Daily Archives: October 18, 2007

Dale Blasi: Knowing Is Growing

Dale Blasi:  Knowing Is Growing


A picture may be worth a thousand words, but knowing the source of purchased stocker calves can mean the difference between profit and loss. Simply put, never buy cattle from someone you don’t know. No amount of talent and effort can straighten out misrepresented, too-good-to-be-true priced calves that are already wheezing, wobbling and dying as they stumble off a truck. As in every other business, reputable producers and order buyers in the business of marketing cattle build relationships with their clients. That doesn’t mean that “put together” calves are a poor investment, but it does mean knowing who is assembling the calves can make a huge economic difference.


Mississippi State Hires New Beef Specialist

Mississippi State Hires New Beef Specialist

Cattle Today

An animal scientist with expertise in herd reproduction is the new beef cattle specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Justin D. Rhinehart, who began his duties July 1, has been working with the state’s beef cattle producers to maintain and develop Extension programs that improve feeder calf marketing, stocker cattle management and heifer development.

“I saw an attractive opportunity presented by Mississippi State to work in an area where beef cattle are an important part of the economy,” he said.

Cattle in Mississippi number just under 1 million head on more than 21,000 operations, according to Extension statistics. The total value of cattle and calf production in 2006 exceeded $216 million.


Ind. cattle deaths may be due to soybean overeating

Ind. cattle deaths may be due to soybean overeating

By Tom Wray

Natioanl Provisioner

NEW WASHINGTON, Ind. – 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.

The Associated Press reported that eleven cows and a bull died over the past month at a farm 25 miles north of Louisville, Ky.

Purdue University officials told the AP 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.


Cattle Update: Diet Management Of Developing Beef Heifers

Cattle Update: Diet Management Of Developing Beef Heifers


Heifers are commonly developed most economically on high forage rations supplemented with grains and grain by-products, protein concentrates, and minerals. Here are some example rations based on varying forage quality, heifer weight, and gain.

Forages vary considerably in level of protein and energy and should be analyzed in order to accurately balance rations. Corn silage typically is higher in energy than most forages but only moderate in protein and will produce adequate heifer growing gains with little or no grain feeding if protein levels are balanced. There is limited opportunity for use of crop residues such as straw or corn stover in growing heifer’s diet, since these products are generally low in energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Gains of about 1 to 1.5 pounds per day might be anticipated by heifer calves grazing corn stalks in late fall and early winter when supplemented with protein, vitamins, and minerals.


Pulling out all the stops: Kansas feedlot wins CAB honors, naturally

Pulling out all the stops: Kansas feedlot wins CAB honors, naturally

Midwest Messenger

Wooster, Ohio – Thomas County Feeders will do whatever it takes to keep cattle healthy and get them to grade, even if it means more work. That focus earned the Colby, Kan., feeder the 2007 Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) Progressive Partner of the Year award. Manager Mike Hunter accepted Sept. 15, at the CAB annual conference in Savannah, Ga.


Fenceline Weaning Considerations

Fenceline Weaning Considerations


1. Fencing should be substantial enough to prevent the calves from nursing and keep the cows and calves separated.

Producers have used various combinations of electric and non-electric, and high-tensile, barbed, and woven wire fencing. Gerrish (1998) suggests that, for cattle that have not been exposed to electric fencing, either woven wire or at least 5 strands of electric fencing will likely be necessary. If the cattle are familiar with electric fencing, three strands will likely be sufficient.

Yet another option is to utilize 4 to 5 strands of barbed wire combined with a single strand of electric fence offset from the main fence.

2. Pasture the cows and calves together in the pasture where the calves will be after weaning. One week in the pasture allows time for the calves to become familiar with the fences and water source.


Tennessee Coop Offers Help with Short hay Supplies

Tennessee Coop Offers Help with Short hay Supplies

Cattle Today

Although late summer rains brought some relief to Tennessee’s severe drought, production estimates show that farmers will still be facing substantial hay shortages going into the fall and winter.

The Tennessee Agricultural Statistics Service estimates that hay production, excluding alfalfa, will be 33 percent lower than 2006 at 2.79 million tons. The shortage is mainly the result of the April freeze that cut spring hay harvest in half and the summer drought that limited additional cuttings of pastures and hayfields.

