Daily Archives: April 9, 2007

Sort young cows from mature cows

Sort young cows from mature cows

  Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist at Oklahoma State University

       First calf heifers have historically been the toughest females on the ranch to get rebred.  They are being asked to continue to grow, produce milk, repair the reproductive tract, and have enough stored body energy (fat) to return to heat cycles in a short time frame.  Two-year old cows must fill all of these energy demands at a time when their mouth is going through the transition from baby teeth to adult teeth.

       If these young cows are pastured with the larger, older cows in the herd, they very likely will be pushed aside when the supplements are being fed in the bunk or on the ground.  The result of these adverse conditions for young cows very often is a lack of feed intake and lowered body condition.  Of course, lowered body condition in turn results in delayed return to heat cycles and a later calf crop or smaller calf crop the following year. 


Clemson, Auburn Join Grass-Fed Beef Project

Clemson, Auburn Join Grass-Fed Beef Project

 Beef Stocker Trends

 Year-round grazing is a reality in the Southeast, an advantage that Clemson University and Auburn University want their home-state producers to take to the bank. The two universities have joined Pasture-Based Beef Systems for Appalachia, a research program also involving USDA, Virginia Polytech and West Virginia University.

“There’s a growing demand for forage-fed beef across the country,” says Steve Meadows, resident director at Clemson’s Edisto Research and Education Center (REC). Over the next five years, he’ll supervise development of a herd of 150 brood cows to help identify the genetics for herd improvement, develop suitable forage systems and produce a better steak.


Ethanol, Corn Will Weigh On Livestock Industry

Ethanol, Corn Will Weigh On Livestock Industry

 Beef Magazine

 Future ethanol production and demand for distiller’s grains will lead to lower cattle prices and higher consumer meat prices, David Anderson, a Texas Cooperative Extension economist, told attendees of the 2007 Texas Ag Forum in Austin recently.


Questioning Distillers Grain Nutritional Aspects in Livestock Feed

Questioning Distillers Grain Nutritional Aspects in Livestock Feed

 Avenue Vine

 With the hoopla over distillers grain as a less expensive option to high-priced corn in Western livestock rations, several University of California farm advisors have weighed in on the nutritional aspects of the byproduct from the ethanol production process.

UC Dairy Farm Advisors Alejandro Castillo (Merced and Stanislaus Counties) and Gerald Higginbotham (Fresno and Madera Counties) recently penned a newsletter called “Dairy cows’ nutrition: the corn grain dilemma,” which offers insight into grain and the distillers grain issue.


The Cost of Variability

The Cost of Variability

Black Ink Basics

Price discovery in the cattle business is largely a matter of weight and quality. That’s because variations within a feedlot pen make management and marketing a great challenge, especially when selling on a carcass merit basis. The more uniformity in a pen of calves, the more marketing opportunity, less risk of grid discounts, and less need for sorting finished cattle to several outcome groups. That adds efficiency.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Feeding The Newly Weaned Calf

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Feeding The Newly Weaned Calf


 The immediate need of the feeding program is to get some feed into the calf as soon as possible to end his negative energy balance. Good quality grass hay or medium quality alfalfa are palatable feeds that cattle usually eat readily and should be available for the first week or until all calves have filled. If the alfalfa is of too high a quality, bloat and looseness may be a problem. After the second day, begin adding a palatable, well-fortified supplement containing vitamin A and potassium if grass hay or corn or sorghum silage is the forage to be fed. If alfalfa is the main forage, adding grain to increase the energy of the ration to the desired level may be all that is necessary. For calves weaned at 6 to 8 months of age, the protein content of the ration should reach about 13% by 1 week after weaning. The mineral content should be about .35% calcium, .3% phosphorus and 1.5% potassium. A high level of vitamin A (50,000 IU/day) is desirable the first few days after weaning.


BeefTalk: Damn – I Just Can’t Get It

BeefTalk: Damn – I Just Can’t Get It

The process of calving comes down to two principles.

 By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

 NDSU Extension Service

 Sorry for the language, but I am certain there are times when much stronger language is applied at calving time. A lot of thoughts go through the mind as one slowly trails an impending birth to the corrals for a check. Thoughts such as, “Is this going to be a calf that just needs a light tug or is this going to be an ‘almost’ calved,” which probably is the worst-case scenario.

In the cattle business, a check is a rather loose term. Seldom is a cow going to be released to simply be “rechecked” at a later time once the effort is made to put her in a chute. The physical handicaps are with the producer, not the cow, because many cows greatly outweigh a producer.


