Daily Archives: May 28, 2008



I know what you are thinking. The same thing I was when I saw the news proclaiming Speedo has invented the world’s fastest swimsuit. Yes, practical fashion at last.

I don’t know if it will have an impact equal to the invention of the men’s fly. That was earth-shattering! Of course they didn’t need it in the days of the loincloth and toga. Then people had more time because they hadn’t invented the wristwatch. Bathroom breaks were longer. No one knew if you were late. Did you ever hear two 3-year old kids say, “Well, it’s getting late,” or a turtle say, “Well, it’s time to go!”


Using EPDs in a Commercial Herd

Using EPDs in a Commercial Herd

R. R. Schalles and K. O. Zoellner

Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University

Today, beef cattle producers have the best tools for specification production ever available. The biggest problem that cattlemen have is defining the specifications. Many traits are important when considering the production system from conception to consumption. Genetics plays an important role in some of these traits while management is more important in others.

All cattlemen, purebred and commercial, need to be conscious of the ultimate product of the production system—quality beef at a reasonable price. It all starts at conception of the calf. Reproduction failures are primarily due to management failures, most often inadequate nutrition.


USDA Announces CRP Permitted Use for Livestock Feed Needs

USDA Announces CRP Permitted Use for Livestock Feed Needs

Cattle Today

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer today announced that USDA has authorized certain acreage enrolled under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to be available for hay and forage after the primary nesting season ends for grass-nesting birds.

“This action will provide much needed feed and forage while maintaining the conservation benefits from the nation’s premier conservation program,” said Schafer. “Eligible farmers and ranchers will be able to plan for harvest of forage after the end of the primary nesting season this summer.”

Prices for most field crops have advanced to record or near record levels in recent months, reflecting strong demand, tight supplies and competition for acres. The increased demand for commodities and resulting higher prices has impacted the livestock industry in particular.


Marketing Value Begins in the Pasture

Marketing Value Begins in the Pasture

American Angus Assn.

Marketing completes the top five priorities, making this aspect of the business a high management priority for cowcalf producers. More than 80% of a typical operation’s revenue comes from the sale of calves and yearlings, making it the marketing sweet spot in the cow-calf business.


Cattle Feed Byproducts: Establishing Value

Cattle Feed Byproducts: Establishing Value


There are several ways of estimating the value of any feedstuff, including co-products. These range from simple calculations based on the value of one nutrient in one common feedstuff to very specific ration analyses and comparison. The simpler methods may help determine if a feedstuff is generally priced so that it may be a competitive feedstuff.


JBS Risks Profit, Amasses Debt to Become Biggest Beef Producer

JBS Risks Profit, Amasses Debt to Become Biggest Beef Producer

Carlos Caminada


Joesley Batista, chief executive officer of Brazil’s JBS SA, couldn’t convince controlling shareholders of Swift & Co. to take him seriously when he first tried to buy the American meat company in July 2005.

“After three hours laying my plan out, they asked me if I was really there to buy, not sell,” said Batista, 36. Swift, based in Greeley, Colorado, was 10 times bigger than JBS. “We’re used to this kind of thing,” said Batista, wearing blue jeans and a violet shirt with a BIC pen in the pocket.


N.C.B.A. advocates for national agro-defense facility

N.C.B.A. advocates for national agro-defense facility

Meat & Poultry

Gary Voogt, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president-elect, emphasized the need for a new diagnostic and research facility to protect American agriculture from foreign animal diseases in testimony delivered May 22 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Mr. Voogt, a cattle producer from Marne, Mich., addressed committee members about the devastating impact that could be felt nationwide as a result of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. This disease has not been found in the United States since 1929, but is still a problem in many foreign countries.


Feeding of Corn Milling Co-products to Beef Cattle

Feeding of Corn Milling Co-products to Beef Cattle

Galen E. Erickson,Virgil R. Bremer,Terry J. Klopfenstein, Aaron Stalker, and Rick Rasby, Department of Animal Science, University of Nebraska Lincoln

Feeding corn milling co-products in feedlot diets reduces acidosis-related challenges. Both WCGF and WDGS have little to no starch remaining following the milling process. Therefore, feeding these co-products will dilute whatever starch is fed and influence rumen metabolism. Krehbiel et al. (1995) observed a decrease in subacute acidosis when WCGF was fed to metabolism steers. In many studies, feeding WCGF resulted in increased dry matter intake (DMI), which would be a common response to less subacute acidosis.

Because processing corn increases the rate of digestion by microbes, rumen acid production is increased and the risk of acidosis is increased (Stock and Britton, 1993). Feeding WCGF helps prevent the risk of acidosis with high-grain diets (Krehbiel et al., 1995). Numerous studies have been conducted at the University of Nebraska to determine if feeding values are markedly improved in diets containing WCGF when corn is more intensely processed. Scott et al. (2003) evaluated various corn processing techniques and observed improved feed conversions as processing intensity increased when feeding calves or yearlings (Table 8). Ranking of processing based on feed conversions (lowest to highest) was whole corn, DRC, HMC, and steam-flaked corn (SFC) when fed to finishing calves.


