HSUS: Try to Understand … before it’s too late
Terry Etherton Blog-Penn State
HERE is a challenge for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS): Try to understand the purpose of animal agriculture before you are blamed for a major mistake.
Animal agriculture is not about torturing animals in factory farms, nor poisoning the environment, nor obesity. Animal agriculture is all about providing high-quality human nutrition not only to the well-heeled and picky eaters in developed countries but also to those whose economic reality is defined by the deficit in high-protein foods for the young, the old and the ill.
Heat & fescue: Bad Combination for Heifers
It is hard enough breeding heifers under the best of conditions, so when heat stress and endophyte-infected fescue are added to the mix, reproductive systems, pregnancy rates and the long-term bottom line are all bound to suffer.
Dave Patterson, University of Missouri Extension researcher and reproductive specialist, notes that reproductive performance is the most important economic trait in a beef cow herd, and anything a rancher can do to reduce his percentage of open and late-bred animals will pay off handsomely at sale time. He adds that this premise is particularly relevant to the breeding of heifers in today’s production environment, one which demands that cows conform to an increasingly narrow breeding window.
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Cow Herd Culling Pratices
Daryl Strohbehn and Byron Leu
Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University
The word “challenge” deﬁnitely needs to be added to the vocabulary list of Iowa cow-calf producers. Over the past 18 months, numerous “challenges” have impacted both long-term and short-term decisions as beef producers addressed the many changes that have affected their future. These “challenges” include a variety of issues including the signiﬁcant price increase of feed costs, pasture expense, forage prices, and fuel—all impacting the bottom line for cattle operations throughout the state. To address this, many operations are exploring both direct and indirect options to control expenses and remain cost effective.
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Q&A We have some bull calves 600 to 700 lbs. We have made the decision to steer some of them. Our banders are not big enough. Can I use large tie wraps(zip ties)? What are cons to banding versus cutting?
Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska
Contact your veterinarian. There are a number of different banders for this weight bull that will work.
Evaluate Cows At Pregnancy Diagnosis To Optimize Returns
Now is the time to put together your plan to determine which cows you are going to carry through the winter. With supplemental feed resources at all time high prices, you cannot afford to carry a cow through the winter that is either not going to produce a calf or do a good job of raising one next year. The following checklist will help producers do a more complete assessment of the cow herd at pregnancy check time.
Kentucky Improves Livestock Disease Center
State and local government officials, including Gov. Steve Beshear, joined representatives from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture today to break ground on a $28.5 million expansion and renovation of UK’s Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center.
Economics of Storing Distillers Grains
Darrell R. Mark, Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist
Galen E. Erickson, Extension Feedlot Management Specialist
Josie A. Waterbury, Graduate Research Assistant
University of Nebraska
In the last few years, the decrease in co-product price, particularly for wet distillers grains plus solubles (WDGS), during the late summer months has provided incentive for producers to purchase co-products and store it to feed at a later date. Although co-product prices in 2008 didn’t drop as much as the historical seasonals would have suggested for the late summer, storage opportunities may still exist for cattle feeders and cow/calf operations. Previous research has identified a number of ways to store ethanol co-products.