Daily Archives: July 9, 2008

Paralyzed Today Waiting For The Changes Of Tomorrow

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

Change, change, change. At times, it’s difficult to sit through yet another presentation on change.

No one is arguing that the explosion of commodity prices ironically may be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back in terms of spelling the end for the commodity-beef business. Niche and branded marketing brings with it a whole new set of challenges, but the trends toward becoming more consumer oriented seem unstoppable.

The real issue isn’t so much about embracing the concept that the industry is changing. After all, it doesn’t take any special insight to see the volume and magnitude of the change that’s occurring. The real question is how one deals with these changes.

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Reducing Postpartum interval of Beef Cows

Ron Torell and Ben Bruce, Livestock Extension Specialists, Mike Gerber, Owner/Manager Home Ranch O’Neil Basin

INTRODUCTION

A cow that cycles and rebreeds 83 days post-calving will deliver a calf near the same date the following year. Several factors affect the postpartum interval (PPI) of cows such as body condition, age and genetics. “Backing cows up” or shortening the PPI is difficult under the best of conditions. This trial investigated the effect body condition and cow age had on PPI of beef cows.

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Young vet’s experience with sick cattle gets to core of field’s role

Bill Epperson

The Clarion-Ledger

As a young veterinarian, I felt anxiety when Dr. Voorhees stared at me and boomed, "Veterinary diagnostic labs do 3 things – they educate the public, diagnose animal disease and protect public health." This was something he needed me to remember.

Several years ago on Presidents Day, two dead cows were delivered to the diagnostic lab for necropsy (necropsies are autopsies in animals). They were normal-looking and full of feed, and there were no abnormalities we could find. They came from a herd of about 140 beef cows. Within the last 12 hours, 55 had died. Most cows showed no signs; they were just found dead. The owners and their veterinarian treated them with everything, but nothing helped. They were exasperated.

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Ag secretary visiting Nebraska meat processing plants

LESLIE REED

OMAHA WORLD-HERALD

FREMONT, Neb. — After touring two Nebraska slaughterhouses and a meat processing facility in Omaha on Tuesday, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer praised the country’s system for ensuring meat safety.

"The facilities are well-run, with huge attention paid to safety," he said. "Employees are well-trained. There’s a lot of effort to put a good, safe product out on the market."

Schafer’s visit came in the wake of a 5-million-pound recall of meat processed by Nebraska Beef of Omaha.

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Turkey Calling for VA Cows

WHSV-TV

Nothing says customer satisfaction like return business, especially when the purchase is as substantial as cattle, and the buyer and seller are 5,000 miles apart.

In December, 2007, Turkish buyers purchased more than 1,800 bred Holstein, Angus and Hereford heifers through Culpeper, Virginia exporter T. K. Exports, Inc. With assistance from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, exporter Gordon Thornhill had assembled a shipment of cattle that met the buyers’ stringent requirements.

Less than seven months later, the same exporter, again working with VDACS, repeated the process, shipping more than 1,000 Black Angus beef heifers and 1,000 bred Holstein heifers to waiting purchasers in Turkey.

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Farms are Next Food-Safety Frontier, Says CSPI

Bush Administration Urged to Give One Agency On-Farm Authority

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Many government agencies monitor food, but no federal agency is in charge of food-safety practices on America’s farms, according to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI today urged the Administration and Congress to make one agency responsible for improving food-safety practices on the farm, where harmful pathogens can contaminate livestock, fruit, and vegetables.

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Fighting Cow Methane at the Source: Their Food

Genetically modified grass could be the key to reducing cow emissions.

Amber Fields

While many cattle are stuffed full of grain, grass-fed cattle have been heralded as a greener way to get beef because it diminishes the need to feed the animals antibiotics and has a smaller carbon footprint, not to mention that it yields beef with less saturated fat. Those of us lucky (or wealthy) enough to feast on grass-fed beef can rest easy knowing we have taken a step toward protecting planet Earth—or so we thought. It turns out there’s a hitch: Cow burps, which send methane into the atmosphere, may increase global warming.
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Breed Leaders to Speak at World Beef Expo

Wisconsin Ag Connection

Three national experts are slated to discuss what role beef breed associations will have on the future of the industry during the World Beef Expo Educational Seminar later this fall at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis. All seedstock and commercial cattle producers interested in enhancing their cattle operation are encouraged to attend the event to learn more about the vision, technology and programs being developed by breed associations for the future.

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Creep Grazing for Suckling Calves – A Pasture Management Practice

Y.C. Newman, D.E. Mayo, J. Vendramini and C. G. Chambliss.

