Daily Archives: December 5, 2007

Video Feature: How to Body Condition Score Cows

A short video clip of the method used for body condition scoring beef cattle, produced by Purdue University and Elanco Animal Health.

API: Cattle Producers Don’t Plan To Fail, They Fail To Plan

API: Cattle Producers Don’t Plan To Fail, They Fail To Plan


Issues including the cost of feed and pricing changes in the global markets continue to challenge the cattle industry. While those of us in the industry cannot impact the price of corn or our trade issues; we can adjust our operations in order to remain profitable despite these challenges. As a veterinarian, I understand the need to limit or reduce disease to optimize production, yet Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) is still the most costly viral disease in the United States – costing over 2 billion dollars annually.


A robust, growing livestock sector important for a strong ethanol industry, corn official says

A robust, growing livestock sector important for a strong ethanol industry, corn official says

Midwest Messenger

Lincoln, Neb. – One-third of an ethanol plant’s output is a high-value livestock feed known as distillers grains. With a robust ethanol industry in Nebraska, it makes sense to have a strong, growing livestock sector to take advantage of it, adding more value to the production chain and the state’s economy as a whole.

“Many communities in Nebraska want an ethanol plant for the jobs and economic vitality it brings, but livestock producers, particularly cattle producers, see the plant as another source for feed,” said Randy Klein, director of market development with the Nebraska Corn Board.


Cows need quality care during transition

Cows need quality care during transition

Springfield News Leader

David Burton

The transition period for a dairy cow (the time between dry-off and freshening) is a critical time for the animal. This period actually sets the stage for a cow’s subsequent milk production level, according to Tony Rickard, a dairy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

As the cow approaches calving, she goes through tremendous physiological changes. The udder is preparing for milk production and the fetus continues to grow, while the cow is attempting to maintain energy balance and a strong immune system.


Stretching Feed Resources Through Strategic Culling

Stretching Feed Resources Through Strategic Culling


With hay supplies in the state extremely tight and pastures drying up completely in many areas, it is apparent that many producers will be buying hay to make it through the winter. Or is it? Could you make it through the winter on the feed you have with fewer mouths to feed? Downsizing the herd could, at least, lighten the financial load of buying hay and supplement. Take the time now to consider whether the calf weaned next fall will offset the investment in feed you will make this year. If your operation is under stress from the current drought situation, now is the time to take action. The following steps should help you to decide whether or not selling cows is the right option for you.

First, take inventory of cows and available feed, both hay and pasture. If you have pasture left, get an idea of how long it will last. If your cows are already being fed, how much feed will it take to maintain them until pasture turn-out next spring? To estimate feed usage you will need an estimate of the average weight of your cows.


Supplementation feeding of livestock

Supplementation feeding of livestock

By Roger Skipper, Fannin County Extension agent

North Texas Country News

Every year about this time livestock operations big and small are either in supplemental feeding mode or are thinking about it.  The first things we consider when feeding livestock is why and what we are supplementing.  The basic fundamental is that we are providing what nature cannot during times of reduced forage and subsequently nutrient availability.

The first thing to consider is what livestock have available in limited quantities that producers need to supplement. 


Kansas State researchers examine connection between E. coli and ethanol

Kansas State researchers examine connection between E. coli and ethanol

By Robert Pore

The Independent

New research from Kansas State University has found that cattle fed distillers grains have an increased prevalence of E. coli 0157 in their hindgut.

According to the researchers, this particular type of E. coli is present in healthy cattle but poses a health risk to humans, who can acquire it through undercooked meat, raw dairy products and produce contaminated with cattle manure.

“Distillers grain is a good animal feed. That’s why ethanol plants are often built next to feedlots,” said T.G. Nagaraja, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.


Forage Focus: Did We Survive The Drought?

Forage Focus: Did We Survive The Drought?


Occasionally I really am right but wish I had not been…can you relate? Probably best not to let my wife comment on this…. I told a group I was speaking to last spring that I expected a dry summer and I had no idea how accurate that statement was going to be. I based my statement on the fact that since we had had such a very wet fall and winter, nature usually balances itself out. It is probably still a good thing that we can not control the weather because most people still don’t want it to rain on their parade…but I did this past summer!

We have, more or less, survived a very dry summer. Many have taken beatings on both hay and pasture production and the livestock too show the effects in several places. Most by now have pretty well done the pencil work and figured out whether or not they have enough hay to survive the winter and either reduced animal numbers or bought some green gold to balance things out.



Stocker Cattle: We’re Going Into the Turn

Stocker Cattle: We’re Going Into the Turn


The events of this year have prompted a lot of discussion on grazing management and its effect on the feed shortage. Some producers have adequate stored forage and have managed to stretch their pastures effectively. Most, however, are left to scramble for something to feed.

There is no doubt that this has been a difficult year for graziers. I was talking to Don Moore of Owensboro and he used an analogy that got me thinking about managing our pastures. Don said that “grazing management is a lot like driving a race car!” I didn’t understand and asked him how that could be. He said “all the drivers look great going down the backstretch and into the turn, but its how you come out of the turn that really separates the drivers. All cattle producers look good in May, but it’s how you come out of the winter that is important”. I agree with Don.



Cow culling strategies for cattle producers

Cow culling strategies for cattle producers

Delta Farm Press

Cow performance should be evaluated at least once a year, and fall is a great time to take a hard look at the cowherd and make culling decisions if necessary. Jeremy Powell estimates culled cows make up about 20 percent of the cowherd income on an annual basis.

