Don’t Poison Your Cattle
by Ed Haag
In the garden the delphinium is an innocuous flowering perennial, but on the range as larkspur, it is one deadly customer. Consider the following: A beef producer leases a pasture in southern Idaho and, ignorant of the consequences of grazing larkspur, he releases more than 200 animals onto the site.
“In four days he lost 54 head, including several bulls,” says James Pfister, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research rangeland management specialist and an authority on toxic plants that kill livestock.
Evaluating Silage Quality
Ensiling does not improve the quality of a forage. The quality of the feed that is taken out of the silo can be no better than the quality of the feed that was put into the silo.
Obtaining Samples for Quality Examination
It is extremely important that a representative sample of silage be obtained for quality determinations. How useful the analysis of silage will be is determined in large measure by analysis of silage as a whole. It how well the sample taken represents the silage is of little value to do quality evaluation of a silage sample that does not represent the silage being fed.
Forage samples for analysis should be taken as the silo is being filled. Sample each field and crop type separately. Take small sample of each load brought to the silo. As soon as possible after a load is sampled the forage should be placed in an airtight container and in a cool place such as a refrigerator or freezer. Individual samples from one field or crop type should be well mixed and a subsample taken for analysis. Enough forage to fill a container the size of a bread bag is more than adequate for laboratory analyses. The container used should be sealed to avoid moisture loss and frozen until it is submitted or mailed to a laboratory.
Value Added Management Can Improve Values
by: Clifford Mitchell
Cattlemen have often been accused of being slow to adapt to new husbandry practices, alternative feed sources or to even new vaccines that are just a tick better than the old ones. When he gets caught in this quandary, it often reminds us of the Cuba Gooding Jr. character from the movie Jerry McQuire and he’ll say “Show me the money”!
Adding value is nothing new to the beef industry. It would surprise most on how long it has actually been part of the cattleman’s vocabulary. Most programs prove their worth up and down the chain. Due to differences in supply, feed and transportation costs, it is sometimes hard to put an exact value on what these different forms of value-added management return to the producer.
Fast rising input costs, often changing overnight, leave most producers searching for answers. Since no single protocol fits every operation in the beef business, there is no simple solution to bringing home the most dollars for the calf crop in a given year. Making changes to combat narrow margins are often confined to management practices because changes to genetics take a long time.
Angus Association Signs Cooperative Agreement with USDA
St. Joseph, Mo, August 8, 2007—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has signed a cooperative agreement with the American Angus AssociationSM. A ceremonial signing was held to recognize the cooperative efforts of both groups in the education of the premise registration process and enrollments.
In recent years, biosecurity issues around the world have prompted action in the United States to avoid similar outbreaks potentially threatening our food supply. It also sparked an overall effort to educate those in production agriculture on the risks and preventative measures associated with biosecurity issues. Traceability, through premise registration, has been identified as one key preventative component in this effort.
Wisconsin Web Site Helps Locate Forages
Hay and Forage Grower
Hay and forage buyers may be able to connect with local sellers — and save on transportation costs — using a Web site developed by the University of Wisconsin Extension Grains Team. So says Mike Ballweg, UW ag agent from Sheboygan County. The Farmer-to-Farmer site, searchable by county, is currently designed for Wisconsin growers. But out-of-state hay buyers and sellers can also list on it.
Management software is e-business boost for farmers
Management software is e-business boost for farmers
Up to 250 beef farmers in the West Midlands region can look forward to enhancing their business competitiveness when they enroll on a £1 million comprehensive e-commerce course.
The innovative Farm Connections scheme is aimed at integrating beef producers into the professional supply chain with a package which includes the provision of laptops, beef enterprise software and full support and software training.
Farm Connections, which will also run in the South West and Wales, was developed out of a partnership between Sainsbury’s, major meat processor Anglo Beef Processors (ABP), and the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF), an organization set up to help the British red meat industry recapture and maintain a leading position in the marketplace.
Experts speak on supplementing cattle feed with co-products
The Rural Review
As grain prices rise and hay is in short supply, beef cattle producers may look at co-products to fill the void in their cow-calf and feeding operations, said a University of Illinois Extension animal systems educator.
“To answer some of the questions such producers might have, a conference will be held Nov. 28 at the U of I Extension building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds,” said Dave Seibert. “A wide range of topics related to feeding co-products will be covered by expert speakers from three states.” The conference begins with registration at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at 4:45 p.m.