Daily Archives: August 10, 2007

Cliff’s Notes: Top 10 List for Good Corn Silage

Cliff’s Notes: Top 10 List for Good Corn Silage

Clifton L. Willms, Ph.D., P.A.S., Cattle Nutritionist


   1. Put it up at the right time.

When the milk line is about ½ down the kernels through the black layer stage.

When silage is approximately 35% DM.



Getting Cows Bred In July & August

Getting Cows Bred In July & August


One of the most challenging aspects of spring calving is trying to determine when to calve to maximize reproductive rate. Reproductive efficiency in a cow herd is most accurately measured by the term “percent calf crop weaned” which is calculated by dividing the number of calves weaned by the number of cows that were in the cow herd when the breeding season began the previous year. The two factors that affect the ability of a cow to wean a calf is pregnancy rate and calf death loss.


American Angus Association Signs Cooperative Agreement with USDA for Premises Registration Education

American Angus Association Signs Cooperative Agreement with USDA for Premises Registration Education

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has signed a cooperative agreement with the American Angus AssociationSM.  A ceremonial signing was held today to recognize the cooperative efforts of both groups in the education of the premise registration process and enrollments.

In recent years, biosecurity issues around the world have prompted action in the United States to avoid similar outbreaks potentially threatening our food supply.  It also sparked an overall effort to educate those in production agriculture on the risks and preventative measures associated with biosecurity issues.  Traceability, through premise registration, has been identified as one key preventative component in this effort.


Beef Checkoff Highlights the Power of Partnerships

Beef Checkoff Highlights the Power of Partnerships

Cattle Today

Retail marketing efforts funded by the beef checkoff continue to center on strong promotions and co-marketing partners to drive consumer demand for beef. Here’s a look at some recent activities:

Retail Beef Backer Awards

This brand new award will recognize retailers who have demonstrated their commitment to outstanding beef marketing and merchandising programs, according to Cattlemen’s Beef Board member Don Stewart, who is also co-chair of the Joint Retail Committee. State Beef Councils and checkoff retail marketing managers will encourage supermarket retailers of all sizes and formats to enter the contest. Anyone (other than a checkoff employee) can nominate a retailer for an award. Submission forms and contest rules are available on http://www.BeefRetail.org/commBeefBacker.aspx. Submissions are due Oct. 31, 2007.


Livestock battle against Heartland heat

Livestock battle against Heartland heat


The hot summer months aren’t just taking a toll on humans–livestock is feeling the burn, too.

As the temperature climbs, cattle face a unique challenge when trying to keep themselves cool. The animals don’t sweat like humans do. They cool down via their breathing, by panting to lower their body temperatures.

Experts say cattle face many of the same challenges as humans do when it comes to battling the heat, but they can’t dress for the warm weather. The darker the color of the cattle, the more trouble they have with the heat.


Dating strategies: Single women and red meat

Dating strategies: Single women and red meat


Orlando Sun Sentinel

Martha Flach mentioned meat twice in her Match.com profile: “I love architecture, The New Yorker, dogs, steak for two and the Sunday puzzle.”

She was seeking, she added, “a smart, funny, kind man who owns a suit [but isn’t one] and loves red wine and a big steak.”

The repetition worked. On her first date with Austin Wilkie, they ate steak frites. A year later, after burgers, he proposed. This March, the rehearsal dinner was at Keens Steakhouse, and the wedding menu included mini-cheeseburgers and more steak.


Angus and Pfizer Animal Health Create Marketing Alliance to Add Value to Programs

Angus and Pfizer Animal Health Create Marketing Alliance to Add Value to Programs

The American Angus AssociationSM and Pfizer Animal Health announce a marketing alliance for two premier feeder calf programs.  The collaboration pairs AngusSource®, an age-, source- and genetic-USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) for Angus-sired cattle, with SelectVAC®, the premier branded preconditioning program from Pfizer Animal Health.

 “Pfizer is excited for the opportunity to work with the American Angus Association to help bring more value to their customers,” says Pierre Bertrand, SelectVAC marketing manager for Pfizer.  “We admire the dedication of the AngusSource program for helping Angus customers market high-quality calves.”


Clayton Huseman: Why Was The Beef Quality Assurance Program Developed?

Clayton Huseman: Why Was The Beef Quality Assurance Program Developed?


Jolley: Let’s talk about the Beef Quality Assurance program. Most state beef associations seem to be involved in this voluntary program which indicates it’s seen as an important project. Why was it developed and exactly what is it supposed to achieve?

Huseman: The program really began in the early 1980’s to address industry concerns with residues. The alternative was to face a whole new wave of regulations. Coordinated by NCA an aggressive, results-driven group of veterinarians, animal scientists and producers tackled the issue head on.

They figured out the problem, they began the process of educating the industry and that process became the foundation for Beef Quality Assurance (BQA). From there, other areas with potential impact on the safety and wholesomeness of our product were identified. BQA has developed into a broad educational network, recognized by most in the industry.


Wyo farmers, ranchers stockpile CO2

Wyo farmers, ranchers stockpile CO2


Casper Star-Tribune

It’s a popular crack made at the mention of global warming in Wyoming — the one about how cows are a major source of greenhouse gas.

It’s true. The nation’s 100 million cattle emit about 5.5 million metric tons of methane per year, or 20 percent of U.S. methane emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Anytime you’re talking about atmospheric conditions and ranching, they don’t usually mix very well,” said Niobrara County rancher Terry Browder.


Oklahoma Panhandle town tired of waiting for Smithfield beef plant

Oklahoma Panhandle town tired of waiting for Smithfield beef plant

Reed Construction Data

A promise unfulfilled is proving to be almost worse than no promise at all for the town of Hooker, residents said.

