Daily Archives: January 7, 2008

Baxter Black: NFR LAS VEGAS 2007

Baxter Black:  NFR LAS VEGAS 2007

Hunter S. Thompson, in his book Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas said, “Circus, Circus (a big casino in Las Vegas) is what the world would be like if the Third Reich had won!”

Las Vegas is the equivalent of endlessly switching the cable channel on your television anytime between midnight and 2:00am!

Las Vegas has changed rodeo. It has been a great host to the National Rodeo Finals (NFR) since 1985, literally launching rodeo into orbit somewhere between Haley’s Comet and Dancing with the Stars! It has also drug us middle-aged and Social Security veterans, who have the most money to spend on Dodge pickups and fancy Justin boots and make up the vast majority of repeat NFR ticket buyers, into the whirlwind world of show business.


MARC Studies Productivity Of Twins & Triplets

MARC Studies Productivity Of Twins & Triplets

Alaina Burt

Beef Magazine

Cows have the capacity to gestate twin calves, but not without decreased survival and body weight due to uterine crowding, researchers at USDA’s Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) conclude.

The effects of increasing fetal numbers (twins and triplets) and their distribution between the left and right uterine horns were evaluated for calf survival, calf bodyweight at birth and weaning, gestation length, dystocia and calf sex ratio. Unilateral gestation refers to development in the same uterine horn; bilateral refers to separate uterine horns.


BeefTalk: Gosh, Mom, We Just Have to Make That

BeefTalk: Gosh, Mom, We Just Have to Make That

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

As we start a new year, it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves of the wonderful products from the beef industry.

The excitement was great and I have been meaning to tell everyone about it. Earlier this fall, one of our children came home from school and commented on how great the class was that involved the study of older literature.

One of the assignments in the class was to prepare a three-course meal from the 14th century. An Internet search turned up numerous recipes and, after several hours of work, the splendor of color was evident. The saffron and Brie cheese baked into a beautiful tarte de Brie complemented with golden honey mead.


When It Comes To Marketing, Timing Is Everything

When It Comes To Marketing, Timing Is Everything

Clint Peck

Beef Magazine

Most U.S. beef producers manage their livestock around forage-driven production systems. And because beef producers mostly calve in the spring, they wean and market their calves in the fall. This causes a supply bulge that over time has resulted in seasonally lower calf prices.

While every year will have its own price pattern, fed-cattle prices generally follow this same trend — higher in March, averaging about 8% above the annual average. Meanwhile, August-November fed-cattle prices tend to be about 5% below the annual average price.


Cattle Breeding: Something For Nothing?

Cattle Breeding: Something For Nothing?


What value could you put on a single management tool that would consistently:

    * Make heifers reach puberty earlier;

    * Increase the productive lifespan of cows;

    * Decrease health problems and increase calf survivability;

    * Improve growth performance of calves;

    * Allow greater gains and feed efficiency in the feedyard.

And what if all this could be had without increasing expenses or labor requirements?

The truth is, all these benefits are available to commercial cattlemen, at virtually no cost. All it takes is a rational approach to the use of crossbreeding.

The concept certainly isn’t new. I was taught the values of heterosis, or “hybrid vigor,” back (way back…) when I was in school. And ongoing research continues to confirm the health and performance advantages of crossbred calves and cows.


Stray voltage may impact your livestock before you know it

Stray voltage may impact your livestock before you know it

Michael Fisher, CSU Golden Plains Area Livestock Extension Agent

High Plains Journal

Winter has arrived and brought snow, ice, and cold temperatures along with it. That means a lot of different things to different people. One of the problems that winter conditions bring for livestock producers to have to deal with is difficulty in maintaining the availability of a fresh and clean water supply. Obviously, water freezes when the temperature is below 32 degrees F. Therefore, we have to figure out how to provide water to our livestock during these cold months.

Many producers use some form of electrical device to maintain available water. This may be a heater (floating or submerged) placed in the water, a heating element under the tank, a pump or bubbler to maintain water movement, or some other mechanical device. Each of these can be effective at keeping a water tank open and free from ice. Yet, you should carefully inspect these devices before installing them and routinely during their use, as they may potentially increase your chances of having stray voltage on your operation.


Survey finds ‘antibiotic-free’ not that bankable

Survey finds ‘antibiotic-free’ not that bankable

Feedstuffs Foodlink

Roper Public Affairs surveyed 1,001 U.S. consumers in August, discovering some trends that suggest food marketers who too eagerly embrace the “no antibiotic” food label as an easy sell face risks.

