Monthly Archives: March 2009



“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” E.B. Browning, 1857

“How can you get bucked off? Let me count the ways.” B. Black, 2009

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Grass cattle economics

Grass cattle economics

Dillon M. Feuz

Tri State Livestock News

I am tired of reading about and writing about the economic mess we are in with the general economy. So, I will not mention it again in this article. At my house in the last week, I have seen a sunny day with temperatures in the 70’s and a cold, windy, snowy day with temperatures in the low 30’s. Those days were back-to-back. That tells me one thing; it must be spring. I checked on the south side of the house and the tool shed, and sure enough there is green grass appearing there.

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Black Ink: Get with the times

Black Ink:  Get with the times

Miranda Reiman

It’s the 1970s. An air-dried Polaroid shows your leisure suit and platform shoes, just before you hop into your pickup and check the CB for friends talking skip.

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Dyar Recognized by Alabama BCIA

Dyar Recognized by Alabama BCIA

Cattle Today

Montgomery, Ala. – The Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association (BCIA) recently honored Richard Dyar as the 2008 Richard Deese Award recipient during their Annual Meeting and Awards Program held in conjunction with the 66th Annual Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Annual Meeting in Montgomery on February 14.

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Diversification key to stable farming operation

Diversification key to stable farming operation


Kenneth Sartin considers himself to be lucky.

He hasn’t been laid off and has a pretty good idea where he’ll get his next meal. Sartin has been a farmer all of his life. He is his own boss.

“I get up in the morning and nobody’s standing over me with a gun telling me what I gotta do,”he said. “I do what I want and I like what I do.”

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Farmers get grants to diversify farms

Farmers get grants to diversify farms

John Boyle

Asheville Citizen Times

Nearly 50 mountain farmers have received funding totaling $225,000 to help them diversify and remain viable.

Western North Carolina Agricultural Options disbursed the grants, which are for $3,000, $6,000 or $9,000.

 “It is exciting to see the wide variety of innovative ideas that have been awarded to farmers in Western North Carolina,” William Upchurch, executive director of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, said in a press release. “These great projects can meet the demand and desire for local products by consumers, and this program will continue to help these family farms stay in business.”

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Fish Oil Could Curb Cow Flatulence

Fish Oil Could Curb Cow Flatulence


Cows break wind a lot, and their flatulence fills the air with methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

In fact, the EPA estimates that roughly 28 percent of all methane emissions related to human activity come from methane-producing bacteria in the rumens of domestic cattle, sheep and goats and other livestock known as ruminants, which eat plants that are mostly indigestible by other creatures.

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First Graduating Class of Beef Advocates

First Graduating Class of Beef Advocates

The Beef Board

It’s a fact of life that the connection between city-dwelling consumers and the farm grows ever more distant. There are those who are simply unaware and there are activist groups who are constantly working to cast doubt and suspicion on beef production practices, as well as the safety and nutritional profile of our products. The activist groups are intense, vocal and very well-funded. But the beef checkoff continues to share the positive beef story and the truth about how beef is raised, its health benefits and nutrition facts.

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Prop 2 fuels ‘freight train’

Prop 2 fuels ‘freight train’

Rod Smith

Feedstuffs Foodlink

Emboldened by a victory in California, activists likely will increase their attacks on U.S. livestock and poultry producers.

THE industrial activism movement “is coming at us like a freight train,” affects all of livestock and poultry production, affects states with and without ballot initiatives and likely will win additional restrictions on the way livestock and poultry are grown, according to Chad Gregory, senior vice president of the United Egg Producers.

Gregory, speaking to the “Simmering Issues Workshop” at the Midwest Poultry Federation’s annual convention this month in St. Paul, Minn., discussed the aftermath of passage of the California ballot initiative on farm animal handling last year and “what’s next.”

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Wet weather means coccidiosis

Wet weather means coccidiosis

Dave Barz, DVM

Tri State Livestock News

The wet weather across much of the Tri-State region the past week will predispose young calves to a common parasitic disease, coccidiosis.

It has been estimated that coccidiosis costs the cattle industry more than $100 million dollars annually. The disease is most severe in younger animals. Cows may become somewhat immune to the disease, but they remain carriers without showing any clinical signs. These carrier animals tend to shed more heavily during periods of stress such as cold weather and calving.

