Daily Archives: December 11, 2007

Is The Optimal Beef Cow Fact Or Fiction?

Is The Optimal Beef Cow Fact Or Fiction?

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

A recent symposium at the National Western Stock Show looked at the optimal beef cow. The conclusion was that the optimal cow exists, but no one knows who she is.

By its nature, “optimum” is never optimum for long when you’re talking about biological animals. With the genetic tools we have available today, the optimum beef cow of 20 years ago should be a sub-par cow today.

Differing geographical locations, management practices and marketing programs can all dramatically shift the definition for what the ideal beef cow is. A farmer in Iowa retaining ownership on all his calves and selling them on a carcass-weight basis through a value-added beef grid has a totally different definition of “ideal” from a rancher in Arizona who sells all his calves at weaning.


Cattle Diseases: Ringworm

Cattle Diseases:  Ringworm

R. L. Morter, D.V.M., C. James Callahan, D.V.M.

School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University


Ringworm is caused by infection of the hair and surface layers of the skin by fungi. It occurs in all species of animals including man. Fungal infections cause little, if any, permanent damage or economic loss. However, because ringworm is a transmissable infectious disease, animals with lesions are barred from exhibitions or shows by regulations of the State Board of Animal Health.

Infection of the skin and hair of cattle is most frequently due to Trichophyton verrucosum, a spore forming fungi. Spores are shed from the lesion by broken hairs or scabs from the lesion. The spores remain alive for years in a dry environment; and because they do, halters, grooming equipment, or even a barn can remain infective for years.


Direct contact with infected animals, particularly with cattle confined to a barn, is a common method of spreading the fungi. Some infected calves have a degree of natural immunity that prevents development of lesions; however, they can be a source of infection. Show calves are frequently infected from spore contaminated equipment that has not been properly cleaned.


Study Underscores Importance Of Including A Leukotoxin Component In Calf Pneumonia Vaccines

Study Underscores Importance Of Including A Leukotoxin Component In Calf Pneumonia Vaccines


 CANYON, Texas–A new study conducted under feedlot conditions demonstrates that, despite improvements made in the quality of commercial vaccines against the bacterium Mannheimia haemolytica, those that don’t include a component to specifically stimulate protection against leukotoxin risk failure.


South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association Members Set 2008 Policy Agenda

South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association Members Set 2008 Policy Agenda

Cattle Today

The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association held their annual convention last week in Watertown, where over 220 members helped shape the 2008 policy course for SDCA.

“As a grassroots organization representing a very diverse group of cattlemen and beef producers it was gratifying to see individual members participating in SDCA’s policy-development process,” notes SDCA President Scott Jones.

SDCA members weighed in on new policy and revisions to existing policy. New policy set by SDCA includes resolutions regarding equine brand inspection, mandatory animal identification for breeding age livestock, and SDCA members unanimously reaffirmed support of the freedom of marketing resolution.


BeefTalk: Where Do All the Colts and Fillies Go?

BeefTalk: Where Do All the Colts and Fillies Go?

Declining Value Declining Value

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

The cost of maintaining, growing and training a horse is escalating, but the market has gone away.

The cow industry is very large and diverse, and obviously the cow and calf get most of the attention. Those who work in the industry have very diverse jobs and, as the industry has traversed many centuries, many things have changed and some haven’t.


Cattle Health: Old Myths Die Hard…Why Give Two Shots When One Does The Job?

Cattle Health: Old Myths Die Hard…Why Give Two Shots When One Does The Job?


COSBY, Mo.– If your aim is to improve calf health and beef quality, don’t discount the value of today’s “multi-valent” vaccine. Modern vaccine technology allows those products to actively protect against a variety of calf diseases with only a single 2 mL injection per dose. Opting to use one combination product, rather than “parting out” your vaccinations with numerous narrower products, helps broaden disease protection, reduce the number of injections and potential for beef-quality problems, and hold down your product and labor costs.


Baxter Black: The Tamale Dinner

Baxter Black:  The Tamale Dinner

Jim isn’t related to me, but he could have been. He grew up in the same part of Central Oklahoma that my father’s people did.

I remember my uncle takin’ me to the Oklahoma City Stockyards when I was a kid. Jim must have been workin’ there at that time. His wife took a week to go see family out of state. She left him lots of reheatable eatables but toward the end of the week he was prowlin’ through the canned goods in the pantry. As luck would have it he found a can of tamales.

