Daily Archives: January 30, 2008

Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The January 30, issue # 572, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefJany30.html

Many of us have spent the past year simply managing until the next . . .
Next soaking rain . . .
Next spring when we can turn out . . .
Next hay cutting . . .
Next year when grain prices will come down . . .
Next spring when there will be more hay, at lower values . . .

Well . . . it’s apparent the “next” may not be here for a while . . . in fact, it could be years. Fact is, high grain prices are here to stay in the foreseeable future, forage inventories are depleted with many acres being attracted to row crops, and pastures are thinned and damaged from last years weather. It’s apparent those of us who plan to remain in the beef cattle business need to be prepared to face and react to a whole new set of economic realities in the coming years. With that thought in mind, find information on a new series of programs coming in February and March which address just that concept.

Articles include:
* Ruminant Livestock: Facing New Economic Realities Programs are Set
* Helping The Newborn Calf Breathe
* Income Tax Rules For Weather Related Sales Of Livestock
* Forage Focus: Preparing For a Not Quite As Dry Spring
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report

Protect your investment with semen tank management

Protect your investment with semen tank management

Michael Fisher, Area Extension Agent (Livestock), Colorado State University Extension

Many cow-calf operations have adopted artificial insemination (AI) as a key management tool in their business plan. The use of AI offers several advantages over natural sire service. It allows the producer a wider selection of bull power and genetic choices. Also, when using AI, the various genetic choices can be targeted at specific cows or heifers in an effort to exact the preferred change. The AI herd may require a few clean up bulls but this is significantly less than the combination of purchase, nutrition, and health costs of maintaining a full bull battery to compliment the herd. Additionally, a semen tank in the corner of the barn office is not likely to knock you into the dirt; while a pen full of salty bulls may consider this to be great sport.


BeefTalk: Don’t Overlook the Value of Cattle Hair

BeefTalk: Don’t Overlook the Value of Cattle Hair

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Hair – More Than a Fashion Statement Hair – More Than a Fashion Statement

Healthy cattle will tend to not have frost on their backs, even when the weather gets very cold.

Health never can be underestimated. Having been confined lately, that concept is even more appreciated. Comfort, the lack of stress and the need to allow time for recovery are important.

All three factors also are part of cattle management, so appropriate managerial reactions must be thought through. One concept often overlooked in good cow health is hair.


Cold weather calving, feeding time

Cold weather calving, feeding time

Richard C. Snell, Barton County Extension Agent, agriculture

High Plains Journal

This bitter cold snap causes me to remember how much I dislike winter. If it weren’t for basketball, I don’t know if I would survive it.

I was watching the football playoff game between the Packers and the Giants with 20 something below wind chill (just the third coldest game ever played). My mind drifted back to the ice bowl game between the Cowboys and the Packers on the last day of 1967 (considered to be one of the greatest games ever played). Then my mind wandered briefly from football to days gone by when I fed cattle in the cold weather and we had calves born on what seemed the coldest days.


Down Cows: Potential Problem for Cattle Producers

Down Cows: Potential Problem for Cattle Producers

Dr. W. Dee Whittier, Extension Veterinarian, Cattle, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, VA Tech

A down cow is a dreaded problem for any cattle producer and almost always has a negative economic impact, sometimes one that is quite severe. Prevention is always the best approach to downers.  However, despite the best plans, the occasional down cow still occurs and the handling of the case determines the level of loss that will occur.

Down cows were in the national headlines after the BSE (mad cow) case a few years ago.  Repeatedly the media defined a down cow as one that “was too sick to stand up”.  While this definition fits some down cows, many of these cows have experienced injuries that prevent them from being able to get up.


Steaks for Troops

Steaks for Troops

Amanda Nolz

Tri State Livestock news

Slipping on a crisp apron, the confident chef grabs his gleaming stainless steel grilling tools. He lights the coals and lays his tender beef cut on the grill. The steak sizzles as the fire dances below. As the succulent steak is finished to a perfect medium rare, the chef knows he will soon bite into a little piece of heaven.

Americans often take for granted the luxuries and conveniences of a free world: electricity, water, clothing, shelter, and food. Knowing that farmers and ranchers dedicate their lives to providing food and fiber to feed the world, it is also important to remember the troops fighting oversees to protect our liberty and our freedom. For 228 years, over 600,000 people have given their lives to protect America’s many freedoms.


Cold, Mud & Energy Requirements

Cold, Mud & Energy Requirements

Beef Stocker Trends

“When backgrounding pens become muddy, they become expensive in terms of cost of gain of the cattle. As a rule, 4 to 8 in. of mud in a feedlot will decrease cattle feed intake by 8-15%, slow daily gain by about 14%, and increase feed requirements per pound of gain by 13%. Severe conditions, with mud 8- to 12-in. deep, reduce feed intake by up to 30% and decrease gain by 25% or more. In some situations, cattle gains have been cut in half by muddy conditions. Therefore, lots should be well drained and mounded to minimize the effect of mud on cattle.”


$9.25M Verdict in Cattle Case Reversed

$9.25M Verdict in Cattle Case Reversed

Houston Chronicle

Cattle ranchers who won a $9.25 million federal jury verdict against four large meat packers failed to show that the companies intentionally manipulated or controlled prices, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s 2006 ruling in favor of the ranchers, who had said in their lawsuit that large meat packing companies underpaid producers for live cattle. The ranchers had claimed that the packers knew or should have known of the USDA’s error.

The appeals court ruled that the ranchers produced no evidence that the packers intentionally violated the Packers and Stockyards Act by manipulating or controlling, or attempting to manipulate or control, cattle prices. To prove a violation, a plaintiff must show that a packer intentionally committed unlawful conduct, the panel said in its ruling.


