Daily Archives: January 25, 2008

Feeding Vegetable Oil to Beef Cattle May Boost Meat Health Benefits for Consumers

Feeding Vegetable Oil to Beef Cattle May Boost Meat Health Benefits for Consumers

Ropin’ the Web

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) has sparked broad interest in recent years for reducing cholesterol and risk of certain cancers. In 2000 a study was conducted at the Lethbridge Research Center, in collaboration with Dr. Randall Weselake at the University of Lethbridge. It was one of the first studies to show that levels of this valuable fatty acid can be dramatically increased in the meat component of ruminants.

The research found that feeding vegetable oil high in linoleic acid, which is converted to CLA in the rumen, boosted CLA levels in the muscle tissue of lambs by more than 200 %. That increase also reduced the percentage of other fatty acids that are considered unhealthy.

Similar results are expected in beef cattle. Our study shows that not only can we significantly increase CLA levels in ruminant meat, but we can do so through simple supplementation of the animal diet. This may lead to practical production strategies for beef cattle which would result in added health benefits for meat consumers. We used safflower oil in our study, which is the vegetable oil with the highest level of linoleic acid. However, sunflower and canola oil, along with some other vegetable oils, have comparably high levels of linoleic acid and could produce similar results.


Cattle Diseases: Bluetongue

Cattle Diseases: Bluetongue

Purdue University Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

Bluetongue is a non-contagious, athropod-borne viral disease of both domestic and wild ruminants.  Bluetongue virus (BTV) is endemic in some areas with cattle and wild ruminants serving as reservoirs for the virus.  Epizootics of Bluetongue virus killing approximately 179,000 sheep within 4 months have threatened the livestock industry in recent years.  For this reason, regulatory veterinarians have heightened their interest in this devastating disease.

  The threat of decreased trade associated with Bluetongue outbreaks has become an even bigger threat to the livestock industry than the actual disease itself.  According to Kahrs, “bluetongue is a major obstacle to exportation of U.S. ruminants and ruminant products and probably affects the United States more than most countries.”  This is because of the prevalence of BTV in conjunction with competent vectors within the U.S., vague surveillance and reporting policies, and extensive BTV research emanating from U.S. laboratories.


Pricing To Value – A Packer/Processor Perspective

Pricing To Value – A Packer/Processor Perspective

Keith DeHaan, Ph.D.


Price discovery and determination of value is an important but very sensitive issue to beef producers. The fact that I am not an economist, I do not work directly in live cattle procurement or represent one of the big four packers may give very little credibility to my discussion on this topic. On the other hand, I have been richly blessed with the opportunity to work across all segments of the beef chain, including beef production prior to the plant, processing at the plant level, and downstream beyond the plant in markets closer to the consumer. From these experiences, the following comments are made.


Breaking Even and Cash Collection for Small Beef Business

Breaking Even and Cash Collection for Small Beef Business

Sarah Aubrey

American Cowman

Quite simply, if you’ve decided to start a farm-based beef business, you’re looking to make more money or add value to your herd. Making money in this segment of the beef industry is much different than selling live cattle through traditional systems. One way to ensure that your business remains viable once you get started is to have a break-even analysis and a prompt set of cash collection plans in place.


Avoiding the ‘Sophomore Slump’-Focus On 2nd-Calf Heifers

Avoiding the ‘Sophomore Slump’-Focus On 2nd-Calf Heifers


Whether the replacement heifers in a herd are home-raised or purchased, they represent a significant expense. In order for them to deliver a positive return on this investment, they need to remain in the herd, producing marketable calves, for an extended number of years. Yet we often see a disproportionate number of these females failing to rebreed after their first calf, and having to be culled well before they have made the operation any money. Others may cycle–and breed–late in the season, setting themselves up for an entire lifetime of weaning younger, lighter calves. These cows often tend to lose an additional day or two each year, increasing the odds that sooner or later they won’t get bred at all, either.


High-Oil and High-Protein Corn Lines for Animal Feed

High-Oil and High-Protein Corn Lines for Animal Feed

Office of Technology Management, University of Illinois

This technology provides several lines of corn seeds, most notably a high-oil line and a high-protein line. Derived from conventional breeding and genetic selection methods, these seeds have undergone no genetic modification. The high-oil line can be used in “top cross” pollination to produce corn with increased oil. High-oil corn is ideal for use as animal feed for both ruminant and nonruminant animals, as it provides high energy and increases the growth performance in livestock. High-protein corn is useful for feeding cattle and other ruminant animals. Low-protein and low-oil corn lines are also available.


Winter Livestock Feeder Cattle Report: One Day Closer To Spring

Winter Livestock Feeder Cattle Report: One Day Closer To Spring


Every day is one day closer to spring!  Pastures all around look a little bit under the weather, with the cold temperatures sure keeping the wheat hunkered down to the ground.  Moisture is probably okay, but the wheat, even if folks were going to graze it, needs some nice warm days.  Cattle coming off of some early wheat look like they are just maintaining right now, but there sure be some compensatory gain coming!

