Daily Archives: November 19, 2007

Purdue Webcast: Getting through the Winter on a tight Forage Supply

Purdue Webcast: Getting through the Winter on a tight Forage Supply

The April freeze in addition to the dry summer left some Indiana pastures in less than ideal condition. However, this creates an opportunity for growers to make improvements, according to Keith Johnson, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service forage expert.

To help livestock owners get through the winter on a short forage supply, Purdue Extension will host an IP-videoconference & Webcast Nov. 20 from 7-9 p.m. EST that may either be viewed online or at locations around Indiana.

To view on the IP Video connection:

Contact your local Indiana Extension office.

To View via the internet:

Participants with a high speed Internet connection, web browser and Microsoft Windows Media Player, can log on and watch the videoconference live from their own computer at mms://video.dis.purdue.edu/agcomm . This link will be made active on the day of the event. Bookmark this page to return to it on Nov. 20.


BeefTalk: A Burden or Opportunity?

BeefTalk: A Burden or Opportunity?

Where are They Now? – Status of 14,432 calves tagged in 2004, 2005 and 2006 Where are They Now? – Status of 14,432 calves tagged in 2004, 2005 and 2006

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

The need for a calving book that records data points along a calf’s life is essential.

For the past six years, North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association producers have been involved with age- and source-verification research with North Dakota State University and numerous partners. This partnership led to a successful application to the USDA to provide third-party verification for age and source by the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association.

The CalfAID program was named an official USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service Process Verified Program in 2006. Data collected is processed through the cow herd appraisal performance software for nearly 400 North Dakota cow-calf producers, with a typical herd size of 190 cows, as well as beef producers in many other parts of the country.


Alternative By-product Commodities for Growing Replacement Heifers

Alternative By-product Commodities for Growing Replacement Heifers

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

Because of the limited forage resources, many producers may be planning on growing fewer than usual (if any at all) replacement heifers. Nonetheless, the replacement heifers that are in the future plans for Oklahoma cow herds must be fed adequately to be grown completely and ready for the next breeding season. In most instances, heifers need to gain 1 to 1.5 pounds per day from weaning to the start of the breeding season. Standing forage could be in extremely short supply and harvested hays lacking in both quality and quantity. Therefore, producers may find themselves looking for alternative feeds that can be purchased that will provide both energy and protein and yet be comparatively safe to feed in pasture or drylot situations.


Beware dangers from freeze-damaged grasses

Beware dangers from freeze-damaged grasses

High Plains Journal

Cattlemen should be aware of the dangers certain grasses pose to cattle after a freeze, warns Mark Keaton, Baxter County staff chair with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

“Usually in October, the first killing frost visits Arkansas,” he said. “Crops such as Johnson grass, Sudan grass, sorghum-Sudan grass, grain sorghum and other sorghums are sensitive to temperatures below 32 degrees. Plant cells of these crops are damaged by frost, and hydrocyanic acid, or prussic acid, is formed.”

Keaton said there’s a chance cattle can be killed by eating only a few pounds of forage from these grasses if they’ve been killed by frost.

Hydrocyanic acid is more abundant in sorghum leaves than in stems. Since young shoots and suckers consist mainly of leaves, they’re more hazardous to eat than mature plants that contain large stems. That’s because stems dilute the harmful effects of this potentially lethal compound found in sorghum leaves, Keaton said.


Hundreds of amendments bog down Farm Bill

Hundreds of amendments bog down Farm Bill

North Platte Bulletin

Nothing will happen in Conrgress on a new Farm Bill for at least two more weeks, after supporters fell a five votes short Friday in a move to debate the bill.

Democrats voted together to bring the bill to the Senate floor but didn’t get enough help from Republicans

They needed 60 votes to force the Senate to stop work on other issues. The vote was 55-42, with three senators not voting.

Congress renews the national Farm Bill every five years, which authorizes spending for food stamps as well as farm programs.

There are plenty of suggestions and blame being spread around because of the delay.

Earlier, President Bush threatened to veto both the Senate and House versions of the bill. Several House Republicans blamed the Senate and Democrats and offered to extend current farm law for another year.

Independent cattlemen blame Bush and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the delay.


An organic decision

An organic decision

Anya Lomako

Imprint-University of  Waterloo

Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

As the global warming epidemic looms on the public horizon, a large portion of people take a step back from over-consumption by working to save energy, reduce vehicle emissions and eat naturally. All three actions are directed towards reducing the human ecological footprint on the earth; with the latter being the most intangible in its conservation productivity. However, natural eating is key to environmentally friendly living. Eating naturally represents a tiny human revolution in itself, aimed toward better health of the human demographic and the earth. But as with any revolution, opposing sides are in conflict.


Old McDonald Had a Farm…and He Got Arrested?

Old McDonald Had a Farm…and He Got Arrested?

The Nation

David E. Gumpert

Just in time for the holidays, four beef carcasses hang from the improvised slaughterhouse at Greg Niewendorp’s 160-acre farm outside East Jordan, in the north of Michigan’s lower peninsula. It should be a happy Thanksgiving because, for the first time in eight months, his farm isn’t under quarantine by Michigan’s Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Niewendorp is free to slaughter cattle from his herd of twenty and fulfill contracts in time for the holidays to the couple dozen friends and neighbors who prize the specially bred grass-fed beef he produces.