Daily Archives: August 22, 2008

BeefTalk: Pregnancy Check Now For Better Management

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Get ready to pregnancy check early for better planning.

Trucks have been bringing in hay at $5 a loaded mile, so the hay yard is filling up slowly and expensively. The gates and locks have been spruced up.

This year, hay values are pricey. As a result, most ranchers are standing at a fork in the road. Do they buy hay or sell cows?

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Baxter Black: A KOREAN BEEF

Juxtaposed on opposite pages of the BBC International newspaper were two stories; "..thousands of people (in Seoul, South Korea) protesting against resumption of U.S. Beef imports…" and "The U.S. announced that it will send half a million tons of food aid to North Korea.”

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The Importance Of The Breeding Soundness Exam

cattlenetwork.com

Cattle producers should seriously consider getting a breeding soundness exam (BSE). Before you jump to conclusions, let me explain! The examination is conducted on bulls prior to the breeding season to assess their reliability and capability as breeding animals. The cost of the test will vary, but it is usually under $50 and is arguably the best money cow-calf producers will spend on an annual basis. We sometimes try to save money by not spending it, but conducting a BSE is a prime example of how to save money in the long run by spending a little up front.

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Cows return to a low-carb diet

Grass-fed beef, though a newly growing trend, is a very old tradition

Kat Kerlin

Newsreview.com

Dave and Sue Henthorn reach into a cooler labeled “grassfed beef” at the Saturday farmers market outside Whole Foods and pull out a deep red selection that’s vacuum-sealed in plastic.

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Secretary Notes Full Market Access for U.S. Beef

KRVN

U.S. Ag Secretary Ed Schafer says recent openings of U.S. beef markets into Costa Rica, Belize, Qatar and Ghana demonstrate the global appetite for U.S. beef – as well as the understanding and confidence nations place in America’s science-based international standards for safety. Each nation has recognized international trade standards – allowing entry of U.S. beef and beef products from cattle of all ages.

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Fall forage considerations

Lincoln Daily News

As fall approaches, a University of Illinois Extension dairy specialist has outlined three scenarios for the harvesting of forage.

"We have plenty of late-planted corn and soybeans, which could be nipped by an early frost," said Mike Hutjens. "It is important that dairy producers understand the alternatives and strategies should this occur."

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Farm To Plate: Countering agroterrorism – The FBI perspective

Lynn Petrak

National Provisioner

In the years since the September 2001 terrorist attacks — a time also marked by independent concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy, hoof-and-mouth disease, foodborne-illness outbreaks linked to pathogens like E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella, and worries about human-to-human transmission of avian influenza — collaborative efforts to prevent both the intentional and inadvertent contamination of the nation’s food supply have ramped up among all levels of industry and government.

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Food label terminology

ERICA MARCUS

Newsday

NATURAL, ALL-NATURAL

Calling a food "natural" is rather faint praise. The USDA defines natural meat and poultry as "minimally processed" and containing no artificial ingredients, flavoring, color or preservatives.

HUMANELY RAISED

In theory, a humanely raised animal has been allowed to engage in natural behaviors, has had sufficient space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress, and eats a healthful diet without added antibiotics or hormones. But unless a third-party (such as Humane Farm Animal Care; certifiedhumane.com) has certified such treatment, you have to trust the producer.

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Cattleman Ready for Higher Beef Checkoff

KTIC

A member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion Board says we are cutting into the – muscle – of many good programs, because the money to support them is simply not available. Bob Drake points to the fixed amount checked off per animal of one dollar per head as being the culprit. Not that it’s bad, but after 20-years of inflation its effectiveness has eroded. He says he would personally – like to see the checkoff raised to $2.00 per head.

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Early calf weaning could be cost-control strategy

Ag Professional

High fuel and feed costs are pressuring beef producers’ bottom line, but there are options to help relieve the financial pressure, a Kansas State University researcher said.

"Early weaning is a cost-control strategy that beef producers might consider," said K.C. Olson, who is a cow/calf nutrition specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

Speaking at K-State’s Beef Conference Aug. 7-8 in Manhattan, Olson said that producers may think of early weaning as a last resort. But, a better approach might be to consider the strategy before the situation is dire.

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K-State Researchers Awarded Nearly $1 Million to Test Remedies, Investigate Link Between E. Coli and Distillers’ Grains

PR Newswire

A research team headed by Kansas State University E. coli O157:H7 expert T.G. Nagaraja has been tapped by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study both the connection between feeding distillers’ grains and E. coli 0157:H7 in cattle and several strategies to reduce the presence of the naturally occurring pathogen in the animals.

The group has received a $939,220 National Research Initiative in Food Safety grant. Nagaraja, a university distinguished professor of microbiology, said the issue of meat safety is receiving full attention from both researchers and the meat industry and is being addressed.

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Montana BQA Twilight Training set for Aug. 27 in Sidney

The Prairie Star

SIDNEY, Mont. – The Montana State University Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program and Montana Stockgrowers Association (M SGA) will team up to present a BQA “Twilight Training” on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at the Yellowstone Livestock Company in Sidney,Mont.

The training session will begin at 4 p.m., followed by a free dinner.

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E. coli killer uncovered?

Bacteriphages could hold key to new treatment

DVM Newsmagazine

Researchers at The Evergreen State College, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture at Texas A&M, are working to understand how bacteriophages might provide an alternate treatment to E. coli infections than traditional antibiotics.

The goal of the research project, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Phage Biotics, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to gain a better understanding of the relationship between E. coli bacteria – dubbed "the prey" – and bacteriopahges – "the viral predator."

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Researchers have E. coli disease in sights

Beef industry awaits results from pair of Canadian projects

Laura Severs

Business Edge           

Research projects underway in Ontario and Alberta aim to deal a devastating blow to E. coli O157:H7, a disease that produces powerful toxins capable of causing severe illness in humans.

"Comparatively speaking, there have not been too many beef recalls in Canada but, obviously, (food) safety is something that we can’t take for granted," says Rob McNabb, general manager of operations for the Calgary-based Canadian Cattleman’s Association (CCA), which represents nearly 90,000 cattle ranchers across the country.

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Challenging the Cash Cow

Switch to grass-fed beef a painful lesson in economics.

Lauren Keith

The University Daily Kansan

No. 68 isn’t lazy, but she hasn’t done much today but eat. Grass stems hang from her slowly chewing mouth, and she seems irritated that the humans have disturbed her in the middle of her all-you-can-eat special.

As the sun sets on her prairie buffet line in Lenexa, this black Angus cow’s time on the open land may be drawing to a close. Joanne Preston, the owner of No. 68 and 74 other cattle, takes some of her cattle to auction, where they are purchased and sent to a feedlot. So far, the cattle have munched mostly on grass for the majority of their lives, but once they hit the feedlot gates, their diet will be switched to a steady routine of corn.

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