Daily Archives: July 10, 2008

Video Feature: Cattle Handling in Crowd Pens

Temple Grandin explains how to use behavior principles to move cattle quietly through crowd pens, chutes, races and circular tubs for low stress cattle handling.

Washington Veteran to Represent Cattlemen

The Beef Site

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has hired J. Burton Eller Jr. to manage the association’s legislative and regulatory office in Washington, D.C., a return for the senior executive of the former National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA).

Burton will report to CEO Terry Stokes, who served an additional role as interim head of the D.C. office during the search for a new senior vice president of government affairs.

“I have seen firsthand the challenges facing cattlemen in Washington, D.C.,” Stokes said. “My goal was to find someone who could step into this role without missing a beat and am confident Burton is the right man to lead NCBA government affairs as we go forward.”

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Beef Improvement Federation names Great Plains producers as honorees

Cattle Business Weekly

Cattlemen from around the world gathered in Calgary June 30-July 3 for the 2008 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Annual Meeting and Research Symposium, "Beef Beyond Borders," hosted by the Canadian Beef Breeds Council.

The yearly event is usually held in the U.S. and is North America’s leading forum to showcase and discuss genetic advancements and innovations in beef production. During BIF’s 40th anniversary meeting discussion beef production innovations and advancements happening in the U.S. and Canada were shared along with opportunities for the two leading beef producing countries. The event had more than 400 attendees participating from eight countries: Canada, U.S., Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Getting Cows Bred In July & August

cattlenetwork.com

One of the most challenging aspects of spring calving is trying to determine when to calve to maximize reproductive rate. Reproductive efficiency in a cow herd is most accurately measured by the term "percent calf crop weaned" which is calculated by dividing the number of calves weaned by the number of cows that were in the cow herd when the breeding season began the previous year. The two factors that affect the ability of a cow to wean a calf is pregnancy rate and calf death loss.

Most spring-calving herds begin calving sometime in February or March and end sometime in May or June. Calving in February and March can be challenging because both of these months are typically wet and/or cold. Wet/cold environments result in higher calf death loss; calf death losses average 5-7% for most spring calving herds. One method to reduce calf death loss is to calve when the weather is more accommodating. For example, death loss is much lower (1-2%) for cows that calve in the fall (September and October). One might think that calving in April and May could be a better option; the weather is certainly warmer and calf death loss will likely be lower. To calve in April and May, the breeding season would be start June 23rd and would last through the month of August. Unfortunately, breeding cattle during this time results in lower pregnancy rates and would put most beef cattle producers out of business.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Summer is Not a Time to Back Off On Management

Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D., PAS

Cattle Today

Part 1

Summer is typically a great time of the year. A time for baseball and watermelon, a time for home-made ice cream and fireworks. Many years it’s a great time for cattle producers as well. A time to relax a little and to get hay cut and baled or silage put up. This year is more challenging given the extremes in weather patterns – floods in the Midwest, drought in some areas of the south and other locations. Some of the areas who are receiving good rainfall may still have difficulty getting their hays and silages put up because of timing. And, as always, in other areas, the lack of rainfall will reduce levels of hay production, reduce growth of immediately grazable forages and reduce growth of forages that would be grazed in the fall and early winter. In short, significantly reduce the nutrient source available for these cattle for the coming months. And these are only the environmental effects. We won’t even mention the costs of fuel, feed and fertilizer.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Beef Well-Positioned For Current Economic Challenges

Beef Magazine

The beef-cattle industry is well positioned to successfully compete and thrive given record-high corn and energy costs, says economist Bill Helming.

The president of Bill Helming Consulting Services, Olathe, KS, says record-high corn, soybean meal and energy costs are presenting major challenges, placing significant upside pressure on costs of gain and operating expenses, while exerting downside pressure on margins for cattle producers, cattle feeders, pork producers and chicken companies. And the prospects are high that some of these trends and developments will continue for the next 12-30 months.

Full Story


Powered by Qumana

Beef Cattle Breeds and Biological Types

Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist; Virginia Tech

Worldwide there are more than 250 breeds of beef cattle. Over 60 of these breeds are present in the United States. However, a relatively small number of breeds (less than 20) constitute the majority of the genetics utilized in the U.S. for commercial beef production. The breed, or combination of breeds, used in a defined breeding program have a significant impact on the efficiency and profitability of the beef enterprise. Breed influences the important parameters of growth rate, reproductive efficiency, maternal ability, and end-product specifications. Additionally, nutritional requirements and production costs are related to traits such as mature cow size and growth rate that are largely determined by breed. Therefore, selecting appropriate breeds to be used in a crossbreeding program is an important decision for beef cattle producers.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Meat Safe, Says Agriculture Sec.

