Monthly Archives: August 2007

State fair ID rule comes under fire

State fair ID rule comes under fire

By Kevin Vaughan

Rocky Mountain News

Two legislators say they’ll ride to the rescue of kids like those kicked out of the Colorado State Fair this year after questions arose about whether they followed a controversial new registration requirement.

The two competitors were disqualified after officials concluded they did not follow the rule requiring them to identify the “premises” where they raised their animals.

The rule mirrors a voluntary federal animal identification program.

State Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, and state Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, announced Thursday they would introduce legislation next year that would prohibit state agencies from requiring participation in voluntary federal programs.


Feeding Urea to Newly Weaned Calves – Frequently Asked Questions

Feeding Urea to Newly Weaned Calves – Frequently Asked Questions

Ropin’ the Web

            Can I feed Urea to newly weaned calves?

Young calves, under 450 pounds or 120 days of age cannot use urea as a protein source efficiently. If urea is to be added to a ration, calves larger than 450 pounds and older than 120 days, need to become accustomed to the urea in the ration over a 10 to 14 day adjustment period.

What does urea provide in a ration?

Urea provides “non-protein nitrogen” in a ration. This protein is not from plant sources, but is suitable for use with some restrictions. There is no energy, macro- or micro- nutrients or vitamins in urea.


Johanns Offers $1 Million to Defray Costs of Organic Certification for Producers in 15 States

Johanns Offers $1 Million to Defray Costs of Organic Certification for Producers in 15 States

Cattle Today

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2007 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced the availability of $1 million to defray annual organic certification costs in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. This funding is particularly important to smaller producers so that they can meet the voluntary uniform standards set forth by the National Organic Program regulations for the production of organic products that are to be labeled as “100 percent organic,” “organic” or “made with organic ingredients.”


Baxter Black:THE LAST MAN

Baxter Black:THE LAST MAN

by: Baxter Black, DVM

Cattle Today

They are subdividing the section that borders me. Since the time the Spanish explorers introduced cattle into my valley in the 1600’s there have been livestock on that piece of ground.

Last week I saddled up and rode that pasture again. Its mesquite arroyos and grassy ridges are speckled with ocotillo. I was just looking to see how close to the canyon rim the houses were planned. Right to the edge.

The south fence was pushed over. Piles of uprooted mesquite huddled, feet to the sun. Dug up barrel cacti squatted in rows, loose dirt kicked over their roots. Wooden survey stakes stood like skinny tombstones, crude numbers scrawled on their faces. The big mesquite shade tree where the cows gathered to gossip was trimmed lopsided like an old man with a stroke, its dignity lost.


Distillers grains can help performance

Distillers grains can help performance

By J.W. Schroeder, NDSU Extension Service

Minnesota Farm Guide

The fact that distillers grains, either wet or dry, can make a valuable contribution to cattle diets, regardless of the animals’ stage of production, is well-established.

However, various factors need to be considered when determining their potential value in your dairy production system.

During the distillation process, the starch component of cereal grains (normally 60 percent to 70 percent) is fermented out of the grain to ethanol. By removing this fraction, the remaining nutrients are concentrated, roughly threefold. For ruminants, this can be beneficial, resulting in an affordable protein supplement containing roughly 30 percent crude protein.

Also, after removal of the starch component and concentration of the fat and fiber fractions, distillers grains are a good source of energy in the form of digestible fiber and fat.


Elanco StandGuard Approved

Elanco StandGuard Approved

Minnesota Farm Guide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved StandGuard Pour-on for fast-acting, continuous control of horn flies and lice in beef cattle of all ages. Its active ingredient is gamma-cyhalothrin, the newest technology in the pyrethroid class of insecticides.

StandGuard Pour-on offers season-long control and is available in squeeze-and-pour 900 mL (30 ounce) bottles. Each bottle can treat 90 head that weigh 600 pounds or less, or 60 cattle that are more than 600 pounds.


Farmers offer to help with hay

Farmers offer to help with hay

WNC cattle owners need to act now to secure alternatives

by By John Boyle

Asheville Citizen Times

Farmers in the eastern part of North Carolina have plenty of cornstalks and soybean hay to help drought-stricken mountain cattle farmers, but there’s a catch: farmers must act now to secure their supply.

“They’re baling it all over the place, but there’s a short little window of opportunity when this is going to be available,” said Bill Yarborough, a regional agronomist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services based in Waynesville. “Farmers are willing to help farmers, but farmers in the mountains have got to make a commitment.”


Beef Cowherd Expansion Decisions, Is Bigger Always Better?

Beef Cowherd Expansion Decisions, Is Bigger Always Better?

