Daily Archives: October 1, 2007



“ARE YOU TEACHIN’ HIM A LESSON?” she asked, eager to please, As I tried to keep from barfing, my head between my knees. “YOU HUNG ON LIKE A WIND SOCK! IT JUST TICKLED US TO DEATH!” Is she serious? I’m drooling, I can’t hardly catch my breath.




Manage Replacement Heifers for Fertility and Productivity in Herd

Manage Replacement Heifers for Fertility and Productivity in Herd

by: Dr. Mel Pence

University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine with Myra Burnsed, Jennifer Carter, Suzanne Sheldon, Kendrick Sudderth (UGA College of Veterinary Medicine class of 2008)

Cattle Today

Incorporating the following practices into your management of a heifer replacement system can be effective tools to increase the overall fertility and productivity of your herd, both in the short term and in the future. Within the beef cattle industry, the devotion of time and resources to the reproductive efforts in a herd holds tremendous potential for a significant increase in revenue.

Phenotypic Selection

The first step to developing quality heifers is to choose those that will best support the breeding goals of your program. This requires consideration of the genetic and phenotypic qualities you want to perpetuate.

Generally speaking, a producer should match their cows to the environment and their bulls to the market. In choosing heifers to keep for a development program, it is important to evaluate the heifers individually, yet also as a collective group. Within the replacement group the producer should aim for uniformity in the cow base, which will result in a more uniform calf crop each year.

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AHA completes first year of heterosis study

AHA completes first year of heterosis study

By Doug Rich

High Plains Journal

The American Hereford Association (AHA) held a media day at their headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., to announce the first-year results of a heterosis study.

The objective of the research project is to conduct controlled crossbreeding; comparing progeny sired by Hereford and Angus bulls, under real life commercial conditions. Cooperators in the project are California State University at Chico, Lacey Livestock, Harris Feeding Co., and Harris Ranch Beef Co.

Ten Hereford bulls were matched with 10 Angus bulls of comparable genetics. The study looked at the economic differences at the ranch, feedlot, and packing plant phases of production. DNA testing was used to determine the parentage of each calf used in the study.

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Operating Committee approves beef checkoff initiatives for 2008

Operating Committee approves beef checkoff initiatives for 2008

—Committee forced to cut more than $1.8 million in proposals.

Western Livestock Journal

The Beef Promotion Operating Committee last week funded a total of 42 program proposals with beef checkoff dollars for Fiscal 2008. At the same time, however, a tight budget forced the committee to reject more than $1.8 million in proposals to stay within the Cattlemen’s Beef Board’s (CBB’s) $46.8 million national program budget for the coming year.

“This was one of the most difficult Operating Committee meetings I’ve been through during all the years I’ve served on it because of all the tough choices we had to make,” said CBB Chairman Ken Stielow, a producer from Kansas. “At the same time, it was one of the best because of that. We have a very tight budget for 2008—down about 9 percent from the 2007 budget—so we really had to debate the merits of each program extensively.”

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Quality beef is always at a premium

Quality beef is always at a premium

By Jennifer Bremer

High Plains Journal

The demand for premium choice beef continues to be strong, according to Robbi Pritchard, professor of animal and range sciences at South Dakota State University.

Pritchard discussed the kinetics of marbling at the ProBeef Conference held at Iowa State University on Sept. 5 to 7. The conference brought agricultural scientists and producers from around the world to discuss the global influence the ethanol industry has on agriculture today and in the future.

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Calf Value Discovery sign-up deadline Oct. 19

Calf Value Discovery sign-up deadline Oct. 19

Rapid City Journal

Friday, Oct. 19, is the deadline to sign up for South Dakota State University’s 2007-08 Calf Value Discovery Program.

SDSU Extension beef specialist Cody Wright said the program lets producers better assess the value of their cattle and gain carcass and feedlot performance information to aid in management decisions.

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Colorado issues new ID requirements

Colorado issues new ID requirements

Western Livestock Journal

Colorado State University (CSU) Extension recently issued new rules regarding the implementation of premise ID for 4-H participants. The new rules are the result of a year’s worth of public comment on the issue, which appeared to CSU officials to be mostly negative. Some producers have indicated that CSU’s change may also be a result of a recent incident at the 2007 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo in which 4-H’ers participating in the livestock show were required to register their premise under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

The requirement implemented at the 2007 State Fair was decided by the Colorado State Fair Board of Authority in January of 2007 and received a great deal of public protest. Nevertheless, the rule remained in place for the State Fair in August, and an incident in which two 4-H’ers were barred from participating in the livestock show spawned a sea of controversy as a result.

