Daily Archives: April 26, 2007

Hereford Breed Remembers Orville Sweet

Hereford Breed Remembers Orville Sweet

Hereford World

Orville Sweet, 83, died in Springfield, Mo., April 19. Orville will be fondly remembered as a leader and friend to the Hereford breed and livestock industry. He served as president/executive secretary of the American Polled Hereford Association (APHA) from 1963-79 and authored Birth of a Breed: The History of Polled Herefords – America’s First Beef Breed.

“Mr. Sweet was truly one of the fine gentlemen to serve the beef industry,” says Craig Huffhines, American Hereford Association (AHA) executive vice president. “And he had a wide sweeping influence in the livestock industry. Of all the people I have ever met that had the opportunity to work with Mr. Sweet, they all held him in very high regard.”

Orville served as a U.S. naval air crewman in the South Pacific during World War II. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University and then taught vocational agriculture, managed a beef cattle ranch and was a beef specialist at the University of Georgia. After his years of service with the APHA, he was hired as executive vice president of the National Pork Producers Council. He worked for the council until 1989 and spearheaded the “Pork. The Other White Meat®” campaign.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Injection Sites

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Injection Sites


When injecting a medication or vaccine into a beef animal, remember to target the neck region. The landmarks outlining this region are noted in the injection zone triangle shown in Figure 2. Regardless of the animal’s age, all intramuscular and subcutaneous injections should be given in the neck region, never in the rump or back leg. Figure 2 IM Injections in DARK Area ALL Shots in the Neck


Why cattle don’t make the grade

Why cattle don’t make the grade

By Larry Corah, Certified Angus Beef Vice President

With so many factors lined up to reduce marbling in cattle today, its no wonder the beef industry struggles to maintain 55% USDA Choice grade. Acceptance levels in cattle identified for the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) brand languish in the 14% to 15% area.

That’s a problem, because consumers prove every day they will pay more for beef with higher marbling. When we don’t produce it, we leave profit opportunities on the table. We can produce what the consumer wants, if we understand why we are missing the target.

USDA quality grades are in a long-term decline, with the related drop in consumer demand only reversed by the influence of premium brands and new products in the past eight years. Higher quality helped support record high beef prices; despite those records for all beef, consumers paid still more for a better flavor profile.


Experts Predict Double Digit Growth in Natural Beef

Experts Predict Double Digit Growth in Natural Beef

Cattle Today

Nashville, Tenn. — Speaking at the Ivy Natural Solutions (INS) Marketing Forum during the recent NCBA convention, Erica Kuhlmann, managing director and head of BMO Capital Markets’ Food Group, and John Stika, president of Certified Angus Beef,© both predicted double-digit growth in the natural beef segment. Kuhlmann said, “The global natural and organic food market has been experiencing double-digit annual growth for the past two years. Based on the investments being made in the industry, BMO Capital Markets expects that rate of growth to exceed 15 percent in 2007 and 2008.”


Farmers Balance Off-Farm Work, Technology Adoption

Farmers Balance Off-Farm Work, Technology Adoption

by Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo

Angus Journal

Effectively managing land, water, machinery and other inputs — as well as adopting new technologies and production practices — can help ensure the success of a farm business and the economic well-being of a farm household. Yet farm operators and their household members are increasingly relying on offfarm employment to improve their bottom lines.

While contributing to the economic wellbeing of farm households, off-farm jobs compete with on-farm responsibilities for managerial time, which, in turn, may affect the economic performance of the farm business. Consequently, time-saving benefits are driving the decisions of certain farm operator households to adopt new technologies and practices.


Progression of prion infectivity in asymptomatic cattle after oral bovine spongiform encephalopathy challenge

Progression of prion infectivity in asymptomatic cattle after oral bovine spongiform encephalopathy challenge


The presence of BSE prion infectivity in asymptomatic cattle and its tissue distribution are important concerns for both human and veterinary health and food safety. In this work, a collection of tissues from asymptomatic cattle challenged orally with BSE and culled at 20, 24, 27, 30 and 33 months have been used to inoculate intracerebrally BoPrP-Tg110 mice expressing bovine PrP to assess their infectivity. Results demonstrate that BSE infectivity in asymptomatic cattle is essentially restricted to the nervous system, Peyer’s patches and tonsils, as reported previously for terminally BSE-diseased cattle. BSE infectivity was detectable in Peyer’s patches and tonsils at all time points analysed, but infectivity in nervous tissues (brainstem and sciatic nerve) was only detectable after 27 months from inoculation. Infectivity in brainstem increased markedly at 33 months after inoculation. All other investigated tissues or fluids (spleen, skeletal muscle, blood and urine) revealed no detectable infectivity throughout the time course studied.


