Daily Archives: September 23, 2009

Genetic Factors: Curly Calf Syndrome Discussed

Genetic Factors: Curly Calf Syndrome Discussed

Wade Shafer, Ph.D., American Simmental Association, Director of Performance Programs

Simmental Register

What are the symptoms of CCS? Dr. David Steffen from the University of Nebraska, the scientist who first documented and named the syndrome, provides this description “The spine is bent and twisted in affected calves. The calves are small and appear thin due to limited muscle development. Legs are often rigid and may be hyper extended (common in rear limb) or contracted. In some cases the rigid limbs result in calving difficulties. Additional unique feature are recognized during laboratory examination.” It also should be noted that in all cases affected calves are born dead.

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Train Workers to Help Maximize Your Vaccine Investment

Train Workers to Help Maximize Your Vaccine Investment

Beef Today

A comprehensive vaccination program is an important step in helping livestock owners keep their animals healthy, promote efficient growth and production and avoid unnecessary animal suffering.

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USDA May Try to Define ‘Natural’ Meat Products

USDA May Try to Define ‘Natural’ Meat Products

DTN/Progressive Farmer

USDA once again is considering whether to allow food manufacturers to claim their meat and poultry products are "natural" and whether the department should even try to define the term at all.

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Stop being nice, animal ag activist says

Stop being nice, animal ag activist says

High Plains Journal

A leading lobbyist thinks farmers and ranchers are "too nice" to those who oppose them and that more needs to be done to fight their influence.

"Our voice in Washington is shrinking and the unfortunate thing is we can’t do a damn thing about it," said Steve Kopperud, senior vice president of Policy Directions, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm specializing in agriculture issues.

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Q&A:   How do you read and understand the daily beef prices as stated in the current ag price listed here?

Q&A:   How do you read and understand the daily beef prices as stated in the current ag price listed here?

Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska

A:   The prices are in $/cwt or $/hundred pounds of animal.

The USDA market news service reports on four classes of cull cows. The four classes are divided primarily on fatness. The highest conditioned cull cows are reported as "Breakers". They usually are quite fleshy and generally have excellent dressing percentages.

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Fenceline Low Stress Weaning

Fenceline Low Stress Weaning

Dr. Glenn Selk, Professor-Animal Reproduction Specialist, Animal Science – Oklahoma State University

Spring calving herds across the Midwest and Southwest will soon be planning to wean the calves. Some producers may wean the calves from young or thin cows during September in order to regain some body condition before winter adds to the nutrient requirements. However, many herds will wean at the more traditional times of late October to early November.

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Take Steps to Minimize Stocker Cattle Marketing Risks

Take Steps to Minimize Stocker Cattle Marketing Risks


It cannot be argued that although we have the smallest cattle inventory in recent history and beef production for 2009 is 3.1% below 2008 and 2.5% below the five year average, prices are under pressure. Additionally, last week has been a volatile week in the corn market and the feeder market was rather unresponsive to any of these moves in the corn market. Rather it be outside markets or demand issues pressuring the cattle prices, we have not observed increases in prices that might be expected.

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Making sense of ‘cap and trade’: Energy bill impact may vary from one ag sector to another

Making sense of ‘cap and trade’: Energy bill impact may vary from one ag sector to another


Marshall Democrat-News

Editor’s note: This story is the first of two covering the "cap and trade" plan being considered by the federal government and the effect it might have on farmers.

Farmers keep hearing the term "cap and trade," but probably few have waded far enough into the 1,200 page "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009" (HR 2454) to see how it could affect local operations.

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History in Motion: Florida historian asks, “Where’s the beef?”

History in Motion: Florida historian asks, “Where’s the beef?”

The Naples News

The first cattle in North America were brought ashore in Sarasota by the Spaniards in 1521– they also introduced pigs and horses to this area. Large land holdings in Alachua County and near Tallahassee were devoted to raising Andalusia cattle. The herds were shipped from Punta Rassa to Cuba and traded for gold.

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Time for Secession?

Time for Secession?

Steve Cornett

Beef Today

Chandler Keys is probably right and so is John Phipps when they doubt the wisdom of this reporter’s ruminations.

Keys, the longtime—and much respected for his prowess as a—beef lobbyist described a recent effort with a scatological  reference to poultry manure.

Phipps, the host of U.S. Farm Report and among my favorite writers, found fault with the logic of another column a few weeks back.

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Studying the secret social life of cows

Studying the secret social life of cows

ABC Rural

The social life of dairy cows is being investigated by researchers in the north-west of Tasmania.

A herd of cows has been fitted with collars that will record who they hang around with.

The new technology could save farmers time in tracking down which cows are in season, and ready for artificial insemination.

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R-CALF USA Wants Trade Agreement Halted

R-CALF USA Wants Trade Agreement Halted


R-CALF USA is urging the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to reject the proposed free trade agreement with Colombia. The organization says the agreement should be rejected because the FTA – completely ignores the unique characteristics of the U.S. cattle industry. The group points out the U.S. lacks a national trade policy and the U.S.-Colombia FTA, like previous FTA’s and trade policies, would disadvantage U.S. cattle producers.

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Large animal vet sees job challenges

Large animal vet sees job challenges



Flies swarming in heavy heat or dirt lodged in gritty teeth — it’s hard to pick the most unbearable element of Tommy Reece’s workplace.

Behind the stalls and chutes at the horse auction in Mountain View, Reece and his crew of four note the unfavorable conditions and get to work anyway.

There are almost 200 horses headed to the auction block this afternoon, and the group has to get blood from about half of them.

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Ag Journalist Gets Glimpse of Life in Afghanistan

Ag Journalist Gets Glimpse of Life in Afghanistan

Tom Bechman

Indiana Prairie Farmer

One reason Julie Douglas wanted to go to Afghanistan of a Purdue University project was because she had never been overseas. "Maybe it wasn’t my choice of locations to visit, but I’m adventuresome," she says, when asked why she volunteered for the mission.

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Joel Salatin: Greatness

Joel Salatin: Greatness

Crunchy Con

Rod Dreber

Agriculture-school faculty who visit Polyface tell Salatin that they are "glad to prove the veracity of [his] model," but immediately ask him, "How much money can you give us to do the research?" For Salatin, this is evidence that, in the end, the bottom line drives the research agenda.

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