Daily Archives: May 17, 2007

“Beef Quality In The Ethanol Era” Is BQS Theme

“Beef Quality In The Ethanol Era” Is BQS Theme

Cow Calf Weekly

“Beef Quality In The Ethanol Era” is the theme of BEEF magazine’s 2007 Beef Quality Summit (BQS) set for Nov. 7-8 at the Holiday Inn Centre in Omaha, NE.

The second annual BQS provides attendees with the opportunity to network with producers and others in the industry, and to learn how to increase the value of their beef-cattle production. Full conference details are available at http://www.beefconference.com. Early bird registration ($125) ends Oct. 1.

The two-day conference will focus on the effects of increased ethanol production on beef quality, the beef industry and cattle operations, and how producers can survive and thrive during the ethanol era. Speakers, including producers, consultants and industry experts, will also address how the beef industry can successfully meet the demand for quality beef in today’s marketplace.

The conference also features a tradeshow where producers can view new industry products and tools, and speak with vendors and representatives of value-added marketing programs in a one-on-one environment.



Good Bunk Management: Necessary for Feedlot Profitability

Good Bunk Management: Necessary for Feedlot Profitability

By John M. Kelly, Ph.D.

The writer is Manager of Technical Services with Land O’Lakes Farmland Ontario


Whether starting cattle, or feeding through the winter months, proper bunk management is an important, but often overlooked, component in feedlot prosperity. The key is to maintain a constant consumption of feeds while minimizing wastage. One of the main key factors in the feedlot operation profitability is optimizing dry matter intake (DMI) of the cattle in the yard. Average daily gain of cattle is complex, being impacted by genetics and environmental factors such as weather, wind, feed yard conditions, social dynamics within the herd, as well as access to water and feed. The cattle producer has a lot of opportunity to maximize profits through good management to minimize the effect of any of these components on animal performance.


Comparing Prussic Acid and Nitrate Toxicity in Cattle Operations

Comparing Prussic Acid and Nitrate Toxicity in Cattle Operations

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

Much confusion exists among cattle producers about the two major toxins that are deadly or costly because of production loss to cattle owners. Both prussic acid and nitrates become health concerns during heat and drought stress on hay or pasture crops. Below is a comparative list of the major differences that producers need to keep in mind about these two problems. Prussic acid and nitrates are capable of happening together or separately in any given drought-stressed situation.


Common Ground

Common Ground

Packers, producers need each other in the effort to please consumers.

by Miranda Reiman

Angus Journal

‘I don’t mind paying a premium for good cattle.” Art Wagner, of National Beef Packing Co. LLC, can say that because he knows the economics.

 “I make more money on the cattle that grade Choice and higher than I do on Select, so I have no problem discounting those that are below par. I’d like every animal that walks through my doors to grade Choice or Prime,” says the procurement vice president. “Is that a reality? No, but the more we get, the more premiums we can pay out.”

Major beef packers across the United States agree that they’re most successful when cattle producers are successful.


Ethanol Industry Needs To Be Weaned Off Corn, Harkin Says

Ethanol Industry Needs To Be Weaned Off Corn, Harkin Says


Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said Tuesday that the nation’s nascent ethanol industry shouldn’t rely solely on corn, and indicated that Congress will seek to identify alternative raw materials for the product as it writes the 2007 farm bill.

Harkin said Congress might take money from traditional agriculture commodities and divert it to support crops that aren’t of commercial value but could function as sources of renewable fuel.


Horse slaughter ban goes to Blago

Horse slaughter ban goes to Blago


Courier News (IL)

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate approved a ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption Wednesday, sending the legislation to the governor.

The proposal, which won the Senate’s OK 39-16, would stop a DeKalb plant from continuing to ship horse meat overseas. Human consumption is banned in the U.S.

“Horses clearly are recreational, companion animals,” said Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, the bill’s sponsor. “They are not livestock, raised for food.”

Gov. Rod Blagojevich agrees with the idea and likely will sign the bill into law but must review it first, a spokeswoman said.


Beef sector must pass on higher feed costs

Beef sector must pass on higher feed costs

Chris Hurt, Purdue University Extension economist

Agriculture Online

Beef producers seem to understand that they will have to reduce the number of females in the herd in order to reduce beef production by 2009 and thereby pass higher feed costs to beef consumers. That process appears to be started, but will take some time.

For now, there are more cattle in feedlots than had been expected. On April 1, the USDA estimated there were 11.6 million head of cattle in feedlots with 1,000 head or greater capacity. This is the second highest April total on record. Placements into feedlots during March were up by seven percent.


Want to Sell Your Hereford-Influenced Feeder Calves for a Premium?

Want to Sell Your Hereford-Influenced Feeder Calves for a Premium?

American Hereford Association

If so, The Greater Midwest Certified Hereford Feeder Calf Sale may be just the outlet for you.

This steer and heifer calf sale is scheduled for Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. in the Carthage Livestock Sale Barn, Carthage, Ill. To create a strong appeal to feedlot buyers and encourage premium prices, certain sale criteria have been established:

    * Calves must be at least 50% Hereford, age and source verified, preconditioned, castrated, dehorned, weaned and bunk broke.

