Daily Archives: April 19, 2007

Cow Calf: What’s The Cost Of A Missed Breeding Cycle?

Cow Calf: What’s The Cost Of A Missed Breeding Cycle?


This time of year, many Extension beef cattle educators like to talk about the importance of short breeding seasons where most of the cows and heifers conceive on the first service.

Certainly a number of issues can affect how long it takes to get the entire herd settled. Regardless, one obvious advantage of a tight breeding season is the opportunity to manage and market the resulting calves as one consistent group. However, have you ever considered the direct ‘economic’ benefit of cows that conceive on the first cycle?

Assuming adequate nutrition is available, a good calf is likely gaining about 2.25+/- pounds a day at weaning time. As a result, if he was born 21 days later than his counterpart, he could easily weigh 40 to 50 pounds less when he goes to market as a feeder calf in the fall of 2008. If feeder calves are worth $1.20 per pound next Fall, one missed breeding cycle could cost $50 to $60 for each calf that is born only one cycle late. For a cow that’s two cycles late, you need to double those numbers!


Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The April 18, issue # 533, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefApril18.html

By most accounts, it’s been a very difficult winter and early spring. Not only have some of our biennial and perennial forage and grass crops suffered, but some have experienced cow condition and calving issues. Is your bull the same bull he was at the end of last breeding season? This week we discuss the value of breeding soundness, and getting females settled in a timely fashion.

Articles include:
* Calves = Very Valuable; Bulls Deemed “Satisfactory Potential Breeders” = Priceless!
* What’s the Cost of a Missed Breeding Cycle?
* Forage Focus: Spring Pasture Management
* Frost Injury to Alfalfa  Issues and Concerns
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report

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

Master Cattle Transporter, Trucker BQA Programs Available

Master Cattle Transporter, Trucker BQA Programs Available

Colorado Beef Council Newsletter

As a transporter of cattle you play a critical role in the health and welfare of cattle. The proper handling and transport of cattle can reduce sickness in calves, prevent bruises, and improve the quality of meat from these animals. Consequently, improved transportation practices can impact beef value throughout the production chain. For more information (on how to become a Master Cattle Transporter), please visit

Springtime Feed Intakes

Springtime Feed Intakes

By: Mark Venner,


Springtime is typically not thought of for extreme weather (i.e. January windchills and July heat indexes) however the quick changes and variation of temperatures challenge cattle to stay on feed. The early March blizzard and cold weather following took lots of hair off the cattle this year. This coupled with mud and rain has pressured performance and decreased closeout numbers. When I ask operators how intakes have been I continually get the same answer, that they are holding steady. I would agree with this on average, but when observing daily feed records I have seen some huge swings in intake. The weekly or bi-monthly intake averages look steady. On Table 1, the dotted line represents the weekly average intake while the solid line graphs the daily intake. Remember that you offer the animal a diet on a 24 hour period and the key is trying to get that 24 hour diet as constant and steady as possible. This insures peak performance and ultimately profit.


Modified Live compared to Killed Vaccines for the Cow Herd

Modified Live compared to Killed Vaccines for the Cow Herd 

Properly administered and boostered modified live vaccines cause cell
-mediated immunity in cattle.   The respiratory diseases, bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), infectious bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR), Parainfluenza 3 (PI3), and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) all have been shown to have an impact on reproductive performance of infected cowherds.  With the close proximity of herds to each other in the Southern region of the United States, it is difficult to isolate cattle enough to assure no transmission of these viral diseases.  Therefore immunization with readily available vaccines becomes the method of choice for protecting the herd from devastating impacts of early embryo loss, abortion, or weak calves due to these viruses.  Once the decision to protect the herd with immunizations has been made, the next decision is the type of vaccine that is employed.  The following table was compiled by Dr. Ronald D. Schultz and presented at the 1993 meeting of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.  This is an excellent comparison of Modified Live Vaccines (MLV) and Non-Infectious or killed products (NI).


Tackling ET

Tackling ET

For the small producer, embryo transplant is no longer out of reach.

by Eric Grant

Like most small seedstock producers, I’d thought about tackling embryo transplant (ET) for years. But it was something that I’d always perceived as a risk rather than a benefit. It was too expensive, too labor-intensive and too hard on your cows.

So every time I got close to doing it, I turned away, deciding instead to let nature — and the old bull in the pasture — do the work instead.

