Daily Archives: August 16, 2007

Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The August 15, issue # 549, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefAgst15.html

There’s still time to register for next week’s “Handling, Feeding, and Marketing Cattle for Profit” program in Ross County. This week, Nevil Speer, a featured speaker for the program, offers his thoughts on the recent resurgence in the fed and feeder cattle markets.

Articles this week include:
* There’s More Than One Kind Of “Producer”
* Wrecks Are Not Desirable; Vaccinate Your Calves Now
* Forage Focus: Managing Alfalfa During and Following a Drought
* Yellow Feed

Putting Up Drought Silage

Putting Up Drought Silage

Jeff Heldt, Ph.D., PAS


The drought of 2002 has left us all scratching our heads on what to do with our field crops that have received very little moisture this year. I have put together a summary of some key issues available on the web and through various publications to help determine how to best use drought damaged corn to get the most out of the hard work and expenses it took to put the crop into the ground.


How are you Dehorning your Cattle?

How are you Dehorning your Cattle?

Ropin’ the Web

Almost all animal industries carry out some routine management procedures that cause pain. Procedures such as castration, tail docking, branding, dehorning and beak trimming cause short-term pain for long- term benefits. There is little argument that the procedures are important. However, the controversy arises when we begin to discuss how and when they should be carried out. In regards to dehorning, should we use caustic paste, electric dehorners, cutters, wire, gouges or scoops? Should we perform this procedure on day old calves or wait until weaning?

Caregivers of animals have a responsibility to society and to animals to identify the procedures that cause the least amount of pain and the least amount of set back to the animal. Once the ideal procedure has been identified we should try to move the industry towards that ideal. With regards to dehorning, we already know that the least painful procedure and the one that causes the least set back in growth is to remove horns by genetically selecting for polledness. In cattle, horns are inherited as an autosomal recessive gene, polledness being dominant. In one breeding season, a producer can breed a herd of horned cows to a polled bull (homozygous for the polled condition ) and have an entire polled calf crop.


Yellow Feed

Yellow Feed


We’ve received several questions regarding the baling of oats for dry hay in the fall. All agree, at the very least it will be a challenge. While doing some research on the subject of growing and harvesting oats for forage, Curt Stivison from Fairfield County SCWD found some research out of Canada which offered the alternative of killing oats with glyphosate, allowing them to dry down while standing, and then mowing and baling the dry oats. In Canada they call it “yellow feed.” The following is excerpted from a note Curt received from Russel Horvey, Beef and Forage Specialist from Alberta.


Students Encouraged to Apply for Beef Industry Scholarships

Students Encouraged to Apply for Beef Industry Scholarships

Cattle Today

Applications are being accepted for the 2008 Beef Industry Scholarship Program, sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and the CME Group. All entries must be postmarked by October 5, 2007.

Ten scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded to young people pursuing careers in the beef industry. The program encourages talented and thoughtful students who have demonstrated a commitment to a career in the beef industry, either through classes, internships or life experience. Graduating high school seniors or full-time undergraduate students enrolled at a two-year or four-year college for the 2008-2009 academic year are encouraged to apply.


With Approach of Silage Harvest, Pioneer Offers Advice

With Approach of Silage Harvest, Pioneer Offers Advice


With areas of the country experiencing hot, dry weather conditions – Pioneer is reminding growers of the fast approaching silage season – and encouraging them to take note of crop conditions now – and to initiate a field-by-field moisture testing program.

According to Pioneer – dry or drought-like conditions in nearly every state have caused some producers to salvage their crop and minimize losses by harvesting early. But silage harvest timing is critical. Pioneer says it’s important not to harvest too late – missing the optimum harvest window – and then storing and feeding too dry silage or high moisture corn.


Bovine TB found in Colorado

Bovine TB found in Colorado

By Tom McGhee

Denver Post

A Colorado rodeo bull has undergone a necropsy to determine whether it carried bovine tuberculosis as part of an investigation that, so far, has found one other animal testing positive in the state for the disease.

Tests are expected to be completed next week.

Infected cattle must be found in two or more separate herds before the U.S. Department of Agriculture can yank a state’s TB Accredited Free State status, said Terry Fankhauser, executive vice president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.

Colorado Agriculture Department spokeswoman Christi Lightcap said the bull now being tested was found in a separate herd from the other that tested positive.


How better-fed cows could cool the planet

How better-fed cows could cool the planet

When cows digest, they burp methane gas, a powerful greenhouse agent. Scientists are working to try to reduce that.

