Daily Archives: April 27, 2007

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Feed Bunk & Water Trough Training

 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

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.


Cow TB may spread between people

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

Sustainable beef grazing project on view in Illinois

AG Professional

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

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

National Cattlemen’s Food Policy Director Joins ViaGen

PR Inside

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

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.


Bills aim to cut down factory farm pollution

Bills aim to cut down factory farm pollution

Muskegon Chronicle (MI)

Democrats on Wednesday introduced bills in the state Legislature aimed at reducing 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.


Grass-fed beef promo set for Memorial Day

Grass-fed beef promo set for Memorial Day


La Cense Beef offers special Memorial Day BBQ package to introduce grillers to the grass-fed trend.

As home chefs prepare to get the grilling season underway this Memorial Day weekend, a convergence of interest in healthy foods, food safety, the humane treatment of animals, sustainable ranching, and authentic gourmet ingredients is helping the conscientious eating movement hit the coals. And as a result, grass-fed beef is set to go from buzz to boom this summer, states in a news release.


Ron and Sue Mortensen: Drought concerns, pond concerns

Ron and Sue Mortensen: Drought concerns, pond concerns

By Ron and Sue Mortensen, Market Analysts

Agriculture Online

In the spirit of extremes, it seems that weather has everyone’s attention this week.

Most of Iowa is a pond this morning, rain is still continuing in the eastern Corn Belt and many farmers are realizing it will be May before they can plant corn. Even with warmer, drier weather in the forecast, frustrated farmers are wondering if the futures market has an adequate risk premium in it to reflect the slow pace of plantings.

Wheat traders are also realizing they need to pay attention to weather in other areas of the world. There are several areas in Europe struggling with a hot, dry spring, including major wheat producers France and Ukraine. French wheat futures prices set new highs this week.


Stocker Cattle Forum: Animal Handling

Stocker Cattle Forum: Animal Handling


The stress of handling animals in poor working facilities will result in increased animal sickness and injury as well as dangerous conditions for people working with them. Some of the stresses imposed on these animals in our current production systems are unavoidable.

The phrase “less is more” is very appropriate when handling cattle. Cattle are herd animals by nature and don’t like to be alone. Therefore, handle them in small groups. They do not like to walk into darkened areas and will not move very well around 90° corners. The working alley should be designed so that each animal can see another animal ahead of it.


Europe’s Largest Livestock Show Continues to Grow

Europe‘s Largest Livestock Show Continues to Grow


More than 77,000 visitors and 1,000 exhibitors are expected to attend the 16th edition of Sommet de l’Elevage this year, from Oct. 4 to 6 in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

The 1,000 exhibitors includes more than 300 international exhibitors from 26 countries. The organizers plan to welcome an abundance of crowds with 77,000 visitors expected during the three days of the trade show, including more than 2,000 foreign visitors from approximately 60 countries. Farm visits will be available, letting visitors discover beef and dairy cattle operations, sheep operations, and an artificial insemination center. These free, half-day tours will be accompanied by a technician and an interpreter.


Profit usually increases the closer beef gets to the plate, economist says

Profit usually increases the closer beef gets to the plate, economist says

By KARI KRAMER, Country World (TX)

Beef producers can consider a variety of marketing options, but should first look at the work and cost involved with each option.

As markets and the weather change, beef producers may be wondering how to maintain a thriving operation.

Texas Cooperative Extension Economist Dr. Blake Bennett said there are alternative options beef producers can explore when marketing their cattle.


New study measures economic impact of pharmaceutical technologies

New study measures economic impact of pharmaceutical technologies


Pharmaceutical technologies – parasite control products, growth promotant implants, sub-therapeutic antibiotics, ionophores and beta-agonists – have a profound impact on the U.S. beef industry. The improvement in growth and efficiency produced by these products impacts all phases of beef production – cow-calf, stocker and feedlot – significantly increasing the volume and decreasing the cost of beef we produce in the U.S.

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Cattle Feeding: Acidosis, Rumenitis, Liver Abscess Complex

Cattle Feeding: Acidosis, Rumenitis, Liver Abscess Complex


Cause: Acidosis is a disorder associated with a  shift from a forage-based diet to a high concentrate (starch) diet. This is a problem that is most often discussed as a feedlot problem, but acidosis may also occur in other cattle on aggressive grain feeding programs such as 4-H projects and on-farm bull tests. Acidosis is a potential problem for backgrounders using self-feeders and high starch feeds such as corn and bakery by-products.


Spring time to deworm cattle

Spring time to deworm cattle

Lamar James, Arkansas Extension Specialist

Delta Farm Press

April and May are ideal months to deworm your beef cattle herd in southwest Arkansas, according to Joe Vestal, Lafayette County staff chair with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

He said warm, moist conditions signal the brown stomach worm to become more active in cattle. It’s much easier to kill the worm in this stage, so deworming becomes more effective.

“Internal parasites are a constant cause of lost productivity because nearly all cattle and most pastures are infected,” Vestal said. “Of the nine internal parasites that infest cattle, the brown stomach worm is the most important. It’s the most damaging internal parasite of cattle throughout Arkansas and the mid-South.”

He said demonstrations by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service found that dewormed calves were 35 pounds heavier at weaning than control animals. In other research studies, where cattle were being finished, the gain differences were even greater.


Cow Calf: Check Fertility of the Herd Bulls

Cow Calf: Check Fertility of the Herd Bulls


With breeding season fast approaching, it may be worth the chips to fertility all the bulls that will be used in the up-coming breeding season this year. In some areas, this winter was down right brutal. Along with the snow, there were a number of days when the temperature was low and the wind speed out of the North was high which converts to low windchills. In looking at weather data, it indicates that January and February 2007 compared to 2004, 2005, and 2006, on the average there were lower temperatures, less chance to warm-up, in 2007.