Daily Archives: February 27, 2008

All Feeders Not Equal

All Feeders Not Equal

Ed Haag

Angus Journal

Dan Buskirk, Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University (MSU), is not a person to leave questions unanswered if he can help it. So, when one of his school’s livestock educators commented that he had observed marked differences in the effectiveness of various types of round bale feeders at controlling waste, Buskirk decided to look into the matter.

“First, I did an extensive lit[erature] review, because I was sure that somebody has looked at this,” he says. “My conclusion was that if someone had done an evaluation they hadn’t documented it.”


The Importance of Colostrum for Calves – FAQs

The Importance of Colostrum for Calves – FAQs


Colostrum intake is critical for a newborn calf, as its immune system is not fully developed when born. The calf must rely on colostrum from its mother until its own immune system is developed at 1 to 2 months of age. Colostrum contains antibodies or immunoglobulins (essential proteins) necessary to provide the calf with protection from disease. This immunity that the calf receives is known as passive immunity.

How much colostrum does a calf need?

Generally a calf should receive 5 to 6 % of its body weight as colostrum within the first six hours of life, and another 5 to 6 % of its body weight when the calf is 12 hours old. Colostrum weighs about 8 lbs per (US) gallon or 10 pounds (Imperial gallon), therefore an 80 lb calf would require 4 lbs of colostrums per feeding.


Research Shows Ways to Enhance Beef Tenderness

Research Shows Ways to Enhance Beef Tenderness

Cattle Today

The components of “taste” that determine just how satisfying it is to eat beef are flavor, juiciness and tenderness. But tenderness has been identified as the first and most important of the three among U.S. beef consumers, according to a new beef checkoff-funded report.

Colorado State University meat scientists Gary Smith, Ph.D., J. Daryl Tatum, Ph.D., Keith Belk, Ph.D., and John Scanga, Ph.D., recently completed an executive summary titled Post-Harvest Practices for Enhancing Beef Tenderness as a companion piece to the 2007 Pre-Harvest Cattle Management Practices checkoff-funded report.


Illinois Beef Expo to get refund

Illinois Beef Expo to get refund

State gives back $13,140 because of electrical problems at fairgrounds



The state has agreed to refund more than $13,000 in facilities charges after electrical problems at the Illinois State Fairgrounds forced relocation of the annual Illinois Beef Expo to the convention center in Bloomington.

But the bigger issue was finding space for 10,000 to 12,000 participants, and about 1,000 animals, on short notice.

“Many of these people have planned for a year to genetically get their animals ready to sell. We didn’t feel like we had the option to just to cancel the event,” said Maralee Johnson, executive vice president of the 1,800-member association.

(Ed. Note Illinois Beef expo schedule at end of article)


Schwab optimistic US can reopen beef export markets

Schwab optimistic US can reopen beef export markets


WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – The United States is optimistic that beef exporters will resume shipments to key countries that banned U.S. beef after mad cow disease was found in 2003, but progress to reopen these markets is “taking longer than expected,” the top U.S. trade official said on Monday.

Beef shipments from the United States were virtually halted after it found its first case of mad cow disease in December 2003.

Since then, U.S. beef sales have been edging higher, but not quickly enough for the administration or for the beef industry, which complains of age restrictions and inflexible import rules. The Agriculture Department has estimated U.S. beef exports in 2008 will rise by 270 million lbs to 1.7 billion lbs — still far below the 2.5 billion lbs recorded just five years ago.


Telling the true story of beef production

Telling the true story of beef production

Jim Maxey

California Farm Bureau

On Feb. 17 the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., a Chino establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 143 million pounds of beef products produced since February 2006 because evidence shows they were produced in non-compliance with FSIS regulations.

This beef recall is the largest in industry history. It is important for consumers to understand the nature of the recall and its designation as Class II. The possibility of adverse health effects from consuming beef included within the recall is extremely remote. The recall was issued in an abundance of caution and only as a precautionary measure.


Ethanol Impact on Price of Corn

Ethanol Impact on Price of Corn

Prices on Other Crops Going Up As Well

Brian Flores


The u-s government has alloted between 30 to 40 percent of corn production to go toward ethanol production. Growers say because of that, not only will the price of corn go up, but so will beef prices because corn is used to feed much of the nation’s cattle. And they also say it will be a trickle-down effect for other crops as well.


Cattle growers, retailers have a stake in safety of food and recalls

Cattle growers, retailers have a stake in safety of food and recalls

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Retailers have a stake in food safety and what happens with the nation’s largest-ever beef recall, say four area businesses.