Senator writes to S. Korean president about beef as shipment awaits approval

Senator writes to S. Korean president about beef as shipment awaits approval

Yonhap News

A U.S. senator sent a letter Wednesday to South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun urging his country to fully reopen its markets to American beef as a large shipment was awaiting inspections at the Asian nation.

If approved, it will be the first U.S. beef export to South Korea in over three years.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) reaffirmed his stance that his support for the free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea hinges on whether Seoul commits to lifting its ban on American beef. Montana is a major beef-producing state.


Farmers turn to oilseed plants for biodiesel

Farmers turn to oilseed plants for biodiesel

By Jacob Adelman/The Associated Press

The Davis Enterprise (CA)

LOS ANGELES – California farmers are hoping to strike oil – vegetable oil, that is – with a series of trials involving crops that can be processed into biodiesel.

Some of the efforts to produce the sought-after fuel call for growing hearty crops such as canola on unproductive land that can’t support higher-value produce.

Other farmers are eyeing oilseed plants as a cover crop that might improve soil quality between more profitable plantings of berries or leafy greens.

Researchers have even started experimenting with varieties of algae that can be farmed in ponds and converted into biodiesel.


Democrats push bills to cut down on animal manure pollution

Democrats push bills to cut down on animal manure pollution


LANSING, Mich. — Democrats on Wednesday introduced bills in the state Legislature aimed at cutting down pollution from large animal feeding farms.

Environmentalists have been seeking ways to reduce hazards from so-called concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, for the past few years. Roughly 250 of Michigan’s 53,000 farms are considered to be CAFOs _ an operation with a large, concentrated number of cattle, pigs, sheep, turkeys or chickens.

The legislation would put a moratorium on the opening of new large feeding operations. The Department of Environmental Quality also could get more power over the farms, including permits and a more detailed evaluation of the current operations in the state.


Wyoming ranchers find increased profits in natural beef

Wyoming ranchers find increased profits in natural beef

High Plains Journal

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP)–Wyoming ranchers are increasingly marketing natural beef–meaning cattle raised on family ranches instead of corporate feedlots–and happy customers around the country are eating it up.

“I’m a little guy raising 80 head,” said John Sutherland, a Laramie County rancher whose family came to Wyoming in the 1860s. “We’re too small to really compete with the big guys, so we need a niche market.”


Corn takes the spotlight for now

Corn takes the spotlight for now

The Daily Record (CO)

As the ethanol craze sweeps across the nation, the old saying, “All that glitters is not gold,” comes to mind. Not that ethanol is a bad thing, but the headlong dash to build plants and grow more corn does have a downside that requires a closer look.

With more than 110 plants in operation, some 80 under construction and more on the horizon, it may be time to pause and take a closer look at the industry and its overall effect.

It now takes between 3 and 4 gallons of water, depending on whose figures you use, to produce a gallon of ethanol. There are plants being built in parts of the country where they may negatively affect the public water supply.


Are grain prices too high? Not according to this specialist

Are grain prices too high? Not according to this specialist

By Tim Semler, Farm Business Management Agent Bottineau Co. NDSU Ext. Service

Minnesota Farm Guide

Are grain prices too high? This question has been tossed about in coffee shops and pubs throughout North Dakota and elsewhere in farm country in recent months.

But I challenge you to ask, “Are grain prices high enough?”

As of this writing, local cash grain prices in Bottineau County are: hard red spring wheat – $4.50, durum $5.15, malt barley – $3.50, oats – $2.10, sunflowers – $14 per hundredweight (cwt), canola – $12.45/cwt, flax – $6.35, corn – $3.40 and peas – $5. While these are certainly nice average prices being pulled up by higher corn and soybean prices, they aren’t a windfall for our region’s grain producers.


