Daily Archives: January 5, 2009

Improving fertility rates in cows through feed

Improving fertility rates in cows through feed

Chris Casey

The Cattle Business Weekly

On a cellular level, it’s something like the line of scrimmage on a football field. A hormone rushes toward an embryo, but for completion to occur – in this case a pregnancy in a cow – the hormone must be blocked.

The blocker is a fatty acid found in fish.

Serving as coach, so to speak, in this biological blend of hooves and fins is a biology professor at the University of Northern Colorado. Pat Burns hopes his latest research not only improves bovine fertility – which could save millions for U.S. beef and milk producers – but also yields applications to human fertility and health.

He recently won a $98,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct a two-year study.

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Cold cows eat ranch profits

Cold cows eat ranch profits

As temperatures drop, feed bills rise for area cattle operations


The Billings Gazette

The fourth-coldest December on record is hitting Montana ranchers hard as feed costs nip at pocketbooks already chilled by shrinking beef payments.

“We’re going through the hay now,” said Jon Paterson, extension beef specialist for the Montana Beef Network. “We kept them out on range and pasture as long as we could, but that’s over.”

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Marketing Seedstock To Purebred & Commercial Breeders

Marketing Seedstock To Purebred & Commercial Breeders


There is no question that the beef cattle business has undergone a very tumultuous period over the past few years. Significant changes within the beef industry combined with national and world economic woes have impacted every member of the entire beef production chain. No segment of the industry has been immune to these impacts including cow-calf producers, stocker operations, feedlots, packers, and even those involved in seedstock production.

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Iowa Family Pitches In To Make Profit Off Livestock

Iowa Family Pitches In To Make Profit Off Livestock

John Biewen and Rob Dillard
National Public Radio-All things Considered

The growing season is over in all but the warmest parts of the country, but for most farmers the work goes on.

For nearly a year, NPR has been following the Griffieon family of Ankeny, Iowa, who live in a white clapboard house on 1,150 acres that have been in the family since the late 1800s.

This past growing season, the Griffieons raised a successful crop of corn and soybeans.

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Illegal dumping may result from new mad cow rule

Illegal dumping may result from new mad cow rule

Leslie Reed

Nebraska’s state veterinarian is among those worried dead cattle could be left to rot in windbreaks or ditches because of a federal regulation intended to prevent mad cow disease.

The new rule, which takes effect April 27, says cattle over 30 months of age can’t be rendered for animal feed unless their brains and spinal cords are removed first.

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Replacement heifers – Keep feed on track for next year’s breeding season

Replacement heifers – Keep feed on track for next year’s breeding season

Ryon S. Walker, University of Minnesota Beef Team

The Prairie Star

What are your heifers currently weighing? How many pounds/day are your heifers gaining? What is the quality of winter feed your replacement heifers are receiving? Do you feed your replacement heifers separately from your cow herd? When do you plan to breed your replacement heifers?

These are important questions to ask yourself so that you know if your heifers are on track for their first breeding season.

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Roberts Named Next NCBA CEO

Roberts Named Next NCBA CEO


– The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association announced today Forrest L. Roberts will be its next chief executive officer. Roberts, 42, will start January 20, 2009.

‘We are thrilled Forrest will be joining us as CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. We are certain Forrest brings the right experience, vision and optimism to lead the nation’s oldest, largest and most respected cattle organization,’ said Andy Groseta, rancher from Cottonwood, Ariz., and NCBA president.

Roberts grew up on a family-owned, diversified livestock operation in Uvalde, Texas. He worked side-by-side with his family when the operation expanded to include a retail meat market for ‘locally grown, corn-fed’ beef and pork. Forrest went on to earn a Bachelors of Science in Animal Science from Texas A&M University and a Masters of Business Administration from University of North Carolina.

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Where are all of those rich farmers?

Where are all of those rich farmers?

John Bird

Abilene Reporter Herald

The other day I heard a man complaining about “all of these rich farmers.” I wondered where he was from and who he knows that I don’t.

