Daily Archives: January 29, 2008

Most passive immunity occurs in first six hours

Most passive immunity occurs in first six hours

Western Livestock Journal

Despite our best efforts, a few calves will be born via a long, hard delivery. They may be sluggish or weak at birth and slow to find the cow and nurse. These calves are more prone to scours or pneumonia as babies and “poor-doers” later in life.

Resistance to disease is greatly dependent on antibodies or immunoglobulins and can be either active or passive in origin. In active immunity, the body produces antibodies in response to infection or vaccination. Passive immunity gives temporary protection by transfer of certain immune substances from resistant individuals.

An example of passive immunity is passing of antibodies from dam to calf via the colostrum (first milk after calving). This transfer only occurs during the first few hours following birth. Research from the USDA station in Nebraska has indicated that successful transfer of passive immunity (during the first day of life) enhances disease resistance and performance even through the feedlot phase.


Trent Loos: American ag is all about diversity

Trent Loos:  American ag is all about diversity


AMAZINGLY, attitudes at the Iowa Pork Congress last week were quite good. Certainly, high feed prices and low hog prices could dampen spirits, but let’s face it: The pork producers who are left in the business are the best of the best.

I have not owned a pig since 1997, but I do remember buying 4,000 bu. of corn each week in 1996, the last time corn prices topped $5/bu.

It was not all that much fun, but my words of encouragement were: “The tougher it gets, the better off we will be when it comes back in line, and trust me, it will.”

Still, today, I would rather invest in the future of pork production than ethanol.


Improving Beef Cattle Handling for Increased Profitability and Safety

Improving Beef Cattle Handling for Increased Profitability and Safety

North Carolina State University

Improving beef cattle handling can increase your farm’s profitability and safety. Good beef cattle handling entails

Proper cattle handling practices (for example, knowing how to move cattle on the farm safely and efficiently and how to load and unload cattle from trailers)

Adequately designed cattle handling facilities (for example, properly arranged and constructed pens, alleys, and chutes).

There are many options that enable you to improve your cattle handling. The changes you make can be tailored to meet your needs, concerns, and resources. You can invest a lot of time and money or just a little. However, the bottom line will show that improvements you make can be a wise investment that produces benefits that far outweigh the costs.

This publication will show you how improving beef cattle handling can benefit your cattle operation, no matter how large or small it may be. It will also provide information about beef cattle psychology, handling methods, and facility design for small and large operations.


Enemy Within

Enemy Within

by Ed Haag

Angus Beef Bulletin

While the economic consequences of liver flukes on juvenile cattle may appear minimal, calf producers should not ignore the parasite. Long after that calf has been shipped to the feedlot, its mother could face a liver fluke-induced health crisis of her own. The effects can be significant. In addition to liver damage, decreased reproductive performance, diarrhea, weight loss and jaundice, flukes can precipitate life-threatening secondary bacterial infections such as blackleg and Redwater.

William Foreyt of the department of veterinary microbiology and pathology at Washington State University is well aware of the effect a liver fluke infestation can have on a cattle herd. He warns that ignoring the parasite could cost a beef producer his livelihood. One study Foreyt and colleagues participated in involved a cow-calf herd in southern Idaho that was severely infested — 200 flukes per animal.

“The liver flukes eventually put that rancher out of business,” Foreyt says. “It can be that much of a problem.”


Utilizing the “Square” Method to Balance Rations

Utilizing the “Square” Method to Balance Rations

Clyde Lane, Jr., Professor, James Neel, Profesor, Warren Gill, Professor, Department of Animal Science, University of Tennessee

A convenient way to calculate proportions of two feed ingredients to achieve a desired nutrient percentage is to use the Pearson Square. The process is simple and easy to use. A example on how to use the Pearson Square follows:

In the following example, two feeds are “combined” in the square to achieve a desired crude protein (CP) percentage, but the same procedure can be used for Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN), fiber or any ingredient which is expressed as a percentage.


It’s Now Secretary Edward Schafer

It’s Now Secretary Edward Schafer

Hoosier AG Today

  Call him Mr. Secretary. By a unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate, Edward Schafer has been confirmed to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The former Governor of North Dakota takes over from Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner who became Acting Secretary when Mike Johanns resigned on September 20th of 2007 to run for the U.S. Senate in his home state of Nebraska.

Some had hoped for Senate confirmation following last Thursday’s Senate Ag Committee Hearing. But Vermont Senator Pat Leahy threatened to hold up the nomination over a dispute with USDA over flood disaster aid for livestock owners in his state. The Administration told Leahy that USDA will promptly issue a new directive to allow compensation to producers whose losses stretch beyond one calendar year.


Alfalfa Symposium Takes Balanced Look At Roundup Ready

Alfalfa Symposium Takes Balanced Look At Roundup Ready

Hay and Forage Grower

The 2008 National Alfalfa Symposium, set for Feb. 4-5, will feature an in-depth discussion looking at all aspects of the Roundup Ready alfalfa debate. Mark McCaslin, president of Forage Genetics International, will give an update on the transgenic crop, including a review of the legal proceedings and ongoing regulatory process at USDA/APHIS. McCaslin will also discuss the potential for new biotech traits in alfalfa and the importance of science-based coexistence strategies to insure farmer choice.