Monthly Archives: September 2008

Forage Feeding Losses Can Add Up

Forage Feeding Losses Can Add Up

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


A lot of long hours and expense are invested into harvesting quality forages and storing them for use at a later time. As a producer, you wouldn’t dream of throwing away one-third of the forages that were intended to be fed to the cow herd. Many times, that’s what happens when livestock are allowed unlimited access to hay in a feeding situation. Livestock trample, over consume, foul on, and use for bedding 25 to 45 percent of the hay when it is fed with no restrictions or is not processed.

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Carcass Ultrasound 101: Use of Ultrasound…When EPDs Are Unavailable

Carcass Ultrasound 101: Use of Ultrasound…When EPDs Are Unavailable

Patrick Wall, Director of Communications, The National CUP Lab

American Cowman

The pile of sale catalogs glued, stapled, or wrapped in the monthly breed publications can get a bit overwhelming in the peak sale seasons, regardless of your breed preference.  However, the real confusion sets in when one puts on their bull-buying cap and tries to find “the one” that will take their herd in the right direction.  Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are still the only selection tool that truly allows a buyer to compare one sale catalog to the rest in the stack.  Unfortunately, Carcass EPDs are not always readily available as you flip the pages from one lot to the next.  So what do you do?

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USDA Changes COOL Guidelines

USDA Changes COOL Guidelines

Hoosier AG Today

  USDA has adjusted its mandatory Country of Origin Labeling guidelines. The USDA web page now says meat processors cannot label U.S.-origin meat with the broader mixed origin label on days that no mixed origin product is processed. The meat labeling program goes into effect Wednesday.

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Q&A: Are there some small publications that explain EPDs and frame size for beef cattle?

Q&A:  Are there some small publications that explain EPDs and frame size for beef cattle?

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

A:   Information about EPD can be found on the National Beeef Cattle Evaluation Consortium website.

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AVMA Puts Livestock Health Before Congress

AVMA Puts Livestock Health Before Congress

The American Veterinary Medical Association has (AVMA) testified before the U.S. Congress on advancements to animal health in the livestock industry, describing for lawmakers progress made improving public health and reaffirming the importance of treating food animals with antibiotic medicines.

Addressing the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry, Dr. Christine Hoang, assistant director of the AVMA’s Scientific Activities Division, explained that significant safeguards to animal and human health have emerged as a result of veterinarians’ work with livestock.

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UT Appoints Dean of College of Veterinary Medicine

UT Appoints Dean of College of Veterinary Medicine

Cattle Today

Knoxville, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture has named Dr. James P. Thompson as Dean of the UT College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Dr. Thompson’s appointment is effective October 1, 2008. He will be the fifth dean of the college, which is one of only 28 such colleges in the United States.

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Remember the basics to capture every penny at marketing

Remember the basics to capture every penny at marketing

Kindra Gordon

American Cowman

In a year of sky-high costs, cattle producers know every cent counts when it comes time to market calves. How can you maximize the price your calves bring at sale time? University of Nebraska Extension beef specialist says the key is in reviewing the basics and paying attention to details.

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Keeping Cows Healthy & Happy Pays Off For Pennsylvania Farmers

Keeping Cows Healthy & Happy Pays Off For Pennsylvania Farmers

For more than six years, Bradford County dairy producer Glen Gorrell has relied on Penn State Extension to help him run a profitable business. Through Extension’s Dairy Alliance program, Gorell has long benefited from useful tips on labor management and financial stewardship at his Smithfield dairy. Over the past year, though, Penn State has helped increase Gorell’s bottom line in a new way — by helping him keep his 570 dairy cows healthier and more productive.

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Beef merger in big leagues

Beef merger in big leagues

Greg Barr Reporter

Houston Business Journal

McClaren gets bullish on cattle breeding after batting for Astros

Bob McClaren steered the careers of many young baseball players through the ranks during his lengthy stint as an executive and now as a consultant to the Houston Astros.

The former Astros president of business operations and current team board member and consultant says the same methodology can be applied to 44 Farms, his fast-growing business where four-legged performers are measured by a different type of quality standard.

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COOL regulations take effect tomorrow

COOL regulations take effect tomorrow: CBW EXCLUSIVE

Steve Kay

Mandatory country of origin labeling of retail meat and other covered commodities takes effect in the U.S. tomorrow (Sept 30) after years of wrangling. About 36,000 grocery stores will be required to label beef, pork, lamb and chicken products. Also included are fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, macadamia nuts, pecans, ginseng and peanuts. As previously reported, MCOOL will apply to only about 30% of all beef sold in the U.S. annually. That’s because sales into foodservice and of processed products are exempt. So too are most sales on the Internet and in butcher shops.

