Daily Archives: July 11, 2007

KLA Cattle Update: K-State To Administer New BVD Test

KLA Cattle Update: K-State To Administer New BVD Test


The Kansas State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will be the first in the nation to use a new, highly sensitive test for bovine viral diarrhea (BVD). Developed by a German company, the test identifies and differentiates the two types of BVD infections found in cattle: persistent and transient. Dick Oberst, director of molecular diagnostics at the K-State lab, said it uses a proprietary process that eliminates the need for the costly and labor-intensive step of extracting RNA from the sample.


Beef Blimp makes NASCAR Debut

Beef Blimp makes NASCAR Debut

Cattle Toady

CENTENNIAL, Colo. What might be the nation’s first Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner blimp made its maiden flight above the heads of some 200,000 NASCAR fans during Spring Race Weekend, June 1-3, at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Md.

The beef balloon was part of the checkoff-funded Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), a project of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and several northeast state beef councils. During the Dover race, NEBPI volunteers and National Beef Ambassadors boosted the beef message by serving 2,000 burger samples at a booth on the speedway’s “monster mile,” between the stands and the RV parks. Burgers were donated by Fast Fixin’.

“NASCAR fans and beef are a great mixture. The blimp added to the enthusiasm and allowed consumers to locate the sampling area,” said Bill McKinnon, a volunteer from the Virginia Cattleman’s Association. McKinnon added the 17-foot long blimp was visible to highway travelers who were heading to Delaware beaches for the weekend.


Feeding Livestock Grass: A Climate Solution

Feeding Livestock Grass: A Climate Solution

Danielle Nierenberg

Worldwatch Institute

I’ve been reading a lot about “shit” lately—more specifically, cow manure and all the nasty things it can do to the air and even the climate. And my interest in this topic isn’t that unique; there’s actually a lot of research currently being done around the world on how to make manure less noxious. Last November, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released the report Livestock’s Long Shadow, which found that livestock is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) than the entire transportation sector. Since then, research institutions, as well as the meat industry, have been investigating ways to control the release of methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide from livestock farming.

Unfortunately, some of the “solutions” being offered focus at the end of the pipe, so to speak. Smithfield and Tyson, two of the world’s biggest meat companies, are investing in technology to make biofuels out of livestock waste from factory farms. Smithfield and Cargill have also joined the Chicago Climate Exchange, North America’s only voluntary, legally binding program for reducing, registering, and trading GHGs. Both companies have committed to cutting their GHG emissions by at least 6 percent by 2010 by investing in technologies like biogas collection.


RFID Scares Some, Says Article

RFID Scares Some, Says Article


Are scare tactics limiting the potential of RFID technology?

An article by the San Jose Mercury-News posted today seems to make that suggestion.

The big debate, according to the article, is centered on several pieces of legislation being considered in Sacramento that would ban the use of RFID. This ban would including high-security contactless smart cards, in many state government agencies and programs.


Men may face trial for cow I.D. scam

Men may face trial for cow I.D. scam

Herald Times Reporter

CHILTON – A Cato man and another man charged with identity theft after they allegedly used another person’s name to register and sell Holstein cattle to Saudi Arabia were bound over for trial, a judge ruled at two preliminary hearings on Tuesday.

Barry Soukup, 38, is scheduled to appear at his arraignment at 1:15 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20 at the Calumet County Courthouse. Soukup is free on a $1,500 signature bond.

A judge decides at a preliminary hearing whether the evidence offered by the prosecution warrant the case to continue.

Soukup, along with James Dedering, 45, and Donald Steege, 84, both of Chilton, were charged with felony misappropriation of a person’s identification. The class D felony carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000 or both, according to the Calumet County District Attorney’s Office.


K-State researcher develops biodegradable livestock supplement feeder

K-State researcher develops biodegradable livestock supplement feeder

Ag Professional

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Think of it as a bread bowl for cows – sort of.

Kansas State University professor Xiuzhi Susan Sun and her colleagues have developed a biodegradable container that is being used to hold nutritional supplements for cattle.

