Daily Archives: May 23, 2008

Weather makes baled silage more attractive

Weather makes baled silage more attractive


The Interior JOurnal

The need for good quality feed and poor weather conditions for curing hay are incentives for farmers to bale typical hay crops for silage this year. As a harvesting system for grass and legume crops, silage produces higher feed value and high yields at any given maturity stage because of reduced leaf loss in the field.

In one study at U.K. with alfalfa, silage bales were four percent higher in protein concentration than dry hay bales immediately after baling. The effect on digestibility was about the same. Avoiding field leaf losses made the difference. Since baled silage is enclosed in a stretch wrap, farmers avoid yield and quality losses associated with weathering during outdoor storage of round hay bales. The higher nutrient content of silage will help meet animals nutritional needs, reducing or eliminating the need for energy and protein supplements. This factor can save you a lot on winter feeding costs.


BeefTalk: Cow Size – Dry Lot Versus Pasture

BeefTalk: Cow Size – Dry Lot Versus Pasture

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Monthly Dry Matter Intake Monthly Dry Matter Intake

The search for feed resources is not for the faint of heart.

The weather remains dry. The search for feed resources, the key to any beef operation, is not for the faint of heart.

Recent discussion focused on the feed requirements for two sets of cattle at the Dickinson Research Extension Center. Responses from nutritionists were sought regarding needed feed for the two groups (herds) if they were kept in confinement for four months.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Awards $4.86 Million in Scholarships to Houston Area Students

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Awards $4.86 Million in Scholarships to Houston Area Students

Cattle Today

In Reliant Stadium, Houston-area youth’s stars shone bright as the real stars of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Students were honored for their academic and community achievements with a scholarship presentation, totaling $4.86 million on Tuesday, May 20, 2008.

A four-year, $15,000 scholarship from one of three Show scholarship programs — Metropolitan, Opportunity and School Art — was awarded to each of the 324 high school seniors to attend a Texas college or university.

The Metropolitan, Opportunity and School Art scholarships are just part of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s $15.6 million annual commitment to scholarships, research, endowments, calf scramble participants, junior show exhibitors, the Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence™, School Art participants, and other educational and youth programs. Since the Show’s beginning in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has committed more than $220 million to the youth of Texas.


Horse neglect on the rise

Horse neglect on the rise


Seattle Post Intelligencer

Cinnamon was loose, somewhere along Northeast 199th Street, when a concerned neighbor called Clark County Animal Control last year.

The malnourished appaloosa was more than 150 pounds underweight; her owner couldn’t afford proper care. Cinnamon went to a foster home.

Cinnamon’s story isn’t unusual in a county that’s home to some 35,000 horses, including ones, officials said, with owners ignorant of the care they need.

But now other factors, including rising hay and grain prices and dwindling opportunities to sell horses, are fueling neglect cases nationwide.


Summer grasses can stretch forage supplies

Summer grasses can stretch forage supplies


Glasgow Daily Times

In 2007, farmers, not only here but across Kentucky and the southeastern United States, saw pastures and hay fields dry up from lack of moisture.

As a result, livestock farmers may want to consider using some summer annual grasses this year, especially in fields that weren’t renovated because of poor planting conditions last fall and this spring.

These grasses – teff, sudangrass, sorghum-sudan hybrid and pearl millet – can play an important role for supplemental pasture and hay needs. If managed properly, these grasses can provide high yields of good quality forage in a short amount of time.


Fact Sheet Helps Price Standing Forage

Fact Sheet Helps Price Standing Forage

Hay and Forage Grower

A University of Wisconsin fact sheet can help growers determine prices for standing forages. Sales of standing forage require agreement on price and a method of determining yield, whether it’s sold by the bale or by the ton. The fact sheet describes a method to help buyer and seller determine an appropriate price range for short-term sales.

Cattle Preconditioning: Deworming The Beef Herd

Cattle Preconditioning: Deworming The Beef Herd


Since cows, bulls and young stock are affected differently by internal parasites, corresponding treatment programs should also differ. Table 3 gives a recommended guideline for deworming beef cattle.

Mature cows should be treated at least one time per year. The best time to treat the mature cow is near freshening. The mature cow’s susceptibility to parasite detriment increases during this time due to stress of production and a suppressed immune system. In situations where parasite levels may be high, such as overstocked pastures, treating twice a year may be necessary. In other situations, parasite levels may be low enough that mature cows do not need any treatment. These conditions can only be determined by treatment followed by critical observation.


Manchester farm treats animals humanely and that leaves a good taste in the mouth

Manchester farm treats animals humanely and that leaves a good taste in the mouth


Detroit Free Press

You notice the difference in Kris Hirth’s Old Pine Farm in Manchester the moment you turn into the dirt driveway — and have to swerve to avoid a chicken.