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Beef cattle management strategies during a drought

Beef cattle management strategies during a drought

By David Richmond

The Register Herald

With this summer being one of the driest on record, livestock producers in southern West Virginia are at a point where monumental management decisions will need to be made in order to survive financially in the livestock arena.

Periods of drought requires beef producers to make some adjustments in their production program or sell livestock. When cattle are sold out of desperation, the producer loses. If you have not begun to make contingency plans, start now.

You certainly want to avoid feeding hay before the winter season begins especially if you know your hay crop is going to be below normal. Even with early conservation, most producers will need additional feed for cattle. Is it possible to make it? The answer is yes, if you plan and make the necessary adjustments. Several small things can be done that collectively can conserve your feed resources.

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New study aims to raise small ranch profits

New study aims to raise small ranch profits

KXTV News Team

BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) Researchers at South Dakota State University have landed a $500,000 grant to study ways to improve the profitability of small ranches by evaluating alternatives in beef cattle enterprises.

The four-year study will evaluate the biological and economic responses to several strategies within beef cattle production systems.

The grant will fund research through August 2011.

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Many farmers say, not only do they have no hay to feed their animals this winter, they have nothing to feed them now

Many farmers say, not only do they have no hay to feed their animals this winter, they have nothing to feed them now

BY Debra McCown

Bristol Herald Courier

ABINGDON, Va. – With just a third of his normal hay crop this year, Mike Hilt has to sell some cows.

That will mean fewer calves – and less income – next year. But because of the drought, he, his brother and father have no way to feed their cows through the winter.

They’re not alone. They were among scores of farmers lined up around the building Sept. 21 at the Tri-State Livestock Market in Abingdon. All were hoping to sell their animals before the price drops.

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Eldon Roth receives Prime Promoter Award

Eldon Roth receives Prime Promoter Award

Sioux City Journal

BROOKINGS, S.D. — Eldon Roth, founder and chairman of Beef Products Inc., was honored recently by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council with its 2007 Prime Promoter Award.

Roth, who started BPI in 1981, developed a pioneering method for producing 95 percent lean ground beef from fatty beef trimmings that would otherwise have little value. Today, BPI is the world’s largest manufacturer of boneless lean beef with its product found in the majority of all ground beef produced in the United States.

Roth’s process is estimated to have added 10 cents per pound to the value of these trimmings, adding $10 value to every market steer and heifer produced in the United States or an additional $250 million-plus to the value of U.S. market cattle per year.

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Too little, too late?

Too little, too late?

Clouds have parted after months-long drought, but effects on agriculture linger

By Sara Clifford, Bob Bridge, Leonard Thornton and Mike Ricketts

Times-Mail (IN)

Three days of rain have enabled the lifting of a countywide burn ban, in place for nearly a month.

But the water will do little to give yellowing crops a growth boost after an unusually dry spring and summer that’s put the area at least 9 inches behind normal average rainfall since April.

“It’s a little on the late side, because of how far along the crops are,” said Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist at Purdue University.

Getting rain now is actually the opposite of what farmers may be hoping for, he said, as the dry, hot weather this summer spurred more rapid crop maturation than normal. Whereas corn and soybeans would usually be about 60 percent mature by now, they’re about 80 percent mature — which means farmers will be wanting to get into the fields to harvest soon.

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ASA releases Fall 2007 Multi-Breed Genetic Evaluation

ASA releases Fall 2007 Multi-Breed Genetic Evaluation

Farm and Ranch Guide

Bozeman, Mont. – The American Simmental Association (ASA) has released its Fall 2007 Multi-Breed Genetic Evaluation.

The progeny of over 100,000 sires of several breeds and breed combinations were evaluated, representing almost six million animals.

Based on those evaluations, Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) on over 900 of the breed’s most popular sires are published in ASA’s Fall 2007 Sire Summary, which is available free of charge.

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Push for COOL heats up

Push for COOL heats up

Western Livestock Journal

The debate over Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) may have declined among some segments of the industry, however, in Congress, the push to include language from the House version of the 2007 Farm Bill is ongoing. Last week, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-SD, forwarded a letter, signed by 30 other senators, to Agriculture Committee Chair Tom Harkin, D-IA, calling for the House version of COOL to be included in the Senate’s bill before it passes out of committee, a step Harkin said last week he will attempt before Oct. 8.

