Daily Archives: April 13, 2007

Enzymes Could Help Ethanol Efficiency

Enzymes Could Help Ethanol Efficiency

High Plains Journal

According to an ARS release, as ethanol production increases, so does the demand for suitable feedstocks.

Affordable, plentiful and easy to work with, corn is currently the feedstock of choice in the United States. So Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at the Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) in Wyndmoor, Pa., are investigating ways to avoid overburdening the corn market as ethanol production expands.

Annual U.S. ethanol production is projected to increase from 5 billion gallons in 2006 to as many as 13 billion gallons in 2009. So what options will ethanol producers have? One solution is to increase conversion efficiency.


Combat Lower Calf Prices With More Pounds

Combat Lower Calf Prices With More Pounds

Beef Magazine

With today’s high-dollar corn, growth implants may be an efficient and economic strategy for ranchers to add pounds to their calves and gain extra income next fall.

The repercussions of high-priced corn are on everyone’s mind these days. Not only are many wondering about the supply of corn, but how the price will affect cattle feeders’ bids for calves next fall.

To offset lower calf prices, producers may want to consider using growth implants on the ranch to garner extra pounds come sale time, says South Dakota State University’s (SDSU) Robbi Pritchard. The nutrition professor and researcher is well-known across the industry for his work with implant strategies.


Is Gestation Length Shorter for Fall Calving Cows?

Is Gestation Length Shorter for Fall Calving Cows?

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

Oklahoma State University researchers used five years of data from the North Lake Carl Blackwell range to answer the question of gestation length differences by seasons. Records of 414 gestations and live births (242 spring and 172 fall) from cows of five crossbred cow groups were analyzed for differences in gestation length and birth weight.  The cows ranged in age from 4 to 7 years old.  Cows were bred artificially to either Salers or Limousin bulls.


South Dakota Readies Rule For Natural Beef

South Dakota Readies Rule For Natural Beef


Today marks the final day for public input on a South Dakota Agriculture Department rule for natural beef.

The department’s aim is to produce hormone- and antibiotic-free cattle for expansion of the South Dakota Certified Beef program. As written, the rule would allow South Dakota ranchers to access markets created by demand for organic meat.


Parasites are an Ongoing Evil that Must be Controlled

Parasites are an Ongoing Evil that Must be Controlled

by: Clifford Mitchell

Cattle Today

With all the new information available in the beef business, it is easy for cattlemen to get lost in the fog and overlook the importance of general animal husbandry. The industry is preaching many things, depending on which congregation breeders choose to attend. DNA markers, carcass traits, cloning, embryo transfer and other techniques to help improve the bottom line are being discussed randomly.

Without sound animal husbandry, progress will not be made in any area of genetic improvement. Letting cows fend for themselves will only prove Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest”; because only the tough ones that can brave all the elements will be left. If this was the most profitable scenario, managing beef cattle would not have evolved into what it is today.


Wagyu, The Foie Gras Of Steaks

Wagyu, The Foie Gras Of Steaks


If you think prices for a tenderloin or a T-bone at fine steakhouses are steep, try ordering wagyu beef. Servings of the highly marbled delicacy, considered ambrosia for carnivores, might run as much as $20 an ounce. Then again, because wagyu has a taste and texture more like foie gras than USDA prime steak, a small portion will do just fine.


Crash claims video auction pioneer

Crash claims video auction pioneer

Brownfield Network/ Superior Livestock Auction

by Tom Steever

Video livestock auction pioneer Buddy Jeffers died Monday in a car crash. The co-founder of Superior Livestock Auction was killed in the accident near Old Glory, Texas. He was 75.


Jeffers may have suffered a heart attack while driving from his home in Ennis, Texas to his ranch, according to the Livestock Marketing Association,. His car left the road and hit a tree.


In 1986, Jeffers and Jim Odle merged their markets to form Superior, which markets cattle every two weeks via satellite television.


A scholarship has been established as a memorial to Jeffers.


California state senator wants cloned foods labeled

California state senator wants cloned foods labeled

Brownfield Network

by Julie Harker

A state senator in California wants cloned foods that reach supermarket shelves to be clearly labeled as such. Senator Carole Migden says if cloned foods ever do make it to the grocery stores in her state, consumers have the right to know. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposal late last year that could allow meat and milk from cloned cattle, pigs and goats into the food chain without any special labeling.

