Daily Archives: April 29, 2008

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.

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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.


Costs of producing beef in a “natural” program without implants or antibiotics.

Costs of producing beef in a “natural” program without implants or antibiotics.

John R. Brethour and Brittany Bock

There is considerable interest in programs that market beef that has been produced from cattle that were not implanted or fed antibiotics. This research measured the additional costs from engaging in a natural program in which performance would be adversely affected by omitting technology that improves production efficiency.

In this study, steers on the conventional program were implanted with Synovex Plus at the beginning of the trial in Experiment 1 and with Synovex Choice at the beginning of the trial and Synovex Plus 70 days before laughter in Experiment 2. In both experiments 300 mg Rumensin and 90 g Tylan were fed daily to cattle on the conventional treatment. These practices were omitted among the natural cattle. It is not known whether the cattle had been implanted before they were obtained for this research; but that should have not materially affected results.

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Ethanol mandate splits corn farmers, livestock producers

Ethanol mandate splits corn farmers, livestock producers

Chris Blank

STL Today

A newly implemented ethanol mandate coupled with rising livestock feed prices is dividing Missouri’s farmers.

It pits corn farmers, who are getting record prices for their grain, against livestock producers, who are struggling to feed their herds.

At the center has been a law that, starting this year, requires most Missouri gasoline to be blended with 10 percent ethanol if the biofuel is cheaper than regular gas.

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Confined Animal Feeding Operations Cost Taxpayers Billions

Confined Animal Feeding Operations Cost Taxpayers Billions

Kansas City Infozine

Misguided federal farm policies have encouraged the growth of massive confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, by shifting billions of dollars in environmental, health and economic costs to taxpayers and communities, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). As a result, CAFOs now produce most of the nation’s beef, pork, chicken, dairy and eggs, even though there are more sophisticated and efficient farms in operation.

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What bad things lurk inside …..protozoa????!!

What bad things lurk inside …..protozoa????!!

High Plains Journal

Protozoa are tiny, one-celled creatures that can make a comfortable home out of any place with some moisture in it–the soil, ponds, air vents or even the inside of animals. Although they can only be seen using microscopes, these little critters share a couple of characteristics with much larger mammals: they move about, and they breathe oxygen.

It’s true that some of the many types of protozoa in the world can be harmful all by themselves. But many others are helpful. Inside animals, one of the most important things protozoa do is gobble up bacteria that can cause disease.

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CDC tells Congress MRSA not from food animals

CDC tells Congress MRSA not from food animals

Feedstuffs Foodlink

Claims that food animals, such as pigs, are increasingly the source of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria in humans are greatly exaggerated, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) reported today that in a recent letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) and panel members Leonard Boswell (D., Iowa), Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) and Robin Hayes (R., N.C.), CDC said if transmission of MRSA from food animals to people occurs, “it likely accounts for a very small proportion of human infections in the U.S.”


Weaning Calves Successfully

Weaning Calves Successfully


The production loss and death loss of calves at weaning is second only to the losses at calving. Weaning is a very stressful time and bovine respiratory disease (pneumonia, shipping fever, etc.) is a common problem. Coccidiosis and other digestive problems, such as acidosis, (grain overload) are also common.

Producers often ask what vaccines they should use to help control health problems during this period. There are some vaccines which can be of help. But it is important to recognize that there are a number of other factors which must be controlled in order to have a successful weaning program. Vaccines should be viewed as an aid to herd health programs, not as the cure-all.


Rising Prices for Food Begin at the Farm

Rising Prices for Food Begin at the Farm


The average family spends three times more on food than gasoline. That’s why economists say escalating food costs – the fastest rise in 17 years – could present a greater problem for the economy.

In the past year, the cost of eggs has increased nearly 35 percent; milk 13 percent; cheese 12.5 percent. Beef costs are up 3 percent and poultry prices are up 5 percent.

Economists say demand in the global market is outpacing supply. And that is having an impact on local farmers and shoppers.

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Red Angus Junior Roundup to be Held in Tennessee

Red Angus Junior Roundup to be Held in Tennessee

The National Junior Red Angus Association of America (JRA) will host the 18th annual Junior Round-Up June 24 through June 29, 2008, in Tennessee. Round-Up is an annual event held at a different location across the country each year. It is designed to build public speaking and leadership skills while informing attendees about the Red Angus breed as well as the beef industry. The annual JRA business meeting, board meeting, committee meetings and officer elections are held during Round-Up as well as a variety of National contests. Participants in Round-Up travel by deluxe motor coach to the various ranches and industry stops during the week.


Spring Cattle-Pen Cleaning Can Curb Odors, Insects

Spring Cattle-Pen Cleaning Can Curb Odors, Insects


Spring is a good time for producers to clean feedlots or areas of manure accumulation, once cattle are removed for summer grazing.

The expression “spring cleaning” conjures images of spotless households, but it can apply to cattle operations, too.

Spring is a good time for producers to clean feedlots or areas of manure accumulation, once cattle are removed for summer grazing, said Kansas State University´s Joel DeRouchey.


One Family, Two Views on How to Run Iowa Farm

One Family, Two Views on How to Run Iowa Farm

John Biewen

National Public Radio

It’s a good time to be a farmer in Iowa.

Corn prices, at $5.91 per bushel as of Monday, are soaring in part because of growing demand for ethanol, a corn-based fuel that the federal government supported when it passed the energy bill late last year.

And with help from chemicals and biotechnology, Iowa farmers produce 150 bushels of corn per acre, nearly double the yield in 1970, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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