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.


Drought taking toll on local cattle

Drought taking toll on local cattle

By Brent Maze

Clanton Advertiser (AL)

Local cattlemen are having difficulty keeping their cows fed during this year’s drought.

Many of them have already exhausted their hay supplies from last year. The grass isn’t growing fast enough in pastures for cows to graze on.

James Shropshire with the Chilton Research and Extension Center said cattlemen are struggling to find new sources of food for their livestock.

“Many farmers would have usually made their first cut of hay by this time, but the drought hasn’t allowed them to do that,” Shropshire said.

Some farmers tried to fertilize their grass earlier this year, but the lack of rainfall allowed the fertilizer to evaporate before it took effect.


Canada’s Tenth Mad Cow Rouses Concern South of the Border

Canada‘s Tenth Mad Cow Rouses Concern South of the Border

Environment News Service

Mad cow disease has been found in a dairy cow on a farm in Delta, British Columbia, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed on Wednesday, the tenth Canadian cow to be found with the fatal disease since 2003. South of the border in the United States, only two cases of mad cow disease have been reported.

American legislators and cattle producers are urging the placement of country of origin labels on meat so consumers can distinguish U.S. from Canadian beef products.


‘Mad Cow’ Vaccine Effective in Mice

‘Mad Cow’ Vaccine Effective in Mice

Shot could be developed for use in deer, cattle, experts say


U.S. scientists say they’ve developed a vaccine that protects mice from a brain condition similar to mad cow disease.

Illnesses such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, are caused by infectious prion proteins. There are no treatments or cures for prion diseases, which also include scrapie (often found in sheep), and chronic wasting disease.

Because prions are very similar to proteins produced naturally in the body, the immune system does not attack and destroy them. Prions can be transmitted when an animal eats the body parts of other infected animals.

But the U.S. team said it had created a vaccine that would stimulate the immune system of mice by attaching prion proteins to a genetically modified strain of the salmonella.


Passion for leather has made cowhides a hot item

Passion for leather has made cowhides a hot item

Boston Globe

By Bob Burgdorfer

CHICAGO (Reuters) – When National Football League teams take the field, Skip Horween feels a sense of pride: the leather for the footballs being kicked, passed, carried — and sometimes fumbled — comes from his Chicago factory.

But that pride now carries a price. The cowhides he buys and turns into leather are costing a lot more these days.

Demand for leather is growing around the world, and leather makers in China, South Korea, and elsewhere are buying huge numbers of U.S. hides. That has driven up prices and reduced supplies — good news for the U.S. beef industry, but not so good for domestic leather companies.


Staying ahead of the cattle game

Staying ahead of the cattle game

Arkansas Extension Service, Benton County, Ark.

Delta Farm Press

Recent observations by Don Hubbell, resident director of the University of Arkansas Livestock and Forestry Experiment Station near Batesville, Ark., got my attention.

Don noted practices that have served to improve his personal forage/livestock program, as well as to make it more profitable. I took the liberty to arrange them alphabetically since the level of importance will vary from farm to farm, regardless of the type of livestock being produced.


ViaGen gets ready for cloning decision

ViaGen gets ready for cloning decision

FDA ends comment period, expected to OK cloned animals’ meat and milk this year.

By Lilly Rockwell


On a sunny spring afternoon, Brian Bruner made what has become a frequent commute, driving 80 miles from the North Austin offices of ViaGen Inc. to Hillman Ranch just outside Cameron.

It is where the small biotechnology company keeps more than 100 cattle; most are cows getting ready to give birth or already have. The 300-acre ranch looks like dozens of others in the area, and there’s nothing remarkable about the appearance of the cattle grazing on protein pellets.


New Kind Of Cattle Promises To Be Healthier

New Kind Of Cattle Promises To Be Healthier

Seema Mathur


Historically, red meat has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

But a new kind of cattle being bred in Texas promises to be healthier and improve health as well.

The cattle is from Japan, from Akaushi cattle.

The Texas Department of Agriculture says Texas ranchers were able to get some of these cattle due to a loophole in the trade act. Now that it’s available for market, they say it is a healthy choice.


Judge bars further planting of engineered Alfalfa Seed until study is completed

Judge bars further planting of engineered Alfalfa Seed until study is completed


SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) A federal judge in San Francisco today barred the U.S. Agriculture Department from allowing further sale and planting of a genetically engineered alfalfa seed until a full environmental impact study is prepared.

The seed is known as Roundup Ready alfalfa. It is genetically engineered to resist the herbicide Roundup, thus enabling alfalfa to grow when Roundup is used to kill weeds in alfalfa fields.


Prion-disease vaccine shown to be effective in mice

Prion-disease vaccine shown to be effective in mice

Method could fight chronic wasting disease in deer


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

An experimental oral vaccine designed to prevent prion disease warded off symptoms in mice, raising the prospect that a similar approach someday could be used to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease in wild deer.

Already the same researchers are working on a deer and elk version of the vaccine, which uses a weakened, genetically engineered strain of salmonella.


USMEF: Possible Ban On Beef From Brazil Could Create Opportunities For Other Exporters

USMEF: Possible Ban On Beef From Brazil Could Create Opportunities For Other Exporters


According to a bulletin sent by the London-based International Meat Trade Association (IMTA) to its members Wednesday (April 30), the European Union (EU) has warned Brazil that if it does not satisfactorily address shortcomings in its animal health controls by the end of 2007, the EU will ban all chilled and frozen beef imports from Brazil.


Optibrand Partners With Swift & Company to Deliver U.S. Beef Traceability Information to Japanese Consumers Via Cellphone

Optibrand Partners With Swift & Company to Deliver U.S. Beef Traceability Information to Japanese Consumers Via Cellphone


FORT COLLINS, Colo., May 3 /PRNewswire/ — Imagine information on the food you eat available literally at your fingertips. It is now possible to use your cell phone to scan a bar code on a package of meat and thereby access all the background information that led up to that product arriving in your home. As food traceability becomes more important to consumers, information delivery becomes critical to market success.

       Optibrand has partnered with Swift & Company, the U.S.’s third-largest processor of fresh beef and pork, to provide a traceability program that meets the rigorous demands of the Japanese market. For the first time, Japanese distributors and retailers will be able to offer U.S. beef with complete traceability information available via a barcode on the package. Consumers can retrieve the product’s supply chain history, from farm to retail shelf, by scanning the barcode with a cell phone or accessing the information online. FULL STORY