Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Feed Bunk & Water Trough Training
The profitability of a preconditioning program can hinge on calf weight gains during the preconditioning period. Feed costs typically account for a large proportion of preconditioning costs, so productive calf weight gains are needed to recover these costs. During weaning, calves must transition from a milk diet to a forage/concentrate-based diet. Calves exposed to eating from a feed bunk and drinking from a water trough prior to weaning may go on feed faster after weaning. Some calves leave the ranch having never seen a feed bunk or water trough.
Feeding Corn Distiller’s Co-Products to Beef Cattle
Distillers Grains Technology Council
Kent Tjardes and Cody Wright, Extension beef specialists
The ethanol industry is currently in the midst of a considerable expansion period in South Dakota and surrounding states. As more ethanol plants are built and begin production, the availability of co-products for livestock feed will increase dramatically.
Co-products may offer the cattle industry a tremendous opportunity to reduce feed costs without sacrificing performance. However, there are significant challenges that must be met before feeding these products.
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Cow TB may spread between people
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – British investigators describe 20 cases of humans being infected with Mycobacterium bovis, a type of tuberculosis normally confined to cattle. In six instances, the outbreak appears to have resulted from person-to-person transmission.
This report “emphasizes the need to maintain control measures for human and bovine tuberculosis,” Dr. Jason T. Evans, from the West Midlands Public Health Laboratory in Birmingham, UK, and colleagues note in The Lancet medical journal. “Transmission and subsequent disease was probably due to a combination of host and environmental factors.”
The researchers performed DNA fingerprinting of all tuberculosis cases that arose in central England between 2001 and 2005. Of the 20 cases that were due to M. bovis, a cluster of six were genetically identical.
Sustainable beef grazing project on view in Illinois
URBANA, Ill. – A first-hand look at an economical, environmentally friendly way to increase farm income can be had on 228 acres of farmland located midway between Pana and Taylorville, Illinois.
“It’s a place where people can come, see for themselves, and take home information they can use,” explained Ed Ballard, a retired University of Illinois Extension animal systems educator who oversees a cattle grazing project on the U of I’s Dudley Smith Farm.
The project utilizes year-round grazing to support about 60 head of beef cattle, explained Dan Faulkner, U of I Extension beef specialist.
“There are several alternative techniques that can increase cattle performance or reduce input costs of forage-based beef production systems,” he explained. “But how these technologies affect the total beef production system is not completely understood.”
Ethanol process provides new feed
By Brandon Bennett, Black Hills Pioneer
VALE – The expansion of the ethanol industry is providing increased availability of distiller grain products for livestock feed, and local farmers and ranchers are availing themselves of the commodity to feed their cattle and sheep.
Leber Ag Service of Vale handles the distiller grain and has about 60 customers. Dave Leber commented that if ethanol producers are going to tie up corn for fuel, they need to give something back that would work for livestock. And he thinks they may have found the solution.
National Cattlemen’s Food Policy Director Joins ViaGen
Livestock cloning leader ViaGen, Inc. today announced that Leah Wilkinson, former Director of Food Policy for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in Washington, D.C., is the company’s new Director of Policy and Industry Relations. Wilkinson will manage ViaGen’s policy activities and outreach to the food industry.
“Leah brings an insider understanding of the issues and opportunities faced by the cattle and pork industries,” said ViaGen president Mark Walton, Ph.D. “She’s helping ensure that ViaGen’s strategies match the needs of industry.”
Anthrax found in Brown County cattle herd
Sioux Falls Argus Leader (SD)
Anthrax has been found in a Brown County cattle herd that also had the disease two years ago, officials said.
One animal died and the rest of the herd is vaccinated, said state Veterinarian Sam Holland.
The dead animal was a replacement heifer that had not been vaccinated yet this year.
The animal that died was in a pasture with about 50 other cattle, Holland said.
Anthrax spores occur naturally in the soil and can be dormant for decades. Drought, floods and wind can expose the spores for livestock to ingest while grazing.