Daily Archives: April 10, 2007

Cloning Allows Breeders to Capitalize on Elite Genetics

Cloning Allows Breeders to Capitalize on Elite Genetics

by: Clifford Mitchell
Cattle Today

Most in the beef business will agree it’s a quality of life that brings people back to the farm. More importantly, it is the drive in each that braves drought, snow storms and other road blocks to create the best product. This inner competitive nature is willing to take the challenge to breed a better animal. It is this kindred spirit that approaches the task at hand with a “blue collar” effort and CEO’s mind.

Since barb wire allowed breeders to segregate their herds, cattlemen have been willing to employ new methods to improve the stock. British breeds crossed with indigenous Longhorn cattle were the first step to genetic improvement, but at a very slow pace. The Continentals came across the big water and revolutionized the industry. It still was not good enough for a group of fast charging quick thinkers.


Cattle Health: Subclinical BVD Infections

Cattle Health: Subclinical BVD Infections


Approximately 95% of the animals that become infected with the BVD virus do not develop signs of disease that are directly caused by the virus, however, the BVD infection causes the animal’s resistance to other infections to be reduced. This reduction in resistance quite often falls to below the threshold of a secondary disease challenge and sickness results. The clinical signs in these cases would depend upon the nature of the secondary infection. These infections quite often are not recognized as being initiated by the BVD virus. For example, when the BVD virus infects the lungs of calves, the virus causes little or no disease.

However, the virus interferes with the ability of the lungs to rid themselves of bacteria that are found routinely in the respiratory tract. The bacteria can then begin to multiply in the lungs and eventually reach a disease threshold.


Promoting With Passion

Promoting With Passion

By Kim Souza

 Wendy Pettz is busy.

She helps her husband, Robert, run a small trucking operation from the couple’s Huntsville home. With her mobile phone in hand, a fax machine and a computer nearby, she looks after 30 or so head of registered Brangus cattle, keeps watch over 42,000 chickens and still finds time to rock her 6-month-old grandson, Caden, to sleep for his afternoon nap.


Cattle producers warned to watch for grass tetany

Cattle producers warned to watch for grass tetany

 Rapid City Journal

 With recent much-needed moisture, grass will grow rapidly and can cause grass tetany in cattle, Extension livestock officials are warning cattle producers.

Grass tetany is a metabolic disorder that is associated with lush pastures due to low levels of blood magnesium concentration, which results in nerve impulse failure in the animals, according to Adele Gelvin, South Dakota State University Extension livestock educator based in Philip.


Corn prices crimping cattle producers

Corn prices crimping cattle producers

 By Lamar James
Arkansas Extension Specialist
Delta Farm Press

Corn farmers are enjoying the high prices corn is bringing as ethanol production continues to siphon off a sizeable chunk of the U.S. corn crop, but cattle producers are taking an economic hit, said Tom Troxel, professor/beef cattle specialist University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

“Their costs are really increasing,” Troxel said of beef and dairy producers. “The high cost of corn is cutting into their profits.”

Rebecca Thomas, Grant County, Ark., Extension staff chair, said producers have been clobbered from several directions. “My cattle producers have been hit hard by drought last summer, which reduced their hay for the winter; high fertilizer costs, high fuel costs and high grain costs,” she said. “Most are part-time cattle producers with primary jobs somewhere else.”


Collecting Forage Samples for Feed Analysis

Collecting Forage Samples for Feed Analysis

 Ropin’ The Web

 Forages provide energy, proteins, minerals vitamins and fibers in cattle diets. Many factors (e.g. variety, maturity, growing conditions, drought, floods, handling practices, storage, etc.) affect forage quality prior to the time it is fed.

Crops grown under drought conditions may have lower fiber levels, may accumulate toxic nutrient levels (e.g. nitrates) or they may have higher than normal potassium levels and lower magnesium levels. As a result predicting forage quality values from standard nutrition books or computer ration programs often grossly overestimates or underestimates the feeding value.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Weaning Ration/Nutritional Program

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Weaning Ration/Nutritional Program


 The most important part of a nutrition program at weaning is to get some feed into the calf as soon as possible and stimulate intake of a balanced ration to build immunity and combat illness. Hay isn’t enough to provide sufficient nutrients to accomplish this but it is extremely important in achieving initial consumption and introducing feedstuffs in the feedbunk. Hay quality should not be compromised in the starting phase. Form and placement of hay is very important in encouraging maximum intake of feed by new cattle. Free-choice access to hay allows the calves to establish a normal fill prior to grain feed being offered. Loose hay should be fluffed along the entire bunk and scattering some behind the bunk may be useful with very timid calves. Grain mix should be topdressed over fluffed hay so that calves have to dig through the feed to get to the hay. Obviously, you need to provide a very palatable diet balanced for energy, protein, minerals and vitamins. More information on ration formulation will be available in the Nutrition lesson of this course.


