Daily Archives: April 3, 2008

Strategic Supplementation of Young Cows for Reproduction

Strategic Supplementation of Young Cows for Reproduction

By Rachel Endecott, Extension Beef Specialist, Montana State University

Maintaining a yearly calving interval is imperative for a beef cow to remain a profitable calf producer in the herd, and can be a demanding task for young range beef cows. Even with supplementation, young cows experience a period of negative energy balance and weight loss before and after calving, and their response to supplementation may vary from year to year. Poor reproductive performance of first–and second–calf cows is a challenge faced by cow-calf producers in the West.


Penny-wise, Dollar-foolish

Penny-wise, Dollar-foolish

Ed Haag

An animal scientist at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton, Ga., is one of a growing number of beef specialists advocating a comprehensive preweaning strategy that includes deworming well in advance (60-90 days) of the highstress event.

He notes that it is not uncommon for producers to view this practice as optional, choosing instead to forgo deworming entirely until the calves and mother cows are brought in for weaning and sorting.


Why Vaccinate Adult Beef Cows?

Why Vaccinate Adult Beef Cows? 1

E. J. Richey, D.V.M.2

University of Florida

Only a few of the diseases we vaccinate adult cows against actually cause death. In Florida, to protect adult cows against death, we generally vaccinate for Redwater ( Clostridium haemolyticum ). Occasionally, but not often, adult cows die of other diseases that they could have been vaccinated against.

We don’t vaccinate adult cows only to raise the resistance to a particular disease to ensure survival. We also vaccinate to raise the resistance to certain diseases to enhance reproduction; protect the fetus (unborn calf); protect the new-born calf during its first 3 to 4 months of life (via fortified colostrum); and provide a barrier to prevent diseases from being introduced into the herd or reduce the spread of a disease once it has been introduced


Cattle Health: When You Assume…

Cattle Health: When You Assume…


We all know the hazards of assumptions – when wrong, they provide unlimited opportunity for poor decisions, mistaken conclusions, and bad advice. This can certainly hold true in cowherd management. And when a producer makes a decision or follows advice based on incorrect information, the results can be costly.


Business Plan Guides National Animal Identification System

Business Plan Guides National Animal Identification System

Cattle Today

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released a draft Business Plan to further the implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). AMS encourages participants in voluntary marketing programs such as the USDA Process Verified, the Quality Systems Assessment and the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Programs to meet the inherent animal identification requirements by using NAIS.


How Much Distillers’ Grains Can I Feed?

How Much Distillers’ Grains Can I Feed?


As corn prices rise a common question among cattle feeders is, How much can I feed?. The desire to feed higher levels has been tempered by concurrent increases in the prices of corn coproducts. However as of early 2007, wet CGF, modified DG and wet DG are priced at 75-85% of the price of corn, adjusted for moisture. DDG and dry CGF were approximately 100 and 90% of the corn price respectively. Any time the net cost of distillers grains in the feedbunk, adjusted for moisture, is less than the cost of corn, then the incentive is to feed levels beyond meeting the protein requirement.

The exact level depends on the first limiting factor which will vary from product to product. Beyond the economic factors just mentioned, the factors which might limit the inclusion of distillers grains in a feedlot ration include the level of fat in the total diet and the total sulfur intake of the animals. Moisture levels could reduce feed consumption at high levels of very high moisture coproducts, and the high fiber content or lack of starch has been theorized as a limitation for feedlot diets. Moisture and fiber appear to be secondary to the fat and sulfur issues. For feedlots with limited land resources, the concentration of P and N in the manure could become an issue.


Evaluating Epigenetics

Evaluating Epigenetics

Barb Baylor Anderson

Angus Journal

The world of genomics is a complicated one, and one the cattle industry is just beginning to explore. Within that world is the study of epigenetics, or learning why cells may contain the same DNA but not the same characteristics. Researchers are investigating the concept to determine its effect on heifers, and its use someday as a management tool.


Improving Cowherd Reproduction Via Genetics

Improving Cowherd Reproduction Via Genetics


A beef cow’s job is not an easy one. She is expected to conceive at slightly over one year of age to calve by the time she is two and rebreed shortly after that while weaning a healthy, viable calf. Furthermore, we demand that she consistently repeats this cycle for the rest of her life – one stumble and, in the words of California’s terminating governor, hasta la vista, baby!

