Daily Archives: October 16, 2007

Predicting the time of calving

Predicting the time of calving

Dr. Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University

      Scientists recorded data on 5 consecutive years in a herd of spring calving crossbred cows at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center at Hays, Kansas.  They recorded the time of calving (to within the nearest one-half hour).  Births that could not be estimated within an hour of occurrence were excluded.  Cows were fed forage sorghum hay daily between 4:00 and 6:00 pm.  For statistical purposes, the day was divided into four-hour periods.


Tough Steaks Begin at the Ranch

Tough Steaks Begin at the Ranch

by: Heather Smith Thomas

Cattle Today

During the past 10 years, studies at universities have looked at the correlation between “wild” tempermental cattle and poor performance — less feed efficiency at the feedlot, poor carcass quality (less tenderness, more dark cutters), etc. For a long time in our industry, disposition/temperment was thought to be just an inconvenience at the first level of production — a hazard for the cow/calf producer. The fact that some cattle are harder to handle at the ranch was not considered a problem for the feeder or the end product — affecting carcass quality or the consumer. Many seedstock producers didn’t pay much attention to this factor (concentrating on more tangible traits like weaning/yearling weights, birthweight, marbling), thus perpetuating the problem of unruly cattle.


Nutritional Strategies For Receiving & Feeding Early-Weaned Calves

Nutritional Strategies For Receiving & Feeding Early-Weaned Calves


Provide clean water and grass-legume hay directly off the truck and allow cattle a rest period before processing them. Adding an electrolyte solution to the water calves drink immediately off the truck is a good way to restore needed sodium and potassium salts.

Receiving diets should have .3 ppm Selenium and 1.0% Potassium on a dry matter basis, because of low feed intake.

Provide 1.0 to 1.5 ft of bunk space per calf if possible.

Urea can be added up to .5% of diet dry matter, but higher levels may depress feed intake.


Glycerin: Beef Industry’s New Corn?

Glycerin: Beef Industry’s New Corn?

by Ed Haag

Angus Journal

If a growing body of evidence is correct, glycerin could be your cattle’s next source of digestible starch.

Feeding glycerin to cattle is not a new concept. Its role, and that of the closely related derivative propylene glycol, as a food-based tonic for ruminant disorders dates back more than 50 years to when R.B. Johnson published “The treatment of ketosis with glycerol and propylene glycol” in the periodical, The Cornell Veterinarian, in 1955.

Since then it has been used as a popular drench for high-performing ruminants suffering from ketosis. Metabolic benefits aside, today’s incentives to feed glycerin to cattle are mostly economic.


Veterinarians say soybeans may have caused cattle deaths in Clark County

Veterinarians say soybeans may have caused cattle deaths in Clark County

South Bend Tribune

NEW WASHINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A dozen beef cattle that died at a southern Indiana farm had eaten excessive amounts of soybeans, causing a fatal reaction, a veterinary pathologist said.

Eleven cows and an Angus bull died this month in Clark County about 25 miles north of Louisville, Ky.

Purdue University officials say the cows were stricken with rumen acidosis, which occurs when grains ferment in the rumen, the first chamber of a four-chamber bovine stomach. The fermentation causes a sudden change in acid levels that damages the lining and allows acid to get into the bloodstream, said Duane Murphy, co-director of the Heeke Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.


USDA Approves Two Additional Animal Identification Devices For Use In NAIS

USDA Approves Two Additional Animal Identification Devices For Use In NAIS


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced the approval of two new animal identification devices:  a visual tag with radio frequency identification (RFID) from Leader Products and the first approved injectable transponder from Digital Angel.  The devices carry an official animal identification number (AIN), which is used to identify individual animals as part of USDA’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS).  USDA is technology neutral and supports a range of NAIS-compliant identification methods.  All NAIS-compliant RFID devices are ISO-compliant and therefore, an ISO-compliant reader would read any of them.


New cattle breed eats less, gains more weight

New cattle breed eats less, gains more weight

By Jim Downing

Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO – Susanville rancher John Barnum is trying to build a herd of cattle that sounds like something out of a dieter’s nightmare:

They eat less, but they still get fat.

That trait is increasingly seen as a key to staying in business for California ranchers reeling from the effects of high-priced corn.

“We’re hoping it’ll make us more profitable in the long run,” said Barnum, 23, who manages a family ranch that recently moved to the rangelands of northeastern California after generations in Calaveras County.By Jim Downing


Getting Ready To Determine If Feeding Is Feasible

Getting Ready To Determine If Feeding Is Feasible


The following are a series of thoughts that you may want to consider before attempting to calculate the economics of supplemental feeding.

