Daily Archives: August 2, 2007

Who wants PI?

Who wants PI?

John Maday


You know the conversations that start “I have good news, and I have bad news.”

The good news is the industry has, in recent years, gained insight into the importance of BVD and its economic impacts, while also developing cost-effective testing and management strategies for controlling the disease.

The bad news is that control or elimination of BVD requires that producers identify persistently infected cattle and remove them from the conventional production and marketing system.

PI calves are carrier animals that survive after being infected with BVD virus early in gestation. While uncommon at about 1 percent of the total population, PI calves can appear perfectly healthy and still spread the BVD virus through herds and feedlot pens with great efficiency.

Identification and isolation of PI calves is the cornerstone of BVD-control strategies. Ideally, this occurs at the cow-calf stage, but some stocker and feedlot operations have adopted testing programs to protect animal health in their operations. Based on the potential losses from BVD, producers at any stage probably come out ahead, even if they take a total loss on the occasional PI animal. However, a PI calf that is healthy in other respects represents a significant value, and BVD poses no risk in terms of beef safety. This raises the question of whether producers might have an opportunity to capture some value by feeding PI calves to heavier weights.


USDA Provides Emergency Funds for Bovine Tuberculosis

USDA Provides Emergency Funds for Bovine Tuberculosis        

Missouri Ruralist

Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight announced the availability of an additional $35 million in emergency funding Wednesday for the bovine tuberculosis eradication program. This is in addition to $2 million in emergency funding already available for tuberculosis control and eradication.

“This bovine TB funding will support enhanced surveillance efforts and indemnity for infected herds and brings the program significantly closer to eradication of the disease in New Mexico,” Knight says. “This funding also will support our efforts to protect the health of the national herd and prevent disease spread.”


The COOL Compromise Is Typical Of The Beltway

The COOL Compromise Is Typical Of The Beltway

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

After years of delaying the implementation of mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) because of the problems associated with the law, it had come down to crunch time. Congress had to do something to make the law workable and it could no longer continue to delay its implementation, not with the China and dog food scandals on everyone’s mind.

So in typical Washington fashion, they had to appear to be responding. The revised version of mandatory COOL is an improvement of sorts but nobody will truly be satisfied with this new law. While it will not devastate the industry as the original version would have, it doesn’t address the competitive disadvantage with which it saddles beef. Nor does it close the loopholes that make the COOL component essentially worthless.


Coccidiosis in Cattle

Coccidiosis in Cattle

Ropin’ the Web

Coccidiosis is a common parasitic protozoan disease of cattle, particularly weaned calves, in Alberta. Bovine coccidiosis is seen most frequently in calves that are three weeks to six months of age. Calves become infected when placed on pastures or lots contaminated by older cattle or other infected calves. Mature cattle may become infected when they are brought in from pastures and crowded into feedlots or barns.

At least nine species of coccidia occur in Alberta cattle, but only two, Eimeria zuernii and Eimeria bovis, cause severe clinical disease. To a lesser extent, Eimeria alabamensis also can cause clinical disease. The prevalence of the different species of coccidia can vary considerably between farms, regions, seasons and age groups.


Marston Joins AHA, Hereford World Staff as Field Rep

Marston Joins AHA, Hereford World Staff as Field Rep

Cattle Today

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The American Hereford Association (AHA) and Hereford World is proud to announce Andee Marston, Manhattan, Kan., has joined the Hereford team. Marston will join the AHA/HW staff in August as the Southeast region field representative.

In this position, Marston will attend Hereford sales and events as well as assist breeders with marketing and genetic selection. He will also assist in educating members and commercial producers about AHA programs and other beef industry opportunities.

He will serve as the communication link between the AHA and breeders in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.


Farming a family tradition

Farming a family tradition

Weidmayers worry about future of small farms

By Alana West

Manchester Enterprise

Gary Weidmayer of Bridgewater Township is a farmer, born and bred, and almost always has been.

He plants corn, winter wheat and soybeans, raises cattle, and sells hay to stable owners for their horses on a farm that his father bought in 1940.

But his family ties to the Manchester area go back further than that. His relatives have lived there since at least 1840, when they helped establish and build Bethel United Church of Christ.

“My great-great-grandfather worked on that,” said Weidmayer, who said the ancestors of his wife, Karen, also worked on the project.


Feds help drought-stricken farmers

Feds help drought-stricken farmers


Daily New Journal (TN)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has offered low-interest emergency loans to Tennessee farmers hit by the drought, Gov. Phil Bredesen’s office announced today.

Rainfall deficits of between 9 to 15 inches across the state have damaged crops and cattle to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, officials estimate.

 “We want to continue doing everything we can to help Tennessee farmers get through this unusually tough year,” Bredesen said in a statement.

He added that more help is needed.

Corn, wheat and soybean losses range from 30 to 70 percent in parts of Tennessee, officials estimate.

“It’s hard to put a dollar figure on the damages … until harvest is complete,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens.


Barron honored for extension service

Barron honored for extension service


Ashland City Times

Cheatham County Extension Agent Ronnie Barron was honored by the University of Tennessee for his agricultural programs.

