by Kindra Gordon
Angus Beef Business
Tim Luther of Lawson, Mo., faced a conundrum this past summer. A tough growing season due to an Easter weekend freeze, drought and then excess rain all in a matter of months left him with a shortage of stored roughage for wintering his 200- to 250-head commercial Angus cow herd.
Luther had a corn crop to harvest, but because corn was selling for such a good price, he didn’t want to chop his crop for silage like he has in the past. Thus, he needed to come up with a cheap alternative for roughage to use as winter feed.
“I knew early in the summer we had a problem and would not have enough winter stockpiled forage without the silage,” Luther says. “I told my family not to worry, we’ve always found feed for the cows.”
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Baxter Black: Cities hogging water
The drought in the south made the news. Not because North Carolina Cattlemen’s pasture is drying up or Kentucky soybean crop is compromised, but because Atlanta is running out of tap water.
Atlanta is one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Its biggest city water reservoir is Lake Lanier. The Governor of Georgia is pleading, threatening and demanding the federal government (Army Corps of Engineers) to hold back water presently being released to protect an endangered mollusk downstream.
Sound familiar? Does the name “short-nosed sucker” come to mind? In the spring of 2001, the federal government ruled that almost all stored Klamath Lake irrigation water would be diverted to protect the endangered short-nosed sucker downriver.
Old breed of Spanish cattle could help struggling ranchers on rough rangeland
Susan Montoya Bryan
Silver City Sun News
JORNADA EXPERIMENTAL RANGE — 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 with New Mexico State University 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.
Ranchers cash in on Black Angus brand
A liberal dose
When cattle ranchers Donnell Brown and his wife, Kelli, walked into a Hardee’s restaurant, each ordered a Thickburger, prepared, the menu read, with 100 percent charbroiled Angus beef.
‘What is Angus?’ one of them asked, for fun.
The server apparently had no idea, but assured them, ‘It’s the best.’
The anecdote confirmed what the Browns have known since they bought their first Angus bull 20 years ago.
Farmers chafe at federally mandated animal-tracking system
Plan seen to hurt small producers
WASHINGTON – After days of parading around her beefy black steer in the dung-scented August heat at the Colorado State Fair, Brandi Calderwood made the final competition. For months, the 16-year-old had worked from dawn to well past dusk, fitting in the work around school, to feed, train, and clean her steer. But just before the last round, when the animals are sold, fair officials disqualified her.
They alleged that Brandi had not properly followed a new and controversial rule that requires children to register their farms with a federal animal-tracking system. After heated words, Calderwood and her family were told to leave.
Foot-mouth presents rancher’s conundrum
Great Falls Tribune
The federal veterinarian looked at me as if I were the most self-centered beast on the face of the planet.
He had just suggested that ranchers call their local veterinarian at the first symptoms of potential foot-and-mouth disease.
At that moment, I was pretty sure this man was buying his McMansion with a tax-funded salary and could not fathom a rancher’s personal dilemma if FMD hit home.
Helping The Newborn Calf Breathe
Despite our best efforts at bull selection and heifer development, cows or heifers occasionally need assistance at calving time. It is imperative that the newborn calf begin to breathe as soon as possible. To stimulate the initiation of the respiratory process, a few ideas may help. First, manually clear the mouth and nasal passages of fluids and mucus. Hanging the calf over a fence is not the best method to accomplish this task. The weight of the calf on the fence restricts the movement of the diaphragm muscles. The fence impairs the diaphragm’s ability to contract and move. This diaphragm activity is necessary to expand the lungs to draw in air and needed oxygen.
Struggling along with the farmers
If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a big fan of American farmers. I make absolutely no excuse for that.
It probably has something to do with the fact that I grew up around farming, but mostly, I guess I just like the people who produce my food.
Too frequently, I hear other consumers make rather unconcerned, or indifferent remarks about the trials and tribulations of agriculture, as if these challenges only affect the farmer. And we’ve seen and heard many people discount the importance of ag sciences in our schools, when, in fact, we ought to be increasing spending and resources in this discipline to ensure a future generation of agricultural leaders.
