Daily Archives: July 5, 2007

Treatment of Pinkeye in Cattle

Treatment of Pinkeye in Cattle

Dr. W. Dee Whittier, Extension Veterinarian, Cattle, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, VA Tech

With the arrival of summer, pinkeye treatment is an issue many producers have to face.  Appropriate, timely treatment will minimize losses from this disease that sometimes defies preventive steps.

Probably the most important aspect of pinkeye treatment is that it be given early.  When an ulcer first forms all that will be seen from a distance is an uncomfortable eye with lots of tearing.  Cattle tend to hold the affected eye closed.  Treatment at this phase before the eye becomes cloudy and “blue” will give very encouraging results.

If, on the other hand, treatment is delayed until the eye becomes cloudy or even worse until the classic pink appears with a white or yellow glob in the center of the eye, results will be much less satisfactory.

The approved products to treat pinkeye include the long-acting tetracycline products (for example, LA-200®, Biomycin 200®, etc.) and now tulathromycin (trade name Draxxin®). These products should be delivered according to label directions in terms of dose and route.  Slaughter withdrawal rules should be carefully considered when any antibiotic is used.


Ethanol Co-Products: Who, What, Where & Why Not?

Ethanol Co-Products: Who, What, Where & Why Not?


USDA released its first-ever report about ethanol co-product use in the livestock sector. Last winter, the USDA interviewed more than 9,000 dairy, cow-calf, feedlot and hog producers across 12 north central states ranging from Ohio to the Dakotas to establish baseline data about this increasingly important part of both the ethanol business and livestock production. Nearly 40% of the dairy and feedlot operators surveyed reported using ethanol co-products during 2006, while just over 10% of cow-calf and hog producers reported using these products. Over half of the cow-calf and hog producers reported that they were unlikely to ever use co-products, while only 40% and 30% of dairy and feedlot operators, respectively, reported not considering using co-products.


BeefTalk: Attention to Details is worth $1,247,872.50

BeefTalk: Attention to Details is worth $1,247,872.50

In reflecting on our lives, we need to ask what we actually learned in each phase of life.

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Difference in Net Return Per Cow: 2000 to 2006 Difference in Net Return Per Cow: 2000 to 2006

Occasionally, it is all right to wonder and ponder. If you don’t think so, think again. Realize that the world will pass you by if you don’t take time to wonder and ponder.

In reflecting on our lives, we need to ask what we actually learned in each phase of life. The answers can be puzzling, especially if someone actually recorded what we did.

We all struggle to do things right, to do the best we can and, hopefully, to achieve the desired success. Life has many tangible and intangible processes that culminate in what we would call our life.

As beef producers, we explore and think through our efforts that are engaged in and dedicated to a four-legged critter that commonly is called a cow. Hopefully, some thoughts are triggered and progress made.


Is There Value Added Through Cross-Breeding or is Heterosis Just a Theory?

Is There Value Added Through Cross-Breeding or is Heterosis Just a Theory?

MFA Health Track

I am not here to argue one side of the fence or the other on this issue, but I am going to offer some food for thought to get you started. Scholars say that the advantages gained through cross-breeding, which is termed heterosis, are the result of different alleles pairing up throughout an animal’s genetic sequence. My over-simplified interpretation as a country boy, described in country boy language, is that you get heterosis by mating non-related animals. To take it one step further, the more different the parents the more advantage or heterosis that can be gained.


Economic Analysis of Pharmaceutical Technologies in Modern Beef Production

Economic Analysis of Pharmaceutical Technologies in Modern Beef Production

John D. Lawrence and Maro A. Ibarburu, Iowa State University

Executive Summary

Cattle production is the largest single agricultural sector in the U.S. with cash receipts of $49.2 billion in 2005. The industry includes more than 980,000 farms with cattle in all 50 states. Like the rest of agriculture cattle producers have adopted efficiency and quality improving technology to meet consumer demands for a safe, wholesome, and affordable food supply. Preston and Elam chronicled the 50 year evolution of beef production technologies and estimated a significant savings of resources to produce our current supply of beef. Conversely, if the U.S. used only the current resources for cattle production, the beef industry and supply would be significantly smaller and beef prices to consumers significantly higher.

