Monthly Archives: November 2007

Pain management in cattle

Pain management in cattle

By Geni Wren

Bovine Veterinarian

“I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.”

“The relief of animal suffering.” That concept has gained more importance to society and animal health professionals worldwide. One just has to look at the European situation to get a sense for where the puck might be heading regarding pain management of cattle, says Hans Coetzee BVSc, Cert CHP, PhD, DACVCP, Kansas State University.


Keynote Speakers Announced for International Livestock Congress

Keynote Speakers Announced for International Livestock Congress

Cattle Today

Global consumer demands are placing new perspectives, requirements and procedures on U.S. beef producers. These challenges are the focus of the International Livestock Congress 2008, which is set for Jan. 15 in Denver. The event will feature eight industry leaders recognized for their knowledge, experience and vision of the global beef industry.


Farmers face dilemma: Animals as meat or pets?

Farmers face dilemma: Animals as meat or pets?

By Morgan Jarema

The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS — Farmers who raise animals for food have a real image problem.

Children have cribs filled with stuffed animals. Adults refer to their pets as children, spending millions annually on surgeries and cancer treatments, and donating to animal-welfare charities.

And, as evidenced by the billions of pounds of beef, cattle, livestock and dairy products consumed every year in the U.S., most of them can’t get enough chicken nuggets, T-bone steaks and Thanksgiving turkey.


Manage feed for best result

Manage feed for best result


Glasgow  Daily Times

GLASGOW — Monday night, Oct. 29, we met to discuss winter feeding issues and a large group of our local producers were able to attend. Dr. Roy Burris and Kevin Laurant, beef cattle specialists with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, were our guest speakers.

A news story was later released about Dr. Burris’ comments, which were presented the next morning in Bowling Green at the State Grazing Conference.

After reading this piece, I decided to include this news release, by UK Agricultural Communications Specialist Laura Skillman, in this week’s article.


Considerations When Repairing & Replacing Fences

Considerations When Repairing & Replacing Fences

Priority should be placed on repairing perimeter fences and fences along roads. The decision then becomes the most efficient way to proceed. It may be best in certain situations to build a temporary electric fence inside the fallen tree line. Electric fence is the fastest and most economical way to contain cattle and is a good option for many producers. Advantages of electric fencing include cost-effectiveness compared to other fencing options, ease of installation and repair versus barbed wire fencing, and the ability to have longer wire runs between posts requiring fewer posts. Electric fence can be installed using poly wire, poly tape, or high-tensile wire. A minimum of three strands of electric wire should be used on perimeter fences, and two strands can be used on cross fences. Solid corner posts and gate posts are very important. High tensile fencing tends to place more pressure on the posts. Be sure that H braces are built sturdily.


No Bull: Cattle Breeding for Investors

No Bull: Cattle Breeding for Investors

Written by: Beth Anderson

The growth of artificial insemination (AI) as a tool for improving the genetics of cattle herds has opened up new opportunities for agricultural investors.

There are many ways investors could profit from the AI industry, including starting an entire cattle operation. But the purchase of genetically superior bulls or genetically superior heifers or cows—heifers are female cattle who have not produced offspring while cows are female cattle who have—to sell their wares, whether semen or embryos, to interested herd owners is a particularly interesting, though risky, strategy.

Cattle farmers have been using AI to assist in producing the best calves for dairy and beef production since the 1930s. While AI was originally out of reach for most cattle operations, improvements in technology allowed herd owners to breed their cows using the cream of the cattle crop.


Cattlemen seek additional feed sources

Cattlemen seek additional feed sources

by Tom Steever

A scarcity of feed in some parts of the country has cattle feeders clamoring for new resources to sustain their cattle through the winter. Cattlemen 160 strong crammed a Springfield, Illinois extension center Wednesday to hear nutrition specialists talk about the value of feeding co-products from the processing of corn and soybeans into renewable fuels, sweeteners and beverages.

Early frost and a dry season exacted a high cost to cattlemen in lost forage, according to Dave Seibert, animal systems educator at the University of Illinois.

