Daily Archives: December 10, 2007

The Cow-Calf Manager

The Cow-Calf Manager

Dr. John B. Hall, Extension Beef Specialist, VA Tech

Limiting Hay Intake by Cows

Several articles that the VT Extension Beef Team has written over the last few months indicated that one way to stretch hay supplies was to feed grain/by-products and limit feed hay.  Since those articles appeared, many folks asked for methods to decrease or limit hay intake.

How much is enough?

Long stem hay is important for healthy rumen function.  There must be sufficient “scratch factor” to stimulate rumen motility and salivation.  Rumen motility is important for proper mixing of feed with rumen microbes to enhance digestion.  Salivation is critical to maintaining the rumen at the correct pH.  A minimum of 5 lbs of hay per cow per day is needed to maintain rumen function.

Methods to control intake

Back when we all fed small square bales limiting intake was rather easy.  Knowing the weight of the bales (usually 40 to 60 lbs), we simply decided how many cows per bale and put out the correct number.  With large bales (round or square), the job of limiting hay intake becomes more difficult.  The first step is to know how much the bales you make weigh.  Your baler salesman is a nice guy, but the figure he gives you on bale weight is usually the maximum.  Weigh a few bales on a cattle scale or take a load to the truck scale and weigh them.

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Watch nitrate concentrations in forage

Watch nitrate concentrations in forage

The Grand Island Independent

The following information is from Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension forage specialist:

Nitrates occur naturally in all forages. At low levels, nitrates either are converted into microbial protein by bacteria in the rumen or they are excreted.

But when nitrate concentrations get too high, they can kill cows and maybe abort calves.

Some plants are much more likely to be high in nitrates than others. Annual grasses like cane, millet, and oats often have elevated nitrate levels. So do certain weeds like pigweed, kochia, and lambsquarter.

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Between consumer demand and drought, beef producers are feeling the squeeze

Between consumer demand and drought, beef producers are feeling the squeeze

By Jane Black

The Washington Post, The Green Sheet

In 2003, David Simpkins made a bet on the future. The Ohio farmer decided to start feeding grass to his small herd of Angus cattle.

It was, in many ways, a no-brainer. Grass-fed beef was emerging as the new ”it” ingredient, hailed by nutritionists as more healthful than traditional grain-fed beef, by environmentalists as more sustainable and by food critics as at least as good as a typical steak. Most important, grass-fed beef could command a 25 percent market premium.

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U.S. still struggles to create effective animal ID system

U.S. still struggles to create effective animal ID system

By Steve Porter

Northern Colorado Business Report

Four years after the Mad Cow disease scare of 2003, the federal government is still apparently far from creating an effective, coordinated national program that provides “traceability” for every animal in the food supply chain.

In December 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it would create a nationwide program – now known as the National Animal Identification System – to help livestock producers and health officials respond quickly to animal disease outbreaks.

But a report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office this past summer noted that while the USDA has made some progress in developing the identification system, it still has a long way to go to make a national animal identification program workable and attractive to its target audience.

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Company combines ultrasound data with computer interpretation

Company combines ultrasound data with computer interpretation


The Prairie Star

Technological advancements are often made when people see a need and find a way to meet it.

That’s the case with Walter & Associates, LLC.

The Ames, Iowa-based corporation conducts business as The National CUP Lab & Technology Center. They focus on third party interpretation of beef carcass ultrasound images.

CUP stands for Centralized Ultrasound Processing. About 15 technicians are employed here, and their customers include various cattle breed associations and purebred breeders.

Purebred cattle breeders hire field ultrasound technicians to collect data on their breeding stock. The images are sent to certified labs like CUP for interpretation by a certified technician.

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Report: Japan to consider easing restrictions on US beef imports

Report: Japan to consider easing restrictions on US beef imports


TOKYO (AP) – Japanese news reports say Japan will consider easing restrictions on U.S. beef imports.

The move is an apparent compromise after months of pressure from Washington. The Kyodo News agency says Japan’s agriculture minister offered new concessions following the latest round of talks between Japanese and U.S. farm officials over Tokyo’s restrictions on American beef.

