Daily Archives: September 3, 2008

Video Feature: BVD – PI

Agent Michael Fisher discusses BVD-PI in Cattle

Dealing with Respiratory Disease in High-Stress Calves

Dr. W. Dee Whittier, Extension Veterinarian, Cattle, VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, VA Tech

High stress beef calves result when they are weaned, shipped, exposed to calves from other sources, experience weather and nutritional stress and are handled roughly, especially without prior vaccination and deworming.  These calves have a dramatically increased risk of needing to be treated for respiratory disease and dying of the same.

Current conditions suggest that there may be an increased number of high-stress calves in Virginia this fall.  For a number of years low corn prices and lots of feedlot capacity have drawn many calves into lots to become “calf feds”.  All signals suggest that many less calves will move to feedlots this fall.  Far too much expensive corn is required for a 500 pound steer to be finished to make this system economically viable.

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Cow Country Congress set Sept. 26

The Palestine Herald

Cow Country Congress is an annual multi-county event supported by the Extension Beef & Forage

Committees from Anderson, Freestone, Leon, Houston, Madison, Walker and Trinity counties.

This educational program rotates within the group of host counties each year. n addition to the traditional seven county area, beef producers from outside these counties are invited to attend this educational program. Participants in attendance will have the opportunity to visit with a variety of commercial exhibitors several times during the course of the day between presentations, demonstrations, and tours of the host property.

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Is Grass Fed Beef Safer than Grain Fed Beef?

Beyond Blueberries

Possibly not.

Bill Marler posted some research:

Grass-Fed vs Grain-Fed Beef and the Holy Grail: A Literature Review

Some highlights:

    “E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and other dangerous pathogens have been repeatedly isolated from both grass and grain fed livestock.”

    “Studies by other researchers worldwide have since found little difference in acid resistant E. coli O157:H7 among grain- verses grass-fed cattle, and some even found more E. coli O157:H7 shed by grass-fed animals.”

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Farmers Partnering to Protect the Environment

Myra Lawyer

Poughkeepsie Jurnal

The Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District awarded a “Partnering to Protect the Environment” sign to Walbridge Farm manager, Doug Giles, at the 2008 Dutchess County Fair. These signs are awarded by the District to farms that are utilizing the Agricultural Environmental Management program and have demonstrated exemplary stewardship of our natural resources.

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Interesting Times For Cattle Economics


There is an old Chinese curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.” The current era in the livestock industry is about as interesting as most of us can stand. I believe we are in the midst of a paradigm shift. The cattle industry of tomorrow will almost certainly look different than it has in recent years. During 2008, many ranchers did not apply the same amount of fertilizer as they have in the past. Thus, in combination with low rainfall, forage quality and quantity this fall and winter may be lower than in the past. The price of feed has increased by 20-25 percent compared to fall 2007; therefore, feeding the current herd size though the winter may not be economically justifiable.

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‘Twilight Training’ set for Friday in Havre

The Prairie Star

Montana State University’s Northern Agricultural Research Center (NARC) will host a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) “Twilight Training” in Havre on Friday, Sept 5.

MSU’s BQA program and the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) will team up to present the training at 4 p.m., followed by a free dinner.

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Animal Cloning and Food: More Than a Feeling

Matthew Bandyk

US News and World Report

Cloned animals are more and more becoming parts of our everyday lives, the Wall Street Journal reports:

    Don Coover, a veterinarian, rancher and owner of SEK Genetics in Galesburg, Kan., estimated that “hundreds, maybe thousands, of offspring of clones” of beef cattle already exist in the U.S.—though that is a fraction of the nation’s 97 million head of cattle. He said he has sold about 30 offspring of clones to be slaughtered for food.

Reason to panic? Some people aren’t thrilled

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King, Kenedy, Pierce: the grandees of grass

 Murphy Givens


The Old West began here. Walter Prescott Webb wrote that the cattle industry began in a diamond-shaped area of South Texas stretching from San Antonio to Brownsville, Laredo to Corpus Christi. This is where Richard King and Mifflin Kenedy, among others, created the cattle kingdom of Texas. They learned from Spanish rancheros and vaqueros who came before them. O.Henry called these cattlemen the grandees of grass, the barons of beef and bone.

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Editorial: A sane ruling on mad cow testing

Roanoke Times

An appellate court says the USDA can bar testing — but that doesn’t mean it should.

A U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that bars a Kansas meatpacker from testing all its animals for mad cow disease — an expensive step major meatpackers resist — sounds like yet another industry victory that sacrifices the public interest to private interests. In this case, though, there’s a twist.

The test in dispute is not likely to detect the disease in most cattle slaughtered in the U.S. — even if the animals are infected.

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Beef production newsletter available by mail, online

Nevada Daily Mail

A monthly beef cattle production newsletter written by Eldon Cole, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist, is available to producers and others involved in supporting the beef industry in southwest Missouri.

The letter contains a list of coming events, research items related to beef and forage production and practical ideas from cattlemen. In addition, reports on events such as the Missouri Steer Feedout, Show-Me-Select program and performance tested bull sales are featured when timely.

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Isolated Cattle Found Genetically Distinct


About 60 miles southwest of Alaska’s Kodiak Island, a small, flat landmass rises out of the Pacific Ocean.


Treeless, desolate, and cold, the low-lying Chirikof Island is at the mercy of wind and waves. Its harsh climate has discouraged human settlement, but Chirikof—named for the Russian explorer who claimed it in the 18th century—is not uninhabited. For more than 100 years, the island has been home to a herd of feral cattle whose origin is unknown.

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Technical questions about cryptorchids

Bill Beal

Angus Journal

Cryptorchidism is a condition that occurs when one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum of a bull. Testes retained in the body cavity secrete testosterone but do not produce fertile sperm. Therefore, technical questions exist about growth of cryptorchids vs. intact bulls and about the fertility of a unilateral cryptorchid, where one testis descends into the scrotum, but the other is retained in the body cavity.

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USDA Proposes Downer Rule

University of Nebraska

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced yesterday a proposed rule to amend the Federal meat inspection regulations to initiate a complete ban on the slaughter of cattle that become non-ambulatory after initial inspection by Food Safety and Inspection Service personnel.

Under the proposed rule, all cattle that are non-ambulatory disabled at any time prior to slaughter, including those that become non-ambulatory disabled after passing ante-mortem inspection, will be condemned and properly disposed of.

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Animal Clones’ Offspring Are in Food Supply

With Removal, Of Voluntary Ban, Meat, Milk on Rise


Wall Street Journal

Milk and meat from the offspring of cloned livestock are entering the U.S. food supply.

The number of clones is on the rise, and no one is keeping track of all their offspring. In January, the Food and Drug Administration said products from cloned cattle, pigs and goats — and their conventionally bred offspring — are safe to eat.

Phil Lautner, who owns a farm in Jefferson, Iowa, said he has sent offspring of clones to be slaughtered for food in the past “several years.” He said he currently is raising 50 to 100 clone offspring, many from his six genetic matches to the acclaimed bull Heat Wave.

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