Daily Archives: June 13, 2008

Beef Talk: This Is Next Year Country

Beef Talk: This Is Next Year Country

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

This Is Next Year Country This Is Next Year Country

Management plans and associated production must be in concert with events beyond a producer’s control.

One can see many of the living things we depend on are doing their own thing. Winter damage (kill) to trees and other perennials are abundantly evident.

There are several combinations of events that impact the living. This spring seems to be a combination of dry conditions and cold. The cold does help the recent rains in terms of soil recharge, but the prolonged cold also is discouraging much plant growth.

A look outside reminds me of mid April, an event that was two months ago. Maybe tomorrow will bring warmth and more appropriate growing conditions.


Cattle Feed Byproducts: Reliable Supply & Pricing

Cattle Feed Byproducts: Reliable Supply & Pricing


Ration consistency is important for high rates of production. For feedlot cattle managed for fast growth and effi ciency, a consistent ration helps maintain performance and reduce digestive upsets. In addition, budgeting or projecting the performance of new cattle requires a reliable assumption of feed prices and therefore costs of gain. Thus, consistency of co-products from a given source and the ability to forward price or assure price consistency is important to feedlot producers. On the other hand,


High Costs Force Producers to Improve Eficiency

High Costs Force Producers to Improve Eficiency

Steven B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS

Cattle Today

Generally, Spring and Summer are reasonably relaxing times for the cattle producer. If it is a relatively normal year — no droughts, floods, earthquakes or tidal waves — many producers feel they can sit back, relax and let the cows graze. While it is true that many regions will experience severe drought or excessive rainfall that create difficulties, when we speak of a “normal” year we anticipate warm and hot weather with adequate growing conditions (i.e. appropriate levels of well-timed rainfall). Interestingly though, even during mid-summer when we have ample grass volume in our pastures and cow herds seem to be getting everything they need, looks can be deceiving, especially when we consider nutrient needs of cattle at different stages of production.


What’s the Beef with U.S. Beef?

What’s the Beef with U.S. Beef?

Joshua Brockman

National Public Radio

South Korean protests over their government’s decision to allow American beef back into the country escalated on Tuesday, with tens of thousands of demonstrators flooding the streets of the capital city of Seoul. Just a day earlier, in Washington, D.C., a senior group of diplomats from the South Korean agriculture ministry met with the United States Department of Agriculture to voice their concerns about U.S. beef.


Cattle Preconditioning: External Parasites

Cattle Preconditioning: External Parasites


External Parasites which affect cattle include lice, warbles (grubs) and flies. Lice are most commonly a problem in late winter, affecting both younger animals and adult cows. The primary clinical signs of lice are severe itching and hair loss, primarily around the neck and tailhead. The entire life cycle of the louse is spent on the animal’s body, making development of a control program easier. There are three stages of the louse’s life cycle: a) nit (egg), b) larva, c) adult. All products kill both the larvae and adult stages, but no products kill the nit. In order to completely eradicate lice from a herd of cattle, they must be treated with the product twice 2 weeks apart or treated with a product that has greater than 2 weeks persistent activity. Lice problems will typically clear up as temperatures rise in late spring and early summer, but they can cause decreases in body condition and milk production if severe enough.


USDA plans national cattle count in early July

USDA plans national cattle count in early July

Latah Eagle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is gearing up to count cattle inventory nationwide, with plans to contact nearly 10,000 cattle operations during the first two weeks of July.

“The July Cattle Survey provides Idaho producers the opportunity to serve as the frontline source of data on cattle”, said Bill Meyer, director of the Idaho Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). “In Idaho, we’ll be contacting about 365 operations in order to trends in beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop and cattle operations.”

Producers selected for the survey will have the option of responding via telephone, Internet, mail or personal interview with a local NASS representative.


Alternative Feeds for Ruminants

Alternative Feeds for Ruminants

Dr. Greg Lardy, Dr. Vern Anderson, NDSU Department of Animal and Range Sciences

General Concepts and Recommendations for Using Alternative Feeds

Many of the alternative feeds vary widely in nutrient content, making an analysis or some assessment of the feed value necessary. Producers must know the energy, protein and major mineral levels of these feeds to develop balanced, least-cost diets for livestock. With alternative feeds, wet chemistry analysis to determine nutrient content is strongly recommended, not near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). New and alternative feeds require extensive calibration for proper NIRS estimation of nutrient content. Whatever feed products are used, the ration must be balanced to meet livestock needs and producer goals, which should include economical production.


Local cattle farmers learn techniques to fight drought, fuel costs

Local cattle farmers learn techniques to fight drought, fuel costs



With the cost of diesel at an all time high, fertilizer nearly doubling and the devastating drought forcing farmers to reduce their herds, around 250 beef cattle farmers showed up at UT’s Beef and Forage Field Day Thursday to get some new ideas.

Roane County beef cattle farmer Terry Gupton made his way through more than a dozen vendor booths, looking at everything from new feed sources to water fountains for cows.

“If you’re not able to figure out how to make a living with the rising costs, I don’t see how you can go on,” Gupton says.

