Crop residues can lose nutritional value
by Dave Russell
There have been numerous times in recent weeks that we have talked about the need for some livestock producers turning to crop residues as a feed source this winter. Keith Johnson, Purdue University extension forage specialist says that’s not a problem as long as producers understand that the nutritional value of corn residues decline as time passes.
Does supplemental Vitamin A impact quality grade?
By Troy Smith
Beef Quality Connection
What child hasn’t been told to eat his or her carrots, because they promote good eyesight? It’s true of foods containing carotenes and carotenoids which are precursors of Vitamin A. Students of animal science learn early that Vitamin A may be of most practical importance to ruminant nutrition for other reasons too. Vitamin A is essential to normal growth, reproduction and maintenance. It plays a big role in the utilization of other nutrients. But levels of Vitamin A in the diets of finishing cattle may also influence carcass quality grade.
Don’t jump to conclusions. It’s not about boosting dietary Vitamin A to enhance marbling and increase the percentage of carcasses that grade Choice or better. Rather, typical finishing diets may contain too much Vitamin A. That might actually inhibit marbling and, perhaps, prevent animals from achieving their genetic potential for quality grade.
Gene Based Test For Johne’s Disease
If you aren’t familiar with Johne’s disease–the most costly disease facing the dairy cattle industry right now–you aren’t alone.
Johne’s (pronounced YO-nees) disease, which costs the U.S. dairy industry more than $1.5 billion annually, is caused by a bacterium that infects ruminant animals. Mycobacterium paratuberculosis is related to, but different from, the organism that causes cattle tuberculosis.
USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring Survey (NAHMS) Dairy 1996 Study reports that 45 percent of dairy producers were either unaware of Johne’s disease or recognized the name but knew little about it.
Factors Drive up Costs of Crucial Animal Feed
Ventura County Star, mycattle.com
by Stephanie Hoops
Hay prices have climbed to extraordinary highs in Ventura County, say local horse and cattle owners.
“They’ve been rising for a while,” said Alexis Ells, who runs The Equine Sanctuary, a nonprofit horse rescue organization in Ojai.
“It’s this drought,” said Ventura cattle rancher Richard Atmore.
Both Ells and Atmore said the drought has caused local cattle ranchers to buy more hay because they have less natural forage.
Grazing corn stalks containing excess grain
The Breeders Connection
Extra grain left behind by the combine can be a bonus for cattle grazing corn stalks, but too much grain can cause health problems.
Any time more than about eight bushels of grain per acre is left in the field after harvest, grazing cattle risk getting acidosis and founder. Both diseases are caused by excessive grain intake, which increases rumen acid production. This can cause severe foot and hoof problems, including lameness. While smut is not a health problem, some grain may contain other molds that can produce mycotoxins. Vomitoxin and fumonisin rarely cause problems for beef cattle at typical contamination levels; however, aflatoxin may be more of a concern this year. (See story in this week’s CropWatch.) If you suspect mycotoxin may be present, assay the grain to determine the extent of the potential problem.
Dealing with potassium deficiencies
By David G. Hallauer
Meadowlark District Extension Agent, crops, soils, horticulture
High Plains Journal
Deficiency symptoms linked to potassium have been on the increase in northeast Kansas fields during the past few years. In some cases, a soil test indicated that K levels were, in fact, deficient and additional potash corrected the problem. In others, weather or soil moisture/stage of growth interactions combined to result in temporary deficiencies. And, while most of our soils are inherently high in K, about 25 percent of samples run through the KSU soil testing lab between 2002 and 2005 were low in K.
Beef’s Wake-Up Recall
A Year of Problems Has USDA Rethinking Safety Rules
By Annys Shin
For beef lovers, 2007 will go down as another year of eating dangerously.
Since the spring, meat suppliers have recalled more than 30 million pounds of ground beef contaminated with the potentially lethal bacteria E. coli O157:H7, including the 21.7 million pounds recalled by New Jersey-based Topps Meat in September.
After three relatively quiet years, the 20 recalls this year have raised new doubts about whether the beef industry’s attempts to keep the pathogen out of ground beef, and the government’s oversight of those efforts, are working.