Daily Archives: November 1, 2007

Marbling in Double Muscled Steers

Marbling in Double Muscled Steers

Ropin’ the Web

Some breeds of cattle are prone to double muscling. These animals have enlarged muscles, giving them the appearance of being the weight lifters of the cattle world! Double muscling in cattle is the result of a natural mutation of the myostatin gene. Normally this gene stops muscle development, but the timing is off because of the mutation of the gene.

There are a number of breeds that are prone to carrying the gene for double muscling, with two of these being the Piedmontese and the Parthenais. Both breeds have been in existence for a long time with the first official herdbook for the Piedmontese established in Italy in 1897, and for the Parthenais in France in 1893. Both breeds are raised in Alberta. One of the attractions of double-muscled cattle is the leanness of their carcasses. Backfat is generally found to be less in double-muscled cattle than in cattle with normal muscling. Whether or not this affects the amount of marbling fat in the muscle is open to dispute. Some studies have found reduced marbling in double-muscled cattle while others have found no effect of double muscling on carcass marbling.


Hereford Hall of Fame, Hall of Merit Inductees Recognized

 Hereford Hall of Fame, Hall of Merit Inductees Recognized

Bill Bennett, James Bennett and Rob Hooper were inducted into the Hereford Hall of Fame Oct. 22 in Kansas City during the AHA Annual Membership Meeting. The Hall of Fame honor recognizes breeders who have dynamically influenced the direction and advancement of the Hereford breed. Also during the meeting, the late Col. Stanley E. Stout was honored with the Hereford Hall of Merit Award. Hall of Merit inductees aren’t necessarily Hereford breeders but have, in their own ways, greatly influenced the Hereford breed and cattle industry.

Reduce Losses When Feeding Hay

Reduce Losses When Feeding Hay


This winter, hay supplies will be extremely tight on most farms across the state. The 2007 spring freeze followed by prolonged drought led to a 30 to 50 percent reduction in hay production in the state this year. Therefore, it is important not to waste this valuable commodity when feeding it to cattle. Reducing hay losses during feeding decreases waste, so cattle consume most of it, said Garry Lacefield, forage specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Hay losses can be the result of trampling, leaf shatter, chemical and physical deterioration, fecal contamination and simply the animal’s refusal to eat it.


Kansas Seedstock Producer and Cattle Feeder Receives Red Angus Service Award

Kansas Seedstock Producer and Cattle Feeder Receives Red Angus Service Award

The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) recently honored Frank Wedel by presenting him the John V. Robbins Distinguished Service Award at the 2007 National RAAA Convention held in Dodge City, Kan., September 26 – 29, at the historic Dodge House Hotel and Convention Center.  Frank and Susan Wedel own and operate Wedel Red Angus in Leoti, Kan. A Red Angus seedstock herd with locations in Kansas and Colorado as well as a cattle feeding operation that includes feeding their own cattle and cattle purchased from their commercial bull customers. The quality of Wedel bred feeder cattle earned two RAAA’s GridMaster Carcass Awards this past year after being harvested on the Angus America Grid.

RAAA’s Distinguished Service Award is named in honor of John V. Robbins, past President of the Association who graciously gave his time and energy to the advancement of the Red Angus breed. It is awarded yearly to an individual who expresses those traits and are willing to go the extra mile on behalf of the breed. Frank Wedel has served the RAAA as a Board Member and President. He currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Genetic Performance Solutions Company (GPS). GPS is the newly formed company, created by the RAAA and the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA), whose mission is to supply the industry with multi-breed EPD’s, data storage capability and registration software services. Wedel has worked countless hours and spent great energy and creativity into developing the GPS project. Red Angus owes a debt of gratitude to Wedel for all that he has helped to accomplish.

Wedel was presented the award by Steve Andras, President of the RAAA. Andras stated, “This year’s recipient is one of those that have given unselfishly of his time and talent for the betterment of our Association. Specifically, he has spent countless hours advising and helping in the formation of our data management program. I am proud to count him as a friend, and Frank Wedel is most definitely deserving of this prestigious award.” The RAAA is honored to present Frank Wedel with the John V. Robbins Distinguished Service Award for 2007. 

Cattle Diseases: Johnes Disease

Cattle Diseases: Johnes Disease

Cattle Today

Johne’s Disease (pronounced YO-knees), or paratuberculosis, is a chronic wasting disease that causes considerable production losses in adult cattle, sheep, goats, deer, llamas, elk, and bison, and other ruminants. The disease is caused by Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, a bacterium related to tuberculosis.


Bush Nominates Agriculture Secretary, 2-Term N.D. Governor Has Roots in Farming

 Bush Nominates Agriculture Secretary, 2-Term N.D. Governor Has Roots in Farming

By Michael A. Fletcher

Washington Post

President Bush yesterday nominated Edward T. Schafer, who served two terms as governor of North Dakota, to head the Department of Agriculture, an agency with a broad mandate including administration of the federal food stamp program, aiding economic development in rural America and enhancing food safety. Bush called Schafer a natural candidate for the post, given his farm roots and experience as an entrepreneur and governor of a state where nearly a quarter of the workers hold agriculture-related jobs.


