Daily Archives: May 4, 2007

How Do Days on Feed Effect My Profits?

How Do Days on Feed Effect My Profits?

Jeff Pastoor, PAS

Senior Cattle Consultant

Land O’Lakes Beef Feeds

As long as man has been feeding cattle to sell, two things have been clear; the longer cattle are fed the bigger they get, and the bigger they get the more money is paid for each head.  However bigger is not always better.  From a production standpoint, we have learned to measure such things as feed conversions and cost of gain.  In the last few years, value based marketing has further impacted marketing decisions with premiums for higher marbled carcasses and discounts for overly fat or heavy carcasses.  This paper will attempt to show how the proper end point for fed cattle can shift depending on feed and market prices.

In general, as days on feed increase live weight is increased, Average Daily Gain (ADG) is reduced, dry matter Feed needed per pound of Gain (F/G) is increased, and the percent of animals that grade choice or better is increased.



Different Growing Programs for Replacement Heifers Go Different Directions

Different Growing Programs for Replacement Heifers Go Different Directions

Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University

      Introduction to Replacement Heifers

The economic importance of beef cows having a live, healthy calf to market every 12 months is obvious and has been emphasized in many publications. Heifer management is the cornerstone of the overall program. This is based on the premise that heifers that are given an opportunity to get off to a good start are more likely to be productive, profitable cows the remainder of their lifetimes. Proper growth and development of replacement heifers will aid in their ability to deliver and raise a healthy first calf and then rebreed for the subsequent calf crop. Two factors must be considered with replacement heifers: 1) they are expensive and (2) the management of first-calf heifers affects their productivity for the remainder of their lifetimes. Inadequate development of replacement females will be paid for eventually, usually in terms of an open two-year-old cow (nature’s way of catching up). Lower rebreeding rates for heifers compared to mature cows are normal through the second calf. When the demands on the heifers are studied, reasons for difficult rebreeding become apparent. The heifer up until maturity, at about five years of age, must grow and at the same time lactate and produce a calf. The loss of incisor teeth between the ages of 18 months and four years is an added handicap that reduces their ability to graze. It is difficult for heifers to make up growth during any of the critical first years. 


Cattlemen’s Beef Board Hires New Chief Executive Officer

Cattlemen’s Beef Board Hires New Chief Executive Officer

Cattle Today

Tom Ramey took over as Chief Executive Officer of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) effective May 1, 2007. Ramey, now CBB’s Chief Financial Officer, will take the reins from current CEO Monte Reese, who retires April 30 after 17 years of service to the Beef Board.

“We talked about undertaking a search for a new CEO, but after extensive discussion, we determined that we had just what we needed right on the existing Beef Board staff,” said CBB Vice Chairman Dave Bateman, who chairs the Board’s Executive Committee. “We talked a lot about the types of competencies that we need in a new chief executive officer to keep leading the Beef Board and our staff in the right direction during the coming years, and we agreed that Mr. Ramey had the right combination of the administrative abilities, communications skills, integrity and character that we need.”


Meat, milk from cloned cattle safe

Meat, milk from cloned cattle safe

Truth about Trade and Technology

Meat and milk from cloned bulls and cows meets industry standards and beef and milk from cloned cattle are safe for human consumption, researchers have said.

In the study, researchers from the University of Connecticut in the US and the Kagoshima Prefectural Cattle Breeding Development Institute in Japan cloned a Japanese black beef bull and Holstein dairy cow using somatic cell nuclear transfer, the same technique used to clone the sheep Dolly in year 1996, says Xinhua.

They compared the meat and milk from the clones to that of animals of similar age, genetics, and breed created through natural reproduction. Analysis of protein, fat, and other variables routinely assessed by the dairy industry revealed no significant differences in the milk.

“In this study, we conducted extensive comparisons of the composition of milk and meat from somatic cloned animals to those from naturally reproduced comparator animals,” said Xiangzhong Yang who led the study.


Harkin says Canada’s feed ban not working

Harkin says Canada’s feed ban not working

Brownfield Network

by Peter Shinn

Canada announced Wednesday it had discovered its tenth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in an animal born around November of 2001, more than four years after Canada implemented a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban. USDA has a final rule pending that will, essentially, allow all Canadian cattle born after March of 1999 into the U.S.

But Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin of Iowa said Thursday he doesn’t think USDA should finalize that rule just yet. According to Harkin, that’s because five of the 10 Canadian BSE cases occurred in cattle born after Canada’s feed ban took effect.

“It indicates to me that the Canadian system is just broken down,” Harkin told Brownfield. “They don’t have a good inspection, a good oversight system, in Canada, and therefore, we can’t just be allowing their animals over 30 months of age into the U.S.”

Indeed, Harkin suggested the five BSE-positive head of cattle born in Canada after the country implemented its feed ban may be just the tip of the iceberg. That, Harkin said, is reason enough for USDA to reexamine its proposed final rule.

“I mean, if there’s five that we caught, how many are there that we didn’t catch?” Harkin posited. “So, I’m really concerned about the USDA plans.”


Cattle pen hearing set for Thursday

Cattle pen hearing set for Thursday

Sauk Valley News


The Illinois Department of Agriculture will have a hearing Thursday in Morrison to discuss a proposed cattle management facility to be built north of Morrison.

The project, which is being proposed by Elwyn Nice of Nice Valley Beef, would house 2,700 animals that would be fed and raised on site.

The location is about six miles north of Morrison just off state Route 78.

The Whiteside County Board has appointed a four-person ad hoc committee to attend the hearing.

The committee will give consideration to the project and then offer the county board a recommendation on the proposal.


Producers to focus on beef quality

Producers to focus on beef quality

AG Journal Online

By Mike Henry

The business and reproduction relationships in the cattle business will be the focus of a national meeting slated for June. The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Livestock Association and Colorado State University will host the national meeting of the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) in Fort Collins Colorado, highlighting the Federation’s 40th Anniversary, as well as covering a variety of topical issues facing the industry today.

“One of the things we’re looking at is why haven’t we seen an improvement in quality grade in the US beef industry over-all,” says Mark Enns chairman of the Animal Sciences Program at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Enns says the conference will also examine what kind of a job CSU and it’s extension services are doing as far as delivering the information beef producers need to make the right choices to help keep them competitive with cost-effective production.