Sales story far from bulletproof: The research, done for Alpharma to try and validate other consumer data being publicly promoted, sounds a cautionary note to meat retailers not to get too caught up in the giddiness surrounding the growing organics market and assume “raised without antibiotics” claims carry equal weight. Granted, 38% of respondents considered it “very important” that meat and poultry they purchase be “antibiotic free,” and just over half identified themselves as “very concerned” over the theoretical risk of becoming more susceptible to disease by inadvertently ingesting antibiotics given animals.


Piling on stress increases risk of disease, mortality in calves

Piling on stress increases risk of disease, mortality in calves


Farm & Ranch Guide

Reducing risk factors for disease can mean all the difference in producing healthy cattle, says a Pfizer Animal Health veterinarian.

Dr. Gerald Stokka, senior veterinarian, flew from New York to Fargo, then drove to Bismarck to be at the NDSA Feeder Council’s Beyond the Bunk III seminar on Dec. 19.


Tools/knowledge can help manage sulfur in water and feedlot diets

Tools/knowledge can help manage sulfur in water and feedlot diets


Minnesota Farm Guide

Those who have lived in western Minnesota and South Dakota may have experienced drinking water that has a high level of sulfate.

For people and animals that are not used to drinking higher levels of sulfate, there’s a possibility of getting diarrhea. For many, the Lincoln/Pipestone Rural Water System has improved quality of life by providing an alternative source of water.

In some cases, the livestock are given well water, and in other cases, the livestock are given piped-in water.


FDA to Back Food From Cloned Animals

FDA to Back Food From Cloned Animals

Move Would Defy Congress’s Wish for Delay

By Rick Weiss

Washington Post

Having completed a years-long scientific review, the Food and Drug Administration is set to announce as early as next week that meat and milk from cloned farm animals and their offspring can start making their way toward supermarket shelves, sources in contact with the agency said yesterday.

The decision would be a notable act of defiance against Congress, which last month passed appropriations legislation recommending that any such approval be delayed pending further studies. Moreover, the Senate version of the Farm bill, yet to be reconciled with the House version, contains stronger, binding language that would block FDA action on cloned food, probably for years.


Ag sector at mercy of weather

Ag sector at mercy of weather


Tulsa World

Producers expect a strong year, but predictions always hinge on Mother Nature.

Good luck trying to predict what’s going to happen with Oklahoma agriculture in 2008.

Prices and politics may play a big part, but the biggest mystery for producers always comes down to one bigger thing — the weather.

Folks can talk about it all they want, but no one confidently can predict how it will affect their business this year. In fact, predicting anything about agriculture is a dicey proposition.


Producers can manage for beef quality, but manage economically

Producers can manage for beef quality, but manage economically


Farm & Ranch Guide

Rob Maddock, NDSU professor of meat science, calls beef a costly protein for consumers.

Compared to the protein in soybeans, a pound of beef protein costs consumers $12.27 more for the same amount (based on average market costs).

“We know consumers aren’t buying beef for the protein,” he told producers at the recent North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Feeder Council’s Beyond the Bunk III. “They buy beef for the tender, juicy flavor compared to competing proteins.


Ag secretary sticks with farm bill veto threat

Ag secretary sticks with farm bill veto threat


Rapid City Journal

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The man who runs the U.S. Department of Agriculture says lots of work remains before a new five-year farm bill can escape President Bush’s veto pen and become law.

Chuck Conner, USDA acting secretary, told South Dakota Corn Growers Association members at their annual meeting Saturday that it would be great to say a final package is nearly done.

“Unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, that is not where we are at right now,” he said.


It’s always nice to talk cattle

It’s always nice to talk cattle

By Kris Ringwall, NDSU Extension Beef Specialist

Farm and Ranch Guide

The call was from a producer who wanted to go over his CHAPS records. The CHAPS record program is a service of the North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association and North Dakota State University Extension Service.

CHAPS stands for Cow Herd Appraisal of Performance Software and has been utilized by beef producers since the mid-1980s. The program is relatively simple, even though some producers would debate that any record program is far from simple.


And the beef goes on …

And the beef goes on …

Everett Washington Herald

Here’s another response to the grass-fed beef debate. (See my post from earlier today for more details.)

This one, in favor of grass-fed beef, comes from blogger Laura McCrea of Everett. Write me here and I’ll share your thoughts on grass-fed beef on this blog.

Hey Sarah: Just wanted to comment on your grass-fed beef article and blog post, which I thought were nicely done myself. We bought a quarter grass-fed beef from 3 Sisters Cattle Co. on Whidbey Island back in June and have been enjoying it ever since. It really is the best ground beef I’ve ever had in my entire life; the roasts are amazing and the steaks are great – now that we’ve learned not to overcook them.