Corn, cattle groups, not government, behind e.coli research

Corn, cattle groups, not government, behind e.coli research

Peter Shinn

Brownfield Network

In the lead front-page article of its latest Sunday edition, the Des Moines Register reported that the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska, is conducting research to determine the impact, if any, of feeding ethanol co-products on the levels of e. coli 0157:H7 found in cattle. The article said the government had decided to conduct the research because of last year’s wave of e. coli-related ground beef recalls.

But Dr. Mohammed Koohmaraie, who directs the MARC, told Brownfield that is not the case. According to Koohmaraie, the research is actually the brainchild of corn and beef industry groups.

“The Nebraska Corn Board made the commitment that they will not only give us some funding to do the experiment, but they’ll also find a source of dry distillers’ grains (DDG) for us,” Koohmaraie explained. “And then the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association at the same time contacted us to see what we can do to join forces to do a pretty long and pretty detailed study about this very important subject.”


Crop Residues for Livestock Feed

Crop Residues for Livestock Feed

by J.F. Shanahan, D.H. Smith, T.L. Stanton and B.E. Horn 1 1

Colorado State University

Quick Facts…

    * Corn, sorghum, and sugar beet residues are some of the highest quality residues and provide an excellent feed source for gestating beef cows, when supplemented.

    * Cereal grain residues generally are low quality and probably best used after treatment with anhydrous ammonia.

    * Due to their low energy value, maximum use of residues is with feeding programs designed for maintenance of animals rather than weight gain.

    * Maintenance of minimal amounts of residue in the field is important to provide soil erosion control.

Large amounts of crop residues are produced annually in Colorado. Crop residue is the portion of the harvested crop that remains after the grain or marketable portion of the plant is removed. The most common is cereal grain straw from wheat, barley and rye, followed by corn stalks, grain sorghum residue and sugar beet tops. Dry bean and other crop residue are of lesser importance.


February Beef Management Calendar

February Beef Management Calendar

Dr. John B. Hall, Extension Beef Specialist, VA Tech

Spring Calving Herds

    * Have all calving supplies on hand and review calving assistance procedures

    * Move pregnant heifers and early calving cows to calving area about 2 weeks before due date

    * Begin calving late in month (some herds)

    * Check cows 3 to 4 times per day, heifers more often – assist early if needed

    * Keep calving area clean and well drained, move healthy pairs out to large pastures 3 days after calving

    * Ear tag and dehorn all calves at birth; castrate male calves in commercial herds


Hereford Bull Values at $245,000 Topps National Western Sales

Hereford Bull Values at $245,000 Topps National Western Sales

Cattle Today

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Deemed as one of the greatest events in 30 years, The Mile High Night National Hereford Sale was the talk of Denver, posting the highest selling bull and highest average of the National Western Stock Show (NWSS), grossing $533,950 and averaging $25,426. Spirited bidding throughout the sale on Jan.18 proved to a packed crowd that the Hereford offering was filled with high-quality, real-world cattle. When Eddie Sims, National Cattle Services Inc., silenced the gavel for the final time, six bulls averaged $52,808 and 15 females commanded $14,473 per female.


Cattle on stage at (Black Hills) Stock Show

Cattle on stage at (Black Hills) Stock Show


For many beef producers, the Rushmore Hall inside the Civic Center becomes a second home during the ten days of the Stock Show. During the Charolais show Tuesday, sellers spent much of their time grooming their prized cattle to get them ready to sell. But is all this maintenance worth the final bid in the sale ring? Troy Thomas, a partner of the Thomas Ranch out of Harrold, says cattle prices this year are actually similar to last year’s, but other costs are bringing the industry down for beef producers.


Cattle truck blown off the road

Cattle truck blown off the road


 Arkansas City Traveler

A tractor-trailer hauling live cattle to the Creekstone Farms Premium Beef plant was blown off the road late this morning during a snow storm. The rig overturned in a ditch on the south side of U.S. 160 east of Oxford.

“A gust of wind blew it off the road,” said Cowley County Sheriff Bob Odell.

The driver was pinned in the truck cab and was extricated by emergency workers, Odell said. He was transported to William Newton Hospital with “mainly bruises.”


Cattle truck blown off the road


 Arkansas City Traveler

A tractor-trailer hauling live cattle to the Creekstone Farms Premium Beef plant was blown off the road late this morning during a snow storm. The rig overturned in a ditch on the south side of U.S. 160 east of Oxford.

“A gust of wind blew it off the road,” said Cowley County Sheriff Bob Odell.

The driver was pinned in the truck cab and was extricated by emergency workers, Odell said. He was transported to William Newton Hospital with “mainly bruises.”


Allendale anticipating smaller calf crop

Allendale anticipating smaller calf crop

John Perkins

Brownfield Netwrok

The United States Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release quarterly cattle inventory figures Friday, February 1 at 2 PM Central.

Ahead of the report, private analytical firm Allendale Inc. sees a “hold” on herd expansion due to concerns over moisture levels, high hay prices and worries over calf prices. In fact, Allendale expects the numbers to show 2007 as having the smallest calf crop since 1951. Most categories are expected to see year to year declines.


Many factors affect Kansas beef market

Many factors affect Kansas beef market

Bobbi Mlynar

Emporia Gazette

No single factor caused a shortage of finished cattle for slaughter in Kansas — and there is no solitary solution to correct it.

“There are a whole host of factors that are affecting the industry right now,” said Todd Domer, vice president of communications for the Kansas Livestock Association. “They all go back to, we have a smaller cow herd and are producing fewer cattle than we have in years past.”

A variety of conditions contributed to that situation, he said.