Daily Archives: May 7, 2007

Fly Control topic of today’s of Herdcast

Fly Control topic of today’s of Herdcast

Today Dr. Ralph Williams, Entomology Department, Purdue University, begins his four part series on Fly control. Today’s topic is “Face Flys”

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BeefTalk: “These Cattle Were Very Interesting”

BeefTalk: “These Cattle Were Very Interesting”

Like it or not, the world changes gradually, yet there is enormous energy and effort expended to keep the status quo.

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

The closeout summary letter on Lot 4425 said, “These cattle were very interesting.” Most conversations that begin with these or similar words indicate a polite statement will follow indicating the cattle were outside the norm.

Lot 4425 was the first small-frame score (4.4) calves the Dickinson Research Extension Center sent to a commercial feed yard. The calves were small, compared with typical North Dakota steers, even if one didn’t understand what a 4.4 meant.

The norm can be confining. Sometimes it is fun to explore outside the standard norms. Ask some questions others thought they answered a long time ago. In this case, it’s the value of smaller-framed cattle.


Lead Poisoning of Cattle Can Be Avoided

Lead Poisoning of Cattle Can Be Avoided

Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University

Recently a regular reader of the Cow Calf Corner Newsletter suggested that we alert cattle producers of a potential danger to cattle on their operations. He had encountered an unusual sudden death loss of over 10 young calves and had wisely sought veterinary help. The investigation and diagnosis revealed that old car batteries had been buried in a ditch in one of the pastures. The calves had died from lead poisoning. After an internet search we find several important keys to prevention:


Cloning: Scientists Vs. Consumers

Cloning: Scientists Vs. Consumers

Thousands Of Consumers Have Voiced Their Opposition To Cloned Foods. Scientists Dismiss Them As “Luddites”


Should the U.S. become the first country in the world to allow food from cloned animals onto supermarket shelves? That is the debate that has raged at the Food & Drug Administration for four months, until the period for public comment on the issue closed on May 3. The FDA said on Dec. 28 that it was inclined to allow such foods into U.S. stores, based on the evidence it had reviewed, but asked for outside comment [see BusinessWeek.com, 1/11/07, “Cloned Beef Burgers: ‘Delicious,'” and 4/2/07, “Extra Innings for the Cloned Food Debate”].

With the public comment period closed, it’s clear that the cloning debate boils down to scientists vs. consumers. Thousands of individuals wrote to the government to voice their opposition to the prospect of cloned products being allowed into the food supply. In large part, they made emotion appeals that cloning was immoral or that cloned food was repulsive. “Unethical, disturbing, and disgusting,” wrote one consumer, Lea Askren.


Livestock operations are targets of threats and property damage

Livestock operations are targets of threats and property damage

High Plains Journal

A dozen of one farmer’s cows have been gunned down since August. Another lost a 370-head hog nursery in a January fire investigators believe was intentionally set.

Reports of vandalism to farm equipment, buildings and at livestock construction sites have been turning up across rural Iowa. Some farmers also say they’ve received threatening telephone calls and letters from people condemning the bigger-is-better approach to raising cattle and pigs.

The question facing law enforcement officials is whether the incidents are random acts or deliberate, orchestrated attacks by those with personal, political or social agendas.


How ethanol is made

How ethanol is made

Belleville News Demaocrat

Ethanol plants are basically oversized stills, producing alcohol from mashed grains that are mixed with yeast and water, fermented and distilled, just like yesteryear’s moonshine. The alcohol then gets blended with gasoline, with the leftover corn mash often fed to cattle.

The Renewable Fuels Association offers this look at wet milling and dry milling, the two ethanol-producing processes that differ mainly in how the grain is initially treated:


The corn kernel or other starchy grain is ground into flour, or meal, and processed without separating out components of the grain. The meal is slurried with water, forming a mash, before enzymes are added to convert the starch to dextrose, a simple sugar. Ammonia is added.

The mash is processed in a high-temperature cooker that reduces bacteria levels, then cooled and transferred to fermenters where yeast is added. The conversion of sugar to ethanol and carbon dioxide begins.


‘A shot in the arm’ — corn industry cranking up for ethanol boom

‘A shot in the arm’ — corn industry cranking up for ethanol boom



BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — From New York to California, and even parts of the Deep South, more acres of corn are expected to be planted this year than at any time since World War II as farmers rush to cash in on the surging demand for ethanol.

“It’s the price. The price is telling you to go toward more corn,” said Mike Olson, who plans to bump corn by 15 percent on his 2,750-acre Illinois farm. He harvested a 50-50 split of corn and soybeans last fall.

After hovering around $2 a bushel for a decade, corn prices have nearly doubled in the last year, pumped to near records by more than 100 ethanol plants that have sprouted as America seeks renewable alternatives to foreign oil. President Bush is talking up alternative fuels and companies like Illinois-based Archer Daniels Midland Co., the biggest ethanol producer in the world, are pouring money into research and development.