Daily Archives: November 2, 2007

Grassley & Harkin expect challenges to proposed packer ownership ban

Grassley & Harkin expect challenges to proposed packer ownership ban

by Julie Harker

Brownfield Network

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley expects a serious effort on the Senate floor to strip the packer ownership ban from the ag committee’s farm bill. Grassley supports the ban but his major constituents in the livestock industry do not. He says a higher percentage of farmers now have contracts with certain packers, unlike five years ago, but the provision only affects ownership.

“I think that the packers may lead these farmers that have these contracts to believe that we’re affecting them. Even though it’s wrong, it could still make an impact in the Senate on peoples’ votes.”

Fellow Iowan and Ag Committee Chairman Tom Harkin says he’s not sure how the proposed packer ban will fare but he’ll fight to keep it.


Physiology of the Normal Estrous Cycle

Physiology of the Normal Estrous Cycle

Ropin’ the Web

This section describes the series of hormonal and physiological changes which occur during the cow’s normal estrous cycle. The estrous cycle in the cow averages 21 days in length, but can vary between 17 and 24 days and still be considered normal. The length of the estrous cycle is measured as the time between two consecutive estrus or heat periods. The physiological and hormonal changes which occur in the female over the estrous cycle prepare the reproductive tract for estrus (the period of sexual receptivity), ovulation (release of the egg) and implantation (attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterus).


Cure more dangerous than the disease

Cure more dangerous than the disease


Rutland Herald

I recently attended a meeting in Sheldon called “Planning to Survive an Agricultural Bio-Disaster.” It featured Dr. Steve van Wie, a retired veterinarian who had been sent to England during the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak, to help kill livestock.

We learned that if one infected animal is found in a herd, then all cows, goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas and pigs within a 6.2-mile radius (the “hot zone”) are automatically killed, even if they are healthy and disease-free. We were shown a film taken while Dr. van Wie was over there, documenting the horrors of this response to the disease: livestock were killed and left dead, in barns or in outside barnyards, for “two or three weeks” until disposal crews could reach them. Barns and outbuildings were burned to the ground, to kill the virus. Six and a half million animals were killed, and over 80 farmers committed suicide.


Texas A&M Researcher Honored by President Bush

Texas A&M Researcher Honored by President Bush

Cattle Today

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2007 – Texas A&M University researcher Sarah Brooks, whose research was funded by USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), received the 2006 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

“We congratulate Dr. Brooks for her accomplishments in agricultural research, which have helped agricultural producers understand and control atmospheric emissions,” said Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner. “She sets a good example not only through her research work, but also through her dedication to training and mentoring the next generation of scientists.”

Bale processing: Does it impact feed quality?

Bale processing: Does it impact feed quality?

Peace Country Sun

A recent study by Alberta Agriculture and Food indicates processing can impact both dry hay and silage bales.

“Round-bale processors are a commonly used as a feed deliver system in winter-feeding programs,” says Gordon Hutton, provincial forage industry specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Food, Airdrie.

“During bale processing, fines are generated. Feeds with a high portion of fines may be more susceptible to both high dry matter and nutrient losses when used in conjunction with ground-feeding systems.”


Scarcity of hay bales leading to concerns over cattle

Scarcity of hay bales leading to concerns over cattle

Jim Suhr

Springfield News-Leader

St. Louis — On his southern Illinois spread where some 450 cows and calves look to him for food, Dale Moreland finds disappointment the only thing that seems to be growing these days.

And his headaches are over hay.

The 55-year-old cattleman, like so many others in the Midwest and elsewhere, lament that the one-two punch of a spring freeze and months of drought has savaged his hay crops and kept pastures from greening, forcing producers to tap hay stockpiles months earlier than usual.


Cattle deaths illustrate importance of care when making feed changes

Cattle deaths illustrate importance of care when making feed changes

Susan A. Steeves

Purdue News Service/Rushville Republican

WEST LAFAYETTE — Twelve cattle on a southern Indiana farm died of a condition called grain overload, which caused acute rumen acidosis, according preliminary findings of Purdue University veterinarians.

Tests were run on one of the 12 animals that died last week after they consumed an excessive amount of soybeans, a feed which they didn’t normally eat, said Duane Murphy, co-director of the Heeke Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at the Southern Indiana-Purdue Agricultural Center. Further tests were being run at another facility, and the final report is expected in several weeks.