Monthly Archives: March 2008

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.


Bringing Home A Young Bull

Bringing Home A Young Bull

Michael Fisher

Area Extension Agent (Livestock), Colorado State University Extension, Golden Plains Area

It is that time of year when ranchers are traveling the countryside trying to get the bull power that they will need for the upcoming breeding season. In scanning the bull catalogs and sitting through some sales over the past few weeks I have begun to ask myself a question. Are there more yearling bulls on the market these days? That has been a gradual trend for several years now and it only makes sense that with this year’s higher feed costs that bull producers might consider it more economical to sell yearling bulls as opposed to feeding them out to be two year olds.

What does that mean to you, as a yearling bull buyer? For starters, the yearling bull may be less expensive to purchase than an older bull. Secondly, the purchase of a younger bull gives you the potential opportunity to get an extra calf crop out of this sire before his breeding abilities begin to decline around 5 or 6 years of age.

On the other hand, you have just invested in an immature sire that is going to need some special attention between now and breeding season. For that matter, that special attention is going to need to continue for the next year.


Beef Ambassadors Host Video Contest

Beef Ambassadors Host Video Contest

Where is your favorite place to enjoy delicious nutritious beef? How do you create your favorite burger or grill your favorite steak? Whether you enjoy beef at home, a friend’s house, or your favorite restaurant, the 2008 Beef Ambassadors want to enjoy it with you, so they’re launching a “More BEEF in More Places” video contest to bring out the best tips for beef lovers worldwide.


Beef scholarship ready for applicants

Beef scholarship ready for applicants

Tom Wray


Applications are being accepted for the W.D. Farr Scholarship program, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association announced on Tuesday.

Sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, the two $12,000 graduate scholarships will be awarded to students pursuing graduate degrees in animal science, environmental science or agriculture. All applications must be postmarked by April 30, 2008.


What’s Behind The Buzz On Condition Scoring?

What’s Behind The Buzz On Condition Scoring?

Everywhere you turn – magazines, Extension publications, web sites, even previous issues of this newsletter – the message is the same: use cow body condition scores (BCS) as your indicator of herd nutritional status, and as a tool to direct your feeding programs. Research comparing performance of cattle on different planes of nutrition repeatedly shows strong relationships between BCS and key production measures. Calf viability, preweaning weight gains, conception rate and calving interval are all tied to the amount of condition, or energy reserves, that a cow has been able to lay down. But why does this correlation exist?


Testing for TB

Testing for TB

Deer with bovine disease puts 3,000 animals at risk

Elizabeth Shaw

The Flint Journal

It was an unusual day, even for a family farm that’s seen plenty of memorable ones in nearly 150 years on the same 300-plus acres of rolling fields, pastures and barns.

Workers dressed in coveralls – armed with portable corrals, hand-held computers and medical test kits – descended on the Lee livestock feeding facility near Laingsburg this week to begin the first stage of testing for bovine tuberculosis. It’s the first time the farm has undergone the process.

The farm’s herd is one of nearly 160 livestock and dairy herds within a 10-mile radius declared a “Potential High-Risk Area” on Feb. 27 after a hunter’s deer tested positive for the serious bacterial disease. It is the southernmost location any Michigan deer has tested positive for bovine TB.


Storing & Feeding Colostrum

Storing & Feeding Colostrum

Milk produced within 72 to 96 hours after freshening cannot be marketed. During this period most dairy cows and heifers produce more milk than the calf needs. Frequently, 70 to 150 pounds of milk is available. If stored, it can be used to provide half or more of the milk needed to raise a heifer calf to weaning age.

Colostrum can be allowed to sour, stored for up to four weeks and fed to a calf after the calf has received several feedings of fresh colostrum from its dam. Success with this system depends on following some simple rules.


Weed management options in the spring

Weed management options in the spring

Brandon Sears

Richmond Register

Abnormal dry weather conditions during the 2007 growing season and the wet fall and winter months have resulted in grazed pastures and grass hay fields with areas that have bare soil and thin vegetative cover.

Fields with thin stands of desirable pasture species are more likely to contain winter annual weeds such as chickweed, henbit, purple deadnettle and mustard species. As these cool-season weeds die back, warm-season weeds will emerge and take their place. Other weeds such as buttercup and musk thistle are also likely to be more prevalent this spring.


Oats, Teff & Other Stuff

Oats, Teff & Other Stuff

As Vince Gill explained in the lyrics of one of his hits a few years ago, “Everybody’s ready for the next big thing!” Unfortunately, in the world of agriculture and Mother Nature, the next big thing is seldom what it seems at first glance. Depending on how quickly, how blindly, and how completely early adopters jump into that “next big thing” we’ve all been seeking, with regard to forage production this year, it’ll likely be either feast or famine. That being said, it brings me to the subject of oats, teff and other stuff!

With forage inventories in the Midwest depleted, and acres being attracted into more profitable row crops this spring, I’m hearing the next big thing in forages is oats, teff or even potentially a variety of other alternatives. This is where common sense, some basic practical management, and a logical look at our most immediate needs may result in a more profitable solution than simply accepting some of the sales pitches I’m hearing.


Grand Rapids-area farmer to lead beef producers’ group

Grand Rapids-area farmer to lead beef producers’ group


A Grand Rapids-area farmer will lead the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in 2009.

Gary Voogt will succeed Andy Groseta of Cottonwood, Ariz., as president.

Voogt is a retired engineering consultant with a ranch in Ottawa County’s Wright Township.

He was chosen president-elect at the cattle industry’s annual convention last month in Reno, Nev. He will become president at next year’s convention in Phoenix.


IMI Global Selected by Western Video Market Satellite Cattle Auctions as a Preferred Partner for Source and Age Verification

IMI Global Selected by Western Video Market Satellite Cattle Auctions as a Preferred Partner for Source and Age Verification


Integrated Management Information, Inc. (IMI Global) (OTCBB: INMG), a leading provider of verification and Internet solutions for the agricultural/livestock industry, today announced it has been selected by Western Video Market Satellite Cattle Auctions (WVM) as an option to provide age and source verification for eligible calves at WVM’s auctions. The new customer gives IMI Global the two largest satellite video auction companies in the nation, which together handle more than 75% of all video auction cattle.

WVM is the nation’s second largest provider of satellite video cattle auctions, selling nearly 500,000 head of cattle annually from 15 Western states. The largest provider has been an IMI Global customer since 2006. Together, these video auctions sell more than 2 million head of cattle annually via satellite auctions throughout the year.