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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