Tom Heinen, co-owner of Heinen’s Fine Foods, the Cleveland-based, 17-store chain of supermarkets, says representatives from his stores make periodic visits to the sources of their beef, which they market as free of antibiotics and hormones.

“We look at how they treat their animals as well as process [them],” says Heinen. Heinen’s does not purchase from Westland/Hallmark, the California-based company involved in the most recent recall, but from smaller processors: Meyer Natural Angus of Helmville, Mont., and PM Beef of Windom, Minn.


Humane Society Criticized in Meat Quality Scandal

Humane Society Criticized in Meat Quality Scandal


The New York Times

As the meat industry scrambles to recover from a public-relations disaster over an undercover video of abused cattle, the secretary of agriculture and at least one congressman have picked an unlikely target to share in the blame: the Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society shot the video of what appear to be sick or lame cattle being forced to their feet with forklifts, hoses and electric prods at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company in Chino, Calif., in October and November.


Budget leaves farmers fuming

Budget leaves farmers fuming

Corzine’s plan to ax Department of Agriculture opposed.

By Trish G. Graber and Andrea Eilenberger

The Express-Times

Gov. Jon S. Corzine proposed eliminating the state Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, part of a cost-cutting spending plan he dubbed a “cold turkey” budget.

No matter what you call it, the austere budget left a bad taste in the mouths of farmers.

“I think he’s going to start a tractor and truck rebellion on Trenton,” said Warren County Freeholder Rick Gardner, who is also a Franklin Township farmer.

Gardner, a Republican, said the move shows a complete lack of knowledge on the part of Corzine and his advisers.

“There are hundreds of questions here, and Gov. Corzine is not going to be able to answer them appropriately,” Gardner said.


Positive Minnesota tests confirm TB fears

Positive Minnesota tests confirm TB fears

John Odermann

The Dickinson Press

Tests conducted in Minnesota confirmed the fears of wildlife management officials and those in the beef cattle industry that Tuberculosis is most likely in that state to stay.

In response, the North Dakota Board of Animal Health voted Feb. 22 for new regulations to be implemented regarding animals crossing the border


Researchers Collaborate to Find New Vaccine Technology Decreases E. coli in Beef Cattle

Researchers Collaborate to Find New Vaccine Technology Decreases E. coli in Beef Cattle


Despite millions of dollars spent on food safety research over the last 10 years, ground beef recalls due to E. coli O157:H7 were higher in 2007 than in 2006, according to researchers from Kansas State University and West Texas A&M University. E. coli O157:H7 has been linked to foodborne illnesses in humans after consuming contaminated beef and produce.

“We have been studying the effects of a novel vaccine technology to make beef safer,” said Dr. Dan Thomson, an associate professor at Kansas State University.

Thomson worked with Dr. Guy Loneragan, West Texas A&M University, and Dr. T.G. Nagaraja, of K-State, to examine the effects of this vaccine on its ability to decrease E. coli shedding in beef cattle.


Cattle Expert Predicts Industry Will Pay for Recent Recall

Cattle Expert Predicts Industry Will Pay for Recent Recall

By Jeff Mulhollem, PSU Ag Sciences

PA Farm News

The entire beef industry will pay a steep price for the abuse of sick and injured animals at a Southern California meat-packing plant that led to a record recall of beef last week, according to an expert in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

“But the end result may be that an already-safe meat-production system becomes even safer,” says John Comerford, associate professor of dairy and animal science and coordinator of beef programs at the university. “This unfortunate incident is being used to indict the entire beef industry, and that is too bad,”


Shortage of vets most troubling in rural areas

Shortage of vets most troubling in rural areas

Kansas City Star

Rural counties in Missouri, Kansas and elsewhere are in desperate need of a veterinarian. Some areas have more than 25,000 food-supply animals and zero veterinarians.

Gregory Hammer thinks the nation is leaving key watch posts unguarded.

“We are at a critical shortage of veterinarians in this country,” Hammer, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, said during a visit to Kansas City last week.

What do veterinarians have to do with defending the country?

They’re the first line of defense for rapidly emerging animal diseases that can also affect people.

These zoonotic diseases include avian flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which is known more commonly as mad cow disease.


Canada Says Alberta Dairy Cow Is 12th Mad-Cow Case

Canada Says Alberta Dairy Cow Is 12th Mad-Cow Case

Daniel Enoch


Canada confirmed its 12th case of mad-cow disease in an animal born about five years after the nation banned some feed ingredients to halt the spread of the brain-wasting illness.

The sick animal was a six-year-old dairy cow from Alberta, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said today in a statement on its Web site. Canada and the U.S. in 1997 banned the use of cattle feed containing ground-up cattle tissue, which scientists say is the way most animals contract the disease.