S.D. Beef Council names new director

S.D. Beef Council names new director

Rapid City Journal

Barry Jennings has been named the new executive director of the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.

Jennings, a cattle producer and Fort Pierre native, will take over the position when Pat Adrian retires July 1.

“The board is looking forward to working with Barry,” SDBIC president Roger Gerdes said. “His enthusiasm, optimism and fresh ideas will be invigorating to the council and the state’s beef industry.”


Laser touted as anthrax-detection device

Laser touted as anthrax-detection device


Star-Ledger (NJ)

The anthrax strain implicated in the deadly bioterror attacks of 2001 originated in a Texas cow. So it seems fitting a Texas cattleman has found a laser technique he says can detect anthrax spores in less than a second.

It’s an advance that could be built into sensors costing “thousands, not millions” within two years, serving as an early warning system for postal workers or entire cities, Marlan Scully said yesterday.


Dennis Langley pushes the `closed-loop’ process for ethanol

Dennis Langley pushes the `closed-loop’ process for ethanol

Cattle help power ethanol plant

Brett Clanton

Houston Chronicle

Dennis Langley is the CEO of of E3 BioFuels, a small firm in Shawnee, Kan., with a big plan for improving the way ethanol is produced.

At a new plant in Mead, Neb., the firm is using what it calls a “closed-loop” process to produce the corn-based fuel.

The system’s main purpose is to minimize the plant’s impact on the environment, chiefly by eliminating the need for fossil fuels to power it. Hint: Cow manure has more uses than fertilizer.


Bovine Tuberculosis Could Spread By Human-Human Contact

Bovine Tuberculosis Could Spread By Human-Human Contact

Medical News Today

The source of a cluster of six cases of tuberculosis in central England in 2005 originated from one person’s exposure to bovine TB, strongly suggesting that bovine tuberculosis can be spread by human to human contact, conclude authors of research published in this week’s issue of The Lancet.

Despite a recent resurgence in the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in UK cattle herds, no associated rise in the number of cases in human beings has been noted. Disease due to human Mycobacterium bovis infection usually occurs among older people, in whom drinking unpasteurised milk in the past is the probable source of infection. Person-to-person transmission is very rare.


Growing our farmers’ ranks: Where is the next generation?

Growing our farmers’ ranks: Where is the next generation?

Joe Fiorito

Toronto Star

And so to Black Creek Pioneer Village, there to attend the first annual meeting of the GTA Agricultural Action Committee. Yes, I know. Like you, I had no idea there was such a thing.

The members of the committee are farmers and municipal politicians from Halton, Peel, York, Durham and Toronto, plus a few others. Their concerns are to keep men and women on the land, and to keep the land in production, and to keep a steady supply of good, fresh, local food on all our tables.


Grazing Stockers Longer

Grazing Stockers Longer

Beef Stocker Trends

“We have a clear situation where feedlots are looking for heavier, older cattle,” says John Anderson, Mississippi State University Extension livestock marketing specialist. “We should see a shift away from calf-feds to traditional feeder animals, and even heavier. It’s a normal response to high corn prices — feedlots are trying to reduce the amount of corn they have to feed.”

Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University livestock marketing economist, says the need to add more weight outside the feedlot will slow the rate of cattle turnover in the country and speed it up at the feedlot. So, feedlot inventories will likely continue to shrink at least through the second quarter this year.

“For the last 3-4 years, we’ve maintained feedlot inventories by feeding fewer cattle more days, and now we need to feed the same small set of cattle fewer days,” Peel says.


Snow, cold trouble for ranchers

Snow, cold trouble for ranchers

Calf deaths up across state

By Ben Shouse

Argus leader (SD)

A calf was born early Wednesday morning on Ken Veldkamp’s farm near Dell Rapids, and it landed on a pile of snow.

This week’s surprise storm was a mere annoyance for many in eastern South Dakota. But for ranchers, it comes right in the middle of calving season and probably will mean an increase in disease and death for newborn animals.

Fortunately, Veldkamp, who raises show calves, was there to get this one onto dry straw. He said he has been lucky not to lose one yet, but the weather “couldn’t get much worse.”