Daily Archives: September 22, 2008

FDA Draft: GM Animals Under the Microscope

FDA Draft: GM Animals Under the Microscope


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have released a guidance document which is intended to clarify the FDA’s regulatory authority in the field of genetically modified animals, as well as the requirements and recommendations for producers of GE animals.

The comment period for the draft guidance, titled “The Regulation of Genetically Engineered Animals Containing Heritable rDNA Constructs,” runs for 60 days and closes Nov. 18, 2008. The 25-page document is available online at http://www.fda.gov/cvm/GEAnimals.htm.

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Country-of-origin labeling requires farmers, producers to document food source

Country-of-origin labeling requires farmers, producers to document food source

Mike Surbrugg

Joplin Globe

A new page in food labeling begins Oct. 1 when retailers will be required to notify customers of the country of origin for a wide range of products, including fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts and meat. The requirement dates to the 2002 Farm Bill.

Labels must show country or countries of origin for beef, veal, lamb, pork, chicken, goat, wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish, perishable fruit and vegetables, peanuts, pecans, ginseng and macadamia nuts.

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David Burton: Corn stover not being used to its full advantage

David Burton:  Corn stover not being used to its full advantage

Leftover grain, husks good for grazing.

Springfield News Leader

The last two years have seen an increase in the number of acres in southwest Missouri planted to corn. A portion of the corn will be harvested as silage. However, estimates indicate 70 percent will be harvested as grain.

This latter acreage has the potential to provide several thousand acres of economical grazing for beef producers.

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As ethanol plants emerge, distillers grains make sense in feed programs

As ethanol plants emerge, distillers grains make sense in feed programs


Tri State Neighbor

For Martin Schaff and other cattlemen living within a couple hundred miles of an ethanol plant, distillers grains are an option for their livestock feeding programs.

“I’ll use the dry distillers grain for increased protein,” said Schaff, who ranches near St. Anthony, N.D. He said the wet version “takes too much management” for his operation.

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Coastal Cattlemen Picking Up The Pieces

Coastal Cattlemen Picking Up The Pieces

Burt Rutherford

BEEF Magazine

With cattlemen in Southeast Texas and Louisiana still reeling, and assessing the damage, from Hurricane Ike’s landfall last weekend, BEEF magazine is amassing the latest coverage and info on recovery efforts at beefmagazine.com/natural-disaster/ike/.

According to Jason Cleere, Texas AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, the most affected areas in Texas around Anahuac and Beaumont saw storm surges from 8-18 ft. “We don’t really have good numbers on actual death losses, but they appear to be substantial,” he says. Surviving cattle he saw were doing relatively well, considering what they had been through, he said.

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MTSU: Students contribute to agricultural research

MTSU:  Students contribute to agricultural research

Emma Egli


Patrick Keyser discusses the benefits of producing wrapped haylage and how it is healthier for cattle to consume.

Patrick Keyser discusses the benefits of producing wrapped haylage and how it is healthier for cattle to consume.

MTSU’S new 435 acre farm, formerly Guy James Farm, held a field day to showcase current student research being orchestrated in its facilities.

The event, which was open to the campus community as well as the general public, focused on hay-wrapping techniques currently being researched by MTSU students.

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Single meat label, multiple countries

Single meat label, multiple countries



Would you buy a New York strip steak labeled as a product of the U.S. and Canada and Mexico?

After years of wrangling to get country-of-origin labels on meat and other agricultural products, several U.S. farm groups now worry that U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations will sabotage their efforts.

In the works for more than six years, the labeling requirement takes effect Sept. 30. The farm groups had hoped that it would steer consumers toward purchasing meat from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the United States.

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Affecting the herd: Single sick animal could cost cattle growers up to $4 million

Affecting the herd: Single sick animal could cost cattle growers up to $4 million

Cornelia de Bruin

The Daily Times

The timing of a recent statewide classification affecting San Juan County cattle growers couldn’t be worse.

