Monthly Archives: February 2009

8,000 Cattle Die in China’s Snowstorm

8,000 Cattle Die in China’s Snowstorm

Heavy snow has killed 8,160 cattle in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region this month, local authorities said.

According to reports from the China Daily, low temperatures and avalanches after four snowfalls in Yili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture had killed the cattle, Yu Donghua, a prefecture husbandry and veterinary bureau official, said Monday.

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Phosphorus Availability Varies According to Source

Phosphorus Availability Varies According to Source

Research conducted at the University of Manitoba has confirmed the availability of phosphorus for loss into the environment varies according the source of that phosphorus, writes Bruce Cochrane.

To learn more about how phosphorus reacts in the soil and assess potential for run-off losses scientists with the University of Manitoba compared the environmental availability of phosphorus from monoammonium phosphate fertilizer, four sources of liquid swine manure and four sources of solid beef cattle manure under simulated extreme run-off conditions on disturbed coarse textured gavelly soil and fine to medium textured soil.

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Forage Focus: How’s Your Pasture?

Forage Focus: How’s Your Pasture?

OK, before you think I have lost my mind, I am not talking about your pasture in February. I am talking about how was your pasture in the summer. How much of your pasture is grass? How much of your pasture is weeds late in the season? Pasture management is cheaper feed than the stored feed you are feeding now.

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Drug trafficking at USDA lab

Drug trafficking at USDA lab

The Cattle Business Weekly

Nineteen employees of three USDA laboratories in Iowa have been placed on paid leave after allegations that some were using their veterinary credentials for the purchase of low-cost medications for themselves and relatives. The drugs were primarily antibiotics, blood pressure medications and pain relievers; none were narcotics.

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Linking Cattle Temperament with Meat Quality

Linking Cattle Temperament with Meat Quality

An on-farm study to gauge cattle temperament in Scottish conditions is the first step in helping farmers breed easy to handle cattle with higher quality meat.

A QMS funded project has so far has seen the behaviour of 151 cattle assessed to gauge their behavioural response when being handled. Strong flight responses are undesirable as they both risk the safety of the handler and the animal and require additional labour to control stock.

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Testing Bull Power Fast Tracks Genetic Improvement

Testing Bull Power Fast Tracks Genetic Improvement

Clifford Mitchell

Cattle Today

Compiling data based on figures derived from different measurements has been a tool for corporate firms to tell a success story. Profit margin, increase in individual stock price and statements of net worth all created a comfort zone if they were on the rise. Amassing this information led for a quick trip to the top of the mountain. Cattlemen, because the four legged critter is involved, have to show a little more than what’s on paper to solidify the program, but accumulating positive data is a good first step.

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Cattlemen see brighter future for biz

Cattlemen see brighter future for biz


Glasgow Daily Times

Things are looking up for Kentucky’s beef cattle producers, according to Kenny Burdine with the University of Kentucky.

Burdine was the guest speaker at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Barren County Cattleman’s Association.

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Rancher helped pioneer new cattle crossbreed

Rancher helped pioneer new cattle crossbreed

Small Town Papers News Service

Gene Stockton, a lifelong Colfax County rancher and hay farmer who helped pioneer a new crossbreeding technique for beef cattle, died Jan. 12 in Albuquerque. He was 87 and died of heart failure.

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Beef plant may open in late summer

Beef plant may open in late summer


The developer of a beef packing plant at Aberdeen said he’s optimistic it will open in August or September.

Dennis Hellwig said the Northern Beef Packers plant will initially process 200 to 300 head of cattle daily, but is designed to handle up to 1,500 head daily.

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Wyoming beef production up from 2008; Montana’s down

Wyoming beef production up from 2008; Montana’s down

The Prairie Star

Commercial red meat production in Wyoming during January 2009 totaled 600,000 pounds, according to Kim Faircloth with the Wyoming Field Office of USDA NASS. This was 3 percent above last month and 12 percent above last year at this time. Commercial red meat production excludes animals slaughtered on farms.

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Introducing the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus

Introducing the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus

Earlier this week, US Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA) and Elton Gallegy (R-CA) announced that they would co-chair the newly created Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. Working with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF), the caucus will be an important player in creating and promoting legislation protecting animals nationwide.

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Proper Placement of Obstretical Chains

Proper Placement of Obstretical Chains

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

 To properly use obstretical chains when assisting with a difficult birth, follow the example pictured below.  To attach the chain, loop it around the thin part of the leg above the fetlock.  Then, make a half hitch and tighten it below the joint and above the foot.  Make certain that the chain is positioned in such a manner that is goes over the top of  the toes.  In this way the pressure is applied so as to pull the sharp points of the calves hooves away from the soft tissue of the vaginal wall.

