Daily Archives: August 8, 2008

Q&A: I have 32 commercial black Angus cows – 22 mature, and 10 first calf heifers. My current bull is a 6-year-old. Should I look for an additional bull?

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

A:   A six-year-old beef bull that is still sound is a pretty good bull. A bull to female ratio of 1:32 is probably pushing the upper limit. This bull sound be able to cover 32 females in a 60 day breeding season.

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Summer Forage Management Can be a Challenge

Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D., PAS

Cattle Today

Part 3

Dry conditions shorten the available grazing and increase the time for supplemental feeding of beef cattle of all classes. Although certain areas have received moderate to adequate rainfall, other areas continue to be dry and feel the effects of reduced rainfall this summer. As noted, this situation increases the demand for feed and, coupled with high feed costs, this creates a need for producers to look closely at key factors of feed availability, feed quality, and feed purchases.

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AngusSource® Offers Producers an Opportunity for COOL

Angus E-List

With mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on the horizon, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that producers who enroll cattle in AngusSource can use the program to substantiate COOL claims.

The COOL law provides for the use of qualified producer affidavits on which packers can rely to initiate the origin claim, according to Jim Riva, chief of USDA’s audit, review and compliance branch. Riva says participation in USDA Quality System Verification Programs (QSVP) that contain a source-verification component can also be used to substantiate COOL claims.

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Unintended Consequences Of The Ethanol Boom

cattlenetwork.com

A few short years ago, most analysts and policy makers contemplating a four– or five–fold increase in ethanol use would probably have envisioned an array of related external benefits: a reduction in harmful automobile emissions, a lessening of dependence on foreign petroleum, a boost in corn prices for farmers, and an abundance of cheap by–product feeds for live­stock producers. While increased eth­anol production has certainly yielded some benefits, it has also carried with it a number of unintended conse­quences, particularly for the livestock sector.

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Farmers split over sludge safety

Carola Vyhnak

Eastnorthumberland.com

Most sludge is sprayed as liquid, though some pellets are used.

The final part in a special four-part series on the controversial practice of spreading human waste on fields .

The price is right. With savings of more than $100 an acre for fertilizer, the offer of free stuff is tempting for farmers struggling to make a living in the face of rising costs and diminishing returns.
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How to Price Standing Forage

by Ted Bay, Rhonda Gildersleeve, Ken Barnett, and Dan Undersander

University of Wisconsin

Introduction

Sales of standing forage require agreement on price and a method of determining yield whether forage is sold by the bale or ton. This factsheet describes a method to help buyer and seller determine an appropriate price range for short term sales. This sheet is not intended to be used for long term contract purchases. The examples shown can be the basis for selling hay by the acre or by the ton.

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BeefTalk: I Pledge My Head to Clearer Thinking

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

How does the beef business benefit our club, community, country and world?

Times have changed, business plans are more intense and the consequences of managerial miscues are less forgiving.

Management is the key to running any business. The better managed a business is, the more likely that the business will succeed.

Agriculture is no different. Operations that successfully climb the many hurdles of opportunities through effective business planning and implementation are more likely to experience positive outcomes.

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More opposition to proposed JBS Swift deal

Northern Colorado Business Report

The Montana-based R-CALF USA cattle association has submitted more information to the U.S. Department of Justice in its opposition to a proposed merger of JBS Swift with National Beef Packing Co., Smithfield Beef Group and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding.

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Pathogen that causes disease in cattle also associated with Crohn’s disease

Physorg.com

People with Crohn’s disease (CD) are seven-fold more likely to have in their gut tissues the bacterium that causes a digestive-tract disease in cattle called Johne’s disease. The role this bacterium may or may not play in causing CD is a top research priority, according to a new report released by the American Academy of Microbiology. The reports points out that the cause of CD is unknown, and the possible role of this bacterium—which could conceivably be passed up the food chain to people—has received too little attention from the research community.

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Bad Habits Are Hard To Break, But – Good Habits Maximize Fertility

Mel DeJarnette, reproductive specialist

Select Sires

Have you ever stopped to notice in the morning which leg you put into your pants first, which arm goes into your shirt first or which shoe goes on first? Chances are you go through the exact same routine every morning without realizing it. I tried to break my routine the other morning by putting my right shoe on first instead of the left. I’ll tell you, it screwed up my whole day!

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Southeastern Cattle Stack Up

Steve Suther

Angus Journal

A long-held industry opinion is that cattle from the South are worth less than their Midwestern counterparts. Not true, says Darrell Busby, Iowa Extension beef specialist.

“As we began to feed and harvest Southeastern cattle, we found they had similar genetics. Producers also were using similar management practices to those in the Midwest,” he says, noting more than 18,000 cattle from that region have been fed through Iowa’s Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF). “We just did not see the problems with Southeastern cattle.”

A 2002 survey of Southern Plains feedyards, completed by Slaven Associates, identified some of those popular issues with the region’s cattle.

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Grass-fed beef

By TERRI ZITER

Brattleboro Reformer

When travelling between Brattleboro and Putney, either cruising down Interstate 91 or puttering along on Route 5, one can’t help but notice the Sweet Tree Farm in Dummerston.

In the fall, the farm’s sugarbush puts on a glorious foliage display, and in summer, its mildly rolling pastures present a picture perfect classic Vermont farm. There is an impressive farmhouse, a barn, horse paddocks, and, most importantly for Deb and Charlie Titus, a small herd of Black Angus cattle.

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EPA denies Texas governor’s ethanol waiver request

BETSY BLANEY

CJonline

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday denied a request from Texas Gov. Rick Perry to cut the federal ethanol mandate in half for a year.

Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson spoke to Perry about his waiver request by phone shortly before Johnson announced the agency’s decision publicly Thursday.

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Higher stakes for cattle ranchers might drive up beef prices

Anthony Pura

Higher beef prices may be around the corner.

High corn prices, coupled with rising fuel prices and the latest periods of drought have pinched cattle producers with expensive feed costs and an unchanging price for cows in the market.

Like most food products, beef is perishable and must move immediately to market. Therefore, ranchers aren’t able to hold back their cattle and wait for the price to increase.

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Former judge tells what makes an animal stand out

PATRICIA A. WEST-VOLLAND

Zanesville Timesrecorder

Every year, hundreds of people attend the animal auctions during the Muskingum County Fair and every year people wonder why one animal was selected as the Grand Champion over another.

To the average observer the beef cattle all look the same, but to the trained eye of judge and cattleman Jerry Ballard, it is a fairly easy process to find the best of the breed. Ballard has been raising and showing cattle since he was 13-years-old and belonged to a 4-H group. He has been judging cattle for many years too.

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