Cattle Feeding: Urinary Calculi Or “Water Belly”

Cattle Feeding: Urinary Calculi Or “Water Belly”


Cause: Urinary calculi (kidney stones) are hard mineral deposits in the urinary tracts of cattle. Affected cattle may experience chronic bladder infection from mechanical irritation produced by the calculi. In more serious cases, calculi may block the flow of urine, particularly in male animals. The urinary bladder or urethra may rupture from prolonged urinary tract blockage, resulting in release of urine into the surrounding tissues. The collection of urine under the skin or in the abdominal cavity is referred to as “water belly.” Death from toxemia may result within 48 hours of bladder rupture. Signs of urinary calculi include straining to urinate, dribbling urine, blood-tinged urine and indications of extreme discomfort, e.g., tail wringing, foot stamping and kicking at the abdomen. Phosphate urinary calculi form in cattle on high grain diets, while silicate urinary calculi typically develop in cattle on rangeland.


Thousand Hills Cattle Company offers branded grass-fed beef

Thousand Hills Cattle Company offers branded grass-fed beef

By ANDREA JOHNSON, Assistant Editor

Minnesota Farm Guide

CANNON FALLS, Minn. – Thousand Hills Cattle Company is a privately held grass-fed beef supply and breeding company.

The Minnesota-based company began conducting business in September 2003.

Starting with just a few head per week, the company now slaughters and processes 18 beef cattle per week valued at about $35,000 in fresh product. The company has seen a 100 percent sales increase in each of its first three years.

 “We’re not anticipating growing that much this year, because of different things that start to take affect as you get to this scale,” said Todd Lein, sales and marketing director. “Our sales are about $30,000 per week, so I’m not quite done with my job yet.”


Risk is a common factor among all ag producers

Risk is a common factor among all ag producers

By ERIN SLIVKA, Columnist

Prairie Star

It is spring, that time of year when farmers possess that look of intensity as they push against the clock to accomplish an impossible number of tasks. Abundant moisture this year has displaced the usual worry about drought. In our part of the world, anyway, farmers are beginning to stay up late into the night worrying about getting the crop in the soggy ground at all.


BeefTalk: Loala Bulls Impact Calving Ease

BeefTalk: Loala Bulls Impact Calving Ease

Since most producers have their cows calve in the spring, this is the logical time to critique calving records.

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

The sun is out, spring has arrived and the calves are jumping. Since most producers have their cows calve in the spring, this is the logical time to critique calving records.

Evaluating the notations in the calving book is important. For the most part, due to ease, things that happen in the field are noted in the calving book by means of codes. In the case of the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association production program, calving ease is scored numerically from one to five.


Cow Calf: Heterosis…Hype Or Legit?

Cow Calf: Heterosis…Hype Or Legit?


For as long as the beef industry has existed, crossbred commercial cattle operations have made up the lion’s share of the beef cattle population, and those “in the know” were telling producers to “clean up their acts.” Now, it seems every publication you read or every expert you hear is talking about heterosis. So, you ask, “What’s this fancy word ‘heterosis,’ and can I capitalize on it in my herd?” Well, simply put, heterosis is hybrid vigor. At the Noble Foundation’s recent Beef Cattle Female Selection School, livestock specialist Clay Wright defined hybrid vigor as “the added advantage in performance of a crossbred over the average of its purebred parents.” So, you say, “Hey, I’ve been doing things right all along and didn’t even know it, right?” Well, not so fast…

There is more to hybrid vigor than just taking a crossbred cow and breeding her with any old bull. Numerous studies have been conducted over the years to look at this very subject. If you want to take full advantage of this phenomenon, there has to be some thought put into the process.


Prescription for trouble

Prescription for trouble

The FDA should deny a request to use a key human antibiotic on beef cattle. The risks are too great.

Los Angles Times

ALMOST AS SOON as antibiotics came into widespread use during World War II — allowing battlefield doctors to cure once-fatal infections — bacteria started evolving to resist the miracle drugs. The medical profession further eroded antibiotics’ effectiveness by prescribing them too blithely, sometimes for the wrong illnesses; patients chipped in by stopping their medications too soon.

Now a drug company wants to use an important human antibiotic on beef cattle, another major way in which antibiotic resistance is bred. The Food and Drug Administration should deny the request.