Daily Archives: May 6, 2008

Video Feature: Advantages of Estrous Synchronization and Artificial Insemination in Beef Cattle

Video Feature: Advantages of Estrous Synchronization and Artificial Insemination in Beef Cattle

Dr. Allen Bridges describes the advantages of an efficient AI and Estrous Synchronization program



I was at the Governor’s Ag Conference in Dover, Delaware recently. My column runs in the Delmarva Farmer. Bruce, the publisher asked me…well, here’s how he put it:

“A debate is raging here about which tastes better, grass or grain fed beef. What do you think?”

As I recall, they served chicken at the noon luncheon, so I didn’t get a chance to surreptitiously overhear his comments about beef. To parse the question, he did not say grass fat or grain fat beef. Had that been the case I could have passed along the observations of meat guru Dr. Gary Smith at CSU, who said, “People crave 3 things; salt, chocolate and fat.”

I’m not sure how he determined that. Did he lock three diabetics with congestive heart failure in a room? Keep them off feed for 24 hours then lay out platters of salt and pepper, chocolate and vanilla, and fat and tofu to see which disappeared first?


Planning a Carcass Ultrasound Session

Planning a Carcass Ultrasound Session

by Dr. Carl Dahlen, University of Minnesota Beef Team

In recent years, beef breed associations have seen a dramatic increase in the use of ultrasound to evaluate carcass characteristics. With ultrasound technology, we are able to collect carcass data from animals without harvesting them. Thus, data are available from a much larger population of animals than traditional harvest carcass data. Breeding bulls and replacement heifers, which make up a very large portion of seedstock calf crops, can all have data collected and sent to breed associations for use in EPD calculations.


Hoof Wall Cracks in Cattle

Hoof Wall Cracks in Cattle

Jan K. Shearer

University of Florida


Cracks or fissures in the hoof wall are common in cattle. Those which run in a vertical direction (from the coronet to the weight-bearing surface) are referred to as vertical wall cracks or sandcracks .They are particularly common in beef cattle, but less so in dairy cattle. For example, incidence rates as high as 64% have been reported in beef cattle, compared with less than 1% in dairy cattle. The percent of cows that may become lame with vertical wall cracks is generally low, but when lameness does occur it may be difficult to treat or manage.


Sort Your Steers, Optimize Your Returns

Sort Your Steers, Optimize Your Returns

Ed Haag

Angus Journal

If there is a single word that translates into maximum profit at time of sale, it is consistency. On the other hand, in today’s grid pricing system, straying from the norm in weight or carcass quality can be the precursor to some serious financial consequences.

“Unfortunately most ranches do have a variation in their steer cattle,” says Terry Klopfenstein, University of Nebraska– Lincoln (UNL) animal scientist. “Calves are born at different times in the spring, and when they are all weaned in the fall there is bound to be some variation.”


Production Efficiency is the Focus for 2008 and Beyond

Production Efficiency is the Focus for 2008 and Beyond

Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS

Cattle Today

Efficiency. It’s a word we are hearing with greater frequency in our everyday lives as virtually every cost we encounter in our everyday lives is increasing. Efficiency can be defined as the amount of a given resource we have needed to accomplish a given goal. One of the most common efficiencies we discuss is the fuel efficiency of our cars. These numbers are wide ranging. A small, compact car may have a fuel efficiency of 32 miles to the gallon of gas. At the same time a ¾ ton pickup truck may get 19 miles to the gallon of gas. A semi truck may only get 5 miles to the gallon of diesel. The fuel efficiencies vary quite a bit but at the same time we recognize that each of these vehicles has a different purpose and are engineered in a way to accomplish this purpose and have corresponding fuel efficiency.


Fear over US beef

Fear over US beef

The Korea Herald

More than 7,000 people gathered at Cheonggyecheon on Saturday, the second consecutive evening of candlelit protests over the resumption of US beef imports. About 10,000 people attended the previous evening’s protest.

Judging by the size of the crowd, the government’s statement on Friday was largely ineffective in persuading the public that beef from the United States is safe to eat.

In an hour-long press conference on Friday that was televised nationwide, Agriculture Minister Chung Woon-chun, along with other officials and several experts, tried to allay concerns about the safety of the beef. Arguing that the allegations regarding the dangers of the beef lack any concrete scientific basis, Chung insisted that “US beef is safe from mad cow disease.”

The widespread public concern was stoked by a popular television current affairs program last Tuesday.


