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.
Hurricane Preparedness For Livestock
COLLEGE STATION – Livestock owners should “hurricane-ize” their livestock each year, Texas Cooperative Extension officials advise.
“With the right preparation, you can protect livestock from injury should a hurricane occur,” said Dr. Joe Paschal, Extension beef cattle specialist in Corpus Christi.
“Most damage to buildings, pens and animals comes from wind and flying objects,” Paschal said. “So the ability to protect them in advance from these dangers greatly reduces the chance of injury to livestock.”
Beef, Dairy Checkoff Unite on Nutrition
Denver, Colo., July 18, 2007 — Recognizing society’s heightened emphasis on health, wellness and nutrition, the Beef Checkoff Program and the National Dairy Council (NDC), the nutrition communications, education and research arm of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the dairy checkoff program, sponsored a nutrition symposium here to discuss common challenges and opportunities in promoting the nutritional benefits of beef and dairy products to consumers.
This joint board symposium marks the first time the two checkoff organizations have formally met to share perspectives on ensuring that consumers recognize the necessity of animal-based protein as part of a healthy diet, according to Cattlemen’s Beef Board member Jay O’Brien, chairman of the beef checkoff’s Joint Public Opinion and Issues Management Group.
Britain Eases Cattle Restrictions
The Associated Press
Britain eased restrictions Monday on the movement of cattle and sheep to slaughterhouses and markets following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in southern England.
Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds said farmers would be allowed to transport cattle and sheep directly to markets starting Thursday.
Government officials placed tight restrictions on the movement of animals to halt the spread of the disease, which was found on two farms in Surrey, southern England.
Confirmed cases have so far not spread beyond a small area about 30 miles southwest of London. An epidemic of the disease in 2001 led to the slaughter of 7 million animals and shut British meat out of world markets for months.
Chimney Rock Cattle Company Partners with the No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Tundra
HIGH POINT, N.C. (Aug. 20, 2007) – Ryan Mathews and the No. 22 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team will have a new sponsor for Wednesday night’s race under the lights at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The logos of Chimney Rock Cattle Company will adorn the sides and hood of the No. 22 Toyota Tundra.
Chimney Rock Cattle Company was purchased from the estate of Julian and Shelley Martin in 1999 by NASCAR owners Bill and Gail Davis. The Davis’ will host their first annual Chimney Rock 500 cattle sale Oct. 5 and 6, in the brand-new 50,000-square foot sales facility in Concord, Ark. The sale will include a registered female sale on Friday, followed by the sale of commercial females and bulls on Saturday. Friday’s festivities in the “cow palace” will also include the Chimney Rock Celebration, which will include appearances by NASCAR personalities.
Where’s the beef? Speciality steaks are around … but at what price?
THE FLINT JOURNAL
By Ron Krueger
I have come to Luca’s Chophouse in Grand Blanc to try a steak because I heard all the restaurant’s beef comes from the Piedmontese breed, which is supposed to be leaner and more tender than other beef.
I also heard Luca’s steaks are expensive for this area, $22.95 for a 12-ounce ribeye, $24.95 for a 6-ounce filet, $38.95 for a 24-ounce porterhouse.
I ask for the ribeye, hardly the leanest cut, but to me what steak should be – enough marbling to yield a juicy, flavorful steak, tender but not melt-in-the-mouth-filet tender.
S.D. Grazing School slated for Oacoma
Rapid City Journal
The 2007 South Dakota Grazing School slated for Sept. 10-12 at Oacoma will focus on efficient and effective range management.
Titled “Let the Animals be the Harvesting Machines,” the grazing school features topics including grazing concepts, holistic grazing, balancing rations and animal nutrition, according to a news release.
The school will be held at Al’s Oasis and on the Christiansen Land and Cattle Ranch near Oacoma.
Participants will receive hands-on training in the field and from classroom lectures.
Presenters from state and federal agencies, as well as local producers, will share their expertise on various topics relating to grazing techniques and grassland management.
Beef Checkoff Program Key To Export Efforts
CENTENNIAL, COLO., (Aug. 20, 2007) – Exports of U.S. beef continue to increase, thanks in part to promotions funded by U.S. beef producers through the Beef Checkoff Program. These efforts are coordinated on behalf of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) and state beef councils by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
For the Beef Board’s fiscal year ending Sept. 30, more than $4.8 million in national checkoff funds is budgeted for foreign marketing. This national money was combined with checkoff funds from state beef councils and further supplemented with funds from the Market Access Program (MAP) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, leveraging the value of producer dollars to the greatest extent possible. In fact, a $6.3 million checkoff investment by beef producers in 2006 purchased $15.5 million in total international promotions, when USDA MAP funds and contributions by grain and soybean producers were included.
Fewer vet students think big these days
Food supply needs large animal experts
BY PEGGY WALSH-SARNECKI
DETROIT FREE PRESS
Auburn Moyer grew up on a beef cattle and horse farm near Ludington, and can’t wait to return to a rural community as a farm animal veterinarian.
“Growing up on a farm, you hear the call for help as your animals are sick,” said Moyer, 25, who attends Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
“I see the farmers struggling because there’s just not enough people to call on,” Moyer said.
There are not enough students like Moyer these days, experts say. Most veterinary students prefer to take care of pets and other small animals.