Monthly Archives: April 2008

This Election Could Devastate the Cattle Industry

This Election Could Devastate the Cattle Industry

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

Don’t get excited, I’m not going to give you my opinion of the candidates or look at how they stand on issues important to the cattle industry and ag, in general. In fact, this year’s election, if nothing else, serves as a stark warning that ag and the livestock industry are simply not even on the radar screen of any presidential candidate or their party.

Certainly, exploding food prices are starting to be felt by consumers, but the response there has been disconcerting, as well. While riots over food prices have hit the streets of developing countries, and the United Nations and other groups are warning about catastrophes, the response has been different in the Washington Beltway.


What Catches the Eye of Cattle Buyers?

What Catches the Eye of Cattle Buyers?

Expert talks about market trends for cattlemen

ELDON COLE, Livestock specialist, MU Extension

Monett Times

Spring bull-buying season is ending and there have been lots of breeding stock sales offered in southwest Missouri. As a University of Missouri livestock Extension specialist, I always watch the ads and attend some of the sales. I find it fascinating what attracts buyers to a sale and more importantly, what entices them to bid once they settle into their seats.

After looking over a number of pre-sale ads in farm papers and breed magazines I believe most sellers of beef breeding stock have the same philosophy as the salesman in the musical The Music Man when it comes to promoting their cattle. You’ll recall from the musical that the Music Man’s saying was, “You’ve got to know the territory and you’ve got to have a gimmick.”


Baxter Black: MOOSE ROPING

Baxter Black: MOOSE ROPING

Most cowboys go to great lengths to keep from losing their rope. And yet that same cowboy might rope a freight train, a four-wheeler or a polar bear without a second thought. That thought, of course is, ‘How do I get my rope back?’

Randy and Roy were makin’ a final circle on a big ranch north of the Anaconda Mountains. They were down to tracking singles. One set of tracks lead them up a little canyon. The snow was a foot deep and the footprints were well-defined punctures in the snow, not the foot draggin’ bovine kind. It didn’t take them long to come upon a big cow moose idly scraping a spot in the shelter of a pine tree looking for a little nibble.


Cattle fatally shot in Utah’s Tooele County

Cattle fatally shot in Utah’s Tooele County


A Tooele County rancher says a shooting spree killed nine cows and a calf.

Martin Anderson says six beef cattle and a calf were killed by the shots. Three other cows had to be euthanized.

Anderson tells The Salt Lake Tribune it was a “sad sight” helpless calves were next to their dead mothers. He says the shootings occurred last week on public grazing land in Utah’s Skull



Foodservice Experts Agree Consumers Want Quality

Foodservice Experts Agree Consumers Want Quality

Cattle Today

A panel of foodservice experts recently agreed beef consumers want quality. That includes everything from meals to service to psychological impact. “Beef’s Steak in Foodservice” was part of the Pfizer-sponsored Cattlemen’s College at the February beef industry meetings in Reno, Nev.

As Jane Gibson, a National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) director, noted, “Foodservice is all food prepared away from home—takeout, dine-in or home delivery.” The category accounted for more than $8 billion in beef purchases last year, growing by more than five percent.


Effects of Age & Method Of Castration On Performance

Effects of Age & Method Of Castration On Performance

Why is it so important to evaluate the effects of age and method of castration?

Bull calves are castrated to reduce meat toughness, aggressive behavior, sexual interest and dark cutting. However, the process of castration can be stressful and can lead to weight loss and lowered growth performance. The age and method of castration has a significant impact on growth performance and stress response making it important to choose the right age and method.


Effects of Nutrition on Beef Cow Reproduction

Effects of Nutrition on Beef Cow Reproduction

Ropin’ the Web

The nutritional quality of feeds and forage can have a tremendous influence on the reproductive performance of cattle. Although reproductive failure may occur for several reasons, management and the environment are often important contributing factors. Part of the environment and management of any animal is nutrition.

Producers must be aware of daily changes in a cow’s feed requirements if they want to wean calves from at least 90 per cent of cows exposed to the bull. For instance, cows in the last third of pregnancy or those producing milk have special needs. If these needs are not met, reproduction is the first body function that is sacrificed.

