Daily Archives: July 14, 2008

Video Feature: Cattle Behavior and Handling

Temple Grandin lectures on how distractions, lighting and shadows can cause livestock to balk and refuse to move through races, cattle chutes, and corrals.

Video Feature: Estrous Detection

Dr. Allen Bridges details methods for detection of estrus in beef cattle, part of an efficient breeding program.

Baxter Black: THE DUMP TRUCK

Have you seen the movie, The Phoenix? A group of adventurers crashed a big twin-engine airplane in the Sahara Desert. Over a period of weeks they rigged together a single engine plane out of the pieces and flew off to a happy ending. That movie crossed my mind as I shouted down to Mel, “Follow me, I’ll get it rolling and coast to the truck stop!”

It all began Monday afternoon the day before. We had hauled dirt for four hours until the F750 dump truck that Mel had rebuilt and Elmo was driving, stalled while trying to unload. Mel popped the hood and Elmo climbed up beside him. Mel is a windmill man, well driller, mule man, machinist and tinkerer of heavy equipment. Elmo grew up in Mexico and can make anything run if he has enough rebar and duct tape!

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Q&A: Can you plant a mix of timothy and perrenial grass in late summer/fall?

Dr. Jerry Volesky, Associate Professor of Agronomy, West Central Research & Extension Center – North Platte, North Platte, NE

A:  Late summer to early fall is a good time to plant cool-season grasses such as the timothy, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass mix. There are generally fewer weed problems with fall planting compared to spring plantings.

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2008 Across-Breed EPD Table Released

Beef Magazine

The table of adjustment factors to be used to estimate across-breed expected progeny differences (AB-EPDs) for 16 breeds was presented at the Beef Improvement Federation Annual Meeting in Calgary, Alberta last week.

Across-breed adjustment factors have been calculated for growth traits and maternal milk since 1993. This year, adjustment factors for carcass traits have been calculated for eight of the 16 breeds for the first time. In order to be included, breeds had to have carcass data in the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) database and report their carcass EPDs on an actual carcass basis using an age-adjusted endpoint.

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Think Like A Cow

Want to make cattle handling simpler and safer? These pros do it every day.

Progressive Farmer

Remember the last time you had to get your cattle up twice in one week? More than likely the cows didn’t enjoy it the first time, and they made darn sure you didn’t enjoy it the second time.

Take pity on Doug and Mary Ellen Hicks. Doug, head of the beef unit at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC), and Mary Ellen, veterinarian and animal science professor, have to get the school herd up as many as four times a week for student labs.

And getting chute-savvy cows corralled repeatedly isn’t their only challenge. The husband-and-wife team is also responsible for the safety of their student helpers, most of whom are straight from the city.

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Foot-and-Mouth Disease Threat Cannot Be Underestimated

Sen. Mike Enzi

The Hill’s Congress Blog

In protecting our nation’s beef supply, there is a continued need for vigilance when it comes to animal health threats.  That’s why Senator Johnson, D-S.D., and I have introduced the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Prevention Act of 2008.  A wide range of veterinary professionals and livestock producers recognize the threat that foot-and-mouth disease poses to the U.S. livestock industry. If the United States is to continue producing and selling the highest quality meat products in the world, our country must be free of the most dangerous ailments that affect the livestock which enter the market.

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David Burton: Program trains youths in livestock management

Springfield News Leader

Over 700 youths in southwest Missouri have received training on producing a quality meat product through the Show Me Quality Assurance Program.

"The Show Me Quality Assurance Program emphasizes good management practices in the handling and use of animal health products. It also encourages producers to review their approach to their herds’ health programs," said Dona Funk, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

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Gene can increase beef yield

ABC Rural

Researchers at Adelaide University have discovered a gene which can increase beef yields by 20 per cent.

The gene is a modification of the Myostatin gene and is found naturally in Limousin cattle

Team leader, Dr Wayne Pitchford, says the gene increases the amount of prime cuts.

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Ethanol Co-Products


Distillers Grain

Distillers grain is an important co-product of drymill ethanol production. Drymill ethanol production process uses only the starch portion of the corn, which is about 70% of the kernel. All the remaining nutrients – protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins – are concentrated into distillers grain, a valuable feed for livestock. A bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds and will produce at least 2.8 gallons of ethanol and 17 pounds of distillers grain.

Distillers grain can be fed to livestock wet or dry. Dried distillers grain (DDG) is the most common variety. Drying the distillers grain increases its shelf life and improves its ability to be transported over longer distances. If a consistent nearby market can be secured, ethanol producers can supply the feed as wet distillers grain (WDG). The wet form is not as easily transportable, but the cost of drying the product is removed.

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Distillers grains energy value varies

Ron Kotrba

Ethanol Producer Magazine

Beef cattle fed a percentage of distillers grains in Nebraska performed differently than cattle fed the same percentage of distillers grains in Kansas.

This finding has driven researchers to investigate the phenomenon further, and at least two major regional differences in feeding practices have been pinpointed as the bases for these variations in beef cattle performance. The nutritional composition of distillers grains between different corn-based ethanol plants can vary, too, so when recent research at Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University and elsewhere concluded that the energy value of distillers grains is dependent on the ethanol feedstock used, it confirmed what some already believed.

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Herd sent to slaughter, Dairy agrees to USDA buyout of 4,800 cattle at risk for bovine TB

Cecilia Parsons

Capital Press

More than 4,800 dairy cows at risk of carrying bovine tuberculosis are being sent to a slaughter plant and rendering facility after the owner of the Fresno County dairy agreed to a buyout from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More than 16,000 cows at two other dairies in Fresno County are under a quarantine order.

According to the USDA, the adult cows at the dairy where bovine tuberculosis was first detected will go to a slaughter plant, moving as capacity allows. The younger stock will be euthanized and will not enter the food chain.

The owner of the dairy has accepted a USDA buyout of up to $3,000 per head, based on fair market value. Replacement heifers would cost a dairy about $2,500 per head.

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Bill Mies Looks At The Industry’s Next 12-18 Months

Burt Rutherford

It doesn’t take Bill Mies long to roll out his best-case scenario for the next 18 months. That’s because the beef management consultant, and former feedyard manager and Texas A&M University academic, has always been a realist – and the reality is that change is in the offing.

“I think the best-case scenario is we have a significant strengthening of the dollar against world currencies so that grain exports are slowed,” he says. Looking at it from a feedyard manager’s perspective, he says that may put a little stability under the grain market, which would infuse a little stability in the cattle market.

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Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) in Beef Cattle

Gary R. Hansen and David G. Riley

University of Florida

Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) were developed to provide cattle producers with an effective tool to evaluate prospective breeding stock. As the name implies, EPDs predict the performance of future offspring from an individual animal. More specifically, EPDs predict the genetic transmitting ability of an individual as a parent.

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National Beef profits up

Kansas City Star

National Beef Packing Co. LLC, the nation’s fourth-largest beef processor, reported a larger third-quarter profit from a combination of higher sales and lower cattle prices. In a securities filing, the company said it earned $74.3 million in the three months ending May 31, compared with $13.6 million in the same period a year ago.

National Beef has headquarters in Kansas City and plants in Liberal and Dodge City, Kan.; as well as Brawley, Calif.; Hummels Wharf, Penn.; and Moultrie, Ga.

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