“Many of them had to feed either all or part of their hay this summer just to get the cows through, so they’re out looking for other sources of feed to really assist with getting their cows through the winter,” Seibert told Brownfield during a break in the day-long program, “and especially if they calve in the winter, that means that they’re nutritional demands are that much higher.”


The State of Nebraska Beef

The State of Nebraska Beef


Cattle producers from across Nebraska converged in Kearney Thursday to talk about the state of the beef industry.

Of major concern is getting the younger generation involved on the state’s farms and ranches. In a state with more cattle than people, industry leaders say the people that raise those cattle are doing well this year.

“Cattle markets in Nebraska have been very high this year. We’ve had good fat cattle markets and we’ve had excellent feeder cattle markets,” said Todd Schroeder Nebraska Cattlemen vice president.

“We’re out in the drought area and even though our crops have not been very good the past five years. The beef industry has been holding up quite well for us,” he said.


At the Marana Stockyards dozens of head of cattle are up on the auction block.

At the Marana Stockyards dozens of head of cattle are up on the auction block.


But with beef prices falling recently, it’s putting ranchers like Peggy Rowley in a pinch.

“That’s huge for us. When you drop ten to twenty cents a pound on a 500 pound steer, you do the math– it’s another chopping that’s unbelievable,” she says.

An ongoing drought is forcing cattle growers like Peggy to cut back on cattle.  A few years ago she would bring 300 head of cattle to an auction.  Thursday she brought 120 head of cattle.


UNL programs focus on by-product feeding

UNL programs focus on by-product feeding

Gothenburg Times

LINCOLN—Two upcoming University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension programs Dec. 5 and 19 will use ongoing UNL research to help producers determine if by-product feeding is a economical feed staple in their operations.

The expansion of the ethanol production industry in Nebraska has created opportunities for cattle producers to use byproducts as a feed source. The programs will focus on using ethanol byproducts from feed rations to storage.

The programs run from 7-9 p.m. Both programs will be at the Saunders County Extension Office located at the UNL Agricultural Research and Development Center’s August. N. Christenson Research and Education Building near Mead.


Training will help track CAFO numbers

Training will help track CAFO numbers

By Sven Berg

Magic Valley Times-News

Sometime in the next two weeks, Cassia County Compliance Officer Mel-issa Price will take a training course to improve her cow-counting skills.

Marv Patten, chief of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dairying, will present the training, which is designed to help the county keep better track of the number of animals maintained in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

The ability to reliably measure the number of animals maintained in the county’s CAFOs has long been an obstacle to enforcing compliance with the terms of CAFO permits. While counting cows may seem like a simple task, when it comes to counting tens of thousands of them, the job gets a bit trickier. For one thing, cows don’t typically stand still long enough to make sure they’re being counted once, and not two or three times.


Circle A Angus adds CAB feedlot

Circle A Angus adds CAB feedlot

Certified Angus Beef

Circle A Angus Ranch opened a 5,000 head, all-under-roof feedlot in Huntsville, Mo. in May. Circle A Feeders is the only finishing yard in Missouri to join the Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) Feedlot Licensing Program (FLP).

The FLP is designed to reward producers for high-quality cattle that meet Certified Angus Beef ® brand specifications. Partner feedlots enroll cattle in the FLP, and licensed packers pay premiums for those that qualify for the brand. Circle A joins a network of 63 CAB feedlots in 15 states.

General manager Mark Akin says Circle A Feeders is unique because it focuses on buying calves from customers that utilize Circle A Angus genetics. The feedlot purchases 100% interest in steer and heifer calves that are offspring of bulls and females bought directly from Circle A customers are eligible for premiums of up to $45 a head for these calves.


King Ranch Institute Seeking Students for 2008 Masters Degree Program

King Ranch Institute Seeking Students for 2008 Masters Degree Program

Cattle Today

King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management is now seeking applicants to begin in their 2008-2009 Master’s degree program in ranch management.

The King Ranch Institute, which was created in 2003 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the King Ranch, is the only Master’s degree program of its kind in the United States. Each year, the Institute selects four students to be part of this unique and exceptional academic program.

