Monthly Archives: April 2016

Agriculture loses livestock leader with ‘big vision’

Agriculture loses livestock leader with ‘big vision’

Paul W. Jackson

Michigan Farm News

A man who changed the cattle industry died April 27.  Dr. Harlan Ritchie, Distinguished Professor of Animal Science at Michigan State University (MSU) was cited as a well-respected legend in the cattle industry by several people who knew him well, and his influence reached from Michigan around the world.

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BeefTalk: Farming, Ranching or Somewhere in Between

BeefTalk: Farming, Ranching or Somewhere in Between

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Producers welcomed spring snow and rain this week in preparation for maintaining or even increasing cattle inventory for the coming year. The extra heifers may find some good pasture this summer and, we hope, turn up pregnant this fall.

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Do you vaccinate your calves against respiratory disease?

Do you vaccinate your calves against respiratory disease?

Nevil Speer

Beef Magazine

During the past several weeks, Industry At A Glance has focused on BVD. It’s been highlighted as the result of a recent one-day industry symposium on BVD< in Kansas City hosted by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, in partnership with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The purpose of the symposium was to address producer education, prevention strategies and discuss industry-wide solutions going forward.

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The Checkoff Civil War

The Checkoff Civil War

John Harrington


Given how many states in recent years have decided to leave the checkoff union in terms of exceeding the long, long-held standard contribution of $1 per head, the beef industry seems to have a rebellion of sorts on its hands.

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What is Death Camas and why is it killing Montana cows?

What is Death Camas and why is it killing Montana cows?

David Murray

Great Falls Tribune

The slender green plant is known as Death Camas, and given the right environmental conditions it can easily live up to its ominous name. Over the past week, at least four cows in Yellowstone County have died after consuming lethal quantities of the plant. In one case a dead cow was found with a Death Camus plant still hanging out of its mouth.

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Fertilizing Forages: Using Nutrients Wisely

Fertilizing Forages: Using Nutrients Wisely

Mark Landefeld

Ohio Beef Cattle Letter

Applying fertilizers to hay and pasture fields to stimulate plant growth is a common practice to substantially increase forage yields.  This is a sound management practice if application is made in accordance with soil test results and or expected harvest yields.  Applying more nutrients than recommended from a soil test can be expensive and detrimental to the environment.

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Beef cattle system aims to improve calving ability

Beef cattle system aims to improve calving ability

The Cattleman

A patriotic color scheme used in a cattle production system study aims to make cow-calf production more efficient and ultimately produce more pounds of beef with fewer acres, according to researchers. The project is part of a broader scope of research studies led by Texas A&M AgriLife’s Sustainable Solutions for Beef Production Systems.

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Ride Along With The Cow Police

Ride Along With The Cow Police

Matt Wolfe

Oxford American

Cattle rustling, signature crime of the Old West, has returned to Texas. Rates of cattle theft in the state have risen fivefold in less than a decade. The thefts take many forms. Some resemble the Alvarado case, in which cattle are carried off and sold to a third party. Other times, rustlers will shoot and field strip the animals, then sell their meat to an unscrupulous abattoir.

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Marsh launches new 100% Local program for Angus beef

Marsh launches new 100% Local program for Angus beef

Meghan Grebner

Brownfield Newtork

Regional grocery chain Marsh has launched a “100% local” program for Angus beef.  The company says the move is in response to consumer demand for more local foods.

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Prevent the creation of BVD-PI calves

Prevent the creation of BVD-PI calves

Doug Rich

High Plains Journal

ntrary to popular opinion, BVD does not stand for bad veterinarian disease. It stands for bovine viral diarrhea, and it can be very costly for cow-calf producers and feedlot operators.

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Bulls need evaluated prior to turnout

Bulls need evaluated prior to turnout

Travis Meteer

University of Illinois

All bulls that will be used in a breeding season need to be tested. Without a breeding soundness exam (BSE), producers are taking a huge risk. Breeding Soundness Exams are low-cost and provide a great return on investment. Bulls that are infertile or have poor fertility will fail to settle cows.

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Once in a while, a first-calf heifer may need assistance in jump-starting her mothering instincts.

Once in a while, a first-calf heifer may need assistance in jump-starting her mothering instincts.

Heather Smith Thomas

Angus Beef Bulletin Extra

A first-calf heifer may act confused or indifferent toward her newborn calf. She may continue to lie there and not get up to lick the calf. When she finally does, she may seem surprised to see this strange new wiggling creature. The heifer may walk away, ignoring it, or she may kick the calf when it gets up and staggers toward her. Some heifers attack the calf if it tries to get up.

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Heifer Selection By The Numbers

Heifer Selection By The Numbers

Dr. Ken McMillan

DTN/The Progressive Farmer

I like to wait until at least a month after weaning to see how the calf does off the cow. But I also note heifers that are too fat or too thin at weaning. Those that are too fat will often not be good milkers as cows. Thin heifers may not cycle and breed well, and may have dams that are poor milkers.

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Branding Methods: Understanding which are preferred and why

Branding Methods: Understanding which are preferred and why

Heidi Carroll


Branding time elicits different feelings depending on who you talk to. Ask a rancher about branding and you may hear phrases about tradition, family, friends and neighbors, or “It’s a happy time of the year!” However, if you ask someone from the city that did not grow up around cattle, you may hear comments about pain, cruelty, gross, or “That’s awful abuse!” So why the drastic difference in perception of this husbandry practice? How do these different perceptions impact the recommendations that ranchers are suggested to use on their cattle

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Make the right choices for pasture weed control

Make the right choices for pasture weed control

Keith Martin


Now is an excellent time to make choices about managing weeds in pastures. Before applying herbicides for chemical control you first need to answer the question: “Why do I have weeds in my pasture?” If a management issue, such as overstocking, spot grazing, low grass vigor or something else, is causing the increase in weed numbers, then weeds are symptoms, not the real root of the problem.

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Registration now open for the BIF Annual Meeting and Research Symposium

Registration now open for the BIF Annual Meeting and Research Symposium

Progressive Cattleman

Registration is now open for the 2016 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Annual Meeting and Research Symposium. Themed “Progress on the Prairie,” this year’s event will be June 14-17 in Manhattan, Kansas, and headquartered at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center.

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Weaning Calves on Pasture

Weaning Calves on Pasture

Steve Freeman

On Pasture

Fence-line weaning calves has become much more common in the last few years. We’ve been weaning calves this way since 1987. We didn’t discover this method by study and research, but by cows and calves busting loose the first night of weaning and ending up next to each other on the opposite side of a woven wire fence.

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Feed conversions of creep feeds for nursing calves

Feed conversions of creep feeds for nursing calves

Glenn Selk


Feed conversions of calves fed creep feeds have been quite variable to say the least. Conversions of 5:1 or 5 pounds of grain consumed to 1 extra pound of calf weight are very rare and the optimum that can be expected when producers are using a "typical" high energy creep feed. Conversions may get as poor as 15:1 (or worse) in some situations.

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The beef community is producing an extremely high-quality product, thanks in part to improved genetics.

The beef community is producing an extremely high-quality product, thanks in part to improved genetics.

Larry Corah


Few topics have garnered more attention than how big these cattle have become. Whether we’re talking about cow size or steer carcasses, cattle have progressively grown bigger for decades — and few see that changing quickly.

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Corn silage conference is June 17

Corn silage conference is June 17

Beef Producer

Iowa State University, University of Nebraska and Lallemand Animal Nutrition are cooperating to offer the 2016 Silage Conference, which can be viewed online.

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