This research extends the earlier work by using meta analysis to combine information from over 170 research trials evaluating pharmaceutical technologies in the cow-calf, stocker, and feedlot segments of beef production. These results were used to estimate the farm/ranch level economic value of parasite control, growth promotant implants, sub-therapeutic antibiotics, ionophores, and beta agonists for the industry in 2005. These results were used in the Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) model of U.S. agriculture to estimate the impact on beef production, price, and trade if these pharmaceutical technologies were removed from the market.


New Livestock Research Unit Dedicated

New Livestock Research Unit Dedicated


After three-and-a-half years of construction, at a cost of approximately 85 million dollars, USDA’s “high-containment” large animal facility has been dedicated at Ames, Iowa. The center consolidates the ARS’ National Animal Disease Center; APHIS’ National Veterinary Services Laboratories; and APHIS’ Center for Veterinary Biologics.

The “high-containment” designation means the building is designed for optimal safety and security because the scientists will work with a variety of endemic, zoonotic and foreign animal diseases in what is called Biological Safety Level 3 space. This includes features such as airtight walls, filtered air and liquid waste treatment technology.

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns joined members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation for the dedication. The secretary called the construction an important milestone in USDA’s efforts to provide first-class animal health services. He emphasized – the tremendous benefits for livestock, agricultural workers and consumers – that have been generated through research.


Cattle Feeding: Grazing Alfalfa

Cattle Feeding: Grazing Alfalfa


Is your alfalfa in full bloom but not tall enough to mechanically harvest? One option you have is grazing it. Grazing mature, moisture stressed alfalfa would allow you to utilize the crop and rest your pastures.

Rotational grazing during the summer seldom harms the alfalfa stand. It is very important to monitor grazing to prevent overgrazing. Severe overgrazing can damage the crowns of alfalfa plants.

Many producers mention bloat as the reason they do not graze their alfalfa. No management practice can guarantee that bloat will not occur. However, its likelihood can be greatly reduced when grazing alfalfa.


Drought Is Sapping the Southeast, and Its Farmers

Drought Is Sapping the Southeast, and Its Farmers


The Ledger (FL)

TONEY, Ala., July 2 — Northern Alabama has become acre after acre of shriveled cornstalks, cracked red dirt for miles and days of unrelenting white heat. The region’s most severe drought in over a century has farmers here averting their gaze from a future that looks as bleak as their fields.

The drought is worst here, but it is wilting much of the Southeast, causing watering restrictions and curtailed crops in Georgia, premature cattle sales in Mississippi and Tennessee, and rivers so low that power companies in the region are scrambling and barges are unable to navigate. Fourth of July fireworks are out of the question in many tinderbox areas. Hay to feed livestock is in increasingly short supply, watermelons are coming in small and some places have not had good rain since the start of the year.


R-CALF USA annual regional meeting days away

R-CALF USA annual regional meeting days away

By Tom Wray


BILLINGS, Mont. – The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America will host a regional meeting a the Silver Legacy Hotel’s Exposition Hall in Reno, Nev.

According to a press release from the group, R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the organization’s animal health committee, and R-CALF USA Region I Director Margene Eiguren will speak about U.S. cattle producers’ economic survival and membership-set policies. Thornsberry joined R-CALF USA in 2001. Eiguren joined R-CALF USA in 1998 and also serves as R-CALF USA Oregon Membership Chair.


Exact cause of Va. farm deaths unknown

Exact cause of Va. farm deaths unknown


Associated Press Writer


BRIDGEWATER, Va. — Exposure to methane gas led to the deaths of four family members and a farmhand, but whether they suffocated from the fumes or drowned in 18 inches of liquefied cow manure may never be known, authorities said.

