Monthly Archives: June 2008

Watch Your Withdrawal Periods

Watch Your Withdrawal Periods

Michael Fisher, Area Extension Agent (Livestock), Colorado State University Extension

Good morning, I have provided this information to assist you with making informed decisions. If you have questions about this article or suggestions on making this or other articles better, please

Do you know what the withdrawal period is for the various animal health products that you administer to your livestock? For that matter, do you know what a withdrawal period is established for?

As livestock producers, we are the first line of defense in ensuring that the American meat supply is a quality, wholesome, and safe product. To help meet that goal, withdrawal periods have been established for many of the animal health products that are used in livestock production. This is a period of time beginning with the administration of a pharmaceutical product and lasting a set length that has been pre-determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The idea is that any pharmaceutical compound has a maximum allowable amount of residue that can be in the meat product or milk. The withdrawal period allows a period of time for the compound to be broken down within the animal following its administration. Neither meat tissue nor milk can be used from an animal that has a drug residue which exceeds the maximum residue limit (MRL) that has been set for that given compound. In other words, the withdrawal period is an opportunity for a treated animal to be in compliance with the MRL at the time of harvest or milking.

The FDA has established the MRL for the various medications based on several different locations within the animal. The residue source that is examined is dependent upon what medication is being monitored. As an example of the differences, Pfizer’s Draxxin (active ingredient: tualthromycin -18 day withdrawal) has a MRL of 5.5 parts per million (PPM) in the liver; while Elanco’s Tylan injection (active ingredient: tylosin – 21 day withdrawal) has a MRL of 0.2 ppm in fat, muscle, liver, and kidney. Pharmaceutical companies, under the FDA’s guidance, have to conduct trials to determine how much time it takes for a given compound’s residue to be at or below the assigned MRL following treatment of the animal. If the time needed ends in a fraction of a day, the withdrawal period is expanded to complete that day.


BeefTalk: Do We Exist Only If Someone Else Knows We Exist?

BeefTalk: Do We Exist Only If Someone Else Knows We Exist?

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

There now are two distinct products being produced along agricultural supply chains There now are two distinct products being produced along agricultural supply chains

Data education among producers, feedlot enterprises and all those involved in the beef chain is the priority.

The concept of data collection is knocking on the door of the beef industry, but the concept is not registering. In fact, there actually is a fairly large disconnect.

This is ironic because most, if not all, beef producers pride themselves on their understanding of the skills needed to master the production of beef. Today, there is another player simply called “data.”

The information associated with individual cattle is critical. Producers need to understand how livestock production is viewed.

Steve Holcombe is the founder and chief executive officer of Pardalis Inc. Pardalis is a third-party data storage company that values and treats data the same as money.


Packing Industry Struggles Continue

Packing Industry Struggles Continue

Troy Marshall

Tyson announced the sale this week of its Canadian beef operations to XL Foods Inc. for $107 million in Canadian dollars. Tyson has already closed three other plants and slipped from No. 1 to No. 3 in terms of beef-slaughter capacity in the U.S. The stocks of meatpacking plants have been taking a severe hit, but Tyson stock rose on news of the sale.

Another packer in trouble appears to be Creekstone Farms. USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) announced two weeks ago its agreement with Creekstone that prohibits the firm from buying any livestock without paying for them immediately at the time of purchase. Creekstone also had to nearly double the size of its bond nearly $4.5 million.


Corn Unreliable for Feed

Corn Unreliable for Feed

KXMB-TV Bismarck

In the cattle business you always have to be prepared.

A series of NDSU workshops are traveling the state this week helping producers learn more about planning for risk.

Producers in New Salem are learning new ways they can reduce input costs.

Livestock economist Harlan Hughes says the current Corn market is driven by demand not supply.

He says he expects the corn market to stay strong into the middle of the next decade.

He says now is the time producers really need to look into new ways they can use forages instead of grain to put weight on cattle.


Can We Select Cattle To Reduce Pinkeye Incidence??

Can We Select Cattle To Reduce Pinkeye Incidence??

Pinkeye has long been a costly nuisance to cattle producers.  Eye infections sometimes lead to partial or complete blindness in one or both eyes.  Reduced beef production in the form of lowered weight gain, milk production, body condition, and eventually even poorer reproduction can result from eye infections and lesions.  One of the culprits that initiates and spreads eye problems between herds and among herdmates is “Pinkeye” or more properly called Infectious Bovine Keratoconjnctivits.


