Daily Archives: October 9, 2007

Stretch calf value across the fence

Stretch calf value across the fence


Missouri Ruralist

NEWLY weaned calves that are healthy gain weight. Sellers and buyers alike want them. As producers seek ways to add value to their bottom line, a management tool gaining in popularity is across-the-fence weaning — and it delivers those very results.

According to Hugh Aljoe, Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Okla., weaning is the most stressful event in a calf’s life. With across-the-fence weaning, the goal is to keep the calf in familiar surroundings, remove stressors and ultimately improve the postweaning performance of the animal. Environmental factors such as water, grass, shade and feed remain the same for calves. The cow is simply removed from the pen and kept



One Out of Three Illinois Livestock Farms Enrolled in National Animal ID

One Out of Three Illinois Livestock Farms Enrolled in National Animal ID             

Prairie Farmer

Illinois livestock producers have enrolled nearly 9,000 premises under the National Animal Identification System. Livestock premises registration, the foundation of NAIS, encourages Illinois livestock producers to register their premises in a national database to ensure quick, reliable information is available in the event of an animal disease emergency.

According to USDA, 30% of the state’s premises have been enrolled in the voluntary program, surpassing the 2007 target of 25%.

The NAIS is comprised of three key components: premises registration, animal identification and animal tracking. Premises registration is the foundation of NAIS. Registering your premises or location does not obligate you to participate in animal identification or tracking.


Tons Of Teff

Tons Of Teff

Hay and Forage Grower

If you’re looking for a good one-year forage crop to work into an alfalfa rotation, the ancient and somewhat exotic grass called teff may be worth a look.

Originating in Ethiopia around 1000 B.C., the crop has more of a history as a source of gluten-free grain for flour than as a forage. But it’s grown on a limited basis for livestock in other parts of Africa, as well as in India, Australia and South America.

Researchers at Oregon State University’s southern experiment station near Klamath Falls have planted test plots of the fine wheat-like crop the past two years. They’ve been impressed with what they’ve seen and later heard from horse owners who bought the baled grass.


Stocker Cattle: Reduced Risk Attracts Dollars

Stocker Cattle: Reduced Risk Attracts Dollars


If things work right and calves survive the stocker pasture they will move on to the feedlot with less risk of sickness and death loss than the bawling calves weaned on the Interstate that you purchased. Even  so, emerging industry reality indicates the folks who can document the health history of feeder cattle of all weights can earn more dollars.

As an example, a recent Kansas State University (KSU) study indicates that across 7,600 calves at a single Kansas sale barn on four different sale days in 2000 and 2001, calves that were part of special health certified sales earned an average of $24.90 per head compared to those selling in the regular sale. Keep in mind the weight ranges (281-954 lb. for the regular sale calves and 284-917 lb. for the special sale calves) was similar, as was the condition (3.7 and 3.5 respectively) and the average lot size (4.5 and 5.5 respectively). The point is at all feeder weights, in nonsorted small groups of cattle, a verified health program and history returned premiums.


Grazing corn stalks? Here are some ways to add efficiency

Grazing corn stalks? Here are some ways to add efficiency

American Cowman

By Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska Extension forage specialist

Corn harvest is nearly in full swing. When corn stalks become available for grazing, several decisions need to be made. For starters, how soon should you move cows to stalks?

Most years you probably should start grazing stalks as soon as possible. The nutrient value of stalks declines the longer they are exposed to weathering. Grazing stalks right away will put more condition on cows and faster gains on young stock.


National Angus Conference held Aug 29-31

National Angus Conference held Aug 29-31

Cattle Today

More than 300 people from across the United States and Canada converged in Illinois for the 2007 National Angus Conference and Tour, August 29-31. Warm fall days filled with Angus fellowship and food were highlights of the “Heartland Homecoming” that headquartered in Peoria, Ill. Purina Mills and Alpharma Animal Health were major partners with the American Angus AssociationSM in bringing the event to the Heartland. The Illinois Angus Association hosted the tour that showcased Angus herds from throughout the state.

“We are trying to build a long term relationship within the industry and with U.S. beef producers,” says Rod Nulik, marketing manager for Purina Mills. He said that Purina is proud to sponsor beef industry events such as the National Angus Conference and Tour, as well as continue its relationship with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.


Want To Start Or Expand A Feedlot Operation? Consider These Factors First

Want To Start Or Expand A Feedlot Operation? Consider These Factors First


AMES, Iowa – Many farmers are contemplating adding or expanding a cattle feeding enterprise right now, but before building any fences, they should first consider a list of factors.

John Lawrence, director of the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, said farmers often grow a little at a time without taking into consideration all of the animal, environmental and  financial factors. Those should be taken into account when looking at expanding, he said.

 “What may work for a few cattle may not be the best for additional cattle,” said Lawrence, adding different regulations apply to certain sizes of operations.