By Bettina Gartner

The Christian Science Monitor

It may be bad manners, but it’s also necessary: Every 40 seconds or so, a cow burps. Scientists are now scrambling to make them burp less – not to make more polite cows, but a cooler planet.

As cows digest their food (up to 150 pounds of grass, hay, and silage per day, along with 20 pounds of concentrated feed), myriad microorganisms – bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and archaea – busily break down the fibers and other nutrients in their rumens. In the process, hydrogen and carbon dioxide are released. The archaea (a kind of bacteria) transform the two gases into methane (CH4), up to 100 gallons of it per cow per day, and the cows get rid of it mainly by burping.

How could a burp matter? But it does.


Consumers should be criticized, not Cavel

Consumers should be criticized, not Cavel



As a person who has been around horses much of my life (e.g., as a rider and owner, behind farm implements, during “putting down” and burials), I have been following with increasing incredulity the debate about the slaughter of horses at the Cavel International plant in DeKalb.

Let’s approach the issues rationally. Here are two basic premises central to the debate on which both sides can agree:

Premise 1: All of these horses will die at some time.

Premise 2: All of them will be consumed in some way (e.g., by humans, animals, maggots or flames).

Now what is the cruelest way for these horses to die (aside from hanging, drowning, torturing, etc., as with fighting dogs)? Probably it is from the various vicissitudes of old age or from intentional starvation. The government regulates the means of killing animals at various kinds of slaughterhouses, and apparently it is quick and about as painless as a veterinary euthanasia. So the ultimate issue seems to be who or what will consume the remains. Unless the horse owners submit their animals to taxidermy, the remains will be eaten by pets (if the carcasses are sent to a rendering plant), eaten by humans (if Cavel sells them), eaten by maggots (if the carcasses are buried) or consumed by flames (if the horses are cremated).


Gene expression studies of developing bovine longissimus muscle from two different beef cattle breeds

Gene expression studies of developing bovine longissimus muscle from two different beef cattle breeds

Sigrid A Lehnert , Antonio Reverter , Keren A Byrne , Yong Hong Wang , Greg S Nattrass, Nicholas J Hudson and Paul L Greenwood


The muscle fiber number and fiber composition of muscle is largely determined during prenatal development. In order to discover genes that are involved in determining adult muscle phenotypes, we studied the gene expression profile of developing fetal bovine longissimus muscle from animals with two different genetic backgrounds using a bovine cDNA microarray. Fetal longissimus muscle was sampled at 4 stages of myogenesis and muscle maturation: primary myogenesis (d 60), secondary myogenesis (d 135), as well as beginning (d 195) and final stages (birth) of functional differentiation of muscle fibers. All fetuses and newborns (total n = 24) were from Hereford dams and crossed with either Wagyu (high intramuscular fat) or Piedmontese (GDF8 mutant) sires, genotypes that vary markedly in muscle and compositional characteristics later in postnatal life.


Department of Health under fire for decision on ractopamine

Department of Health under fire for decision on ractopamine

The China Post

Health and agricultural authorities are coming under fire over a decision to permit the use of ractopamine on livestock, lifting a ban on the veterinary drug that they had recently vowed never to relax.

Pig farmers, opposition lawmakers, and other critics accused the Department of Health (DOH) and the Council of Agriculture (COA) of joining forces to “poison” the people.

They said the government should not have bowed to U.S. pressure for the lifting of the ban, which has made headlines recently after tons of American pork imports were rejected for containing the veterinary drug.


The Vegan Crusade

The Vegan Crusade

Animal-rights activists attempt to get people to abandon meat with smaller steps and subtlety

Tucson Weekly


Cha-ching: Business is booming for Peggy Raisglid, owner of Lovin’ Spoonfuls Vegetarian Restaurant. “I had a number of people say there was no way that Tucson could support a vegan restaurant. It’s just not going to happen, they told me. I did it despite their advice,” she says.

When it comes to weaning people off meat, animal-rights activists are finding that the soft touch yields better results than clubbing people upside the head like seals. Activists’ tactics have evolved during the past decade, as groups have broadened their focus from areas like fashionable furs and scientific vivisection to the food supply. At the same time, they’ve embraced incremental progress by working through the government at all levels, with fewer shocking stunts meant to spur immediate change à la PETA, aka People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.


Foot-and-mouth control zones lifted

Foot-and-mouth control zones lifted

Press Association

Defra has confirmed that two temporary control zones in Kent and Surrey, set up to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease, have been lifted.

