Daily Archives: May 21, 2007

Cow Calf: Breeding Soundness Exams Good Investment

Cow Calf: Breeding Soundness Exams Good Investment


Bull breeding soundness exams may be an essential piece of the beef cattle producer’s herd fertility puzzle, North Dakota State University Extension Service beef cattle experts say.

“Progressive beef cattle producers focus a great deal of attention on managing their cow herd to improve fertility,” says Lisa Pederson, Extension beef quality assurance specialist.

“While management of the female is essential, concentrating management entirely on the cows and not worrying about the bulls could be a disaster. The importance of the bull in a cattle breeding program is often underestimated.”

A cow is responsible for half of the genetic makeup of one calf per year, while the bull is responsible for half of the genetic make up of 20 to 50 calves per year.


Moldy Feed and Reproductive Failure in Cows

Moldy Feed and Reproductive Failure in Cows

Ropin’ the Web

 All homegrown feeds contain some fungal spores. When the temperature and humidity are right, these spores will grow and multiply to create mold. Mycotoxins come from these fungal molds and can reduce animal health and productivity.

Many molds found in feeds are not toxic, but some varieties produce substances that can result in disease when they are ingested. Of the thousands of molds that grow on stored grains and forages, only a few will produce mycotoxins.


Forage and cereal contamination often happens in the field (plant-pathogenic), but it can also happen during the processing and storage of harvested products and feed (spoilage). Fortunately, the conditions necessary for mycotoxin production rarely occur in locally produced feeds.

Producers should be aware of these diseases, especially after an unusual year like 2002, and because some feeds imported from other provinces and the United States may contain mycotoxins.


Timber and Global Warming

Timber and Global Warming

by: Baxter Black, DVM

Cattle Today

Oh, no, just when they were beginning to wear me down, a new study concludes that by 2100, forests in the mid and high latitudes will make some places up to 10 degrees warmer than they would be if the forests did not exist!

Does this bode ill for the salesmen offering to sell you carbon offsets by planting a tree in honor of the luxury appliance in your home? Alas, it merely points out the problem of scientists guessing, speculating, hoping, wishing, and/or projecting answers to questions that remain unproven.

The backbone of accumulating scientific knowledge is the requirement that one must prove his hypothesis. This ¡®body of scientific opinion¡¯ is not proof of anything. Over the years it (the body) has held that the Earth was flat, that Bubonic plague was caused by lepers, that the Earth would soon be in an ice age, that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, that the Alaskan oil pipeline would be an environmental disaster, that the Atkins diet was bad for you, and now, that the Atkins diet is good for you!


Trouble Shooting A Buller Problem

Trouble Shooting A Buller Problem

By Dave Rueber, Beef Enterprise Consultant


The buller syndrome has been an enigma in the cattle feeding industry. There is no single answer to the problem and therefore it can be very disconcerting to the individual feeder involved. However, the buller syndrome may be a manifestation of some underlying problem in the feedyard, that has gone unnoticed for a period of time.

The following aspects of the feedyard may need to be analyzed to determine the cause for an extraordinary increase in buller activity.


Look back at the calving season and start to make improvements now

Look back at the calving season and start to make improvements now

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

Only 3 to 4 months ago the spring calving cows were calving, the temperature was cold and the calving pastures were muddy. Experience would say that you do not want to ask cow calf operators how calving is then, because the response would be less than objective, reflecting bone-chilling cold and not enough sleep.

If you wait too long, perhaps until this fall, time will have mellowed most of the events and one soon has difficulty matching a calving season with particular problems. Now is perhaps the best time to make a few notes on what to change for next year.


University Trailblazers

University Trailblazers

Growing up in agriculture sparked a lifelong interest in serving the industry for these five individuals.

by Kindra Gordon

Angus Journal

The beef industry has always been fortunate to have individuals in teaching and research positions who are committed to making a difference. These are the researchers who devote their careers to seeking the answers that will unlock greater potential in the cattle we raise; they are the individuals who are dedicated to helping farmers and ranchers achieve success; and they are the teachers who inspire greatness in the next generation of our industry.

Here, we spotlight five of those individuals who represent the next generation of this elite group of professionals. They share the beef industry goals they hope to accomplish, challenges they’ve overcome, and advice for others. Included are Guy Loneragan, West Texas A&M University; Mark Allan, Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC); Darrell Mark, University of Nebraska; Duane Wulf, South Dakota State University (SDSU); and Dan Moser, Kansas State University (K-State).


Cattlemen Applaud Introduction of Interstate Shipping Bill

Cattlemen Applaud Introduction of Interstate Shipping Bill

Legislation Alleviates Bias Against Small, State-Inspected Beef Plants


Washington, D.C. (May 16, 2007) – A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday would allow state-inspected processing plants to ship beef across state lines just like federally inspected plants.  Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) introduced H.R. 2315, the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act of 2007, along with 15 other cosponsors.

Federal law requires the USDA to inspect all meat products. In the 1960s Congress created state inspection programs that are mandated to be “at least equal to” the federal inspection program.  Perishable products – including milk and other dairy items, fruit, vegetables, and fish – are freely shipped across state lines after state inspection. But standard meat products, like poultry, beef, and pork, are prohibited from interstate commerce, despite decades of meeting or surpassing the federal inspection standards. This bill would remove that prohibition.