To be sure, producers are best served when the cow successfully performs her task for many years, as the longer her productive life the more profitable she is to the enterprise. Is there anything that can be done to help her out? Certainly, there are environmental factors we can manage that will give her a leg up. For example, by providing adequate nutrition, a proper vaccination regimen and mating her to easy-calving sires (particularly when she is young) we increase the odds of her success. While a cow’s environment has a substantial impact on her reproductive performance, her genetic makeup can too. This paper explores the genetics of female reproduction and offers suggestions on how to improve the reproductive performance of your cowherd via genetics.


IMI Global Becomes Exclusive Worldwide Marketing Partner for the “Born & Raised in the USA®” Label for Beef, Pork, Poultry, Lamb, Fish and Game

IMI Global Becomes Exclusive Worldwide Marketing Partner for the “Born & Raised in the USA®” Label for Beef, Pork, Poultry, Lamb, Fish and Game


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 signed an agreement to become the exclusive worldwide marketer of the trademarked “Born & Raised in the USA®” label. The agreement puts IMI Global in a strong position to lead the industry move toward mandatory labeling of all meat products to identify the country of origin. There are 87 billion pounds of meat produced in the United States annually.


Calif. may give criminal penalties to bad slaughterhouses

Calif. may give criminal penalties to bad slaughterhouses

Tom Wray


On Tuesday, California lawmakers advanced legislation to issue criminal penalties against slaughterhouses if the process meat from livestock that are too sick to stand.

The Associated Press reported that the 6-1 vote by the Assembly Public Safety Committee was in response to the illegal processing of sick cattle at a Southern California slaughterhouse. The abuse of cattle at the Westland/Hallmark facility resulted in the largest beef recall in American history.

Although the federal government oversees slaughterhouse operations, the legislation by Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, D-Burbank, would levy fines on packaging plants that sell meat in California from so-called “nonambulatory” cattle, swine, sheep or goats, the AP reported.


Cattle Herd Infected with Rabies

Cattle Herd Infected with Rabies


Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass says he’s ordered the destruction of a Hampshire County cattle herd to prevent animals infected with rabies from entering the beef market.

The farm has been quarantined since March 26, when two animals tested positive for the disease.

Douglass says he issued Wednesday’s order to kill 84 heifers after cattle at the farm began showing symptoms of rabies and more tests came back positive for the disease.

Douglass says the state will reimburse the cattle’s owner for the loss.

Six people who worked with cattle at the farm are being treated for the disease as a precaution, although none showed symptoms.


The Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard

Gary Truitt

Hoosier AG Today

For the past 4 years, Randy Woodson has had a bird’s eye view of the changes taking place in American agriculture. As Dean of the College of Agriculture at Purdue, he has participated – and even taken part – in some of the technological changes that have revolutionized the agriculture industry and changes the lives of most of the consumers in the US and around the world.   As he steps down from that position to take on the role of Provost of the University, I had the chance to visit with him about the changes that have taken place and, more importantly, the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for agriculture and land grant universities. Some of his observations may surprise you.


Safety Around Beef Animals is Very Important

Safety Around Beef Animals is Very Important

Clyde D. Lane, Professor, Animal Science, University of Tennessee

Beef producers cannot be too careful when working around their animals.

Working around the bull can be very dangerous. Bulls are generally docile, however, they should not be trusted. Even bulls with a good disposition can get rowdy and cause personal injury to the owner. When feeding bulls be careful to not get between the bull and the feed. Because of the size of a bull, just a push can result in an injury. Extra care should be used When placing a bull in a chute for routine health care. Bulls have a habit of getting their own way and trying to make them do something they do not want to do can prove dangerous.


The National Animal Identification System – Who Wins and Who Loses

The National Animal Identification System – Who Wins and Who Loses

Barbara L. Minton

World Change Cafe

The recall of 143 million pounds of beef processed over the past two years is the largest meat recall in the history of the world. The USDA had no choice following an animal group’s release of videotape of “downer” cows being dragged across filthy floors and pushed around by a fork lift, before joining their healthier brethren on the hamburger highway. Since we all agree that the primary responsibility of the USDA is food safety, the question is, where were the USDA inspectors? The answer may be that for several years, the top priority at the USDA has not been food safety, but the creation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).


Re-seeding/Renovating Pastures

Re-seeding/Renovating Pastures


Between last years drought that lead to overgrazing of pastures, and the late fall/winter rains that kept soils saturated and lead to trampled pastures turning into mud, there is a need on many farms to re-seed or renovate at least some pasture paddocks. Like every other input cost, the price of grass and legume seed has increased. What are the options to get these abused pasture paddocks back into a productive forage? In this article I will present several options and management strategies that can be considered.