Daily Archives: April 4, 2008

Baxter Black, DVM: The 2008 Beef Recall

Baxter Black, DVM:  The 2008 Beef Recall

Cattle Today

Inexcusable: the biggest recall of beef in the United States history.

There is not a livestock person in the country who doesn’t feel shamed by the years-long continuation of animal insensitivity and product wholesomeness indifference exhibited by those involved in Chino, California’s Westland/Hallmark meat packing plant fiasco.

From the owners to the minimum wage workers, the USDA inspectors to the producers who brought in the beasts, and now, all of us who produce beef, feed cattle, buyers or sellers, auctioneers, R-Calf, United Dairymen, NCBA, veterinarians, nutritionists, yes, all of us bear the burden, the guilty feeling.


Top 5 moves for getting out of the hay-feeding rut

Top 5 moves for getting out of the hay-feeding rut

Jim Gerrish

Beef Magazine

Whether you’re out feeding in the cold or just looking out your window at cows eating hay at a cost of $2/cow/day, it should be a wake-up call for all of us. With out-of-control hay prices and prospects for even higher costs in 2008, getting serious about extending the grazing season has never been more important.

Another pressure is hitting ranchers in the West. Increasing pressure on public-lands grazing is forcing many herds off rangeland earlier in the season and delaying spring turnout. Along with reduced numbers on many allotments, this trend means increased days of hay feeding for many ranchers. Coupled with increasing hay prices, this may be a crippling blow for many mid-scale operations.


Manage Corn Coproducts in Feed Rations

Manage Corn Coproducts in Feed Rations

Barb Baylor Anderson

Angus Journal

As distillers’ grains (DGs) become increasingly available in an expanding ethanol-production environment, beef cattle specialists say the coproducts can be effectively used in a number of cow and yearling feeding and supplementation strategies, if the price is right.


Genetics: Today and Tomorrow

Genetics: Today and Tomorrow

Scott P. Greiner, Ph.D., Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

At the current time, the beef cattle industry is equipped with more science-based tools for animal selection than ever before.  New tools such as DNA genotyping, coupled with enhancement of existing tools such as EPDs, allow cattle breeders to make informed decisions about the direction of their genetics.  Most importantly, these tools create an opportunity to design genetics customized to meet the diverse needs of both producers and consumers.  At no other time in the history of beef cattle breeding has there been as much information at our disposal to enhance our position among consumers, and at the same time produce cattle which are functional and profitable across many diverse production systems.


BeefTalk: Heads Up – It’s Calving Time

BeefTalk: Heads Up – It’s Calving Time

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Calving Season – Keep Your Head Up! Calving Season – Keep Your Head Up!

Checking cows requires an awareness that cows are large, living beings that have a mind of their own.

Despite the strain of checking cows and the aches and pains associated with calving time, spring calving can be a pleasant and rewarding time on any cattle operation. It is more rewarding if one remembers a couple of quick points. The first point is safety and the second is safety.

Have you ever looked into the eye of a cow to find out what is going on inside her mind?

The eyes are large, even pretty and almost provide a reflection of oneself in the moisture that covers the eye. Those bright eyes can be indicative of a bright cow, but do not underestimate what that bright-eyed cow actually is thinking.


Time To Consider

Time To Consider

Where You’ve Been And Where You’re Headed

Jon Repair, Extension Agent

The News Gazette

Feeding livestock in 2007-2008 has been probably the most challenging year in more than 50-plus years. On-farm feed supplies have been short, feed procurement from the outside has been difficult to obtain, and purchased feedstuffs have and will continue to be at an all-time high.

As spring approaches, it is important to remember the challenges behind you, and to not stop your normal feeding as grasses and other forages try to rebound back. Don’t assume at this point that existing forages are supplying substantial feed as they begin to green and grow. You need to continue to feed dry forages to allow for a successful and more rapid recovery of existing forage stands. Feeding will also keep livestock on a strong diet of nutrition that will maintain proper body condition so as not to lose all the good you have already done this winter.


Any purchase on a farm should increase profits

Any purchase on a farm should increase profits

David Burton

Springfield News Leader

Finding ways to save on keeping cattle will improve bottom line.

