Monthly Archives: October 2007

Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The October 31, issue # 560, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at:

Despite last week’s much welcomed rainfall over most of Ohio, the impact of this summer’s drought will likely linger for cattlemen until at least well into next spring. As a part of the continuing effort to offer timely and cost effective management strategies to Ohio’s cattlemen, OSU Extension has scheduled a series of “Drought 07” strategy meetings for November. This week’s letter features an invitation for you to bring your neighbor and attend.

Articles include:
* OSU Extension Offers “Drought Strategies” at Series of Meetings
* Feeding Systems for Beef Cows
* Forage Focus: Frost Damage and Prussic Acid Poisoning Potential

Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

Farmers Encouraged to Apply for Grants

Farmers Encouraged to Apply for Grants

Cattle Today

The Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program is now accepting farmer research grant applications. Applications are due by November 15, 2007.

Farmers, ranchers or producer organizations in the U.S. Southern Region are eligible to apply for a Producer Grant, which have maximums of $10,000 for individual producers and $15,000 for producer organizations to be used within two years.

Coordinating the SARE program for Tennessee are Roy Bullock with Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension Program, and Clark Garland with University of Tennessee Extension. Both encourage producers to apply for the grants.


Film questions food costs

Film questions food costs

Low prices come with trade-offs to health, filmmakers say.

Maureen Groppe

Gannett News Service/

From his Indiana nursing home, former Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz lets the makers of the documentary “King Corn” in on “America’s best kept secret.”

Americans spend only between 16 percent and 17 percent of their take-home pay on food, Butz tells the camera.

“That’s marvelous,” said Butz, who transformed agriculture policy in the 1970s. “It’s the basis of our affluence now.”

But the filmmakers aren’t so sure. Recent college graduates Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, who grew an acre of corn to follow it through the food chain, point out that their generation will have a shorter lifespan than their parents because of what they eat — much of it corn-fed meat, corn-based processed foods or those sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.


Research adds value to beef

Research adds value to beef

Wilson County News

Providing beef products that are versatile and economical and enhancing beef cuts are part of the initiatives that drive checkoff-funded research for the industry. The Beef Checkoff Program’s latest research includes new cuts from the chuck roll and a study on beef tenderness.

The Texas Beef Council (TBC) incorporates national industry-leading beef research into all program areas utilizing the information to educate consumer and beef producers. Beef products research has resulted in a new line of beef value cuts scheduled for release in 2008, according to the checkoff-funded Beef Innovations Group (BIG). The new lines of value cuts are fabricated form the beef chuck roll, which currently retail as chuck roast and chuck steaks.


Effect of Hay Feeding Methods on Hay Waste and Wintering Costs

Effect of Hay Feeding Methods on Hay Waste and Wintering Costs

Compiled by Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University

Michigan State University animal scientists studied four hay feeder design types: cone, ring, trailer or cradle. All feeder types allowed approximately 14.5 inches for each animal. Dry matter hay waste was 3.5%, 6.1%, 11.4% and 14.6% for the cone, ring, trailer and cradle feeders, respectively. There were differences in the behavior of cows at the feeders that may be involved with the differences in wastage. Cows eating from the cradle feeder had about 3 times as much butting and displacement behavior as other feeder types and four times as many entrances compared to cows feeding at the other type of feeders. The researchers determined that slanted bar designs encourage animals to keep their head in the feeder for longer periods while eating. Source: Buskirk, et al. 2003.


Conner vows to keep working on Asian beef markets

Conner vows to keep working on Asian beef markets

by Peter Shinn

Brownfield Network

Acting U.S. Ag Secretary Chuck Conner addressed the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) Global Outlook Forum in Washington D.C. Monday. He touted gains in U.S. beef and pork exports this year and vowed to keep working on restoring normal beef trade between the U.S. and Asian nations.

Conner said U.S. pork exports are up 6% so far this year, with beef exports up 17% to around 500,000 tonnes. And he suggested the World Organization for Animal Health’s (OIE) designation of the U.S. as a nation at controlled risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in May had proven helpful. Still, Conner noted more work needs to be done on re-opening Asian markets to U.S. beef.

“The progress of course – of course – has been slower than we would have like and this has been an issue that is going to require a focused, patient and a persistent effort to resolve at a government-to-government level,” said Conner. “I want you to know, ladies and gentlemen, that we remain very, very committed to getting this job done.”


What Factors Affect Stocking Rate Decisions?

What Factors Affect Stocking Rate Decisions?