Farnam Livestock Tracking Systems(TM) Teams with Integrated Management Information

Farnam Livestock Tracking Systems(TM) Teams with Integrated Management Information (IMI Global) for Successful Online All Natural Beef Marketing Symposium


Integrated Management Information, Inc. (IMI Global) (OTC Bulletin Board: INMG), a leading provider of verification and Internet solutions for the agricultural/livestock industry, today announced the successful completion of a unique online natural beef marketing symposium in partnership with Farnam Livestock Tracking Systems.

Farnam, a leading provider of livestock tracking systems and a Platinum Partner on IMI Global’s CattleNetwork website, was the exclusive sponsor of the symposium, which brought together premier leaders in the natural beef industry to discuss the opportunities and benefits for cattle producers in the natural beef market.


Ethanol boom strains livestock farmers

Ethanol boom strains livestock farmers


While corn growers may be in high cotton these days, all the excitement over ethanol in the last year has cast a cloud over the livestock industry.

High prices have equaled headaches for beef and pork producers, who operate on margins as razor thin as anyone else who makes a living on the farm.

“In general the impacts are pretty much what you would guess,” said Darrel Good, a University of Illinois agriculture economist. “It has squeezed some producers.”


Too Few Veterinarians For Large Animals

Too Few Veterinarians For Large Animals


When your child is sick, you take them to the pediatrician. When your cat or dog isn’t feeling well, you take them to the vet. But a shortage of large-animal veterinarians is causing concern for cattle ranchers. With more students choosing a career in caring for pets, ranchers have fewer options to save sick and injured cattle.

Cattle Ranchers like Jason Jensen think the lack of large-animal veterinarians comes down to one simple issue.

“People no matter what will pay any amount to get the teeth fixed on their dog or make sure he lives a little extra long in his life,” Jensen says.


Proper injection sites improve beef quality

Proper injection sites improve beef quality

By Jennifer Bremer
High Plains Journal

Injection site blemishes have been a costly problem for the beef industry for many years. However, the Beef Quality Assurance Program has helped improve on this.

“Cattlemen have a responsibility to assure that only beef of the highest quality reaches the consumer,” said W. Mark Hilton, associate professor of veterinary medicine at Purdue University.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has held a very strong position over the past several years regarding beef safety and quality assurance.


No trade pact while beef ban stays in effect

No trade pact while beef ban stays in effect

Lincoln Journal Star

Congress should reject the proposed U.S. trade agreement with South Korea if the Asian nation refuses to let American beef be sold to its consumers.

International trade pacts generally are desirable – but only if trade goes both ways.

South Korea and other countries banned U.S. beef after mad cow disease was discovered in the United States in 2003.

Other countries have since dropped their bans, and it appeared that South Korea had followed suit.


Let the market work

Let the market work

Steve Cornett

Last week’s court ruling on voluntary BSE testing is worthy of consideration. This reporter is on record as supporting voluntary testing for the same reason the government allows natural and organic claims.

There is no consumer benefit, but, then the government allows marketers a lot of leeway in health claims. It makes no sense to this reporter that the same government that allows all that silliness one runs into in health food stores would want to ban BSE testing.


Cattle Feeding: Muddy Lots Cause Problems

Cattle Feeding: Muddy Lots Cause Problems


Muddy feedlots are expensive. Muddy conditions decrease feed intake, slow average daily gain of cattle, increase problems with footrot and increase the amount of feed required for each pound of gain.

As a rule, 4 to 8 inches of mud in a feedpen will decrease feed intake by 8 percent to 15 percent, slow daily gains by about 14 percent and increase feed requirements per pound of gain by about 13 percent. Severe conditions, with mud 12 to 24 inches deep, reduce feed intake by up to 30 percent and drop daily gain by up to 25 percent. They will also reduce feed efficiency by as much as 25 percent. Under severe conditions, a steer that would normally gain 3 pounds per day will gain only about 2.25 pounds for each day it spends in a muddy pen. Therefore, every four days spent in a muddy pen adds one day to the total time required in the feedlot to reach slaughter.


Swift Posts $48.6 Million Loss as Beef Sales Decline

Swift Posts $48.6 Million Loss as Beef Sales Decline

By Daniel J. Goldstein


Swift & Co., the third-largest U.S. beef and pork producer, said it had a net loss of $48.6 million in the quarter ended Feb. 25 as overseas sales were limited because of mad-cow disease related restrictions.

A year ago, there was a net loss of $49.4 million in the fiscal third quarter, Greeley, Colorado-based Swift said today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Sales fell 6.9 percent to $2.09 billion.