Ranches and dairies last week were downgraded because a single case of bovine tuberculosis was reported in Eastern New Mexico. The change places tough mandatory movement restrictions on New Mexico cattle, at the time of year when many San Juan County cattle growers are preparing to bring their herds from summer pastures in Colorado’s La Plata mountains.

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Keeping Pastures Safe

Keeping Pastures Safe

Preventing grass tetany in cattle, keeping ponies out of pasture, the story behind buttercup poisoning.

By John J. Mettler Jr.D.V.M

Mother Earth News

A few years ago I realized a lifelong dream in Switzerland — I watched the cows trek from the valley stables to the mountain pastures. The big brown cows wore flowers around their necks and on their heads. They strode rapidly along the autobahns and through the village streets, cowbells chiming. The lead cow, wearing the largest flower arrangement and most decorative strapped bell, needed no one to guide her. She knew she was heading for green grass.

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A century of progress

A century of progress

Kari Lucin Worthington

Daily Globe

The Hansen farm has been officially re-christened the Hansen Cattle Company, but the Century Farm is still known far and wide as “Hansen’s it’ll do farm” — the slogan proudly proclaimed on its silo just north of Lakefield.

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USDA yanks states’s TB-free status

USDA yanks states’s TB-free status

200,000 cattle still await testing; CCA wants exemptions

Cecilia Parsons

Capital Press

California is losing its bovine tuberculosis-free status and anyone shipping beef or dairy cattle out of California now must deal with the repercussions.

According to the USDA, the change in the state’s status was to become official on Thursday, Sept. 18. At press time Wednesday, Sept. 17, the status was to be downgraded to “modified accredited advanced,” meaning breeding animals being moved out of state must have tested clean within the past 60 days. The exceptions are cattle headed to feedlots or slaughter.

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The importance of a little rumination

The importance of a little rumination

High Plains Journal

For years I used every venue I had to encourage those of us in animal agriculture to do a better job explaining to our consumers how well we provide welfare for the animals in our care. Today we seem to be single-issue focused on animal welfare. I admit there is no bigger event taking place than the ballot initiative in California on Nov. 4. If the California voter does not go into the booth and vote “No” on Prop 2, the impact will be felt by everyone in animal agriculture. Yes, we should all be doing more to help educate Californians but the truth of the matter is that we have many issues that need to be fought at the same time.

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Some Weeds Can Be Used As Emergency Forage Crop

Some Weeds Can Be Used As Emergency Forage Crop

BEEF Magazine

Drought conditions in western North Dakota and eastern Montana have some producers evaluating alternative forages they normally wouldn’t think of feeding their cow herd, says Greg Lardy, North Dakota State University beef cattle specialist. In fact, Russian thistle, pigeon grass and kochia are some plants normally considered weeds that can be used as a source of emergency forage, he says.

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Japan lifts ban on imports from 2 U.S. beef packers

Japan lifts ban on imports from 2 U.S. beef packers

USA Today

Japan has lifted a ban on beef imports from two U.S. meat packers after reviewing the companies’ steps to improve safety measures following unauthorized shipments containing parts believed to pose a risk of mad cow disease.

The Agriculture Ministry said Friday that it has resumed imports from the Smithfield Beef Group and the National Beef California LP, effective immediately.

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Update: Curly Calf Syndrome of concern to Angus breeders

Curly Calf Syndrome of concern to Angus breeders

From Angus.org

Important Update on the Status of Curly Calf Syndrome (Bovine Hereditary Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita)


On September 5, 2008, the American Angus Association posted a notice on its website (www.angus.org) in which it requested the assistance of its members and users of Angus genetics in obtaining reports of any abnormal calves believed to fit the accompanying description of what is currently described as “Curly Calf Syndrome”.

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The following link is NOT from Angus.org

Photos of calves afflicted with BHAMC

Response From Mark Gardiner PDF

Oklahoma Farm Report Article

University of Georgia Vet School page