No autopsies were planned, in part because investigators believed the deaths on a Rockingham County dairy farm were accidental, said Capt. J.B. Wittig of the county sheriff’s department. Authorities said they could not rule out the possibility that the five drowned or died of another cause.

“It was very, very quick,” Wittig said of the deaths.

The victims were identified as Scott Showalter, 34; his wife, Phyillis, 33; their daughters Shayla, 11, and Christina, 9; and Amous Stoltzfus, 24.


Cattle on feed number provides surprises

Cattle on feed number provides surprises

Western Livestock Journal

The June 1 cattle on feed number totaled 11.3 million head. The inventory was 1 percent above June 1, 2006, and 5 percent above June 1, 2005. This is the highest June 1 inventory since USDA began tracking the new series in 1996. The fed cattle market was on the slide for much of the week following the report’s release. Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Derrell Peel said last week, however, that market watchers shouldn’t be overly concerned about the negative data contained in the report.

“Placements were somewhat higher than expected and marketings were a bit lower leading to an on-feed total roughly 1 percent higher than anticipated in the pre-report estimates. This may add additional pressure to fed cattle markets already on the defensive. However, the bearish tone of this report should not be overstated,” Peel said. “The placement number is large relative to last year’s drought-reduced May placement figure and is actually 2.5 percent below the previous five-year average.”


The Cow-Calf Manager-Coping with Drought

The Cow-Calf Manager-Coping with Drought

Dr. John B. Hall Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, VA Tech

Moderate to severe drought continues in Southside and Southwest Virginia.  In many other parts of the state two weeks of hot dry weather could throw beef farms into a drought situation.  Carry-over hay stocks in a majority of the state are low to nonexistent.  With severe drought in a number of Southeastern states, feed supplies are tight and expensive.  One of the best ways producers can reduce feed costs, improve calf gains, and maintain cow condition is to early wean calves.

Early weaning is a scary concept for most producers.  The idea of weaning 120-150 old calves is foreign to most of us.  It takes a little more planning and technique than loading the calves up in November and taking them to the market.   However, once you know the steps early weaning is not that hard.


Use of ethanol coproducts in feed studied by NASS

Use of ethanol coproducts in feed studied by NASS

The Gothenburg TImes

LINCOLN—Roughly half of the cattle and hog operations in a 12-state region either fed ethanol co-products or considered feeding them to their livestock last year, according to a report published Friday by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) with the support and funding of the Nebraska Corn Board.

Among dairy operations, 38% indicated that they fed co-products during 2006 and another 22% considered doing so. Among cattle on feed operations, 36% fed co-products and 34% more considered it. Among beef cattle operations, 13% reported that they fed co-products and 30% considered it. For hog operations, 12% fed co-products and 35% considered it.


Forage Focus: Should We Add Nitrogen Now To Help With Grass Growth?

Forage Focus: Should We Add Nitrogen Now To Help With Grass Growth?


With the recent rains and cooler than normal temperatures that followed the front, many producers have noticed their pastures greening. The question of applying nitrogen to pastures has come up in several conversations. It is true that cool season grasses respond to applications of nitrogen and timely applications can boost yields. Most of the time we talk about strategic applications of nitrogen, such as, early spring for quick green-up, early June for a mini stockpile to help get through the slump in July-August and August to stockpile for winter grazing. All of these are timed to take advantage of normal growth conditions.


Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The July 4, issue # 544, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefJuly4.html

This week’s letter focuses on a couple of the “most frequently asked questions.”

Enjoy the Holiday . . . and let’s hope each of our picnics are rained out!

Articles this week include:
* Forage Focus: Should we add nitrogen now to help with grass growth?
* Grazing Alfalfa
* Pasture Walks and Forage Meetings
* Ethanol Co-Products: Who, What, Where and Why Not?
* ‘Money in the Pit’: Manure Science Review is July 25-26
Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130