Daily Archives: March 28, 2008

Finish Weights Affect Feedlot Value

Finish Weights Affect Feedlot Value

Angus Journal

Every Angus breeder should have a good understanding of cattle-feeding economics. Breeders who market bulls to commercial cattlemen are providing important genetic inputs for the production of our industry’s feedlot-finished steers and heifers. There is, of course, only one generation between the bulls you sell and the feeder calves your customer sends into the beef supply chain.


Managing the Dystocia Calf

Managing the Dystocia Calf

By Geni Wren


Dystocia is defined as delayed or difficult parturition. General causes are fetal-maternal size mismatch, fetal malpresentation and maternal-related causes. Meyers et al reported that 50% of still-births were a direct result of dystocia. A slight calving problem increased the odds of stillbirth by 2.91 in heifers and 4.67 in multi-parous cows. More difficult calvings caused a stillborn in heifers to be 6.76 times more likely and 11.36 times more likely in multiparous cows. In 1996, Wells et al reported that a dystocia requiring forced extraction, compared with unassisted calving, was 4.22 times more likely to result in heifer-calf death within the first 21 days of life.


Trent Loos: Ending of an era

Trent Loos: Ending of an era

High Plains Journal

Labeling it the “Ending of an Era,” on April 11, the final livestock sale will be held at the South Saint Paul Stockyards in Minnesota. No one in agriculture, whether in livestock production or otherwise, can hear about this without feeling some level of regret. Originally built in 1886, the stockyards once covered 260 acres and today consists of a mere 27. Farmers who now use the facility must deal with suburban America in order to make their way to the market destination. You can understand why it makes sense to close such a historic part of American livestock history from a logistical standpoint.


No Humanity in Humane Slaughter Law

No Humanity in Humane Slaughter Law


With meat recalls due to bacterial contamination and the horrific handling and slaughtering of downer cows making headlines in recent months, consumers are increasingly aware of some of the problems occurring behind slaughterhouse doors.

But new documentation reveals how dire the situation really is. The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has released the first report of its kind to analyze humane slaughter enforcement at state, federal and foreign slaughterhouses.

Drawing from over 1,000 documents obtained from sources including 60 public records requests to federal and state agriculture departments from 2002 to 2007, the report exposes the lack of sound enforcement at plants throughout the United States and across the globe.


The Best Place to Feed Cattle: The Economics of Feeding Cattle in the Northern Plains†

The Best Place to Feed Cattle: The Economics of Feeding Cattle in the Northern Plains†

 Darrell R. Mark‡


Prior to the 1970s, Iowa ranked first in the number of cattle on feed (see slide 2).  Since then, the commercial cattle feeding industry grew rapidly in Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska.  Southern Plains (Texas and Kansas) cattle feeding in particular grew due to improved feeding performance resulting from more favorable weather and lower energy costs for steam flaking corn.  These advantages were sufficient to offset transportation costs for relatively inexpensive corn imported from the Corn Belt.  As corn prices reach sustained higher levels due to ethanol production in the Corn Belt and cattle feeders can utilize distillers grains as a value-added feed, the competitive advantage of Southern Plains feeders has, to some degree, been eroded.  The extent to which a structural change occurs and cattle on feed numbers appreciably grow in the Northern Plains will depend on several factors, especially cost of gain and feeding performance.


USDA Renews Fight to Eliminate Johne’s Disease

USDA Renews Fight to Eliminate Johne’s Disease


The USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) has renewed its efforts against Johne’s Disease by awarding $4.8 million over four years to a programme designed to control and eradicate the disease.

“Johne’s is a serious disease affecting large numbers of beef and dairy cattle and accounts for more than $200 million in economic losses,” said Gale Buchanan, USDA under secretary for Research, Education and Economics. “The continuation of this research will help develop practical solutions to ensure a safe and healthy food supply and stable economy.”

The continuation of this research will help develop practical solutions to ensure a safe and healthy food supply and stable economy.

Johne’s disease (pronounced “YO-knees”) is an intestinal infection caused by bacteria most often seen in ruminant animals. It causes weight loss, decreased milk production and reduced fertility. Current estimates indicate that up to 70 percent of U.S. dairy herds, and a smaller percent of beef herds, are infected with the disease.


