Daily Archives: July 16, 2008

Video Feature: Design of Curved Cattle Corrals, Yards, Races, and Chutes

Temple Grandin shows how to design curved cattle handling facilities for ranches, feedlots, and slaughter plants to reduce stress and improve animal welfare.

6 Strategies for Success

With feed and energy costs on the rise, beef producers must be ready to adapt to change.

Kindra Gordon
Hereford World

What worked for the past 10 years [in the beef industry] will not work for the next 10 years,” predicts Kit Pharo, a Colorado rancher, well known for his “out-of-the-box” opinions on the beef industry.

Specifically, Pharo says, “Cheap grain and cheap fuel are things of the past,” and thus, he believes the beef industry is at a tipping point which will require traditional beef producers to make dramatic changes in their operations.

Pharo, his wife, Deanna, and their son, Tyson, raise commercial and registered Hereford, Red Angus, black Angus and composite cattle on their ranch in the high desert, short-grass country near Cheyenne Wells, Colo. Annual precipitation is about 12 in. — but in the past decade of drought, they’ve operated with much less rainfall than that.


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Fact Sheet: Ringworm


Ringworm is a fungal skin disease that occurs world-wide. The disease does not leave any permanent mark on the skin and has no effect on growth rate, reproduction, milk yield or any other production trait.
The fungus that causes ringworm on cattle is Trichophyton verrucosum. It does not attack living tissue. Rather, it feeds on keratin in the hair fibre and outer layer of the skin. Damage to the hair fibre causes it to break within the hair follicle, leading to hair loss and the formation of ringworm patches.
Affected cattle develop lesions which are usually circular, to about three centimetres in diameter. The skin becomes dry with hair loss and fine, flaky scales on the skin surface. Nearby lesions may coalesce to form larger patches.

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The “Do’s” & “Don’ts” Of Non-Protein Nitrogen Use


Crude protein is comprised of both true protein and non-protein nitrogen. True protein is sometimes called “natural protein”. Not all nitrogen-containing compounds are true proteins. Urea is an example of a non-protein nitrogen (NPN) source. Many NPN compounds can supply nitrogen to the rumen microbes that then build microbial protein in the rumen using this nitrogen. This microbial protein supplies the animal with protein built from the nitrogen in NPN sources.

Urea is a form of NPN that can be fed to beef cattle. Producers may consider its use due to economics. However, use caution when including urea in beef cattle diets. It can be toxic if improperly used. Urea is quickly converted to ammonia upon entering the rumen. This ammonia can either be used by bacteria along with a readily available energy source to produce proteins or enter the bloodstream. If energy sources are limited in the rumen or if too much urea is consumed, then large amounts of urea can enter the circulatory system. When the amount of urea entering the bloodstream exceeds the capacity of the liver to remove it, cattle can suffer from ammonia toxicity or urea poisoning with death resulting in less than 30 minutes.


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Beef Checkoff: Leaders Say “Vote Yes”

Eddie Phillips

Dothan First

Ag leaders are urging Wiregrass cattle farmers to retain an industry self-help program.

The Beef Checkoff assesses cattlemen a dollar a head for every cow sold, and the money is used to promote and advertise beef; and to support youth ag education programs. Coffee County Extension Coordinator Stan Windham (pictured) also says some of the money collected from stockmen also goes toward lobbying lawmakers in Montgomery and Washington.


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With the Cattle Industry Struggling, the Question Is, ‘Where’s the Beef?’

Beef prices are likely to increase as rising food and fuel prices threaten many cattle ranches

Kent Garber

US News and World Report

The American beef industry is in trouble. Though the financial strain of rising fuel and food prices is being widely felt across the U.S. economy, the livestock industry, which consumes about 5 billion bushels of corn annually, is suffering more than most.

Feedlot operators, who fatten their animals on corn before sending them to a slaughterhouse, are losing $150 a head with corn prices near record levels because of demand for corn-based ethanol. In Texas, the country’s largest beef-producing state, a quarter of the once-packed feedlot space is unoccupied. Some operations are shutting their doors, and "liquidation"—the culling of herds—has become a frequent escape hatch for the seriously struggling.


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Stewardship course offers guidance for new, prospective farmers

John Weiss

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Because of a yearlong course her parents took, Kiersten Olson can continue to be like her mom and aunt when they were young — "dirty little farm kids playing in the woods and playing in the hayloft."

The 8-year-old daughter of Monica and Keith Olson has a good start, since a year and a half ago her parents bought 43 acres south of Byron where she can play with cats, check out the milk cows or romp around. The couple is refurbishing an old farmhouse on land where her mother and aunt, Leasa Tvedt, played during summers when they grew up.


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