Prevent drug and chemical residues in meat
Bob Larson, DVM
The use of drugs in food-producing animals is an important requirement for protecting animal health and welfare and for efficiently producing food for a growing world population. However, because almost any chemical administered to an animal will be found in various body tissues and organs for some period of time after administration, establishing and following appropriate withdrawal times is essential for responsible drug use.
Fall calf marketing process should start in spring
By Tim Petry, Livestock Marketing Economist, NDSU Extension Service
American Cowman Magazine
Many cow-calf producers are finishing another successful spring calving season. Thoughts of marketing those new calves in the fall may be far from their minds. However, spring is an ideal time to start the marketing process, even though the actual sales date is still months away.
Last fall, the range in prices for similar weights and grades of calves at the same sale was wider than at any other time in history. Northern Plains auction markets recorded $15 per hundredweight (cwt) or even greater ranges in prices. Fall 2008 price ranges could be even wider.
A Humbled Industry Takes A Different Election Approach
The last presidential election seemed to be the perfect opportunity for the cattle industry. On almost every important issue, including the environment, taxes, private-property rights, trade, etc., the two candidates – John Kerry and George W. Bush – were starkly different. It was arguably the clearest cut choice we’d ever faced as an industry.
A tasty tidbit: Beef brisket is good for you
A&M scientists say corn-fed cattle yield meat that’s high in healthy fat
By ALLAN TURNER
Texas A&M University scientists Tuesday gave a big thumbs up to barbecued beef brisket, saying the mainstay of he-man Texas cuisine is loaded with the same type of healthy fat found in olive or canola oil.
The high level of monosaturated fat found in brisket — up to 50 percent — comes from feeding cattle corn in a feedlot setting, AgriLife meat scientist Stephen Smith said. The more corn a steer eats, the higher the percentage of the good fat.
Olive and canola oils contain up to 80 percent monosaturated fat.
Agriculture changing, speakers say
Agriculture in Franklin County is not dying but changing.
A standing-room-only crowd of farmers, town officials and interested citizens filled the West Farmington Grange Hall Monday to explore what everyone, including government officials and businesses, can do to help keep farm land in farming.
Genome Mapping Yields Clues About Cattle Disease
Mississippi State University researchers are developing a biological map of how three tiny pathogens cause big losses for cattle producers each year.
Faculty members Mark Lawrence, Shane Burgess and Bindu Nanduri of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Susan Bridges of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering are studying the genes and proteins of Mannheimia haemolytica, Histophilus somni and Pasteurella multocida. The research team is using state-of-the-art genome science and computer modeling to detect, confirm and locate harmful genes that cause bovine respiratory disease.
AMI Launches Updated Country-Of-Origin Labeling Web Site
The American Meat Institute today unveiled an updated version of its country-of-origin labeling (COOL) Web site, http://www.countryoforiginlabel.org. Mandatory COOL is scheduled to go into effect on September 30, 2008.
The new site contains a summary of information about the implementation of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) as it exists under the law as enacted in 2002. The site also includes information relating to possible changes that may occur through passage of the 2008 Farm Bill. The Senate and House of Representatives have passed bills that, if enacted, would amend the 2002 law.
Planning for successful breeding
W. Mark Hilton
What tasks need to be done to help assure a successful breeding season this year? Let’s start with the bulls.
Nationally, about 10% of all bulls fail a Breeding Soundness Examination (BSE) each year, and a similar or greater percentage are what I would call marginal. I’ve always been an advocate of a yearly BSE on all bulls, and veterinarian Tom Kasari recently confirmed for me the financial return to the owner.
Kasari developed a spreadsheet to gauge the cost-effectiveness of performing a BSE on a bull. You simply plug in your figures and see the financial implications.
Cattle ranch investigated
College Station Eagle
A Robertson County cattle ranch has been placed under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after a cow was found to be infected with malignant catarrhal fever.
The cow reportedly was infected by a wildebeest — part of an exotic herd also on the ranch — that was giving birth, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. A total of six heifers have since been found to be infected, according to ranch officials.
The foreign animal disease, more commonly referred to as MCF, is not contagious among cattle but can be spread from a cow to her calf, federal officials said. Though highly fatal for cattle, it poses no threat to humans.
Oh, Give me a home where the buffalo roam …
Bison can repopulate large areas from Alaska to Mexico over the next 100 years provided a series of conservation and restoration measures are taken, according to continental assessment of this iconic species by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups. The assessment was authored by a diverse group of conservationists, scientists, ranchers, and Native Americans/First Nations peoples, and appears in the April issue of the journal Conservation Biology.
Value & Cost of Gain
As the grass greens up producers begin to look forward to turning cattle onto spring pasture and discontinue feeding. As fall-born calves are weaned, producers must decide if adding weight by turning calves out on grass or backgrounding in a lot will be profitable. Likewise, as spring calves get older, whether or not to creep feed will become a common question. Value and cost of gain calculations will aid in these decisions.
Agriculture commissioner candidates want boost for local products
Four people seeking to be nominated to position
Charleston Daily Mail Capitol
Gus Douglass has become somewhat of an institution in the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.
The Mason County Democrat is currently serving his 10th four-year term as agriculture commissioner after being first elected in 1964. He is the senior agriculture commissioner in the United States.
But Douglass has challengers who believe it’s time for a change at his position.
At a meeting with the Daily Mail editorial board, candidates, including Douglass, touched upon ways to make locally grown products such as produce and dairy more available to consumers in the state.
USDA still mum on ‘downer cow’ rule change
The U.S. secretary of agriculture is not taking a position on the proposed ban on processing sick “downer” cattle at slaughterhouses, a spokesman said.
The Department of Agriculture spokesman told the Riverside Press-Enterprise Wednesday that while Secretary Ed Schafer is “serious about addressing the issue,” he was not taking a formal position at the present time.
Schafer is instead waiting for the results of an investigation and audit that are not expected until later in the year.
Spotlight on Bluetongue Virus
USDA/ARS Healthy Animals
Bluetongue virus (BTV) infection only rarely results in the swollen, bluish mouth tissue for which it was named, but its other symptoms—such as fever, swelling, and salivation—can cause significant discomfort for the animals it affects. The virus targets ruminants such as cattle, sheep, goats and deer. Sheep are particularly susceptible to BTV and may have mortality rates above 10 percent.
Biting midges known as Culicoides spread the virus, which has 24 different serotypes. Although it’s not always fatal, BTV infection reduces production efficiency, resulting in significant economic losses. There is no known cure, but precautions can be taken to prevent its spread.
Farmers paid a little more and got a little less in April
The monthly Agricultural Prices report from the National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) shows the prices received by farmers in April were 1.4% lower than in March. The Crop Index was unchanged but the Livestock Index lost 3.1%.
Producers received lower prices for cattle, wheat, eggs and strawberries and higher prices for corn, soybeans, lettuce and onions.
The April corn price was $5.13 per bushel, up 43 cents from March, soybeans increased 30 cents to $11.80 per bushel. The all wheat price is 50 cents lower at $10.10 per bushel. The all hay price increased $13.00 per ton to $152.00