Daily Archives: October 12, 2007

Prussic acid poisoning a threat to livestock

Prussic acid poisoning a threat to livestock

High Plains Journal

Forage producers need to be concerned about prussic acid poisoning when grazing sorghum-sudan hybrids, johnsongrass, grain sorghum or sudangrass, according to Mark Keaton, a Baxter County agent for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

“Prussic acid is liberated in the rumen of cattle, absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to body tissue where it interferes with oxygen utilization,” he said. “If the toxin is absorbed rapidly enough, the animal soon dies from respiratory paralysis.


Cattle Diseases: Listerosis

Cattle Diseases:  Listerosis

Cattle Today

Listeriosis, a disease of the central nervous system, is caused by the  bacterium Listeria moncytogenes.  This bacterium can live almost anywhere–in soil, manure piles, and grass.  Listeriosis is common in cattle, sheep and goats and can occur in pigs, dogs, and cats, some wild animals, and humans.  Animals infected with Listeria can show signs restlessness, loss of appetite, fever and nervous system disorders. 


University Of Minnesota Trial Shows Active Dry Yeast Benefits Rumen

University Of Minnesota Trial Shows Active Dry Yeast Benefits Rumen


(Milwaukee, WI) A recent trial conducted by Drs. Stern, Bach and Linn and graduate student Melissa Thrune at the University of Minnesota showed a measurable positive benefit of Levucell SC rumen specific yeast on rumen pH.

The study determined the effects of Levucell SC supplementation on ruminal pH patterns and fermentation in late lactation conditions. When Levucell SC was added to the diet, the supplemented cows had a statistically significant increase in rumen pH. In addition, the amount of time the cows spent under the subacute acidosis threshold (pH<5.8) was also significantly lower with Levucell SC supplementation.

The University of Minnesota trial confirms the benefit of Levucell SC on rumen conditions. Trying to reduce the economic impact of acidosis is a challenge, but these types of studies indicate the positive role of Levucell SC in helping to maintain rumen health in a wide range of conditions.


Preg Checking via Blood Test is Gaining Popularity

Preg Checking via Blood Test is Gaining Popularity

by: Heather Smith Thomas

Cattle Today

Modern technology and new techniques in reproduction are making some aspects of cattle production easier. One innovation that is gaining popularity is pregnancy checking via blood samples.

Brandon Critendon (Wolf Point Ranch, at Port LaVaca, Texas — on the Gulf Coast between Houston and Corpus Christi) has been using this means of pregnancy checking for almost two years and feels it has several advantages over palpation or ultrasound. The blood test can be done as early as 30 days post breeding, which is sooner than you can tell when using palpation. The cow or heifer must be at least 45 days pregnant before you can tell by palpation, with any accuracy, that she is pregnant.


NDSU Beef 101 Fall Course Set

NDSU Beef 101 Fall Course Set


The North Dakota State University Extension Service is holding a three-part “Beef 101: From Calves to Carcasses” program Oct. 23, Oct. 30 and Nov. 5.

All three sessions will be held in Bowman from 4 to 9 p.m. Mountain time and will include a meal. Participants should plan to attend all of the sessions.

It is for cow-calf and seed stock producers, feedlot operators, custom processing and meat marketing industry personnel, agricultural educators, representatives of related industries and anyone else who is interested in learning about beef cattle and beef carcass characteristics.


What a Feed Tag Really Tells You

What a Feed Tag Really Tells You

Kate Jackson, PhD, Land O’Lakes Farmland Feed, LLC


Feed tags are a mystery to many people, including the people who sell the feed. In the United States, at least, feed tags or labels are not put together like labels seen on food products intended for human consumption. “People food” labels sate a serving size, calories per serving, how well that serving meets an adult’s nutritional needs (i.e., 50% of RDA for calcium) and exactly what ingredients are used. Animal labels, on the other had, state the chemical composition of a feed, how much is recommended to be fed and either exactly what ingredients it contains or the “class” of ingredients it contains.


Using Preservatives with Forages

Using Preservatives with Forages

Knowledge Nuggets

    * An effective hay harvesting system is designed to reduce field losses and spoilage losses from microbial activity in high moisture hay. Fresh cut forages range from 70 – 80% moisture which must be reduced to “safe” levels (generally from 16 – 18%) prior to baling.

    * A “browning” effect (Maillard Reaction) can result from heating which reduces carbohydrate levels and binds some of the protein making it undigestable due to the higher moisture levels in moist hay.

    * Harvesting hay at moisture levels above 18 – 20% reduces field losses by reducing leaf shattering and by decreasing the amount of exposure time to adverse weather. However, storing moist hay usually results in mold growth and elevated temperatures.

    * Mold growth that occurs in baled forages increases dustiness, reduces palatability and can impact animal health.

    * Moisture and temperature are the fundamental control variables for storage and the role of a preservative is to prevent microbial growth and activity.