Daily Archives: November 26, 2007

Then and Now: Trends in Animal Health

Then and Now: Trends in Animal Health


The Cattleman

Many of the animal health issues facing today’s cattlemen are nothing new. Peruse through back issues (and there are many of them, dating back to 1914) of The Cattleman and you’ll see information on many of the same diseases threatening the producer’s pocketbook today.

Although animal diseases will always be a concern, advances in science and technology, as well as attitude changes, mean there is more opportunity than ever to have a healthy cow herd.

BeefTalk: Animal Identification and Disease Management are Closely Linked

BeefTalk: Animal Identification and Disease Management are Closely Linked

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Some things you never wish upon your cows. Some things you never wish upon your cows.

The beef industry needs a modern, effective system of individual accountability.

Trading beef is a complex pattern of pathways. As producers seek an unencumbered market environment that allows buyers from around the world to bid on their calves, a struggle has ensued.

Producers want to maximize business options and maintain the flexibility to market their stock. There is a need to utilize methods that capture value for the producer and enhance value to all.  The big challenge is the calf and all that goes with the calf. The calf has the potential to carry any disease that it has been exposed to and potentially spread the disease to susceptible calves.


Estrus Synchronization

Estrus Synchronization

by Helen Redli

Angus Journal

Producers want to get the most from their investment in an artificial insemination (AI) program. Reproductive management by synchronization can improve the success of an AI program.

Synchronization plus AI lets you gain genetics, tighten the calving distribution and increase your average calf age.

Synchronization eases heat detection because you know when the cows should come into heat and can focus your heat detection efforts, which can result in higher pregnancy rates. It also shifts the peak of estrus to decrease the number of cows coming into heat at night, especially when darkness comes early. Synchronizing heifers also helps with the problem of young cows having a harder time cycling back after first calving. A progestin can induce some non cycling cows to cycle, improving their chances of conceiving by AI.


Wet Distillers Feeds for Feedlot Cattle

Wet Distillers Feeds for Feedlot Cattle

Iowa Beef Center

Distillers by-products have a long and nearly as colorful history as the distilling industry itself. The Bourbon Beef Association established the Bourbon Beef Show in Louisville, Ky. shortly after World War II to showcase prize beef animals raised on distillers wet grains. Prize money was sizable, even by today’s standards. Iowa State College research in 1936-37 showed a $7.92 per head advantage to distillers grain fed cattle compared to soybean meal fed cattle, including the hogs that followed the cattle (Distillers Feed Research Council, 1951).

Distillers Grains

Using distillers grains in beef cattle rations was studied extensively in the 1970s and 80s. Research emphasized distillers dried grains with and without solubles and wet feeds generated from farm scale stills.

Distillers dried grains and distillers dried grains with solubles are a “rumen bypass” or rumen undegradable protein source. This characteristic may be important for some production situations with cattle and lambs. For example, when soybean meal is fed, approximately 75 percent of the soy protein is degraded to ammonia in the rumen. This ammonia can be assimilated in bacteria protein by the rumen microorganisms and eventually used by the animal if sufficient energy is present. The remaining 25 percent of the soy protein is not degraded in the rumen and is directly absorbed by the animal. In light calves and lambs where energy intake is insufficient or lactating dairy cows with greater protein demands, a higher bypass protein source may be beneficial. Studies estimate distillers grains are about 50 percent degraded by the rumen bacteria, 180 to 200 percent less than soybean meal. Therefore, distillers grains allow a lower protein diet to meet animal requirements or more urea to be fed to lower ration costs, compared to soybean meal for ruminants.


Cattle Diseases: Fescue Foot

Cattle Diseases: Fescue Foot

Glenn Selk, Kent Barnes, Oklahoma State University

Fescue toxicity (fescue foot and summer slump syndrome) is a non-infectious disease occasionally seen in cattle grazing tall fescue pastures. Fescue foot is more often seen in cold weather in thin cattle grazing stockpiled forage. Although the incidence of fescue foot in a herd can be very high, the total number of cattle affected each year is quite low compared to the numbers of cattle grazing fescue. The outward signs vary in severity, and some animals may suffer reduced performance without showing visible symptoms.


What does advancing technology mean next to beef industry?

What does advancing technology mean next to beef industry?

By Ron Torell, University of Nevada Extension Livestock Specialist and Lori Weddle-Schott, University of Minnesota Beef Center

Minnesota Farm Guide

Technology and products we now take for granted were fascinating to generations gone by.

Imagine the amazement of the cave man as the first wheel rolled off the assembly line. The wheel led to the human drawn pull cart which led to the horse drawn cart which led to the motorized vehicle.

How about the old sayings from our grandparents’ generation: “That is the neatest invention since sliced bread!” or “The neatest thing since running water!”


KFB Beef Verification Solution partners with Colorado Farm Bureau

KFB Beef Verification Solution partners with Colorado Farm Bureau

High Plains Journal

The benefits of age and source verification, animal data management and voluntary animal identification compliance is now conveniently available to Colorado cattle producers, since Kansas Farm Bureau’s Agriculture Solutions has partnered with the Colorado Farm Bureau to expand the Beef Verification Solution into Colorado.

“We are very pleased to expand the Beef Verification Solution into Colorado,” said Mark Nelson, BVS team leader. “Colorado is a progressive beef cattle state and combined with Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Mississippi, gives us a solid base to effectively deliver the most flexible, comprehensive and competitively priced animal identification program in the industry.”