The decision is based on further negative laboratory results for the disease and supporting veterinary advice.

The latest development means that the vaccination teams will be stood down from their current level of alert. But teams could be stood up again in five days if needed, Defra said.

Earlier, preliminary tests on a farm in the Romney Marsh area of Kent and on animals at Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo in Surrey proved negative.


GeneSTAR® Feed Efficiency To Increase Profitability

GeneSTAR® Feed Efficiency To Increase Profitability


Bovigen announces new four marker DNA panel to identify feed efficiency.

Harahan, La.; August 15, 2007 – Producers in every sector of the Cattle industry are facing rising costs, but none that impact the bottom line more than the cost of feed. To maintain profitability, producers must be able to identify genetic lines that provide the most feed efficient animals possible.

Bovigen is addressing this ever increasing need with a true technological breakthrough, the Industry’s first and only DNA test that can identify an animal’s genetic ability to efficiently convert feed.

 “Producers can use the new GeneSTAR® Feed Efficiency test to identify up to a $50 difference in feed cost between animals when ration costs are at $165/ton,” said Victor Castellon, CEO of Bovigen.  “Now everyone in the cattle industry has access to a tool for measuring feed efficiency and for improving the profitability of cattle production.”


Farmers losing hope about crops

Farmers losing hope about crops

By Misty Bell

The Messenger

Bill Sanders is beginning to lose hope.

Sanders, an area farmer with corn, peanut and hay crops, is one of many who has been hard hit by the recent high temperatures and lack of rain.

 “Well, Lord have mercy,” Sanders laughed. “How can I put it nice?

 “Naturally I’m worried. Those of us that are depending on our crops for our livelihood have likely all seen several stages of depression trying to wait and see what crops will pull through.”


Ag’s cloudy future

Ag’s cloudy future


Star-Tribune (WY)

At the Wyoming State Fair to address an annual gathering of cattle producers, McFadden rancher Olin Sims had one overriding message about the politics behind the new farm bill in Congress.

As president of the National Association of Conservation Districts, Sims has traveled the nation listening to farmers and ranchers. One woe keeps surfacing, from the fruit farms of central California, to the rugged ranchlands of the Rocky Mountain West, to the small produce farms of New England.


Managing Alfalfa During And Following A Drought

Managing Alfalfa During And Following A Drought


Alfalfa in some areas of Pennsylvania is experiencing drought stress and the question of alfalfa management during this time is being raised. But before we discuss the management of drought-stressed alfalfa, lets look at how alfalfa responds to drought conditions.

Alfalfa is commonly referred to as a drought tolerant plant. During the onset of drought conditions, alfalfa will stop using carbohydrates for stem and leaf production and store those carbohydrates in the roots. This provides high levels of root carbohydrates for long term survival if drought conditions persist and the leaves become photosynthetically inactive. However, alfalfa’s ability to survive a drought does not mean that alfalfa will not show drought related symptoms. Water-stressed alfalfa will experience decreased stem elongation and in some cases mature more rapidly. Leaf production is less effected by water stress than stem elongation. This results in higher forage quality of water-stressed plants than their unstressed counterparts.


Beef Fest starts Friday

Beef Fest starts Friday

By Brandy Nance

Emporia Gazette (VA)

If you didn’t get enough barbecue last weekend there’s another chance at this weekend’s Flint Hills Beef Fest, which runs Friday through Sunday. And if you’re looking for more than just barbecue, the Beef Fest will have that, too, with activities for all ages.

Friday’s activities at the Lyon County Fairgrounds will start bright and early with a live radio broadcast from 6 to 7 a.m., followed by a breakfast at 7:30 a.m. For those interested in agricultural issues, an agricultural seminar will be held at 8:30 a.m.

For 20 years, the Beef Fest has provided people with a variety of activities to enjoy. This year, the 21st year, looks to be no exception.


Walk the Line

Walk the Line

By Christy Johnson

CAB Supply Development Marketing Director

Familiar lyrics written more than 50 years ago by the man in black, country music legend Johnny Cash make some points for a brand built on integrity.

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine. At the heart of Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) is its mission: to increase demand for registered Angus cattle through a specification-based, branded beef program, to identify consistent, high-quality beef with superior taste. The mission, etched in glass, is the first thing you see when you walk through the front door of CAB headquarters in Wooster, Ohio.

What’s at the heart of your Angus operation? Of course it has a heart, its driving force and reason to be—don’t lose sight of it.