VeriPrime and AgriLabs Announce Food Safety Initiative

VeriPrime and AgriLabs Announce Food Safety Initiative


A collaboration in the development, distribution and application of new food safety initiatives has been made by AgriLabs of St. Joseph, MO, and the producer cooperative, VeriPrime, Inc., of Wichita, KS.

Purpose of the collaboration is to facilitate the application of AgriLabs animal health products across the diverse and varied landscape traveled by food animals, such as cattle, on their way to the marketplace. As a cooperative whose members who represent the entire food delivery system, VeriPrime is uniquely positioned to provide such continuity.

AgriLabs has the largest animal health distribution network in the United States, with a history of innovative and successful product introductions. The collaboration with VeriPrime will facilitate the development, application and commercialization of new products, which will include progress toward the objective of improving food safety for the beef industry.


It’s not too late to fertilize fields

It’s not too late to fertilize fields

Joplin Globe

A cool spring gives farmers more time to apply fertilizer on Bermuda grass.

Fertilizer is needed regardless of cost to get needed summer forage for hay or grazing, said Dennis Elbrader, Kansas State University Extension agriculture agent at Columbus.

Initial fertilizer applications usually need to be made by the middle of April but early May should work fine this year, he said.


Farm Bill update: No packer ban, but wins and progress in other areas

Farm Bill update: No packer ban, but wins and progress in other areas

North Texas e-News

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, the Farm Bill Conference Committee voted down a ban on packer ownership of livestock, but there were several other areas in which language remained intact to the benefit of independent U.S. cattle producers.

“While we did suffer that particular defeat on the packer ban, which was a huge disappointment, we must thank our champions on this issue who argued strenuously that the packer ban is needed to maintain the independence of U.S producers who market their livestock into an extremely concentrated market,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.


Extension office hosting seminar on issues facing cattle farmers

Extension office hosting seminar on issues facing cattle farmers

John Coccaro

The Vicksburg Post

According to the Agricultural Statistics Service, Warren County still has nearly 90 cattle farms. That’s a pretty fair number considering many of the cattle farms that were once here have been converted to neighborhoods or tree farms over the last couple of decades.

It will be interesting to see how many of the current cattle operations can survive the economic challenges farmers are facing, especially regarding the high prices for fuel, feed and fertilizer.

What About Using Growth-Promoting Implants On Heifers?

What About Using Growth-Promoting Implants On Heifers?


Growth implants have not been widely used in heifer calves because of concern by herd managers about detrimental effects on subsequent reproductive performance of heifers kept as herd replacements. Currently, at this printing, implants with active ingredients of estradiol and progesterone, and zeranol have been given FDA approval for use on potential replacement heifer calves. Past reviews of this subject have been quite thorough and generally concluded that one implant given at or after the heifer is 2 months of age has very little impact on future reproductive performance (Hargrove, 1994 and Deutscher, 1994). Also these reviews have both concluded that implanted heifers have significantly greater pelvic area when measured at about one year of age, but these differences are indeed very small at the time the heifer is delivering her first calf at or about two years of age. Consequently, the data on dystocia rate indicates that implanted heifers have no less calving difficulty than do non-implanted counterparts.


Trent Loos: “We, the people,” still need a department

Trent Loos: “We, the people,” still need a department

High Plains Journal

I can only imagine that Abraham Lincoln is not simply turning over in his Illinois grave; but he must be beside himself trying to get out and bring some logic back into our political system. For the past 10 years, a series of societal pressures has taken our nation down the path of eliminating our ability to feed ourselves. In 1862, during the Lincoln presidency, two extremely important pieces of legislation enabled us, as a nation, to become the world’s premiere supplier of food, fiber and fuel to our citizens. First, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was established and Lincoln, himself, called it the “people’s department.” Second, the Morrill Act created the land-grant university system and the three-legged stool of teaching, research and extension. These two programs are vital to our industry. For the past 20 years, we have allowed the continued erosion of both of these entities.


Vitamins, Important Details In Cowherd Nutrition

Vitamins, Important Details In Cowherd Nutrition


Take your vitamins.

Once again, mother did know best. Vitamins are an essential part of the diets of both humans and livestock, and are needed for initiation and control of many critical metabolic processes. Vitamin deficiencies will also keep other nutrients from being utilized efficiently.

Ruminant animals are supplied with vitamins from both direct dietary sources and synthesis of these compounds by the rumen microbes. Young calves receive their first critical supply from colostrum. The vitamins are classified as either fat- or water-soluble, and a name such as “vitamin D” may actually refer to a group of closely related compounds, rather than one specific substance. We seldom have concerns with water-soluble vitamins in mature beef cattle .