Daily Archives: July 11, 2008

Video Feature: Proper Operation of Cattle Squeeze Chutes

Temple Grandin explains the behavior principles of restraining cattle in squeeze chutes to reduce stress and improve animal welfare during veterinary procedures.

Q&A I want to keep a young bull to breed with, but it will be related to some of the herd. Some of the heifers are from the same father.

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

You can have father-daughter matings in beef cattle, but it is not recommended. This type of breeding practice is called Inbreeding or Closebreeding. Again, this breeding practice is rarely practiced today although it was common in the foundation animals of most breeds. The reason that it is not practiced in most breeding systems today is that closebreeding greatly enhances the chances that recessive genes will appear. This may include reduction in growth rate, fertility, and general vigor. Also, lethal genes and other genetic abnormalities often appear with increased frequency.

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A.I. Technology is Changing Rapidly!!

David Thorbahn, Select Sires, Inc., explains where the practise of artificial insemination is heading in the future. New Tools Coming In Bovine Genetic Development

The Beef Site

The United States has been a leader in the implementation and development of new genetic tools to advance dairy and beef populations. Today, more genetics are exported to countries from the U.S. than from any other major producing country in the world. I would like to give you a brief history of the advances in genetic improvement and introduce to you the new technology in molecular genetics. Then, I would like to explain some of the work currently underway and close by providing you insight into what tools you can expect to improve the health and production of your herd.

Genetic improvement started in the mid-1800s when European breed societies were formed to track parentage and record characteristics in various dairy and beef breeds. The U.S. followed suit a few years later. In addition, during that time late 1800’s and early 1900’s bull rings (syndicates) were formed in Europe and the U.S. to allow dairymen the opportunity to afford and share top sires that had traits they wanted to add to their herds.

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BeefTalk: Cow Size – Calf Value

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Lot Closeout Lot Closeout

The mushroom season this spring was short. The area is still short on feed and the cow size question remains unanswered.

Like all discussions, the temptation is to set aside the challenges of yesterday and replace them with immediate thoughts. Unfortunately, questions are not answered and yesterday’s challenges eventually will become tomorrow’s problems if unanswered.

Now is a good time to continue the cow size discussion. The stocking rate question simply will become a question of purchasing hay.

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Fly Control Can Be Environmentally Friendly

Heather Smith Thomas

Cattle Today

The battle against flies is constant, but there are ways to reduce the numbers of these costly pests—without pesticides and toxic chemicals. Fly control tactics have changed a lot in the past several decades. After the advent of pesticides, the emphasis was on spraying the premises or use of chemicals on the animals themselves (pour-ons, back rubbers, insecticide ear tags, etc.) but now we realize that some flies are developing resistance to these chemicals, and we’ve also become more concerned with the environment. Use of pesticides can be harmful to beneficial insects as well as the ones we are trying to control.

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John Speer

Some say it comes as no surprise now––

High hopes held a couple of years ago by midwest cattle producers to take part in the processing and sales of their beef products at Tama are gone.

The jobs – 540 meatpackers were laid off in 2004 – vanished with the hopes.

As the court process grinds on into it’s third year, records from U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids dated July 3 apparently dictate exactly what’s going on with the closed Iowa Quality Beef plant at Tama – and it’s a secret – by court order.

However, Tama Mayor Chris Bearden told The News-Herald Monday night a company has expressed interest in purchasing the plant and using part of the building for purposes not related to meat packing.

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Cattle producers praise Senate efforts

North Texas e-News

Washington, D.C. – Today, sponsors Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., along with co-sponsors Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., and Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., introduced legislation to protect the U.S. from the introduction of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) from Argentina.

The bill prohibits the importation of Argentine ruminants and swine, or any fresh, chilled or frozen meat or product of any ruminant swine born, raised or slaughtered in Argentina until the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture certifies to Congress that every region of Argentina is free of FMD without vaccination.

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S.D. judge orders USDA to revisit Canadian cattle rule but lets imports continue


A federal judge has refused to stop some Canadian beef imports over the threat of mad cow disease.