“The King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management’s graduate program helps ambitious young people clearly differentiate themselves in a very competitive world,” said Dr. Barry H. Dunn, Executive Director, King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management. “This degree is unique in the world, but more importantly, the education, training, exposure, and experience that our graduates gain prepares them for outstanding careers and will reward them with countless benefits throughout their lives. “


Certified Angus Beef: Getting It All

Certified Angus Beef: Getting It All

Efficiency and quality are two important words in the beef industry. Both were covered during the Feeding Quality Forums, Nov. 13 in Garden City, Kan., and Nov. 15 in South Sioux City, Neb.

Robert Strong, editor of Feedlot magazine, kicked off the programs by stressing the importance of continually building on the beef industry’s body of knowledge.

 “In the future, we will use more information and technology, which will make life more interesting, predictable and profitable for all of us in the cattle industry,” he said.

Feedlot co-sponsored the meetings with Pfizer Animal Health, Land O’Lakes Purina Feeds LLC, and Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB). Topics fit what were on cattle feeders’ minds.


Marrs bring prime cuts direct to market

Marrs bring prime cuts direct to market

John Oncken

Most of us love a great steak — the sizzle and smell of a grilling steak makes the mouth water and the eating is out of this world. A beef pot roast at a family gathering is one of life’s great joys. Hamburgers, from gourmet to the inexpensive, are among the most popular of “eating out” meals. And beef jerky is commanding ever-more space in supermarkets.

Beef is bought at restaurants, from fast food to white table cloth, at baseball games, in supermarkets both big and small, and yes, even from the farmers who raise the cattle from which it is made.


Micro Beef Technologies and Midwest MicroSystems Launch Cow Sense Verified Program

Micro Beef Technologies and Midwest MicroSystems Launch Cow Sense Verified Program

AMARILLO, Texas, November 28, 2007 – Micro Beef Technologies and Midwest MicroSystems are pleased to introduce the Cow Sense® Verified Program, a value-added program providing cow-calf producers an integrated, comprehensive tool to age and source verify cattle and qualify for numerous domestic and export market programs. 

With the Cow Sense Verified Program, Midwest MicroSystems’ Cow Sense Herd Management Software is integrated with Micro Beef Technologies’ USDA-approved Process Verified Program (PVP) for age and source verification.  The partnership between these two leading individual animal and herd management solution providers affords cow-calf producers a variety of methods to differentiate their cattle in the marketplace and increase profitability.

This integrated system enables information exchange and verification for individual animals, herd management practices, and continuous economic improvement.  Cow Sense Verified provides Cow Sense users with easy access to a proven, market-leading age and source verification option. 

Cow Sense customers can take advantage of the Micro Beef Verification Services to qualify cattle for a variety of value-added specification beef programs, such as those requiring cattle that have not been treated with antibiotics, implants, ionophores, or have received certain pre- and post-weaning vaccination protocols. An added benefit of the Cow Sense Verified program is the ability to share and receive meaningful animal performance information with participating feedlots through the same Micro Beef Technologies platform and Midwest MicroSystems’ BeefSTAR™ application.

“Connecting producers to marketing programs that add real value to their operations is a priority for Micro Beef,” says Joe Young, Manager of Integrated Beef Programs for Micro Beef Technologies.  “In today’s market, age- and source-verified cattle are often earning average premiums of $25 – $35 per head.  We’re pleased to combine our verification services and information management with Midwest MicroSystems leading herd management system to help producers create additional value in their cattle.”

“A key to success in the beef industry is managing details.  Consumers’ increasing demands for source verification, beef quality assurance, and verification of management practices require good herd record-keeping.  We are proud to partner with Micro Beef to provide Cow Sense users with a proven method for differentiating their cattle in the marketplace and maximizing their value,” says Midwest MicroSystems Vice President Tim Davis.  “This simplified approach combines additional marketing benefits with the valuable on-ranch herd management information provided by Cow Sense.”

Cow Sense Verified cattle may also be posted online in the Micro Beef Listing Service, the industry’s only online, public listing for 100% on-site audited cattle.  To view the Micro Beef Listing Service, visit

For more information on Cow Sense Verified, visit or contact Midwest MicroSystems at 800-584-0040 or Micro Beef Technologies at 800-858-4330.

