Daily Archives: August 27, 2007

Semen storage and handling for A.I.

Semen storage and handling for A.I.

By Joseph C. Dalton, Caldwell Research & Ext. Center, University of Idaho

Artificial insemination is an efficient and cost-effective strategy to improve the genetics and reproductive performance of a herd. Reputable commercial AI studs and custom semen collection businesses, through stringent collection, processing and quality control, provide a highly fertile product to their customers. When semen is purchased and transferred to the producer’s or professional AI technician’s liquid nitrogen refrigerator, the maintenance of male fertility is in the hands of the producer, farm employees, and AI technicians.

In order to realize the maximal potential fertility within straws of frozen semen, the liquid nitrogen refrigerator must be managed properly. The liquid nitrogen refrigerator consists of a “tank within a tank,” with insulation under vacuum between the inner and outer tanks. Liquid nitrogen refrigerators should be stored in a clean, dry area, preferably on a wood stand to avoid possible corrosion (due to contact with wet or damp concrete).


Ranch Employees are a Forgotten Resource

Ranch Employees are a Forgotten Resource

by: Eric Grant

Cattle Today

Several decades ago, Burke Teichert learned a powerful lesson about managing people.

Hired by Harold Schmidt, a California-based veterinarian and self-made millionaire, Teichert was called into his office and asked to carry out a specific assignment.

 “Burke, I want you to look into this,” Schmidt said, “and I need it back in three weeks.”

Teichert, who had grown up working on his Wyoming ranch for his micro-managing father, wasn’t accustomed to such “management” generalities. He was used to structure, and felt a pinch for more information before he began the task at hand.


The Beefmobile

The Beefmobile

Josh Chrisman travels highways and byways in promotional vehicle

By Marcia Schlegelmilch

MCCOOL — At first glance, it’s a mini-van, just like any other traveling down the highway. At second glance it’s not … it’s the Beefmobile and it is being piloted by McCool Junction’s own Josh Chrisman.

Chrisman, a 2005 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, leadership, education and communication. The 25-year-old is putting everything he has learned to good use as a wrangler for the beef checkoff program operated through the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board is comprised of cattle producers and importers who direct the national beef checkoff program, with oversight from USDA. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is a contractor of Checkoff dollars used for beef promotion and research efforts on behalf of the Beef Board.


NCBA official seeking input on checkoff hike

NCBA official seeking input on checkoff hike

By Robert Pore

Since 1985, the national beef checkoff program has been collecting a $1 per head fee on each head of cattle sold.

The checkoff program has helped expand beef sales and fund important research programs that are beneficial to both producers and consumers.

According to Terry Stokes, CEO of the National Cattlemen Beef Association, while his organization hasn’t endorsed any proposal that would increase the checkoff, he is traveling around the country, seeking input from cattle producers about any possible checkoff increase.


Ranchers: Checkoff should support USA beef

Ranchers: Checkoff should support USA beef

North Platte Bulleting

Recently, Terry Stokes, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Michael Kelsey, the CEO of the Nebraska Cattlemen, toured the state trying to drum up support for a 100-percent increase in the Beef Checkoff.

At every stop and press opportunity, they claimed that any such increase would be driven by producers, who would then have a chance to ratify it with a vote.

Well, Mr. Stokes and Mr. Kelsey, let’s take a look at how 8,000 beef producers voted in a recent survey conducted by the Gallup organization under the direction of the USDA and the Livestock Marketing Association:

· Only 5.7 percent said the Checkoff should be increased; 91 percent of the respondents said it should remain at $1 (per head) or be decreased.

· 92 percent said Checkoff dollars should be used to promote products from cattle specifically born and raised in the U. S. Under current rules beef can only be promoted as a generic product, with no regard to its origin.


Identify Your Calf Market, Then Add The Value

Identify Your Calf Market, Then Add The Value

Wes Ismael

Beef magazine

For all the opportunities that come with value-added markets, they can be the tail wagging the proverbial fleabag if you lose sight of the core product while focusing on the extras some buyers are enamored with some of the time.

Far as that goes, it’s still too easy trying to market what you have to sell, rather than identifying markets and demands before building the product.

“Do the marketing first and the production second. Know where and how you will sell the calves you intend to produce, and maybe even who you’ll sell them to. Then go back and create the calves that market wants in a way that makes economic sense to you,” advises Bill Mies, beef management consultant to Elanco Animal Health’s Global Beef Management Group.