Sun, a researcher and teacher in the Bio-Materials and Technology Laboratory of K-State’s Bioprocessing and Industrial Value-Added Program (BIVAP), developed the product in collaboration with Greg Karr from AgRenew, Inc. It is sold under the name BioBarrelTM Single Trip Container.

K-State’s BIVAP center, which opened in 2005, was designed to conduct research into new uses for agricultural products and to commercialize them through various ways.

AgRenew is a Manhattan, Kan.-based joint venture that develops and commercializes products and processes based on the use of agricultural waste products and byproducts.

The container, made of ground straw coated with edible adhesive made from soy flour, is marketed to hold CRYSTALYX(R) feed supplement, which is manufactured by Ridley Block Operations, a division of Ridley Inc.


Carter Named Director of Kentucky Livestock Disease Center

Carter Named Director of Kentucky Livestock Disease Center

The Horse

Craig Carter, DVM, PhD, a 26-year veteran in diagnostic veterinary medicine, is the new director of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC).

Carter, who currently serves as epidemiology professor and section chief, will take the helm on Aug. 1 replacing Lenn Harrison, who is retiring after serving 16 years as director.

Scientists at the LDDC work with farmers and veterinarians across Kentucky to improve animal health and find solutions as new diseases develop. In 2005, the facility had about 60,000 cases that included nearly 150,000 animals. The equine industry makes up about half of the center’s work. Cattle comprise 30% or more, and poultry also makes up a significant amount of the center’s work.

“The appointment of a nationally distinguished successor to Dr. Harrison at LDDC continues our progress toward our goal for the LDDC–to become a world class center commensurate with Kentucky’s world class animal enterprises,” said Scott Smith, dean of the College of Agriculture.

Since coming to the state two years ago, Carter has spearheaded the development of Kentucky’s first fully integrated animal health information and surveillance system, which provides near real-time analysis of health events involving animals.


Stocker Cattle Forum: History Of Bloat

Stocker Cattle Forum: History Of Bloat


Bloat is a disease that has been described in agricultural writings since at least A.D. 60. Few livestock diseases have such a long and colorful history. Even the names for bloat have changed considerably over the years.

English journals of the 18th and 19th centuries describe the disease using various terms: hoove, hoven, tympany, and blown. The French word “meteorisation,” meaning the process of ballooning, is still used to describe bloat.

In past centuries, a bellyful of gas was attributed to a poison, to excessive gas production, or to blockage caused by the excessive consumption of dense feed. These and other explanations were the objects of experimental research in several countries from the 1940s to the 1960s.


Cooler Weather Good for Cows

Cooler Weather Good for Cows

Retha Colclasure


It might not feel like it outside, but it`s still summertime. And the cool days are a bit of a relief to ranchers, who say high temperatures can cause their cattle to become stressed and not gain as much weight as they should. There`s a little bit of a chill in the air on the farm in the morning.

“Anytime this weather cools off is what I like to have,” says St. Anthony rancher Richard Tokach.

His cattle like it, too. Tokach rotates his cattle from pasture to pasture, always making sure they have ways to stay cool.

“Anytime it gets in that 80 degrees, 90s, 100s, it`s really tough on cattle,” he says.

One big challenge in hot weather is keeping the cattle from overheating.

“They can`t regulate their body temperature as we do by taking off layers of clothes, they`re kinda stuck with with they have,” Tokach says.


Angus Exhibitors Set Record with 1,241 Entries Shown At 2007 Junior Show

Angus Exhibitors Set Record with 1,241 Entries Shown At 2007 Junior Show


Flooding in many parts of the Midwest, didn’t keep National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members from showing a record-breaking number of entries at the 2007 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), July 1-7 in Tulsa, Okla. Youth led 1,241 entries during the week-long event, achieving the show’s theme, “The American Dream.” Hosted by the Oklahoma and Arkansas Angus Associations, the NJAS is the world’s largest single-breed beef cattle show.

Randy Perry, Prather, Calif., evaluated the 67 steers. Brad McCurry, Mount Hope, Kan., judged the 17 bred-and-owned cow-calf pairs, 40 owned cow-calf pairs, 100 bred-and-owned bulls, and 280 bred-and-owned females. Joel Cowley, Houston, Texas, made the final rankings on the 702 owned females. In addition, 35 steers competed on the rail in the annual carcass steer contest.