Cow Calf: Realistic Expectations From Estrous Synchronization

Cow Calf: Realistic Expectations From Estrous Synchronization


 Producers that are wanting to improve the genetic makeup of their beef herds very often turn to artificial insemination (AI) as a tool to accomplish that goal.  Many times, these producers have very high expectations as they begin the first season of artificial breeding.  Perhaps they have heard other producers tell of situations where “near-perfect” pregnancy rates resulted from THEIR artificial insemination program.  Everyone wants to get every cow or heifer bred as they start the labor and expense of an AI program.  However, the rules of biology do not often allow for 100% pregnancy rates in most situations.


Salt useful to control cattle’s intake levels

Salt useful to control cattle’s intake levels

 Springfield News Leader (MO)

 Salt, which is made up of sodium and chlorine, plays an important nutritional role in the diet of cattle, said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

 But intake levels can vary, just like the methods of getting salt in the cattle.

 “Cattle like salt just like some people like salt. But in a herd of cattle, you’ll likely find extremes on intake. Some eat a lot while others may seldom touch it,” said Cole.


School attracts the novices and experienced ranchers alike

School attracts the novices and experienced ranchers alike

 By Robert Burns
Texas A&M
North Texas E-news

Libby Stephens said that she told her husband that when their kids were grown and out on their own, she wanted to live her dream.

That dream, she admits unabashedly, was to be “a cowgirl in training.”

Stephens was one of 47 students, whose combined land ownership totaled more than 10,000 acres, attending this year’s Grazing School for Novices at the Texas A&M University System Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Overton. Stephens, who retired as a substitute school teacher and stay-at-home mom just a couple of years ago, bought 100 acres near Mabank. She grew up in Dallas, but always wanted to be in the ranching business, she said.


With few tests done, how will USDA know BSE levels?

With few tests done, how will USDA know BSE levels?

 Yankton Press & Dakotan

 A ruling by a federal judge last week would seem to bring some needed discussion back to the matter of testing for bovine spongiform encephalapathy, aka mad cow disease.

The judge sided with a Kansas meatpacker that wanted to test its livestock for BSE. The U.S. Department of Agriculture had resisted, wishing to reserve exclusivity on testing.

USDA officials fear that false positive tests done privately might create panic and harm the cattle industry.


Beef Improvement Federation To Gather June 6-9

Beef Improvement Federation To Gather June 6-9

 Beef Magazine

 The 2007 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Annual Research Symposium and Meeting is June 6-9 at the Hilton Fort Collins in Fort Collins, CO.

BIF was founded 40 years ago as a means to standardize programs and methodology — and to create greater awareness, acceptance and usage — of beef cattle performance concepts. This year’s meeting features opportunities for producer input on guiding the future of genetic evaluation and genetic improvement of the U.S. beef herd, as well as becoming informed about the field’s latest research findings and progress.


The newest cash crop: Ethanol

The newest cash crop: Ethanol

Colorado farmers plan to plant more acreage in corn than any year since the ’30s to take advantage of the alternative-fuel boom

 By Steve Raabe

Denver Post


Yuma County farmer Byron Weathers anticipates an unusual event this year: making money on his corn crop.

Like many of his corn-growing colleagues who have suffered through lean years, Weathers plans to plant more of the grain this spring to take advantage of historically high prices.

Colorado farmers will increase their corn acreage this year by a projected 25 percent to 1.25 million acres, the second-highest total since the 1930s, agriculture officials reported last week.


Select Sires Introduces HealthMark™

Select Sires Introduces HealthMark™

A New Tool to Breed Healthier Cows

 Through advances in DNA technology and a synergistic partnership with IGENITY®, a business unit of Merial, Select Sires is proud to become the first A.I. organization to designate a category of sires, called HealthMark™, which combines predicted transmitting ability (PTA) data for health and fertility traits with genetic marker information.


Tales of the $100 steak

Tales of the $100 steak

Ultrapremium Wagyu beef gets better — and pricier

 By Jon Bonné

 At $100 for a 16-ounce porterhouse steak, Wagyu beef might be a hard sell.  Evan Lobel, of famous New York butcher shop Lobel’s, is undaunted.

He’s already selling at least 100 of his beyond-prime porterhouses each month, plus 150 or more bone-in strip steaks starting at $89 a pound, 100 bone-in hip steaks and so on — well over $55,000 worth of meat — to a star-studded roster of clients.