    * Calves must be tagged with Hereford Verified ear tags.

    * Calves must be preconditioned under the MERIAL® SUREHEALTH™ program.

    * No implants are allowed.

    * Calves will be sorted into load-size lots by weight, type and sex.


Specially built barn made just for cattle preparation

Specially built barn made just for cattle preparation

By Mindy Ward

Iowa Farmer Today

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Kaitlyn Lee leads a heifer through what resembles a car wash entrance complete with clear plastic hanging strips. It is all part of a newly built show barn at Lee Simmental Farms.

Just 2 years old, the red barn in Callaway County contains a warming room, washroom, clipping room and display area. And, that is just for the cattle.

Family and friends enjoy a lobby area, two offices, kitchen and bathroom.

“I love this barn,” says Kaitlyn, a freshman at North Callaway High School. “Compared to our other barn, this is definitely an improvement.”

Walking down the dirt ramp that connects the old barn to the new one, her dad, Jerry can’t help but reminisce. He grew up in this barn, washing and clipping.

“It’s been around here for over 20 years,” he says. “It seemed to work.”


Dolly creator sees end to cloning

Dolly creator sees end to cloning


Wisconsin State Journal

The birth of the cloned sheep Dolly rocked the scientific and ethical worlds 10 years ago by showing that cloning was possible.

But her biggest legacy may be that the controversial process of using cloning to try to produce customized stem cells for patients could become obsolete, according to the scientist who created her.

“One day we’ll be able to take a bone-marrow cell or a skin cell and turn it into whatever type of cell we want, without cloning,” said Ian Wilmut of Scotland.


Warning On Feeding Cattle Feed To Sheep

Warning On Feeding Cattle Feed To Sheep

Tasmanian Government Communications Unit

Sheep owners are being urged to check that any pellets they are feeding to their livestock do not contain potentially deadly levels of copper.

Current seasonal conditions are such that many owners are still hand feeding sheep and, with pressure on supplies of feed pellets, some sheep owners have been using pellets that have been manufactured for cattle.

Department of Primary Industries and Water Senior Veterinary officer, Dr Bruce Jackson, said that copper is sometimes added to manufactured cattle feeds at rates that can cause copper toxicity in sheep.

 “Recently, we have been called in to investigate some deaths in otherwise healthy sheep that have been handfed,” he said.


Strike kills cattle

Strike kills cattle

By Brad Zinn/staff

Staunton News Leader

SWOOPE — As storms swept through the area Saturday afternoon, the sky over Valley Crest Farm burst into a ball of fire.

“It was an instantaneous explosion,” said poultry and cattle farmer Chuck Sevigny.

The lightening strike split one of Sevigny’s locust trees and killed 23 cattle and calves that had huddled beneath the tree during the storm. While checking on a damaged computer inside one of his poultry houses, Sevigny came upon the carcasses near a sinkhole Sunday. Some were piled atop others.

“It was horrifying,” he said.

Monday, employees from Valley Proteins, a rendering company in Harrisonburg, removed the dead cattle from Sevigny’s property. And despite recent mild temperatures, Sevigny said, “They were beginning to smell.”


Effects of mad cow crisis still linger in Canada’s beef industry, says census

Effects of mad cow crisis still linger in Canada’s beef industry, says census

John Cotter, Canadian Press

CARVEL, Alta. (CP) – Cattle producer John Hrasko took no pleasure watching his herd grow over the last few years as the economics of the mad cow disease scare squeezed joy and profit from his mixed farm.

Prices plummeted as world markets slammed shut to Canadian beef in May 2003, when bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was found in an Alberta heifer.

Unwilling to take an even bigger loss, Hrasko, like thousands of other Canadian producers, decided not to sell off his older breeding stock – which then had more calves.


Number Of All Cattle & Beef Cow Operations

Number Of All Cattle & Beef Cow Operations


Riding herd on succulent Kobe beef

Riding herd on succulent Kobe beef

Gordon Stimmell

Toronto Star

Where’s the real Kobe beef? And why does a prime-rib Kobe roast cost $350?

Those were my paramount questions as I chewed the fat at a recent dinner put on by Snake River Farms and Signorello Vineyards. The dishy event at Truffles restaurant was billed as a Kobe & Cab evening.

Turns out real Kobe beef, which is galloping into top North America restaurants, is supposed to be only from Japan. Just like “real” Champagne is only from the Champagne region in France. Of course, we all know sparkling wine from California, New Zealand and Spain can be just as full of finesse.

In Kobe, the special cattle, known as Wagyu, are portrayed as the planet’s most pampered farm beasts. They’re fed special grains, dine on beer, and are purportedly massaged daily.

Wagyu cattle were exported to America more than 15 years ago. Snake River Farms in Idaho is one of the largest producers and for seven years, until the mad cow disease scare, actually exported their beef to Japan, where it was rebranded and sold to gourmands as genuine Kobe. So much for authenticity.