 “Many factors can play a role in determining which cows should be culled,” says the veterinarian with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. “The most important factor is likely pregnancy status, but other factors can help determine culling, including body condition score, calf performance, age, temperament, lameness, teeth, udder and eye condition.”


Nebraska Cattlemen Adopt Beef Checkoff Policy

Nebraska Cattlemen Adopt Beef Checkoff Policy

Southwest Nebraska News

The Nebraska Cattlemen members adopted policy at its annual meeting Nov. 29 that is intended to give beef producers the ability to modify the Beef Checkoff program.

“What this Nebraska Cattlemen policy says, is that beef producers are in control of any changes to the Checkoff,” said NC executive vice president Michael Kelsey.

The Nebraska Cattlemen policy calls for four modifications:

1. Allow more non-profit producer groups to contract to provide beef checkoff programs or services.

2. Allow beef producers to more easily petition for a referendum on continuing the Beef Checkoff Program.


Foot-and-mouth summit still open for registration

Foot-and-mouth summit still open for registration

MSU News Service   

BOZEMAN — Livestock producers and animal health officials from at least 10 states have registered for a foot-and-mouth disease summit to be held Wednesday, Dec. 12, in Billings, but it is still open to those who wish to attend, organizers said.

The summit will run from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. It will focus on ways to prevent foot-and-mouth disease and strengthen the livetock industry’s defenses against it.

“We have put together a long list of national and regional experts on FMD and emergency animal disease response,” said Charlene Schuster of Billings, executive director of the Montana Beef Council. “This summit is designed to address the issues related to preventing, detecting and responding to an FMD crisis in this country.”


Ethanol questioned

Ethanol questioned

Columbia Basin Herald

Time to decide on the renewable fuel

Not to long ago, ethanol was touted as a wonderful way to cut back on American oil dependency and vehicle emissions while using a renewable resource.

Ethanol is a corn-based alcohol additive blended with gasoline to reduce the amount of oil needed to generate fuel for cars and trucks.

The big benefits of ethanol is the reduction in oil needed to make gasoline. It is currently 4 percent of annual American gas consumption, according to the International Energy Agency.

Another benefit of ethanol is it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 18 to 28 percent , according to the U.S. Deptartment of Energy.


Cattle producers from all over U.S. brought together for two-day beef symposium

Cattle producers from all over U.S. brought together for two-day beef symposium

Minot Daily News


WATFORD CITY – A two-day beef symposium has brought producers together from as far away as Wyoming and Alaska and beef cattle experts from all across the western United States.

The Bovine Connection continues through today at the Outlaws Bar & Grill in downtown Watford City.

Up to 125 cattle producers were expected for the symposium. Its goal is bringing research results, state-of-the-art practices and thought-provoking ideas to cattlemen in an effort to influence profitability.


Another Indictment in Connection to Failed Beef Plant

Another Indictment in Connection to Failed Beef Plant


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A former refrigeration sales representative was indicted Tuesday on federal charges that he helped steal $187,725 from Mississippi in a scheme involving a failed beef plant that cost taxpayers millions.

James A. Draper of Mount Juliet, Tenn., faces 30 years if convicted on both counts in the indictment. He is just the latest of several people charged in connection with the failure of Mississippi Beef Processors LLC. Bond was set at $20,000.

The idea for the plant was pitched to officials as a way to provide an economic boon to north Mississippi while giving ranchers a place to process cull cattle. Instead, the failure of the 140,000-square-foot facility in 2004 left 400 people out of work and Mississippi stuck with $55 million in state-backed loans. The state also was left with some expensive equipment that didn’t work.


Beef producers: Inventory feed resources, avoid surprises

Beef producers: Inventory feed resources, avoid surprises

Keep usable hay portions in mind when feeding, specialist says

 Ag Online

Not all bales feed the same, and producers need to take that into consideration when feeding cattle, says a Purdue University expert in a university report.

The actual bale weight is not the amount that cattle will consume. Purdue Extension beef management specialist Ron Lemenager says it’s important to not make assumptions based on bale weight alone.

“Producers need to weigh representative bales of each forage type and know the forage quality of each type to make sure they know what they have available to feed to their beef cattle,” Lemenager says. “We don’t need a surprise in January and February when we figure out that we are out of feed because we thought that these bales each contained 1,500 pounds of feed. Make sure you know the true feed weight of the bale.”


Alumnus returns to raise organic beef; invites all farmers to conference on sustainable ag

Alumnus returns to raise organic beef; invites all farmers to conference on sustainable ag

By Jan Lee Buxengard

Bluff Country Newspaper Group

Breezy Bluff Farm beef will be coming to the frozen meat section at Red’s IGA.

Grass-fed steers on the Myrah farm this summer, when the weather was more mild!

“People are interested in where food comes from and local foods that are raised humanely and healthy,” stated Christian Myrah, who has become immersed in environmentally sound organic farming practices.

“More and more, consumers are choosing organic to avoid hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals, which they feel may be harmful.”


Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The December 5, issue # 565, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefDecr5.html


The application deadline is this Friday for securing the $127.56 per acre incentive payment on up to 10% of your pasture acres to reseed “sacrifice pasture lots” damaged by this summer’s drought and heat. Find more information in this week’s letter.


Articles include:

* Forage Focus: Did we survive the drought?

* Stretching Feed Resources through Strategic Culling

* Ohio Line Fence Law Could Change

* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report





Stan Smith

Program Assistant, Agriculture

OSU Extension, Fairfield County

831 College Ave., Suite D

Lancaster, OH 43130