Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Pastures Harbor Parasites
Cattle acquire parasites through exposure to environmental contamination – for the most part, from pastures. And the practice of pasture rotation adds yet another dimension to parasite control. Rotational grazing often forces cattle to eat grass closer to the ground and fecal pats, where most infective larvae are. Research suggests that rotationally grazed cattle may have higher parasite burdens than those continuously grazed.
There are two parts to creating safe pastures: 1) reducing contamination during periods of peak egg shedding from cattle; and 2) allowing pasture larvae to die off while the pasture is empty.
Part one is the most important. It is addressed by treating cattle with a broad spectrum, long-acting endectocide, which controls liver flukes, kills adults worms and kills all ingested infective round worm larvae for 21 to 28 days after administration. Maximum reduction in egg shedding is achieved by treating in spring, midsummer, and fall in the North, and spring, midsummer, and midwinter in the South.
Three MGA-based synchronization systems can bolster your AI results.
Melengestrol acetate — commonly known as MGA — is the common denominator in three widely used systems for synchronizing and artificially inseminating (AI) cows and heifers. MGA, which is fed with grain or protein and often top-dressed on other feeds, suppresses estrus and prevents ovulation in cows and heifers. It’s fed at a rate of 0.5 mg/ animal/day in a single daily feeding.
“While the duration of feeding MGA may vary, it’s critical that the daily intake be consistent,” says Dave Patterson, state Extension beef reproduction specialist at the University of Missouri-Columbia. “Animals that fail to consume the required amount of MGA on a daily basis may prematurely return to estrus during the feeding period. Therefore, adequate bunk space must be available so that all animals consume equal amounts of feed throughout the MGA feeding period.”
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Keep Replacement Heifers Growing
Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University
Replacement heifers that have just reached puberty and started cycling may be vulnerable to any drastic change in feed intake. A small trial conducted at Oklahoma State University illustrates the impact that sudden severe reduction in energy intake can have on cycling activity in replacement heifers. Nineteen heifers were divided into two groups. Both groups were fed at 120% of the maintenance requirements needed for yearling heifers. By the use of hormone assay and ultrasonography, it was determined that all heifers were cycling when the treatments began. Nine of the heifers were continued on the 1.2 X maintenance diet. The other ten heifers were placed on a diet that was 40% of the requirement for maintenance. They remained on this diet for 14 days. At the conclusion of the 14 day treatment period, only 3 of the feed restricted heifers were still cycling, whereas all of the heifers receiving the 1.2 X maintenance were still cycling.
Can you save time and money?
by Bill Beal, beef cattle reproductive physiologist, Virgina Tech
Getting cows bred early in the breeding season at the least cost and with less labor is a common goal. There are limits on how to cut corners when setting up synchronization and prebreeding vaccination programs. Knowing the limits is important to ensure that costcutting measures don’t decrease the reproductive performance of the herd.
Changes Which Affect Your Profit
Dr. Robbi Pritchard, South Dakota State University
Feedlot profits change dramatically from year to year. Weather and competition are the driving forces behind the annual swings shown in Figure 1. Since you can’t change the weather or the competition, you have to manage around them. Facilities can be improved to reduce weather effects on cattle performance and diets can be changed to take advantage of low cost weather-damaged feeds. Beyond that, the principle strategy is to make enough money in the good times to allow you to survive the tough times.
Making enough money to survive is easier said than done. In the Iowa Feedlot Enterprise Record Program, the high 1/3 of producers made money in 12 of 15 years (1977 through 1991)1. The low 1/3 of producers made money in only 5 of those 15 years. The membership in this low 1/3 group is constantly changing because these producers either have to get out of the business or join a more profitable group. Every time this happens, somebody else becomes a new member of the low 1/3 group. It’s the competition component of the system.
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Running The Genetic Reverse
By Wes Ishmael
“As demand goes, so goes opportunity in the beef business,” says Ben Brophy, director of genomics commercialization for Cargill. “Our focus is on tools to improve beef demand.”
Consequently, he explains the bottom-line efforts of Cargill’s cattle-feeding and beef-processing enterprises — they’re among the nation’s largest — are to increase consumer acceptance of beef products by increasing the consistency of products that consumers want.
Cow Calf: How Much Is A Bull Worth?
Performance information along with and expected progeny differences (EPDs) give an indication of the expected performance of a bull’s calves for particular traits such as growth performance relative to the performance of calves sired by another bull or group of bulls. Using this information, educated purchasing decisions can be made regarding the purchase price differences that can be justified when comparing bulls.