Last summer, I finally took the plunge, and we achieved some pretty good results. I got my best two cows flushed, and their genetics propagated more rapidly than I would have done with just natural breeding.


Livestock in Farm Bill Debated

Livestock in Farm Bill Debated

High Plains Journal

WASHINGTON (DTN) — The 2007 farm bill has created yet another chance for lawmakers, livestock producers and packers to grapple with the definitions of market control, packer concentration and fair-market practices for the livestock and poultry industries.

Some lawmakers have been vigilant fighters in recent years for a ban on packer ownership of livestock between seven and 14 days prior to delivery to processing facilities. They see this farm bill as a chance to boost the cash markets for livestock producers and establish a “competition title” in the farm bill itself. Already, there are multiple pieces of legislation backing such provisions.

The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry held a hearing Tuesday on the market structure of the livestock industry. Later this week, the Senate Agriculture Committee will have a similar hearing on the same subject.


Cattlemen testify to Congress

Cattlemen testify to Congress


UNITED STATES: Members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the American Meat Institute testified at a congressional hearing on cattle marketing.

       America’s cattle producers are asking the government to help grow the U.S. beef industry and to not limit or remove choices in the marketing of cattle.

The president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), John Queen, testified yesterday (17 April 2007) at a House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry hearing on Market Structure of the Livestock Industry.

“When it comes to market structure and competition issues, NCBA’s position is simple – we ask that the government not tell us how we can or cannot market our cattle,” Queen, a North Carolina cattle producer, said.


The state’s ‘mark of the beast;’ Amish worried about livestock ID numbers

The state’s ‘mark of the beast;’ Amish worried about livestock ID numbers

by Tim Hundt
Vernon Broadcaster (WI)

About 200 Amish dairy producers met with State Sen. Dan Kapanke and former State Sen. Brian Rude last week to express their concern over a state law that they say is forcing them to choose between religion and dairy farming.

 The law, known as the “premise ID” law, passed the state legislature three years ago and requires all farms with animals to register with the state and a get a farm ID number. There was an “animal ID” component to the law that would have required registering individual animals, but that has been put on hold.


Whiff of death in rush to ethanol

Whiff of death in rush to ethanol

The Standard

Ethanol-fueled vehicles could contribute to more illnesses and deaths from respiratory disease than gasoline- powered cars and trucks, US researchers have found.

If all cars and trucks were replaced by vehicles fueled by ethanol, deaths related to air pollution would rise by about 4 percent in the United States, according to the study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

“Our results show that a high blend of ethanol poses an equal or greater risk to public health than gasoline, which already causes significant health damage,” said Mark Jacobson, an atmospheric scientist at Stanford University and lead author of the study.

The study raises questions about ethanol, a fuel produced from corn or other crops, which many hope will reduce oil dependency and air pollution.


Lyman exposes horrors of the cattle industry

Lyman exposes horrors of the cattle industry

Amy Augustine
The Equinox

Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.


From agribusiness tycoon to vegan activist, Howard Lyman went from spending $100,000 a year on farm chemicals to traveling 100,000 miles a year to talk about the darker side of the meat industry.

“A hundred thousand cows per year in the United States are fine one night, then dead the next morning,” said Lyman. “The majority of these cows are ground up and fed back to other cows.”

But that’s not all the cows are eating, according to Lyman.

“Los Angeles alone sends about 200 tons of chemically euthanized cats and dogs each month to become feed for the animals we eat,” he said to a crowd of nearly 50 people in the Mabel Brown Room on April 13.


Farmers Urged to Test Freeze Damaged Wheat

Farmers Urged to Test Freeze Damaged Wheat

Darryal Ray

Alabama Farm Bureau

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama’s wheat farmers who are considering using their freeze-damaged wheat crop as feed for cattle are being warned that the crop could have dangerous levels of nitrate and should be tested before use as a forage.

Ron Sparks, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industries, has offered the services of the department’s toxicology labs to assist in this effort without charge.

Producers are urged to complete a submission form available from all Extension System offices. The form is for farm location and contact information.


Producers urged to think about cattle records

Producers urged to think about cattle records

Gothenburg Times

LINCOLN—As ranchers across Nebraska move through the calving season, officials with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Beef Council and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension are encouraging producers to keep good records regarding the age and identification of their spring calves.

