Video Feature: Animal Welfare, Standards: Whose Responsibility?
When it comes to setting welfare standards for food-producing animals, who’s responsibility should it be, that of the livestock producers who’s very living depends on the health and well-being of their animals, food service companies, animal welfare groups or others.
Senate passes farm bill, moves to conference under veto threat
The Senate on Friday voted 79-14 to pass a version of the 2007 Farm Bill the White House has already threatened to veto, sending the legislation to the House-Senate conference committee to hash out differences and agree on a bill that the White House will sign.
“This legislation is fundamentally flawed. Unless the House and Senate can come together and craft a measure that contains real reform, we are no closer to a good farm bill than we were before today’s passage,” Acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner said in a statement.
Range Science 101: Supplementing Protein on Low Quality Forages
By Eric Mousel, South Dakota State University
As the growing season winds down for this year, many ranchers will be extending the grazing season on corn stalks, winter range, and other stockpiled forages. Although extended grazing is a cheap and flexible way to feed cattle in the winter, it typically involves forages that are low in feed quality.
Low quality feeds are ideal to winter mature, spring calving cows on because the nutrient requirements of the cow at this time of year are fairly low and will remain low until the third trimester of gestation (about 75 days before calving).
House-Passed Energy Bill Is Detrimental To Livestock
It still seems strange that agriculture is more concerned about the energy bill than the farm bill but that’s certainly the case and for good reason. The fallout stands to be greater under the energy bill.
The House passed its version with some amazingly aggressive renewable fuel mandates this week. The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) would begin with 9 billion gals. in 2008 and end up with 36 billion in 2022. The ethanol-based mandate would be doubled to 15 billion gals. by 2015. The blender’s credit would also be reduced by 5¢ from 51¢ to 46¢ over that time, but the 54¢ ethanol-import tariff would remain in place.
Organized Efforts Result In Successful Hereford Feeder Calf Sale
KANSAS CITY, Mo – More than six hundred age, source and health verified Herefords and Hereford-crosses brought more than $20,000 in premiums for 34 consignors to the first Greater Midwest Certified Hereford Feeder Calf Sale Dec 6. The Certified Hereford Beef® (CHB) and Hereford Verified eligible calves from eight states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin – were sold at the Carthage Livestock Sale Barn in Carthage, Ill.
An Illinois Department of Agriculture analysis revealed that compared to the week’s Illinois auction average, some consignors earned on average, an additional $57.50 per head by participating in organized marketing efforts, bringing together the numbers and verification that feeders demand.
Organic Farm Bill
By MATTHEW WILDE,
CEDAR FALLS — People want organic food, and Iowa farmers are delivering.
It appears the federal government will finally deliver something to producers: Help. Congress has proposed hundreds of millions of dollars for organic farmers and consumers in the farm bill currently being debated.
Organic food sales reached $16.9 billion last year, according to industry statistics, growing at a rate of about 20 percent a year. Iowa farmers rank in the top 10 in several organic categories nationwide, including first in pork at more than 4,500 head a year. Organic foods now command a 3.5 percent market share nationwide.
This occurred largely without government help. Organic industry officials believe sales and production could dwarf current figures if Congress passes the farm bill, which will be a boon to the farm sector.
Cattle producers try direct marketing
The P.E.I. Cattlemen’s Association is putting together a list of Island producers who want to sell their beef directly to consumers.
Many Islanders want to buy local beef but simply don’t know how, association president Darlene Sanford told CBC News Monday.
“We’ve had direct phone calls, meeting people on the street, out Christmas shopping the other night, and had people tell me, ‘We want to support local producers, but we’re not sure where to go,’ ” Sanford said.
Evaluation of Storage Methods for WDGS with Added Forages and Byproducts in Silo Bags and Bunker Silos
Dan Adams, Terry Klopfenstein, Galen Erickson, University of Nebraska
Wet distillers grains plus solubles is an excellent feed for feedlot cattle and as a supplement for cows or calves on forage. However, usage must occur as delivered with semi-load quantities used on a weekly basis. As a result, smaller operations are limited on using wet distillers grains plus solubles. Similarly, most cow-calf operations that would like to purchase and store feeds cannot utilize wet distillers grains because feeding rates are too low to avoid spoilage and there is disconnect between needs (winter) versus greatest supply (summer).
Minerals: An Important Piece In The Cattle Nutrition Puzzle
When developing feeding programs for cowherds, we typically focus first on the levels of protein and energy needed to maintain performance levels. But in order to achieve these production goals, the diet must also meet animal requirements for vitamins and minerals. Minerals, in particular, play a significant role in maintaining herd health, reproductive efficiency, and calf performance. Nutritionists and producers have begun increasing their focus on mineral nutrition for a number of reasons. Ongoing research has improved our knowledge of the essential functions of various minerals, and helped refine requirements. It has also been shown that optimal health may require higher levels of some minerals than are necessary for normal growth. Modern cattle, with the genetic potential for high performance levels, need additional mineral nutrients to help drive increased production. Breed differences have been identified; for example, Simmental, Maine Anjou, Limousin and Charolais cattle appear to need as much as 1.5 times as much copper as other common breeds.
