Daily Archives: August 23, 2007

Ethanol Changing Cattle Price Equation

Ethanol Changing Cattle Price Equation   

Ann Toner

Nebraska Farmer

Ethanol production is causing a shift in the traditional relationship between corn prices and cattle prices, according to Darrell Mark, University of Nebraska agricultural economist.

Speaking to primarily to a cattle-producer audience at the Nebraska Grazing Conference in Kearney recently, Mark said higher corn prices appear to be prompting cattle feeders to bid more for heavier feeder calves, which are traditionally several dollars per hundredweight under lighter calves.

That’s because cattle feeders have to pay more for corn. Prices quoted for distillers grains are often 80-95% of the price of corn on a dry matter basis.


Feeding Corn Stover to Ruminants

Feeding Corn Stover to Ruminants

By: Maurice Eastridge,

Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences

With the dry conditions this year in many areas of Ohio, the yield of hay has been reduced and corn silage yields are going to be quite variable based on planting time and geographic area. Therefore, forage supplies are going to be quite limited this year, and several areas have been already reporting unreasonably high hay prices. Obviously, ruminants must have forage in their diets to remain healthy. Also with the current hay and grain prices, overall feed costs are going to be elevated for quite some time. With these conditions, alternative forage sources are being considered, including the feeding of corn stover (corn plant after grain harvest). The composition of corn stover is provided in Table 1, and it is compared to the composition of corn grain, corn silage, and wheat straw. The grain and forage components of corn are low in protein, but they especially contribute energy to the diet and fiber for ruminal health.


Receiving Protocols For Healthy Cattle

Receiving Protocols For Healthy Cattle


The right protocols lead to healthier cattle with better performance

Whether starting lightweight calves or growing and finishing cattle, a sound receiving program that includes prevention, control and treatment measures for respiratory issues helps offset the guessing game producers are typically faced with.

 “Unless producers are buying known origin cattle or animals verified with SelectVAC®, they don’t know what they’re getting,” says Mitch Blanding, DVM, Pfizer Animal Health veterinarian, Lenexa, Kan. “In any given group of animals, we don’t know if they’ve been vaccinated and for what, we don’t know if the sick animals have been ill for 1 or 5 days, we may not even be sure if they’ve come from a drought-stricken area that adds to the ‘normal’ level of stress.”


Management can Prevent Urea Feeding Problem

Management can Prevent Urea Feeding Problem

by: Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS

Cattle Today

Last week I received a call from a feed manufacturer client that was encountering some issues with a customer. The customer (a cow-calf operator) had purchased a feed supplement back in the fall and winter from the feed company and was now complaining that he had suffered some significant loss of performance because of the use of the product and the fact that the product included non-protein nitrogen in the form of urea. Upon reviewing the case and the letter sent to the producer by his veterinarian, it became obvious that even after all the years urea has been used as a source of nitrogen for the production of bacterial protein in the ruminant, many misunderstandings and misconceptions still exist about this commonly used feed ingredient. Additionally, since urea is, essentially, a by-product from the energy industry, its value and cost has been affected by recent developments in that industry. In response to both of these circumstances I felt it would be useful to revisit this topic.


Organic farmers suffer extensive crop damage

Organic farmers suffer extensive crop damage

Madison Daily Leader

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Richard de Wilde estimates he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars this week when a foot of rain inundated his organic beef and vegetable farm in southwestern Wisconsin.

“Out of our 100 acres of vegetables, we had easily 30 under water,” de Wilde, one of the state’s largest organic farmers, said in a phone interview Tuesday. “If that was all a loss, it’s $300,000. I’m thinking we’re going to be able to salvage some out of there, but certainly it’s more than $200,000 just counting crops.”


Cattle and Pastures Suffer Under Heat

Cattle and Pastures Suffer Under Heat


CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR–Imagine wearing a thick black coat during the hottest part of the year. You are unable to go inside and can’t take the coat off as the sun bears down. Your body temperature shoots up. You need a lot of shade and gallons upon gallons of water to survive. That’s the life of a black Angus cow during the summer.


Michigan: Producers Are Reminded To Obtain Movement Certificates For Moving Cattle Across Zonal Boundaries

Michigan:  Producers Are Reminded To Obtain Movement Certificates For Moving Cattle Across Zonal Boundaries

MI Newswire

LANSING – Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) officials remind producers that all cattle and bison from the Lower Peninsula moving across bovine Tuberculosis (TB) zonal boundaries are required to have a movement certificate before leaving farm premises.

“Michigan must prove to other states that our disease testing, surveillance and regulatory programs are preventing the spread of bovine TB,” said Dr. Steven Halstead, state veterinarian. “Certificates for movement are critical to Michigan’s goal of achieving TB-free status. To help us achieve it, MDA is partnering with the Michigan State Police to check livestock vehicles, loaded or empty, to ensure haulers have the proper paperwork both at the Mackinac Bridge and along the border between the Modified Accredited Zone and the Modified Accredited Advanced Zone.”


Even farm animals go extinct

Even farm animals go extinct

By Jacques Diouf

IN THE Colombian Andes, the Blanco Orejinegro cattle breed, known for its longevity, tolerance to high altitudes, and resistance to parasites, is under threat; only 260 animals of this breed remain. Time may also be running out for the fat-tailed Namaqua Africander sheep of South Africa, a breed highly adapted to harsh, arid desert environments. Only one flock of 400 animals remains.


Change Grazing Management During Drought

Change Grazing Management During Drought

University of Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. — Drought-damaged pastures in parts of Nebraska are limiting livestock feed, but producers can graze, chop or bale crops to salvage value and feed hungry cattle, University of Nebraska specialists said.

