Daily Archives: August 25, 2009

Checkoff’s Attempt to Educate TIME Magazine Editor Falls on Deaf Ears

Checkoff’s Attempt to Educate TIME Magazine Editor Falls on Deaf Ears

Melissa Slagle, Cattlemen’s Beef Board

Beef Today

TIME magazine posted an article by reporter Bryan Walsh to its Web site: “The Real Cost of Cheap Food.” The article repeats a wide range of “factory farming” claims, including the common myths about modern beef production’s over-reliance on corn and antibiotics, the distorting effect of farm subsidies and poor farm animal living conditions.

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Vilsack Doesn’t Expect Strong Effort to Block Cap and Trade

Vilsack Doesn’t Expect Strong Effort to Block Cap and Trade

Andy Eubank

Hoosier AG Today

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack met with farm broadcasters yesterday to repeat support for cap and trade legislation. After visiting 17 states the secretary says he does not get the impression that there is a concerted or unified effort to block cap and trade. Vilsack’s take is, “I think there is an interest in learning more about it, an interest in participating in conversations and discussions about how it needs to be shaped, and I think there was an expectation when it passed the House that the Senate should have its say, and it should. But I don’t anticipate and expect that there’s going to be a real concerted effort to block this legislation. I think there will be a concerted effort to improve it from the Senate perspective.”

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Those of you who watch television appreciate the increasing presence of ‘hard-sell, direct-buy’ commercials on the cable and satellite networks. The pitch involves an inventive but cheaply produced product like squeegees, stick-on light bulbs, sunglasses, vegetable choppers, political promises and collision chasing lawyers.

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Tuberculosis in Cattle

Tuberculosis in Cattle

Sherry Westphal, PPVM Veterinary Student, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tuberculosis of cattle (bovine TB) was once common in US cattle herds; damaging the health of cattle and, serving as an important source of human disease in the US. That was long ago. In 1917 the US began a program to protect public health by eliminating bovine TB from cattle and pasteurizing milk. This program has made bovine TB an extremely rare infection of cattle, and humans in the US today. Unfortunately bovine TB is still a reality in some countries; even as close as Mexico. World-wide, bovine TB remains a hazard to cattle health, and the organism still contributes to the total number of TB cases in humans.

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Uncertainty on Milk and Beef Prices Makes It Tough for Marketing Decisions

Uncertainty on Milk and Beef Prices Makes It Tough for Marketing Decisions

Del Deterling

DTN/Progressive Farmer

For many hay growers, 2008 lingers as a rosy, but now distant, memory. Production was excellent and strong demand drove prices to record highs. This year growers face a new set of realities: There are fewer buyers for hay and prices are getting lower.

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Small Farms? Who Said They Were Going Out Of Business?

Small Farms? Who Said They Were Going Out Of Business?

The Farm Gate

The 2008 Farm Bill created the ACRE program to target farm support at the combination of yield and price risk, giving farmers a chance to protect their revenue, without encouraging additional production, which had been an international complaint about US farm programs. Critics of farm programs want support pulled from large farms and targeted toward small farms.

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Value-Based Beef Cattle Production

Value-Based Beef Cattle Production

Dale W. Naze, NDSU Extension Agent, McKenzie County, John Dhuyvetter, Area Livestock Specialist, North Central, Research Extension Center, Chip Poland, Area Livestock Specialist, Dickinson, Research Extension Center

Today’s beef industry is evolving toward a concept of value-based marketing which prices cattle and carcasses on individual merit rather than averages.

Recognizing that consumer’s wants and needs drive beef demand, those who contribute to the added value of superior products should be rewarded. Likewise, the market should penalize those responsible for producing an inferior product.

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Is Improved Pasture Economically Viable?

Is Improved Pasture Economically Viable?

Troy Smith

Angus Beef Bulletin

Baseball great Yogi Berra supposedly said, “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” But few crystal balls offer glimpses of a future offering cheap sources of energy. Last year’s historically high prices for fuel and fertilizer may have provided a peek at what lies ahead.

That’s not good news for managers of improved pastures. We’re talking about pastures where “tame” grasses or other forage species have been introduced in order to increase the volume and quality of forage available for grazing. Generally, establishing and maintaining improved pastures requires fertilization and, depending upon the climate, irrigation. But producers and forage specialists are questioning whether the associated costs will become prohibitive. Some producers may have reached that threshold already.

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Time to Weigh In on Antibiotic Issue

Time to Weigh In on Antibiotic Issue

Dan Goehl, DVM

Beef Today

Recently legislation has been brought up to limit the use of antibiotics. The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) has been written under the premise that it is there to protect antibiotic resistance.

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Storage of Wet Distiller’s Grains For The Beef Operation

Storage of Wet Distiller’s Grains For The Beef Operation


If you have interest in using some wet distillers grains (WDG) now may be the time. The spot price will typically reflect corn prices but there is also an additional “supply-demand” dynamic at play. To avoid cost of drying distillers grains, ethanol producers would prefer to market the product as WDG, provided the price is right. For operations that are a reasonable distance from an ethanol plant, WDG may be an excellent choice of feedstuffs. WDG not only have very good energy and protein values, the moist nature of WDG make it an excellent ration conditioner in diets containing only dry ingredients.

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Ensiling Wet Distillers Grains with Other Feeds

Ensiling Wet Distillers Grains with Other Feeds

A.D. Garcia and K.F. Kalscheur, South Dakota State University

During the last century, livestock producers have relied heavily on highly valued crops to feed their cattle. Corn grain and silage, alfalfa hay and silage as well as other highly productive crops have been used extensively. Changes in oil prices have sparked interest into renewable energy alternatives. Ethanol production from corn has gained popularity in the Midwest resulting in increased availability of corn distillers grains.

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Cattle production systems does not affect E. coli prevalence

Cattle production systems does not affect E. coli prevalence


A new study suggests that when compared to conventionally raised beef cattle, organic and natural production systems do not impact antibiotic susceptibility of Escherichia coli O157:H7. This discovery emphasizes that although popular for their suggested health benefit, little is actually known about the effects of organic and natural beef production on foodborne pathogens. The researchers from Kansas State University detail their findings in the August 2009 issue of the journal Applied & Environmental Microbiology.

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Cattlemen can cut costs with wise bull selections

Cattlemen can cut costs with wise bull selections

Farm and Dairy

Like the rest of the economy, producers in the agricultural sector are feeling the crunch with cattle prices down and operating costs up.

“I’m not an economist, but it’s pretty clear to me that if you want to improve the bottom line, you have to reduce costs or increase income — or both,” said Darrh Bullock, University of Kentucky extension beef cattle specialist.

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AVMA appoints new assistant director of Animal Welfare Division

AVMA appoints new assistant director of Animal Welfare Division


Dr. Cia L. Johnson, newly appointed assistant director of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Animal Welfare Division, hopes to use her food-animal experience to implement new policies and objectives.

“Animal welfare is one of my true passions. I have worked with livestock from an early age and enjoy working with producers and large-animal veterinarians. I’m excited to have the opportunity to continue to share my passion in a different capacity,” Johnson says in a prepared statement released by AVMA.

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Cattle focus of high-altitude research in NM

Cattle focus of high-altitude research in NM


Associated Press

More than 100 young Angus and Hereford bulls are on a working vacation at 8,700 feet above sea level in northern New Mexico, chomping on lush, high-meadow grass, helping researchers and ranchers get a handle on a disease that causes 75,000 cattle deaths each year across the West.

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