Daily Archives: April 17, 2008

Sleeping on the Job?

Sleeping on the Job?

Mel DeJarnette,

Select Sires Reproduction Specialist

Have you ever thought of your cows as employees? Maybe you should. How long would you tolerate the employee who is continually caught sleeping in the hay mow when he should be feeding, milking, heat detecting or tending to some other chore? You may as well throw money to the wind (or send it to me) because the dollars invested in sleeping employees will not show much return on your operating statement.

Cattle are basically employees on any dairy or beef cattle operation. Each cow is assigned the task of generating income for the enterprise. Employees who cannot or do not pull their weight should be advised to seek employment elsewhere. Perhaps McDonald’s would have an opening for either (humans or bovine).


Clostridial (Blackleg) Diseases of Cattle

Clostridial (Blackleg) Diseases of Cattle

E. J. Richey, DVM

University of Florida

Diseases including blackleg, malignant edema, sord, black disease, red water, and three kinds of enterotoxemia are all caused by a genus of bacteria called Clostridium. These bacteria have three important qualities: they multiply only in the absence of oxygen; they have the ability to survive adverse conditions by transforming into highly resistant forms called spores; and they release potent toxins during the process of multiplying. It is the combination of these three characteristics that make the clostridia highly dangerous.


Mineral & Cattle, Can One Fit All?

Mineral & Cattle, Can One Fit All?


While the cost of minerals escalates as rapidly as fertilizer and feeds, we’ve received questions such as, “What’s the best mineral for my cattle?” For many years, the mineral supplementation approach has often been to simply offer them as much of a “good” free choice mineral as they wanted whenever they wanted it. Yet, we seldom knew if it was warranted or even if it had the “right stuff.” As we face a whole new set of what seem to be harsh economic realities in the beef cattle business, it’s probably time to begin balancing our mineral needs just as we do feed rations or fertility recommendations for row crops.


What’s Driving Female Prices?

What’s Driving Female Prices?

Troy Smith

Angus Journal

In southwestern Oklahoma, near Anadarko, Bobby Bilyeu manages both commercial and registered Angus cows. Like a lot of producers during recent years of drought, Bilyeu has been applying plenty of culling pressure. And like a lot of others facing feed shortages, he hasn’t kept back as many heifer calves for replacements.

Last fall, Bilyeu assembled a group of commercial heifer calves to market through the AngusSource® program. They were close in age, preconditioned and weaned, weighing about 600 pounds (lb.), and ready for grass. Bilyeu received a dozen inquiries, mostly from producers in surrounding states, and soon sold the heifers at private treaty.

“The buyer paid top-of-the-market price, plus $75 per head. He planned to develop the heifers, breed them AI (artificial insemination) and resell them as bred females,” Bilyeu explains. “He said he knew where he could market them easy enough, in an area that’s short on mamma cows. I wish I had more heifers to sell him.”


South Korea’s Lee could bring U.S. good news on beef

South Korea’s Lee could bring U.S. good news on beef

Doug Palmer and Arshad Mohammed


South Korean President Lee Myung-bak could bring President George W. Bush good news this week about a long-running beef spat that has held up a free trade pact between the two countries, a U.S. business leader and senior Bush administration official said on Tuesday.

“I fully expect they’re going to come with an announcement that shows positive direction on the beef issue,” said Myron Brilliant, president of the U.S.-Korea Business Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vice president for Asia.


Cattle Feeding: Wrapping Hay To Beat The Weather

Cattle Feeding: Wrapping Hay To Beat The Weather


Does rain often damage your high quality hay just before it’s ready to bale? Even when you study weather reports and do your best to cut when good drying weather is expected, rain can come unexpectedly and damage your hay.

When dark clouds are on the horizon and your hay still is a little too wet, consider baling it tough, then wrapping it in plastic to keep water and air out and nutrients in.


Rancher’s Cattle Produce Low-Fat Steaks

Rancher’s Cattle Produce Low-Fat Steaks

Flathead Beacon

His diet is natural and protein-rich. And at 2,200 pounds, he has almost no fat but a lot of shaggy hair, which is exactly what rancher Ed Jonas likes.

Jonas uses the big Scottish Highland bull, among other bulls, to cross-breed with Italian Piedmontese cattle to create what he calls HighMont cattle, which provide low-cholesterol, low-fat beef. Jonas, a big-city-trial-lawyer-turned-cattle-rancher, says the beef is 92 percent fat-free, all natural and good for the heart. In the past few years, he has dedicated his life to raising and promoting it.