Cattle farmers came out to educate themselves about how to survive the highest operating costs they’ve ever seen.


Cargill looks to increase involvement in community

Cargill looks to increase involvement in community

Gabriel Monte

CNJ online staff

Cargill Meat Solutions representatives gave city and county officials a tour of the 4,500-cattle-a-day meat processing plant located in Friona on Thursday.

Human Resources Manager Margaret Renteria said the company would like more involvement in eastern New Mexico communities since almost a quarter of the plant’s 2,000 employees live in Clovis, Texico and Portales.

About $10 million in payroll goes to Clovis, she said.

During a formal presentation about the plant, Renteria asked city officials about starting a bus service from Clovis to the plant.


Local production of switchgrass hot topic at UT Beef and Forage Field Day

Local production of switchgrass hot topic at UT Beef and Forage Field Day

Larisa Brass


Gary Bates, professor of plant sciences at the University of Tennessee, holds a harvested handful of a fully grown switchgrass while standing in a field of it Thursday at UT’s Plant Sciences Unit of the East Tennessee Research and Education Center.

Biofuels seem to have spilled over into every area of farming, and the annual University of Tennessee Beef and Forage Field Day Thursday was no exception.

Near the top of the agenda was a presentation titled “Switchgrass: Biofuel, Forage or Both?”

With the first acreage of switchgrass now growing on local farms and a UT demonstration plant set for groundbreaking next year that, if all goes as planned, will make ethanol from its stems and leaves, interest in the crop has gone from none to exponential, said Gary Bates, UT plant sciences professor and field day presenter.

Dusty old speeches

Dusty old speeches

Seymour Klierly

High Plains Journal

With the recent decision that Senator Barack Obama is to be the Democratic presidential nominee, the toe-to-toe battle for the White House has begun. With two senators as front runners for the nation’s top job, don’t be surprised to see even less progress in D.C. Tough votes mean both nominees would have to travel back to the Hill, not only taking time away from their campaigns, but also putting them on record on hot topics.

There’s no hotter topic inside or outside the Beltway than energy prices. Speculation in the marketplace, oil company profits, production in the U.S. are all being thrown around as reasons why Americans are paying over $4 per gallon for gasoline. The speeches made by many of the players are the same speeches they gave 5 or 10 years ago when gas hit the $1 and $2 per gallon mark. Democrats want more regulation and less production; Republicans want more domestic production. Same old fight; same old speech.


Q&A: My cow gave birth at 3PM on Saturday and the placenta is hanging down and this 24 hours after she calved. Is this normal?

Q&A: My cow gave birth at 3PM on Saturday and the placenta is hanging down and this 24 hours after she calved. Is this normal?

Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska

Retained placenta is rare in most cow herds. The placenta is retained when the cotyledons on the placenta do not detatch from the caruncles on the uterus during parturition. This can occur during difficult births (dystocia) in beef cattle. Also, when cows are induced to calve, you will see a higher incidence of retained placenta in the induced cows.


Calving Ease, Growth, Mature Size Illustrate Limousin Breed Improvement

Calving Ease, Growth, Mature Size Illustrate Limousin Breed Improvement


Phenotype is an individual’s observed category or measured level of performance for a trait. Its genotype (genetic merit) and the environment it experiences determine an animal’s phenotype. Because genetic selection and environment – including management – drive expressed levels of performance over time, you can determine if genetic selection and management are working by studying annual changes in observed performance.

The North American Limousin Foundation (NALF) recently examined the breed’s phenotypic trends for the last 10 years to gauge the effects its members’ selection and management decisions were having on calving ease; birth, weaning, yearling and mature-cow weights; and frame size.


Self-fed Supplements for Range Cattle

Self-fed Supplements for Range Cattle

John Paterson, Extension Beef Specialist, Montana State University


During the late summer and early fall months, range grasses are deficient in both crude protein and energy for cows in lactation. Because of limited forage quantity and (or) quality, supplemental feeding of protein-energy, minerals and vitamins is practiced by the producer. Nationally, the USDA estimated that ninety four percent of cattle producers utilized pasture or crop residues, while 83% fed hay from November to March and, 49% provided supplements.

The overarching goal of supplementing beef cattle is to provide nutrients that are lacking in the basal diet and to increase the intake and digestibility of lower quality forages and crop residues. It is evident that reproduction is impacted the most by nutrient deficiencies. Table 1 partially summarizes the consequences of inadequate intake of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals by beef cattle and lays the foundation as to why supplementation is often necessary.


Ag Forum speaker raises prospect of corn rationing for livestock

Ag Forum speaker raises prospect of corn rationing for livestock

Blair Fannin

Texas A&M

Record corn prices are creating major concerns for the livestock feeding industry, and if the run-up continues, corn rationing for animals may be an option, according to one expert at the 2008 Texas Ag Forum in Austin this week.

Cattle feedlot operators are becoming less tolerant of record corn prices, and some feedlots are on the brink of putting themselves up for sale or going out of business, speakers said.