and Confined Calving on Calf Sickness

Effects of Calving Difficulty and Confined Calving on Calf Sickness

  Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University

         USDA and Kansas State researchers surveyed 2490 beef herds in 23 states to study the impact of management factors on calf sickness from birth to weaning.  Herds that reported more than 10% of the calves becoming sick from scours, respiratory illness, pinkeye, or footrot were classified as “high sickness herds”.


Can livestock, ethanol co-exist?

Can livestock, ethanol co-exist?

 By Roy Roberson, Farm Press Editorial Staff
American Cowman Magazine

Can ethanol production of 8 billion to 10 billion gallons per year and livestock production live in harmony in the U.S.? And, if so, who will pay the price of competition?

These were among questions in hot debate at the recent annual meeting of the Virginia Soybean, Corn and Grain Association in New Kent, VA.

On one side of the debate was Doug Anderson, vice-president of Smithfield Foods, who contends a high percentage of ethanol plants will go broke, economically choking on the high price of corn. And, U.S. consumers will pay the high price of pork and other meat products.


Difficult birth lowers immunity

Difficult birth lowers immunity

 Drovers (Registration Required)

 Calves born after dystocia are at greater risk of failing to get adequate colostrum than calves born without difficulty, says University of Nebraska-Lincoln animal scientist Rick Rasby. Calves with a difficult birth do not consume as much colostrum from natural sucking as calves born without difficulty, and they often suffer from severe respiratory acidosis.

“These calves are less efficient at absorbing colostral immunoglobulins, even if artificially fed colostrum,” Rasby says. “The amount of immuno-globulin ingested also is a major detriment of serum immunoglobulin concentration.”


Farmers, Doctors Spar Over Cow Antibiotics

Farmers, Doctors Spar Over Cow Antibiotics


 Emerald, Wis. Farmers who want the latest and best antibiotics to treat their dairy cows are finding themselves at odds with doctors concerned a new drug could prompt the evolution of a super-bacteria that could threaten human health.

Farmers like John Vrieze are looking to the Food and Drug Administration to approve cefquinome, a powerful antibotic that could combat “shipping fever,” a pneumonia-like illness commonly found in cows.

“If she gets sick and needs an antibiotic, we ought to be able to give her the latest, best, technologically advanced antibiotic we can,” said Vrieze, who runs the 2,600-head Emerald Dairy farm.


Horse owners will be stuck paying the bill

Horse owners will be stuck paying the bill


“The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be, many long years ago.”

As fond as people are of horses, sometimes folks forget these beasts don’t live forever. Something’s got to be done with old Nellie and other has-been horses when their useful lives are over.

A trip to an American slaughterhouse no longer is in the picture.

Opponents of slaughtering horses for human consumption overseas won a victory in federal court that shut down America’s last horse slaughterhouse in DeKalb. They also stand poised to pass a bill in the Illinois House to ban horse slaughtering when the meat will be eaten by people.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Strategies To Keep Calves Healthy

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Strategies To Keep Calves Healthy


 There are three strategies designed to prevent disease from entering or occurring in a backgrounding yard or feedlot:

Prevent or limit the introduction of infected cattle.

Buy calves from verified sources with a proven record of healthy animals.

Minimize exposure to infectious disease.


DJ Feeder Cattle Prices Higher Than Normal Amid Tight Supplies

DJ Feeder Cattle Prices Higher Than Normal Amid Tight Supplies

 By Lester Aldrich

Tight feeder cattle supplies are being blamed for higher-than-normal prices that in many cases appear to be so high that feedlots can expect a loss when the cattle are sold for slaughter.

  Market analysts and economists said current price outlooks for feeder cattle and corn mean a feeder would need to get $94 to $100 per hundredweight for the slaughter-weight cattle resulting from 800- to 850-pound feeders that were placed last week, just to break even. However, based on the August Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures price Tuesday of $93.17, cattle prices would not be that high, and feeders would lose $11 to $77 a head.    The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week listed 800- to 850-pound steers in western Kansas at an average price of $103.32 per hundredweight.


National Beef Packing reports smaller 2Q loss

National Beef Packing reports smaller 2Q loss


 National Beef Packing Co. LLC, the nation’s fourth-largest beef processor, said Thursday it cut its second-quarter loss on higher sales generated by the purchase last year of Brawley Beef LLC.

In a securities filing, the Kansas City-based company said it lost $2 million for the 13 weeks ending Feb. 24 compared with a loss of $13.6 million during the same period a year ago.


Beef market becomes more local

Beef market becomes more local

 Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

 Hawaii is consuming more local beef, but overall cattle marketings are down due to falling exports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports.

Hawaii cattle marketings are down to 2,300 head a month, down 32 percent from year-before levels, based on figures from February released Friday. Cumulative marketings for January and February are down 15 percent. February is usually a slow month but the longer term trend still appears lower.


Red meat can be green

Red meat can be green

 by Sara Phillips
High Country News

The “dolphin-friendly” label gave tuna an environmental face-lift in the 1980s; now, a “Wolf Country Beef” label may do the same for hamburger. The label is the brainchild of Jim Winder and Will Holder, ranchers who have teamed up with the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife. They’re developing the seal-of-approval so that beef coming from ranchers who avoid killing predators will stand out in stores. The beef label will appear in March.


Presidential Candidate Puts Two Cents In Smithfield-Union Spat

Presidential Candidate Puts Two Cents In Smithfield-Union Spat


 Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) had words for a major meat processor in his own backyard on Wednesday.

The presidential hopeful sent a letter to Smithfield Foods President CEO Larry Pope calling on the company to protect the rights of workers at its Smithfield Packing Co. plant in Tar Heel, N.C., and to stay out of their efforts to form a union.

In the letter, released by the United Food and Commercial Workers union’s Justice at Smithfield Campaign, Edwards said, “Protecting the rights to organize in our democracy is important because it allows working men and women to help make decisions that affect their work lives. I hope and expect that you will protect the right of your workers in North Carolina and across the country to form a union and bargain collectively.”


Japan Halts Imports From Kan. Meat Plant

Japan Halts Imports From Kan. Meat Plant


 Japan ordered imports halted from a major meat plant in Kansas Friday after a beef shipment arrived without proper papers, the third American meatpacker that´s had some exports to Japan stopped for technical violations.

Four boxes of frozen beef tongue in a shipment of 250 boxes, totaling about 2 tons, which arrived in Kobe, central Japan, from Cargill Meat Solutions in Dodge City, Kansas, didn´t have the required papers from the U.S. government, the agriculture ministry said in a statement.


Boehringer Ingleheim Receives Industry’s First BVD PI Prevention Claim For Vaccines

Boehringer Ingleheim Receives Industry’s First BVD PI Prevention Claim For Vaccines


 St. Joseph, MO – The fight against bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) Types 1 and 2 and persistently infected (PI) calves became winnable recently as USDA-APHIS awarded Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI), one of the strongest label claims available for vaccine efficacy. Express® FP 3 VL5, Breed-Back® FP 5, Breed-Back® FP 5HS, Breed-Back® FP 10, and Breed-Back® FP 10HS vaccines are now licensed to prevent persistent BVD infections. The prevention claim assures users that the vaccines prevent the development of persistently infected calves by protecting the fetus in the critical first trimester of pregnancy.

 “We conducted five challenge studies that included challenges against four isolates, including BVD Types 1a, 1b and 2” said Judy Myers, Associate Director of Cattle Marketing for BIVI. “APHIS standards for this rating are high and unrelenting, for good reasons. Thanks to the efforts of our research team, we can now offer one of the highest levels of BVD PI protection possible.”