Iowa Beef Center


This chapter will discuss expansion of a beef cow-calf enterprise and different strategies for

achieving it. Alternative expansion routes may include:

• Buying replacement heifers

• Raising replacement heifers

• Leasing breeding stock and/or a share or cash agreement

• Retaining ownership of raised calves

Each of these strategies will be discussed in terms of level of risk, profitability, cash flow

feasibility and tax management implications


Rep. Van Dyk misses mark on Montana livestock industry

Rep. Van Dyk misses mark on Montana livestock industry

By ERROL RICE, Montana Stockgrowers Association exec. veep

Prairie Star

Recently, Rep. Kendall Van Dyk from House District 49 questioned the rural values of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. I’m pleased to respond with clarity our position on the difficult pieces of legislation mentioned by Rep. Van Dyk.

Rep. Van Dyk questioned the stance taken by the Stockgrowers on three bills: bridge access to streams; groundwater permitting and S.B. 407.

S.B. 78, the so-called bridge access bill, was opposed by Stockgrowers because it was not a “compromise” approach to access to streams at county bridge crossings as Rep. Van Dyk stated. The bill failed to meet the terms of Stockgrowers policy, and the bill involved no landowner participation in its development. The bill, if passed, would actually increase litigation, increase liability for ranchers and counties, and create, rather than resolve, controversy. In fact, after the House Commit-tee hearing, both Democrat and Repub-lican legislators expressed serious doubts about the bill, and it died.


YB Meats Owner Finds Success by Sticking Close to Home

YB Meats Owner Finds Success by Sticking Close to Home


The Wichita Eagle

Every time there’s a food safety scare, Eric Kauffman braces for a big business day.”Just let the news come out that’s there’s mad cow disease or an E. coli recall and our business is up 30 percent the next day,” said Kauffman, who has owned the YB Meats store on West Street in Wichita for 21 years and just opened a second store at Central and Woodlawn.

He said the increase in business stems from the public’s greater trust in meat products from a small, locally owned store that buys from local processors.

Kauffman said his interest in the meat business stems from his own days on the farm, when he delivered cattle from a small family feed yard to the processing plant at Yoder.

“I had graduated from Wichita State with a degree in finance and was working at Penney’s,” he said. “But I continued to work with cattle as a sideline.”


Net farm income to surge 48%, USDA says

Net farm income to surge 48%, USDA says

Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON — U.S. net farm income in 2007 will be nearly 48 percent greater than a year earlier, and more than forecast in February, as higher grain and livestock prices offset increased production costs, the government said Thursday.

Net income will reach a record $87.1 billion, up from a revised $59 billion last year, the Agriculture Department said in a report on its Web site. In February the USDA projected net farm income of $66.6 billion for 2007. Cash expenses will rise 8.5 percent, to $222.6 billion, the highest ever.


U.S. Cattlemen Lose Mad Cow Bid to Keep Canadian Animals Out

U.S. Cattlemen Lose Mad Cow Bid to Keep Canadian Animals Out


SAN FRANCISCO, California, August 29, 2007 (ENS) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA, was correct in deciding that Canada is a country of “minimal risk” when it comes to mad cow disease, the The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

The case involves a challenge to the government’s regulation of Canadian cattle imports in the wake of incidents of mad cow disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE.

In 2004, when the USDA declared Canada to be a minimal risk, the United States was fighting its way back from a widespread ban on American beef imposed by many countries in December 2003 following the discovery of the first case of mad cow disease in the United States.


The right receiving protocols lead to better performance

The right receiving protocols lead to better performance

Western Livestock Journal

Whether starting lightweight calves or growing and finishing cattle, a sound receiving program that includes prevention, control and treatment measures for respiratory issues helps offset the guessing game producers are typically faced with.

“Unless producers are buyig known origin cattle or animals verified with SelectVAC, they don’t know what they’re getting,” says Mitch Blanding, DVM, Pfizer Animal Health veterinarian, Lenexa, Kan. “In any given group of animals, we don’t know if they’ve been vaccinated and for what, we don’t know if the sick animals have been ill for 1 or 5 days, we may not even be sure if they’ve come from a drought-stricken area that adds to the ‘normal’ level of stress.”


Cows get photo IDs in security beef-up

Cows get photo IDs in security beef-up

Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri

KOLKATA: India’s Border Security Force has demonstrated that it will not be cowed down by cattle smugglers on the Indo-Bangladesh border — it has ordered Indian livestock owners to acquire photo-identity cards for their animals.

All head of cattle in the villages of West Bengal’s Murshidabad, Nadia, and South 24 Parganas districts will now be required to carry their mug shots.


