No one cares more about cattle than beef producers
The Kansas City Star
Animal welfare and husbandry are cornerstones of raising efficient, healthy cattle. Today we have often confused animal welfare with animal abuse. Distinction between the two is imperative for the beef industry and beef consumers.
Kansas State University is improving the communication among producers, regulatory officials, veterinarians, nutritionists and consumers with the International Beef Cattle Welfare Symposium that took place from May 28 to 30.
We are excited that more than 250 people from around the world attended, with even more people signed for a live Webcast.
Implanting Beef Cattle
Johnny Rossi, Extension Animal Scientist — Beef Cattle
Implanting nursing calves is one of the most economically justifiable practices available in the beef industry. Implants have been shown to increase weaning weights of nursing calves in hundreds of research trials. Likewise, stocker and feedlot calves exhibit even greater responses than nursing calves. Implanting returns more revenue per dollar invested than any other management practice.
Despite being approved for more than 50 years, nationwide only 33 percent of cow/calf producers use growth promoting implants. Technologies are constantly being developed to reduce the costs of beef production. Cow/calf producers, however, are often reluctant to use implants. It is critical that manufacturers invest money into research and product development to benefit cow/calf producers. Unless calves are marketed to a program that prohibits the use of implants, nursing calves intended for sale should be implanted prior to weaning.
Q&A: We just sold our fat calves. I was figuring ADG and feed conversion. What can I use for benchmarks for ADG and feed conversion?
Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska
A: I’ll give some ranges for ADG and feed conversions. Conditions during the feeding period and type of ration will impact both ADG and feed conversions.
Calf-feds, calves that are weaned then put into a feedlot and finished. They usually are in the feedlot for 190 to 210 days.
ADG – 2.9 to 3.5 lb/day
Feed Conversions – – 6.0 to 6.7 lb of feed per pound of gain.
Cattle Feed Byproducts: Opportunities For Storage
Three types of distillers grains can be produced that vary in moisture content. Ethanol plants may dry some or all of their distillers grains to produce dry distillers grains plus solubles (DDGS; 90% dry matter [DM]). However, many plants that have a market for wet distillers locally (i.e., Nebraska) may choose not to dry their distillers grains due to cost advantages. Wet distillers grains plus solubles (WDGS) is 30-35% DM. Modified wet distillers grains plus solubles (MWDGS) is 42-50% DM. It is important to note that plants may vary from one another in DM percentage, and may vary both within and across days for the moisture (i.e., DM) percentage. Figure 1 depicts different forms of distillers grains that may be used by beef producers. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these feeds.
Clearing up tall fescue misconceptions
James Rogers, Noble Foundation
Across the nation, tall fescue covers some 35 million acres making it one of the most popular forages in the country. Unfortunately, for many people the mere mention of tall fescue brings an automatic dismissal conjuring up bad experiences with poor animal performance or lack of persistence. There are a lot of negative feelings that need to be overcome before tall fescue becomes an accepted option.
The majority of tall fescue is infected with a fungal endophyte. This fungus lives between the cells of the plant in a symbiotic relationship. The plant provides the endophyte with shelter and nutrients – a place for the fungus to live and reproduce. The endophyte returns the favor by producing alkaloid compounds that provide the plant with insect and drought resistance, grazing tolerance and overall plant persistence.
While U.S. beef producers are worried in the short term, they’re mostly optimistic in the long-term about the future of the industry. The majority also feel federal subsidies of grain-based ethanol production are responsible for rising grain costs, and government subsidies and mandates on ethanol production should be eliminated.
In addition, the vast majority is making changes in their management and procurement strategies to reduce feed costs, and about 70% say they will maintain or reduce their herd size in 2008. In addition, 80% say they prefer Republican John McCain over Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton come November.
Intensive grazing practices important to pasture quality and animal nutrition
Intensive grazing practices are picking up in popularity across the Buckeye State and the nation. And Coshocton County agricultural producers are following this growing trend. Producers who opt to implement intensive grazing on their farms find that it takes time to develop a program and properly manage it. However, if properly approached and managed intensive grazing results in higher-quality forages and improved livestock nutrition.
Intensive grazing practices involve dividing a large pasture into smaller grazing areas referred to as paddocks. The paddocks are strategically designed with moveable, temporary fences. Paddock sizes and shapes will vary from farm to farm.
