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.
Nutrient Management Planning Assistance Available For Livestock Producers
Free and confidential Environmental Assessment and Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning Assistance is now available to livestock producers in the western half of the US. The Comprehensive Livestock Environmental Assessment & Nutrient Management Plan (CLEANmp) will provide confidential and free technical assistance to livestock and poultry producers. The CLEANmp aims to help operators reduce contamination in water runoff and protect water quality.
USDA Changes Montana’s Brucellosis Status
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending its brucellosis regulations concerning interstate movement of cattle by changing Montana’s classification from Class Free to Class A.
They say that this action is necessary to prevent the spread of brucellosis. In order for a state to attain Class Free status, all cattle herds within that state must remain free of Brucella abortus for a period of 12 consecutive months preceding classification as Class Free.
Scientist Explains Health Advantages of Marbling
Marbling has become one of the least understood concepts in the beef-consuming world. No wonder, with all the competing and contradictory messages from “experts.”
If your blood test shows low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels have jumped, most doctors and nutritionists say cut back on red meat—especially highly marbled beef.
People use a simplistic filter for diet and health news: fat and cholesterol are bad. But facts are beginning to dispel the clouds.
Couple dealing with cancer finds comfort in cattle
In almost four decades in the beef cattle business, Mark and Claudine Goodrich have weathered their fair share of ups and downs.
Nothing prepared them for their latest, toughest battle, but they’re fighting it the same way they’ve faced everything else – together.
Mark, who has helped build one of the Midwest’s top registered Angus herds, was diagnosed in June with a rare hormonal cancer.
After Ike, livestock dying for lack of water
Hurricane takes terrible toll on cattle, crops in Southeast Texas.
By Bob Banta
State agriculture agent Tyler Fitzgerald barely had time to talk Monday as he clambered across storm-ravaged pastureland in Chambers County near the Gulf Coast.
Fitzgerald was busy trying to save cattle, horses and other animal survivors left in the muddy wake of Hurricane Ike, which caused 15- to 18-foot surges of ocean water to pour across the farms and ranches along the Southeast Texas coast over the weekend.
Grazing cattle have magnetic sense of direction
Grazing cows tend to face the North and South Poles, according to German scientists who studied 308 herds using Google Earth satellite photos.
The Boreal bovine orientation suggests that they, like migratory birds, sea turtles and monarch butterflies, tune into the Earth’s magnetic fields, says Hynek Burda, a biologist at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.
The findings, published in New Scientist magazine, contradict conventional wisdom which says that grazing cattle all face in the same direction because they are basking in the sun or huddling together to stay warm.
Body Condition Scoring Reduces Feed Costs And Improves Reproduction
Cow-calf producers across the state have faced significant increases in feed and other input costs the last 12 months. Most producers constantly search for the cheapest way to feed or supplement herds. However, producers may need to look at improving other management practices in order to save on input costs.
Washing Our Way to Cleaner Meat
SANDY MILLER HAYS, Agricultural Research Service
There’s no shortage of bad news these days, is there? Gas prices, a roller-coaster stock market, soaring food prices… just “pick your poison.”
So how about some good news for a change — a great example of something that really, really works and resulted from research funded by your tax dollars? Here goes!