Daily Archives: September 25, 2008

Video Feature: Animal Welfare Issues Facing Agriculture

Video Feature: Animal Welfare Issues Facing Agriculture

Kay Johnson-Smith, Animal Ag Alliance, recently presented a session at an Illinois Farm Bureau conference regarding animal welfare issues facing agriculture. This video is a short segment of that session.

Curly Calf Syndrome Investigation Underway

Curly Calf Syndrome Investigation Underway


During a 10-day period, between September 6th and 15th, the American angus Association received written and verbal reports of 48 calves previously born dead with physical characteristics consistent with “Curly Calf Syndrome”. Curly Calf Syndrome causes calves to be born with bent and twisted spines.

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The American Farmer, Friend or Foe

The American Farmer, Friend or Foe

Gary Truitt

Hoosier AG Today

Most Americans’ first introduction to the American farmer is as very small children with the song “Old MacDonald Had A Farm.” While not an accurate depiction of modern agriculture, the song is, never the less, a positive one.   Many books for young children deal with aspects of farm life such as animals and tractors. With grandchildren now arriving at the Truitt household, we are collecting quite a number of children’s books that have farm themes. Yet, the positive image of the American farmer has become a victim of the food vs. fuel debate. Recently I found myself defending not the US food policy but the ethics and integrity of US farmers.

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Q&A What are the health risks of grazing turnips?

Q&A   What are the health risks of grazing turnips?

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

A:   Following are the potential concerns for cattle grazing turnips, but rarely do these problems occur.

Turnip leaves can cause hemolytic anemia, a blood disease, pulmonary emphysema, a breathing disorder, polioencephalomalacia, a brain disorder characterized by twitching and incoordination, and even bloat. These problems generally occur during the first two weeks of grazing. Turnips also affect function of the thyroid gland and, thus, are goiter-genic.

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Viator Named Ultimate Genetics Marketing V.P.

Viator Named Ultimate Genetics Marketing V.P.

Cheramie Viator of Franklin, Texas has joined Ultimate Genetics as the Vice President of Marketing.

“Cheramie’s experience in marketing cattle worldwide will allow her to be a strong addition to the staff at Ultimate Genetics,” said Mark Cowan, President of Ultimate Genetics. “Her strong work ethic and cattle knowledge will help open new opportunities for the company and continue to build on the phenomenal growth of the past several years.”

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Grass-fed cows provide growing market for regional beef

Grass-fed cows provide growing market for regional beef

Kathy Gilbert

Chattanooga FreePress

Some Southeast Tennesseeans are returning to buying grass-fed beef from area suppliers and food markets, experts say.

“It’s good, reasonably priced, it tastes delicious, and I know it’s good for me,” said Paul Blazek, a database administrator in Brainerd and customer of Back Achers Farm in Chickamauga, Ga.

Most cattle today are raised commercially, fattened for the last four to six months of their lives in large Midwestern feedlots by about 70 percent to 90 percent grain, according to the National Beef Cattlemen’s Association Web site.

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Considerations For Culling Decisions In Cow Herd

Considerations For Culling Decisions In Cow Herd


With the recent changes in feed and pasture costs, many producers are searching for ways to improve feed utilization, improve herd efficiency, and reduce feed and pasture costs. The culling approach can be an important part of this management plan. Traditionally, the culling process is initiated following weaning in the fall and represents 10-20% of the cow-calf operation’s gross income. Through the culling process, most producers attempt to identify cows that are keeping the operation “in the game” and culling those that are costing the operation money. The list of reasons for culling can be quite extensive

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Debate over slaughtering horses gains new life

Debate over slaughtering horses gains new life

Senior news editor


Congress pressed to ban U.S. trade in meat destined for dinner tables

The emotional debate over slaughtering horses for human consumption gained new life in Washington this week as a House committee approved a measure that would ban the practice nationwide and halt the export of U.S. horses destined for dinner tables in other countries.

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Profitability For Livestock Producers: Is There Any Hope?

Profitability For Livestock Producers: Is There Any Hope?


High input prices, marginal to poor market prices, distant prospects for price improvement, all paint a drab picture of the livestock industry. Pork and beef producers have tried to remain afloat while production cycles put more meat into the market and spoil the prospects for profitability. With the seasonal shifts in livestock production and feed availability, let’s take a look at the near term economics for the US meat production industry.

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Hereford breeders to gather for annual meeting to celebrate Hereford demand

Hereford breeders to gather for annual meeting to celebrate Hereford demand

High Plains Journal

Members of the American Hereford Association will gather in Kansas City Nov. 1 to 3 for the 2008 Annual Meeting. A full schedule of events is planned for Hereford enthusiasts from across the U.S. who attend the Annual Meeting and the National Hereford Show scheduled during the American Royal.

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JBS closer to completing acquisitions

JBS closer to completing acquisitions

Steve Kay


JBS SA moves closer to completing its $1.535 billion acquisitions of National Beef Packing, the Smithfield Beef Group and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding. CBW understands that the Justice Department (DOJ) is expected to make its decision on the deals in the next few weeks. JBS will announce completion of the acquisitions shortly after that.

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The Science, & Art, Of Beef Quality

The Science, & Art, Of Beef Quality


There are a multitude of pre-harvest management practices that can influence beef quality, but with wide variations in production systems and genetics, the beef industry still struggles with a carcass supply that has a wide degree of disparity.

The National Beef Quality Audits have provided a snapshot over the last two decades of the status of the nation’s beef supply.  According to the research results, there are four primary areas where carcasses are missing market targets. These “non-conformers” result in millions of dollars in lost revenue.

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Feed Quality, Feed Storage, and Feed Loss Management

 Feed Quality, Feed Storage, and Feed Loss Management

Judson Vasconcelos, Feedlot Nutrition/Management Specialist University of Nebraska / Panhandle Research and Extension Center Scottsbluff, NE

Uniformly mixed rations are important to maximize intake and performance of feedlot cattle. Total mixed rations should be precisely balanced for maximum performance, and the mixing of ingredients should be thorough and consistent. Performance can also be affected if ration ingredients are of poor quality. In addition, it is important economically to avoid overfeeding expensive nutrients, or have the risk of nutrient deficiencies (Doran and Loy, 2008).

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Scours Prevention – Level Of Immunity

Scours Prevention – Level Of Immunity


This is related directly to colostrum. The newborn calf has no antibodies and must obtain them from the colostrum by absorption of these large proteins through the immature intestine.

But, the intestine changes rapidly after birth and by 12–24 hours, closes off to absorption of these antibodies.

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Calif. beef plant worker sentenced in abuse case

Calif. beef plant worker sentenced in abuse case

Associated Press

A former slaughterhouse worker was sentenced Wednesday to jail and probation after being seen abusing sick and injured cattle in a secretly taped video that prompted the largest beef recall in U.S. history.

Daniel Ugarte Navarro pleaded no contest in June to two felony counts of animal cruelty and two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to downed animals.

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