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UNL Extension programs focus on byproduct feeding

UNL Extension programs focus on byproduct feeding

High Plains Journal

Two upcoming University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension programs Dec. 5 and 19 will use ongoing UNL research to help producers determine if byproduct feeding is a economical feed staple in their operations.

The expansion of the ethanol production industry in Nebraska has created opportunities for cattle producers to use byproducts as a feed source. The programs will focus on using ethanol byproducts from feed rations to storage.

The programs run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both programs will be at the Saunders County Extension Office located at the UNL Agricultural Research and Development Center’s August N. Christenson Research and Education Building near Mead.

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Finding more profits in beef

Finding more profits in beef

Bureau County Republican

BLOOMINGTON — At the Illinois Commodity Conference in Bloomington Nov. 20, farmers heard about plans to make beef production in Illinois more profitable. Doug Wilson, Illinois director for USDA Rural Development, presented a $98,750 check to the Illinois Beef Association. The funds will help producers working with IBA build demand for high quality Illinois beef through packaging, service and direct contact with customers.

The check was presented to IBA President-Elect Trevor Toland of Macomb and IBA Executive Vice President Maralee Johnson who directs the association’s office in Springfield.

“Illinois producers raise some of the best beef in the world, and they should be able to take advantage of their investment in quality,” Wilson said.

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Vigilance needed to prevent overregulation of cattle industry

Vigilance needed to prevent overregulation of cattle industry

By: Barb Bierman Batie

Lexington Clipper-Herald

LEXINGTON – Cattlemen need to be vigilant and diligent in monitoring state and federal regulations impacting their industry, notes the Nebraska Cattlemen’s vice president of environmental affairs.

Duane Gangwisch had two words of advice for those attending Thursday night’s Dawson County Cattlemen’s meeting, “Get involved

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Controversial ethicist questions U.S. attitudes to animals at I.C. talk

Controversial ethicist questions U.S. attitudes to animals at I.C. talk

By Topher Sanders

The Ithaca Journal

ITHACA — Those Buffalo wings you eat during the upcoming college football bowl games may be at the heart of the most important ethical question of our time, according to controversial ethicist and philosopher Peter Singer.

Singer, a professor of bioethics at Princeton University, spoke about the ethics of food on Thursday at Ithaca College.

 “If you ask people what the ethical issues of the day are, what we eat is unlikely to come up,” Singer said. “This issue hasn’t had very much attention paid to it. It’s hard to think of anything that has a bigger impact on both other humans, on non-human animals, on the environment and on the future of the planet.”

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Conferences address risk management, agritourism

Conferences address risk management, agritourism

by Rusty Evans

Leaf Chroncle

A price risk management for beef producers meeting will be held at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center in Franklin on Dec. 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The program will be conducted by Emmitt Rawls of University of Tennessee Extension, James Mintert from Kansas State University, and Brett Crosby, a Wyoming beef producer and owner of Custom Ag Solutions.

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U.S. BEEF: Japan may ease limits

U.S. BEEF: Japan may ease limits

St. Louis Today

Japan will consider easing restrictions on U.S. beef imports, in an apparent compromise after months of pressure from Washington to do so, the Kyodo News agency said.

Japan banned American beef imports over mad cow fears more than three years ago, but has eased that restriction to allow imported meat from cattle aged 20 months or younger, if certain bones and the spinal cord have been removed and the meat has been processed at selected plants.

Now Japan may raise the age limit to 30 months.

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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

Farm and Ranch 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.

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Report: Japan may ease beef restrictions

Report: Japan may ease beef restrictions

The Associated Press

Tokyo — Japan will consider easing restrictions on U.S. beef imports, in an apparent compromise after months of pressure from Washington to do so, according to a news report Friday.

Agriculture Minister Masatoshi Wakabayashi offered new concessions following the latest round of talks between Japanese and U.S. farm officials earlier Friday over Tokyo’s restrictions on American beef, Kyodo News agency said.

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Adequate livestock import requirements a must

Adequate livestock import requirements a must

Farm & Ranch Guide

To the editor:

The Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (I-BAND) thinks that it is too soon to let Canada’s over-30 months of age (OTM) cattle into the United States.

If USDA is going to force the United States to accept them, then it is important to have adequate import requirements.

I-BAND commends the North Dakota State Board of Animal Health for their action approved Nov. 6, 2007.

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