Daily Archives: March 18, 2008

Baxter Black: Pickin’ On the Plains Again

Baxter Black:  Pickin’ On the Plains Again

 “It’s so quiet here. The air is clear. There’s no trash along the highway? I can’t smell carbon monoxide fumes in the air. People are friendly…there must be something wrong?”

Once again the plains have been visited by big city reporters and found it…what? Beautiful, natural? Vibrant? Addictive? No. The National Geographic magazine came to North Dakota and found it…empty.

Why is it that the Indians, the settlers, Teddy Roosevelt and the mayor of Valley City ever came and stayed? Is it possible that they like it the way it is?

Imagine the headquarters of the National Geographic magazine on 17th Street, Washington, DC. It’s in the middle of a big city with hundreds of employees in the building, each with an average cubicle of the size of a pickup bed, where they sit in front of a computer screen 75% of their waking life. They commute a couple hours a day, they live with the constant tension of deadlines, stop and go traffic, pollution allergies, acid reflux and the barrage of no holds barred – fast breaking – right after this – jet engine decibel – talk show, infotainment typhoon television and radio!


Timed AI systems offer producers flexibility, consistency

Timed AI systems offer producers flexibility, consistency

Western Livestock Journal

While estrous synchronization and artificial insemination (AI) have been available to producers for over 30 years, recent advancements and refinements of estrous synchronization procedures have made it a more commercial-friendly practice. The time and labor necessary to AI cows using heat detection is fine for many seedstock operations, but many cow/calf operators, especially those with large herds, find the practice cumbersome and expensive.

Synchronizing a cowherd has a number of advantages, including the potential to shorten the calving window and increase calf uniformity. AI offers producers the opportunity to infuse high quality genetics at costs much lower than purchasing a similar quality herd sire, but many ranchers still balk at the idea. AI and estrous synchronization may be the two most important and widely applicable reproductive technologies available to producers, but many have been slow to adopt the practices.


Summary of Electronic Animal Identification Systems at Livestock Auction Markets: Adoption Rates, Costs, Opportunities, and Perceptions

Summary of Electronic Animal Identification Systems at Livestock Auction Markets: Adoption Rates, Costs, Opportunities, and Perceptions

Kansas State University

Buyers and sellers of livestock come together at livestock auction markets to discover prices in a public setting. Livestock markets may differentiate themselves by offering electronic individual animal identification and tracking services to their customers. Programs such as the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), marketing alliances, and verification programs are leading to increased use of animal identification systems. Livestock markets are a primary industry sector where animal movement and identification information can be recorded.


Important to Keep Cattle Healthy and Productive

Important to Keep Cattle Healthy and Productive

Steven B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS

Cattle Today

Part 2

In the previous issue we began a discussion of the relationships between health and nutrition. For years we have known that health and nutrition are “joined at the hip.” The presence of adequate or inadequate levels of any of the nutrients can have serious effects on the overall health of the cow or calf. Similarly health conditions such as disease can likewise affect nutrition, especially the animal’s ability to absorb and/or metabolize many of the nutrients. In recent years, research and practice has emphasized the effect of numerous nutritionally based compounds to enhance health in cattle on a number of levels. A relatively new term, “nutriceutical,” has been coined to describe any number of assorted nutrients, compounds and products which can stimulate immune response in the animal or seem to have a sort of therapeutic or direct health effect.


Limiting Nighttime Calving – Frequently Asked Questions

Limiting Nighttime Calving – Frequently Asked Questions


Calf mortality at calving time is reduced significantly with frequent checking of the herd. This supervision is becoming more important with the increasing number of calves with larger birth weights. Therefore it is important to try to calve during the daytime hours when supervision and assistance is most effective.

Can you change the time of day that cattle calve?

Merely changing the feeding time can change the time of calving. Feeding cows at night is the easiest and most practical method of reducing the number of night calvings.


Bale or buy?: Farmers, experts offer tips on hay

Bale or buy?: Farmers, experts offer tips on hay

Mike Surbrugg

Joplin Globe

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Experience has taught Gene Brockus that no two years are alike when it comes to knowing how much hay his cows need.

To that end, the St. Clair County farmer keeps a two-year supply of hay on hand to get him through thick and thin years, he said.

Brockus was among those at a forage conference in Springfield on Feb. 26 for a session comparing buying and baling hay.

Justin Sexton, University of Missouri Extension beef nutritionist, said the nutritional value of hay can be the same regardless of where it is baled. Nutrition can only decline after hay has been harvested, he said.


Bill introduced to shut down facilities that repeatedly slaughter downers

Bill introduced to shut down facilities that repeatedly slaughter downers

Ag Professional

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced legislation Thursday that would shut down slaughter facilities that repeatedly process downed animals and offer stiff fines and temporary one-year shutdowns for first- and second-time violators.

The bill, which is co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), will give the USDA additional authority to apply a tough penalty system on facilities that violate the law when it comes to handling nonambulatory animals, including stiff fines for first time offenders and temporary or permanent facility shutdowns for repeat violators. Nonambulatory is defined as those animals that cannot stand or walk without assistance.

“Animals that are sick and too weak to stand or walk on their own should not be slaughtered and used for food,” Senator Feinstein said. “Millions of pounds of potentially tainted, recalled meat made its way into school cafeterias across this country. Companies responsible for this kind of activity shouldn’t just receive a slap on the wrist. The safety of our food supply cannot be taken lightly.