Online Forum Specializes In Forages
Hay and Forage Grower
A new forum set up specifically for discussions among hay and forage growers is now open at http://www.HayTalk.com. The Web site was developed by Jim Brown, a retired Air Force member, and was designed by his college-student son, Zachary. Brown works in Indianapolis, IN, and grows hay with his brother, John, in north-central Indiana. “Our hope is to provide a forum for hay and forage folks to come together and talk about their trade,” says Brown. “We want to create a community that brings together hay farmers from all around the world.”
Working Facilities, Curved Chutes
Curved Working Chutes
A curved working alley takes advantage of an animal’s natural behavior to turn away from potential danger or unpleasant sites or sounds. Curved working facilities prevent the animal from seeing the squeeze chute or truck until they are almost upon it. A facility with solid sides is likely to require a catwalk.
Cattle like to follow each other. Each animal should be able to see the one ahead of it. Blocking gates in a chute need to be see-through gates, so cattle can see the animal ahead. If the animal views a dead-end, it will balk. Make single-file chutes at least 20 feet long.
Uniform lighting can help avoid shadows. Cattle in the dark will move toward the light. If you are loading at night, use a frosted light in the truck or shine your flashlight into the truck. Avoid glare in their faces. Livestock tend to balk if they are forced to look into the sun. Position loading and squeeze chutes north and south for summer handling.
Low interest loan programs for agriculture producers to combine
The Oskaloosa Herald
After a successful three years, a low interest loan program for livestock operations will merge with a similar program designed to improve soil and water conservation, with funding to increase for both.
The programs offer low interest loans — 3 percent or less — for water quality-related improvements on agricultural land.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation (IDALS-DSC) will now operate both programs.
“This will make the local soil and water conservation district office the one-stop shop for producers who want to finance water quality improvements on their farms,” said Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.
High Imput Costs May Hamper Forage, Hay Gains
Patti Drapala, MSU Ag Communications
Mississippi State — Weather has been kind to Mississippi’s hay and forage producers, but the economy has not. An unusually cool spring, buffered by adequate rainfall, has increased growth in cool-season forages. Spring is the optimum period for nutrient and sugar content to develop in forages grown for hay, and Mother Nature’s timing was good.
“This set of circumstances has given producers an opportunity to cut some hay at its highest point of quality,” said David Lang, associate professor of agronomy at Mississippi State University.
Cooperative temperatures and rainfall have allowed producers in the state to obtain extra annual ryegrass for hay. Producers in south Mississippi were fortunate to experience good growth in bermudagrass, which added to their hay supplies.
More talks planned over S. Korean beef crisis
The South Korean trade minister plans to meet with his U.S. counterpart this week and may announce more negotiations on a deal that has imperiled the South Korean government, state media reported Thursday.
Tens of thousands hold up candles during Tuesday’s protest against resuming beef imports.
The two sides probably will pursue more negotiations on a deal that would resume beef exports from the United States to South Korea, according to the report from the Yonhap news agency. South Korea banned beef imports from the United States in 2003 amid concerns about mad cow disease.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters have filled the streets of Seoul in recent weeks to protest the deal in demonstrations that “rapidly evolved into anti-government protests,” the news agency said.
Tips for Preventing Pasture Bloat
Pasture bloat is primarily a disease of cattle that graze pastures where legumes make up greater than 50% of the total forage. You may hear pasture bloat referred to as “frothy” bloat due to the large amount of froth or foam produced in the rumen, which the animal has difficulty eructating.
Legumes with the highest likelihood to cause bloat include white clover, alfalfa, annual medics and Persian clover. Red clover, crimson clover and subterranean clover would be classified as moderately likely to cause bloat, while berseem clover and arrrowleaf clover are low risks for causing bloat. Legumes that don’t cause bloat are birdsfoot trefoil, sainfoin and crownvetch.
Kobe beef: in its prime
A family farm and restaurant in Roanoke turn out succulent steaks
What could be better for a special occasion than steak? Whether for a backyard barbecue or a restaurant celebration, the classic cut of beef remains one of America’s favorite entrees.
But one Indiana restaurant has gone way beyond prime cuts. At Joseph Decuis restaurant in the small northeastern Indiana town of Roanoke, owners Pete and Alice Eshelman feature American-style Kobe beef, the highly regarded Japanese breed called Wagyu. In fact, they have their own herd.