Daily Archives: February 15, 2008

Application of Ultrasound for Genetic Improvement in Beef Cattle

Application of Ultrasound for Genetic Improvement in Beef Cattle

Iowa State University

 Real-time ultrasound offers beef producers a means to make genetic improvement in body composition traits. Ultrasound data is useful in identifying animals that are superior or inferior for a particular trait of interest. Breed averages can be useful for characterizing a specific breed for body composition traits and how those traits may be incorporated into a crossbreeding program to complement each other. Collecting ultrasound data is also a much cheaper and more efficient means of evaluating carcass traits on breeding animals relative to progeny testing and carcass data collection. Current research at ISU is investigating the potential for using a combination of ultrasound and carcass data to be used in carcass EPD calculation.


Did Synchronizing Cows Just Get Simpler?

Did Synchronizing Cows Just Get Simpler?

By Mel DeJarnette, reproduction specialist, Select Sires

Catching cows in heat has never been an easy job, but in today’s large, high-producing dairies, it sometimes seems all but impossible. To combat these estrous-detection problems, researchers have developed even more sophisticated methods of synchronizing cows for fixed-time A.I. in the absence of observed estrus. However, with each new step and improvement often comes increased expense and complexity. The “hassle factor” of some protocols is often simply too great for the herd management to implement. This may result in producers “tweaking” the protocol into a system that the management can “handle” or failure to implement any protocol at all. Either option likely results in less-than-optimal reproductive performance.


TSCRA: School For Successful Ranching

TSCRA: School For Successful Ranching


Participants in Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s 2008 School For Successful Ranching will have the opportunity to join the great debate and decide for themselves what’s in a name when it comes to generic versus name-brand herbicides.

Dr. Wayne Hanselka, professor of ecosystem science and management at Texas A&M University and range specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will lead a session on herbicides designed and labeled for rangeland use at the school, to be held March 14-15 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.


Tennessee Beef Agribition Features Best, Latest in Cattle Industry

Tennessee Beef Agribition Features Best, Latest in Cattle Industry


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One of the largest cattle exhibitions, sales and tradeshows in the Southeast will be held in Murfreesboro, Mar. 7 – 9 at Middle Tennessee State University’s Tennessee Livestock Center.

The Tennessee Beef Agribition will feature new products and the latest information with a focus on the future of the cattle industry.  The annual three day cattle show and sale event also includes a tradeshow that will be held Mar. 7 – 8, and a Junior Show that will be held Mar. 9.

“This year’s show again will provide information to producers on how to qualify for cattle genetic and handling equipment cost share assistance through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program,” said Charles Hord, livestock marketing specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.  “The show is also great way for producers to find out the latest trends and opportunities in the cattle industry.”


Selection For Scrotal Circumference Should Not Influence Carcass Traits

Selection For Scrotal Circumference Should Not Influence Carcass Traits


Several segments of the cattle industry are interested in finding management techniques that will increase the percentage of cattle that grade Choice.  Cattle breeders have recently questioned whether selection for scrotal circumference of bulls has an adverse impact on carcass traits of the calves they sired.  A Kansas State University study specifically looked at relationships between scrotal circumference of Angus sires with ultrasound predictions of important carcass traits in the calves that these bulls sired.  The American Angus Association provided expected progeny differences (EPD) for 290 Angus sires and performance records from 332,162 progeny of these sires and their contemporaries.  The Kansas State University scientists calculated the correlations between ultrasound intramuscular fat EPD, carcass marbling score EPD, and yearling scrotal circumference EPD in Angus cattle.


International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare May 28-30 at K-State

International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare May 28-30 at K-State

K-State Beef Cattle Institute

Animal welfare is one of the fastest growing concerns among consumers throughout the country, according to Dr. Dan Thomson, a Kansas State University veterinarian and expert on the impact of beef cattle production practices on cattle well-being and health.

The Beef Cattle Institute at K-State will conduct an International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare, May 28-30, on the K-State campus.

“The symposium is designed to provide a venue in which all stakeholders in beef cattle production can meet and discuss the many welfare-related topics concerning the raising, feeding and harvesting of beef cattle,” Thomson said.


Diseases: Bovine Tuberculosis

Diseases:  Bovine Tuberculosis

Iowa State University

Bovine tuberculosis is a significant zoonosis that can spread to humans through aerosols and by ingestion of raw milk. In developed countries, eradication efforts have significantly reduced the prevalence of this disease, but reservoirs in wildlife make complete eradication difficult. Bovine tuberculosis is still common in less developed countries, and economic losses can occur in cattle and African buffalo from deaths, chronic disease, and trade restrictions. Infections may also be a serious threat to endangered species.


News Anchor Favors Heirloom Cows

News Anchor Favors Heirloom Cows

Nina Barrett

Chicago Public Radio

For decades, one Chicago news personality fed us our nightly news. Now, he wants to feed us dinner in the form of grass-fed beef.

The cows of my youth had a very different lifestyle from today’s cows.

