Questions raised about validity of video
Questions related to the validity of the video made public by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in late January were beginning to surface late last week.
Questions were being asked about why there were no cars in the parking lot and whether that could be an indication the video may have been staged on a Sunday, the only day of the week when the plant was closed. Likewise, there was the question of whether the two Westland employees may have been willing assistants in the making of the video rather than being caught in the act as has assumed to be the case.
Luis Sanchez, 32, who worked in the cattle pens at the plant, is charged with three misdemeanor counts of illegal movement of non-ambulatory animals and may receive up to three years in prison if convicted.
Genetics and immune function
Up to now, about the only way a cattleman could help his cattle develop a strong immune system was by vaccination. But information is growing that immune function and health may begin long before an animal is ready for vaccination, says Gordon Brumbaugh, a veterinarian with Pfizer Animal Health.
Livestock Farmers Face Long Winter
“I have some real concern for our cattle producers in that late winter is probably going to be an ugly time for us,” says Roy Burris, beef cattle specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. “It’s probably going to cost us 50% more to winter cattle this year than it normally does.”
If producers do not meet the nutritional needs of their cows, it will not only affect the 2008 calf crop but also the 2009 crop, because many of the cows in poor condition will not rebreed. Cattle with body condition scores (BCS) of 5 (on a 9-point scale) have rebreeding rates in the 90 percentile, while those with scores of 3 to 4 are only in the 51-76 percentile.
The next big thing in our increasingly global marketplace may be right next-door.
The sights, smells and colors of a summertime farmers market are as diverse and delightful as the locals who flock to them — both buyers and sellers. Fresh sweet corn, juicy ripe tomatoes, and plump sweet blackberries are perennial favorites sought out by loyal customers year after year. But more recently, a new generation of consumers has taken to seeking the highest quality, freshest foods available to them in the stands of area markets. And they want more than just veggies and berries. These enlightened consumers are seeking high-quality, locally produced, farm fresh meats; and they are willing to pay a premium to get what they want.
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More young cattle being fed in state
Arizona Daily Star
Arizona farms have 12 percent more cattle on feed for the slaughter market than a year ago, according to a February inventory of cattle from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Cattle on feed are young animals raised to be sold to other producers.
“Beef demand has been very good,” and unlike other areas of the country, “this is wonderful weather to feed cattle in, and there is plenty of capacity in packing plants,” said Bas Aja, executive vice president of the Arizona Cattle Feeders Association.
Cattle Farmers Pay Price for Ethanol Boom
National Public Radio
Morning Edition, March 4, 2008 · Record-high grain prices have been an economic boon for some Midwest farmers, but they’re causing headaches in the cattle and beef-packing industries. The higher cost of feed grain — which is driven by the growing demand for ethanol — is squeezing many small feedlots.
Objection to Increased Beef Imports from Argentina
Senators from Western ranching states, including North Dakota, are opposing a Department of Agriculture plan they say would loosen restrictions on beef and lamb imports from Argentina.
Argentina has seen outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals like cattle and pigs.
Peterson again backs mandatory national animal ID
A mandatory national animal identification system is coming, at least if House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson has anything to say about it. In perhaps one of the underreported stories of the National Farmers Union (NFU) convention, House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, in a phone call to NFU members gathered Sunday night in Las Vegas, that Congress is likely to impose a mandatory animal ID program after this year’s elections.
Peterson cited the recent bovine tuberculosis outbreak in Minnesota, and noted a similar recent outbreak in Michigan. Those examples, Peterson said, are why mandatory national animal ID is inevitable.
The Calving Season Management
Dr. W. Dee Whittier, Extension Veterinarian, Cattle, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, VA Tech
With many Virginia beef cows set to calve in the next few months, watching for and helping cows that have trouble becomes a special concern. Time spent watching for calving and appropriate help pays dividends in more live calves and healthier cows after calving.
How often should cows be observed? This question will have to be answered for each operation. Of course, heifers will merit more attention than cows. In the 1993 Cow/Calf Health and Productivity Audit producers reported assisting 18% of first calvers at birth but only 2.5% of cows.
National Survey Finds Pasteurella Increasing In Cattle
A new survey of U.S. veterinary diagnostic laboratories suggests the proportion of respiratory-related disease in cattle caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida may be rising.
Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex, the name veterinarians now call shipping fever, kills more than half of all the calves that die in U.S. feedlots, and costs producers half a billion dollars yearly, according to conservative estimates. A number of factors are involved in its characteristic lung damage, ranging from viruses to bacteria to parasites, but most veterinary researchers traditionally believed the bacterium Mannheimia haemolytica to be the most common bacterial cause. Until now, Pasteurella multocida has been considered a secondary, even minor, cause of feedlot respiratory disease.
Nebraska Beef Producers Elected
The Fence Post
Kearney, Neb. – Nebraska beef industry leaders J.D. Alexander and Craig Uden have been elected to national positions within the organizational structure that decides how beef checkoff dollars are invested at state and national levels. The two assumed the positions during the annual cattle industry convention last week in Reno, Nev.
Alexander, a feeder from Pilger, Neb., will serve a one-year term as the vice chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils. The Federation is an alliance of 45 state beef councils that officially collect the beef checkoff dollars that are later invested in state and national beef market development efforts.
JBS-Swift preps to buy Nos. 4 and 5 in beef packing industry
JBS-S.A., the parent company of JBS-Swift of Greeley, has shocked the beef industry not only in the United States but worldwide with a purchase that will be officially announced today.
“Wow,” was the reaction of Dick Monfort when told of the deal which involves three U.S. companies and one in Australia that JBS is buying for $1.7 billion. In July of last year, JBS bought the former Swift & Co. for almost $1.5 billion.
JBS-S.A. of San Paulo, Brazil, will announce its intentions to buy National Beef Co. of Kansas City, the Smithfield Beef Group and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, which is a joint venture of Smithfield Foods and ContiGroup and headquartered at Centerra in Loveland. In addition, JBS is buying the Tasman Group, the largest multi-species meat processor in Australia.
Texas Tightens Canada-Mexico Cattle Flow
The Texas agriculture commissioner on Tuesday prohibited certain Canadian cattle from crossing into Mexico through state facilities after learning that the U.S. had not approved allowing trade of some animals.
Reports first indicated the U.S. had signed off on an agreement between Canada and Mexico that permitted trading of specific dairy and beef cattle under 30 months old _ including breeding stock.
But Todd Staples, the state’s ag commissioner, learned that U.S. Department of Agriculture officials had not approved the deal.
Kobe beef — beyond prime
I’m following Alice Eshelman through a rural patchwork quilt of squares dotted with country cemeteries, barns and even Victorian-era manses to her Heritage Farms, located about six miles from Roanoke in Northeastern Indiana.
Eshelman is the type of woman who takes her food so seriously that she was excited when her husband, Pete, gave her 40 Angus cows impregnated by Wagyu bulls for her 50th birthday. No diamonds and Mediterranean cruises for this gal.
Tracing Beef Supply Is Hurdle for U.S.
Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Agriculture Department isn’t sure how many schools have been affected by the largest meat recall in the nation, and about 10% of the recalled beef still hasn’t been tracked down, an official told the House Education Committee.
While the department has worked with other agencies and groups on the recall, it has faced several challenges to track down the more than 50 million pounds of beef supplied to the National School Lunch Program from Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. in Chino, Calif., said Kate J. Houston, deputy undersecretary at USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. More schools may have bought beef from Hallmark/Westland commercially.