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.”