Treatment of Calf Scours
University of California Davis
What causes calf scours? As new calves arrive, so does the threat of the common condition known as “calf scours” or neonatal calf diarrhea. Infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria cause this condition. These agents have the common property of causing a net loss of water and electrolytes from the calf’s body via the gut. This causes potentially life-threatening dehydration and electrolyte imbalances that can result in death. The main infectious organisms that can cause diarrhea in beef calves are:
E. coli (K99 enterotoxigenic form)
The first 3 on the list usually cause diarrhea at 7 to 21 days of age, while the common E. coli strains cause diarrhea within the first few days of life. The diarrhea is the result of a combination of factors including: (1) dose (number) of organisms the calf is exposed to, (2) calf immunity (colostrum), and (3) stress on the calf. The number of organisms in the calf’s environment is a result of sanitation or the lack of sanitation, i.e., mud, manure, and other cattle. The immunity of the calf is dependent on the quality and quantity of colostrum that the calf received from the cow. Calves that do not receive adequate colostrum are much more susceptible to disease and are at much greater risk of dying from the resulting diarrhea that occurs.
Kansas Hay & Grazing Conference Set For Jan. 16 In Manhattan
CHANUTE, Kan. – The 2008 Kansas Hay and Grazing Conference is scheduled for Jan. 16 in Manhattan at the Kansas Farm Bureau building.
“This conference is for anyone interested in livestock grazing, hay production and utilization, and buying and selling of Kansas grass and hay products,” said Gary Kilgore, one of the conference coordinators.
The event´s keynote speaker, R.L. Dalrymple, a longtime forage management agronomist with the Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Okla., will discuss crabgrass as a forage and livestock grazing management tool. Dalrymple developed Red River and Quick-N-Big crabgrass varieties and was the principal researcher in developing crabgrass production systems. He produces those varieties in his family seed business that markets in 25 states.
Lime is critical for high yielding pastureland
High Plains Journal
Are you losing extra yield from pasture and forage crops each season due to low soil pH?
“Lime needs to be applied on acid soils if you want a well-balanced fertility program and highest yields,” said Mark Keaton, Baxter County staff chair with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
He said yields can be increased on many farms by correcting acid soil conditions with lime. Most grasses will produce top yield on soils that are only moderately acid or slightly acid.
Most legumes, on the other hand, grow best on soils that are slightly acid to neutral in pH reaction, according to Keaton. Good yields of all forages are more attainable when proper levels of lime and fertilizer are applied to pastures and hay meadows.
When Winter Weather Strikes, So Can Coccidiosis
Coccidia are opportunists. They’re present in feedyards, dairy barns and other places cattle congregate — primed for the opportunity to infect. Winter weather and management practices can give them just the break they need.
“Changes in weather and the switch to winter feed stress cattle and leave them open to infections, including coccidiosis,” says Dr. Don Briskey, Consultant, Merial Veterinary Professional Services. “Winter also typically sees cattle grouped more closely together than usual, increasing the likelihood that infection will occur.”
Coccidiosis infections typically occur in cattle from 6 to 12 months of age. However, the risk of older cattle becoming infected increases as cattle are moved from pastures to crowded feedyards or barns.7 That means even mature cattle — both beef and dairy — are at risk.
Pet food may lead to mad cow
Ranchers warned not to feed it to cattle despite rising hay costs
By Dawn House
The Salt Lake Tribune
Ranchers struggling with high hay costs and burned out ranges are being warned that feeding cattle cheap pet food could cause an outbreak of mad cow disease.
Some pet foods contain animal byproducts that if fed to beef or dairy cows pose the threat of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, says state veterinarian Earl Rogers.
“It is possible that some pet food manufacturers who have heard of the depletion of feed sources in Utah because of drought and fire may offer their scrap material to Utah ranchers,” said Rogers. “Both buyers and sellers must know that any pet food containing cattle or other ruminant material cannot be fed to other cattle.”
Feeding pet food to cattle, which is banned under state and federal law, could result in the slaughter of an entire herd, he said.
Hoof Health and Reproduction
By Dr. Bill Ayars, staff veterinarian, Select Sires
Have you ever arrived home at the end of the day and your feet were so sore you could hardly stand? Imagine how your cows must feel when they have sore feet.
Most producers are aware that hoof problems can decrease productivity, but did you know that they also can disrupt reproductivity? Routine hoof trimming can alleviate and prevent the development of painful hoof lesions, and improve reproductive performance.
What causes hoof disease?
Causes of non-infectious hoof disease – which can influence the hoof health of the entire herd – include nutrition imbalances, housing management, level of exercise, cattle behavior and the environment. Systemic illness, increasing age, poor conformation and stage of lactation also can contribute to non-infectious hoof disease in individual animals.