Daily Archives: January 23, 2008

Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The January 23, issue # 571, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefJany23.html

Planted wheat acres for harvest this summer are up, and expectations are that corn and soybean acres will increase also. It stands to reason that many of those acres will come from what were hay and possibly pasture fields. Add to that the fact that hay inventories are at historic lows, and many forage stands were weakened by a hot dry summer of ’07, and the stage is set for low supplies of high valued forages for the foreseeable future. Every management tool available will need to be employed to optimize forage production. The window of opportunity for frost seeding some of our thin forage stands is rapidly approaching. This week, Curt Stivison offers thoughts on adding clover to thin pastures.

Articles this week include:
* Forage Focus: Benefits of Frost Seeding Legumes
* Selecting for Calving Ease and Disposition
* Does Temperament Effect Carcass Quality?
* Ohio Cattlemen’s Association accepting consignments for Seedstock Improvement Bull Sales

Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

Conditioned for Conception

Conditioned for Conception

Give your heifers the best of everything  reproduction efficiency, health and nutrition

By Jerilyn Johnson-Houghton

If you’re serious about genetic improvement, your replacement heifers should be among the most valuable animals on the farm. A few important steps can help you make sure they’re bred on time and set up for a long, productive life as a brood cow. He re are 10 ways to get more from your replacement heifers.


Stack genetics to hit target

Stack genetics to hit target

Western Livestock Journal

Bulls are essential, but they’re not the whole ball game in herd genetics. Traits can be influenced more readily if your breeding program takes into account both the paternal and maternal sides of the equation.

“Each parent transmits a random sample of half of his or her genes to the calves,” says Sally Northcutt, genetic research director for the American Angus Association. “We recognize that a sire has more impact for commercial producers who retain replacement heifers. Sire choices influence those daughters that are coming into production.”

Producers who want to change their herds may consider stacking genetics.


Roy Wallace Memorial Established

Roy Wallace Memorial Established

Roy was a graduate of the Department of Animal Science (class of 1967), and member of the Animal Science Hall of Fame. He was an ardent Buckeye and great supporter of the Department’s beef programs and beyond. Roy was respected worldwide for his expertise in selecting beef bulls with superior genetic merit to be used for artificial insemination. He had many loyal friends from throughout the USA and beyond in the beef industry.


Caring for hypothermic (cold stressed) newborn beef calves

Caring for hypothermic (cold stressed) newborn beef calves

From “Beef: Questions & Answers” newsletter*

by Ron Torell, Dr. Bill Kvasnicka and Dr. Ben Bruce, University of Nevada-Reno Extension Specialists

Mortality in beef herds from birth to weaning range from three to seven percent. The majority of this occurs within the first 24 hours of life, with slow and difficult births (dystocia) and cold stress (hypothermia) the leading causes of death. As prevention is the best cure, advice for care and treatment of hypothermic or cold stressed calves is given below. We will also review a case study conducted in Elko County, Nev. that examined the use of calf warmers to overcome hypothermia.


Bedding Cattle In Winter

Bedding Cattle In Winter


 “Bedding cattle can save you money in terms of reduced feed costs and improving the welfare of your animals during winter weather conditions,” says Russel Horvey, beef and forage specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Food, Stettler.

As we get deeper into winter’s cold, it’s time to look at the benefits of bedding cattle. The main type of bedding used is straw, and there should be no shortage of it this year. However, in years when straw is in short supply, a number of other bedding materials have been used, including wood chips, saw dust, peat moss and shredded newsprint.


Defining the haves and have-nots

Defining the haves and have-nots

Trent Loos

High Plains Journal

The calendar may say 2008, but one thing hasn’t changed–the ability to own a horse becomes more of a challenge with each passing day. I hope that the masses are beginning to see that the victory for horses claimed by some animal rights organizations in 2007 has everything to do with getting humans off the backs of horses. As we look at the facts for 2007, we see that nothing that has happened is beneficial to horses. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that as of Dec. 20, 2007, 44,475 horses have been shipped to Mexico for processing for human consumption, compared with 10,783 shipped during the same time period in 2006–a 312 percent increase. Canada also saw an increase in 2007, but if you look at the total number of horses harvested in North America for 2007, USDA estimates that there were 30,000 fewer horses harvested than in the previous year.


Good Herd Health Program Can Prevent Calf Scours

Good Herd Health Program Can Prevent Calf Scours

by: Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS

Cattle Today

As we have discussed many times, research and practice has shown the link between health, nutrition and management. This is especially true in young calves, especially those born in the winter and spring during periods of cold and wet weather. As we get ready for spring calving to get into full swing, we know that many circumstances come into play in this area and that disease can have a significant effect on the feeding and nutrition of an animal and vice versa. While this article will touch on these areas in general, one particular issue we will examine is that of calf scouring and diarrhea, a problem that has touched every cow/calf producer out there.