Cattle Health: Managing Our “Protein Factories”

Cattle Health: Managing Our “Protein Factories”


The path from dietary crude protein to the supply of protein available to the cow is far from direct. As much as 80% of the protein and NPN consumed by the animal will be broken down to ammonia and other compounds in the rumen, where the resident microbes have the opportunity to assimilate these nutrients into microbial cell protein (MCP). Unused ammonia may move to the liver, be converted to urea, and then recycle through the blood or saliva back to the rumen, where it rejoins the ammonia pool. Some of the bacteria and protozoa simply recycle within the rumen, as their MCP becomes “dinner” for other microbes. But the majority of these cells, either after they die or when the feed particle they are attached to is sufficiently degraded to flow out of the rumen, move on through the cow’s digestive system. Once they reach the small intestine, their MCP serves as a fundamental “natural,” or amino acid, protein source. In fact, microbial protein will account for 40-80% of a ruminant animal’s metabolizable protein supply. This range is due to a number of factors, primarily diet-related. If the feeds a cow consumes do a good job of meeting the needs of the rumen bugs — primarily supplying degradable crude protein, and an energy source that can be utilized by fiber-digesting bacteria — microbial numbers and activity will be enhanced.


Interpreting Hay and Haylage Analysis

Interpreting Hay and Haylage Analysis

Alvaro Garcia, Extension dairy specialist, Nancy Thiex, Station Biochemistry, Kenneth Kalscheur, Dairy Science, Kent Tjardes, Extension beef specialist, South Dakota State University

Feed test results can be used to: (1) balance rations, (2) improve future crop management if present forage is of unsatisfactory quality, and (3) determine equitable prices for feedstuffs based on nutritive value.

Results of analysis are expressed on an “as-received” and on a “100% dry matter (DM)” basis. As-received is sometimes also referred to “as-fed” or “fresh.” It includes the water or moisture in the feed. Nutrients expressed on this basis represent the nutrient content of the feed when it was received at the lab.


Owners of feedlots have a beef

Owners of feedlots have a beef

Corn squeezin’

By Kimberly S. Johnson

The Denver Post

Every time Rose Brown goes to Safeway on East 20th Avenue in Denver, she peruses the beef section, but she doesn’t always buy.

“I come by to look at what they have on sale,” she said at the grocery store Tuesday. “I’m not too big on meat anyway. Every once in a while, I like to get some … but I can’t afford these high prices.”

Neither can feedlot owners. With near-record corn prices, U.S. feedlots are losing money on every animal they sell, discouraging production just as rising global incomes increase meat consumption and a declining dollar spurs exports.


The Importance of Colostrum For Calves

The Importance of Colostrum For Calves


Raising healthy calves with minimal mortality is crucial in a successful dairying program. The period between calving and weaning is the most crucial period in the animal’s life. Often, mortality may be as high as 15 to 20 % on any given farm. Good dairymen should not be satisfied until calf losses are below 5 %. Costs for quality weaned replacement heifers may be as high as $200 while bred heifers ready to calve average $1300. In addition, calf raising is time consuming and carries potentially high medical bills.


New Dean Named for University of Tennessee Extension

New Dean Named for University of Tennessee Extension

Cattle Today

Well known in agricultural circles across the state, Dr. Tim Cross has been named as Dean of University of Tennessee Extension. UT Extension is the outreach unit of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, with programs in agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, youth development, and resource development.

UT Extension maintains offices in every county in the state and serves the citizens of Tennessee through educational programs geared for farm and agricultural business management; consumer, nutrition and food science; and youth development. The statewide 4-H youth program managed by UT Extension is among the largest in the nation with more than 335,000 young people participating in 4-H clubs, summer camps and after school programs.


Al’s Super Cow

Al’s Super Cow


Bacon Co. – It’s hard to miss Al Dowdy’s cattle farm when traveling east on Georgia highway 32 between Douglas and Alma.

Look for the first white, wood fence on the right side of the road, right past a golf course, with cows grazing around a house. Look closely at the cows and you could see a solution to the nation’s obesity crisis.

“A double muscle breed of cattle,” says Al as he pushes down an electric fence with a stick and steps over into the pasture.


FDA’s Approval of Cloned Beef for Human Consumption Ignites Debate

FDA’s Approval of Cloned Beef for Human Consumption Ignites Debate


The Food and Drug Administration recently approved meat and milk from cloned cows as safe for human consumption. However, some observers believe the FDA’s decision was hasty and more study of the issue is needed. Tom Bearden reports on the controversy.