Customize Your Breeding Program

Customize Your Breeding Program

Mel DeJarnette, Select Sires Reproduction Specialist

Prostaglandin based breeding programs are known by many names. “Controlled Breeding”, “Target Breeding”, and “Monday Morning Breeding” are the more popular names with which you may be familiar. Although known by many names, don’t let that confuse you. The foundation of all these programs is a common basic principle which involves the systematic use of prostaglandins to improve reproductive efficiency in dairy herds.


Keep Certain Strategies in Mind During and IRS Audit

Keep Certain Strategies in Mind During and IRS Audit

by: John Alan Cohan, Attorney at Law

Cattle Today

The IRS continues to give significant scrutiny to sole proprietorships filing as Schedule C businesses in the horse, livestock and farming industries where there is a history of losses. The concern of the IRS is that these taxpayers are engaged in a hobby, not a business, and that they should not be allowed to take tax deductions to offset their principal source of income. People who are being audited by the IRS in connection with these activities should have in mind certain strategies. The principal issue is whether losses in the venture are deductible or whether they are hobby losses which are not deductible.


More Than 70 Groups Sign Letter to DOJ on JBS Deal

More Than 70 Groups Sign Letter to DOJ on JBS Deal

R-CALF USA has made its concerns about the plans of Brazilian-owned JBS to purchase National Beef – Smithfield Beef Company and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding. Now more than 70 other groups have joined with R-CALF to sign a letter urging the Department of Justice to consider blocking the deal. According to the letter – the JBS purchase would harm price, choice, innovation and competition in the beef industry.


JBS addresses R-CALF concerns about acquisitions

JBS addresses R-CALF concerns about acquisitions

Meat and Poultry

GREELEY, COLO. ― JBS Swift & Co. officials want to establish a dialogue with beef producer groups claiming its planned acquisitions of National Beef Packing, Smithfield Foods’ beef operations and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding would have a negative impact on U.S. cattle producers and beef consumers, said Chandler Keys, vice president of government and industry relations.


What’s a supplement to do?

What’s a supplement to do?

by Rick Rasby

Angus Journal

When determining supplementation programs for cattle consuming low-quality forages, it is important to understand how different feeds might react with each other when fed together. Some feeds complement one another and would have a “positive associative” effect when fed together. Some feeds, on the other hand, when fed together don’t complement one another and, therefore, would have a “negative associative” effect.


Eating for Two

Eating for Two

By John Maday

For the first few months after breeding, you can’t tell by looking whether a cow is pregnant. After 60 days, the fetus is only about 2.5 inches long. Skilled palpators can detect a cow’s pregnancy 30 days after breeding, but most check after 90 days, when pregnancy becomes more apparent.

The cow’s body, however, recognizes its pregnancy soon after breeding and undergoes dramatic changes. Within just a few weeks, the placenta that will supply the growing fetus its nutrients and oxygen through gestation is forming rapidly. The tiny fetus doesn’t eat much at this stage, but it is beginning to develop its organs, and its support system is critical.

And as the cow develops that support system, research increasingly shows that her nutrition can affect, positively or negatively, the health and performance of the calf long after its birth.


Warning for Cattle Farmers After Flooding

Warning for Cattle Farmers After Flooding

KARK 4 News

Floodwaters may be making potentially deadly deliveries to Arkansas cattle: disease-causing spores and parasites.

“When the soil is disturbed, such as in a flood, cattle can ingest the spores and possibly contract one of the diseases,” said Dr. Tom Troxel, extension animal science professor/associate department head-animal science with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Flooding can uncover and move blackleg and anthrax spores. Blackleg hits cattle between the ages of six months and two years. If the cattle aren’t vaccinated, the disease is nearly 100 percent fatal.


Seedstock Merchandising 101

Seedstock Merchandising 101


Getting an opportunity to learn firsthand how to put-on a cattle sale is a rare undertaking, especially in college. It’s one Toby Pollock, a senior Animal Science major at Colorado State University, thought would be important experience. The 10 seedstock merchandising team members take on the tasks of fitting the cattle, taking the pictures for the sale catalog, contacting past and potential buyers about the 32nd Annual Bull Sale. Pollock believes experience will help him beyond his college days.


Meadowsweet Farm: It’s a grass, grass, grass

Meadowsweet Farm: It’s a grass, grass, grass

Ethan Andrews

Waldo County Citizen

SWANVILLE (March 28): Imagine that beef was low in saturated fat, high in Omega 3 fatty acids (healthy fats prevalent in fish oil), farmed in a way that was humane to the animals, and didn’t require an external grain supply or produce pollution from manure.