1. Does supplemental feeding add value in addition to feed induced gain?

Reduced shrink at sale time (easy gathering).

Tame wild cattle.

Reduce the risk of theft.

Reduce death loss (easier observation).

Increases ease of management (antibiotics for foot-rot).


Legislation Introduced Halting Canadian Import Rule

Legislation Introduced Halting Canadian Import Rule


Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would reject the Department of Agriculture’s final rule to expand cattle and beef trade from minimal risk regions. The rule would expand beef and cattle trade with Canada, by allowing the importation of additional live animals and beef products from any aged animal. This rule comes even as Canada has nine confirmed cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and four of the nine cases were in an animal born after March 1, 1999. The final rule would allow live animals born after this date into the United States.


A Commitment to Breed Improvement

A Commitment to Breed Improvement

By Marty Ropp, Director of Field Operations American Simmental Association

American Cowman

Simmental breeders are working hard to provide the most complete Continental genetic package for the U.S.beef industry.

You might ask yourself, what exactly does that entail? It is the pursuit of a genetic package that perfectly compliments British breeds, ensures ideal crossbred replacement females for commercial producers and promises an end product with the necessary balance of quality and cutability. No other Continental breed provides the combination of maternal excellence and carcass value that Simmentals bring to the table.

Just glance at the latest results from the USDA Meat Animal Research Centergermplasm project. You will find Simmental at or near the top among Continental breeds for almost every economically important trait ranging from fertility to efficiency to marbling. In fact, Simmentals rank first for most of the important traits evaluated.


Operating Committee Approves ’08 Checkoff Programs

Operating Committee Approves ’08 Checkoff Programs

Cattle Today

The Beef Promotion Operating Committee this 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.”


Red Angus: Colorado Cattlemen Team Up To Earn Two GridMaster Carcass Awards

Red Angus: Colorado Cattlemen Team Up To Earn Two GridMaster Carcass Awards


The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) recently handed out its GridMaster Awards at the 2007 National RAAA Convention held in Dodge City, Kan., September 26 – 29. The recipients received the awards their superior cattle’s carcass qualities had earned them at the historic Dodge House Hotel and Convention Center.  Larry and Jean Croissant of Briggsdale, Colo., Red Angus Seedstock producers, fed two different sets of cattle purchased from their commercial bull customers, Gene and Kim Peterson of Nunn, Colo., Bob Hill of Briggsdale, Colo. and Dwight and Joyce Baker of Briggsdale, Colo., that earned the GridMaster recognition.



Using alternative cattle feed requires study

Using alternative cattle feed requires study

By Mike Surbrugg

The Joplin Globe

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — Before writing that check to buy an alternative cattle feed, a beef-cattle producer needs to know how to feed it and how its costs and nutritional values compare with corn.

That is the advice of speakers during a beef tour that was part of Field Day held last month at the University of Missouri’s Southwest Center near Mount Vernon.

Such feed can be in dry, cake, wet or syrup form, and include the byproducts of fuel production.

Costs to haul the feed to the farm and storage also need to be considered, said Justin Sexton, state beef extension nutritionist.

Providing such feed should include a goal to reduce forage consumption, especially during a drought.


US Feared Summer Foot-And-Mouth Outbreak

US Feared Summer Foot-And-Mouth Outbreak


Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — When there were fears of a foot-and-mouth outbreak in the Midwest this summer, the White House received secret briefings that highlighted the potential for old farm diseases to be new national security threats.

The suspected outbreak in Minnesota of the disease, which does not affect humans, never materialized. Yet federal officials said their concerns showed how the government probably would respond to a foot-and-mouth epidemic. The disease strikes cloven-hoofed animals including cows, sheep, pigs and goats and can have a major economic impact.

“We wanted to keep it quiet to the extent we could so it wouldn’t cause any panic or economic impact but make sure the people who would be most concerned like the president or the secretary knew what we were doing,” said Roger Rufe, director of operations coordination at the Homeland Security Department.

The incident began June 26 in Austin, Minn., known as “Spamtown, USA” because it is home to Hormel Foods Corp., which makes the canned meat product.



Home-raised beef eases concerns

Home-raised beef eases concerns

By Robert Themer

The Daily Journal

“I have a real tough time myself eating beef away from home because I don’t know where it is coming from,” says cattle producer Lloyd Bohl. “I know where mine is coming from and what it was fed.”

That desire for locally grown meat, free of antibiotics and hormones, is helping fuel a growing “local food” movement that has resulted in a booming of farmers markets and a greater diversity from local farms, mostly small operations.