Video Feature: Animals, like humans, need some antibiotics
Faces of Agriculture
Animals, like humans, get sick and when they do the most effective tools that producers have at their disposal are antibiotics. Antibiotics, used judiously and according their approved label, improve the wellbeing and health of the animal and provide for greater overall food safety. In this interview, Feedstuffs FoodLink talks with Dr. Jim Pettigrew of the University of Illinois about his perspective on animal use in pork production.
Web site helps cattle producers manage short forage supply
Indiana livestock producers have a new resource available to help them get through the winter on low forage resources.
Purdue University Cooperative Extension specialists teamed up across disciplines to create the Managing the Forage Shortage Web site, available at http://http://www.forageshortage.com .
“The goal of the Web site is to minimize the impact of this year’s low forage supply,” said Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist. “If we can keep our livestock healthy through the winter, the impact will be confined to increased feed expenses and we will not have the negative aspects of poor animal performance in 2008 and lingering into 2009.”
The Web site features videos, news articles, publications, alternative feed profiles and contact information for local hay auctions. It also offers tips for rejuvenating forages after a difficult growing season, how to sample baled hay and crop residues, as well as advice for determining the body condition score of animals.
Bull Selection – Do Your Homework
Dr. Scott P. Greiner Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech
Now through spring marks the traditional bull buying season in Virginia. While new tools such as additional EPDs and indexes have enhanced our ability to more accurately define the genetic merit of an individual herd sire prospect, it could be argued that the vast amount of information now available to us complicates the selection process. With over 30 individual EPDs currently in use, coupled with individual performance data and ratios (such as test ADG, ultrasound information, etc.), it can become a major task to sort through the information and arrive at a decision. The importance of these decisions have long-term consequences, particularly in single-bull units since the genetic merit of future generations is impacted by only a few bulls. Additionally, market signals are clearly sending the message that cattle with superior genetics and management have more value- further emphasizing the importance of sire selection. With some planning prior to sale season, bull selection can be simplified and chances of success enhanced by thinking through the following:
Minimizing Calving Difficulty in Beef Cattle
University of Minnesota
Calving difficulty (dystocia) contributes heavily to production losses in beef cow/calf herds. A Nebraska study estimated that calving difficulty results in annual losses of $25 million in that state alone. The obvious losses are due to calves or cows that die at or soon after calving. Less noticeable losses are due to delayed rebreeding, more open females, an extended calving season and increased labor costs. While occasional dystocia is almost unavoidable, cattlemen can minimize dystocia through proper management. Control of both genetics and environment (nutrition) is necessary to minimize dystocia.
Cattle Diseases: Coccidiosis
Gerald L. Stokka, Extension Beef Cattle Veterinarian
Department of Animal Sciences & Industry, Kansas State University
Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease that affects several different animal species. In cattle, coccidiosis may produce clinical symptoms in animals from 1 month to 1 year of age but is infective to all age groups.
The causative agent is a protozoan that has the ability to multiply rapidly. The group of coccidia that are infective to cattle belong to the Eimeria genus. Coccidia are very host specific, that is, only cattle coccidia will cause disease in cattle, other speciesspecific coccidia will not cause disease.
Planning for ranch succession
By Noel McNaughton
So you want your kids to take over the ranch? When are you going to show them how? Back when I was a television reporter for the Canadian Broadcast Corp., I got a phone call about a farm foreclosure occurring the next day. The group sought coverage on the farmer’s victimization by evil bankers, and how neighbors were mobilizing to do something about it.
It was one of the saddest stories I ever covered. Not because the man was losing his farm to the bank, but because he never learned how to manage a farm in the first place. When I interviewed this unfortunate couple, the real story unfolded.
The Code Of The West
I use the term, “code of the west,” a lot to signify all those things that are so great about our industry but are kind of unspoken intangibles. Of course, there never was a formal code truly defined, and I’ve read that Zane Gray first actually used the term, which has nothing to do with geography but rather a mindset.