Daily Archives: June 17, 2008

Country-of-Origin Labeling

Country-of-Origin Labeling

Meghan Richey

Angus Journal

They say it’s really happening this time. Country-of-origin labeling, the twice delayed, highly controversial retail labeling program that has divided the industry with passionate debate since it debuted in the 2002 Farm Bill, will be implemented by the Sept. 30, 2008, deadline.

“Politically, I see absolutely no desire, no will by either political party to extend the September 30 date. … We are going to be moving very, very rapidly to put country-of origin labeling in place by the September 30 deadline,” said Agriculture Undersecretary Bruce Knight. “Somehow, we are going to pull that off.”


Emergency Considerations for Beef Cattle

Emergency Considerations for Beef Cattle

By Max Irsik and Todd Thrift, University of Florida, IFA Extension.

Hurricanes have the potential to cause severe damage to ranches and cattle production facilities.

Included among concerns about potential hurricane damage are considerations for animal care and health management before, during and after the emergency. The following guide is a general overview of beef cattle handling, care, and health concerns which may be associated with a natural disaster such as a hurricane.


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.


Brucellosis Confirmed in Wyoming Cattle Herd

Brucellosis Confirmed in Wyoming Cattle Herd


Bad news came to Wyoming yesterday when the State Veterinary Laboratory reported that Brucellosis was found present in two cows. According to the Wyoming Livestock Board, this confirms that the herd has been infected.

Blood from these cows initially tested positive at a sale barn. However, since false positive blood tests can occur, the cows were sent to the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory where they were necropsied and cultured. With culture, tissues are tested for the actual bacteria. In this case, the bacterium was cultured from tissues from both cows.


Recommendations for Structured Sire Evaluation

Recommendations for Structured Sire Evaluation

Angus Journal

Seedstock and commercial producers have continued interest to improve the genetic merit of the cattle they produce to meet the product demanded by consumers. A shift continues in the industry as more cattle are marketed in value-based systems determined by carcass merit. Branded beef marketing programs such as the Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) program rely on qualifying cattle meeting carcass specifications to supply those products. It remains crucial that Angus cattle remain in a strong position to produce animals with not only predictable reproductive, maternal and growth traits, but also carcass merit to meet industry needs. .

Cattle Rise to Highest Since at Least 1986; Hog Futures Decline

Cattle Rise to Highest Since at Least 1986; Hog Futures Decline

Alan Bjerga

Cattle futures rose to their highest in at least 22 years as the surging cost of corn renewed concern that U.S. feedlots will reduce the number of animals available for beef production. Hogs fell.

Corn, the main ingredient in cattle feed, jumped to a record for an eighth straight session as floods damaged fields in the Midwest. Feedlots lost $50 to $100 a head last week, said Bob Wilson at hedgersedge.com. Cattle futures are up 18 percent since March 31, partly on speculation feedlot owners will be forced to sell more animals at lighter weights.


Fall feeder prices in question

Fall feeder prices in question

Western Livestock Journal

The feeder cattle market began to show signs last week that prices may begin to level off with buyers taking notice of sharply higher corn futures as a result of a downgraded USDA corn crop projection. Strength continues to be found in the market for heavier placement-weight cattle, which are few and far between due to last winter’s fluctuating grain markets and a lack of winter pasture.

Prices paid for feeder cattle trended mostly steady last week, capping a period of several weeks where significant gains were the norm. Most markets received very limited supplies and remained unchanged, while some markets with good runs noticed price decreases on certain classes of cattle.


Ethanol’s advantages far outweigh costs

Ethanol’s advantages far outweigh costs

Indianapolis Star

Oil imports are falling for the first time in more than 30 years. One reason: More ethanol made right here in the U.S. from corn. A mere 14 years from now, America will be churning out 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels — more than we import now from the Persian Gulf.

We are finally starting to reduce our dependence on a volatile dealer of a highly expensive resource that is eventually going to run out anyway.