Stressed corn can be green chopped and fed to livestock to use a crop that won’t produce grain due to drought conditions, said Rick Rasby, an Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources beef specialist. The feed will be lower in energy without the grain, but it will still be close to meeting the energy requirements of a lactating beef cow, Rasby said.


Impact of Drought: Gaunt cattle head to market early

Impact of Drought: Gaunt cattle head to market early


To see the effects of the drought on farm animals, go to the Shelby Livestock Yard. It isn’t pretty.

With no grass and no hay for feed, some farmers in the Carolinas are being forced to sell their cattle. Some come into the yard looking gaunt — ribs sticking out and hips that look like cloth draped over a dish rack.

If they stayed on the farms during the drought?

‘They’d die,’ said Al Eatmon, the owner of the yard, where cows of all breeds from around the region are pressed against one another, chuted around an open-air holding area and then prodded through an opening to the other side of a wall until they briefly appear in a small ring where buyers bid.


Seoul denies early decision on U.S. beef

Seoul denies early decision on U.S. beef

Korean Herald

Korea will not decide whether to resume inspections of U.S. beef imports this week, a government official said yesterday, dismissing reports speculating that a decision could be imminent.

“We have no plans for announcing a decision today or anytime soon,” an official at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry told The Korea Herald, asking not to be identified.


We Still Have Options For Fall And Winter Feed

We Still Have Options For Fall And Winter Feed


Most of my recent conversations with producers have been about their feed options this year. Besides stockpiling fescue, grazing standing corn and corn residue, there is still plenty of time to plant and grow high quality forage that can be utilized by grazing this late fall and winter. The key here is grazing. If you only think about making hay then your choices are limited.

There are several choices that may be available to you. Any of these options can stretch winter feed and keep costs down, especially when strip grazed with electric fence. Limiting animal access to these forages by strip grazing will improve utilization of the forage.

Due to the current soil moisture conditions no-tilling may be the best option over conventional tilling. Fields available for planting can include those with small grain stubble or those sacrifice fields you have been feeding in while the pastures were dormant. Options such as brassicas, rye and oats can even be sown by aerial seeding into standing corn and soybean fields before they are harvested.


Perennial Forages Look Promising on the Plains

Perennial Forages Look Promising on the Plains

Tim W. McAlavy,

Texas A and M University

LOCKNEY – More and more South Plains producers are taking a look at how perennial forages may fit in their future production plans. A recent turnrow meeting on the Eddie Teeter farm near here provided an opportunity to see how several perennial grasses are initially faring on the Plains.

Teeter is one of about 20 South Plains producers who volunteer their management expertise and some of their land to test production systems currently under review by the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation.

The 13 forages in this perennial grass trial include buffalo grass, sideoats grama, blue grama, switch grass, Klein grass, Indian grass, three types of old world bluestem, a blend of native grasses, and three types of Bermuda grass.


UGA Breaks Ground on New Livestock Facility

UGA Breaks Ground on New Livestock Facility

Cattle Today

When the University of Georgia began planning a move of its livestock research facilities from their long time home near campus, it needed a location that would accommodate cutting edge research on sheep, cattle, and swine. The site also had to be designed in a way that would minimize environmental impact, preserve the rural character of the area, generate energy, and minimize the byproducts of livestock, including wastewater and more.

Key to the process was finding an engineering and design consultant who could offer familiarity with the University and its processes, understood facility design, and had cutting edge environmental experience to pull it all off. They found that in O’Brien & Gere, a national engineering and project delivery firm with offices in Athens, Atlanta and Savannah.


How Big Is Too Big?

How Big Is Too Big?


Are your mature cows too big? What is the mature size of your cows? What is your average calf weaning weight? If you have never asked yourself these questions, it may be time to.

Why are cow size and calf weaning weight important? They relate directly to your ability to efficiently produce a pound of weaned calf. If you do not know the answer to these questions, you have no idea of your operational efficiency.Average cow weights have crept up over the years, mainly with the thought that weaning weights will increase. However, we may be past the optimal point of cow size and efficiency. A general goal that extension specialists have for a cow is to wean 50% of their mature body weight each year.


Pick replacement heifers based on environment

Pick replacement heifers based on environment


Country World News (TX)

COLLEGE STATION — One of the opening speakers at this year’s Beef Cattle Short Course was Dr. Jason Banta, an assistant professor at the A&M research center in Overton and Extension beef specialist, who discussed buying replacement females.

One of the most important aspects of buying replacement heifers is that they match their working environment, said Banta. In Central, East, and South Texas this means a Brahmanic influenced female capable of tolerating the heat.


Summer drought leaves farmers wondering about winter

Summer drought leaves farmers wondering about winter

Ashley Bergthold

Herald-Citizen (TN)

COOKEVILLE — A brief break in the heat this weekend did little to lessen the effects of blistering temperatures and drought conditions that have plagued the state and no one feels it more than area farmers and their livestock. While the National Weather Service is expecting temperatures in Middle Tennessee to return to 100 degrees or higher before the weekend, Upper Cumberland farmer’s continue to see heat stress and food shortages affect their herds.


Prevent Anaplasmosis

Prevent Anaplasmosis


Producers who have experienced anaplasmosis in their herds may look toward preventative measures.A common approach has been to supplement cattle with an oral antibiotic (chlortetracycline, CTC) in either free choice mineral or a range meal supplement. Keep in mind that a common mistake is feeding a mineral supplement that DOES NOT contain a sufficient level of CTC.This means the mineral label should indicate a use for anaplasmosis prevention, and the feeding directions should provide consumption indications for cows of various weights.