Daily Archives: November 24, 2008

Why Agriculture Can’t Get a Break on the Front Page

Why Agriculture Can’t Get a Break on the Front Page

Gary Truitt

Hoosier Ag Today

Do a search of news headlines about agriculture, and you are likely to be depressed. Very few of them will be positive, actually most will be negative. On issues such as food safety, animal care, ethanol, trade, the Farm Bill, fertilizer, CFOs, and crop protection chemicals, the stories will almost always focus on the negative. This is because negative stories attract more readers, viewers, or listeners.

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Immunity Affected By Many Items

Immunity Affected By Many Items

 Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Extension


There are several factors that influence amount of immunoglobulin that is absorbed by the baby calf. Some of these factors are directly related to the amount of colostrum available from the mother. These factors include: 1) genetic composition of the dam, 2) age of the dam, and 3) nutritional status of the dam.

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Novel Fescue Stocker Strategy

Novel Fescue Stocker Strategy

Ed Haag

Angus Journal

Experts began predicting lower light calf prices as soon as the cost of finishing animals in the feedlots began to rise. The big surprise was that they remained high for as long as they did.

“What we are seeing now is that these animals that are really light that are going to the sale barns are fetching a lower price only because order buyers and feedyard people are calculating that these animals will be on feedstuffs for a longer period of time,” says Mike Looper, research animal scientist at the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center, Booneville, Ark.

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Mycoplasma Pneumonia Takes The Fun Out Of Starting Stocker Cattle

Mycoplasma Pneumonia Takes The Fun Out Of Starting Stocker Cattle


Over the past several years pneumonia in stocker calves due to infection with Mycoplasma bovis has become much more apparent.  It is hard to say if the prevalence is increasing, or if cattlemen are recognizing it more, but it is demanding more attention.  Mycoplasma bovis is commonly found in the upper respiratory tracts of healthy calves, where it does no damage.  The problems start when it gains entry to the lungs, especially stressed lungs.  The normal course of events is that stressed cattle develop typical Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex, (shipping fever) caused by a bacterial infection, often Mannheimia, Pastuerella, or Hemophilus which follows one of the respiratory viruses such as IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis), BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhea), PI3 (Parainfluenza), or BRSV (Bovine Respiratory Syncitial Virus).

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Superintendent selected for SDSU Cottonwood Research Station

Superintendent selected for SDSU Cottonwood Research Station

Nancy Haigh

Cattle Business Weekly

South Dakota’s 100-year-old Cottonwood research station, located near Philip, S.D. has a new superintendent in charge of its day-to-day operations.

David Gay began his tenure as the South Dakota State University’s Cottonwood Range and Livestock Research Station superintendent in mid-October. He replaced outgoing superintendent, Ron Haigh. Haigh retired from SDSU after more than 30 years of service.

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Material Participation Test Can “Trick” Taxpayers

Material Participation Test Can “Trick” Taxpayers

John Alan Cohan, Attorney at Law

Cattle Today

Often enough the IRS will “trick” taxpayers by questioning whether they satisfy the Material Participation Test. This happens if the IRS concedes that your farm, livestock or horse activity is conducted for profit under the hobby loss rule. That in itself is usually a big victory. But it can turn into a dark victory if the IRS then says that your losses are “passive” and cannot be deducted against your main source of income, because you do not materially participate in the venture.

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Iowan heads group for ag legislators

Iowan heads group for ag legislators

Jeff DeYoung

Iowa Farmer Today

An active feedlot health program helps puts money in his customer’s pockets, says David Trowbridge, manager of Gregory Feedlots near Tabor in Fremont County. Trowbridges uses two pens as sick pens every fall. He says most of the health problems occur in the first 30 days after calves arrive at the Southwest Iowa feedlot.