My wife built a nice little cow herd growing up. When we married and moved to West Texas, we thought we would buy some land and get our start in agriculture. Out there you can still buy grazing land for $600 to $700 an acre; cropland is even less. That might sound cheap to a doctor from the city looking for a place to hunt, but a cattleman knows that land at that price won’t “cash flow.” In other words, you can’t pay $600 an acre for land with income from cattle. That being true out west, imagine trying to pay for land in the rest of the state where recreation seekers have driven prices to $2,000 an acre or more.

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Protein testing of hay one simple practice to consider

Protein testing of hay one simple practice to consider


The Palestine Herald

There are two simple practices that many landowners just never seem to get around to. . . soil testing and hay testing.

These two inexpensive tools can save money and greatly increase production. I’m mainly talking to all the farm and ranch owners in the county, but I’m also talking to myself. Your County Agent has lived in his home for over a year and a half and he has never gotten around to taking a soil sample on his own place. I will do it soon!

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Beef training sessions are available in some South Dakota counties

Beef training sessions are available in some South Dakota counties

Tri State Neighbor

Extension educators and South Dakota agriculture experts will host beef training sessions Jan. 21, Jan. 27 and Feb. 17.

The cost is $25 for a handbook and training materials. Each session will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at these locations:

€ Jan. 21, Beadle County Extension office, Huron, S.D.

€ Jan. 27, Rockham Community Center, Rockham, S.D.

€ Feb. 17, Mellette Fire Hall, Mellette, S.D.

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Cattle producers can join pilot program

Cattle producers can join pilot program

Richmond Paladium-Item

Hoosier cattle producers may participate in a pilot program to put new tagging technology to work in their herds.

Under Indiana’s 840 Tag Pilot Program, Hoosier dairy and beef producers may request the 840 radio frequency identification tags at no charge for their breeding cattle, The yellow, button-style tags are available as long as supplies last.

“Our pilot program is designed to place these tags in the field, in real-life situations, where we can see, over time, how well they maintain their integrity and how producers incorporate them into their operations,” said Board of Animal Health veterinarian Bruce Lamb.

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Central Virginia benefitting from tobacco settlement money

Central Virginia benefitting from tobacco settlement money

The News and Advance

Ray Reed

Some of Virginia’s “tobacco settlement” money this year helped pay for cattle chutes, a set of metal bars that makes it a little easier and safer for Eric Morgan and farmers like him to do the work that leads to better herds of beef cattle.

Bedford County farmers who had the right qualifications found 38 grants were available this year — of up to $3,000 each — when Virginia’s Tobacco Commission chose to fund a Central Virginia Beef Expansion Project.

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MU stocker/backgrounder conference set for Feb. 19

MU stocker/backgrounder conference set for Feb. 19

High Plains Journal

A one-day institute for stocker and backgrounder operators from Missouri and neighboring states is set for Feb. 19, 2009, in Harrisonville, Mo.

“Missouri is an ideal location for stocker and backgrounding operations because we have an abundance of pastureland and easy access to the Midwest Corn Belt and the Great Plains cattle-feeding belt,” said Craig Payne, beef veterinarian with the University of Missouri Commercial Agriculture Program.

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Angus Activities Slated for 2009 National Western Stock Show

Angus Activities Slated for 2009 National Western Stock Show

Five days of Angus events including shows, sales, educational and social opportunities are slated for the 103rd National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver. Colo. Angus events kick off on Tuesday, January 13 and happen daily through Saturday, January 17.

Angus activities start Tuesday, Jan. 13, with the junior heifer show, which begins at 1 p.m., in the Stadium Arena. Kyle Conley, Perkins, Okla., will evaluate the junior heifers.

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Farmers worried TVA doesn’t understand their concerns

Farmers worried TVA doesn’t understand their concerns

Pam Sohn

Chattanooga Free Press

Sandy Gupton said she heard a noise on the night of the landfill breach near the Kingston Fossil Plant and felt the house vibrate slightly.

“It felt like an earthquake,” she recalled last week of what she later realized was the beginning of a TVA coal ash and sludge slide that buried about 300 acres of prime waterfront property and farmland in Harriman, Tenn., near Kingston.

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