Poultry rules: The birds are sunning themselves in the grass, taking dust baths (wings flapping and dust puffing up as they chortle contentedly), pointedly ignoring the horde of barn cats that patrol the property.

Old Pine specializes in grass-fed meat, including beef, pork, chicken and emu. Hirth’s customers are mostly locals who, like 95% of Americans, eat meat — but want to be more responsible about the way they do it.


Slaughter strives to be humane

Slaughter strives to be humane


Albany Times Union

Warning: The following story describes the slaughter of a lamb. Although the slaughter was a model of humaneness compared to video footage released in January of appalling treatment of cows at a California beef-processing facility, the following account still may be upsetting to some readers. The slaughter of Elihu Farm Lamb No. 2735, done at Nichols Meat Processing in Altamont in April, was not witnessed by a reporter (other Nichols slaughters were). The account below is of a December slaughter of a lamb at the Meat Lab at SUNY Cobleskill. The college maintains animal herds and offers slaughter and butchering services, performed by students under professional supervision as part of their education.

Bull Nutrition – Conditioning Prior To The Breeding Season

Bull Nutrition – Conditioning Prior To The Breeding Season


Yearling bulls should have a body condition score of 5.5 to 6.5 (on a 9-point scale) at the start of the breeding season. Once body condition has been assessed, management is needed for over-conditioned bulls and thin bulls. If yearling bulls are over-conditioned they need to be “let down” to prepare them for the breeding season. Gradual changes are needed when changing diets to be more or less concentrated to reduce the possibilities of metabolic disorders and impaired breeding performance. Because mature sperm is produced over a 60-day period before ejaculation, nutritional effects of over- or underfeeding on sperm quantity and quality will have some carryover effect.


Charolais Juniors to Hold National Show in Des Moines, Iowa

Charolais Juniors to Hold National Show in Des Moines, Iowa

Cattle Today

The American-International Junior Charolais Association and the Iowa Junior Charolais Association will host the 2008 AIJCA Junior National Leadership Conference and National Show in Des Moines, Iowa, the week of June 22 to 27. This prestigious National Junior Charolais event will be held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

The theme for the junior national events is “Hoof-n it to the Heartland.” During the week of Charolais activities, AIJCA members have the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational contests such as interview, resume, public speaking, marketing posters, photography, art, as well as, several team competitions such as the beef quiz bowl, cook-off and fitting contests. And for those who entered cattle, they can participate in the beef showmanship and the heifer, bull and steer shows.


Cattle business thrives in Dallas

Cattle business thrives in Dallas

Lori Cain

Statesman Journal

Less than 20 miles west of Salem, David McKibben drives his cart up and down the hills of the pastures at his 400-acre ranch. He’s looking for newborn calves.

The calves from the grass-fed cattle that he raises with his wife, Bette, on McK Ranch in Dallas are better off born in the pastures away from the manure and germs in the barn, he says. The couple have been raising beef cattle and selling their meat for five years now. The beef is all-natural, meaning they don’t use growth hormones, antibiotics or vaccines. The beef is harvested in Oregon and aged 21 days.

“My goal is to sell high-quality, great-tasting beef at a reasonable price so that families can afford to eat it,” Bette said of their business.


Minnesota wants a close look at the JBS plan

Minnesota wants a close look at the JBS plan

Bob Meyer

Brownfield Network

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has formally requested the U.S. Justice Department take a very close look at the JBS plan to buy National Beef, Smithfield Beef and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding. In a letter to the Department of Justice, Swanson said she is concerned the lack of competition as a result of the deal would hurt Minnesota beef producers. She also noted the Five Rivers acquisition would allow JBS to, “Vertically integrate its operations,” which could easily lead to higher retail prices.

Americans Love the Sizzle and Energy that Come from Steak

Americans Love the Sizzle and Energy that Come from Steak

Survey Details 2008 Grilling Preferences


Steak tops the list of foods that deliver the most energy according to a recent consumer survey. Grilling is a popular pastime for 79 percent of Americans and 63 percent say the food they most often cook on the grill is beef.

The survey reveals that consumers feel beef is the protein that delivers on the eating experience and health benefits. A substantial body of scientific evidence shows protein can help in maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle and fueling physical activity — all of which play an important role in a healthful lifestyle and disease prevention. Beef is an excellent source of protein.


Livestock Angles: Beef prices look to remain strong

Livestock Angles: Beef prices look to remain strong

The Land

The livestock markets have experienced a strong rally during the first week of May due in part to strong export business and speculation.

The cattle market rally was lead by a sharply higher futures market during the week ending May 9. Most of the buying in the futures could be attributed to fund buying or, in other words, speculation. The fundamentals of the market are currently not supporting the higher prices, but because of the strong premiums offered by the futures, the packers were able to improve their bids for live inventory.