Hoosier Beef Congress to launch new website

Hoosier Beef Congress to launch new website


by Dave Russell

Brownfield Network

Hoosier Beef CongressThe Hoosier Beef Congress is launching a new logo and website as the Indiana Beef Cattle Association (IBCA) prepares for the 21st Hoosier Beef Congress (HBC), November 30 – December 2 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Beginning September 1, the new website will include information about the show, showmanship contest, it will have sale entry forms, contest rules, tradeshow information as well as the schedule of events.

HBC organizers anticipate more than 1,500 head of top-quality show heifers and steers at this years event.


USDA Announces Sign up Dates for New Livestock and Crop Disaster Programs

USDA Announces Sign up Dates for New Livestock and Crop Disaster Programs

Cattle Today

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2007 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced sign-up dates for the new Livestock Compensation Program, Livestock Indemnity Program and Crop Disaster Program. The three ad hoc disaster programs provide benefits to farmers and ranchers who suffered losses caused by natural disasters in recent years.

Eligible ranchers and other livestock producers can apply to receive benefits under the Livestock Compensation Program (LCP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) beginning Sept. 10, 2007. Eligible farmers can sign-up for the Crop Disaster Program (CDP) beginning Oct. 15, 2007, if they suffered quantity losses to their crops. USDA will announce and conduct CDP sign-up for quality losses as soon as possible.


Drought Strategies: Herd Inventory Decisions

Drought Strategies: Herd Inventory Decisions

Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Virginia Tech

Producers in many regions in Virginia are evaluating strategies to cope with drought.  Successfully getting through the drought challenge will best be accomplished by applying a combination of strategies such as alternative forage and pasture management practices, feeding alternative feeds, strategic cattle management practices (such as early weaning), and herd inventory reduction.  Each of these strategies must be evaluated on a case by case basis, and their implementation will vary for each producer based on their feed inventory and future needs, as well as impact of drought both short and long-term on their operation.

The prospects of having to reduce cattle numbers is a harsh reality that must be considered, although a strategy that none of us like to face.  Considerations involving herd reduction need to be evaluated in concert with their impact on both viability and profitability, and the severity of herd reduction will depend largely on the extent of feed and forage shortage, and cost of purchased or supplemental feed.  Long-term, the immediate benefit of herd reduction vs. cost of feed/forage to maintain inventory needs to be evaluated against the cost of rebuilding the herd at a future date along with the reality that total herd income will be reduced in future years as a result of reduced cow numbers.


Wet Distillers Feeds for Feedlot Cattle

Wet Distillers Feeds for Feedlot Cattle

Iowa Beef Center

Distillers by-products have a long and nearly as colorful history as the distilling industry itself.

The Bourbon Beef Association established the Bourbon Beef Show in Louisville, Ky. shortly

after World War II to showcase prize beef animals raised on distillers wet grains. Prize money

was sizable, even by today’s standards. Iowa State College research in 1936-37 showed a

$7.92 per head advantage to distillers grain fed cattle compared to soybean meal fed cattle,

including the hogs that followed the cattle (Distillers Feed Research Council, 1951).


Correct Timing Makes the Best Silage

Correct Timing Makes the Best Silage

University of Nebraska

High-quality corn silage often is an economical substitute for much of the grain in finishing and dairy rations. Corn silage also can be an important winter feed for cow-calf producers. All too often, though, we fail to harvest and store silage in ways that give the best feed value.

Harvest timing is a major factor in maintaining quality and needs to be based on moisture content of the silage. Lots of corn silage in our area is cut too late.

Silage chopped wetter than 70% moisture can run or seep and often produces a sour, less palatable fermentation. More frequently, though, we chop corn silage too dry, below 60% moisture. Then it’s difficult to chop and pack the silage adequately to force out air. The silage heats, protein and energy digestibility declines, and spoilage increases. If your silage is warm or steams during winter, it probably was too dry when chopped.

Many corn hybrids are at the ideal 60-70% moisture level as corn kernels reach the one-half milkline. This guide isn’t perfect for all hybrids, however, so check your field independently. Good silage usually can continue to be made up until black layer formation.


Transmission Of BVD

Transmission Of BVD

BVDV rapidly loses infectivity outside the host, and is very susceptible to detergents, light, temperature changes and other environmental conditions. It is mainly transmitted by close contact with persistently infected or acutely infected cattle via the oral or nasal routes. Acutely infected animals only shed the virus for a short time (about 2 weeks1), whereas PI  animals shed constantly in all bodily secretions for life. Acutely infected bulls shed virus in their semen for at least 2 weeks; PI bulls shed virus constantly in their semen, thus, semen is another potential source of infection in natural mating.