As farmers continue to scramble to find hay to feed their cattle, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative livestock experts are offering advice to help get herds in good condition before winter weather arrives.

“It is cheaper to maintain cows than to let them become thin and try to add body condition later,” says Dr. Paul Davis, TFC nutritionist. “As the weather turns colder, it becomes even more difficult to add the weight they need to come through the winter in adequate body condition.”


Using soil tests to find fertilizer needs

Using soil tests to find fertilizer needs

By Bryce Roberts

The Spencer Magnet

Given the freeze and drought that Spencer County has endured the past few months, many of you have thought of renovating your lawns, hay fields, or pastures. But with the lack of rain, many of you have decided to hold off on seeding until spring. You can still get your soil ready by adding the proper nutrients now.

Sampling in the fall offers the advantages of good weather, allows time to plan for coming crops and gives lime, if needed, time to react with the soil prior to spring planting. However, it is not without some disadvantages. Seasonal fluctuations mean the pH and potassium levels are at their lowest during this time. Rainfall and crop nutrient uptake are factors in these fluctuations.

Understanding these seasonal fluctuations can aid in understanding and interpreting soil test results that vary from year to year or within the same year.


BEEF Quality Summit to Explore Impact of Ethanol Boom on Beef Production and Demand

BEEF Quality Summit to Explore Impact of Ethanol Boom on Beef Production and Demand

Business Wire

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Penton Media’s BEEF® magazine will host its second annual BEEF Quality Summit, Nov. 7-8, 2007 at the Holiday Inn Centre in Omaha, Neb. This year’s conference will focus on “Beef Quality in the Ethanol Era” and explore the impact of increased ethanol production on beef carcass and retail product quality; beef industry infrastructure and economics; and key related business issues for producers. Full conference details are available at http://www.beefconference.com.

Driven by ever-increasing, government-mandated production levels, almost 5 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in 2006. While these developments have been a boon to struggling rural communities, U.S. livestock producers, traditionally in lockstep with crop farmers, are wrestling with what this means, not only to the future of the U.S. livestock industry, but to the application and management of its feed co-products. The 2007 BEEF Quality Summit is designed to provide attendees with the background, knowledge and tools to garner more value from their cattle in the face of this ethanol-driven paradigm.

The conference will kick off with a keynote panel discussing the question “Are we filling the demand for quality beef today?” Keynote panel speakers include a representative from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse; Angelo Fili, executive vice president of Greater Omaha Packing Co, Inc.; Larry Corah, vice president of Certified Angus Beef, LLC; and Jeff Savell, regents professor of animal science, Texas A&M University.

The conference will also feature a trade show where producers can view new industry products and tools, and speak with equipment and service vendors in a one-on-one environment. A new feature of this year’s conference will be a showcase where attendees can meet with representatives of various cattle and calf marketing alliances to discuss value-added opportunities.


Docs Sour over Bovine Growth Hormone

Docs Sour over Bovine Growth Hormone

By Gailon Totheroh


Walk into a Starbucks and order your java “No caf, no whip” and they’ll know what you mean. Ask for “no rBGH” and they’ll be clueless.

rBGH? That’s short for “recombinant bovine growth hormone” — also known as BGH. Starbucks management isn’t clueless on BGH — their milk will be BGH-free by the end of the year.

Rick North heads the Campaign for Safe Food in Oregon. He said, “The foundation of this house of cards is consumer ignorance because once consumers find out about this stuff they will understand why Canada, all 25 countries of the European Union, Australia, and New Zealand have all banned the use of rBGH.”


Cattle Producers Request That Senate Ag Committee Include Livestock Title Provisions In 2007 Farm Bill

Cattle Producers Request That Senate Ag Committee Include Livestock Title Provisions In 2007 Farm Bill

Sullivan Independent News

R-CALF USA was extremely disappointed to see recent Federal Register, in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its final rule (Rule 2) to begin allowing imports of Canadian cattle born after Mar. 1, 1999, and Canadian cattle over 30 months (OTM) of age, into the United States, scheduled to be effective Nov. 19.

OTM cattle originating from a country affected by bovine spongi-form encephalopathy (BSE) have an inherently higher risk for transmitting the disease.

“USDA’s mandate is to prevent BSE from entering the United States, but the first thing the agency said at the Sept. 14th news conference was this rule is designed to normalize cattle trade with Canada,” said R-CALF USA president/region VI director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the group’s animal health committee.”