Just how strong is our economy?  The Federal rate cuts have helped somewhat, but is that a short term or long term fix?  Gas prices have also come down recently, and that definitely helps.  Judging by the lines at restaurants, movie theaters and just about anything else not at home, the public sure thinks there is money to spend!


Our food fueled growth of super bacteria

Our food fueled growth of super bacteria

SanFrancisco Chronicle

Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

Regarding “The battle with super bacteria” The image of one physician chastising hundreds of others regarding the rampant misuse of antibiotics in medical practice certainly gave me pause. There is no better indicator of the magnitude of public health threat we face with the escalating rates of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our hospitals and communities.


Cattle Round Up, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Assn. Meeting

Cattle Round Up, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Assn. Meeting

By Thelma Taylor, guest columnist

Cynthiana Democrat

According to reports, a record crowd attended the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Convention in Lexington with 1,287 members taking part in the activities. David Maples was excited over the enthusiasm of the attendees. He said membership in the association will probably be record breaking this year, too.

Lowell Clifford participated in the forage program. He said four farmers told about their operations. Lowell was a general farmer. One man produced cattle for Laura’s Lean Beef, one farmer in Bourbon County backgrounds cattle on a large scale, and the fourth man provides hay for farmers as his main job and raised some cattle. Each had a different aspect of forage to tell about.


The Facts About Bovine Viral Diarrhea Type 2

The Facts About Bovine Viral Diarrhea Type 2


Seventy to ninety percent of all bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infections occur without the appearance of clinical signs. In fact most cases of BVD remain undetected in the herd. The outbreaks of hemorrhagic Type 2 BVDV in Canada and Pennsylvania in the early 1990’s has redirected public attention to BVD’s potential threat. Unfortunately, many people have lost sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Type 2 infections, like Type 1, show no clinical signs and result in mild infections.


Corn stover value

Corn stover value

By: Clint McDonald, Harrison County Extension Education Director

Missouri Valley Times

More and more corn producers are trying to determine the value of corn stover. For the sake of this article, corn stover is defined as the corn stalks, leaves and cobs that are left in the field after the corn kernel is harvested.

There are two primary motivations behind this quest. The first is due to the fact that last spring’s late frost has reduced the area’s hay crop, and cow/calf producers are looking for alternative feedstuffs to feed their cows.

Secondly with the high price of fertilizer, corn growers are concerned about the costs of replacing the fertilizer nutrients of corn stover if it is used for feed. In other words, if a corn grower bales his corn stover to feed to his livestock, how much does it cost to replace the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N, P and K) that are removed from the field. The costs of these nutrients have increased dramatically in the past 24 months putting new emphasis on determining stover value.


Cold Cattle Need More High Priced Corn

Cold Cattle Need More High Priced Corn

by Andy Eubank

Hoosier AG Today

Bitterly cold temperatures in the Hoosier state and the addition of significant wind chill factors add up to livestock stress. As the temperatures have dropped the energy requirements of cows have gone way up, and an extra bale of hay probably won’t help. Beef Extension Specialist at Purdue, Dr. Ron Lemenager, spoke in Logansport Monday night during the regional meeting of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association. He said cows would get that extra energy boost from soybean hulls, distillers grain or corn. “Our rule of thumb is that if you’re going to feed cows corn grain, you can feed about .3% of body weight. So just as an example with a 1300 pound cow, I could feed up to about 4 pounds of corn a day without having a negative effect on fiber digestion, or the hay digestibility. If you think about cold stress, a cow that is in moderate body condition with a winter hair coat, her requirements go up 13% for every 10 degree drop in wind chill below 30 degrees. So if I’ve got a zero wind chill, 13% times 3 is a 39% increase in energy requirements, and those cows can’t eat enough more hay to make up for that.


Cull Cows As A Significant Source Of Revenue For Stocker Operators

Cull Cows As A Significant Source Of Revenue For Stocker Operators


Cull cows are often considered a by-product of cow-calf operations. Usually, open cows are identified at pregnancy diagnosis, sorted directly into a separate pen, loaded that day (or as soon as the calves are weaned) and transported to a livestock marketing facility. Oftentimes, scheduling the herd pregnancy check even revolves around days when the local auction has a sale so that the culls can be immediately liquidated. As a matter of production management, it is critical to remove non-producers from the herd. However, as a matter of economic management, the significance of cull cow revenue is often overlooked. In fact, cull cow sales generally represent between 15 – 30% of the sales receipts from a cow-calf operation. Therefore, optimizing the net return on cull cow sales can have a major impact on the overall profitability of the enterprise.


2008 Mid-South Stocker Conference is Feb. 12-13

2008 Mid-South Stocker Conference is Feb. 12-13


Glasgow Daily Times

The 2008 Mid-South Stocker Conference is Feb. 12-13 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon, Tenn. The conference is a cooperative educational program by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and University of Tennessee Extension in partnership with Bayer Animal Health. Those of you who attended in 2007 remember that this is the conference we hosted at Cave City.

The conference theme is “Plan for Success.” The conference offers practical information to aid stocker operators in planning and managing their operations to maximize profit.