Daily Archives: December 4, 2007

How to get more for calves at the auction barn

How to get more for calves at the auction barn
Greeley Tribune
In an auction barn, every feeder calf is judged for a few seconds before its value is determined.
Cow-calf producers who sell at auction should take note of research by the University of Arkansas that documented distinct traits and management practices that can add dollars. In 2000 and 2005, the University worked with USDA Livestock Market News reporters to track data from 17 markets across the state.
The results showed the largest differences in price were due to health, muscle score, breed and body fill.

Time to weigh replacement options

Time to weigh replacement options

Western Livestock Journal

As the cattle industry heads into what looks to be another profitable year for cow/calf operations, so comes the time for ranchers to make decisions about replacing cull cows. While this is a yearly event, this year’s high feed prices combining with the high prices paid for heifer calves beg the question: is it less costly to buy or develop replacement heifers?

Feed is not the only variable in the equation. A particular producer’s individual goals for his herd can be a large difference maker when it comes time to look for outside genetics or to stay within the herd. Labor, time and equipment/facilities are all concerns as well, as decisions must be made regarding the size of the herd.

The size of the U.S. cow herd remains stagnant, although the industry is coming into the tenth year of high and record-high cattle prices without cycling down to a low. When will producers make the decision to grow their herds?


MGA In Different Synchronization Strategies

MGA In Different Synchronization Strategies


Melengestrol acetate (MGA) is now officially approved for suppression of estrus (Figure 4) in breeding heifers. Previously MGA was only approved for the suppression of estrus in feedlot heifers. Now it is approved to use MGA for supression of estrus in reproducing heifers… something that has been going on for some time now. This is a great tool for producers to shorten the breeding season and tighten the calving period. This will also allow producers to decrease labor costs during both the breeding and calving seasons, especially in artificial insemination (AI) programs.


Scrotal Vindication

Scrotal Vindication

by Ed Haag

Angus Journal

Seedstock and beef producers who have always believed in the merits of scrotal circumference on their bulls but were growing increasingly apprehensive about its relationship to reduced intramuscular fat in progeny can now rest easy, says Aaron Arnett, doctoral candidate at Kansas State University (K-State).

He and his fellow researchers conducted a comprehensive study involving the performance records and expected progeny differences (EPDs) of 290 known Angus sires, more than 85,000 of their calf progeny and 150,000 calf contemporaries.


Graze or Die

Graze or Die

By Karen Hoffman Sullivan, NY Natural Resources Conservation Service

American Cowman

Over a year ago, a friend of mine who is interested in health and nutrition gave me an article entitled “Change or Die.” Originally published in the May 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine, it was authored by Alan Deutschman, who has since written a book with the same title. The article was focused on how difficult it is for people to change their behavior, especially in terms of diet and exercise. For many reasons, I saw a direct parallel to animal agriculture. Let me explain.


R-CALF director responds to NCBA president’s letter

R-CALF director responds to NCBA president’s letter

High Plains Journal

John Queen has expressed chagrin over some proposed market reforms that may be included in the 2007 farm bill. The proposals he opposes would free the market from its limited access, thus encouraging young people to participate, invigorating rural development, and helping small business agriculture–without government expenditure.

His complaint about government meddling rings a little hollow, somewhat like the speeder stopped by the highway patrol. The proposed reforms have kindred restrictions that exist in other markets, and have existed for a very long time. Like traffic laws that make travel safe and efficient, those restrictions are in place because they make the free market work properly.


Cattle Diseases: Cattle Warts, Bovine Papillomatosis

Cattle Diseases: Cattle Warts, Bovine Papillomatosis

R. L. Morter, D.V.M., Larry Horstman, D.V.M.

School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University

Warts are caused by infection with the contagious bovine papillomavirus. Four types of the virus are known to produce skin lesions. All have been described as hardy. Two of the viral types cause most of the warts found on the head and neck of cattle. They will survive in the environment for weeks or months if protected by pieces of tissue such as a shed wart or bits of tissue on a halter. Because of the infectious nature of the wart virus, animals with warts are disqualified from shows and exhibitions.

Calves are most susceptible; few cases of warts seen in cattle over 2 years of age. Occasionally, warts are found on the teats of lactating dairy cows. Calves are easily infected the papillomavirus entering the cut or abraded skin. All too frequently calves are inadvertently infected when tattooed or ear tagged for identification purposes. In fact, it is not unusual to find an entire tattoo overgrown with a mass of warts. Warts will appear 1 to 6 months after inoculation with the virus. Warts often spread from the ear to other sites on the head and neck.