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Agriculture organizations have wish lists for Obama

Agriculture organizations have wish lists for Obama

The Prairie Star

Following the historic election of Barack Obama as the 44th U.S. president, agriculture groups across the country are hoping the new president will work with them toward meeting the needs and challenges of the food and fiber industry and rural America.

“Farmers and ranchers, like all Americans, have a list of issues that they expect the administration and Congress will address. The issues include the economy, energy, immigration, trade, implementation of the farm bill, and many others,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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Thanksgiving Myths

Thanksgiving Myths


It’s one of American history’s most familiar scenes: A small group of Pilgrims prepare a huge November feast to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and show their appreciation to the Indians who helped them survive their first winter. Together, the Pilgrims and the Indians solemnly sit down to a meal of turkey, pumpkin pie, and cranberries.

Just how accurate is this image of America’s first Thanksgiving? Not very, it turns out. Here are some common misconceptions about the origin of one of our favorite holidays.

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Farmers share their concerns

Farmers share their concerns


Evening Sun

At their 450-acre farm in Dover Township, Ed and Colleen Livingston are dealing with rising costs for fertilizer, which is up almost 35 percent over last year, and uncertainty about the cost of fuel.

As a result, the Livingstons say they’re increasingly worried about how much profit they can turn with their beef and crop farm. And making matters worse, they’re also worried that the national fiscal crunch will make it harder to get credit to plant next year’s crop if they need it.

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AFBF, MFBF oppose EPA-proposed tax on agriculture

AFBF, MFBF oppose EPA-proposed tax on agriculture

Prairie Star

The American Farm Bureau Federation has registered its opposition to an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, asserting it would essentially result in new taxes on livestock operations.

“Most livestock and dairy farmers would not be able to pass along the costs incurred under this plan,” said Mark Maslyn, AFBF executive director of public policy. “Steep fees associated with this action would force many producers out of business. The net result would likely be higher consumer costs for milk, beef and pork,” said Maslyn, in comments submitted to EPA.

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Q&A: We have oat bales that tested 1,409 ppm nitrate nitrogen concentration. I understand 1,400 to 2,100 ppm nitrate-nitrogen marginal. Is our 1,409 a need for concern.

Q&A:   We have oat bales that tested 1,409 ppm nitrate nitrogen concentration. I understand 1,400 to 2,100 ppm nitrate-nitrogen marginal. Is our 1,409 a need for concern.

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

A:   Testing the oat hay for nitrates allows you to make informed decisions on how this forage might be used. You can adapt cattle to nitrates in forages if you do it slowly. Most problems I see when feeding feeds with high nitrates is they get exposed to a bale high in nitrates and they are hungry. Manage nitrates in forages by either slowly adapting the cattle or by mixing the high nitrate feed with a feed that is low in nitrates to dilute to a safe level.

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Frugal Feeding

Frugal Feeding


The biggest factor determining profit margins on a calf is the annual cost of maintaining a cow. And typically, the biggest factor in determining annual cow costs is winter feeding.

Maintaining condition of the gestating cow is critical, as research and practical experience consistently show that substandard nutrition during this period can negatively impact calf health and performance, and next season’s conception rates.

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Mad Cow and Rendering Costs

Mad Cow and Rendering Costs

Rogue Pundit

Rendering is one of the oldest forms of recycling.  But, certain of the body parts that are recycled can be dangerous.  Case in point is mad cow disease, which is why many nations have banned using certain cattle parts in cattle feed.  But as I noted earlier this week, several of Canada’s cases of mad cow disease were likely caused by cross-contamination.

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New mad-cow rule poses health dangers of its own

New mad-cow rule poses health dangers of its own


Fox News

A federal regulation aimed at preventing mad cow disease from getting into the food supply could create health risks of its own: many thousands of cattle carcasses rotting on farms, spreading germs, attracting vermin and polluting the water.

At issue is a Food and Drug Administration rule, set to take effect in April, that will prohibit the use of the brains and spinal cords of older cattle as ingredients in livestock feed and pet food.

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