When Smithfield Beef Group Inc. announced plans about a year ago to build a massive processing plant in the state Panhandle, the local reception was mixed – about half of the residents didn’t want the lifestyle changes a 3,000-employee plant would bring, while the other half were hopeful and excited about economic development, Hooker Mayor Rod Childress said.

Since then, even hope has turned to doubt. Company spokespeople initially said ground would be broken for the 650,000-square-foot plant in January, but no moves have been made in that direction, Childress and others said.


Heat, Drought Deal Double Blow to Tennessee Farms

Heat, Drought Deal Double Blow to Tennessee Farms

Insurance Journal

When it’s hot and humid in Tennessee, with temperatures flirting with record highs, people can take a break from outdoor activities. Cattle and crops don’t have that option.

High temperatures neared 100 degrees across the state Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Humidity is making August heat even more oppressive, with the heat index – a combination of temperature and humidity calculating how hot it “feels” to humans – topping 105.

Drought conditions have added to the heat discomfort, with most of the state running about 15 inches below normal rainfall levels.


Stable Flies Becoming Pest For Pastured Cattle

Stable Flies Becoming Pest For Pastured Cattle


MANHATTAN, Kan. – Stable flies, which used to be found only in confined animal areas such as feedlots and barns, are now being found on cattle in pastures, according to a Kansas State University Research and Extension livestock entomologist.

“The current methods of feeding hay in pastures are creating a new habitat for stable flies,” said Alberto Broce, K-State livestock entomologist who studies fly populations. “These methods are very wasteful. Cattle can waste up to 45 percent of the hay in round bale feeders, which then gets mixed with manure on the ground and creates a suitable habitat for stable flies.”


Government alleges dairy sold cows with antibiotics in meat

Government alleges dairy sold cows with antibiotics in meat

Sioux City Journal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The government filed a complaint Thursday in federal court alleging that a Rock Valley dairy sold culled cows for meat processing with excessive amounts of antibiotics in their systems.

The complaint was filed against Ysselstein Dairy Inc. and its owner Sjerp W. Ysselstein in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa by Assistant U.S. Attorney Martha Fagg, of Sioux City.

Court documents said the court action follows a Food and Drug Administration investigation.


All that dough for one steak? Blame ethanol

All that dough for one steak? Blame ethanol

By John Kessler

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Wagyu strip steak at Chops restaurant is a thing of beauty —- marbled, juicy, long on flavor. Everything a steak lover could desire. It’s also $85. You want potatoes with that? Yep, $8 extra.

The going price for steaks around Atlanta has climbed to an all-time high —- to numbers that would signal a joke were they not in plain print on menus. Joel offered a $58 filet mignon before closing for renovations last week. The dry-aged porterhouse at the new Kevin Rathbun Steak goes for $64, and while it should feed two, more than a few diners go solo. The porterhouse for two at chain steakhouse Ruth’s Chris tops out at $79.

Even a 16-ounce New York strip —- the little black dress of the cow palace —- routinely fetches $40 at Atlanta steakhouses serving USDA prime beef. When it comes to steak, $40 is the new $25.


Doc, I’m Runnin’ Out of Hay – What Can I Do?

Doc, I’m Runnin’ Out of Hay – What Can I Do?


The “Easter freeze” and subsequent dry weather has left cattle producers scrambling for their winter feed supply. Hay is in short supply and a lot of late-cut hay is of poor quality. One thing that is bothersome to me is that the more we write about it, the higher the price of hay will likely go. So let’s not panic and drive the price up too much just yet.

What can you do? First, do what we always recommend. Shorten the hay feeding period by extending the grazing season. Some possibilities include grazing (1) corn stalks, (2) stockpiled/accumulate fescue pasture and (3) winter annuals.


U.K. Investigators Probe 3rd Farm for Foot-And-Mouth

U.K. Investigators Probe 3rd Farm for Foot-And-Mouth

By Lenka Ponikelska and Robin Stringe

Bloomberg News

U.K. authorities are investigating whether foot-and-mouth disease has broken out at a third farm in southern England, reviving concerns of a repeat of the 2001 outbreak that devastated the British agricultural industry.

The new incident in Dorking, Surrey, is outside the existing 10-kilometer (6-mile) protection and surveillance zone set up after the disease was identified on a farm in Guildford on Aug. 3. Dorking is about 13 miles (21 kilometers) from Guildford.


Digital Angel bought

Digital Angel bought

$31M stock deal puts South St. Paul-based ID-chip maker under largest shareholder’s wing



Digital Angel, a South St. Paul company that makes tracking technology for such things as animals and airplanes, will be acquired by its largest shareholder in an all-stock deal expected to close by the end of this year.

Applied Digital, a Delray Beach, Fla., company that develops radio-frequency identification, or RFID, implants for livestock, pets and people, owns 55 percent of Digital Angel and will absorb the remainder, said Applied Digital CEO Michael Krawitz on Thursday.

Digital Angel shareholders will get 1.4 shares of common stock of Applied Digital for every share of Digital Angel stock they own. Based on the closing price of Applied Digital’s stock Wednesday, the deal is worth about $30.7 million.


Britain Tests 2nd Area for Cow Disease

Britain Tests 2nd Area for Cow Disease

New York Times

LONDON (AP) — British authorities were testing for a new outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease Friday after cattle in a herd grazing several miles away from an initial cluster of cases were suspected of falling ill, raising fears the virus is spreading uncontained.

Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds said cows in a second area of the southern England county of Surrey had shown ”mild clinical signs of infections,” announcing that a new 1.8-mile exclusion zone had been set up around a farm previously unlinked to the outbreak.