Four State Beef Conference coming up in Lewis on Jan. 10

Four State Beef Conference coming up in Lewis on Jan. 10

By Jennifer Nichols

Atlantic News Telegraph

ATLANTIC – Lewis will be the Iowa stop in a Four State Beef Conference, which also visits Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. According to organizers, the Iowa stop will be held at the Armstrong Research Farm on Jan. 10 at 4 p.m.

“The Four State Beef Conferences are designed to give beef cattle producers in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska an annual update on current cow-calf topics,” organizers said in a press release. “The conferences provide a forum of Extension Specialists from four of the USA’s leading beef cattle land grant universities.”


Study: More Than 20% of Staph Infections Linked to Animal Agriculture

Study: More Than 20% of Staph Infections Linked to Animal Agriculture

Environmental News Network

WASHINGTON, – A new study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases links a new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), once found only in pigs, to more than 20 percent of all human MRSA infections in the Netherlands


Blunt announces new agriculture coordinator

Blunt announces new agriculture coordinator

Joplin Independent

LAKE OZARK – Gov. Matt Blunt today (Dec. 3, 2007) addressed the Missouri Farm Bureau and announced that Missouri farmers will have a new coordinator to help them navigate through the maze of regulations and permitting processes for their livestock operations. The governor created the new position, the Agriculture Resources Coordinator, to serve as a liaison between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources to help farmers comply with the law and regulatory rules. No one officially has been announced for the position.


Cattle farmers cope with hay shortage

Cattle farmers cope with hay shortage

By Mike Hixenbaugh

Rocky Mount Telegram

If you’re willing to stake your livelihood on planting crops or raising livestock – two things that depend heavily on conditions outside the realm of human control – then you must be an optimist.

For a number of cattle farmers in the Twin Counties, that optimism may soon be drying up.

A 15-inch shortage in annual rainfall has forced some inconvenient water restrictions for residents throughout North Carolina and across much of the South, but for the 200 or so cattle farmers in Nash and Edgecombe counties, there’s a little more on the line.


New BVD-PI rule at 2008 NWSS

New BVD-PI rule at 2008 NWSS

by Michael Fisher, CSU Area Livestock Extension Agent


Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) is a disease that usually infects cattle, but most even-toed ungulates are capable of contracting the disease. It is estimated to cost the U.S. beef industry two billion dollars each year. Some livestock with BVD may show no signs of the disease at all. Most will present mild to moderate symptoms. The degree of severity varies greatly. Infected animals may appear depressed, have a suppressed appetite, rapid breathing, snotty nose, tearing eyes, lowered milk production, fever, and diarrhea. In extremely severe cases, the BVD animals may have a fever greater than 107 degrees F and develop oral ulcers and lesions at both the coronary band and the split of the hoof.


Bush appointee finds good and bad in farm bill

Bush appointee finds good and bad in farm bill


Casper Star Tribune

A Bush appointee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds good and bad aspects in the House and Senate versions of a Farm Bill now stalled in the Senate.

Bruce Knight, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, spoke to the Wyoming ag community Monday night at the Natural Resource Conference sponsored by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Wyoming Cattle Women, Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts, Wyoming Wool Growers Association and Auxiliary.

A South Dakota farmer, Knight found most fault with the Senate version of the bill, rather than the House version.


40th Missouri Cattle Industry Convention

40th Missouri Cattle Industry Convention

Missouri Ruralist

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn what’s happening in the beef cattle industry and visit with fellow producers at the 40th Annual Missouri Cattle Industry Convention & Trade Show, Dec. 6-8 in Springfield. The schedule has a full range of activities for cattlemen, women and youth. The convention site is at the University Plaza Hotel and Springfield Expo Center.

The Pfizer Cattlemen’s College is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. Topics include animal agriculture emergency planning and response, value-added marketing panel, and finally, animal rights activism.


From Mad Cow to Cash Cow, U.S. Aims to Re-Enter Rich Russian Market;

From Mad Cow to Cash Cow, U.S. Aims to Re-Enter Rich Russian Market;


Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — Russia’s appetite for beef products has grown substantially and gone sharply upscale since it banned U.S. exports four years ago.

Before Russia banned U.S. beef in reaction to the discovery of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad-cow disease, it was the fifth-largest market for U.S. exports. But where citizens bought mostly cheaper meat products like livers, hearts and kidneys, they are now moving up the food chain to cuts like tenderloin.

Now the U.S. and Russia have nearly finished a new deal that domestic producers are counting on to generate millions of dollars in sales.