Pass the (Biofuel) Leftovers, Please

Pass the (Biofuel) Leftovers, Please     

Prairie Farmer

With more corn going to ethanol production, more livestock producers are saying pass the leftovers, please. More than 1/3 of livestock farms in the Midwest used ethanol by-products in 2006, reports the National Agriculture Statistics Service.

Dairy farmers lead the pack with 38% feeding ethanol by-products to their herd. Distiller dried grains and other ethanol leftovers are also used at 36% of cattle-on-feed operations, 13% of beef cattle operations and 12% of hog operations.

“The facts back up Corn Growers’ assertion that we can and will meet the needs of the livestock industry even with the rapid expansion of ethanol production,” says Wendell Shauman, chairman of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.


AMI Editorial: COOL Is The Next Best Thing To Building A Wall

AMI Editorial: COOL Is The Next Best Thing To Building A Wall


“You’ve got to hand it to our nation’s protectionist groups for the rhetorical shape shifting they use to dissuade consumers from buying foreign products,” says AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle in a guest editorial in Ag Weekly.  The editorial is accompanied by a cartoon commissioned by AMI.  Boyle points out that the protectionists have become masters at offering a daily dose of anti-import claims to match the day’s headlines.   One day, they argue that foreign products are unsafe, the next they say that buying foreign products destroys tropical rainforests.

”But now, instead of arguing theory, they are championing a real – but misguided law – saying it’s the key to a safer food supply,” says Boyle.  “I’m talking about the 2002 Farm Bill’s version of mandatory country-of-origin labeling [COOL] – a law that begs for repeal or repair,” he adds.


Field peas equal barley or corn in and the beef scores higher for taste and tenderness

Field peas equal barley or corn in and the beef scores higher for taste and tenderness

Canadian Cattlemen

By Larry Thomas – Ranchers have long known field pea roughage can winter cows but now some North Dakota research says this pulse crop works just as well in feedlot rations, and at times can outperform barley or corn. As a bonus, it improves the beef.

Ruminant nutritionist Vern Anderson has been studying field peas for 8 years now at the Carrington Research Extension Center of North Dakota State University.

Initially Anderson and his team documented production and performance benefits to field peas in creep rations and as supplement for wintering cows and bulls. Many growing rations for bulls in North Dakota now contain 20% to 30% lightly rolled field peas because of the muscle development and growth rates they produce.

From there Anderson moved to the feedlot.

Some trials compared the intake and performance of calves fed at arrival on pea-based or barley/canola meal concentrate. A typical trial fed steers a 42-day receiving ration of 60% concentrate made from 50% barley and 50% field peas or 100% field peas compared to a more normal barley and canola meal mix. The peas were lightly rolled or cracked as Anderson had already discovered rolled peas were more easily digested than ground or whole peas.

At 3.5 lb./head/day steers on the straight pea concentrate had significantly higher gain and dry matter intake than steers on the half and half mix and the barley check ration.


Hot, Dry Summer May Force Rancher to Sell Cattle Early

Hot, Dry Summer May Force Rancher to Sell Cattle Early


LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Utah’s hot, dry summer has some cattle ranchers considering selling their livestock early.

A moderate to severe drought across the state has been worsened by record high temperatures that are causing streams to dry up and grass to die.

Cattle are running out of water and grass on the range and that has some ranchers considering taking them down from the mountains in August rather than September.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: What Damage Do Flukes Cause?

WhatDamage Do Flukes Cause?


This is a common question, since such a high percentage of our cattle in California have liver flukes. The young flukes cause quite a lot of damage as they migrate through the liver. If only a few flukes are migrating through the liver at one time, the damage to the cattle is minimal. However, if many flukes are migrating at the same time, the damage to the liver can be extensive. In these cases, diarrhea, weight loss, and jaundice (yellow mucous membranes) can be observed. In addition to the direct damage to the liver, there is another problem liver flukes can precipitate and that is Redwater.