Daily Archives: May 13, 2008



The record high price of the essential global commodities; wheat, rice and soybeans has been an overdue and much welcome occurrence for farmers worldwide. Commodities that have lagged so far behind the inflation curve, it’s too embarrassing to discuss;


Detection of Standing Heat in Cattle

Detection of Standing Heat in Cattle

George Perry, Extension Beef Reproduction and Management Specialist, Animal and Range Sciences Department, South Dakota State University

Detecting standing estrus (“heat detection” or “detecting standing heat”) is simply looking for the changes in animal behavior that are associated with a cow/heifer standing to be mounted by a bull or another female. Detecting animals in standing estrus is critical to the success of any artificial insemination program. Animals not in estrus around the time of insemination have little chance of becoming pregnant.

Estrous-detection aids or estrous synchronization protocols can greatly increase the likelihood of detecting cows in standing estrus.


COOL Will be Implemented During 2008

COOL Will be Implemented During 2008

Hoosier AG Today

By the end of this year shoppers will learn where the meat they wish to purchase comes from by checking its the Country-of-Origin label. Under Secretary of Agriculture Bruce Knight, confirms USDA will implement Country-of-Origin labeling yet this year. Under the business plan set by the National Animal Identification System, each animal‘s 15 digit identification number begins with three digits that identify its country or origin. If the first three numbers are 840, consumers will know the meat they are purchasing is from the United States.


Responses Differ Between Supplement Types

Responses Differ Between Supplement Types


The weather this spring has been even more effective than usual at rearranging my travel plans. One silver lining has been plenty of airport time to get caught up on all the reading I like to do. One of the journal articles I had the chance to pull out of my “need-to-read” file really caught my attention — enough so that I started pulling the data into some tables and charts of my own to more clearly see the story the numbers tell.


Herd Health is High Priority in Cow-Calf Business

Herd Health is High Priority in Cow-Calf Business

American Angus Association
Herd Health ranked 3rd overall out of 15 management categories in the Priorities First survey, according to producer and specialist respondents.

The survey also concluded significant management emphasis should be dedicated to disease prevention within the herd. A proactive health maintenance program should be implemented for cows, bulls and especially, replacement heifers and calves (both pre-and post-weaning).

Effective health programs involve both prevention and treatment of disease problems affecting beef cattle. The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies to herd health management. Preventative measures are typically more cost-effective to implement than attempting to deal with a disease outbreak.


Practical Euthanasia of Cattle, Considerations for the Producer, Livestock Market Operator, Livestock Transporter, and Veterinarian

Practical Euthanasia of Cattle, Considerations for the Producer, Livestock Market Operator, Livestock Transporter, and Veterinarian

Livestock Marketing Association

Most individuals who work with large domesticated livestock will encounter situations where an animal is unlikely to respond favorably to treatment. The likelihood of treatment failure, the potential for animal suffering and the presence of drug residues are considerations that can make euthanasia of an animal the best available option. This pamphlet is designed to aid producers, livestock market operators, animal transporters and veterinarians in making the appropriate decisions regarding euthanasia of cattle.

Individuals who work with livestock should read this pamphlet, discuss euthanasia options with a veterinarian and determine an action plan for livestock encountered in these situations. This action plan should be reviewed annually.


Discovery Of Disease ‘Wakeup Call’ For National Animal Identification System

Discovery Of Disease ‘Wakeup Call’ For National Animal Identification System


The discovery of malignant catarrhal fever in cattle shouldn’t be a reason for panic but is a “wakeup call” for better animal identification, according to LSU AgCenter veterinarian Dr. Christine Navarre.

The National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, recently reported that three cases of the wildebeest strain of the disease were confirmed in cattle originating from Texas.


What Does it Take for Cattle to Qualify for CAB?

What Does it Take for Cattle to Qualify for CAB?

Cattle Today

Most beef producers own at least some Angus cattle. They may have wondered what it takes for their calves to qualify for the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) brand.

CAB’s Gary Fike, beef cattle specialist, and Darrell Busby, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension beef specialist, recently shared data that help explain. The two presented abstracts at the Midwestern section meetings for the American Society of Animal Science in Des Moines, Iowa, in March.

Both papers outlined characteristics of Angus-influenced fed cattle that were more likely to meet the 10 CAB carcass specifications (http://www.cabpartners. com/facts/faqs.php#). Mike King, data analyst for CAB, ran the statistical analyses.


