Daily Archives: October 29, 2007

BeefTalk: Buy a Scale

BeefTalk: Buy a Scale

Preweaning Benchmarks Preweaning Benchmarks

Now is a good time to think through just what generates dollars in the beef business.

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

The beef industry has been producing beef since the first two cows were domesticated. We hope one cow produced a heifer to be kept as a replacement and the other cow produced a bull calf suitable for harvest.

In the early days, calf size would have been noticed, if for nothing else, because of the number of people who could be invited over for pot roast. Through the years, weight and frame still remain critical to the success of a commercial beef operation.

Through time, calves and cows got bigger in weight, muscle and frame. The current benchmarks for those who use the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association CHAPS program would suggest that a typical cow would weigh 1,413 pounds and have a 5.5 frame score.

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Light Frosts May Add Prussic Acid Problems To Nitrate Toxicity Concerns

Light Frosts May Add Prussic Acid Problems To Nitrate Toxicity Concerns

Cattlenetwork.com

Prussic acid when ingested by cattle, is quickly absorbed into the blood stream, and blocks the animal’s cells from utilizing oxygen.  Thus the animal dies from asphyxiation at the cellular level.  Animals affected by prussic acid poisoning exhibit a characteristic bright red blood just prior to and during death.  Lush young regrowth of sorghum plants are prone to accumulate prussic acid especially when the plants are stressed such as drought or freeze damage.  Several nights have recently reached the freezing mark.  Light frosts, that stress the plant but do not kill it, are often associated with prussic acid poisonings.  Producers should avoid grazing fields with sorghum type plants following a light frost.  The risk of prussic acid poisoning will be reduced, if grazing is delayed until at least one week after a “killing freeze”. 

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Abortions in beef cattle: Checking out those open cows

Abortions in beef cattle: Checking out those open cows

By CARL DAHLEN, U of M Beef Team

Minnesota Farm Guide

This time of year many exciting events are happening in the cow-calf world; bringing cows back from pasture, weaning, bunk-breaking, marketing calves, breaking into the winter feed supplies, and preg checking.

A question that remains in the minds of many producers after a pregnancy diagnosis is, “What happened to those open cows; why did they not become pregnant?” While 6-12 percent of cows will normally be open at this time, the reason for greater numbers of open cows needs to be closely examined.

Once bull fertility, nutrition, environment, and other obvious answers to infertility have been ruled out, it may be time to explore the possibility of abortions.

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Livestock group opinions vary on proposed packer ban

Livestock group opinions vary on proposed packer ban

by Peter Shinn

Brownfield Network

So is the proposed packer ban included in the farm bill approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday good bad or ugly? It depends on just who you ask.

The Senate Ag Committee’s ban would prohibit packer ownership of livestock more than 14 days before slaughter. The National Pork Producers Council in a press release called that provision “ugly.”

Nebraska Cattlemen Executive Vice President Mike Kelsey won’t go that far. But Kelsey pointed out cattlemen are increasingly producing beef for the natural and organic markets, and under contracts that could be seen as conferring ownership to cattle. Kelsey told Brownfield that’s why Nebraska Cattlemen are concerned about the packer ban language.

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Creator of Swift value-based grid knows cattle and customers

Creator of Swift value-based grid knows cattle and customers

By SUE ROESLER

The Prairie Star

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tim Schiefelbein is one of the few livestock operators in the country who are able to bridge the communication gap between packer and producer.

He not only works as a Swift value-based procurement manager in Greeley, Colo., he was formerly the head live cattle buyer. With a viewpoint of an insider, he knows what the packers want and also knows what do-mestic and international customers are looking for when they buy beef.

In fact, Schiefelbein was the creator of the Swift value-based grid that formed the blueprint for the grids widely used today throughout the packing industry.

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Proper Cow Culling Is Important To Your Business

Proper Cow Culling Is Important To Your Business

Cattlenetwork.com

Cull cows represent approximately 20% of the gross income of any commercial cow operation.  Cull beef cows represent 10% of the beef that is consumed in the United States.  Therefore Oklahoma ranchers need to make certain that cow culling is done properly and profitably.  Selling cull cows when they will return the most income to the rancher requires knowledge about cull cow health and body condition.  Proper cow culling will reduce the chance that a cow carcass is condemned at the packing plant and becomes a money drain for the entire beef industry.

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Livestock slaughter – Veal production sets all time record low

Livestock slaughter – Veal production sets all time record low

North Texas e-news

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.86 billion pounds in September, down 2 percent from the 3.95 billion pounds produced in September 2006.

Beef production, at 2.09 billion pounds, was 3 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.67 million head, down 4 percent from September 2006. The average live weight was up 5 pounds from the previous year, at 1,290 pounds.

