Daily Archives: May 29, 2007

Length (of breeding season) Does Matter

Length (of breeding season) Does Matter 

 Glenn Selk, OSU Extension Animal Reproduction Specialist

A research analysis of 394 ranch observations from the Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico SPA  (standardized performance analysis) data set provided insight into the age old argument about  “leaving the bull out” or having a defined breeding season.  OSU Agricultural Economists  (Parker, et al) recently presented a paper at the 2004 Southern Association of Agricultural  Scientists.  They found a positive relationship between number of days of the breeding season  and the cost per hundredweight of calf weaned.  Also they reported a negative relationship  between number of days of the breeding season and pounds of calf weaned per cow per year.



BeefTalk: Cave Images Just Can’t Compete with Cell Phone Text

BeefTalk: Cave Images Just Can’t Compete with Cell Phone Text

Information overload has many functions, but never should be set aside on the premise that enough is enough.

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Insight into the cattle industry is keen, but, as a producer, the ability to make use of that insight and convert that understanding to real impact is critical. The American Angus Association (http://www.angus.org) sponsored an effort to help categorize the many varied forms of producer managerial thoughts to produce a document that would be an excellent starting point for further discussion and understanding of the business we often simply refer to as “beef.”

The initial outcome of that effort was the publication “Priorities First: Identifying Management Priorities in the Commercial Cow-Calf Business.” The document was summarized and authored by Tom Field, Ph.D., Fort Collins, Colo. Field notes from the beginning that “for many cow-calf producers, the information age has spawned a massive flow of data and technical communications that borders on the unmanageable.”


Cattle Health: It Looks Like BVD — Is It PI?

Cattle Health: It Looks Like BVD — Is It PI?


Adding to the challenge is that PI calves won’t necessarily exhibit the clinical symptoms commonly associated with BVD: profuse diarrhea, along with severe erosions and ulcers on mucosal surfaces (such as inside the mouth and between the toes). Mucosal disease is also common, which occurs when PI animals that harbor non-cytopathic BVD (a strain that doesn’t kill cells) are exposed to a cytopathic (does kill cells) variant of the disease.

Cattle with acute BVD (as opposed to PI) can also exhibit clinical symptoms, including fever, snotty noses, diarrhea and Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). Salt in the wound comes with the fact that BVD is immunosuppressant, setting the stage for other infections to attack an already weakened immune system.

For the record, another challenge to treating BVD is the fact that there are two genotypes (Type I and Type II) of the virus, with both types containing cytopathic and non-cytopathic biotypes.


Summer Grilling: Testing Big-Ticket Beef As Fatty Kobe-Style Wagyu Grows Popular (Despite Price), We Get Out the Butter Knife

Summer Grilling: Testing Big-Ticket Beef As Fatty Kobe-Style Wagyu Grows Popular (Despite Price), We Get Out the Butter Knife


Wall Street Journal

Along with $12,000 grills and $4,000 outdoor pizza ovens, there’s another expensive item showing up in backyard barbecues lately: $100 steaks.

Those pricey cuts are Wagyu steaks, a variation of Japan’s famed Kobe beef. Authentic Kobe beef comes from the Wagyu breed of cattle raised around Kobe, Japan. Often called “white steak,” it’s known for its intense fattiness and rich, foie gras-like taste. That’s partly thanks to special treatment for the cows, including a carefully chosen diet and sometimes even massages.

What Americans call Wagyu is essentially the same animal, only bred outside of Kobe — in countries like the U.S. and Australia. There can be other differences: Wagyu raised in the U.S. typically has a lower percentage of fat. (Regional preferences play into the formula; American diners mostly eat the steak on its own, while Japanese chefs are just as likely to use the meat in soup-style dishes.) Still, the best Wagyu is generally fattier and more marbled than USDA-rated prime beef, and some retailers say their steaks are tender enough to eat with a butter knife.


Ethanol byproduct has high energy, fiber

Ethanol byproduct has high energy, fiber

By Mike Surbrugg

Joplin Globe

Feeding dried distillers grain (DDG) in feed bunks to grazing cattle could mean more time on grass and less in feedlots.

The cost of animal gain is cheaper when cattle eat more grass and less $4-a-bushel corn in feedlots, said Karl Harborth, Kansas State University’s Southeast Area Extension livestock specialist in Chanute.

He spoke during a Beef Cattle and Forage Crops Field Day on May 3 at Mound Valley.

DDG is a byproduct of making ethanol.


Jack in the Box sued for suggesting Angus burger is really anus burger

Jack in the Box sued for suggesting angus burger is really anus burger

AOL Money and Finance

CKE Restaurants (NYSE: CKR), parent company of Hardee’s and Carl Jr.’s is suing Jack in the Box (NYSE: JBX) for a television commercial which allegedly suggests that the company’s famous angus burgers are made from cow anus (see YouTube video above).

This is one of the more entertaining legal cases I’ve seen in awhile. According to the Associated Press, “CKE claims the ads create the misleading impression that Jack In The Box’s new 100 percent sirloin burgers use a better quality of meat than the Angus beef used by Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. CKE claims the spots confuse consumers by comparing sirloin, a cut of meat found on all cattle, with Angus, which is a breed of cattle.”


JBS Agrees to Buy Swift for $1.4 Billion, People Say

JBS Agrees to Buy Swift for $1.4 Billion, People Say

By Daniel J. Goldstein and Madelene Pearson

Bloomberg News

JBS SA, Latin America’s biggest meat producer, agreed to buy closely held Swift & Co. for $1.4 billion, gaining control of the third-largest seller of beef and pork in the U.S., people familiar with the matter said.