Liquid Feeds Can Economically Improve Productivity

Liquid Feeds Can Economically Improve Productivity

Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D., PAS

Cattle Today

As we continue our discussion on managing our current economic situation in an effort to remain profitable or at least keep our heads above water, we have to re-evaluate the feeding and supplementation tools that are available to us. The use of liquid feeds is not new. Feeding molasses and similar products to cattle has been a common practice for over a century. The form and methods of feeding have changed significantly though. More producers are finding an application for the use of liquid feed products every day with other cattlemen asking questions such as: are they useful, cost effective, how do they compare to dry supplements, blocks, etc.? Will they fit into my program? One problem that the liquid industry faces is the great deal of skepticism which exists regarding the viability of molasses based products, although much of it is based on poor experiences many years ago. Fortunately, the liquid industry has come a long way in that time and the products manufactured today are based on years of experience as well as sound academic and industry-based research. The liquid feed industry was born to meet a couple of different needs. One, to provide a convenient, economical means of supplementing the nutritional needs of cattle. Two, to utilize a growing supply of liquid by-products from a host of feed and grain processes. While the cost of ingredients common to liquid feeds such as phosphoric acid and urea have gotten quite expensive, opportunities still exist to implement liquid programs in different cattle operations. Let’s take a detailed look at liquid supplements, their applications, the pros and cons.

Changing Supply/Demand Picture Reshaping Foreign Outlook

Changing Supply/Demand Picture Reshaping Foreign Outlook

Clint Peck

Beef Magazine

The key drivers in the short-term outlook for U.S. meat exports include politics, economic variables, domestic production, market access, consumer trends and competitor developments. Here’s a market by market analysis:

Asia/Pacific Rim. These drivers appear to be the basis for the four major themes that impacted beef marketing in the Asia/Pacific region in 2007 and into 2008, says Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president. Each country in Southeast Asia presents its own basic meat demand parameters the U.S. must meet if market access is to increase, he says.

The first major theme is the access constraints U.S. beef continues to face from Korea and Japan. “Partial market access has reduced sales to 60% of the capacity seen before 2003, the equivalent to $50 million/week in lost sales,” he says.


High temperatures raise concern of heat stress on cattle

High temperatures raise concern of heat stress on cattle

Joe Benton


High temperatures raise the concern of heat stress on cattle. Hot weather and high humidity can reduce breeding efficiency, milk production, feed intake, weight gains and can sometimes cause death. Management can be used to reduce the problem when hot and humid weather is forecast.

• Water — Providing an adequate source of cool, clean drinking water is essential to help keep animals’ internal body temperature within normal limits. It is thought that water temperature affects rumen temperature and thus blood temperature which affects brain centers that control consumption.


New farm bill provides higher returns for conservation

New farm bill provides higher returns for conservation

Leaf Chronicle

The 2008 Farm Bill enacted by Congress is resulting in changes that offer a higher cost of return to Tennessee farmers and landowners, officials announced.

Under the new Farm Bill, the rates for entering into the Wetland Reserve Program have climbed substantially. WRP is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their property.

“If you have previously considered enrolling your land in WRP, I encourage you to give it a second look,” said State Conservationist Kevin Brown. “Rates are currently being set for every county in Tennessee, and they are significantly higher than they were just a few weeks ago.”


Latest mad cow born 5 years after ban

Latest mad cow born 5 years after ban

Roberta Rampton

Canada’s 13th case of mad cow disease, discovered earlier this week, was born more than five years after Canada banned feed practices thought to cause the disease, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said on Friday.

The Holstein cow, which was tested for the disease after it died on a British Columbia farm, probably consumed a small amount of infected feed in the year after it was born in 2003, said George Luterbach, a senior veterinarian at the CFIA.

“There probably was some small level of contamination that remained within the feed system when the animal was very young,” Luterbach said in an interview.


Relationship between oil and food can be close one

Relationship between oil and food can be close one

Richard W. Dortch

Calrion Ledger

Petroleum. Plastics are made from it. Carpets and clothing are made from it.

Asphalt is made from it and we pave our roads with it. We burn it in our ships, trains, airplanes and automobiles. Pharmaceuticals are derived from it – and hand lotion, and house paint, and the ink used to print this newspaper. It’s amazing all the things we can do with petroleum.

Would you be surprised to know we’ve been eating it, too?

Something miraculous happened in the world of agriculture over the last century. Our farms went from growing sufficient food to sustain the population to growing so much food we didn’t know what to do with it. We had to bribe farmers not to grow food just to keep global prices from collapsing. How did this come to be?


The Earthquake Cow Legend

The Earthquake Cow Legend

Robert O’Brien

SanFrancisco Chronicle

For the enlightenment of all who have ever been interested or amused by the legend of the cow that was swallowed by the cracking earth during the 1906 earthquake, I offer a letter received from George C. Stackpole of Kentfield. Not only does it provide a picturesque sidelight on the disaster, it also advances a most plausible explanation of the origin of the story about the unfortunate cow. The letter follows:

“I have at last lived to see the birth and growth of a legend. Like all legends, the story has a basis in fact. I did not meet the cow personally – it was really a beef steer – but had an appointment to meet him that morning, and only an earthquake intervened.