The importance of a will for farmers and ranchers

The importance of a will for farmers and ranchers

Western Livestock Journal

Most Americans, as compared with Europeans, die without a will. Even in cases involving extensive wealth, I am amazed to see the difficulty people have in taking the necessary steps to implement a will. This is particularly an issue for farmers, owners and breeders of livestock, and horse farms. Usually one’s principal assets are tied up in the animals and land, and if you have no will, there can be uncertainty as to what will happen after you die. Without a will, the continuity of your activity is something outside your control. Most people procrastinate making a will until it is too late.

Seeking legal counsel for preparing a will can often lead to fresh ideas on how to save on federal estate taxes and how to operate the venture in accordance with IRS Regulations under the hobby loss rule. Many people do not know that their life insurance can be used as a valuable tax savings device in what is called a Life Insurance Trust. It is usually important for your lawyer to check the deeds to property to make sure everything is in order. If properties are held in joint tenancy, this is also something to check, because frequently, there are errors in how these deeds are drafted, however disconcerting that may be.


Districts prefer the beef less traveled

Districts prefer the beef less traveled

A movement to buy locally grown meat hits schools, and students are chowing the burgers. Is it worth the cost?

Bruce Finley

The Denver Post

A growing movement that advocates buying and eating locally produced food is gaining momentum in Colorado high schools, where students find homegrown beef can be more palatable — if pricier — than what cafeterias used to serve.

“Tastes better. Not as dry. Thicker,” 10th-grader Logan Alcock said of the new burgers introduced at Palmer High School and four other public schools in Colorado Springs.


Beef herds make sense in region

Beef herds make sense in region

The Daily Star

The move toward more beef farming makes sense. It’s easier on aging farmers with small operations than is dairy farming with its twice-a-day milkings. It comes at a time where there’s a strong demand for beef, and also when people are starting to examine where their food comes from. Eat local is a small movement but is gaining strength.

The other promising aspect we found, in talking with numerous farmers and officials, is that beef and dairy farming are complementary. While the farming tradition will always face struggles in upstate New York, farmers don’t appear to have to choose between beef or dairy. And it’s a good thing, for while the tri-county region is among the state leaders in beef production, the dairy herds are roughly five times larger.


Extension program to focus on fly control

Extension program to focus on fly control

High Plains Journal

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service office in Parmer County will conduct an Animal Pest Control Meeting beginning at 10 a.m. May 27 in the Bovina EMS Building.

One Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education unit in the general category will be offered to those with a private applicator’s license.

“Warm weather plus feedlots equals fly-time in our area,” said Benji Henderson, AgriLife Extension agent in Parmer County. “This meeting’s purpose is to bring producers and feedlot operators information on the latest and most cost-effective fly control treatments for cattle confinement lots and for fly control in general.”

300 arrested in Iowa immigration raid at largest U.S. kosher meat plant

300 arrested in Iowa immigration raid at largest U.S. kosher meat plant

USA Today

Federal immigration agents today raided the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse and meat-packing plant and arrested more than 300 people in northeastern Iowa. Most are accused of identity theft and of being in the country illegally.

The Des Moines Register (a Gannett newspaper) reports that according to search warrants unsealed today, federal authorities had received information about alleged immigration violations for the past two years at Agriprocessors Inc. in Postsville. One source, a former plant supervisor, told agents the plant hired foreign nationals from Mexico, Guatemala and Eastern Europe. Around 80% were in the United States illegally, said a supervisor with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


High Phosphorous Costs Discourage Over Feeding

High Phosphorous Costs Discourage Over Feeding


Feed and grazing costs have been the primary input costs at the forefront of many cattle producers’ minds over the past year. However, we can now add mineral supplementation costs to the list of inputs that have increased in price. Cattle mineral costs increased considerably this spring, primarily due to higher phosphorous prices. Global phosphate prices have risen and will likely continue to increase due to greater demand for phosphate in crop fertilizers and higher phosphate production costs.

Mineral supplementation is an important component of cattle nutrition that should not be ignored. Phosphorous, a macromineral required by cattle, is one of the most abundant minerals in the body. Phosphorous is involved in numerous metabolic pathways, and is a required component for cell growth and energy utilization. The phosphorous content of forages is relatively low compared to concentrates, such as corn. Therefore phosphorous is often deficient in cattle consuming forage-based diets and is often one of the first minerals of consideration in developing supplements for grazing cattle.


How long should a beef hung after butchering to get the best meat?

How long should a beef hung after butchering to get the best meat?

Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

A: Meat has two major components, the muscle fibers, which allows muscle fibers to contract and relax, and connective tissue, which basically supports the muscle fibers. Muscle fibers usually shorten and stiffen right after slaughter and at the start of rigor mortis, and this usually lasts for 6 to 12 hours in beef cattle. Cooling the carcass shortly after slaughter will only allow the rigor to go only so far.