Troughs needed to stretch hay supply

Troughs needed to stretch hay supply

by Rusty Evans

The Leaf Chronicle

Jim Neel of University of Tennessee Animal Science shares some tips with us this week on winter beef cattle nutrition:

Feed troughs will be needed for cow-calf producers who are planning to stretch their hay supply this winter with corn or concentrate feeding.

However, most Tennessee cow-calf producers do not have adequate trough space to get the job done.

When serving as a hay stretcher, corn or other concentrate feeds will need to be limit-fed. This requires trough space for all the animals to eat at the same time.


Government meddling threatens cattle industry’s future

Government meddling threatens cattle industry’s future

By John Queen

Minnesota Farm Guide

Once upon a time, the 2007 Farm Bill was going to be about free market reforms that would reward the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit of our nation’s farmers and ranchers.

Time and again, we heard top officials in Washington, D.C., talking of the need to loosen government’s grip on American agriculture. As a National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) member, this was music to my ears. NCBA embraces the philosophy of less government control and interference in our industry.

But now the heavy hand of government threatens to make this Farm Bill a disaster for cattlemen. The Senate Agriculture Committee’s version of the bill contains several anti-competitive provisions, including a ban on packer ownership of cattle more than 14 days prior to slaughter.


Montana steps up regulation of cattle from Canada

Montana steps up regulation of cattle from Canada

Casper Tribune

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Department of Livestock says concerns about disease led the agency to impose a new rule on cattle from Canada if they are not merely passing through the state.

The rule effective this week requires documentation that breeding cattle are free of brucellosis, tuberculosis and trichomoniasis. Also set forth are strict requirements for animal identification, including a demand that animal ID include hot-iron brands, not just tattoos. Officials say tattoos can become hard to read over time, and to examine tattoos, animals must be restrained.

The rule, similar to new rules in North Dakota and several other states, comes as the federal government this week began allowing cattle over 30 months of age into the U.S. market. Some U.S. ranchers worried about mad cow disease oppose that action, which reversed a border closure the U.S. Department of Agriculture imposed in 2003 after mad cow disease was confirmed in an Alberta cow.


Curry County herd to be slaughtered after bovine TB found

Curry County herd to be slaughtered after bovine TB found

High Plains Journal

ALBUQUERQUE (AP)–The state will have about 12,000 dairy cattle in a Curry County herd slaughtered after 150 to 200 head were confirmed earlier this year with bovine tuberculosis.

The infected cattle were killed earlier this year. The rest of the herd was free of the disease, but will be shipped to slaughterhouses so the state can meet a Dec. 14 deadline and ensure that bovine tuberculosis does not spread, Dr. Dave Fly, state veterinarian, told the Albuquerque Journal in a copyright story Nov. 16.

The highly contagious pulmonary disease causes severe coughing, fatigue, emaciation and debilitation. The disease, which can be fatal, is commonly spread when an infected cow coughs or snorts and other cattle inhale airborne particles.

It can be passed from cattle to humans, but Fly called the possibility “a minimal public health issue.”


Beef team: Effects of cold climate on feedlot cattle

Beef team: Effects of cold climate on feedlot cattle

By Alfredo DiCostanzo, University of Minnesota Beef Team

Climate effects on feedlot cattle are highly variable and dependent on various factors, some of which are manageable by feedlot owners/operators.

Basically, cold weather affects cattle as acute or chronic episodes. Acute cold episodes are characterized by cattle being subject to sudden cold stress with no time for acclimation.

This is typically seen when feeder cattle come to northern latitudes from southern states, where breed composition also compromises response to acute cold stress, or when cattle of any age or weight are exposed to sudden cold stress without the opportunity to acclimate such as when early cold spells strike in late summer and early fall.


Cattle Windbreaks: Winter Protection

Cattle Windbreaks:  Winter Protection


All warm-blooded animals must maintain their body temperatures within a relatively narrow range. When air temperatures fall below this range, the animal must expend energy to keep warm. As winter approaches, many animals develop winter coats as insulation against the cold. In the case of beef cattle, a heavy winter coast will provide protection against temperatures as low as 18 degrees. At temperatures below 18 degrees the animal is stressed and starts to require additional feed to maintain body temperature. Exposure to winter winds will increase the need for additional feed.


Breaking old ground in Grayson County

Breaking old ground in Grayson County

Lindsey Nair

Roanoke Times

When Grayson County ranch owner Charlotte Hanes isn’t mending fences or checking cattle, she is working with a group of farmers and landowners who want to improve economic and environmental conditions in Grayson County and beyond.

INDEPENDENCE — At River Ridge Land and Cattle Co. in Grayson County, herding is an old dance — a gentle give-and-take on horseback that is punctuated by a low, rolling whistle and the occasional “Haw!”

Ranch owner Charlotte Hanes, 57, doesn’t have to let her staff herd on horseback any more than she has to raise cattle at all. She and her husband, Phil, have plenty of money, a historic home in Winston-Salem, N.C., and a multimillion-dollar art collection.

The reason Hanes runs her 1,200-acre farm the old-fashioned way is because she sees her work as visionary. She wants to be a champion for the poor, local farmer who is suffocating under the competitive weight of a global food system.


Ranchers in a pickle over falling beef prices

Ranchers in a pickle over falling beef prices

By Arthur H. Rotstein


TUCSON – Now that Turkey Day has come and gone, it’s time to talk about – well, beef.

Arizona ranchers have something to beef about all right, finding themselves in a pickle.

And some of that has to do with two other ingestibles: corn and water.

Continued drought conditions are forcing many Arizona ranchers to thin their cattle herds this fall and winter, or to plan on doing so in the spring.