Johnson and his colleagues are pushing for the language to be included in the bill so that it can be implemented by the September 2008 deadline, saying that USDA has failed to act upon under current law.

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Recently published paper highlights bovine genome work

Recently published paper highlights bovine genome work

High Plains Journal

A group of researchers–including Texas Agricultural Experiment Station scientists–have used gene fragments from Hereford, Holstein and Angus animals to create an artificial chromosome map. The artificial chromosome map will be used to study disease resistance or immunological response to vaccination, feed efficiency and reproductive efficiency in beef animals, said Dr. Clare Gill, Experiment Station associate professor.

The work was recently published in Genome Biology. It is significant for several reasons, said Gill, one of the authors.

“The result of the project is the densest marker map for cattle because it combines all of the marker resources in the public domain,” she said. Markers are short sequences that are inherited and have similar sequences between animals within the same species.

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Robertson County farm awarded grant to study high-value forage

Robertson County farm awarded grant to study high-value forage

Special process allows hay to retain moisture


The Leaf-Chronicle

ADAMS — Davidson-Seeley Farms, LLC, has been awarded a Rural Development value-added producer matching grant of $49,900 to study the commercial viability of packaging locally grown hay to yield high-value horse feed.

The Tennessee recipient is one of 162 in 40 states and Puerto Rico to receive a total of $22.7 million through Rural Development’s value-added producer grant program this year.

The process to be studied, used widely in Europe, allows moisture to be retained in the hay as it is compacted for storage.

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Jean Barton: Kentucky Cattlewomen learn from locals

Jean Barton: Kentucky Cattlewomen learn from locals

By Jean Barton

Red Bluff Daily Times (CA)

I am indebted to a group of Tehama County CattleWomen who participated in the “licken & stickem” party when more than 1,800 California CattleWomen newsletters were sealed closed, addressed and stamped with first class postage.

A new record of two hours was set by Shirley Davis, Carmen Buchignani, Jackie Baker, Sandra Merhoff, Joan Hemsted, Jere Hale, Bernie Hartman, and Vicki Mahoney. Tehama County CattleWomen lost an active member when Barbara Bullock passed away September 23. Barbara fought a long, hard battle with cancer and never gave up. She survived two years longer than what her doctors predicted.

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Horse slaughters taking place on the border

Horse slaughters taking place on the border

Lisa Sandberg


The American mare swung her head frantically when the door shut to the kill box, trapping her inside. A worker jabbed her in the back with a small knife — seven, eight, nine times.

Eyes wild, she lowered her head and raised it as the blade punctured her body around the withers, again and again.

At the 10th jab, she fell to the floor of this Mexican slaughterhouse, bloodied and paralyzed, but not yet dead.

She would lay there a good two minutes before being hoisted from a chained rear leg so her throat could be slit and she could bleed to death.

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Beef has tough retail competition

Beef has tough retail competition

—Packers are losing money with cutout stalled below $148.

Western Livestock Journal

Fed cattle trade was extremely slow last week. Packers were offering $92 and feeders were looking for $96. Futures markets started the week with a roar after a bullish cattle on feed report, but slowly declined by mid-week with the October contract at $96.95. The general tone of the fed cattle markets was that prices would be higher and it was apparent trade would take place Friday.

There were roughly 2,500 head traded in the southern Plains early in the week at $95.50, JBS Swift was the buyer. Last Thursday morning, National Packers apparently had bid $95 and weren’t getting cattle bought. There was very little dressed trade and feeders were looking for $147-148. Feeders felt that packers had already worked through their contracted animals and were in need of cattle.

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AAM opposes increase in beef tax

AAM opposes increase in beef tax

Midwest Messenger

WASHINGTON, D.C. n Larry Matlack, American Agriculture Movement (AAM) president, expressed his organization’s opposition to a 100-percent increase, or any increase, in the beef check-off program until the program is amended to allow producers the right of refund.

“We are hearing a lot of chatter coming from inside the beltway from those making big bucks on the federally mandated $1-per head check-off program who want a 100-percent increase the beef assessment,” said Matlack. “This is a 100-percent tax increase on everyone that sells beef in the United States. It is a tax because it is mandated to be paid at every point of sale for every animal, beef and dairy, and there are no provisions to allow producers the right to refund.”

Explaining the reasons why AAM considers the beef check-off a tax, Matlack explained, “You would think that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution would protect cattle producers from being forced to pay the check-off, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled summer before last that the check-off is ‘government speech’ and not private speech. It walks, talks and acts like a tax, so of course it is a beef tax.”

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