Daily Archives: May 20, 2009

Preconditioning Payoff : Buyers Notice the Difference

Preconditioning Payoff :  Buyers Notice the Difference

Del Deterling

Progressive Farmer

Even when premiums aren’t so high, a good, healthy calf crop pays benefits all around.

Barry Chittenden says one thing always strikes him when he attends a special calf sale at the Livingston County Livestock Market in Ledbetter, Ky. “There are hundreds of calves there,” he notes, “but you seldom hear any bawling in the barn.”

That’s because the calves have been preconditioned. They’re content. They’ve been weaned for at least 45 days and no longer miss their mamas. They can fend for themselves; they’re used to eating and drinking from a trough.


Developing a Biosecurity Plan Important to Herd Health

Developing a Biosecurity Plan Important to Herd Health

Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D., PAS

Cattle Today

Part 2

As mentioned in the previous article in this series, the recent concerns over Swine Flu have increased everyone’s awareness of the need for measures to insure our health. As we discussed, this concern extends into our cattle operations. Many cattlemen regularly buy and sell animals into and out of their operations as well as move cattle from one location to another.


Bovine tuberculosis in a deer at Indiana deer farm

Bovine tuberculosis in a deer at Indiana deer farm

Julie Harker

Brownfield Network

A deer in southeastern Indiana being processed for meat has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health is investigating. The deer was in a farm-raised elk and deer herd. USDA confirmed the disease. The farm is close to a beef cattle herd that was traced to a TB positive cow in December 2008.


Managing high inputs: Top 10 Management Practices

Managing high inputs: Top 10 Management Practices

Victoria Advocate (TX)

Last week, Calhoun, Jackson, and Victoria counties kicked off our “Managing High Inputs” series with a program titled “Management Practices That Pay” by Joe Paschal, Texas AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist.

Discussion included what it costs to run a cow, market outlook, drought situation, and other relevant topics in the beef cattle business. Among those, Paschal shared his list of the Top 10 Management Practices.


Grass tetany can be a cattle killer

Grass tetany can be a cattle killer

Penn State

The calendar says it is the beginning of spring and the grass is growing. For most beef producers, it is a welcome time of the year because there are no more cold, snowy days when they have to feed their cattle hay.

However, there is a hidden danger in those pastures from grass tetany, according to John Comerford, associate professor of dairy and animal science, who coordinates of beef programs in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.


Canadian Officials Confirm Additional BSE Case

Canadian Officials Confirm Additional BSE Case


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE in an 80-month-old dairy cow from Alberta. The agency says no part of the animal’s carcass entered the human food or animal feed systems. Investigators say the age and location of the infected animal are consistent with previous cases detected in Canada.


Ready to Learn about Raising Grass-Fed Beef?

Ready to Learn about Raising Grass-Fed Beef?

Becky Mills

DTN Progressive Farmer

   Here’s what cattlemen say you need to know to make it work.

   The business of grass finishing beef is not for the faint of heart. It takes  a year-round supply of high-quality forages to produce the gains and marbling  needed for a tasty end product. And Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate.


Research, keep records of byproduct use

Research, keep records of byproduct use

Dom Castaldo


“If you feed cattle, you feed byproducts,” Dr. Allen Stateler told beef industry delegates attending the 25th annual Alltech Animal Nutrition & Health Symposium this week in Lexington, Ky. “Even in the Midwest, many sources of roughage are byproducts.”

Stateler, senior beef nutritionist at Hubbard Feeds, said feedlot operators and ranchers mainly use byproducts to reduce the cost of weight gain. Some operations have access to large sources of low-priced byproducts, and they take advantage of those opportunities.


Something new from the same old steer

Something new from the same old steer

Kim Severson

San Jose Mercury News

On a stainless steel table in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association test kitchen, a meat scientist named Bridget Wasser began dissecting a piece of beef shoulder as big as a couch cushion.

Her knife danced between long, thick muscles, then she flipped the whole thing open like a book. After a tug and one final slice, she set before her visitor the Denver steak.


Middle of May; time to make hay

Middle of May; time to make hay

Carl Stafford

Culpeper Star Exponent

Hay making season has arrived here in the Northern Piedmont now that the soil has had a chance todry out after the much-needed rain.

Seed heads are showing on all of our cool season grasses and the peak of quality is behind us now. The “early birds” will have cut by now and will end up making at least three cuttings if soil fertility and rainfall are adequate.


Cattle-ranching: a lifestyle

Cattle-ranching: a lifestyle

Stephanie Maynard

The Orion

Beef — It’s what’s for dinner.

But it’s more than just a meal; beef and cattle ranching are a way of life.

When senior MarChel Wolverton is not at school, she is with her husband helping ranch 700 cows.

“I wake up in the morning and look out my window. I walk out the door of my house and all I see are cows,” Wolverton said. “It’s my life. It’s what I do day in and day out.”


Signs of Impending Calving in Cows or Heifers

Signs of Impending Calving in Cows or Heifers


As the calving season approaches, the cows will show typical signs that will indicate parturition is imminent. Changes that are gradually seen are udder development or making bag and the relaxation and swelling of the vulva or springing. These indicate the cow is due to calve in the near future.


Healthy Herd is Best Defense Against Cryptosporidiosis

Healthy Herd is Best Defense Against Cryptosporidiosis

Heather Smith Thomas

Cattle Today

Cryptosporidiosis is a protozoal disease that is similar to coccidiosis in several ways. Protozoa are one-celled animals and most kinds are harmless. But several types cause disease in animals and most of these are transmitted by the fecal-oral route; the protozoa are passed in the feces of an infected animal and are ingested by a susceptible animal via contaminated feed or water or when licking a dirty hair coat or suckling a dirty udder.


Ranchers tell USDA why they oppose animal ID plan

Ranchers tell USDA why they oppose animal ID plan


San Jose Mercury News

Just 36 percent of ranchers are taking part in a federal program started five years ago to trace livestock in the event of a disease outbreak.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials found out why Monday, when 75 Western livestock producers gave them an earful during a meeting. The “listening session” was one of seven scheduled around the country in May and June to hear ranchers’ concerns, with the goal of increasing participation in the program.


Ag Struggles With Climate Change Legislation

Ag Struggles With Climate Change Legislation

Dan Looker

Southern Livestock Standard

Climate change legislation remains a top goal of the Obama Administration, and the groups that lobby for farmers and ranchers in Washington are having a tough time dealing with it.

Even though California Congressman Henry Waxman is struggling to find enough fellow Democrats in his Energy and Commerce Committee to get a bill written by his goal of Memorial Day, other members of the House expect that chamber of Congress to pass some form of legislation this year.