Cattle Preconditioning Combined With A Marketing Plan Can Increase Calf Returns

Cattle Preconditioning Combined With A Marketing Plan Can Increase Calf Returns


There are several different marketing opportunities available to Kansas cattle producers which will pay premiums for preconditioned calves. If you have good quality calves to start with, this is a way to add value and increase your bottom line. To take advantage of those markets, now is the time to begin making preparations.

First of all, we need to define preconditioning. Some producers think they have preconditioned a set of calves if they gave a 7-way blackleg and/or respiratory vaccination at branding or turnout time. However, those buyers who are willing to pay a premium are not looking for a calf that is advertised as having had “all its shots”, but for a comprehensively-managed calf that is expected to have minimal health problems once it enters the feedlot.


Prolonged drought taking its toll

Prolonged drought taking its toll

By Jennie Jones Giles

Times-News (NC)

There is no locally grown hay to sell, costs of hay are rising, landscape workers are suffering financially and rows of stunted corn are in the fields.

The drought in Western North Carolina is hurting the region’s farmers, livestock producers, landscaping businesses and workers, and people simply raising horses for pleasure.

Hay, cattle and horses

The lack of adequate rainfall this spring and summer has resulted in inadequate pastures and has seriously affected the hay crop, said Kelly Springs, executive director of the Farm Service Agency.


Some women have stopped being chicken about ordering steak

Some women have stopped being chicken about ordering steak


New York Times/twincities.com

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 at the Corner Bistro in Greenwich Village, he proposed. This March, the rehearsal dinner was at Keens Steakhouse on West 36th Street, and the wedding menu included mini-cheeseburgers and more steak.

Wilkie was a vegetarian in her teens, and even wore a “Meat Is Murder” T-shirt. But by her 30s, she had started eating cow. By the time she placed the personal ad, she had come to realize ordering steak on a first date had the potential to sate appetites not only of the stomach but of the heart.

Red meat sent a message she was “unpretentious and down to earth and unneurotic,” she said, “that I’m not obsessed with my weight even though I’m thin, and I don’t have any food issues.”

She added, “In terms of the burgers, it said I’m a cheap date, low maintenance.”


Treatment Of Anaplasmosis

Treatment Of Anaplasmosis


Anaplasmosis, sometimes referred to as anaplas, is a disease affecting cattle that is easily spread by blood-sucking vectors. Outbreaks typically occur in late summer and early fall, and severity of this disease is generally related to the age of the animal. Anaplasmosis has its greatest effect on cattle that are two years of age and older.They will show acute symptoms of the disease, and mortality rates may be as great as 50% if animals are left untreated. However, younger cattle from 12 to 24 months of age may show acute signs of the disease, but it is rarely fatal. In calves less than one year of age, anaplasmosis is very mild.

When an animal becomes infected, the microscopic pathogen infects the animal’s red blood cells. Once the red blood cells become infected, the organism replicates itself in order to infect more red blood cells. During this period, the infected animal shows little or no signs of illness.At some point,the infected animal’s immune system begins to respond and attempts to attack the invader.When this occurs, the immune system destroys the pathogen but also destroys the infected red blood cells.As a result, the signs of clinical anemia will appear.Typical symptoms include generalized weakness, a rectal temperature of 104-107ºF, a poor appetite, pale to yellow mucous membranes, a decrease in milk production and possible death.


Dry hills hurt cattle industry

Dry hills hurt cattle industry

Consumers may see higher beef prices

By Jim Downing

Sacramento Bee

From Interstate 505, it’s hard to tell that the grass in the hills west of Winters is any less plentiful than it was last August.

But drive up Salt Creek on the Clarence Scott Ranch, where 18 of Rick Harrison’s cows huddled in the shade of an oak tree, and the pastures are close-clipped, the springs dry.

Harrison stopped his flatbed pickup in a spring-fed gully that often runs with water through the summer. This year, the creekbed clay crunches under his tires.

“It wouldn’t bother me if it started raining in October and didn’t quit till May,” he said.


Heat Can Lead to Toxic Water Sources

Heat Can Lead to Toxic Water Sources

Kansas State University

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Hot weather, as many producers know, can cause problems for livestock. Even the best way to cope with the heat – water – can be hazardous when extreme heat sets in, said Larry Hollis, Kansas State University Research and Extension beef veterinarian.

