Daily Archives: October 3, 2007

Video Feature: Dr. Keith Johnson-How to Use a Grazing Stick

 Dr. Keith Johnson show how to use a grazing stick to estimate the amount of usable forage available in a pasture.

The grazing sticks are $5 each for orders of nine or fewer and $4 each for orders of 10 or more, plus Indiana sales tax and shipping and handling. To order, visit the Purdue Forage Information Web site at http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/forages/. Or contact Johnson at 765-494-4800 or johnsonk@purdue.edu.

Weaning Calves Successfully

Weaning Calves Successfully

Clell V. Bagley, DVM, Extension Veterinarian, Utah State University, Logan UT 84322-5600

The production loss and death loss of calves at weaning is second only to the losses at calving. Weaning is a very stressful time and bovine respiratory disease (pneumonia, shipping fever, etc.) is a common problem. Coccidiosis and other digestive problems, such as acidosis, (grain overload) are also common.

Producers often ask what vaccines they should use to help control health problems during this period. There are some vaccines which can be of help. But it is important to recognize that there are a number of other factors which must be controlled in order to have a successful weaning program. Vaccines should be viewed as an aid to herd health programs, not as the cure-all.

Try to manage your cattle to avoid or minimize the effect of the potential problems listed below and then use a good, basic vaccination program to help support your management efforts.


Nitrate Poisoning in Cattle

Nitrate Poisoning in Cattle

Shane Gadberry, Ph.D. Extension Livestock Specialist

John Jennings, Ph.D. Extension Livestock Specialist – Forages

Nitrate poisoning in cattle is caused by the consumption of an excessive amount of nitrate or nitrite from grazing crops, hay, silage, weeds, drinking water, lubricating oil, fertilizer, etc.

Nitrate Accumulation in Plants

All plants contain some nitrate, but excessive amounts are likely to occur in forages which have been grown under conditions of excessive fertilization and/or stress. The buildup of nitrates in soil brought on by excessive fertilization with poultry litter or animal manure is a common cause of nitrate accumulation in plants. Commercial fertilizers aren’t likely to cause excessive nitrate accumulation in plants when recommended application rates and practices are followed.


Know Your Strengths

Know Your Strengths

BeeF Magazine

When Shawn Mercer took over management of his grandparents’ farming and cattle operation 15 years ago, he’d have given his eye teeth for a blueprint he could apply to the cattle business in general, and the stocker business specifically. After his grandfather died, Mercer and wife Katie struggled to figure out how to make the farm pay its way for another generation.

The operation outside Richton, MS — just a stone’s throw from the southwest corner of Alabama — had traditionally been a cow-calf operation. But, Mercer remembers, “It didn’t take us long to realize cows wouldn’t produce enough return on investment to ultimately buy the farm from family members.”


Consider Keeping and Feeding Open Cows Until Early 2008

Consider Keeping and Feeding Open Cows Until Early 2008

By Jason K. Ahola, University of Idaho

American Cowman

Take advantage of the seasonality of the cow market through creative management and marketing

Cattle producers are signaling that fall is here – the annual ritual of weaning and pregnancy checking has begun in most areas of the U.S. However, producers in some areas of the West and mid-Atlantic regions have already weaned their calves due to severe drought conditions.

Since beef cattle producers generate the majority of their annual income via the sale of calves (about 80%), typically a lot of effort is put into maximizing the price at which they are sold. Yet, practically no effort is spent to maximize the price on the other 20% of their income – which is acquired through the sale of cull cows (also known as “market cows”).


Bacterial Scours

Bacterial Scours


Escherichia coli (Colibacillosis). Escherichia coli (E. coli) has been incriminated as a major cause of scours. Many times this is the only organism identified following routine bacteriologic culturing. Certain E. coli can cause diarrhea. Many different serotypes (kinds) of E. coli have been identified; some cause scours while others do not. E. coli is always present in the intestinal tract and is usually the agent that causes a secondary infection following viral agents or other intestinal irritants.

E. coli scours is characterized by diarrhea and progressive dehydration. Death may occur in a few hours before diarrhea develops. The color and consistency of the feces are of little value in making a diagnosis of any type of diarrhea. The course varies from 2 to 4 days, and severity depends on age of the calf when scours starts and on the particular serotype of E. coli.


Nebraska Cattlemen Thank Sen. Hagel for Tax Deferment Measure

Nebraska Cattlemen Thank Sen. Hagel for Tax Deferment Measure

Cattle Today

The Nebraska Cattlemen has thanked Sen. Chuck Hagel for his role in persuading the U.S. Treasury to grant tax deferment on capital gains to producers who were forced by drought to sell livestock since January 2003.

Today it was announced that livestock producers in 50 Nebraska counties who have been forced to sell livestock due to drought will not have to pay taxes on the capital gains that they realized on involuntarily sold livestock for up to one year after drought conditions end. Last year, Senator Hagel wrote a letter to former Treasury Secretary Snow requesting this extension. Since that time, Hagel, working directly with Treasury Secretary Paulson, has ensured that this tax relief be extended for Nebraska’s livestock producers.