Daily Archives: April 15, 2009

Body Condition Scoring Beef Cows

Body Condition Scoring Beef Cows

Johnny Rossi, Extension Animal Scientist – Beef Cattle, Timothy W. Wilson, Extension Animal Scientist – Beef Cattle, University of Georgia

Reproduction is the most important factor in determining profitability in a cow calf enterprise. To maintain a calving interval of 365 days, a cow must re-breed in 80 to 85 days after calving. Many cows in Georgia need a higher level of condition at calving and breeding to improve reproductive performance. Poor reproductive performance is directly linked to the percentage of body fat in beef cows. Body condition scoring (BCS) is an easy and economical way to evaluate the body fat percentage of a cow.

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How to Plug Your Operation’s Profit Holes

How to Plug Your Operation’s Profit Holes


Perhaps the toughest situation for ranchers in decades is on the horizon.

Overall market conditions are deteriorating…. Livestock prices are dropping…. The value of the dollar is down…. The stock market is shaky…. The Government wants to meddle more in your business…. And several ranchers will be forced into foreclosure.

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Where Do We Go From Here?

Where Do We Go From Here?

Betty Jo Gigot,

Calf News

For over a dozen years, the CALF News February issue has featured industry leaders predicting where they think the industry is headed and how they’re reacting to the opportunities and challenges. 2008 turned out to be a bigger challenge than anyone had expected, with cattle feeders losing more money than ever before in the history of the industry, and we weren’t alone.

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Crossbreeding Beef Cattle

Crossbreeding Beef Cattle

Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist; Virginia Tech

The economic climate of today’s beef business is challenging. Commercial cow-calf producers are faced with optimizing a number of economically important traits, while simultaneously reducing costs of production in order to remain competitive. Traits such as reproduction, growth, maternal ability, and end product merit all influence productivity and profitability of the beef enterprise. Implementation of technologies and systems that both reduce costs and enhance productivity is essential. One of the oldest and most fundamental principles that has a positive influence on accomplishing these goals is crossbreeding.

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Protocols for Synchronization of Estrus and Ovulation

Protocols for Synchronization of Estrus and Ovulation

Beef Reproduction Task Force, University of Nebraska

The potential for genetic improvement in beef herds in the US through advances in biotechnology has never been greater. Recent improvements in our understanding of methods of inducing and synchronizing estrus and ovulation in postpartum beef cows and replacement beef heifers creates the opportunity to significantly expand the use of artificial insemination in both purebred and commercial herds

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Prevent Pinkeye

Prevent Pinkeye

Mick Kreidler

Beef Today

You’re checking the cowherd on a hot summer day when you spot a calf with a weeping eye. Is it just a weed seed or is it the start of pinkeye? What should you do? Pinkeye, or infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), is a contagious bacterial disease that affects the eyes of beef cattle. Estimated to cost the cattle industry $150 million annually, pinkeye causes tearing, inflammation and ulceration of the cornea. Permanent blindness can occur in severe cases.

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Deep doo-doo wouldn’t do for Texas cattle rancher

Deep doo-doo wouldn’t do for Texas cattle rancher



Mack Stark figures cattle raisers can appreciate the name of his west central Texas ranch and makes no apologies for the words in big black letters on the steel arch over the dirt and gravel driveway. The name’s not exactly fit to print, but let’s just say “Deep Droppings Cattle Co.” or “Deep Excrement Cattle Co.” wouldn’t have the same effect. “That has a ring to it,” the 75-year-old rancher said.

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Q&A: Would pelletizing corn screenings help reduce the risk of feedlot bloat and increase the percentage allowable in a ration?

Q&A:   Would pelletizing corn screenings help reduce the risk of feedlot bloat and increase the percentage allowable in a ration?

Dr. Terry Mader, Professor of Animal Science, Northeast Nebraska Research and Extension Center

A:   Pelleting will likely not effect the bloat potential of a feed but will decrease bulk and enhance feed intake, which would allow them to be fed at higher levels.

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Choice-Select Spread: A close look at beef markets and the retail case

Choice-Select Spread:  A close look at beef markets and the retail case

Beef Magazine

The USDA Choice-Select spread for box beef went negative this week.  Why?  Don’t we all like Choice better than Select beef?  Doesn’t it cost more to raise Choice than Select beef?  Hasn’t the cattle industry spent years and many dollars trying to figure out how to get more cattle to grade Choice? Is there some conspiracy here by the packers and retailers?

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Agriculture Left Out of Obama Cuba Policy

Agriculture Left Out of Obama Cuba Policy

Gary Truitt

Hoosier AG Today

This week President Obama reversed a travel and trade policy that has been in place for decades. Travel and financial restrictions on Cuba have been relaxed allowing Americans to travel, send money, and send humanitarian aid to the island nation. US communications companies have also been allowed to begin doing business in Cuba. But, American agriculture continues to be shut out. The Obama ruling does not lift restrictions that make it very difficult to sell agricultural exports to the communist nation.

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Managing The Risk Of Hot Hay In Summer

Managing The Risk Of Hot Hay In Summer


Questions arise every year about heating in hay and the potential for hay and silo fires. Although the potential for spontaneous combustion in hay exists it is not common. While the risk of total loss from burning is minimal, there is still a great potential for nutritive loss in hay and silage due to excessive heating.

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Production agriculture facing challenges

Production agriculture facing challenges

Michelle Seeber

The Woodward News

From paying for expensive nitrogen fertilizer to dealing with humane organizations who want to rid the nation of eating meat, farmers, ranchers and landowners have a lot on their plate.

That was the message from Ron Hays, director of farm programming for Radio Oklahoma, who spoke Monday at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

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Methods to Reduce Bovine Viral Diarrhea

Methods to Reduce Bovine Viral Diarrhea

Del Deterling

Progressive Farmer

“We focus control of BVD on the cow-calf herd by building as strong a shield of protection as we can,” says ranch manager Travis Hill. (DTN Progressive Farmer photo by Russell Graves)

What’s scary about the BVD (bovine viral diarrhea) virus is that it may be in your cow herd for years without you knowing it. Maybe you’ve had a cow or two abort, a calf that died at birth or a few more that never got over a bad case of scours. That’s normal, right?

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Beef industry youth define leadership

Beef industry youth define leadership

Amanda Nolz

Tri State Livestock News

It takes guts for a country girl to move to the big city to attend school. As a freshman at the University of Denver, Cassidy Woodard is a world away from her home on a purebred Limousin cattle operation near Calhan, CO. In this urban setting, her classmates don’t understand beef production, and she often has to defend her way of life to those that have been influenced by biased mainstream books and media reports.

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Byproduct values decline in recent months

Byproduct values decline in recent months

Beef magazine

The byproduct value is basically the total value of all the non-meat items collected from an animal after harvest such as liver, tallow, and hides.  The values of these non-meat items are a vital aspect not only to beef packer margins, but cattle prices as well.  Byproduct values are highly dependant on foreign markets, which have deteriorated dramatically since last summer.

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