Daily Archives: October 14, 2008

Law gives police powers to activists

Law gives police powers to activists

Feedstuffs Foodlink

Animal rights and vegetarian activists could have the authority to enter and search California farm buildings and arrest producers for suspected violations of animal welfare laws if California voters approve a ballot initiative this fall, Feedstuffs has learned.

This is the conclusion of attorneys who are analyzing the legal consequences of the initiative for agricultural and food interests in California, whose “Californians for SAFE Food” coalition is organized to educate Californians on the initiative and urge them to vote no on the measure.

The determination makes it exceedingly important for producers and production companies, trade associations and allied industry across the U.S. to become involved in the “SAFE Food” coalition, its supporters said.

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Q&A: How do you know if corn has aflatoxin in it?

Q&A:   How do you know if corn has aflatoxin in it?

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

A:   Toxins produced by mold are called mycotoxins. Aflatoxins and fusarium toxins, such as zearalenone and vomitoxin are mycotoxins of most concern to livestock producers. In general, aflatoxins are more prevalent under warm, dry conditions while Fusarium toxins are more prevalent under cool, damp conditions. Generally, ruminants have a greater tolerance for mycotoxins and can handle longer periods of low-level intake as compared to simple stomach animals.

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Flexibility Is Everything

Flexibility Is Everything

Wes Ishmael

Beef Magazine

Too much death loss, too many sick cattle, too much wear and tear on the cattle and the people taking care of them.

That’s why John Frank Pendergrass and his son John Paul, of Charleston, AR, made a wholesale change in their procurement program. Starting four years ago, they began buying calves direct from ranches rather than through auction barns the way they had ever since John Frank can remember.

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Rules of Thumb for Winter Cow Rations

Rules of Thumb for Winter Cow Rations

Jason K. Ahola, Ph.D.

American Cowman

Considerations for feeding cows a least-cost ration in a new era of high forage prices

Without question, feed costs across the entire beef industry have increased substantially over the past 18 months. However, the rise in forage prices during 2007 has contributed to a dramatic increase in winter cow feeding costs.

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Feed Efficiency Relates To Profitability

Feed Efficiency Relates To Profitability

Southern Livestock

Feed efficiency is rapidly becoming a cattle industry priority. Its impact on profitability is tremendous, and its heritability allows rapid progress.  Studies to date have shown that selecting for efficiency has immediate impact, and the impact is on the cow herd as well as in the feedlot.

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Fall Frost Effects Of Forage

Fall Frost Effects Of Forage


The first frost of the autumn generally brings a flurry of forage related questions centered around three general topics:

-toxic prussic acid potential and management of frosted sudangrass and sorghum sudangrass hybrids;

-is frosted alfalfa toxic to grazing animals; and

-now that we’ve had frost, should I harvest the last alfalfa cutting?

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Prevention Is Best Therapy For Calf Scours

Prevention Is Best Therapy For Calf Scours


Preventing scours (diarrhea or dysentery) in calves is a challenge for cow-calf producers.

Adequate colostrum intake is the best protection for the newborn calf. The mother cow’s colostrum is a “custom made” antibiotic preparation for her calf. Because this colostrum is specific for the calf, there is no better protection available.

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CAB Feeding Quality Forums Set for Nov. 11 and Nov. 13

CAB Feeding Quality Forums Set for Nov. 11 and Nov. 13

Cattle Today

Hot topics in the feeding industry will take center stage at the Feeding Quality Forums set for Nov. 11 in North Platte, Neb., and Nov. 13 in Amarillo, Texas.

“Times are changing so quickly,” says Mark McCully, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) director of supply development. “This seminar will help feeders look to the future and address challenges head on.”

The meetings are sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, Land O’Lakes Purina Mills, Feedlot magazine and CAB.

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Overuse Of Antibiotics Detrimental To Life

Overuse Of Antibiotics Detrimental To Life

Padmashri Basineni

Antibiotics are supposed to be lifesavers for patients with microbial infections. However, their inappropriate and overuse leads to microbial drug resistance which makes an infection much harder to treat. Today´s rapid rise in infections, caused by drug-resistant bacteria, poses a serious global health concern.

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Pollan’s Radical Food Fix

Pollan’s Radical Food Fix

The New Republic

In the Times this week, not only did Michael Pollan write an invaluable overview of the problems with the U.S. food-production system, he even went ahead and offered a slew of solutions for the next president to adopt. The broad outlines of Pollan’s argument are fairly well-known by now: U.S. farm policies have distorted our agricultural system away from organic farming and toward industrial feedlots; away from healthy food and toward corn syrup in everything; away from sustainable land management and toward overproduction. But I wanted to pull out two slightly less-picked over bits from his piece.

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Pasture Supplementation of Beef Cattle

Pasture Supplementation of Beef Cattle

A. DiCostanzo

Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul

The mature beef cow is well suited to grazing cool season grasses, and grass-legume mixtures prevalent in the Upper Midwest. Indeed, it is seldom necessary to consider supplementation unless specific cattle management goals, drought, or forage shortages are considered. Yet, for the mature beef cow, mineral, particularly trace mineral supplementation should not be forgotten during summer grazing. Calcium and phosphorus are typically high in forages or diets fed to cows in the Upper Midwest. Magnesium may need to be supplemented when nitrogen or potassium concentration of forages is elevated due to fertilization, when high-milk-producing cows grazing lush spring pastures (grass). Also, of special interest is the fact that many forages in the US are limited in two micro-minerals (copper and zinc), and the concentration of selenium (another micro-mineral) is highly variable and can fluctuate from limiting to excessive in various regions of the country.

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A Lousy Deal

A Lousy Deal

Burt Rutherford

Beef Magazine

Now you see ’em. But mostly you don’t. And that makes diagnosing a lice problem in your cattle a bit challenging.

However, says Jack Lloyd, professor emeritus in entomology at the University of Wyoming in Laramie and one of the leading authorities on cattle lice, more than likely you have a subclinical lice population in your cattle herd. Given the right conditions, populations can build during the fall, then explode into an infestation during the winter months, causing grief for cattle and cattle producer alike.

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JBS-Swift acquisitions could have implications for beef markets

JBS-Swift acquisitions could have implications for beef markets

High Plains Journal

In 2007, JBS S.A., Latin America’s largest beef processor, purchased Swift & Co., the third largest beef processor in the United States. In March 2008, JBS-Swift then announced the acquisition of National Beef, LLC and Smithfield Beef Group, Inc., which included 100 percent interest in the Five Rivers Ranch cattle feeding operation with a one-time feeding capacity of 811,000 head. These acquisitions have renewed concerns about industry consolidation.

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Implications Of Curly Calf Syndrome To Beef Producers

Implications Of Curly Calf Syndrome To Beef Producers


There has been a large volume of interest in the recent discovery of Curly Calf Syndrome (CCS) in the Angus breed. This is a serious situation that Angus breeders and the American Angus Association (AAA) are diligently working to resolve. There is no need to panic and drastic measures should be avoided until more information is known. For the current status of the research that is being conducted or to gain information on how the AAA is handling the logistics of this situation you can access the AAA website at: http://www.angus.org. The purpose of this paper is to provide some information on the implications of Curly

Calf Syndrome or any other lethal recessive genes.

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Minimal Composting Of Beef Cattle Manure Greatly Reduces Antibiotic Levels

Minimal Composting Of Beef Cattle Manure Greatly Reduces Antibiotic Levels


Composting beef cattle manure, even with minimal management, can significantly reduce the concentrations of antibiotics in the manure, according to an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) pilot study. The scientists found that composting manure from beef cattle could reduce concentrations of antibiotics by more than 99 percent.

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