Audio Feature: Corn prices provide a distinct advantage for some cattlemen
On the Farm Radio
Mike Miller, COO of Cattle-Fax, talks with farm broadcaster Jeff Ishee about the 2008 Grass Cattle Outlook and other topics important to beef producers
Selecting For Calving Ease & Disposition
Buying a bull that fits your needs and operation is very important. For this reason, there is no such thing as “the perfect bull”, for all farms because what would be considered as the best bull for one operation will be different for another. Looking at all of the traits for each bull and determining which one best fit your needs is the right approach. Using tools such as Expected Progeny Differences will help in this decision making process.
When visiting with Kentucky beef producers there are two traits that seem to be important to most: calving ease and temperament. Although both of these traits are associated with added convenience, they also have a great impact on production. Anyone that has ever assisted the delivery of a calf that is too large for the pelvic cavity of a heifer would like to avoid that in the future if possible. Not only is it an unpleasant experience, but it can result in the death of the calf and/or heifer and when the heifer survives it results in delayed rebreeding or she does not rebreed at all. The best way to avoid this problem is to select bulls that have higher values for calving ease EPD while maintaining adequate performance for other traits.
So, What Exactly Are We Raising
Eric McPhail, Colorado State University Extension – Gunnison
When cattlemen are asked what they are raising, the typical response is “quality beef and as many pounds of it as they can”. The truth is most of the time the average producer or consumer hasn’t a clue as to what a beef animal is to us. Yes we’re producing a rib-eye; our animals get priced by that rib-eye, so that’s what we seem to focus on. But what other things come from cattle, because we know that a 1300 lb steer is not all rib-eyes?
Special Heifer Sales Add Value to Replacements
by: Clifford Mitchell
As markets have evolved, it has changed the face of the beef industry. In the early years it was almost sacrilegious to purchase replacement females from the so-called traders in the industry. After all the first question was “If they’re so good why didn’t you keep them yourself?” As the goals of different breeding programs altered, it became clear some outfits could maximize profits by replacing the cow herd with purchased replacements.
The ever changing market created something the commercial industry had never seen before, a specialist. Purebred breeders more fit this title because of the seedstock produced to help add genetic diversity within commercial programs. New opportunity helped each producer find a niche in the production chain. Most cattlemen eagerly accept a role as long as they get paid for the effort. As margins tightened and terminal genetics became more the norm, skilled cattlemen devoted their skill to creating replacements.
Mark Keaton: Prepare for calving season
The Baxter Bulletin
Many herds in Arkansas are on a spring calving season. Spring calving can start as early as January or be as late as March or April. Whatever the starting date, the cattleman should be prepared to get the calf crop on the ground and start a profitable year. The following points and items should be ready by the start of calving:
Cattle producers: Get help recovering from drought
The Spencer Magnet
All of us somehow suffered from the drought of 2007, including homeowners, farmers, and too many others to include here.
One segment of farming that saw an extraordinary problem because of the drought was the cattle producer. It is not to say that they are still not having problems because there is a shortage of hay out there and what hay is available, many segments of animal production, including horse owners, are looking to purchase the same high quality hay.
On February 4, the Louisville Area Beef Cattle Association will be meeting at the Spencer County Extension Office and the main topic of discussion will be “Dealing with the Drought and your Forages.” Dr. Ray Smith, UK Forage Extension Specialist, will be on hand to give producers some tips on how to generate the best pasture and hayfield this year to help recover from the 2007 drought. It will be a very informative meeting and hope you can make it.
Start-up companies seeking profits from clone ruling
By DANIEL COSTELLO Los Angeles Times
When Cyagra Inc. holds an office potluck, no one’s stomach churns when the lasagna, meatloaf or tacos are made with cloned beef.
The cutting-edge ingredient was produced on the company’s Pennsylvania farm for the Food and Drug Administration, which spent seven years evaluating the safety of meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring.
“We had leftovers,” so we used them, said Steve Mower, director of marketing for the Elizabethtown, Pa.-based company.
Old Cattle Breed Offers Modern Solutions
SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
Ed Fredrickson is watching every move his cattle make by checking GPS units on their collars and using satellite imagery to see what plants they’re eating.
The rangeland scientist wants to know if the herd — a variety of ancient criollo cattle he hand-picked from Mexico — has what it takes to thrive in the harsh, dry conditions of the West.
