Daily Archives: December 12, 2007

Value of Preconditioning Beef Calves

Value of Preconditioning Beef Calves

F.M. Pate and J.R. Crockett

University of Florida


Major feedlot management problems are the occurrence of disease, death loss, and poor performance of weaned calves during the first weeks of feeding. It has been estimated that these production losses cost $10 to $20 per animal (6). The problems have been associated directly with the tremendous stress placed on feeder calves during transition from the ranch to the feedlot. During a period of two to three days (sometimes longer) calves were weaned, sold through a public auction (often sorted and resold), trucked as far as 3,000 miles and placed in a completely different environment. Many of these calves traveled from the southeastern states to the Midwest and Southern Great Plains.


Managing Your Marketing Decisions

Managing Your Marketing Decisions     

by Tonya Amen

Noble Foundation

With weaning time fast approaching, the question becomes how to maximize income from the calves you have produced. Consider adding value to calves through pre- and postweaning management, as well as possible marketing alternatives.

Before weaning, calves can be put on high protein creep feed in order to take full advantage of growth and performance potential. Creep feeding traditionally provides supplemental high energy (concentrate) feed ad libitum. This method certainly produces the most gain, but not necessarily the best return. Calves prefer concentrate to forage; consequently, forage consumption decreases, and they simply eat more grain. Generally, the result equals having your calves on full feed instead of simply supplementing energy.


I Don’t Get It, But I Understand It

I Don’t Get It, But I Understand It

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

The headline is almost worthy of something the legendary Yogi Berra might say, but that brilliant piece of wisdom was shared with me a couple of days ago by a young Wyoming rancher. And, boy, was he right!

We were talking about the fact that it was strange just how little the farm bill has to do with agriculture any more. We were discussing the many different outside groups weighing in on the current farm-policy discussions. This includes the labor unions, and even radical groups such as the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).


Trent Loos: But our mother country is doing it

Trent Loos:  But our mother country is doing it

By Trent Loos

High Plains Journal

As a kid, my favorite comeback to my mother was always “but William is doing it.” Her canned response was always “If William jumps off a bridge, are you going to follow him?” I think it is time that my Uncle gets to hear my mom’s speech. Of course, I am talking Uncle Sam. Every time we propose increasing regulations on our nation’s resource providers, it seems to be because the European Union (EU) is doing it. The latest that caught my attention is a proposed ballot measure in the State of California in November 2008.


Silence is Deafening on Beef Hormone Report

Silence is Deafening on Beef Hormone Report

By Gary Truitt

Hoosier Ag Today

Did you ever wonder what radical environmentalists and opponents of modern agriculture do when credible scientific facts are presented that dash their assumptions and undermine their positions? They simply ignore them; and, with the help of their sycophants in the media, they make sure no one ever hears the truth. If you think I am exaggerating, let me show you the most recent example of how proponents of climate change and organic farming refused to acknowledge the existence of groundbreaking research that contradicted their long held beliefs.


Animal Care & Well-Being: Facts Not Fiction Theme Of 2008 NIAA Annual Meeting

Animal Care & Well-Being: Facts Not Fiction Theme Of 2008 NIAA Annual Meeting


BOWLING GREEN, KY—The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), 2008 annual meeting will embrace the theme “Animal Care and Well-Being: Facts Not Fiction,” April 1-3, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Opening general session speakers at the NIAA annual meeting will focus on three burning across-species animal agriculture issue questions: What? So what? Now what?

 “This meeting is an ideal time for producers, animal health and management professionals, animal agriculture extension specialists and all individuals involved in animal agriculture—cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry and equine—to gather in one place, exchange information and take an in-depth look at animal care and well-being,” states Dr. Jerome Geiger, chair of NIAA’s Annual Meeting Planning Committee.


New owners take on old problems at Swift

New owners take on old problems at Swift

Bill Jackson

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, 2006.

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.


Beef and Ethanol Meetings Coming to Northwest Kansas

Beef and Ethanol Meetings Coming to Northwest Kansas


Beef and Ethanol in 2008 is the theme of three meetings to be held Dec. 18 and 19 in Hoxie, Norton and Quinter.

The meetings, hosted by K-State Research and Extension, will address some of the unique circumstances currently impacting cattle producers and help position them for profitable production in 2008, said Sandy Johnson, K-State Research and Extension Northwest Area livestock specialist. Distillers grains, a by-product of ethanol production, can be a useful and cost effective feedstuff, Johnson said.