JOSH FUNK

Time

The U.S. agriculture secretary expressed confidence in the nation’s food safety system, but said the meat processing industry will always face challenges because the bacteria that animals carry evolves.

"I don’t think we’ll ever see a totally bacteria-free environment in the United States," Ed Schafer said Tuesday during a visit of several Nebraska meat processing plants.

His tour didn’t include the Nebraska Beef Ltd. plant in Omaha, which recalled 5.3 million pounds of meat last week that has been linked to 41 E. coli infections in Michigan and Ohio.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Is it time to bid farewell to cheeseburgers?

Ari Levaux

Billings Outpost

If you’re concerned about the effect your food choices have on the environment, you should reconsider cheeseburgers. A recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology shows that beef and milk products are the world’s most polluting foods, thanks to the greenhouse gases released by the production of cows.

Just in time for the Fourth of July, this indictment of the all-American cheeseburger may have been taken by climate change skeptics as proof that global warming is a left-wing conspiracy. But burger lovers who fear global warming should expect angst at the grill this summer.

Meanwhile, in what has to be awkward news for locavores, the study also found that for the average consumer, eating locally offers negligible benefits in terms of greenhouse gas prevention.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Another Canadian mad cow raises ire

George Lauby

 North Platte Bulletin

Another mad cow has been found in Canada, spreading alarm through U.S. ranch country.

So far, 14 mad cows have been found since 2003 in cattle born in Canada. Despite the danger, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has allowed Canadian cows to come into the United States if the cows are born after March 1, 1999.

Canada ’s latest BSE case was in a five-year-old Holstein from British Columbia, born in 2003.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

NCBA task force to look at group’s structure

Peter Shinn

Brownfield Network

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced Tuesday it’s forming a task force to look at its own structure and governance. The move comes as U.S. cattle producers are struggling with record-high feed and fuel costs.

One member of the new NCBA task force is Scott Jones, a beef producer who’s President of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. He told Brownfield NCBA as currently organized may simply be too big, especially when the beef industry is facing major challenges.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Cattle to graze on conservation land

Don Seely

Wisconsin State Journal

A plan announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday to allow grazing on agricultural lands set aside for conservation in Wisconsin ‘s flood-plagued counties will have minimal effect on natural resource efforts such as grassland bird studies and erosion control, according to experts.

The agency said it will permit farmers to graze livestock on Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, acres in 40 Wisconsin counties that have been affected by flooding. The floods have caused a shortage of grazing land because of acreage that either is now under water or was ruined by floodwater.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Q&A I was wondering if the higher inclusion rates of WDG in cattle feeding rations is having any effect on the larger frames that fat cattle have been expressing. Protein makes the frame and energy makes the fat is kind of the old saying, but is that what’s actually happening?

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

A:   I don’t think that feeding distillers grains has much of an influence on frame size in feedlot cattle. Phenotype (the attributes of an animal that you can see) is a funtion of their genetic make-up (genotype) + enviroment. The heritability of yearling frame size is 50%, so this trait would be considered moderate to highly heritable. With this high of heritablility, it would be fairly easy to increase frame size in cattle.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Agricultural options abound for youth

Codi Vallery

Cattle Business Weekly

In the past 37 years, close to 4,700 youth have attended the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI) held every summer at the Kauffman Center in Lincoln, Neb.

This July 13 -17, a total of 133 Nebraska youth with have a chance to learn more about agriculture and the opportunities the industry holds for them.

"The purpose of the institute is to promote agriculture to both farm and town kids," says Joe Holoubek of Davis City, Neb. who currently serves as head counselor. "We promote the opportunities in agriculture they have. There is something besides farming and ranching and some don’t realize that."

Full Story

Powered by Qumana

Beef stakes: The more knowledge, the better, when is comes to those steaks

JANET LEONARDI

THE STAR-LEDGER

Choose wisely — not every piece of meat makes the cut

If you’re wondering if beef is still what’s for dinner, rest assured it is. Last year alone the US Department of Agriculture reported we consumed a whopping 28.1 billion pounds of it.

So if just the mere sight of a sizzling rib-eye, New York strip, T-bone or porterhouse kicks your taste buds into overdrive — even with the ever rising price of food and concerns about cholesterol — it’s important to realize there’s a whole lot more to know about beef then what meets the eye.

Full Story

Powered by Qumana