Livestock & Farm Buildings After A Flood

Livestock & Farm Buildings After A Flood


Once the water recedes after a flood there are many things that need to be dealt with before putting a building back in service. These involve dealing with safety issues, service issues and other efforts that will prolong the life of the building.

When a building has been submerged or partly submerged the electrical system and water system have likely been compromised. Of course the electrical system is the most immediate safety concern because of the implication of electrocution.


Midwest flooding will raise corn prices, soak food buyers

Midwest flooding will raise corn prices, soak food buyers

Jim Downing

Sacramento Bee

Last week’s deluge in the Midwest will soon be lapping at the aisles of the local supermarket.

With rain damage and flooding expected to cut the corn harvest in key states such as Iowa by as much as 25 percent, corn prices on the Chicago Board of Trade hit record levels last week, jumping more than 20 percent since the beginning of June.

Because corn accounts for a large fraction of the cost of producing chicken, eggs, dairy products, pork and beef, prices for all those foods are expected to rise as well – though it could take as long as two years for some of the increases to reach consumers, experts said.


NMSU Teams With Ranch for Beef Marketing Stud

NMSU Teams With Ranch for Beef Marketing Stud

Darrell J. Pehr

ABQ Journal

LAS CRUCES made a choice to treat themselves to a nice meal. But does it matter to them where the beef came from, or how the cattle that provided the beef were raised?

With the New Mexico beef industry generating some $905 million annually, a total U.S. beef consumption of 28 billion pounds per year and the increased cost of producing beef due to competition for corn with the biofuels industry, beef marketing decisions and feedback from consumers can be critical.

Living With Higher Feed Costs

Living With Higher Feed Costs


Livestock producers are well aware that feed costs are higher than they were two years ago. The higher prices are expected to encourage increased world production of grains and oilseeds, but growing demand for food, feed, and fuel will remain strong. While we can debate what the new price levels will be, there is nearly universal agreement that higher grain prices are not a passing fad. Eventually, we expect for livestock and poultry prices to increase in response to the higher feed costs and reach a level that yields enough margin to sustain the industry. However, the transition may not be smooth or timely. The challenge for producers is to survive the short-term transition and prepare for long-run success.


Once vs Twice Daily Insemination Schedules

Once vs Twice Daily Insemination Schedules

Mel DeJarnette, reproductive specialist, Select Sires

Questions have surfaced regarding the fertility of once vs twice daily insemination schedules. To interpret studies evaluating once vs twice daily insemination, you must keep in mind; there is a clear distinction between time of initial standing estrus and first observed standing estrus.

In order for the AM/PM rule of insemination timing to be successful, you must first have an accurate estimation of when standing heat began. In a Pennsylvania study, 63% of the herds observed cows for signs of estrus only twice per day or less, therefore, the accuracy of determining time of initial standing heat was lower in these herds than in herds with more intense estrous detection programs. Also, the time interval from initial standing heat to first observed standing heat is longer in herds with low intensity estrous detection. For herds where heat detection is less than optimal, breeding cows soon after they are observed in estrus is as good a guess as any. In fact, due to the longer time interval from initial standing heat to first observed standing heat in these herds, many animals inseminated shortly after estrus is first noted are probably being inseminated fairly close to when they should, according to the AM/PM rule. Trying to predict proper timing of insemination using the AM/PM rule without intense estrous detection programs and accurate estimations of time of initial standing heat is just kidding yourself.


I Love Moo: Tales From A N.Y. Animal Sanctuary

I Love Moo: Tales From A N.Y. Animal Sanctuary

By Andrea Sachs

Washington Post

Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

Moo had a little crush on me, and I could all but return his affections.

The brown-haired boy possessed saucer-size eyes, a sturdy build and a sweet disposition. But what really tugged at my heart was his story of survival. The super-friendly bull, who had trailed me through the pasture like a lovelorn teen, had been found tied to a car during his calfhood. He was saved by one animal shelter, then recently relocated to another, Farm Sanctuary near Watkins Glen, N.Y.