Biosecurity and animal welfare are important management practices to consumers’ and producers’ bottom lines.
by Kindra Gordon
Biosecurity became a buzzword a few years back when the threat of footand- mouth disease (FMD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) were major concerns for American cattlemen. Today the focus is on animal welfare as the likes of McDonald’s®, Burger King® and Smithfield Foods have made announcements about establishing animal care and welfare guidelines for the producers and processors with whom they work.
Beef industry experts contend that these management considerations will continue to be important to the American public; as a result, these industry experts will increasingly be sought for their knowledge about food safety and food production.
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Consider early pregnancy detection
by Bob Larson, professor of production medicine, Kansas State University
Historically, cows and heifers are examined for pregnancy status about five to six months after the start of the breeding season. At this time, the females that became pregnant during the first week of the breeding season are 150-180 days along in gestation. Often, the reason given to promote pregnancy determination is to find open cows so they can be managed differently than pregnant cows. This usually means immediate sale or a period of weight gain followed by sale.
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Effects of Shipping and Heat Stress on Embryonic Mortality in Cattle
By Sarah Fields, Graduate Research Assistant in Beef Reproduction, and Dr. George Perry, Beef Reproduction and Management Specialist, SDSU Animal and Range Sciences Department
South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service
Embryonic loss is the greatest economic loss in the cow/calf industry, affecting number of cows carrying to term and percent calf crop weaned.
Fertilization rates are usually between 90% and 100% when semen is present at ovulation. Fertilization usually takes place, but conception rates (number of animals that conceive divided by number of animals inseminated) are usually around 70% for natural service or artificial insemination.
Although nature (poor oocyte quality, disease, chromosomal abnormalities, etc.) contributes much of this loss, management practices can also increase embryonic mortality. Stress, particularly heat and shipping stress, can be detrimental to embryos and decrease pregnancy rates.
Immigration rules damaging for agriculture
Western Livestock Journal
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials announced a new initiative on Aug. 10 which includes heavier enforcement of labor laws and new processes designed to streamline the DHS’s ability to prosecute violators. The new initiative, crafted by Bush administration officials, takes direct aim at congressional leaders who failed to pass Bush-backed immigration reform measures earlier this summer. DHS will now begin seeking criminal action and increased fines against employers who knowingly violate immigration laws by hiring illegal workers, and will increasingly use ‘no- match letters’ (NML) in its prosecution efforts.
Vaginal and Uterine Prolapses in Beef Cows – Frequently Asked Questions
Ropin’ the Web
What is a prolapse?
A prolapse is defined as: the falling down or slipping of a body part from its usual position. Vaginal or cervical prolapses are two types that occur in beef cows.
The complete uterine prolapse is most common at calving. This is when the uterus is completely expelled out behind the cow, and can hang down to the hocks when standing. This condition can be life threatening for the cow, and the uterus must be cleaned and reinserted as quickly as possible. The cow can go into shock quickly and die from blood loss.
A cervical prolapse is usually seen in older cows and occurs when the tissue around the birth canal becomes relaxed during the later stages of pregnancy. The increased pressure in the abdominal cavity will push the vagina or rectum out. If there is tissue trapped outside the birth canal, it can swell and become infected. The bladder can also be trapped in the expelled tissue, preventing the animal from urinating.
Johnsongrass, drought and nitrate toxicity
By VERNON SCOGIN
A typical Oklahoma summer has finally arrived. We are under our “high pressure dome” and experiencing heat and moisture stress. This is not only hard on animals but it can cause nitrate poisoning problems from some forages.
We have no nitrate danger as long as forages are native grass, bermudagrass or bermudagrass plus crabgrass. However, the long period of rain also fostered growth of johnsongrass in many fields. Presence of johnsongrass troubles me and fears worsen when plants are stressed from drought or frost.
U.S. cattle on feed down 5%
by John Perkins
The USDA reports that as of August 1, there were 10.299 million cattle on feed in the United States, down 5% from a year ago. Analysts were expecting the on feed to be down around 4%, with a range of estimates for a decrease of 2.5% to 5.7%.
July placements were pegged at 1.622 million head, 17% less than last year. This is the lowest for the month of July since the series began in 1996. The average pre-report guess was for a 13% decline, in a range of an expected 5% to 22.5% drop.