NCBA Statement On Nomination Of Edward Schafer To Be Secretary Of Agriculture

NCBA Statement On Nomination Of Edward Schafer To Be Secretary Of Agriculture


“Ed Schafer has been a strong advocate for North Dakota cattle producers and for American agriculture.  He is keenly aware of the challenges being faced by rural communities and especially by our nation’s ranchers and farmers.  “I know from speaking with many of our North Dakota members of his efforts to help agriculture and farming communities during some very difficult times.  Our cattlemen can be assured that Schafer will look to them to provide input and to establish an open dialogue about the policies that affect their operations.


Ohio Extension Beef Team offers forage management resources to producers

 Ohio Extension Beef Team offers forage management resources to producers

Ag Professional

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With hay yields lower than expected and pasture damaged from drought, it could be next spring before producers have adequate forage supplies for their livestock. Ohio State University Extension offers several Web-based information resources to aid producers in making the best forage management decisions this winter. OSU Extension’s Beef Cattle Team maintains a newsletter and a drought resource Web site, both of which contain a plethora of research-based information, press releases, and event announcements related to livestock management and forage options. The OSU Extension Beef Team Web site is beef.osu.edu, which contains links to the newsletter and the drought page, as well as additional resource information. FULL STORY

84,000 Cattle + Manure = Concerns About Odor

 84,000 Cattle + Manure = Concerns About Odor


The people behind a planned super farm in St. Lawrence County said Wednesday that they’ll do their best to make sure neighbors aren’t bothered by the smell. Bion Environmental Technologies outlined plans for a beef cattle farm and an ethanol plant that it wants to build in the Massena or Ogdensburg area. The farm would have 84,000 head of beef cattle and all the manure that comes with a herd of that size.


New Hereford Leadership Announced

New Hereford Leadership Announced

Hank DeShazer, Hearne, Texas, was announced as the new AHA president during the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 22. His goals for the AHA include growing the Certified Hereford Beef program, gaining more Hereford market share and breed improvment. DeShazer owns DeShazer Cattle Co. in Hearne. Bill King, Stanley, N.M., will team with DeShazer as the AHA vice president. King owns Bill King Ranch. Also during the Annual Meeting, state delegates elected three new Board members. Congratulations to Jerry Huth, Oakfield, Wis.; James Milligan, Kings, Ill.; and John Woolfolk, Jackson, Tenn. For more information on these new directors, see the October Hereford World. The AHA staff wishes to thank the retiring board members for their service to the breed and the membership. Those individuals are Jack Evans, Winona, Miss., 2007 president; Steve Folkman, Ixonia, Wis., director; and Lavette Teeter, Mooresville, N.C., director.

Feeding Systems For Beef Cows

 Feeding Systems For Beef Cows


Meeting the nutritional needs of beef cows during the winter is a costly proposition. On average, it costs about $350 a year to maintain a cow. Of these annual costs, approximately two-thirds ($230) is cost of feed. If you feed hay valued at $60/ton for five months during the winter, this cost is approximately $160 (or $1.05/cow/day). Reducing winter feed costs provides the greatest opportunity to improve profits for beef producers. This paper will outline factors affecting cow nutrient requirements and winter feeding systems for beef cows that reduce annual feed costs for the cow herd.


Cattle groups pinch pennies

 Cattle groups pinch pennies

By Mary MacArthur


Cattle producers aren’t the only ones taking a sharp pencil to their budgets. Provincial cattle organizations have revised their budgets because of lower cattle sales. The Alberta Beef Producers cut $750,000 from its 2007-08 budget mid year because of anticipated lower cattle sales. The ABP will still be $762,500 in the red, said beef producers’ finance chair Kelly Olson. FULL STORY

Russia Mission Develops Trade for Colorado Beef Genetics

 Russia Mission Develops Trade for Colorado Beef Genetics       

  Western Farmer -Stockman

The Colorado Department of Agriculture and a livestock industry spokesperson, just back from a trip to Russia this fall, worked to develop trade leads for the state’s beef genetics. “Russia is looking to expand its herd size and increase the quality of its breed stock,” says Dawn Valasquez de Perez, CDA international marketing specialist. “Although live cattle exports to Russia are not currently permitted, there is a great opportunity for Colorado’s producers to export beef genetics.”


Health Study Raises Cost-Saving Advantage, Natural Market Still Sees Higher Premium

Health Study Raises Cost-Saving Advantage, Natural Market Still Sees Higher Premium

by Rhonda McCurry

Hereford World

Ranchers are in business to make money. And a study by John Lawrence, Iowa State University professor of economics, finds traditional breeders may already have costsaving strategies in place.

The study states pharmaceutical technologies such as parasite-control products, growth-promotant implants, sub-therapeutic antibiotics, ionophores and beta-agonists save U.S. beef producers an average of $360 per head. The improvement in growth and efficiency produced by these products affects all phases of beef production including cow-calf, stocker and feeder by significantly increasing volume and decreasing costs.


Frost Damage And Prussic Acid Poisoning Potential

Frost Damage And Prussic Acid Poisoning Potential


Jack Frost is finally taking his first bites of the year, bringing the potential for prussic acid poisoning when feeding forage from the sorghum family. Those forages contain cyanogenic glucosides, which are converted quickly to prussic acid in freeze-damaged plant tissue. Prussic acid, also known as hydrogen cyanide, can kill animals within minutes if it is present in high concentration.