Daily Archives: November 21, 2007

Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The November 21, issue # 563, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefNovr21.html

Cull cows are hitting the markets in droves . . . is it time to start saving heifers for rebuilding the herd?

Articles this week of Thanksgiving include:
* Forage Focus: LMIC Trends . . . Record High U.S. Hay Prices
* Hay is a valuable commodity, Save money by limiting storage and feeding waste!
* “Make or Buy” Heifer Economics
* It’s Not Too Late!!! Ohio Heifer Development Program Still Accepting Consignments!!!
* Livestock Mortality Composting Workshop Scheduled
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report

Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

Carcass Ultrasound 101

Carcass Ultrasound 101

by Patrick Wall, Director of Communications, The National CUP Lab

American Chianina Journal

%IMF or Marbling Score…Which is it? How can I tell?

With all of the incentives to raise Choice and Prime cattle, it’s easy to see why so much selection pressure has been placed on marbling. However, the industry has done a poor job of explaining how producers can use ultrasound to select for quality grade, how ultrasound “measures” marbling, and why it’s done in such a confusing fashion. Percent Intramuscular Fat, or %IMF, is the common ultrasound term for marbling, but it needs further explanation to fully understand the concept. In short, %IMF is simply an indicator trait for marbling, much like Birth Weight EPD is an indicator of calving ease. With high marbling EPDs and carcass quality genetics demanding top dollar in the sale ring, it is extremely important producers understand what they are buying.


Moran introduces legislation to extend current farm bill

Moran introduces legislation to extend current farm bill

High Plains Journal

Congressman Jerry Moran Nov. 15 introduced a one-year extension to the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, commonly known as the 2002 farm bill. Moran’s legislation comes after delays in the U.S. Senate to pass a 2007 farm bill.

“It is unacceptable that we are nearing the end of the year without a farm bill to take home to our farmers and ranchers,” Moran said. “Our producers face the uncertainty of making next year’s crop decisions without knowing what type of safety net will be available in the coming year. Securing future financing is exceptionally difficult without certainty of farm programs. Our farmers and ranchers are already burdened with many responsibilities. They should not have to worry about whether Congress can complete a farm bill. I would have expected the Senate Democratic leadership to understand the policy and political implications of their unwillingness to act.”


Herd Health CD Available

Herd Health CD Available

American Cowman

Texas Cooperative Extension has developed an interactive CD to help cattle producers manage herd health.

“This program will help producers select and schedule month-by-month health and production management practices,” said Buddy Faries, Extension program leader for veterinary medicine. “The calendar helps them do the right thing at the right time.”

The CD includes an interactive calendar that allows a cattleman to generate a management schedule to fit the length of his calving season and the month it begins. “A livestock producer should not manage herd health according to a calendar year or the coincidence of vacations when family members congregate,” said Wayne Thompson, county Extension agent and developer of the program. “This program presents a checklist of management tasks based on the first month of calving — a point in time that typically is not January.”


Minerals – AI’s Hidden Ally

Minerals – AI’s Hidden Ally

by Ed Haag

Angus Journal

Dale ZoBell, Utah State University professor and Extension beef specialist, says today’s livestock nutritionists are faced with a dilemma when it comes to researching the role minerals play in the well-being of beef cattle.

“The problem with any mineral study is that there are so many interrelationships,” he says. “It is really difficult to attribute a result to a single cause.”

He adds that this impediment applies to every aspect of mineral research, including reproduction.


Beef Cow/Calf Operation Reduction Strategies

Beef Cow/Calf Operation Reduction Strategies

Ropin’ the Web

            During periods of severe drought, many Alberta cow-calf producers may be forced to adjust cow numbers to fit available feed supplies.

Producers’ herds are typically the result of many years of breeding and selection. With feed shortages, cost of replacement feed and increased grazing costs, this may be an opportune time to consider some longer term financial strategies for your operation. Profitability, farm cash flow, personal living expenses and taxes are some of the key issues.