Ryelage Harvest: Just Around The Corner

Ryelage Harvest: Just Around The Corner


With the arrival of warmer temperatures this week the cereal rye crop has rapidly begun to grow and develop. In some areas in southern PA the crop is approaching mid-calf height and will quickly reach knee height. This indicates that the harvest for highest quality forages is just around the corner. Are you ready??

Many dairy producers have adopted management practices to maximize forage quality and yields from ryelage. These individuals quickly plant rye into harvested silage acreage in the late summer and then gain the advantage of a winter cover crop, a way to recycle fall applied manure nutrients and provide quality forage at a time when other forage crop supplies are getting short. Others have learned to despise this crop based on experiences when feeding an over-mature or too wet ryelage crop.

USDA to fight tubercular cows with RFID

USDA to fight tubercular cows with RFID


The United States Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that it has begun providing tens of thousands of RFID ear tags for use in state bovine tuberculosis control programs. The tags are part of the 1.5 million RF animal identification tags the USDA has purchased to support various animal disease control programs, all part of its recently introduced “Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability.”


Managing Market Cows & Bulls

Managing Market Cows & Bulls


Returns from sales of market cows and bulls comprise a significant portion of a beef cattle operation’s income. Surveys of Mississippi cow-calf operations indicated that mature cows and bulls made up 85 percent and 89 percent of the cattle in breeding herds on operations with fewer than 100 head and greater than 250 head, respectively. Market cow and bull sales generally represent between 10 to 30 percent of the sales receipts from a cow-calf operation. Therefore, optimizing the net return on market cow and bull sales can have a major impact on the overall profitability of the enterprise. In fact, the proceeds from the sale of market cows and bulls can make the difference in whether or not a cow-calf operation is profitable.


Pinkeye Continues To Be A Head-Scratching Affair

Pinkeye Continues To Be A Head-Scratching Affair

Alaina Burt

Beef Magazine

We’ve all seen it. That white spot on a calf’s eye that sticks out like a sore thumb in the cowherd. A quick scan of others includes a mental inventory of teary, cloudy or photosensitive eyes.

If there’s only one or two cases, it’s probably not the infectious kind, but if 5% of the herd has it, the safe money is on a bacterial-caused infectious bovine keratonconjuctivitis, better known as pinkeye. It’s a longtime problem that continues to affect beef cattle; however, recent discoveries may lead to improved methods of prevention.


Beef Checkoff will be in the Spotlight this month on a Live Television Broadcast

Beef Checkoff will be in the Spotlight this month on a Live Television Broadcast

Cattle Today

On April 28, Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) officers will head to Nashville, Tenn., to participate in a live broadcast of RFD-TV. CBB Chairman Dave Bateman, farmer-feeder from Oregon, Ill.., Vice-Chair Lucinda Williams, dairy producer from Hatfield, Mass., and Secretary/Treasurer Dan Dierschke, cow-calf operator from Austin, Texas, will open the evening with a checkoff overview hosted by WGN’s Max Armstrong and wrap up the 1-hour live session with a Q&A from the call-in audience.


Cattle Fly Control: Stable Flies – Identification

Cattle Fly Control: Stable Flies – Identification


Because of its painful bite, the stable fly is a considerable pest of livestock and people. Populations of more than 20 flies per cow can significantly lower income for livestock producers. Infestations of 50 flies per cow on beef cattle have reduced weight gain by 25 percent and, in dairy cattle, have decreased milk production by 40 to 60 percent. To suppress stable flies effectively and economically, it is important to:

• Be able to identify them properly;

• Understand the insect’s life cycle to be able to interrupt it; and

• Use a combination of control strategies.


Indiana BOAH Welcomes New Director of Animal Health Programs

Indiana BOAH Welcomes New Director of Animal Health Programs

Denise Derrer

Hoosier Ag Today

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) announces the addition of Kerry Peterson, DVM to the staff, as Director of Animal Health Programs. Dr. Peterson comes to BOAH after working as a private equine practitioner in Anderson, IN.

As the Director of Animal Health Programs, a newly created position, Dr. Peterson will coordinate the many, varied aspects of the agency’s work in the field with the activities within the central office. She will be responsible for streamlining work flow, report submission and data verification for all the large animal species.


Cattle Feed Byproducts: Dry Milling Byproducts – Basics

Cattle Feed Byproducts: Dry Milling Byproducts – Basics


Dry milling is the process by which starch is hydrolyzed (broken down) to produce long-chain sugars. These sugars are further processed to produce a simple sugar called dextrose. A yeast species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is added to convert dextrose into ethanol. Throughout this process, corn kernels have been immersed in liquid, which together form a mash called “beer”.