Daily Archives: December 21, 2007

Video Feature: Link between distillers grain and E. coli?

Video Feature:  Link between distillers grain and E. coli?

Trent Loos

Ethanol plants and cattle producers create a symbiotic relationship with cattle producers feeding their livestock wet and dry distillers grains and ethanol producers gaining an added source of income. But do cattle fed distillers grains harbor an increased level of E. coli O157, a potentially human health concern.

Re-warming Methods for Cold-stressed Newborn Calves

Re-warming Methods for Cold-stressed Newborn Calves

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

 Recently an Oklahoma rancher called to tell of the success he had noticed in using a warm water bath to revive new born calves that had been severely cold stressed.  A quick check of the scientific data on that subject bears out his observation.  Canadian animal scientists compared methods of reviving hypothermic or cold stressed baby calves.  Heat production and rectal temperature were measured in 19 newborn calves during hypothermia (cold stress) and recovery when four different means of assistance were provided.  Hypothermia of 86o F rectal temperature was induced by immersion in cold water.  Calves were rewarmed in a 68 to 77o F air environment where thermal assistance was provided by added thermal insulation or by supplemental heat from infrared lamps.  Other calves were rewarmed by immersion in warm water (100oF), with or without a 40cc drench of 20% ethanol in water. 


Beef Cow/Calf Planner

Beef Cow/Calf Planner

University of Minnesota Beef Team

The Cow/Calf Planner is a Cow/Calf Management Calendar that offers timely information and suggestions on managing your herd.

This planner is offered in two formats: an Interactive Cow/Calf Planner Excel Worksheet provides you topics under each category relevant to the time of year and gives you pertinent information for each topic by touching the cell for that topic where a window will appear. The Cow/Calf Planner Print Sheet allows you to print each calendar month with all the pertinent information for each topic. Both files contain the exact same information.


Prevention Is The Key To Calf Scours

Prevention Is The Key To Calf Scours 


FAIRMONT, Minn. – Scours is the leading cause of sickness in newborn calves. If producers are not careful, scours can take a toll on their calves and their bottom line.

Scours is a disease caused by a variety of infectious and noninfectious pathogens, making it difficult to treat or control. Calves usually become sick within the first 24 hours of birth.

While some calves can recover through treatment, scours treatments are costly and time consuming. Thus, prevention before birth is the key to protecting calves from this disease. The following tips from John Rodgers, DVM and senior veterinarian with Pfizer Animal Health, will help keep your calves healthy and help protect them from their leading cause of sickness.


Blood test could help farmers detect stress in cattle

Blood test could help farmers detect stress in cattle

CBC News

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have developed a blood test to detect stress in cattle — with the promise it could give farmers a heads-up about whether their animals will get sick.

In a study on cattle, the researchers at the university’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization found that psychological stress and physical stress cause detectable changes in blood proteins and other blood compounds.


Strategies for feedlot producers to deal with high corn prices

Strategies for feedlot producers to deal with high corn prices

By Nicolas DiLorenzo and Grant Crawford, U of M Beef Team

Minnesota Farm Guide

This is the second in a two-part series on strategies for cattle producers to deal with high corn prices. Part 1 focused on strategies for cow/calf producers to deal with high corn prices.

The fact that feedlot producers rely on corn as a main component of their diets more than any other segment of the beef industry is not news to anybody. By now you have heard and read enough information on current corn ethanol production and projections to figure out that those days of $2.50/bu corn are likely long gone.


Load limits lifted to get hay into drought-ravaged state

Load limits lifted to get hay into drought-ravaged state

Horse, cattle owners and businesses feeling pinch

By Anna Simon

Grenville News

Load limits on hay coming into the state have been lifted to help feed livestock over the winter as owners face the drought, the state Department of Public Safety announced Wednesday.

State Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said he requested that hay shipments into South Carolina from other states be exempt from normal size, height, weight and width restrictions in order to get hay moving into the state as quickly as possible.

The drought has “essentially wiped out most of the local production needed to feed livestock through the winter,” he said.


Synergies for ethanol industry and feedlot cattle will continue

Synergies for ethanol industry and feedlot cattle will continue


Minnesota Farm Guide

There are many different opinions on ethanol, and the discussion of those opinions is intriguing. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, there were 134 U.S. ethanol biorefineries operating as of Dec. 3, 2007, with a total of 7.265 billion gallons of annual ethanol production.

At the time the numbers were released, there were 66 additional plants under construction and 10 plants expanding. When these plants are completed, the U.S. will be able to produce another 6.2 billion gallons of ethanol annually. Total production could easily reach 13.472 billion gallons/year in the near future.