Common questions areas

Producers have an array of production and management options to make feed supplies meet their needs. Can you do some swath grazing? Is there stubble grazing or other aftermath grazing nearby? Are you going to harvest reasonable straw supplies? What about leasing? If you want to sell all your cows, can you arrange an option to buy back some cows next year? Are there some under-utilized capital assets than can be sold without affecting the core cow-calf operation? Is it worthwhile to investigate feeding options that cut down on wasted feed? Are the cows in good condition and can that be used to your advantage?


Results of Adjusting Feed Levels for Cows During Cold

Results of Adjusting Feed Levels for Cows During Cold

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

Results from an experiment at Kansas State University suggests several advantages for adjusting energy levels for cold weather.  This information was gathered during the 1979 – 1980 winter.  The K-State researchers used 60 commercial cows fed in dry lot and fed one-half of the cows a steady diet based upon the thermal neutral requirements for body weight maintenance; the other 30 cows were fed a ration adjusted for 1% more feed for each degree of coldness  (see the previous topic in the archives entitled “Managing the Cold Weather”).  Beef cows exposed to cold require more energy for maintenance therefore the results below indicate the effectiveness of making those adjustments.


Foot Rot in Cattle

Foot Rot in Cattle

M.B. Irsik, DVM, MAB and J.K. Shearer, DVM, MS

University of Florida

Foot rot is a term loosely used to describe lameness associated with the bovine foot. However, true foot rot is characterized by acute inflammation of the skin and adjacent soft tissues of the interdigital cleft or space. It is accompanied by diffuse swelling, varying degrees of lameness and in most cases, by a foul-smelling necrotic lesion of the interdigital skin. Foot rot is the term commonly used in the United States for this lameness disorder, but internationally the disease is better known as foul, foul-in-the-foot, interdigital phlegmon, interdigital necrobacillosis, or infectious pododermatitis. It is a frequent problem of beef and dairy cattle, especially in poorly drained, muddy pens or lots and pastures. Normally, occurrence is sporadic, affecting only 1 or 2 animals at a time, but it may affect larger numbers of cattle in outbreak situations or problem herds.


Beef Quality Assurance/Critical Management Plan (BQA/CMP) Training Seminar

Beef Quality Assurance/Critical Management Plan (BQA/CMP) Training Seminar

 South Dakota Department of Agriculture

(Pierre, SD) – A Beef Quality Assurance/Critical Management Plan (BQA/CMP) training seminar will be held at the Watertown Event Center & Ramkota Hotel on November 27, 2007, in conjunction with the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association Convention. The training will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with the Cattlemen’s Welcome Reception to begin at 8:00 p.m.

 BQA/CMP is a program for cattle producers to learn about proper handling and treatment of the livestock they raise, thereby ensuring the confidence of the beef consumers. With the recent recalls and food safety concerns facing consumers, a quality assurance program that is producer and industry driven shows the dedication of cattlemen to provide the safest possible product.


What Is A Forward Cattle Contract?

What Is A Forward Cattle Contract?


The structure of the Canadian cattle industry has seen many changes. Those changes have lead to increased concentrations at both the packer and feedlot levels of the industry. In this new environment of fewer packers, larger feedlots and smaller margins, more and more buyers are securing their cattle supplies well in advance to avoid risks of volatile price fluctuations. At the same time, many sellers have welcomed the opportunity to minimize price risk by forward contracting cattle. Forward contracting may help producers deal with higher price risk, narrowing margins and the need for additional financing.


Should beef produced with hormones be labelled?

Should beef produced with hormones be labelled?

Sydney Morning Herald

There’s a sign in my local chicken shop saying its chicken is produced without hormones – and it’s more misleading than reassuring. Chickens in Australia haven’t been raised with hormones since the 1960s. Yet signs like this keep alive a myth – born from a 1980s TV program on the link between hormones in chicken and early puberty in Latin America – that Australian chickens are full of hormones.