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Different hays have different values and purpose

Different hays have different values and purpose

By Joe Benton

News-Star.com

Q:Which Hay Fits Where?

 A:Hay is the single most important source of supplemental energy in cow operations. A well thought out hay program should utilize the strengths of the hay supply in order to match hay resources with cow requirements as requirements change with weather and stage of production. The following discussion will try to categorize hays according to their most logical use during the winter.

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2008 National Beef Ambassadors announced; N.M. candidate 3rd

2008 National Beef Ambassadors announced; N.M. candidate 3rd

The Current-Argus

Leticia Varelas of Hope, New Mexico attended the 2008 National Beef Ambassador Competition held in New Orleans, LA on Oct. 18-20. Varelas received third place and was selected as one of the five National Beef Ambassadors with her presentation titled: An Agri-Carol: The Past, Present and Future of the Beef Industry.

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Which hay fits where? How to best utilize strengths of hay

Which hay fits where? How to best utilize strengths of hay

News-Star.com

Hay is the single most important source of supplemental energy in cow operations. A well thought out hay program should utilize the strengths of the hay supply in order to match hay resources with cow requirements as requirements change with weather and stage of production.

The following discussion will try to categorize hays according to their most logical use during the winter.

FULL STORY

County extension agent has faced unique problems, heard it all

County extension agent has faced unique problems, heard it all

By Erin Quinn

Waco Tribune-Herald

Donald Kelm laughs when he remembers fielding a phone call from a frantic woman wondering if she should use her gun to control an armadillo problem inside Waco’s city limits.

“It would probably work,” he told her, but he can’t recommend it.

As McLennan County’s Extension Agent for the past five years, Kelm has heard it all.

In a more rural county, he would mainly answer concerns regarding crops or livestock.

He does that in McLennan County, too, where beef cattle still reigns strong. But because most of the county’s population resides in Waco, he has to come up with solutions to problems like out-of-control armadillos, too.

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RFI is new way to maximize feed efficiency

RFI is new way to maximize feed efficiency

Springfield News-Leader

One of the interesting topics on the beef tour during the Southwest Center’s Field Day this fall dealt with a new method of calculating feed utilization.

The method is called Residual Feed Intake, or RFI.

“RFI is somewhat like measuring feed efficiency or conversion and is going to be the basis for a new beef and forage project at the Mount Vernon farm,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

A group of 89 Angus X Simmental heifers will make up the initial herd at the research facility. These same cattle were in Columbia earlier this summer being “phenotyped,” or measured for their daily feed intake and gain.

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Kimball family farm awarded $275,000 grant

Kimball family farm awarded $275,000 grant

By Jami Marquardt

St. Cloud Times

KIMBALL — A Kimball family farm was awarded a $275,000 value-added producer grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Value-added producer grants can be used for planning or to provide working capital to market value-added agricultural products and farm-based renewable energy projects.

Schiefelbein Farms, a family-owned cattle operation, will use the grant to add value to the reproduction bulls it sells by identifying and breeding bulls that can produce a larger percentage of feeder cattle that qualify as branded beef.

Schiefelbein Farms was started in 1955 by Frank Schiefelbein and is operated today by seven of his eight sons.

The operation began with 45 cows, some chickens and beef cattle.

Tim Schiefelbein, the eighth son, estimated that about 200 breeding bulls will be sold this year and expects that number to grow to 350 next year.

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Beef business going bust, Alberta may lose up to 40 per cent of cow-calf operations by Christmas

Beef business going bust, Alberta may lose up to 40 per cent of cow-calf operations by Christmas

David Finlayson

The Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON – Marcel Turgeon cried when he watched 50 years of his life get sold for $56,000.

That’s what the 63-year-old Lac La Biche rancher got at auction for 123 of the best charolais cows in the province.

They were so good they didn’t need to be fattened up at a feedlot before going to slaughter, but that didn’t matter to the packing plant buyer.\

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2007 Missouri Livestock Symposium kicks-off Nov. 30

2007 Missouri Livestock Symposium kicks-off Nov. 30

High Plains Journal

The 2007 Missouri Livestock Symposium will be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in Kirksville, Mo. The program features outstanding speakers, a sold out agriculturally related trade show, entertainment by the Bellamy Brothers, and even some free meals.

Garry Mathes is chair of the 2007 Missouri Livestock Symposium’s 23 member planning committee. According to Mathes, “this year’s program is perhaps the best yet.” Nationally known experts from 13 states will speak on timely and relevant topics targeted to horse producers, beef cattle producers, sheep and meat goat producers, forage producers, stock dog owners, and consumers in general. There will also be a section of programs featuring wildlife and conservation topics and issues.

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