The stocking rates selected must enable the ranch to survive financially (meet current obligations and provide for future needs), give satisfactory animal performance and allow for the future regrowth of forage.

Many ranchers try to graze the maximum number of animals they believe possible under current and “hoped for” conditions. Then if forage shortfalls and overgrazing occur, they are frequently blamed on drought. In fact, it is not drought nor the amount or distribution of rainfall that is the prime cause of range degradation. The most common cause of degradation is simply that ranchers expect animal productivity from their rangelands to be much higher than is realistic


S.C. Farmers Forced To Unload Cows During Devastating Drought

S.C. Farmers Forced To Unload Cows During Devastating Drought


CHESTER, S.C. — Thousands of cows are disappearing from the area — sold off because of the drought that’s devastating long-time cattle farmers.

“I go to bed thinking about it, and get up thinking about it,” said Kenneth Johnson of Clover, who’s farmed for 50 years.

Johnson joined dozens of other farmers Tuesday morning at a weekly auction in Chester County. This year has been the busiest on record for the auction as the drought forces many farmers to sell off their cattle.

The lack of rain has wiped out grazing pastures and is causing farmers to use hay that’s usually saved up for winter. That hay is much more expensive since it’s become a hot commodity. Farmers are paying $50 to $75 a bale as opposed to $20 to $40 when hay is plentiful.


Colorado Red Angus Breeder Earns Producer of the Year

Colorado Red Angus Breeder Earns Producer of the Year

Cattle Today

Larry and Jean Croissant were honored by their peers by earning the Red Angus Association of America’s (RAAA) Breeder of the Year Award. The Croissants received the award at the 2007 National RAAA Convention held in Dodge City, Kan., September 26 – 29 at the historic Dodge House Hotel and Convention Center. They were presented the award by Donnell and Kelli Brown, RA Brown Ranch of Throckmorton, Texas; long time friends, customers and one of the industry’s largest seedstock producers.


11 Plaintiffs File Complaint to Stop USDA’s Dangerous OTM Rule

11 Plaintiffs File Complaint to Stop USDA’s Dangerous OTM Rule

PR Newswire

R-CALF USA, along with 10 other plaintiffs, has filed a complaint against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the District Court — District of South Dakota, Northern Division (District Court) in an effort to prevent the agency decision from opening the Canadian border to imports of live cattle born after March 1, 1999, and beef products from cattle over 30 months of age. USDA’s decision, often referred to as the OTM (over 30 month) Rule, is scheduled to take effect Nov. 19. Eleven cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) have been detected in Canadian-born cattle, seven since the beginning of last year.


Needle Know-How

Needle Know-How

Needle selection and care are essential to quality assurance. When choosing the proper needle for administering the medication, keep the following facts in mind.

When possible, use products that can be administered subcutaneously because they cause less damage to the carcass.

Needle length for subcutaneous infections shouldn’t exceed 3/4 inch. Furthermore, many intramuscular injections can be done with a 1-inch needle.

Always remember that if you feel resistance when the needle penetrates the hide, check for barbs on the tip of the needle. It may be time for a new needle.


Tyson: Still too much beef-processing capacity

Tyson: Still too much beef-processing capacity


Lincoln Journal Star

Anybody seeking a message of certainty from John Tyson about the stability of Nebraska’s meatpacking industry would have come up a bit short in Lincoln Tuesday.

The chairman of the board of the nation’s largest beef processor predicted another round of “rationalizing” in beef-processing capacity.

Outside the ranks of meatpackers, rationalizing usually means creating false justification for action.

In the language of meatpackers, it means acting with full justification to downsize processing capacity to the reality of fewer cattle.


A Dry Summer Could Make for a Difficult Winter for Area Cattle Farmers.

A Dry Summer Could Make for a Difficult Winter for Area Cattle Farmers.

Southern States is offering various programs to help farmers deal with water shortage.

Story by Hilary Magacs


BUCKHANNON — Southern States is a farm Co-op with multiple locations in the US. Workers at the Buckhannon Co-op there say it’s been a tough year for many cattle farmers in the area because low amounts of rain have produced a hay shortage.

“The main problem is the lack of moisture, which has caused the hay crop to be down significantly and we’re from 20 to 40 percent pretty much in the Upshur and Randolph County area,” says Bill Kraft, District Manager for the Buckhannon Co-op.