Ag Talk: New CSU program aims to help livestock industry

Ag Talk: New CSU program aims to help livestock industry

Bill Jackson
Greeley Tribune

There’s a new program at Colorado State University aimed at improving the state’s livestock industry and sustaining rural communities.

The Institute for Livestock and the Environment, under the direction of Jessica Davis, who is a professor of soil science and a CSU Extension specialist, combines representatives from different disciplines on campus whose goal is to balance issues of economic growth in the livestock industry with the environment, which is key to achieving sustainable communities.

Katherine Sánchez Meador is the research coordinator for the institute. She came to CSU from northern Arizona, where she was a rangeland specialist with the U.S. Forest Service working with local ranchers who leased federal land. She is a native of New Mexico and grew up on a ranch in south-central New Mexico.


Latest NDSU Beef Cattle, Range Research Available Online

Latest NDSU Beef Cattle, Range Research Available Online

The latest edition of the North Dakota State University “Beef Cattle and Range Research Report” is available on the Web.

To access the report, go to The page also contains links to previous reports.

The report details the most recent NDSU research in areas related to beef cattle production, including cow-calf, backgrounding and feeding, and animal health.


New Era of High Expenses Focus of 2008 Beef Cattle Short Course

New Era of High Expenses Focus of 2008 Beef Cattle Short Course

Texas A&M

 “The New Era of High Input Costs” is the theme for the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course scheduled Aug. 4-6 at Texas A&M University in College Station.

The annual short course, coordinated by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will address many timely issues affecting beef producers.

“The cattle industry has seen input costs increase sharply in the past three years,” said Dr. Jason Cleere, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist.




Cattle Today

There has been much made of the adaptation of machinery to handling cattle. 4-wheelers, jet boats, pickups, duallys, helicopters, ultra lights and even motorcycles have encroached themselves into the equine domain.

To me there is also a difference in mindset. Rancher or farmer.

I myself prefer the rancher/cowboy way of working cattle; with horses. But I have no gripe with those who are more comfortable in a gas-powered unit. It could be they like the mechanical methods of working cows because it is less exciting. Some would question whether working cows should be exciting, but I’m a cowboy poet so I have my own reasons.


Although Difficult, Producers Can Improve Fertility in Summer’s Heat

Although Difficult, Producers Can Improve Fertility in Summer’s Heat

Select Sires

While decreased production and weight gain often are immediate side effects of summer heat, decreased reproductive performance is another outcome that can cause long-term economic losses for producers. In addition to adopting management techniques that help reduce heat stress, producers can improve reproductive efficiency by implementing strategic estrus-synchronization programs, using artificial insemination (A.I.) and breeding cows with highly fertile semen.

National Junior Angus Show Slated for Des Moines

National Junior Angus Show Slated for Des Moines

The 2008 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) is set for July 13-19 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. More than 750 young Angus enthusiasts from 37 states have entered 1,595 entries into this year’s cattle show. In addition to the four days of showring competition, the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members have the opportunities to compete in 13 educational and life-skill contests during the week.

“The NJAS is so much more than a cattle show,” says James Fisher, director of junior programs for the American Angus Association®. “The NJAS provides the opportunities to gain skills in public speaking, photography and writing, while learning to work as a team in the contests like team sales and quiz bowl. Finally, youth build life-long friendships as many of them travel to the junior show annually.”


Cattle Preconditioning: Vaccination Guideline – Weaning Time

Cattle Preconditioning: Vaccination Guideline – Weaning Time

Designing a vaccination program from the multitude of immunization products currently on the market can frustrate anyone who wants to obtain maximum protection BCH-3015 1. BCH-3015 Product of Extension Beef Cattle Resource Committee Adapted from the Cattle Producer’s Library at a reasonable cost. The following is a vaccination guideline that will fit most cow-calf operations. Much of this information comes from a management guideline put out as a joint effort between the National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA) and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP), and is modified to meet the needs for a commercial cow-calf operation. Keep in mind that the following are general guidelines. Specific recommendations, particularly those in the optional category, should be made by your veterinarian because some products that may be needed in your herd are not listed (i.e., Redwater vaccine).


International Limousin Conference Held May 20-28

International Limousin Conference Held May 20-28

Cattle Today

Genetic improvement, new technologies and new markets were among the topics discussed at the 18th biennial International Limousin Conference, May 20–28 in Italy. Kent Andersen, Ph.D., executive vice president for the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF), addressed the conference’s “Future Perspectives of Limousin in the World” technical session, which was May 25 in Florence. He explained how the U.S. Beef Industry Whole-Genome Selection Project will enable and enhance genetic evaluation.