CHILD SINGING: Oh, the cow eats grass with a munch, munch, munch/And she eats it for breakfast and for lunch, lunch, lunch.

 In rural Connecticut, at least, they weren’t yet penned up in feedlots, fattening on growth hormones, grain, and antibiotics, contributing their flatulence to global warming. The meat from these cattle tasted different from the beef you get in today’s supermarket. And now grass-fed beef is starting to make a comeback. Call it, if you like, a  mooovement. And it’s found one of its most passionate spokespersons in a voice that most Chicagoans will surely find familiar.


Lice on Beef Cattle

Lice on Beef Cattle

D. E. Mock, Department of Entomology, Kansas State University

Iowa Beef Center

Lice are primarily a winter problem. Direct sunshine, rain and self-grooming keep louse numbers low in the thin summer-hair coat of cattle that are pastured in the open. Cattle lice are small, but they occur by the thousands, or even tens of thousands, on infested cattle. The economic impact of cattle lice is highly variable and does not always correlate with the apparent severity of infestation. Biting and feeding activity of lice irritate cattle, and the irritation intensifies with increasing numbers of lice.


Managing Cattle Energy Supply On Forage-Based Diets

Managing Cattle Energy Supply On Forage-Based Diets


Beef cows, being ruminants, utilize Volatile Fatty Acids (VFA’s) as their primary internal energy supply. VFA are end-products of ruminal fermentation, released as the bacteria and protozoa in the rumen work to break down the feed the cow has consumed. That means her net energy supply is determined by a combination of how much she eats, how energy-dense that feed is (in other words, how much energy is stored in the feed, with the potential to be released during digestion), and how thoroughly the microbes are able to degrade/digest that feed. Digestion via rumen fermentation is actually the work of a complex eco-system, with multiple species of bacteria and protozoa completing specific steps in the process. Different microbes prefer different energy sources (for example, fiber vs. starch); some species serve a key role by converting the “intermediate” products released by other bacteria into the VFA’s utilized by the cow. The balance of microbial populations is determined by the substrate (diet) available. For example, the species make-up in the rumen of a feedlot steer will be very different than the microbial population in the rumen of a cow on corn stalks. And as conditions become more favorable for microbial growth and activity, these “bugs” are able to break down feed more completely and/or break down more total feed. This is the key to managing the cow’s energy supply.


Schering-Plough Animal Health Launches New Ultra Saber Pour-On Insecticide for Beef Cattle and Calves

Schering-Plough Animal Health Launches New Ultra Saber Pour-On Insecticide for Beef Cattle and Calves


Ultra Saber Provides U.S. Beef Producers with a New Standard of Pour-On Insecticide for Controlling Horn Flies, Lice

Kenilworth, NJ, February 15, 2008 –(PR.com)– Schering-Plough Animal Health Corporation has announced the release of Ultra Saber, a new pour-on insecticide that controls horn flies on beef cattle and calves. Ultra Saber is a new type of pour-on insecticide that contains 1 percent lambdacyhalothrin and 5 percent piperonyl butoxide, a synergist which improves insecticidal activity.


Scientists find way to scan for cloned meat

Scientists find way to scan for cloned meat

Peter Calamai

The Star

Did that steak come out of a test tube or from a feedlot? Did the chicken in that bucket have both a mother and father?

In other words, is someone trying to feed you meat from cloned animals?

Scientists said here yesterday that meats can be certified clone-free with DNA-tracking, a fast and cheap technique already used in some countries to certify beef and chicken as organic or hormone-free.


Beef Sire Selection

Beef Sire Selection

Brett Barham, Ph.D. Extension Livestock Specialist, University of Arkansas


Selecting a herd sire is one of the most important decisions a cow-calf producer makes. A herd bull contributes half the genetic makeup of his calves and plays an essential role in herd genetic improvement. The herd bull is the most important individual in a breeding herd. A cow or heifer typically produces one calf per year, while a mature herd bull may sire 25 or more calves per year. Thus, a herd sire may contribute more to the genetic makeup of the herd in one breeding season than a cow contributes in her lifetime. Selecting genetically superior bulls is the quickest path to herd genetic improvement. The value of a bull above slaughter value is his ability to sire live calves and transmit superior genetics to the herd.


Causes & Prevention of Calf Scours

Causes & Prevention of Calf Scours


The newborn calf has many challenges to face as it begins live on its own. The first of these challenges is a change in environment. If a calf can get beyond the challenge of finding its feet and finding mom’s teat, there is a good chance it will be able to handle life. However, some challenges won’t manifest themselves until later in the calf’s life. The first of these is enteric disease (scours).


New Veterinary Researcher Hired for AgriLife Center at Amarillo

New Veterinary Researcher Hired for AgriLife Center at Amarillo

Texas A&M University

Dr. Jason Osterstock is trained in infectious diseases of cattle, so he figured where better to get a job than the Texas Panhandle, the center of the beef cattle industry, he said.

Osterstock was recently hired to fill a newly created position in ruminant animal health for Texas AgriLife Research, said Dr. John Sweeten, resident director of the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Amarillo.