CSU hosts annual beef symposium

CSU hosts annual beef symposium

Greeley Tribune

Colorado State University is hosting more than 700 cattle ranchers and others associated with the cattle industry to the 20th Range Beef Cow Symposium which starts today and continues though Thursday. The event is at the Larimer County fairgrounds in Loveland.

Topics will include industry issues, beef consumer products and marketing, cow-calf nutrition, management practices, reproductive management, animal health, cattle selection and genetics, range and forage management, and markets and marketing.


Plan Ahead To Protect Calves From E. Coli Scours

Plan Ahead To Protect Calves From E. Coli Scours


Be clean, be proactive and know how to identify and handle calves at risk of developing Escherichia coli (E. coli) scours — that’s the advice Dr. Twig Marston, Kansas State University beef cattle specialist, offers to cow/calf producers as scour season approaches.

E. coli scours is the major cause of death and sickness in newborn calves.1 And calves that do survive can continue to cost producers profits long after treatment.

 “If you match up scours incidence with weaning weights, we often see that there is a difference of at least 20 pounds between calves that had scours and other calves in the same group that never had the disease,”2 Dr. Marston says. “Those calves will recover and gain, but the cow/calf producer will take a hit in treatment costs and reduced weaning weight.”


Beef quality assurance/critical management meeting set

Beef quality assurance/critical management meeting set

Tri State Neighbor

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Spink and Hand County, S.D., Extension Services will host a beef training session Dec. 20.

The focus of the meeting is beef quality assurance and critical management planning. The cost is $25 for a handbook and training materials.

The meeting is required for producers who seek to produce South Dakota Certified Enrolled Cattle or participate in the South Dakota Certified Beef Program.

The event will be held from 7-9 p.m. at the Turton Fire Hall, 115 E. Center St., Turton. The training is open to all producers and those interested in beef quality assurance.


Farmers Hard Up for Hay

Farmers Hard Up for Hay


The Pilot

Rabbit the horse munches hay at the Weymouth stables.

Tucked inside Moore County’s population are an estimated 8,000 beef cattle and almost 5,000 horses that eat and drink daily but are unaware of the current severe drought.

Producers of beef cattle and brood cows and hundreds of horse farms face critical feed shortages as a result of widespread drought that has dried up pastures and wiped out the hay crops stored for winter months.

“Right now, I hear nervousness, not panic,” said Taylor Williams, an agriculture agent with the Moore County Cooperative Extension Service.


2008 AMI Foundation Animal Care And Handling Conference

2008 AMI Foundation Animal Care And Handling Conference


The American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) together with the Animal Transportation Association (AATA) has announced they will host a Livestock Transportation Conference February 13, 2008, at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City.

The conference will immediately precede AMIF’s Animal Care and Handling Conference, Feb.14-15, 2008.

Attendees of this workshop will benefit from a packed educational agenda with sessions hosted by industry leaders. Discussion topics will include international perspectives, developing a national emergency program, driver fatigue management, ventilation, loading density, managing losses and more.


Bluetongue and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease

Bluetongue and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease

(Sore muzzle, pseudo foot-and-mouth disease, muzzle disease)

Veterinary School University of Georgia


Bluetongue (BT) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) are insect-borne viral diseases of ruminants characterized by acute or subacute clinical courses in susceptible ruminants. The BT virus (BTV) and EHD virus (EHDV) have also been associated with congenital disease in sheep and cattle.


Bluetongue and epizootic hemorrhagic disease are caused by orbiviruses in the family Reoviridae. Other orbiviruses include Ibaraki, Palyam, Eubenangee, and Tilligerry. The viruses are resistant to lipid solvents, which is typical of nonenveloped viruses. The viruses are relatively acid-labile, and slow freezing at -10 to -20 oC (14 – 4o F) is deleterious to the virus.



Beef industry dealing with new D.C. playing field

Beef industry dealing with new D.C. playing field

By Mark Parker

The Land

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is a player in Washington, D.C. — even when the playing field changes.

Speaking to members of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association at their annual meeting in Springfield last week, NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Jay Truitt told beef producers that the last Congressional election brought dramatic changes to the way things operate in the nation’s capital.

“The dynamics that we used to work with have shifted,” Truitt said. “It’s a big switch but we’re still there working every day and we are still effective.”