University of Florida

Selling additional pounds of calf is a desirable objective in any beef cattle enterprise. One way to do this in a cow-calf operation is through creep grazing. Creep grazing is the use of high quality forage that only calves have access to while grazing with their mothers during the time before weaning. Creep grazing is also one way of using more efficiently limited acreage of high quality forage. Calves with higher nutritional demands get to use the high quality forage. Through creep grazing additional pounds go to the nursing calves, and when weaned, creep grazed calves may weigh 30 to 50 pounds more per calf than those calves that did not have creep grazing available to them.

The concept of creep grazing is based on the fact that the nutritional requirements of suckling calves are much higher than those of cows. Calves creep grazing on high quality forage that provides high intake of digestible energy and protein make extra growth while the cows are grazing lower quality pasture. For instance, creep grazing makes a difference with Brahman crossbred cows when the milking ability of the mothers is low.

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Q&A Is common to keep weight and feed records for supplements fed to beef cattle in the ranching area?

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

Record-keeping has become a more intergral part of beef cattle production, especially after the BSE was found in the United States and since the banning of feeding of all ruminant derived proteins beginning in 1998. Most Beef Quality Assurance Program (BQA) have guidelines on recordkeeping of feedstuffs. Medicated feeds can only be fed according to the lable and there are no "extra" lable feeding. In the Nebraska BQA program, supplements that have additive(s), information must be kept in in such a manner that things like name of the supplement, when the supplement was fed, to what group of livestock, how much was fed, and when feeding ended can be documented.

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Introduction & Nutrition Of Fractionated Distillers

cattlenetwork.com

Thought I’d share a bit of background to introduce myself. I formerly held the Extension Beef Cattle Specialist position at the University of Wisconsin. Yes, there are beef cattle in the dairy state, about 260,000 beef cows and roughly 250,000 cattle on feed. While in Wisconsin I was engaged in all aspects of beef production and involved with several state beef organizations. Dairy steers were a central focus area which capitalized on a readily available resource and my research with dairy steers involved both feedlot and grazing components. Some of my work also investigated alternative forages for growing beef cattle such as cup plant, soft-leaf tall fescue and kura clover. We investigated co-products in the feedlot and as supplement for stockers and pasture finishing. Wisconsin has nine ethanol plants in operation with ethanol co-products ranging from conventional dry milling co-products (i.e. wet and dried distillers grains) to new generation fractionated products (i.e. corn bran, corn germ and high protein distillers). Thus, distillers grain isn’t distillers grains anymore.

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R-Calf Obtains Preliminary Injunction

Jason Vance

Hoosier AG Today

  Judge Lawrence Piersol of the U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of South Dakota ruled that the first of seven arguments presented by R-Calf in their case to obtain an injunction against the importation of cattle and beef from Canada older than 30 months was valid. The argument was that USDA failed to follow its own rules in reopening the Canadian border last November to over 30 month beef. Because the court found that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail on that argument, the rule was remanded back to USDA for a notice of rulemaking and acceptance of public comments on the department’s decision.

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Crazy horse policy

Agweb.com

It’s crazy.

Here’s a place to go read something crazy. http://www.letemrun.com/cnn.pdf

It’s a page of comments on a story about activists’ efforts to keep the government from euthanizing the thousands of wild horses that, left to nature would be happy to eat much of the west into dust.

If you click into the foundation’s home page, you see the dilemma facing the livestock industry. The comments on the CNN story have both points of view represented. However, notice that the foundation has got a nice financial boost out of the publicity.

If you buy into the proposition that wild horses are a greater symbol of the American west than are cattle and ranchers, the story affords a nice easy way to find a way to contribute money to your cause.

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Who Can Afford Corn? Almost No One, Purdue Economist Says

cattlenetwork.com

Inexpensive and abundant corn helped move the ethanol industry onto the alternative fuels fast lane. With corn prices now at record highs, demand outpacing supply and crop losses inevitable with the Midwest floods, ethanol production could soon be stalled, a Purdue University Extension agricultural economist said.

As corn prices continue climbing, fewer ethanol producers can afford the feedstock, said Chris Hurt. In turn, domestic livestock producers and foreign buyers are finding it more difficult either to pay the high prices or obtain the grain they need, he said.

"The ethanol industry is struggling to pay for corn that has reached the $7 a bushel level," Hurt said. "So the ethanol industry may also experience losses and might not be able to bid the price. That will depend on what oil prices and, therefore, ethanol prices, are.

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Comstock to Lead Red Angus

Cattle Today

Greg Comstock has been named Executive Secretary of the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA). Comstock has served the RAAA as the Marketing Programs Coordinator since 2003, where he directed breed promotion and the development of several facets of RAAA’s commercial marketing programs. Age verification, electronic ID capabilities and an umbrella program for cooperating feedyards are all components of the Red Angus Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP), whose design and implementation occurred during Comstock’s involvement. With over 1 million head of cattle enrolled, from more than 3000 producers, the Red Angus FCCP remains the seedstock industry’s most experienced source verification program.

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