R-CALF, for now, puts brakes on cattle crossing

R-CALF, for now, puts brakes on cattle crossing


Medicine Hat News

 The Canadian cattle industry wasn’t surprised that U.S. protectionist group R-CALF went to court again this week in an attempt to stop older than 30 months (OTM) live cattle and beef products from crossing the border next month.

But that doesn’t negate the fact that there’s a fair amount of consternation about the timing.

As it stands right now, the border is scheduled to re-open to older cattle and beef products as of Nov.19 — less than three weeks away.

“Basically, we’re not surprised “ said Theresa Keddy, communications manager for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA).

“It’s bad timing unfortunately, but we don’t think R-CALF’s action is going to change anything.”


Cattlemen Must Join The Battle Against Animal Rights Extremism

Cattlemen Must Join The Battle Against Animal Rights Extremism

Animal rights activism is a significant and growing threat to the livelihood of cattle feeders and the livestock industry must unite to confront it, according to Kay Johnson Smith, executive vice president of the Animal Agriculture Alliance.

Speaking at the 2007 Texas Cattle Feeders Association Annual Convention, Smith said cattlemen must understand that, for animal rights activists, their work “is not a job for them.  It is a life mission.  And they go to sleep thinking about it.  They wake up thinking about it.  They live to try to find opportunities to put you out of business.”

Smith said the activist organizations like The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Farm Sanctuary and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) routinely work together and have ample financial resources.   The combined annual income of 22 top animal rights groups amounts to more than $300 million a year, according to Smith.


Southeast drought hitting beef

Southeast drought hitting beef

By Tim Huber

An intense drought that scorched the Southeast this year is going to cost Americans at the meat counter.

Weather wiped out hay crops across the region, forcing cattlemen from Kentucky to Maryland and from West Virginia to Alabama to sell large numbers of current and future breeding stock this fall. The region produces some 30 percent of the calves sent to U.S. feedlots, and experts predict it will take three years or more for the nation’s beef supply to recover.

Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t keep regional statistics, market reports for Southeastern states show higher numbers of cattle are going to market this fall.



Baxter Black:  O.B. CHAIN MARATHON

Charlie survived and is now a member of that elite group of cowmen who have run the O.B. Chain Marathon.

“O.B. chain” for you readers who are poultry producers and might think this refers to manacles worn by Over the Border illegals or a delicate veterinary instrument used to spay heifers by Ovary Burglars, it is not. O.B. stands for Obstetrical. Obstetrics, obstetricians…refers to pregnancy, labor and birth.

During a calving…well, let me tell you Charlie’s story. He and his brother run a modest-sized cow ranch in the pretty rolling country north of Lewistown, MT. It was a wet spring and the brothers were in the midst of calving outside. They had bought one hundred bred heifers. They worked together during the day and took turns each night so the other could get some sleep.


Run Cattle Ranches as a Business to Avoid IRS Scrutiny

Run Cattle Ranches as a Business to Avoid IRS Scrutiny

by: John Alan Cohan, Attorney at Law

Cattle Today

In hobby loss audits, the IRS sometimes views various types of ranching activities as a means of generating tax losses, rather than as a profit-oriented venture. Many cases that have ruled in favor of the taxpayer in livestock and other ranching activities involve people who developed a superior line of animal. Taking a scientific approach to breeding is evidence showing a businesslike approach to the activity.

Careful research into pedigrees, for example, shows a concern for the proper application of genetics to your breeding program. Working with experts to develop a superior nutritional program is also evidence that you are using scientific means to enhance or at least maintain the health of your animals, and this in turn suggests you are operating a business rather than a hobby.


Hi, I’m Al, I’ll be your food tonight

Hi, I’m Al, I’ll be your food tonight

A new beef co-op is figuring that the better we know our meat, the more we’ll eat



A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. That’s what Jason Freeman of the Farmer Direct Co-operative believes, so he wants you to know everything about the cow that made it from pasture to your plate: where it lived, what it ate, who raised it, and who killed it. His business is banking on the prospect that, given the right conditions, this knowledge will lead carnivores not straight to a vegan diet but to market, hungry for a sizzling steak.


Minnesota Cattle Feeder Days focus on ethanol

Minnesota Cattle Feeder Days focus on ethanol

Minnesota Farm Guide


University of Minnesota Beef Education Team is pleased to announce the 2007 Minnesota Cattle Feeder Days: “Impact of Ethanol Processing on Cattle Feeding.”

The team will address feeding ethanol processing co-products that can lead to greater protein and sulfur feeding.

Members will also speak on high corn prices, the abundance of corn processing co-products and the economic impact of ethanol processing on the beef industry.