I remember exactly what they looked like and how good they tasted. They were the Mexican equivalent of Spaghetti O’s. Until we moved to New Mexico when I was 9 years old, I never tasted a real tamale.


Nebraska Cattlemen Seeks Regulation to Help Maintain Reproduction in Herds

Nebraska Cattlemen Seeks Regulation to Help Maintain Reproduction in Herds

Cattle Today

Cattle producers gathered last week in Kearney for the annual Nebraska Cattlemen Convention & Trade Show and trichomoniasis in cattle herds was one of the topics most discussed,” said Ryan Loseke, veterinarian and Nebraska Cattlemen Animal Health and Nutrition Committee chairman.

Trichomoniasis (trich) is a subtle disease that can sneak into a herd without obvious signs, until pregnancy checking time. This venereal disease can be devastating to reproduction rates, often leading to over 40 percent of cows in a herd being diagnosed open. Trich is a major biosecurity issue that often cannot be prevented because infected bulls can be fence jumpers,” Loseke said.


Bringing the cows home to CU

Bringing the cows home to CU

By Aaron Munzer

The Ithaca Journal

ITHACA — It was an educational visit to the hospital for about 30 veterinarians and dairy cattle owners from around the Upstate area Saturday, when they came to Cornell to learn more about diagnostics and treatments available at the university’s Farm Animal Hospital.

Although organizers said the event’s main goal was to show farmers how the hospital could benefit their herds and keep their cattle healthier, professor Tom Divers, chief of large animal medicine at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said the event was also an attempt to bring the teaching hospital more business.


Let’s Talk, Cattle Feeder

Let’s Talk, Cattle Feeder


Communication could help solve many challenges in the beef industry today. That’s what Tom Brink, senior vice president of Five Rivers Cattle Feeders, told producers at two seminars in November.

The Feeding Quality Forums in Garden City, Kan., and South Sioux City, Neb., were cosponsored by Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB)

 “A lot of cattle out there are just genetically designed wrong,” Brink said. “Very simply, they’re not put together in a way that’s going to do what people need on through the production chain, or fit what the consumer needs.”


NMSU research aims to speed up cattle production

NMSU research aims to speed up cattle production

By New Mexico State University

Silver City Sun-News

Ranchers have a lot invested by the time a cow reaches its first birthday, and the great majority of yearling heifers are successfully bred and produce a calf. But in the second and third attempts at breeding, the fertility rate drops off sharply. An upcoming research project directed by New Mexico State University scientists will examine the genetic traits of thousands of beef cattle to search for clues that can improve reproductive success.


IBCA schedules area beef meetings

IBCA schedules area beef meetings

by Dave Russell

Brownfield Network

The first of 10 area beef meetings sponsored by the Indiana Beef Cattle Association (IBCA) is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 11 in Columbia City.

Julia Wickard, IBCA Executive V.P. tells Brownfield topics to be discussed include an update on IBCA policy as well as Purdue specialists providing information for producers to take back home.


Cattle Feeding: Stretching Your Hay Supply

Cattle Feeding: Stretching Your Hay Supply


The drought-plagued summer in the Mid Atlantic and Southeast Regions has resulted in decreased hay supplies and soaring prices.  As winter approaches, many people are starting to feel the pinch.  The average horse eating only hay needs approximately 2% of their body weight in good quality hay each day to meet their energy needs.  That’s roughly 20 pounds of hay each day for a 1000-pound horse.  Adding a concentrate (grain) to the horse’s diet can reduce the hay requirement to 1-1.5 % of their body weight.  If you find yourself short on hay, either due to lack of availability or high prices, here are a few suggestions for stretching your horse’s hay supply.


New owners take on old problems at Swift

New owners take on old problems at Swift

Greeley Tribune

A year after the well-orchestrated raid on Swift & Co. meatpacking plants by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, operations at the company’s plants have returned to normal.

But it’s not the same company it was when the raids were conducted Dec. 12, 2007.

In July, it became JBS-Swift following the sale of the company to JBS-S.A. of Brazil, a move that made the new company the largest beef processor in the world in terms of slaughter capacity and actual slaughter. The headquarters of JBS-Swift remains in Greeley.