Do you know what it costs to keep a cow for a year? Very few producers actually do, according to Wesley Tucker, agriculture business specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“But research has shown that what typically separates profitable producers from unprofitable ones is their cost of production, in particular feed costs,” Tucker said.

Weaning weights and pregnancy percentages are all important according to Tucker. But the producers who can achieve these while also keeping their costs down are the ones who remain profitable year in and year out.


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.


Liens Filed Against Northern Beef In Aberdeen

Liens Filed Against Northern Beef In Aberdeen

Dawn Crawley


Many are excited about the arrival of the new beef plant in Aberdeen, but someone called the KSFY “You Ask” line concerned.

It’s in relation to a Huron company’s claim saying Northern Beef Packers owes them more than two million dollars.

A lien has been placed on the property the beef plant sits on.

The 47 page document says that money is owed for services, material, and machinery used to help build the beef plant, but Northern Packers says they need to see more documentation.


Radisson ranch to host cow-calf beef seminar

Radisson ranch to host cow-calf beef seminar

Spooner Advocate

A regional cow-calf beef seminar will be held at the Elm Creek Ranch near Radisson on Tuesday, April 22, from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Ranch is owned by Jim and Jessica Spinner. The Spinners run 235 acres of which 175 acres is grass. Management-intensive (rotational) grazing is employed. There are 25 registered Devon cows and 25 registered Black Angus cows. The farm also features an environmental straw-bale house and an on-farm store.




The Lincoln Journal, INC.

West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass is urging residents to have their pets vaccinated against rabies and to consider vaccinating valuable livestock against the disease, which is widespread throughout much of the Mountain State.

State law requires dog and cat owners to vaccinate their pets every other year, a simple and inexpensive safeguard against a common but extremely dangerous disease.

“Rabies is a threat to any warm-blooded animal and the public should be observant of any abnormalities in their farm animals, pets or wildlife,” said Commissioner Douglass. “Wild animals that behave in an unusual or aggressive manner should be avoided and reported to the local health department. Livestock with similar symptoms should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.”


U.S. cattlemen wary about JBS Swift acquisitions

U.S. cattlemen wary about JBS Swift acquisitions


Approximately 250 cattlemen are in Washington, D.C., for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Spring Legislative Conference. As part of their agenda, they heard presentation by the Justice Department on JBS Swift’s proposed acquisitions of Smithfield Beef and National Beef.

The cattlemen were addressed by Douglas Ross, special counsel for agriculture in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. He explained the issues and factors that will shape the department’s examination of the proposed acquisitions by JBS Swift. The planned acquisitions raise significant concerns for cattle producers because they would essentially combine the nation’s third-, fourth- and fifth-largest beef processors into a single entity, according to the N.C.B.A.


The benefits of Beefalo

The benefits of Beefalo


“Lots of my patients end up being customers of mine,” says Dr. Thad Jackson, a family practitioner in Grayling, who also owns Old Hickory Beefalo Farm with his wife, Dr. Lisa Harrington. “People are looking for a healthy meat … and I can certainly with confidence recommend Beefalo.”

Beefalo, a cross between regular beef cattle and buffalo, offers families the taste of red meat without all the saturated fat. “The main reason I like Beefalo is the lower fat and lower cholesterol level,” says Bret Green, a Beefalo farmer from Vicksburg.


Calf Scours Basics – Bacteria

Calf Scours Basics – Bacteria


Calf scours or diarrhea is a very costly problem for many producers. Calf scours is not the actual disease that plagues the calves, it is only the clinical sign that we see. Calves that suffer from scours can become critically ill in a short time. The pathogens that are the causative agents of this disease are not the actual causes of death in affected calves. Dehydration, electrolyte depletion and acid-base imbalances are the underlying causes of the animal’s demise.

Several types of etiologies can lead to diarrhea in calves. The type of agent that is responsible for the neonatal diarrhea is usually determined by the calf ’s age as well as the integrity of the calf ’s immune system. If the calf fails to receive the proper amount of colostrum, it will be more susceptible to the pathogens that cause neonatal diarrhea.


Martin to lead bovine TB fight

Martin to lead bovine TB fight


Minneapolis Star Tribune

As Minnesota’s cattle industry braces for a big economic hit, officials responded Thursday to a serious outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in northwestern Minnesota by appointing a point person for the fight, and by launching a website with TB information for farmers and others.