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Angus Association to Conduct 125th Annual Meeting

Angus Association to Conduct 125th Annual Meeting

Cattle Today

American Angus Association members will meet formally for the 125th time during the 2008 North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE), Nov. 15-18 in Louisville, Ky. A full slate of educational and commemorative activities is planned for attendees to the American Angus Association’s 125th Annual Convention of Delegates and the 2008 Super Point Roll of Victory (ROV) Angus Show. In addition to the usual business, the history of the breed and the organization will be celebrated.

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Senate Rejects Non-ambulatory Cattle Language

Senate Rejects Non-ambulatory Cattle Language

The US Senate has rejected a motion to proceed to the Economic Stimulus package, which includes language that would ban non-ambulatory disabled cattle from entering the food supply.

The measure was rejected by a vote of 52 to 42. The language also included additional civil money penalties that go beyond those already established through the Federal Meat Inspection Act. Sixty votes were required for the Senate to proceed to debate and consideration of the bill.

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What Are The Basic Requirements Of COOL?

What Are The Basic Requirements Of COOL?

The 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills amended the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to require retailers to notify their customers of the country of origin of beef (including veal), lamb, pork, chicken, goat, wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish, perishable agricultural commodities, peanuts, pecans, ginseng, and macadamia nuts. The implementation of mandatory COOL for all covered commodities except wild and farm- raised fish and shellfish was delayed until September 30, 2008.

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“Ranch Transitions” is theme for October conference by King Ranch Institute

“Ranch Transitions” is theme for October conference by King Ranch Institute

American Cowman

“Living the Legacy: Transitioning Ranch Ownership and Management to the Next Generation” is the theme of the 5th Annual HOLT CAT Symposium on Excellence in Ranch Management. Set for Oct. 30-31 at Texas A&M University (TAMU)-Kingsville, the program will stress the importance of a smooth transition and consistent operation between generations. Early registration is $150 until Oct. 17, and $200 thereafter.

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Sen. Ben Nelson: A ‘COOL’ new law

Sen. Ben Nelson: A ‘COOL’ new law

By Sen. Ben Nelson (D_Neb.)

The Prairie Star

Americans read labels. We like to be informed. Just about every label in every piece of clothing, household appliance, child’s toy, or souvenir we buy tells us exactly what it consists of and where it was made. Why shouldn’t meat, poultry, vegetables, fruits, and nuts have the same such label?

As of this fall the origination of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, goat, perishable and frozen fruits and vegetables, macadamia nuts, peanuts and ginseng will have to be labeled thanks to a new federal law that takes effect September 30, 2008. As of 2004 that same law required labels on fish telling where it came from.

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Anti-Horse Transportation Bill Moves Forward

Anti-Horse Transportation Bill Moves Forward

BEEF Magazine

The horribly misguided and misleadingly named Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 6598), a bill which would criminalize the sale and transportation of horses for the purposes of slaughter, was approved and recommended to the House of Representatives by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill passed by a voice vote. The Committee is finalizing its report for submission to the Rules Committee.

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Care of the Newly Purchased Young Bulls

Care of the Newly Purchased Young Bulls

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

Yearling Bulls

         Yearling bulls should be well-grown but not too fat.  The energy content of a ration should be reduced if bulls are getting too fat.  Fat bulls may fatigue rapidly, contributing to fewer cows conceiving.

         For a yearling bull to be used successfully, he should have reached puberty 3 to 4 months before breeding time.  The age of a bull at puberty depends on several interrelated factors, but size or weight and breed are probably the controlling factors.

        The production of semen by a young bull largely depends on his overall growth as well as the development of his testicles and other reproductive organs.  The size of testicles and volume of semen produced are positively correlated.

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Bovine Leukosis Virus

Bovine Leukosis Virus

Boyd Kidwell

Angus Journal

Bovine leukosis virus (BLV) is one of those insidious diseases that can kill cattle and reduce overall productivity of a beef herd, even when there are no obvious signs of infection. In less than 5% of infected cattle, BLV causes malignant lymphoma that leads to cancerous tumors (lymphosarcoma) and death. Most animals don’t die of the disease, but the virus can never be eliminated, and BLV-positive cattle remain a source of infection for other animals. Fortunately, there is no evidence that BLV is transmissible to humans.

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Official Animal Disease Traceability Plan Released

Official Animal Disease Traceability Plan Released

The Official version of the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability has been released.

The plan provides benchmarks to guide the National Animal Identification System’s progress towards the long-term goal of 48-hour traceback of affected or exposed animals in the event of an animal disease outbreak.

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CDA strives to protect Colorado’s livestock from disease

CDA strives to protect Colorado’s livestock from disease

High Plains Journal

The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Industry is responsible for animal health and livestock disease control activities in Colorado. The total value of the state’s cattle, sheep, hogs, and chickens is $2.97 billion; cattle accounts for 95 percent of this amount with 2.75 million head of cattle and calves.

“Livestock disease control goes beyond our back yard and across state lines,” said Assistant State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “The Colorado Department of Agriculture takes an all-hazards approach to animal health; we strive to be prepared for any emergency.”

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