The irony here is that we have chickens sold as ‘hormone free’ when there were no hormones to begin with – yet, given that around 45 per cent of beef cattle in Australia are treated with hormone growth promoters, we can eat beef produced with hormones and be none the wiser. Does this matter – given assurances that the levels of HGP used in beef cattle are safe? Yes, believes nutritionist Rosemary Stanton who argues there’s a case for labelling meat produced with HGPs, a practice banned in the European Union since 1988.


Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory Tests 6,000 Cattle for Export

Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory Tests 6,000 Cattle for Export

PR Newswire

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Pennsylvania’s nationally-recognized veterinary laboratory is preparing more than 6,000 cattle for export to Saudi Arabia and Turkey in the next two months, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said today.

     All of the cattle were blood tested for diseases through the laboratory to meet rigid export requirements and to ensure animal and human safety.     

 “We commend the efforts of those working in the vet laboratory who efficiently and accurately conducted the testing on such a large number of animals,” said Wolff. “Facilitating this large export is good for Pennsylvania agriculture and the state’s economy.”    

  In 2006, Pennsylvania exported nearly $23 million in livestock, ranking it in the top 20 nationally in live animal and meat exports.


American Angus Association® Leadership Elected At 124th Annual Meeting

American Angus Association® Leadership Elected At 124th Annual Meeting


Paul Hill, Bidwell, Ohio, was elected president and chairman of the board of the American Angus Association® at the group’s 124th annual convention of delegates, Nov. 12, 2007, in Louisville, Ky.  He follows Jot Hartley, Vinita, Okla.

More than 350 delegates who were elected to represent American Angus Association members from more than 40 states conducted the business of the Association during the annual meeting and election.  The meeting was at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) Super Point Roll of Victory (ROV) Angus Show.


Go figure: Microsoft, cattle and corn stalks

Go figure: Microsoft, cattle and corn stalks

by Yogatta Laff 

North Platte Bulletin

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln spreadsheet allows farmers and ranchers to make better informed decisions about cattle grazing corn stalks.

The Excel spreadsheet, titled The Corn Stalk Grazing Calculator, can be accessed at http://www.agmanagerstools.com.

The spreadsheet, designed by UNL agricultural economists Matt Stockton and Roger Wilson and animal nutritionist Aaron Stalker all at the West Central Research and Extension Center at North Platte, not only estimates the number of animals that can be supported on a given field of corn stalks with a specified yield, but also has an economic evaluation including the cost to transport the livestock and check their care and conditions.


Record oil prices: Why not record ethanol demand?

Record oil prices: Why not record ethanol demand?

High Plains Journal

Oil prices passed $85 per barrel in middle October, and some analysts said they believe prices could hit $90 or more this winter.

At the same time, wholesale ethanol prices are falling, with the decline being attributed to a sudden glut of ethanol on the market.

“We find it ironic that, in the face of these high petroleum costs, there are people saying that we have too much ethanol and predicting doom for the ethanol industry,” said Randy Klein, director of market development for the Nebraska Corn Board. “We don’t have too much ethanol. The reality is, we aren’t using enough.”

Klein said the high price of oil and gasoline indicates there is an undersupply of those products and that ethanol can certainly help meet the country’s fuel demands. In fact, having more ethanol available is a good thing since it is priced lower than regular gas and can help lower fuel costs for consumers, he said.


Bion Announces St. Lawrence County Committee Vote Regarding Proposed Integrated Project in Upstate New York

Bion Announces St. Lawrence County Committee Vote Regarding Proposed Integrated Project in Upstate New York

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc. announced today that on Monday, November 19, 2007, the Services Committee of the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators voted, by a 12-2 margin, to forward a resolution to the full Board regarding Bion’s proposed Integrated Project in St. Lawrence County, New York and to create a ” … Task Force to work directly with Bion in support of successful implementation of the proposed Project … ” (‘Resolution’). The Board of Legislators will vote on the Resolution on Monday, December 3, 2007. All 15 Legislators are members of the Services Committee with the 14 Legislators present voting on the Resolution.