To illustrate differences in bull value, here is an actual production scenario. Bull A and Bull B were exposed to cows of similar genetic merit. Bull A sired calves that weighed on average 536 pounds at weaning. Calves sired by Bull B weighed 643 pounds on average at weaning.
Distiller’s grains not for horses
With the continuing drought in many areas, horse owners are often forced to provide supplemental feed to their animals. South Dakota State University Extension horse specialist Mark Ullerich offers these guidelines:
Enzi: New Beef Boundaries
Enzi cosponsors legislation to change interstate meat inspection regulations
Washington, D.C. – Argentinean beef marketers can freely sell their product across state lines in the U.S., but Wyoming producers must jump through more federal hoops before they are allowed to do the same. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is cosponsoring legislation that would end this domestic discrimination.
Enzi is an original cosponsor of S. 1150, the Agricultural Small Business Opportunity and Enhancement Act, that would ensure meat that has been state tested with the strictest federal standards could be sold across state lines.
Asian Beef, Pork Exports Looking Up
Prospects for U.S. meat exports to Asian countries are looking up, Philip M. Seng, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), told reporters in a media conference.
U.S. pork exports are expected to increase by 2 percent to Japan and by 25 percent to South Korea in 2007, according to Seng. U.S. pork exports worldwide were up 9 percent in volume and 9 percent in value from 2005 to 2006, partially due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) issues in beef and avian influenza in poultry.
Seng said, however, U.S. pork has established such a solid reputation in Japan that even when the market increases access for U.S. beef, no diminished sales of the product are expected. A USMEF promotion campaign for pork will be conducted in Japan this spring. Details of that campaign will be announced later this month.
North Dakota Adds New Rules for Cattle Imports
The State Board of Animal Health has ordered additional import restrictions on Mexican-branded (M-branded) cattle and cattle used in rodeo events.
M-branded cattle must be accompanied by proof of two negative bovine tuberculosis tests by USDA-accredited veterinarians with the last test within 60 days prior entering North Dakota. All cattle used for rodeos and timed events, such as team roping events, must have a negative bovine TB test within 12 months prior to importation into North Dakota.
“The board is well aware of the threat of bovine tuberculosis from M-branded cattle, as well as from cattle used in rodeos and timed events that are potentially exposed to M-branded cattle,” says State Veterinarian Susan Keller.
US-Japan beef breakthrough unlikely-USDA’s Johanns
WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) – A White House visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week may not bring an expansion of U.S. beef sales to Japan, said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns on Thursday.
“I’d be very surprised if there was a breakthrough,” Johanns told reporters. He said he had no meetings scheduled with Japanese officials during Abe’s visit, set for April 26-27.
Johanns said he and Japan’s agriculture minister, Toshikatsu Matsuoka, discussed beef trade by telephone earlier on Thursday. “We did not reach an agreement,” said Johanns.
The world of beef gets a graduate student’s treatment
By RADOS KLIKOVAC
Jesse Savell is dedicated to working with beef cattle.
A graduate assistant and a beef teaching unit manager at the University of Florida, he lives on-site in a renovated storage area at UF’s beef teaching unit on a 65-acre farm located between Archer and Williston roads along SW 23rd Terrace.
Despite its location in a heavily populated student district that is surrounded with apartment complexes, it operates similarly to any other cattle farm, though this one is run by a university.
Biosecurity actions keep cattle diseases from spreading
Southeastern Farm Press
Biosecurity is a hot topic on the farm and across the nation. Everyone wants to ensure high-quality, safe food products are available to consumers, but another aspect of biosecurity for beef producers is maintaining herd health.
Biosecurity incorporates those management practices aimed at keeping new diseases off the farm and keeping diseases from spreading from group to group on the farm. According to agricultural experts biosecurity is the cheapest and most effective method of disease control, since vaccinations cannot eliminate disease and treatment can only reduce losses.
Prepare Now for a Dry Spring
John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech..
Without a doubt, Virginia is dry even though some areas have received a little rain. Short term climate predictions are for a dry March – May and possibly early summer. I hope by writing this article, it will act as a rain dance, and by the time you read this, the information will not be needed. However, the way things are shaping up now, its time to make some plans.
Water is the most essential nutrient for life. Cattle can live for many days or a few weeks without food, but will die within a few days without water. Recently, lack of water as springs and ponds go dry has been a major problem for many beef producers. However, it is critical that cattle get enough water every day. If they do not, they will eat less feed, have lower performance and impaired reproduction.