“It’s going to get harder,” he said. “How do we help these ranchers stay viable?”
Fredrickson hopes criollo cattle, which were first brought to the region by Spanish explorers more than 400 years ago, will make it easier for ranchers to turn a profit on rough rangeland with little water and less than desirable forage.
Cut herd health risks
Certified Angus Beef
Proactively improving wellness is the most important function of a herd health program.
“If our goal is to prevent fetal infections, we’d like immunity to be the highest when the threat is the greatest,” says Gerald Stokka, a Pfizer Animal Health veterinarian.
That’s why he recommends pre-breeding vaccinations for cows and a first round of vaccinations for calves at one to two months of age.
Stokka consulted on the Best Practices Manual, a new publication from Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), which contains a chart of optimal vaccines and timing. It suggests protection against parasites, as well as clostridial and respiratory diseases.
“Most vaccines should have a booster,” Stokka says. “It’s a difficult management task to achieve, but it would be best to give a booster.”
FULL STORY PDF
Dealing with beef cattle in cold weather
In addition to the feed shortages we are experiencing this winter, another concern for producers this year will be harsh winter weather.
There are some special problems to consider when cold weather hits. Cold increases the rate at which feed passes through the digestive tract. Less time in the digestive tract means less digestion of nutrients. In other words, a high-fiber, low-digestible feed provides even fewer nutrients in cold weather.
Cold weather also increases the cattle’s nutrient requirements, especially for energy. As wind chill drops below the critical temperature for the animal, the amount of energy required for maintenance increases. Thus, prolonged cold periods decrease the digestion of nutrients from feed and increase the animal’s energy requirements.
Does Temperament Effect Carcass Quality?
Many cattlemen have suspected that disposition — the mental and emotional attitude of cattle — has an effect on how well they do in the feedlot, having an impact on gain. The nervous, flighty animal doesn’t spend as much time at the feed bunk. This suspicion has been confirmed, thanks to several studies focusing on the effects of disposition on cattle performance. Results of these studies have also shown a very measurable effect on carcass quality.
Arkansas River Valley beef cattle stocker conference
Delta Farm Press
Arkansas River Valley beef cattle producers can learn the latest in management trends by attending the upcoming River Valley Beef Cattle Conference, according to Van Banks, Yell County, Ark., Extension agent.
This year’s program is scheduled for Feb. 13 at the Dardanelle Community Center.
The River Valley Beef Cattle Conference is a joint educational effort by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and Farm Credit Services of western Arkansas.
The conference is designed to provide river valley beef cattle producers with the latest information on market outlook, weed control, marketing options and nutrition. The conference will address a variety of topics including beef cattle market trends, new chemicals for weed control and commodity feeding.
In memoriam: Roy Wallace
By Drovers news source
Roy Allen Wallace, 63, died while attending The National Western Livestock Show on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008. He was born Feb. 15, 1944 to Ralph and Marguerite (March) Wallace of Scotch Ridge, Ohio. Both precede him in death.
Wallace, never married, is survived by sister Mary (Bill) Van Horn, Mt Gilead, Ohio, brother George (Roma ) Wallace, Burgoon, Ohio, brother David Wallace, Perrysburg, Ohio, sister Ann (Larry) Hayward, Hillsboro, Texas. Wallace had numerous extended family, including great nieces, nephews, cousins as well as friends, co-workers and colleagues in the beef industry that he considered family.
FULL STORY (Registration may be requested)
Frost Seeding – A Cheaper Alternative
Harry Harricharan – Dairy Specialist/OMAF; Joan McKinlay – Soil & Crop Specialist/OMAF
Frost seeding is an economical method of improving pasture and hay fields by broadcasting the seed on frozen ground. As the ground freezes and thaws, it opens and closes allowing the seed to be incorporated into the soil. This keeps the seed from germinating until there is a good moisture supply early in the spring. Legumes are the most successful for this system as they tend to be rounded, dense and most importantly, they -germinate at lower temperatures so will begin growth early in the spring. Grasses have not been as successful as they are lighter coloured, less dense thus they sit on top of the ground and wait for warmer temperatures to begin growth. This often coincides with drier weather as well.
Most S. Korean housewives wary of U.S. beef: poll
Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX
Most South Korean housewives are concerned about the safety of U.S. beef as bone chips and banned parts have repeatedly been found in shipments entering the country, a survey conducted by a state-run agricultural think tank said Wednesday.