Third Annual Mid-South Stocker Conference Set for February 12-13

Third Annual Mid-South Stocker Conference Set for February 12-13

The 2008 Mid-South Conference will be held February 12-13, in Lebanon, Tennessee. The conference is a cooperative educational program by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension and University of Tennessee Extension.

Bayer Animal Health will again serve as “partner” for the conference.

The theme of the conference is “Plan for Success.” The conference will offer practical information that will aid stocker operators in planning and managing their operations to maximize profit.

Pre-registration for the conference is $95.00 and must be made by February 5, 2008. Registration the day of the conference will be $145.00.

Stocker production is the sector of beef production between weaning and the feedlot. The market currently has greater demand for heavier, healthier feeder cattle. Both Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as the Mid-South area, produce thousands of cattle that would increase in market value by stockering them.

The conference gets underway at 1:00 PM on February 12 with a tour of stocker operations and other stops of interest to conference attendees. The tour will conclude with a reception and Certified Angus Beef steak meal at Horn Springs Angus Farms, hosted by Quinton Smith. Mr. Mark McCauley of Certified Angus Beef will make a presentation to wrap up the tour. The reception and steak dinner is sponsored by Bayer Animal Health.

The tour will also provide an opportunity for stocker operators to interact with each other and the program presenters in an informal environment.

The program of February 13 will include topics related to “successful” stocker operations presented by nationally recognized experts in the stocker industry. Topics include health and management of stocker cattle, risk management, the outlook for the stocker industry, using byproducts from ethanol production in stocker cattle rations.

The day will conclude with a panel discussion by successful stocker operators from the Mid-South area who will share what they do to be successful with their operations.

For additional information, contact Dr. Jim Neel, University of Tennessee Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at 865-974-7294 or or Mr. John Bartee, County Director, University of Tennessee Extension, Montgomery County Tennessee at 931-648-5725 or In Kentucky contact Dr. John T. Johns University of Kentucky Beef Cattle Specialist at 859-257-2853 or For more information, visit the following web site:

Pastures need lime

Pastures need lime

Baxter Bulletin

Are you losing extra yield from pasture and forage crops each season due to low soil pH?

Lime on acid soils is required if a well-balanced fertility program is to be achieved. Yields can be increased on many Arkansas farms by correcting acid soil conditions with lime. Most grasses will produce top yield on soils that are only moderately acid or slightly acid. Most legumes, on the other hand, grow best on soils that are slightly acid to neutral in pH reaction. Good yields of all forages are more attainable when proper levels of lime and fertilizer are applied to pastures and hay meadows.

In addition to increasing soil pH, lime supplies calcium or calcium and magnesium (dolomitic limestone), both essential nutrients for plant growth. Other benefits include increasing the availability of soil phosphorus and molybdenum; decreasing the solubility of elements like aluminum and magnesium, thereby reducing the possibility of toxicity to some crops; improving soil structure; increasing the bacterial breakdown of plant residues; and improving the nodulation (nitrogen fixing ability) of legume plants.


Recovering from the freeze and drought of 2007

Recovering from the freeze and drought of 2007

by Bryce Roberts

Spencer Magnet

Spencer County farmers are not likely to soon forget the past year. A double punch of a late spring freeze and a summer drought has left pasture and hay fields gasping. Now that some rain is again falling, producers may be wondering how well their fields will recover and if they can make changes to better prepare for future weather problems.

“There are no easy answers for recovery,” said Ray Smith, extension forage specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. “There’s no miracle cures. Good, sound forage management is really what is needed.”


Kentucky Extension, Conservation Service Team Up for Best Grazing

Kentucky Extension, Conservation Service Team Up for Best Grazing

Partnerships allow two people or entities to pool their strengths, with the combination stronger than either could be on their own. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and federal Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) have pooled their expertise in Kentucky for many years to provide the best possible information to farmers on grazing strategies for their livestock.

“We have a common goal-we want profitable, environmentally sound, and locally beneficial grazing systems on Kentucky farms regardless of the species you are trying to raise,” said Jimmy Henning, PhD, associate dean for extension and associate director of the UK Cooperative Extension Service.