Daily Archives: August 4, 2008

BeefTalk: Fight the DNA Helix

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

The DNA Puzzle The DNA Puzzle

Having all the genetic pieces for a particular cow still does not guarantee the cow will be what is desired.

Genetics is the foundational structure of all living things, which is, no matter how complicated or simple, like a jigsaw puzzle that has many pieces. The pieces are unique and only fit in one particular puzzle, except if the puzzle is cloned (an exact duplicate produced). Even in that case, not all the pieces may be interchanged with the clone.

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Treating Two Activities as One Beneficial for Taxes

John Alan Cohan, Attorney at Law

Cattle Today

Sometimes a farm, livestock or horse activity may be closely connected to one’s principal occupation, with certain tax advantages. If two activities are treated as one, deductions and income from each activity can be aggregated in deciding whether the taxpayer has the requisite profit motive under the IRS hobby loss rule. This is extremely helpful for many people involved in farming, ranching and horse activities.

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UT Extension offers master beef class

The Tennessean

The Williamson County UT Extension is finalizing plans for a fifth Master Beef Producer Class. This program includes 10 Tuesday night classes, which will begin Sept. 2.

This class is very similar to a 4000 level college class in beef production.

Classes are held at the UT Agriculture Extension Office, located at the Ag Expo Park in Franklin. Classes begin at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 9 p.m. Instructors include representatives of the University of TN Beef Specialists Staff and UT College of Vet Medicine

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Water and sunshine key to pasture health


Peace Country Sun

Local residents had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the pasture last week.

The Peace Country Beef and Forage Association (NCBFA), Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture (AESA), North Peace Applied Research, Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada hosted a pasture walk near Fairview, July 24.

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Cruelty bill raises concerns with animal user groups

Farm, outdoors organizations support bill’s intent, but not wording

Jeff Helsdon

The Tilsonburg News

Dehorning a cow is a simple procedure. Usually it takes a few seconds and is done to young calves.

The practice is usually done with cauterization and there’s not even any blood.

Dehorning is repeated thousands of times a year on dairy farms and beef operations across the country. The brief procedure is nothing compared to the injuries that could result to adult cows, which could harm each other by accidentally, or purposely goring another animal. Potential for harm to the farmer is also removed with dehorning.

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Swift a bright spot for JBS

Northern Colorado Business Report

Despite posting its fourth straight quarterly loss, the Brazilian beef giant JBS SA reported on Thursday that its Greeley-based Swift beef division had turned a profit of $132.9 million for the second quarter.

In a report to Brazilian securities regulators, and in a conference call with investors, JBS said costs of global acquisitions, including the $225 million purchase of Swift & Co. in July 2007, had eroded the company’s earnings. Soaring cattle prices in Brazil had also hurt the company, and JBS SA reported a second quarter loss of $233.4 million.

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Does docile disposition correlate to more tender beef?


Farm & Ranch Guide/Minnesota Farm Guide

Livestock producers were given the inside track on some of the cattle research currently taking place at the Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC) during their annual field day on July 15.

The research efforts range from exploring the use of glycerol in beef rations to determining if the disposition of an animal has any effect on meat quality.

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Make natural beef decisions soon

The Prairie Star

North Dakota cattle producers have some new incentives to raise their calves the natural way, according to a North Dakota State University livestock expert.

One of those incentives is the increasing consumer demand for beef from cattle that haven’t been treated with antibiotics or hormones, says Karl Hoppe, NDSU Extension Service livestock specialist at the Carrington Research Extension Center.

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It’s grass only for Mason farmer’s herd


Lansing State Journal

You might not be thrilled over Sudangrass being a main part of your dinner menu, but Maynard Beery’s cows sure don’t mind.

"The cows just love it," Beery said. "It’s like feeding them candy."

Beery’s animals are fed entirely on grasses, with no grain supplements. Beery is in his third year of raising grass-fed beef, with his farm having been an all-grain operation at one time.

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Food labeling rules taking shape


Billings Gazette

Hoping to steer American consumers away from imports, the country’s food industry soon will begin putting USA labels on home country meat, produce and other groceries.

Whether the labeling will boost consumer confidence in food safety remains to be seen. Montana food insiders from the ranch to the grocery store expect country-of-origin labeling, or COOL, to make a difference for some consumers, but not all.

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Time To Think About Winter Feeding


No one can argue how bad the spring has been—rain, rain, and more rain. Crops are behind, hay is late and farmers are grumpy. The last thing producers want to worry about right now is winter feeding, it seems like a long time away and trying to fight rain and mud hasn’t helped. However, now IS the time to think about winter feeding because by-products like distillers grains are at their lowest prices during the summer. Small and large producers should take advantage of buying the wet corn co-products and mixing it with a low quality roughage source such as corn stalks, CRP residue/hay, straw or low-quality fescue. If it is possible, work with neighbors and other smaller producers to split loads of wet distillers grains.

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S.D. ranchers covert cropland to grass

Loretta Sorensen,

Sioux City  Journal

Larry Wagner and his wife Dr. Julie Williams patiently listened to their neighbors express 10 years ago when they began making plans to raise grass-finished beef.

Part of the Pukawana ranchers’ strategy included converting productive crop ground back to the grassland Larry’s father preferred when he farmed the land, which lies just southwest of Chamberlain. In spite of the encouragement they received to maintain their traditional beef production program, the Wagners converted cropland to grass and they now produce several hundred grass-finished fat cattle every year.

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Labels will soon state countries of meat’s origin

Philip Brasher

Des Moines Register/Honolulu Advertiser

Imagine picking up a T-shirt with the label: Product of the United States, China, Indonesia and/or Honduras. Confused?

Shoppers could see labels like that in the supermarket meat case, starting this fall. A law requiring meat to be labeled with the country of origin takes effect Oct. 1, but rules that resulted from a compromise among industry interests might leave consumers scratching their heads.

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Neb. governor to talk to EU about agriculture


Governor Dave Heineman says he’s going to Brussels this fall to speak before the European Union Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

EU Agriculture Commissioner Neil Parish invited Heineman after visiting Nebraska in May.

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Research geared to easy storage of wet distillers grains

High Plains Journal

University of Nebraska-Lincoln research indicates that wet distillers grains are easier to store than most people might expect, said a UNL specialist.

Distillers grains is a good source of protein and energy and there’s an opportunity to use it economically on the ranch, said Aaron Stalker, beef extension specialist. If historic seasonal price patterns continue , livestock producers will be able to buy wet distillers grains in summer when they’re least expensive for feeding in winter when there’s a protein deficiency.

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