This document describes the effect of deficiencies and imbalances of both macro and micro nutrients.


Tribbett Joins Staff of Certified Hereford Beef

Tribbett Joins Staff of Certified Hereford Beef

Cattle Today

Certified Hereford Beef® (CHB) LLC is excited to announce that Heidi Tribbett, Sterling, Colo., has been hired to assist with the Hereford Verified program.

In this position, Tribbett will help beef producers enrolling cattle in the program and send out carcass data once the animals have been harvested. She will also have the responsibility for managing the commercial Web-site listing that connects buyers and sellers of Hereford and Hereford cross feeder cattle.


2 beef processors cited for humane violations

2 beef processors cited for humane violations


A government inspection of slaughterhouses found significant problems with the treatment of cattle and two of the nation’s largest beef processors — both of which provide meat for the National School Lunch Program — were slapped with humane handling violations.

One of those companies’ violations was rescinded after the company appealed, The Associated Press has learned.

Audits by the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service resulted in “noncompliance” records to a National Beef Packing Co. plant in Dodge City, Kan., and a Cargill Meat Solutions plant in Fresno, Calif., according to information obtained by the AP under a Freedom of Information Act request.


Cattle Buyers Summit set for May 14-15

Cattle Buyers Summit set for May 14-15

Montana State University

BOZEMAN — A Cattle Buyers Summit for ranchers, cattle feeders, agricultural lenders and anyone who markets cattle will be held May 14-15 at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings.

“This program is intended for anyone who trades feeder cattle, fed cattle and non-fed beef animals,” said Clint Peck of Billings, director of Beef Quality Assurance programs for Montana State University. “Cattle buyers are a very important segment of our industry, and it’s our responsibility to keep them in the loop as to what we’re doing in Beef Quality Assurance programming.”

Tax Court Provides Forum to Dispute Tax Deficiencies

Tax Court Provides Forum to Dispute Tax Deficiencies

John Alan Cohan, Attorney at Law

Before I get into this month’s topic, I want to announce my new website: http://www.JohnAlanCohan. com. At this site there are legal and tax tips involving the horse, livestock and general farming industries, as well as sections on dog breeding, boating and aviation.

Now, the U.S. Tax Court is a Federal court established by Congress to provide a forum in which taxpayers can dispute IRS tax deficiencies assessed against them. This is a court, as it were, of last resort for taxpayers.

If you are assessed a deficiency after an audit, the IRS will want you to sign a letter “agreeing” to the assessment. Or, you can request to have an appeal within the IRS bureaucracy.


Nutritional and Feeding Strategies to Minimize Nutrient Losses in Livestock Manure

Nutritional and Feeding Strategies to Minimize Nutrient Losses in Livestock Manure

Mindy J. Spiehs, Regional Extension Educator – Livestock Manure Systems, University of Minnesota

The livestock industry has undergone substantial changes in the past few decades. The poultry, swine, and dairy industries in particular have become increasingly concentrated. This has resulted in fewer, but larger, livestock operations throughout the country. As a result, there has been a growing concern about odor emissions from livestock operations and potential decreased water quality caused by nutrient runoff from livestock manure. One of the key components to lowering air and water pollution from manure is the animal diet.


Management Helps Offset High Fertilizer Prices

Management Helps Offset High Fertilizer Prices

Hay and Forage Grower

Good management can be a tremendous asset if growers can’t afford to apply fertilizer, says John Jennings, University of Arkansas extension forage specialist. Start by inventorying your soil fertility and pasture conditions, then manage for those conditions, he advises. “Soil testing will help producers target fields where fertilizer will have the most impact and fields where not as much fertilizer is needed,” says Jennings. “Soil testing will also tell which fields may potentially be able to grow clovers and other legumes.”


Grazing to Greener Pastures

Grazing to Greener Pastures

Ed Haag

Angus Journal

Emilio Laca, associate professor of plant sciences at the University of California, Davis, says controlled grazing systems optimize yields and help establish more productive pastures. And, if implemented properly, they can have a significant effect on invasive weed populations. He is convinced that using one’s head rather than one’s checkbook can lead to a long-term solution in dealing with weed infestations established after years of opportunistic encroachment.

