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

DR TONY BRIGHTLING BVSc MVS

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

cattlenetwork.com

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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Bridport Farm Makes Ends Meet on the Airwave

WCAX-TV

Feeding time at Woodcreek Farm in Bridport.

Chip Morgan takes good care of his cattle. His small farm supplies local restaurants with ground beef and steak.

"There’s a need for it and we saw a niche market," says Morgan.

And when the chores are done, Morgan heads to his other job– just inside the original farmhouse on the property. He goes from meat to the microphone.

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Q&A My daughter’s show steers have stopped drinking water. Any idea why? It’s hot here, and they have plenty. They are still eating, but not as much.

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

Not sure what is going on. Following are a couple of ideas for you to consider. Do the calves have "free-choice" salt available? If not, get a salt block and allow them access to the block at all times. Are the calves watering out of a tank that has electricity as part of its set-up?
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Producers Caught in Limbo After CRP Decision

Thebeefsite.com

National Farmers Union President Tom Buis said today that a U.S. District Court decision to issue a temporary restraining order halting Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) critical feed acres is the wrong move.

The court decision follows a May 27 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcement that certain CRP acres would be available for haying and foraging. The announcement was prompted by drought conditions and a lack of feed resources for the livestock industry.

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Hereford group welcomed by BioZyme

Clinton Thomas

Saint Joseph News

St. Joseph played host to nearly 100 young livestock leaders Tuesday.

Members of the National Junior Hereford Association visited BioZyme for Hereford burgers and a tour of the plant on Stockyards Expressway.

BioZyme makes a variety of livestock feed supplements that increase performance in many ways. Company president Bob Norton described what sets BioZyme apart from its competitors.

“We all pretty much buy our ingredients from the same source, but what we do different is we put in microbials that work with the animal to increase production,” Mr. Norton said.
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Alberta to end BSE testing of elderly cows

Jason Markusoff,

Calgary Herald

Alberta expects to test half as many cattle for mad cow disease under a new surveillance program that stops targeting the most elderly bovines, and ones without proper documentation.

The provincial and federal governments no longer want to test cattle aged nine years or older, because worldwide experience shows animals that old are less likely to be "mad cows."

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Expert To Train Farmers To Think Like A Cow For Better Handling

cattlenetwork.com

A Nebraska veterinarian and researcher will discuss techniques for handling cattle from the cow’s perspective at Purdue University field day Aug. 12 in Bedford, Ind.

Rather than forcing cattle in a certain direction, Lynn Locatelli teaches a method of handling that allows the cattle to follow natural instincts.

As an animal that is preyed upon by predators, cows are wary of their surroundings, according to Mark Hilton, Purdue beef veterinarian. He said cattle move more easily when they are not forced into blind areas.

"It’s amazing what you can get them to do when you don’t try to retrain the cow on how to be a cow," Hilton said.

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Favorable Trends Illustrate Limousin Breed Improvement

Cattle Today

Phenotype is an individual’s observed category or measured level of performance for a trait. Its genotype (genetic merit) and the environment it experiences determine an animal’s phenotype. Because genetic selection and environment – including management – drive expressed levels of performance over time, you can determine if genetic selection and management are working by studying annual changes in observed performance.

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Scientists Find Genes to Lower Saturated Fats in Beef

Stacy Kish

USDA CREES

Diets rich in foods with high saturated fatty acid content have been linked to an increased rate of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat is found mostly in foods that come from animal products, including beef, lamb, pork, and poultry with skin. With funding from USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), a team of scientists in Iowa identified genes to regulate fat deposits in beef.

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