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Health costs impact entire feedyard

Health costs impact entire feedyard

Beef Today

Low mortality isn’t the only way to measure the success of your health program. Pfizer veterinarian Robin Falkner told attendees at last fall’s Feeding Quality Forums, held in North Platte, Neb., and Amarillo, Texas, to start thinking about disease management a little differently.

“We want to worry about things that can change and that can matter,” he said.

Consider the steer with a 10% chance of living. A cowboy treats him, sends him to a holding pen and spends extra time with him – only to increase his chance of survival to 14%.

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You know the abandoned horse tragedy is getting worse when they start dumping colored horses! Palaminos, paints, grays, bays, whites and Appaloosas are appearing on forest land in the west, farm ground in the east, and the suburbs of Texas.

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Pasture Rent

Pasture Rent

Troy Smith

Angus Journal

Advocates hail ethanol’s value as an eco-friendly substitute for at least some portion of our nation’s fuel needs, and as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Its detractors have called ethanol an imposter thinly veiled in green, claiming the renewable fuel delivers less energy than is required to produce it. A few critics say, rather than reducing pollution and easing the effects of global warming, ethanol production and its combustion actually contribute to both problems. It has been blamed for rising food prices, too.

In the search to lay blame for a multitude of ills, ethanol has become one of the usual suspects.

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Estrous Detection Aids for Beef Cattle

Estrous Detection Aids for Beef Cattle

T. W. Wilson, Extension Animal Scientist

W. D. Gilson, Extension Dairy Scientist

Evaluating the reproductive ability of breeding stock is crucial for cow/calf operations. Cattle that have irregular estrous cycles often have difficulty becoming pregnant, thus increasing the total days open and reducing the total pounds of calf weaned per cow exposed.

There are many advantages associated with proper estrous detection. When estrous detection, also known as heat detection, is performed correctly, producers can facilitate management activities such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer. Identifying and culling females with reproductive problems can improve overall profits by reducing feed costs and increasing uniformity in the calf crop.

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Commercial cattlemen can find value utilizing crossbreeding and heterosis.

Commercial cattlemen can find value utilizing crossbreeding and heterosis.

Hereford World

As bull sale and breeding season approaches, it’s a good time to remember the benefits of crossbreeding and the value of heterosis. For commercial producers with black cow herds, Hereford bulls are a great option to add value to the resulting calf crop.

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Musculoskeletal Disease In Stocker Calves

Musculoskeletal Disease In Stocker Calves

As we try to evaluate animal health performance in stocker operations, it is helpful to classify disease based upon the organ system that is affected. This classification system can be as simple or detailed as you want it to be. However, since I’m a Kansas State graduate, I pretty much have to keep things as simple as possible! Normally when we begin to classify disease, we break it into five broad categories: Respiratory, Digestive, Nervous (“brainers”), Musculoskeletal, and “Other”. While these categories tend to be pretty self explanatory, the “Other” classification tends to be a place where we put those animals that don’t fit any place else. For example, cases of “pinkeye” would fit in the “other” category. This classification may be made when the animal is originally pulled or it can be based on necropsy results. If you are having necropsies performed, this represents a good way to see how well your original diagnosis and treatment matched up with what actually killed the calf.

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Message to Obama: Please Fix the USDA’s Organic Mess

Message to Obama: Please Fix the USDA’s Organic Mess


President Obama and new USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack are being urged to take immediate action to repair the USDA’s increasingly dysfunctional National Organic Program (NOP). Suspect imports of grains, nuts, and vegetables from China and other countries, questionable organic milk, beef, and eggs from giant factory farms, and the erosion of opportunity for family farmers are plaguing the organic sector.

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Producers Facing Drought Must Make Critical Choices

Producers Facing Drought Must Make Critical Choices

Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D., PAS

Cattle Today

Once again, many parts of the country continue to deal with the effects of drought conditions. In some areas this has now persisted for several years with only small degrees of relief. This has become an exceptionally critical situation in some areas where even water supplies are at an all-time low. When forage quality and/or quantity is affected by drought, livestock producers are usually faced with decisions about supplemental feeding and in many cases feeding in general. In years such as these in many areas producers have had to purchase everything, hay or other forages, supplements, feeds and given the cost of many inputs this has been extremely challenging.

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