“We have been successful at using prescribed stocking rates to reduce the incidence of specific weeds that otherwise would contribute to a reduction in a pasture’s productivity,” Laca says, adding that traditional grazing paradigms often favor the spread of these plants rather than help deter their encroachment.


Cattle Implant Handling & Administration

Cattle Implant Handling & Administration

Always adhere to best management practices including Beef Quality Assurance compliant practices for implant use in beef cattle. Start by reading label directions on specific implant products. Label directions include information on the age, weight, and/or sex of cattle for recommended use of specific implants. Some implants require refrigerated storage or protection from light. Others require cool, dry storage, and still others should be stored at room temperature without excessive heat or humidity. The needed storage conditions will be indicated on the label. Review label instructions prior to implant storage and use. Check the product expiration date, and only use implants before expiration.


Invisible Lung Adhesions Can Have Huge Impact

Invisible Lung Adhesions Can Have Huge Impact

Cattle Today

When cattle get sick, it hurts performance and quality. But it’s not always easy to tell those cattle from the healthy ones. Cattle with chronic pneumonia can cost producers nearly $80 per head, without showing signs of illness.

“The loss of gain would be the biggest cost, and then loss in quality grade would come in second,” says Darrell Busby, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension beef specialist. “The third loss would be in treatment cost.”

ISU and Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) analyzed six years of health data from the university’s feed-out program. Of nearly 27,000 head in the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF), four percent had lung adhesions.


Economy milking cattle ranchers

Economy milking cattle ranchers

Brian Brus

The Oklahoma City Journal Record

Cattle ranchers squeezed by the economy are finding themselves in a conundrum of downsizing they wouldn’t have expected a few decades ago, Oklahoma State University beef cow specialist Glen Selk said.

“The situation is such that we’re looking at putting less pounds of cattle out to pasture. And we’ve got two ways of doing it: fewer head or smaller cattle,” he said. “I’m not sure I can say that one is particularly better than the other. And I’m not sure there will be one answer to the question.


Illinois Fairgrounds repairs finished

Illinois Fairgrounds repairs finished

Mixed martial arts event May 17; Memorial Day weekend races saved


Electrical work at the Illinois State Fairgrounds is complete, three weeks ahead of schedule. Officials with the state Department of Agriculture and Capital Development Board will hold a news conference this morning to announce completion of the project and reopening of the fairgrounds to the public.

The announcement means resumption of non-fair activities, starting with a mixed martial arts event May 17. It also means motorcycle races scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, including the Springfield Mile, can take place.


The Future of Feedlots

The Future of Feedlots

Marc Roth, M.S., P.A.S.

Feedlot Magazine

For those old enough to remember watching the integration of the broiler industry, followed by the integration of the swine industry, you’ll also remember that the conventional wisdom was that “it cant happen in cattle,” Perhaps the most compelling reason offered was the enormous land requirement to support the calf factory.

The capital and management required to become a mega calf producer seemed simply overwhelming, Additionally, the grain companies who were some of the early large-scale feeders were quite conscious about their grain farmer customers perceiving them as competitors for land, Aside from these obstacles there was the matter of economics. Through most of the last four decades, calves were available for less money than a start-up venture could produce them for, little has changed on the cow- calf side, Production units have got- ten a bit larger, genetics have gotten a little better, management has improved; but a large amount of land is still required to raise many calves, However, we see more and more of these calves contracted by feeders- Some of these contracts arc being extended to multi-year arrangements creating situations where the ranch is essentially a contract producer for the feeder.

Full Story

Are You Supplementing Cows Or Microbes?

Are You Supplementing Cows Or Microbes?

Because we know key measures of cowherd productivity (weaning weight, calf survivability, rebreeding rate, calving interval) are strongly correlated to cow body condition score (BCS), we often focus feeding programs on managing the amount of condition the cows will carry. And since BCS is essentially a measure of the animal’s stored energy reserves, there is an intuitive sense that feeding extra energy should improve BCS. However, especially with ruminant animals, the combination of feeds being offered can be as important as the nutrient content of those feeds. As changes in diet impact the balance of nutrients available in the rumen, microbial activity and efficiency are affected, and the net flow of nutrition to the host animal can be enhanced or impaired.