Daily Archives: October 23, 2008

Balancing Rations by Hand or Computer

Balancing Rations by Hand or Computer

Dale M. Forsyth, Animal Science Dept., Purdue University

Southern Livestock

Statement of Purpose: I have received numerous requests for a reprint of a paper I wrote entitled Computer Programming of Beef Cattle Diets, a chapter in the book BEEF CATTLE FEEDING AND NUTRITION, 2nd Ed., by T.W. Perry and M.J. Cecava, Academic Press. That article is copyrighted and I cannot distribute it. There seems to be interest in ration balancing by students, producers, and others, at various levels of complication, so I am writing this and making it widely available in order to share what I know about the subject. The principles apply equally well to rations for any species.

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The Importance of Good Records in Feedlot Management

The Importance of Good Records in Feedlot Management

Dr. Judson Vasconcelos, Feedlot Specialist, University of Nebraska

We’ve all heard that “One can only improve what is measured.” Therefore, good (i.e., complete and accurate) record keeping is crucial to the success of any business. During times of high-cost inputs, this is particularly important for feedlot managers. Good records are essential to monitor measures of production and allow for informed management decisions and planning. Cattle feeders use feedlot close-out information for economic evaluation of pens. However, frequently monitoring feedlot performance and costs as cattle are still being fed not only tells you where the feedlot is currently, but also allows managers to make fast mid-course corrections as feed costs or cattle prices change. Knowing the current cost of production is essential for making timely marketing decisions and decreasing corn use (Doran and Loy, 2008).

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NCBA: Live Televised Panel To Answer Questions About COOL & Premises Registration

NCBA: Live Televised Panel To Answer Questions About COOL & Premises Registration


Four authorities on Country of Origin Labeling and Premises Registration will answer producer questions during a Monday Night Live program on RFD-TV Oct. 27. The one-hour program will allow call-in questions from producers via a toll-free line starting at 8 p.m. EST (check your local listings).

The panel will consist of Bruce Knight, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Colin Woodall, executive director of legislative affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA); Steve Owens, partner in Joplin Regional Stockyards in Joplin, Mo.; and Steve Foglesong, an Illinois beef producer and NCBA vice president.

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What business changes are you making for the next decade?

What business changes are you making for the next decade?

Kindra Gordon

The Cattle Business Weekly

“The world in which we operate is fundamentally different,” Iowa State University agricultural economist John Lawrence emphasized as he addressed producers attending the National Angus Conference and Tour held Oct. 7-9 in Oklahoma City.

Lawrence listed higher energy costs, different energy sources, a rocky economy, a dramatic change in corn prices, and even a change in consumer’s preferences and habits among the many differences in today’s world. As a result, he asked producers, “What are you doing differently on your farm?”

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Manage Cow Herd to Overcome High Input Costs

Manage Cow Herd to Overcome High Input Costs

Robert Wells

Noble Foundation

There is an old Chinese curse that says, “May you live in interesting times.” The current era in the livestock industry is about as interesting as most of us can stand. I believe we are in the midst of a paradigm shift. The cattle industry of tomorrow will almost certainly look different than it has in recent years. During 2008, many ranchers did not apply the same amount of fertilizer as they have in the past.

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COOL educational session planned during Lawton Farm Show

COOL educational session planned during Lawton Farm Show

Southwest Farm Press

To help explain the practical aspects of how Country of Origin labeling (COOL) is being implemented, the Oklahoma Grain & Stocker Producers (OG&SP) is hosting an educational session — with a free hamburger feed — during the Greater Oklahoma Farm Show, Friday, Oct. 24, in Lawton.

The speakers will be Ryan Reuter, a beef specialist for the Noble Foundation, and Bill Barnhart, the managing partner for OKC-West Livestock Auction at El Reno.

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Cattle fed distiller’s grains maintain flavor and tenderness

Cattle fed distiller’s grains maintain flavor and tenderness


Texas AgrilLife Extension

Plainview Herald

The availability and use of wet distiller’s grains in beef finishing diets continues to increase as the ethanol industry expands, and some Texas AgriLife Research scientists are trying to determine if that will affect consumers’ meat purchases.

While much of the research focus has been on the energy value of the distiller’s grains relative to the corn it replaces, recent questions have been posed on how they may affect beef quality, said Dr. Jim MacDonald, AgriLife Research ruminant nutritionist.

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Rising number of starving cattle lead to worries of trend in age of high feed prices

Rising number of starving cattle lead to worries of trend in age of high feed prices


Over the past year, investigators haven’t had to go out of their way to find dead cattle in this beef-producing state where 6.5 million cattle roam.

Since early this year, three large cases of alleged starvation in Nebraska involving a total of about 240 cattle starved to death have been reported. That’s more than some officials can ever remember.

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Tools for transformation

Tools for transformation

Quinn ranchers switch calving time, practice low stress handling

Loretta Sorensen

Tri State Livestock News

South Dakota ranchers Pat and Mary Lou Guptill have gone through a transformation over the last six years. Longtime Quinn residents, the Guptills have transformed their grain-fed black Angus beef production to a grass fed and nearly organic operation.

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Q&A What do I need to do to be able to sell beef by the package or by smaller quantities from my freezer?

Q&A  What do I need to do to be able to sell beef by the package or by smaller quantities from my freezer?

Dr. Dennis Burson, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska

A:  The first question is the beef processed a Federally Inspected meat processing facility or in a Custom Exempt processing facility. In a Custom Exempt facility the beef is slaughtered and processed for the customer and the meat is marked as “Not for Sale” and is usually marked with the customers name on the package.

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Causes of Genetic Abnormalities in Cattle

Causes of Genetic Abnormalities in Cattle


Breeders may see various genetic abnormalities in cattle from time to time. Examples are albinism, hairlessness, mulefoot and dwarfism. Usually they are harmful and we may want to eliminate them, but occasionally there can be some advantages associated with even such harmful characteristics.

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Justice Department complaint shows detailed information

Justice Department complaint shows detailed information


A review of the complaint filed Monday to block the proposed merger of Brazilian-owned JBS SA (JBS) – the nation’s third largest meatpacker – and National Beef Packing Co. – the nation’s fourth largest meatpacker – in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, by the U.S. Department of Justice and 13 State Attorneys General reveals a strong working knowledge of how the U.S. cattle industry functions.

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Ranchers await merger ruling

Ranchers await merger ruling

 Judith McGinnis

Times Record

North Texas cattle producers are in wait-and-see mode now that the Texas Attorney Generals office has joined 12 other states and the Department of Justice in a lawsuit to block the merger of two of the industrys largest beef processors.

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USDA Approves Four Additional Visual Identification Tags For Use In The NAIS

USDA Approves Four Additional Visual Identification Tags For Use In The NAIS


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today approved several new visual identification tags:  three individual animal identification 840 tags from Destron Fearing/Digital Angel, where 840 represents the U.S. country code, and one premises identification tag from Allflex.  In USDA’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS), identification tags and devices are used to provide a greater level of animal traceability in the event of an animal disease outbreak.

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WTO beef ban ruling favours Canada, U.S.

WTO beef ban ruling favours Canada, U.S.

By Barbara Duckworth

The Western Producer

The World Trade Organization appeal body has ruled in favour of Canada and the United States in a lengthy dispute with the European Union over its ban on beef from cattle that receive growth-promoting hormones.

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