Winter Months Forages Strategies

Winter Months Forages Strategies

Prepared by: Jim Morrison, Extension Educator, Crop Systems, Rockford Extension Center,, University of Illinois

The recent Indiana grazing newsletter (Hoos-Your Grazing Network) offered timely tips that are applicable to Illinois forage producers. The winter months provide an excellent time to plan hay and pasture strategies.

Here are planning suggestions for northern Illinois forage producers for the winter months, starting with January:

    * Prepare for pasture renovation by determining forage species and varieties and getting equipment ready.

    * Allocate hay feeding based on animal needs and hay quality.

    * Test forages to be fed this winter.

    * Allocate pasture utilization strategies (fencing, water, and shade).

    * Re-new your membership or become a member of the Illinois Forage and Grassland Council.


Organizations prepare for COOL in 2008

Organizations prepare for COOL in 2008

Western Livestock Journal

Though Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) remains a divisive topic among those in the U.S. beef industry, it is important as 2008 begins for producers to look toward the future and make preparations (good or bad) for the implementation of COOL.

Speaking recently at the 2008 International Livestock Congress was National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President of Government Affairs Jay Truitt. Truitt emphasized the need for Congress to take action and determine a final set of plans for COOL.

“It’s important to know the history of COOL to help explain how we got to where the law stands now,” said Truitt. “The current law, which was passed in 2002, will finally go into effect on Sept. 30, 2008. Through the lobbying efforts of NCBA and other groups, implementation of this law has been delayed twice, but the appropriations bill enforces funding deadlines on the current law and it must be in place this year.”


Synergies for ethanol industry and feedlot cattle will continue

Synergies for ethanol industry and feedlot cattle will continue


Farm and Ranch Guide

LAMBERTON, Minn. – 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.


Minerals vital to herd health and productivity

Minerals vital to herd health and productivity

Delta Farm Press

A mineral deficiency can reduce both the consumption and digestibility of feed for beef cattle, according to Mark Keaton, Baxter County staff chair for the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

“Two symptoms of mineral deficiency often seen in beef cow herds are reduced milk production, which results in slower calf gains, and the failure of cows to breed regularly, which lowers the calf crop percentage,” Keaton said.

Fewer and lighter weight calves mean reduced beef production. Feeding growing cattle a diet low in minerals reduces both the rate and efficiency of animal gains.


Winter Calf Nutrition

Winter Calf Nutrition


Where are the calves you weaned last summer or fall? An increasing number of producers can answer that question “still on my farm or ranch.” Even if conditions (i.e., drought, tight feed supplies, short term economics) kept you from retaining ownership of this particular calf crop, chances are you will consider this management option in the future.

How these young calves are managed obviously impacts profitability of the program, whether it is simply preconditioning, winter backgrounding for summer grass, or preparing calves to go straight to a finishing diet. Because almost all newly-weaned calves are, at least initially, put on a high-forage diet, nutritional management for these steers and heifers must focus on the supplementation program.


Did you put your pasture to bed right?

Did you put your pasture to bed right?

Western Livestock Journal

As I study the important role that carbon plays in our environment, I keep coming up with useful information. Carbohydrates are the sugars that give animals and people energy; this same kind of energy is also stored in plants. This stored energy is given to us by sunlight—free and clear from any lending institution and it’s up to us to become wise about the use of this free energy.

Fall pasture management is another critical grazing management time to make sure you don’t screw up next year’s forage production. About two to three weeks before that hard killing frost is the time to put your pasture plants to bed right (healthy) for the winter.

To better understand this requirement, we have to go inside the plant and follow the movement of carbon. Think of the green leaves in your pasture as the solar panels that collect this free energy and store it as carbohydrates. These carbohydrates need to be present in healthy root systems and other parts of each individual plant to provide the needed energy to push new shoots up next spring.


The History of Cattle Brands

The History of Cattle Brands


Cattle brands still play an important role in identifying an animal’s owner in Texas cattle ranching. The practice of branding is ancient. Some Egyptian tomb paintings at least 4,000 years old depict scenes of roundups and cattle branding, and biblical evidence suggests that Jacob the herdsman branded his stock. Burning an identifying mark into the hide of an animal was, until the invention of the tattoo, the only method of marking that lasted the life of the animal. The practice of branding came to the New World with the Spaniards, who brought the first cattle to New Spain. When Hernán Cortés experimented with cattle breeding during the late sixteenth century in the valley of Mexicalzimgo, south of modern Toluca, Mexico, he branded his cattle. His brand, three Latin crosses, may have been the first brand used in the Western Hemisphere.


Bovine TB detected in ninth beef herd in Minnesota

Bovine TB detected in ninth beef herd in Minnesota


Minnesota Board of Animal Health said Tuesday that a beef cattle herd in Roseau County has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis.

The herd is the ninth in Minnesota where the disease has been confirmed. All cases have been in northwestern Minnesota.

The board said the U.S. Department of Agriculture is appraising the herd so it can be purchased and the animals killed.