Daily Archives: September 21, 2009

Genetic Factors: SYNDACTYLY (Mule Foot)

Genetic Factors: SYNDACTYLY (Mule Foot)

Marilyn Barr

American Angus Assn.

Syndactyly is commonly known as mulefoot because most affected animals have fused or uncloven hooves that resemble mules’ feet (see Figure 1). The genetic form of mulefoot originated as the result of a mutation, and it’s passed along by a simple recessive gene.

Mulefoot is one of the most common genetic defects of U.S. cattle. It’s most frequently seen in Holsteins, but the recessive gene is present in Angus and several other breeds. The defect also has been found in many cattle breeds abroad in addition to lambs, pigs, dogs and cats. And a similar form of syndactyly occurs in humans.

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Drought conditions turn dire in parts of Texas

Drought conditions turn dire in parts of Texas

High Plains Journal

If not for the triple-digit heat, central Texas rancher Debbie Davis could almost think it was a different season entirely.

"The (pasture) grass looks like it’s the dead of winter,” said Davis, who raises beef cattle and Texas Longhorns northwest of San Antonio. The region is enduring its driest 22-month span going back to 1885. "It’s horrible. It’s probably the worst I’ve ever seen.”

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Just Say No to Antibacterial Burgers

Just Say No to Antibacterial Burgers

Ezra Klein

Washington Post

Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

When I was a kid, my mother was a bit obsessive about making sure I finished my antibiotics. Even if I was feeling better. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me. You take medicine until you’re not sick anymore. But when I got a bit older, she explained: If you don’t kill off the bacteria, you could be left with only the strongest bits, which then multiply and mount a counterattack. That made sense. I’d watched enough slasher flicks to know that you don’t turn your back just because the killer is down. You make sure he’s dead.

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Embryonic Test For Bovine Genetics

Embryonic Test For Bovine Genetics


Looking at the genetic makeup of cattle to determine their value is nothing new.

An examination of a small sample of hair or blood can reveal if a calf has any genetic diseases that will lower the market price.

Now, a team of clinicians and diagnosticians and genetic researchers at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine are looking to test those calves earlier…before they are born…even before their mother is pregnant.

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Canadian farmers COOL to U.S. protectionism

Canadian farmers COOL to U.S. protectionism

Dr. Milton Boyd

The Daily Graphic

Struggling American livestock producers — hit hard by the recent economic downturn and the drop in demand for meat in the United States — have spurred recent trade protectionism measures, including country of origin labelling regulations (COOL), that essentially require United States meat processors to segregate live Canadian cattle and hogs from US animals.

Any packages containing Canadian meat must be labeled as such, but this separate labeling has been costly for most U.S. processors who have consequently been unwilling to accept Canadian animals at all.

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Producer to build Organic Harvest Facility

Producer to build Organic Harvest Facility

Chicago Reader

When Stan Schutte began the transition from conventional to organic farming nearly ten years ago, he says people treated him like he’d quit the medical profession to become a chiropractor. "My peers looked at me like I was nuts," he recalls.

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Plan now to use small grain for winter forage

Plan now to use small grain for winter forage

The Leaf Chronicle

Fall is approaching, which means it is time for cattle producers to decide whether calves are going to be sold or held over until next spring.

Gary Bates, a University of Tennessee Extension forage production specialist, suggests producers carefully consider grazing options before making their decision.

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The Nolan Ryans are great folks

The Nolan Ryans are great folks

Jack Dillard

Shreveport Times

I recently mentioned about heroes and that a couple of mine recently were written about in magazines. I wrote about "Slingin" Sammy Baugh, the football great; but more than that, he was a great man.

Nolan Ryan was featured on the cover of Cowboys & Indians, a premier publication with western flavor. Ryan made his fame in baseball as a pitcher in the major leagues until he was 46 years old. He married his high school sweetheart, and they have three children.

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U.S. opens further to Canadian cattle

U.S. opens further to Canadian cattle


Canadian cattlemen may want to circle Nov. 19 on their calendars. That’s the effective date of the U.S. government’s final rule to restart trade in older live cattle and their beef products, barring interference from political or legal wrangling.

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On-line meeting for weaning strategies

On-line meeting for weaning strategies

John Maday

The Iowa Beef Center offers an online meeting on fall calf weaning, called “Weaning Your Calves While Managing Your Herd”!

Rather than attending a meeting in person, you can take advantage of this new format to access valuable information at any time, conveniently located in one location. Using a combination of presentation podcasts and written resources from Iowa Beef Center’s beef cattle experts, the meeting site includes information on weaning management topics ranging from vaccinations to stress management. Related topics, such as cow culling, are covered to help you make management decisions that coincide with weaning decisions.

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Grazing Management and Stockmanship Workshop set for Sept. 25 in Corsicana

Grazing Management and Stockmanship Workshop set for Sept. 25 in Corsicana

High Plains Journal

When it comes to beef cattle production, reducing animal stress can increase animal performance and the profitability of an operation, according to experts.

A Grazing Management and Stockmanship Workshop will address this and other issues Sept. 25 at the Navarro County Exposition Center.

The program will be held from 8:30 am. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $10 per person and includes a steak lunch and program materials.

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FYI on the cows on the state ballot

FYI on the cows on the state ballot

Gayle Beck


Issue 2 would revise the Ohio Constitution to require creation of a 13-member Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. The Ohio House voted 83-16 and the Senate 32-0 this summer to put Issue 2 on the ballot. Their joint resolution said that the board would set standards for the care of poultry and livestock that “maintain food safety, encourage locally grown and raised food, and protect Ohio farms and families.”

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Fall field day in Chariton to focus on beef cattle

Fall field day in Chariton to focus on beef cattle

DesMoines Register

A Fall Field Day will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at McNay Research Farm in Chariton.

The field day will focus on beef, addressing feeding co-products, renovating fescue pastures, reducing hay feeding waste, pink eye management strategies and extending feed usage.

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Sanofi-Aventis Completes Acquisition of Merck’s Interest in Merial

Sanofi-Aventis Completes Acquisition of Merck’s Interest in Merial


Sanofi-aventis and Merck & Co., Inc., has announced that the acquisition by sanofi-aventis of Merck’s 50 percent interest in Merial Limited (Merial) has been completed.

Sanofi-aventis acquired Merck’s interest in Merial for a cash consideration of $4 billion (US). Formed in 1997, Merial is a leading animal health company that was a 50/50 joint venture between Merck and sanofi-aventis and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of sanofi-aventis.

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Ohio State issue 2

Ohio State issue 2


Issue 2 would amend Ohio’s constitution to create a 13 member bi-partisan Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to be chaired by the state’s director of agriculture.

Some questions to ask about this issue are:

 Why does our state constitution have to again be amended to do something our state department of agriculture presumably should have been doing or at least have been empowered to do?

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