But he did agree with cattle, consumer and health groups that the U.S. government should revisit rules that protect against it.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol (PEER’-sol) granted in part a preliminary injunction sought by several groups that sued in federal court in South Dakota.

They want Piersol to suspend a U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that took effect in November allowing Canadian cattle more than 30 months old into the United States.

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BIF conference addresses collaboration, emerging technology


The Beef Improvement Federation’s 2008 Research Symposium, held last week in Calgary, Alberta, focused on collaboration and emerging technologies for advancement of beef-cattle genetics. The title of the symposium was “Beef Beyond Borders,” and several presenters stressed the need for collaboration between countries, universities, breed associations, genomics companies and producers. Resources for genetic research are shrinking, and research is becoming more expensive. Sharing information such as data on cattle with genome profiles can reduce expensive duplication of efforts.

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MetaMorphix tastes turnaround

Beltsville firm says genetic test can help cattle farmers conserve feed

Lindsey Robbins


Cattle farmers, paying $8 per bushel for corn and $4-plus for a gallon of fuel, are turning to a variety of new biotechnologies.

Offering its own tool to the mix is MetaMorphix of Beltsville, which uses genetic markers to determine how long each individual animal needs to be fed, so feed isn’t wasted.

The company, founded in 1994, is best known for its Canine Heritage XL Breed Test, which can determine the parentage of mixed-breed dogs from more than 100 breeds. A previous version identified 38 breeds.

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ATFA Commends U.S. Cattlemen’s Association on Bill Addressing FMD in Argentine Cattle


Legislation called ‘Important first Step’ by ATFA Executive Director

American Task Force Argentina (ATFA) commends the organization’s coalition member, United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), on their successful efforts to promote the introduction of legislation that further highlights Argentina’s poor record of dealing with Americans.

ATFA Executive Director Robert Raben congratulated USCA on their strong support of this bill, and noted the close working relationship that USCA has maintained with ATFA in exposing Argentina’s record of unfair treatment of American businesses, investors, taxpayers and consumers.

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Crossbreeding Beef Cattle

Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist; Virginia Tech

The economic climate of today’s beef business is challenging. Commercial cow-calf producers are faced with optimizing a number of economically important traits, while simultaneously reducing costs of production in order to remain competitive. Traits such as reproduction, growth, maternal ability, and end product merit all influence productivity and profitability of the beef enterprise. Implementation of technologies and systems that both reduce costs and enhance productivity is essential. One of the oldest and most fundamental principles that has a positive influence on accomplishing these goals is crossbreeding.

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Economic Impact of Using High Accuracy Genetics in an AI Program

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

The study involved a total of 328 steers from four sire groups that were categorized based on their expected progeny difference (EPD) accuracies: 1) High Accuracy AI (HA); 2) Low Accuracy AI (LA); 3) Calving Ease AI (CE); or 4) Natural Service (NS). HA sires were bulls with EPD accuracies ≥ .85 for birth wt. (BW), weaning wt. (WW), and yearling wt. (YW). All sire groups were harvested at the same yield grade, based on ultrasound measurements. Steers sired by HA sires finished at a significantly younger age (P<0.0001) than other sire groups (HA, 408 days; LA, 430 days; CE, 443 days; NS, 416 days) with greater average quality grades (HA, Hi Choice; LA, Lo Choice; CE, Avg. Choice; NS, Lo Choice).

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Bioniche Presents E. coli O157:H7 Vaccine Data to World Buiatrics Congress in Budapest, Hungary

CNW Group

 Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: BNC), a

research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, presented data regarding its E. coli O157:H7 cattle vaccine at the XXV World Buiatrics Congress in Budapest, Hungary today. The presentation was made by Dr. Dragan Rogan, Vice-President, Bioniche Animal Health Research & Development. It was entitled, "Vaccination of Cattle with E. coli O157:H7 Type  III Secretion Proteins as a Pre-Slaughter Intervention Method to Reduce E. coli O157:H7 Prevalence", and was co-authored by Dr. David Smith, Dr. Rod Moxley, Dr. Andy Potter and Julie Yome.

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