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More than 325 head of cattle sold at 2009 Ohio Beef Expo in Columbus

More than 325 head of cattle sold at 2009 Ohio Beef Expo in Columbus

Farm and Dairy

More than 30,000 cattle industry enthusiasts attended the Ohio Beef Expo March 20-22 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio.

In its 22nd year, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association hosted the annual event. The major attraction March 21 was six purebred sales.

A total of more than 325 lots were sold with an average price of $2,369 and a gross of $769,050.

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What is Mad Cow disease?

What is Mad Cow disease?


Czech state veterinarians said on Friday they had found a new case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a six-year-old cow on a farm near the northern border with Poland.

Also known as mad cow disease, BSE first emerged in Britain in the 1980s and has been found in herds in several European and other countries.

Scientists believe it is transmitted through infected meat and bone meal fed to cattle and may cause deadly vCJD in humans.

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Controlling Eastern Redcedars in Pastures

Controlling Eastern Redcedars in Pastures

Dr. Bruce Anderson, Professor of Agronomy & Horticulture, University of Nebraska

Eastern redcedar trees seem to be exploding in many area pastures. These trees reduce forage production, make animal handling difficult, and encourage pastures to shift from warm-season to cool-season grasses.

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Cowboys on horseback and a dog drive the cattle here

Cowboys on horseback and a dog drive the cattle here


The Daily Jeffersonian

A bit of the west came east last week when Tom and Adam Elliott rounded up their herd of Angus cattle.

The Elliotts, father and son, respectively, prefer the use of horses and dogs to all-terrain vehicles for herding chores.

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Castration Of Bull Calves

Castration Of Bull Calves

Castration is the removal or destruction of the testicles, by either surgical or nonsurgical methods. Once castrated, the male calf is referred to as a steer. Beef from steers is preferred over beef from bulls because castration improves the color, texture, tenderness, and juiciness of the meat.

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Video Feature: Election analysis by J. Burton Eller, NCBA

Video Feature: Election analysis by J. Burton Eller, NCBA

J. Burton Eller, senior vice president of government affairs with the National Cattlemens Beef Association analyzes what the Nov. 4, 2008 election results mean for cattlemen. Recorded a the 2008 Beef Quality Summit, Novemebr 2008, Colorado Springs, CO. This Recording is a production of the Animal Sciences Department, Purdue University.

Planning for livestock loss

Planning for livestock loss

Matt Bewley

Grand Forks Herald

Ag department urges ranchers to report stranded, drowned cattle

This will allow state officials to plan animal rescue and carcass removal efforts and to get a handle on the number and type of disaster payments that might be claimed under the federal disaster declaration

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A Guide to Udder and Teat Scoring Beef Cows

A Guide to Udder and Teat Scoring Beef Cows

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

The conformation of a beef cow’s teats and udder are important in a profitable cow/calf enterprise. Females with poor udder and teat conformation are a management challenge for commercial cow/calf producers. Cattle producers do not have the time or labor to manage around cows that need intervention at calving to physically “milk-out” a quarter(s) so that the calf can suckle or to save the quarter from infection. Research findings in two experiments indicates that the occurrence of clinical mastitis in beef cow herds was 17.5% and 11.9% resulting in a reduction in weaning weights of 12.5% and 7.3%, respectively.

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An ounce of prevention leads to payoffs in beef production

 An ounce of prevention leads to payoffs in beef production

High Plains Journal

Understanding the costs of production, such as feed and animal health, is an important step in evaluating programs that help producers save money. “If the producers don’t know how much their production costs are, then they don’t know which areas to target for savings/cost reductions and once targeted, whether they’ve had an effect on them,” said Dr. Grant Dewell, beef extension veterinarian at Iowa State University.

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Profitability seminars focus on cow-calf producers

Profitability seminars focus on cow-calf producers

Abilene Reflector-Chronicle

The Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health will host three cow-calf profitability seminars during April. These seminars are designed to help ranchers address the challenges of today’s beef industry, including rising input costs and escalating land values, by providing practical management information that can be applied to any operation.

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