Daily Archives: July 21, 2008

Vintage Video Feature: The Cattle Feeders part 2

This film profiles three cattle feeders who show a great disparity in their facilities and methods for handling cattle.

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Weaning Strategies Impact Feedlot Calf Health & Gain

cattlenetwork.com

Weaning strategies are becoming an ever increasing topic of discussion for cow/calf operators and feedlot managers.  Should the calves be weaned ahead of time at home before shipping?  Should they be weaned on the truck on the way to the feedlot?  Should the calves have fenceline contact with their mothers during the weaning process?  Should calves be weaned in drylot or on pasture?

Ohio State University animal scientists conducted a trial to explore possible advantages of pasture-weaning calves with contact to their dams.  Three weaning strategies were investigated: 1) weaned directly onto the truck, 2) weaned 30 days before trucking and confined in drylot, 3) weaned 30 days before trucking and pastured with fence-line contact with their dams.  Steers from the drylot weaning strategy lost 1.32 lb/day the first week in the feedlot, whereas steers from the truck weaning and pasture–weaning treatments gained 1.1 lb/day and .88 lb/day, respectively.  Body weight gain in the subsequent 3 weeks was similar among treatments.

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New ARS project develops way to talk to cows

DALE HILDEBRANT

Minnesota Farm Guide

Cows wearing Walkman-type radios and being herded by the voice of a rancher coming through the earphones.

Sounds like a sci-fi storyline dreamed up by a science-fiction writer that grew up in the ranching area of the U.S. But actually, it’s a project currently under way at the Agricultural Research Services (ARS) at the Jornada Experiment Range in Las Cruces, N.M.

ARS animal scientist Dean M. Anderson and other colleagues are working on technology that will use a doughnut-shaped stereo headset called an Ear-A-Round (EAR), which is worn over each ear of the cow. This device will not only allow a rancher to track an animal’s location but actually enable him to “whisper” wireless commands to cows as a way of controlling their movements across a landscape and even remotely gather them into a corral.

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South Sioux plant will use beef tallow to make biodiesel

By Dave Dreeszen

Sioux City Journal

In a week’s time, Beef Products Inc.’s plant in South Sioux City churns out about 22 million pounds of beef tallow.

That’s a whole lot of fat. Soon, most, if not all, of it will be used to power semi-trucks, pickups and other vehicles that run on diesel fuel.

BPI, the world’s largest producer of lean boneless beef, has teamed with a biodiesel producer, Natural Innovative Renewable Energy. The two firms on Friday formally unveiled plans for a 60-million-gallon-per-year biodiesel plant, expected to create three dozen new jobs.

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Beef Producers Should Maintain Parasite Programs

KNEB

An Iowa State University study concluded that parasite control is the most economically important practice in beef production. Therefore, it is critical that beef producers not reduce their parasite control programs during difficult economic times. The study revealed that at the cow/calf level dewormers affect weaning rates and weights more than any other technology a producer can employ.

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Senators push to block Argentine livestock imports

High Plains Journal

A bipartisan group of senators hopes to block importation of livestock from Argentina until it’s clear the nation is free of foot-and-mouth disease.

South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat, and Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, a Republican, introduced legislation July 10 to prevent livestock importation from Argentina until the U.S. Department of Agriculture can certify that it’s safe.

The region has seen outbreaks of the highly contagious disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals like cattle and pigs. It is a viral illness that can be spread through even minimal contact with infected animals, farm equipment or meat. It can be fatal to animals, but does not harm humans.

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Minnesota Farm Bureau applauds signing of bovine TB legislation

Minnesota Farm Guide

 “The Minnesota Farm Bureau thanks Governor Pawlenty, members of the Minnesota Senate and members of the House of Representatives for passage of bovine Tuberculosis (TB) legislation signed into law today,” said Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap. “This is an important step on the road to regaining TB-free status.”

“This critical legislation will provide the Board of Animal Health the authority they need to restrict movement of livestock within the bovine TB management zone and implement split-state status,” said Paap. “The bill also provides significant resources to control and eradicate bovine TB, including a voluntary herd buyout for cattle producers in the management zone and cost-share money for fencing.”

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