Because of unusually hot August weather, with temperatures that soared past 100 degrees F., parts of the High Plains could begin to see blue-green algae bloom on ponds or water tanks, Hollis said. This usually occurs in shallow, warm, slow-moving or still water that is high in nutrient content.

These conditions allow the growth of Cyanobacter spp., a form of photosynthetic bacteria, he said. Under the right conditions, there can be massive growth of the bacteria, which results in a “bloom.”

“During a bloom the bacteria float to the surface and collect to form what is commonly called pond scum,” Hollis said. “Wind will push this scum across the top of the water, concentrating the scum against downwind shores.”


Byproduct helps ranchers near ethanol plants

Byproduct helps ranchers near ethanol plants

Sioux City Journal

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Corn’s move from food source to energy provider might contribute to higher costs of feeding cattle, but some dairy farmers and beef ranchers are finding advantages to being close to an ethanol plant.

Converting corn into ethanol produces a byproduct called distillers grains, which can be used as high-protein livestock feed. Most are dried so they can be shipped across the country and overseas, but cattle ranchers within 50 miles or so from an ethanol plant can save money by buying wet distillers grains.


Preconditioning Programs Gain Momentum

Preconditioning Programs Gain Momentum


Superior Livestock Auction, the nation’s largest marketer of cattle via satellite and the Internet, gave SelectVAC®, the largest branded preconditioning program in the industry, a major boost when it announced a 5-year exclusive partnership with Pfizer Animal Health. The partnership names SelectVAC® as the only branded preconditioning program recognized by Superior Livestock Auction and allows the over 1.5 million head of cattle sold annually through Superior to be identified as SelectVAC/Superior-designated calves.

In a similar announcement, the American Angus Association, representing the largest breed of cattle in North America, said they were forming a marketing alliance between their AngusSource®, an age-, source- and genetic-USDA Process Verified Program and Pfizer’s SelectVAC®.


Government cowboys patrol Rio Grande to protect cattle from resurgent ticks

Government cowboys patrol Rio Grande to protect cattle from resurgent ticks

Government cowboys fight resurgent parasites


The Dallas Morning News

LAREDO – They’re gun-toting, government cowboys who follow an unforgiving and treacherous 500-mile route along the Texas-Mexico border, their .357 Magnums, lariats and machetes well in hand.

These cowboys aren’t after the wave of drug smugglers or illegal immigrants who cross the border daily: They’re inspectors on the lookout for border-crossing, blood-sucking parasites that feed on the region’s cattle and deer – small black ticks, or garrapatas.

The fever tick was all but stricken from the U.S. more than 50 years ago, after wreaking havoc on the state’s beef industry.


Project examines impact of good nutrition on calves

Project examines impact of good nutrition on calves

By New Mexico State University

Does proper nutrition at the very beginnings of a calf’s life have a significant impact as the animal grows up? The answer to that question could mean tens of millions of dollars to cattle producers across the country who suffer losses of $600 million annually due to poor calf health at feedlots.


S. Korea to reopen market to U.S. beef

S. Korea to reopen market to U.S. beef


Arkansas Democrat Gazette

South Korea said Friday it would begin inspecting U. S. beef again next week, effectively reopening the market to domestic producers like Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc.

Three weeks ago, officials in Seoul stopped inspecting U. S. red meat after a banned vertebral column was discovered in a shipment from Minneapolisbased Cargill Inc. Since January, Korea has blocked — and then unblocked — U. S. beef shipments at least three times after its inspectors found specific risk materials for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad-cow disease.


Zogby Poll: 85% Want to Know Where Their Food Comes From

Zogby Poll: 85% Want to Know Where Their Food Comes From


Survey shows 90% believe knowing the country of origin of the foods they buy will allow consumers to make safer food choices

As food recalls – from both imported foods from overseas and foods produced here in the U.S. – continue to make headlines, Americans may be paying more attention to where their food comes from. Nearly three in four (74%) say it’s important to them to know the country of origin for the all types of products they buy, but even more – 85% – say knowing where their food comes from is important. But for the vast majority of Americans it’s about more than just wanting to know – 94% believe consumers have a right to know the country of origin of the foods they purchase, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.