NDA director Greg Ibach said such records are necessary if producers decide at a later date to enroll their cattle in age- and source-verified programs for possible export or domestic marketing opportunities. UNL Extension, in cooperation with NDA and the Beef Council, will be conducting educational seminars later this year to give cow/calf producers additional, step-by-step information about raising age- and source-verified livestock.


US not immune from rural skills shortage

US not immune from rural skills shortage

ABC Rural (AU)

It seems children in America do not want to grow up to be cowboys.

The rural skills shortage experienced in Australia is also being felt in the US, according to one Amercian cattle market analyst.

Duane Lenz from Cattlefax says young people are not coming through when older producers leave the industry and America’s ranches are increasingly being put to other uses.


Bull fertility testing should be part of beef program

Bull fertility testing should be part of beef program


Country World (TX)

Several details go into maintaining a successful beef cattle operation and Dr. Robert Wells, a Noble Foundation livestock (and beef cattle) specialist, said bull fertility testing should be part of the program.

Bull fertility testing involves collecting semen from a bull, examining the semen, and determining if the bull will be capable of impregnating the cows.

“All bulls should be tested, no matter how old, how young, or how many bulls are in the herd,” said Wells.

He added that bulls should be tested each year, prior to turn out.


Controls blamed for Argentina’s beef shortage

Controls blamed for Argentina’s beef shortage

Brownfield Network

by Tom Steever

Argentina consumers are short on beef and government price controls are being blamed. The government-imposed controls have created one Argentina beef market with high prices and abundant supplies, and another with low prices but empty shelves, according to a story on MeatingPlace.com.

Beef exports out of Argentina were banned more than year ago in an attempt to avoid inflation and to ensure domestic supply. Limited exports are allowed now, but the prices continue to climb.


Cattle transport guide available

Cattle transport guide available


A new beef checkoff-funded DVD and print piece, Master Cattle Transporter Guide, illustrates best practices to keep cattle safe and healthy as they move from ranch to rail.

Cattle are typically transported two to four times during their lives, making travel  the second most stressful event for them,  next to severe weather. And if careful animal-handling practices are not followed during travel, stress can directly affect beef quality and cost producers money.  A new beef checkoff-funded DVD and print piece, Master Cattle Transporter Guide, illustrates best practices to keep cattle safe and healthy as they move from ranch to rail. 

National beef quality audits show bruising and rough handling of cattle during transportation costs the industry more than $114 million a year in trimmed carcasses and dark cutters. Stress on feeder cattle during transit to feedlots or stocker yards can lead to increased sickness, limiting potential performance of those calves for the rest of their lives, noted Anne Burkholder, chair of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Animal Health and Nutrition Committee.

FULL STORY (Registration may be required)

American Angus Association Realigns Staff Responsibilities

American Angus Association Realigns Staff Responsibilities
SAINT JOSEPH, MO — The American Angus AssociationSM announces staff realignments in an effort to better serve its members and the commercial producers who use Angus genetics. The changes are effective immediately, according to John Crouch, Association executive vice president.

“As our Association continues to grow and change, so do our efforts to make sure we have the right people in the right positions to serve our membership,” says John Crouch, Association executive vice president. “We have a talented group of staff in place, and we want to align our resources to provide emphasis and support to meet industry needs. These changes will allow the Association to continue to serve the industry in its leadership role.”

Jim Shirley, in his role as vice president of Industry Relations, will continue to oversee the regional manager staff and AngusSource®, while coordinating special projects, including Outreach Seminars. In addition to these duties, he will assume the role of director of activities, where he will be active in the Association’s participation in open Angus shows, including the Roll of Victory (ROV) program.

James Fisher will solely oversee junior programs as director of junior activities. He will be responsible for the programs of the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA), which includes more than 10,000 youth nationwide. He will continue to serve as the Association’s liaison to the American Angus Auxiliary and Angus Foundation, as both groups work closely with the NJAA.

Shelia Stannard continues her role as director of communications and events. She will coordinate all educational activities and events for the membership, including the National Angus Conference and Tour, the Annual Convention of Delegates, Cattlemen’s Boot Camps and other Association-sponsored events. She will continue to manage the communications department and will work closely with the Association’s public relations efforts in concert with other staff.

Ty Groshans will assume the duties of the director of commercial programs and assistant director of performance programs, where he will work closely with commercial producers using Angus seedstock to ensure they receive true value for their Angus genetics. He will coordinate Angus public relations efforts with other staff and Association entities to make sure that Angus remains at the forefront of the industry.