Dale Blasi: Largest Challenge For 2008

Dale Blasi:  Largest Challenge For 2008  


What do you see as the largest challenge facing stocker operators in 2008?

I have always enjoyed the commentaries that crop up this time of year from numerous folks who feel comfortable enough to tip their hand and forecast the trends that they see occurring into the coming New Year.  Now I have been asked for my opinion on what I see as the largest challenge facing stocker operators in 2008. 

To be honest, I don’t see just one “largest challenge” out there facing stocker operators in 2008. Rather, I see a mixed bag of factors that will invariably affect some producers more than others.  One challenge for a lot of folks will be the ability to access “cheap” feed resources who are dealing with the unavailability of wheat pasture as a result of record wheat prices. Many producers in my area don’t have wheat simply because it did not rain when it was needed most to push a stand. What are some of the alternatives to winter small grain forages?


Glenn D. Eberly, Director for the Livestock Evaluation Center and Pennsylvania Department of Agricultue Has Been Named Princeton Premiers’ Honored Member in Agriculture

Glenn D. Eberly, Director for the Livestock Evaluation Center and Pennsylvania Department of Agricultue Has Been Named Princeton Premiers’ Honored Member in Agriculture

PR Newswire

Glenn D. Eberly is a member of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association. He has a chair on the National Beef Board where he oversees the performance evaluation of all forms of livestock. As the Director for the Livestock Evaluation Center he provides a service to livestock producers to aid them in making genetic improvements in their herds and flocks. Prior to becoming Director for the Livestock Evaluation Center Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Glenn D. Eberly earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Animal Industry from Penn State University. Now operating out of Milroy, Pennsylvania Glenn D. Eberly still conducts various research studies Penn State University.


Quality doesn’t just happen by accident

Quality doesn’t just happen by accident

By Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef communications director

Farm & Ranch Guide

If you see the word “quality” alone, it implies something good. You can emphasize that by adding “high,” or negate it with such modifiers as “poor” or “low.”

No need to obsess over a definition of beef quality, because it just means putting the consumer first. High quality is no accident; it’s intentional. The opposite is not usually true.

Millions of cattle are produced at least cost and sold at market-clearing prices without a care for consumers. Many of those cattle make money today at the expense of tomorrow, bleeding away beef demand. Their owners mean no harm.


Supplying the brand takes focus

Supplying the brand takes focus

Prairie Star

Pay attention to the consumer. Cattle producers everywhere are hearing that message. They understand that it’s really just asking them to pay more attention to their cowherds.

According to Cattle-Fax, less than half of today’s finished cattle are sold on value-based grids that reward quality. However, the spread between Choice and Select beef value continues to widen, and Cattle-Fax projects grid sales will account for more than 60 percent of fat cattle sales by 2010.

That could be an opportunity for producers of high-quality cattle, says Larry Corah, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) vice president. Although an estimated 60 percent of the nation’s cows are now Angus based, many are of unknown genetics or not focused on the carcass value.


USDA still working on beef market access

USDA still working on beef market access

Peter Shinn

Brownfield Network

USDA isn’t giving up on Asian markets for U.S. beef, despite only modest gains to show for its efforts this year. As 2007 draws to a close, South Korea, Japan and China have much the same restrictions on U.S. beef as they did when the year began. But USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight told Brownfield Wednesday that USDA is continuing its efforts to pry those markets open.

“We had teams just last week in China working on market access there,” Knight said. “We’re continuing to work with Japan – working with Korea to reopen that market,” he added. “I’m increasingly optimistic that we’re going to make increased gains in the new year.”


Feeding A Cow & 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 Microbes

Feeding A Cow & 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 Microbes


Supplements can obviously be designed to directly provide animals with specific nutrients that are lacking in their basal diet. However, when we supplement a forage-based ruminant diet, the impact of the supplemental feed on overall rumen activity may have as much, if not more, of an influence on total nutrient supply.

Digestion releases the nutrients contained in feed, making them available for the body to use in its various biologic processes. But a cow can no more digest the roughages in her diet than we can. Breakdown of these fibrous plant materials requires microbial action. Luckily, the rumen provides an ideal environment for anaerobic microorganisms, and is home to tremendous numbers of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. These microbes produce the enzymes needed to break down fiber, as well as other feed compounds.


R-CALF USA complains of unfair tactics used to eliminate protections

R-CALF USA complains of unfair tactics used to eliminate protections


The Prairie Star

During the 11th hour of Senate debate on the 2007 Farm Bill, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the multinational meatpackers solidified their joint operations and struck a blow at a bipartisan amendment.

S.3666 was designed to better protect independent livestock producers from recent court decisions that have placed upon them untenable barriers when those producers sought a remedy under the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 (PSA) against the unfair and deceptive acts of meatpackers.