Barron was awarded the Hicks Award of Excellence by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

“I was honored and tickled out of my mind,” he said. “Hands-on, get-dirty type of programming is what this is for.”

Serving people, helping them be successful and productive, whether just a homeowner or full-time farmer brings Barron the most pride.

Ken Drinnon, a retired west Cheatham farmer who says he just plays at it, said Barron deserved the honor.

“I consider him a personal friend,” Drinnon said. “He’s a very conscientious, hardworking, knowledgeable man.”


Cattle Health: Protecting Pregnancies From Protozoa

Cattle Health: Protecting Pregnancies From Protozoa


Another serious livestock pathogen is the protozoan parasite Neospora caninum, which infects many agricultural animals. N. caninum causes neosporosis, the most common cause of abortion in dairy cattle in the United States. The economic impact of neosporosis-induced abortions is estimated to be about $35 million annually in California alone.

For years, N. caninum had been confused with Toxoplasma gondii, a similar parasite that causes birth defects and abortion in mammals. Then in 1988, ARS microbiologist Jitender P. Dubey, at the BARC Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory (APDL), recognized that a disease causing paralysis in dogs was not caused by T. gondii, as suspected, but by the previously unidentified parasite, N. caninum. Nearly two decades of research have significantly expanded our understanding of these protozoa.


Editorial: Drought’s effects are looking serious

Editorial: Drought’s effects are looking serious

The pinch starts with farmers, but doesn’t stop there.

Minneapolis StarTribune

Routine though it has become, there’s something heartening about a governor’s personal attention to his state’s victims of a natural disaster. That’s what dry conditions have become in much of central Minnesota: a disaster. Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s appearance at the Ron and Alvina Hourscht farm near Little Falls Tuesday morning both attested to that fact and reassured those affected that government help is on the way.


Farmers: Declaration won’t solve drought problems

Farmers: Declaration won’t solve drought problems

By Jason A. Smith

Henry Daily Herald

Richard Little, of Hampton, said drought conditions in recent months have made cattle farming difficult this year.

 “This is the worst year I’ve ever had,” he said. “I usually roll about 2,700-2,800 rolls of hay from April to September, to feed the cows in the winter. I’ve rolled 120 rolls so far this year.”

He said only about an inch of rain fell at his farm from March to July.

 “We were still feeding hay in June, because there was no grass,” said Little, adding that he will probably have to sell half of his 700-800 cows and calves in the near future.

He said he takes small consolation from a federal declaration of disaster issued Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The declaration identifies 158 of 159 Georgia counties as either, primary or contiguous disaster areas.


Livestock industry a lightning rod for discussion

Livestock industry a lightning rod for discussion

By Jeff DeYoung

Iowa Farmer Today

CYLINDER — Change might be inevitable, says Linus Solberg. That doesn’t make it right.

 “The changes we have seen in the livestock industry, they are just killing our small towns,” says Solberg, who raises hogs near here in Palo Alto County.

 “Around here, there are probably only a fourth of the farms there were when I was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s.”

Aaron Putze saw the livestock industry changing as he grew up near West Bend, just down the road from Solberg’s farm. But, with change, Putze also sees opportunity.

 “We are seeing an increase in the number of young people coming back to the farm,” says Putze, executive director of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers.

 “Cattle numbers are growing, and we are seeing an increase in the number of dairy cows. We continue to see strong interest in the construction of hog buildings.


Brakes put on U.S. beef imports

Brakes put on U.S. beef imports

Korea Herald

Korea halted inspections of all U.S. beef imports on Wednesday, prompted by the discovery of banned bone parts in the latest shipments, the Seoul government said yesterday.

The country’s quarantine authority found a box of vertebral columns among 1,176 boxes totaling 18.7 metric tons of beef imported on July 29, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said.

The ministry said it could place an import ban on American beef again if Washington fails to take substantial prevention measures.


Get beef that’s pasture-ized

Get beef that’s pasture-ized

By Jaye Beeler


Many people have car accidents that change their lives. Nathan Creswick had a cow accident that changed his.

Three years ago, a cow nearly twisted his leg off at the knee.

“The bottom half of his leg turned 180 degrees” Creswick’s wife, Andrea, said. “It wasn’t pretty.”

While he was learning to walk again, Creswick had plenty of time to think. The need for food grown without chemicals, his responsibility to his kids and his agricultural heritage all weighed upon his mind. Meanwhile, a friend from Heber Springs, Ark., called and asked what he could do to help during Creswick’s recovery.

“Take my cows,” Creswick remembers telling him. “I can’t deal with them right now.”


Indiana blurs line between dessert and entree at State Fair

Indiana blurs line between dessert and entree at State Fair

by Tom Steever

Brownfield Network

This could be the ultimate entrée for those who have always wanted to begin a meal with dessert.  At the Indiana State Fair, that state’s cattlemen are introducing the Hot Beef Sundae, which Indiana Beef Cattle Association executive director, Julia Wickard describes as if whetting the appetite with some sort of confection.

“We start with mashed potatoes, shredded beef, gravy, some shredded cheese (and) a cherry tomato,” says Wickard about the new state fair dish, “but this year we’re not leaving out one of the most important items, as it is the Year of the Corn at the State Fair.  We’re going to add some corn sprinkles on top.”