Rancher: Cloning equals better beef product
By VINCE DEVLIN
CHARLO – In 1996 – the same year Scottish scientists produced Dolly the sheep, the world’s first cloned mammal – rancher Larry Coleman’s prize bull, a Limousin named First Down, suffered a ruptured urethra.
The president of the North American Limousin Foundation sent Coleman some newspaper clippings about the work on cloning being done overseas, along with a note. “Larry,” it said, “wouldn’t it be nice if someday we could clone First Down?”
Oh, wouldn’t it, Coleman thought. First Down was a bull like no other, the answer to a rancher’s prayers.
“We’ve had two or three equal his birth weight,” the rancher says, “but we’ve never had calves grow like he did.”
Understand, the birth weight was below average, making his calving easier. But First Down’s yearling weight of 1,580 pounds made him heavier than many adult Limousin bulls.
What Is Bovine Trichomoniasis?
Recently the Nebraska Department of Agriculture has issued new requirements for the entry of Oklahoma breeding cattle into Nebraska. These requirements are meant to stop the entry of cattle infected with the organism Trichomonas. Because this disease has been relatively rare in Oklahoma, many producers in this state are unacquainted with it. The Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory has reported that several Oklahoma herds have been diagnosed with “Trich” in 2007.
Bovine trichomoniasis (commonly called “Trich”) can be an important cause of economic loss in cattle operations that use natural service. This disease is caused by a protozoan organism called Trichomonas foetus. This organism lives in the internal sheath and prepuce of the bull. In cows this organism colonizes in the internal reproductive tract.
Rising Beef Cattle Costs
For most of North Dakota`s agriculture commodities the industry is at an exciting time. With wheat prices at record highs some even calling them “fairytale prices,” the economy for the most part is good.
However other areas of the industry are struggling. Today we talked with NDSU Extension Agent Warren Froelich about the negative impacts we`re seeing on beef cattle prices.
This herd of cattle is in for an expensive treat that`s because while wheat and corn prices are booming, it`s also costing more for ranchers to feed their animals.
USDA Lab Focuses on Deadly E. Coli
By JOSH FUNK
CLAY CENTER, Neb. (AP) — Cattle wander among earth-covered bunkers that dot the landscape just west of this tiny rural town. The bunkers are remnants of a Naval ammunition depot that produced bombs during World War II. The depot is now an animal research center where government scientists are working to unlock secrets contained in the genetic makeup of the cattle.
Their focus: the E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria, which can kill if it reaches the dinner table.
“Our purpose is to save little kids’ lives,” said Mohammad Koohmaraie, director of the center.
The scientists at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center say they still don’t know why the number of beef recalls soared in 2007 or why E. coli contamination appeared to be rising.
Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler
New York Times
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.
A SEA change in the consumption of a resource that Americans take for granted may be in store — something cheap, plentiful, widely enjoyed and a part of daily life. And it isn’t oil.
The two commodities share a great deal: Like oil, meat is subsidized by the federal government. Like oil, meat is subject to accelerating demand as nations become wealthier, and this, in turn, sends prices higher. Finally — like oil — meat is something people are encouraged to consume less of, as the toll exacted by industrial production increases, and becomes increasingly visible.
OCA expands annual Cattlemen’s Leadership Academy; now accepting nominations
High Plains Journal
The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Executive Committee is excited to announce the expansion of the Cattlemen’s Leadership Academy. The 15th Annual Cattlemen’s Leadership Academy will include multiple sessions and additional educational opportunities.
The Academy will involve 30 OCA member-beef producers from across the state of Oklahoma who represent many aspects of the beef cattle industry. Over the course of one year, the participants will encounter several educational experiences to inform and prepare them as future leaders of the Oklahoma cattle industry.
CLA is the primary tool used by the OCA to educate and cultivate leaders in the Oklahoma beef industry. More than 400 OCA member-beef producers have participated in the program since 1993.
Tyson to end cattle slaughter at Kansas beef plant
Giant U.S. meat producer Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Friday it will discontinue cattle slaughter “within the next few weeks” at its Emporia, Kansas, beef plant as part of its restructuring of its commodity meat business.
The discontinuation of slaughter will result in the elimination of about 1,500 of the 2,400 jobs currently at the plant. The facility will be used as a cold storage and distribution warehouse, plus will process ground beef.