JBS, the Sao Paulo-based owner of Brazil’s Friboi meat brand, will acquire all of Swift’s assets in the U.S. and Australia, said the people, who asked not to be identified. The takeover may be announced today, they said. Swift is controlled by Dallas-based buyout firm HM Capital Partners LLC.

Swift has reported only one profitable quarter since November 2004 after the discovery of mad-cow disease in Washington state slashed beef exports. The acquisition will give JBS access to the U.S, the world’s top consumer of beef, and open Asian markets such as Japan, which ban imports from Brazil.


Tax break could spur Mo. cattle industry

Tax break could spur Mo. cattle industry


San Jose Mercury News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.- A proposed tax break could help spur the state’s cattle industry by enabling farmers and ranchers to hang on to their animals longer, bringing higher profits when they are sold, supporters of the measure say.

The beef tax credit is part of a larger tax break bill lawmakers passed a few weeks ago that is under review by Gov. Matt Blunt.

It would give a tax break to farmers who sell their cattle after they reach 450 pounds—when cattle are generally weaned from milk.

Mark Akin, general manager of Circle A Ranch near Iberia, said the tax break would encourage the state’s cattlemen to keep cattle in Missouri rather than ship them west to be fattened and processed, like he has for the past 14 years.


U.S. demands S. Korea resume full imports of American beef

U.S. demands S. Korea resume full imports of American beef

Yonhap News

The United States has officially called for South Korea to lift restrictions and import all parts of American beef in the aftermath of a global animal health body’s conclusion that the beef poses a “controlled risk” for mad cow disease, the government said Sunday.

The request came only days after U.S. and Canadian beef were unanimously designated “BSE controlled risk” on Tuesday by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), a Paris-based organization that sets guidelines for animal health and meat safety. BSE stands for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the scientific name for mad cow disease.


Area farmer breeding better beef

Area farmer breeding better beef


Williamsport (PA) Sun-Gazette

Eldred Township cattleman Russ Reitz holds a receptacle containing a frozen embryo removed from one of his Black Angus cows.

Calves born on Russ Reitz’s farm in Eldred Township are 100 percent Black Angus, even though the cows giving birth to the calves often are cross breeds such as Holstein-Angus or Limousin-Angus mixes.

There’s no magic involved in the process. Reitz uses embryo transfers, a practice designed to increase the number of offspring from genetically superior females.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Warm, Wet Weather Equals Parasite Problems

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Warm, Wet Weather Equals Parasite Problems


Late spring and early summer bring temperatures that are ideal for internal parasite reproduction.  When conditions are as wet as they have been this year, the problem will be even further amplified.  Our primary goal this time of year is to keep parasite contamination of the pastures as minimal as possible for young cattle until the hot dry days of late summer can come to our aid.

To properly manage parasites you must have a basic understanding of their life cycle.  Luckily, although exact times may differ slightly, all cattle round worms develop through a very similar cycle.  The circle starts with adult worms in the animal’s digestive tract laying eggs that are then passed in the manure.  At proper temperatures, the eggs hatch into larvae that crawl away from the manure pat and undergo changes to reach the infective larvae stage.  The infective larvae climb up vegetation where they are ingested as the animal grazes.  They are limited, however in the climb. The vegetation must be wet and the larvae can only climb a few inches.  In fact, over 80% of the larvae are found in the first two inches of vegetation height.  Avoiding grazing pastures short during early summer is a big factor in avoiding heavy parasite infestation.


Highland cattle a popular attraction at festival

Highland cattle a popular attraction at festival


The Morning Sun (MI)

Heaving out a sigh, Questa lowered her 1,300-pound frame onto the straw, indifferent to the people peering into her pen.

Being petted and looked at while people attending the Highland Festival in Alma is nothing new for the 5-year-old Highland cow, who is two months from calving.

For Quincy, her companion at the Triple Tree Farms exhibit at the festival on the Alma College campus, it’s old hat.


HSUS agenda: A threat to animal agriculture

HSUS agenda: A threat to animal agriculture


Feedstuffs Foodlink

Recently, Trent Loos called “foul” when FFA hired country singer Carrie Underwood, a well-known vegetarian and supporter of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), to entertain at its annual gathering in Indianapolis, Ind.

Loos questioned on his radio shows and in his Oct. 23 Feedstuffs column why FFA would hire an individual who, on her web site, publicly supports a group that is hostile to American agriculture, especially animal agriculture.

It is unfortunate that Loos and FFA, who should be allies, traded jabs over the issue.

Just as importantly, the Animal Agriculture Alliance has received reports that Loos also received e-mails from agriculture teachers rebuking him for mistaking HSUS for a vegan-led animal rights group. These teachers need to do some homework.


Eli Lilly Acquires Data Powerhouse Ivy Animal Health

Eli Lilly Acquires Data Powerhouse Ivy Animal Health

Eli Lilly & Company news release

Beef Magaine

Ivy Animal Health, Inc., will become an operating unit of Eli Lilly and Company’s Elanco Animal Health division under an acquisition agreement announced today by Lilly. The transaction is expected to close near the end of the second quarter of 2007, contingent upon regulatory approval.

Privately held Ivy was established in 1982 and includes four divisions — Ivy Laboratories, VetLife, Ivy Natural Solutions and AgSpan — and will continue to operate from its current location in Overland Park, KS, a Lilly release says. Upon deal closing, Ivy will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Lilly.


Illinois governor signs horse slaughter ban bill into law

Illinois governor signs horse slaughter ban bill into law

by Julie Harker

Brownfield Network

The last plant in the U.S. that slaughters horses for human consumption overseas has been halted with the signing of a law this week by the governor of Illinois. The legislation makes the practice illegal and stops operations at Cavel International in DeKalb, Illinois. Two horse slaughterhouses in Texas will remain closed after their attempts to reopen were denied this week by the Texas legislature and the U.S. Supreme Court.