“When is someone going to point out to this runaway agency that it is not USDA’s job to improve trade relations because there already are federal agencies for that, the USTR and the Commerce Department,” Thorn-sberry asserted.


Fall Cutting Of Alfalfa

Fall Cutting Of Alfalfa


Many Ohio alfalfa producers will likely take another cutting this fall. The late spring freeze followed by dry weather reduced forage yields across Ohio, so producers are now very anxious to harvest any available forage. While fall regrowth is poor to nonexistent in southern Ohio, alfalfa regrowth in central and northern regions of Ohio is very good.

Unfortunately, cutting alfalfa in October can carry serious risk to the health of the stand, especially this year. Many stands were weakened by the late spring freeze earlier this year, and may not have fully recovered from that stress because of the poor growing conditions this past summer. Only now are those stands having the opportunity to recover energy reserves through the vigorous fall regrowth and favorable temperatures and sunshine we’ve been experiencing.

Cutting now will interrupt the process of storage of energy and proteins in alfalfa taproots. If cut now, regrowth during the remainder of the fall will utilize those taproot reserves, which will result in the plant having lower energy status going into the winter.


Montana BVD participants to appear on national TV

Montana BVD participants to appear on national TV

Montana State University

BOZEMAN — Several Montanans who participate in one of the largest animal health projects in the country will be highlighted this month on a nationwide television program. They will be featured on RFD-TV as a segment of “Cattlemen to Cattlemen” to air at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, and 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. RFD-TV is available by satellite or cable.

Featured in the program will be Rachel O’Connor, a veterinarian from Ekalaka; Tom and Allan Hougen of Melstone; Pat Murphy of Custer; Bruce Hoffman, a Manhattan veterinarian; John Paterson, Extension Beef Specialist at Montana State University, and Clint Peck of Billings, director of the Beef Quality Assurance program in Montana. All are involved with the Montana BVD-PI Herd Screening Project that was piloted in 2006 and gained momentum through 2007. Nearly 400 Montana ranchers and cattle feeders so far have participated in the project which has already gained national attention among veterinary health and ranching circles.


‘Night out’ to cover winter feeding

‘Night out’ to cover winter feeding

By Ronnie Barron

Ashland City Times

Local cattle producers have faced trying times this year with hard freezes in April and one of the worst droughts in nearly 50 years.

To help producers with winter feeding and herd management decisions brought on by these devastating events, the University of Tennessee Extension and Cargill Animal Feeds will conduct the annual Cheatham County Beef Producers Night Out on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007 at B.J.’s Family Restaurant in Pleasant View.


Alfalfa Stand Evaluation

Alfalfa Stand Evaluation


All hay producers recognize the fact that as an alfalfa stand ages, it eventually thins out. There are many factors that cause stand thinning. These include diseases, insect and weed pressure, poor fertility and poor harvest management. The big question is not why the stand is failing but rather is the existing older stand thick enough to keep for another season?

How thick a stand is directly affects both the yield and quality of the cutting; however economics of existing forage supplies and costs of reseeding compound the decision on individual farms. Unfortunately, at some point, a decision must be made. The current alfalfa stand evaluation tool is based on work done at The University of Wisconsin by Dr. Dan Undersander and evaluated in Pennsylvania by Dr. Marvin Hall at Penn State.

These forage agronomists recommend looking at alfalfa stands in the fall for the best method for stand assessment. They note that a second appraisal is helpful in the spring after the stand breaks dormancy. Fall evaluations help to identify troubled stands that may be prone to winter injury. This can allow for tillage or fall applied herbicides for optimum rotation affects. Spring evaluations reveal winter injury damage.


Japan suspends beef imports from US plant

Japan suspends beef imports from US plant


Japan has suspended beef imports from a US meatpacking plant that violated a bilateral accord aimed at limiting the threat from mad cow disease, the government said Wednesday.

The farm ministry said part of a consignment of beef from a Cargill Inc. plant in Dodge City, Kansas, arrived at Kobe port on September 20 with blank safety certificates.

The shipment violates the accord because the products come from cattle of an unknown age.

Faced with threats of sanctions, Japan agreed last year to resume US beef imports on condition the cattle were not more than 20 months old at the time of slaughter, with brains, spinal cords and other risky parts removed.