Many farmers are now considering starting or growing an operation in order to bring in the next generation or to simply take advantage of the large supply of distillers grains from  ethanol production, he said.


Resolution of Disapproval would block USDA OTM plan

Resolution of Disapproval would block USDA OTM plan

Midwest Messenger

U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) introduced a formal “Resolution of Disapproval” Oct. 3 to block a new Bush Administration proposal to allow resumption of imports of Canadian beef and cattle over 30 months of age.

Joining Dorgan as original co-sponsors of the resolution are Senators John Enzi (R-Wyo.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Tim Johnson, (D-S.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), John Tester (D-Mont.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

Dorgan’s resolution could get expedited consideration, under procedures for the little used Resolution of Disapproval process. Twenty days or more after the rule is issued the Resolution of Disapproval can be put directly on the Senate calendar if 30 Senators sign a discharge petition. If the resolution is enacted, it would prevent the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from implementing its plan to ease age restrictions on imported Canadian cattle and beef.


USDA declines to license E. Coli vaccine from Bioniche

USDA declines to license E. Coli vaccine from Bioniche

AG Professional

Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. has received a letter from the USDA regarding field use data submitted in support of licensure of the Company’s proprietary E. coli O157:H7 cattle vaccine.

The USDA indicated that based on their statistical treatment of results from the field use study conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln last year, the data would not support licensure at this time.

The company will submit additional statistical analyses and supporting rationale to the USDA in the coming weeks. If the regulator retains its current position, the company will be required to pursue additional vaccine studies in 2008.


Factory animal farms produce meat through routine torture and environmental destruction

Factory animal farms produce meat through routine torture and environmental destruction

Mike Adams


Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

Public and environmental health is being severely threatened through the institution of animal factory farming, which pollutes our water, air, soil and even our bodies with harmful chemicals and pollutants. Corporations now have taken over the practice of family farming and have developed cost-saving mass-production strategies that are not only dangerous to public health, but are also cruel to the animals being processed.

Animal factories, also known as large confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), go against traditional farming practices by treating the animal simply as a machine or production unit. These farms are more like an assembly line system of animal harvesting than anything resembling a genuine farm or ranch.


Boosting Pasture Production

Boosting Pasture Production


As corn and soybean production become more profitable, and productive pasture acres are converted to row crops, beef cow producers will be looking for ways to maintain or increase the productivity of the remaining pasture acres. Some of the most practical ways to boost pasture production are fertilization, overseeding, and improved grazing management.

Pasture fertilization is often not a high priority for beef cattle producers. However, when considering how to carry cows on fewer acres, pasture fertilization may be one of the easiest and most economical solutions.

Do pastures respond to fertilizer and lime nutrients? Yes, particularly to nitrogen.


Plan Now To Mininize Scours Next Spring

Plan Now To Mininize Scours Next Spring

Joe Roybal

Beef Magazine

If you’re thinking about implementing the Sandhills Calving System (SCS) for your 2008 calving season, now’s the time to be contemplating your strategy and making those preparations, says Dave Smith, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Extension veterinarian.

Named after the Sandhills area of north-central Nebraska where it was tested, SCS utilizes a series of calving pastures to minimize newborn calves’ contact with disease agents. The idea is to minimize both the disease load and newborns’ exposure to the disease agents until their immune systems are better able to withstand them.


Old Florida ranching family faces New Florida challenges

Old Florida ranching family faces New Florida challenges


Palm Beach Post

The Seminole Indians are their neighbors to the south, and cowboys still herd the 1,200 Brangus cattle that roam their property.

That much hasn’t changed since the 1930s, when the late J.W. McDaniel founded a family dynasty on an isolated 6-square-mile ranch in southeastern Hendry County.

Today, Granddaddy Mac’s four grandsons run the McDaniel Ranch, which he and their late father, Robert McDaniel Sr., built from the wilderness.


Beef, pork sectors want Ottawa to fight U.S. plan to label products

Beef, pork sectors want Ottawa to fight U.S. plan to label products

The Canadian Press

EDMONTON – Canadian beef and pork producers want Ottawa to more vigorously oppose a U.S. plan to place country of origin labels and tracking rules on their meat products – a move they say would cost them $500 million per year.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Pork Council say the U.S. law would violate the North American Free Trade Agreement and World Trade Organization rules.

They are calling on the federal government to lobby American senators in Washington against the proposal well before next September when it is expected to go into effect.


Superior Selects Destron Fearing Tags For PVP

Superior Selects Destron Fearing Tags For PVP


Fort Worth, Texas – Superior Livestock Auction, the pioneer and leader in marketing load-lots of cattle via satellite and the Internet, has selected Destron Fearing to manufacture an exclusive tag for its new PVP (Process Verified Program) program – Superior Verified.

Superior Verified provides age and source verification to help producers differentiate their cattle with buyers and leverage that data to take advantage of a broader range of marketing