Monthly Archives: August 2016

Baxter Black, DVM: Branded

Baxter Black, DVM:  Branded

Many’s the time I’ve come home with yellow paint on my coveralls. Caterpillar yellow.

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Secrets of Old Cattlemen

Secrets of Old Cattlemen

Dr. Ken McMillan

DTN/The Progressive Farmer

Legend has it that farmers turned out sick cows who ate the clay and were cured, so they started bringing the miracle clay to feed their livestock. It does contain many minerals that livestock need, and to this day, many believe it has amazing, curative properties

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Reduce Winter Feeding and Be More Profitable

Reduce Winter Feeding and Be More Profitable

Chad Cheyney

On Pasture

Winter feeding accounts for 40+% of the cost of producing a calf, so reducing or eliminating this bad habit can help keep your ranch in the black. One way to reduce winter feeding costs is to extend the period that cattle harvest their own feed by grazing.

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Winter triticale tips for success

Winter triticale tips for success

Mike Rankin

Hay and Forage

“With many drought-stressed crops harvested early, this may be an ideal year to plant winter triticale to bolster forage supplies,” says Tom Kilcer, a crop consultant and researcher based in Kinderhook, N.Y.

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Pasture Weaning vs. Drylot Weaning

Pasture Weaning vs. Drylot Weaning

Steve Boyles

Ohio Beef Cattle Letter

Calf management strategies involving pasture weaning coupled with maternal contact (i.e., fence-line weaning) have been recommended as possible best-management practices for minimizing weaning stress and reducing subsequent feedlot morbidity compared with drylot weaning (Boyles et al., 2007; Mathis et al., 2008).

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Beef cattle industry beginning to recover five years after drought

Beef cattle industry beginning to recover five years after drought

Aimee Breaux

The Eagle

The year 2011 — the driest year on record in Texas — was the stuff of nightmares for area ranchers. Five years later, those who raise beef cattle are just beginning to recover. Kelley Sullivan, who co-owns Santa Rosa Ranch in Grimes and Houston counties with her father, said the 2011 drought made her a better producer. But at the time, the experience brought back daunting stories her father told her about living through the seven-year drought in the 1950s.

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Veterinary Feed Directive — Producer Recordkeeping

Veterinary Feed Directive — Producer Recordkeeping

Kristin Lewis Hawkins

The Cattleman

A veterinarian must send a copy of the VFD to the distributor in hardcopy, by facsimile (fax), or by electronic means. If the veterinarian sends the VFD in hardcopy, he or she must send the copy of the VFD to the distributor either directly or through the client.

The veterinarian retains the original VFD order in its original form, whether that is electronic or hardcopy.

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R-CALF USA’s attorneys seek quick end to beef checkoff lawsuit

R-CALF USA’s attorneys seek quick end to beef checkoff lawsuit

Farm Forum

In response to the government’s August motion to dismiss or stay the lawsuit R-CALF USA filed against the national beef checkoff program (Beef Checkoff) in May, R-CALF USA’s attorneys asked the court to award R-CALF USA summary judgment and immediately end the program’s unconstitutional taxation of ranchers.

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Basics of preconditioning to improve profit

Basics of preconditioning to improve profit

Wyatt Bechtel


Many preconditioning programs involve vaccinations, weaning, castration and starting calves on a high energy diet. On some farms and ranches a few of these steps might not apply. Preconditioning doesn’t have a single definition to fit every cattle operation, says Brad White, DVM and interim director of the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University (K-State).

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Fall is the best time to sow grasses

Fall is the best time to sow grasses

Brandon Sears

Richmond Register

Now is the time to reseed grass pastures and hayfields for 2016. I wanted to remind you of some useful information before you head to the fields this late summer-early fall. Establishing grass-legume mixtures: Legumes are more competitive than grasses in the seedling stages because they emerge faster, have a taproot-type root system that penetrates deeper and faster, and develop leaf area more quickly.

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Raising high-health calves increases profitability for cattlemen

Raising high-health calves increases profitability for cattlemen

Kayla M. Wilkins

Hereford World

Producing high-health calves for the feedlot is a viable way for today’s cattlemen to ensure maximum profitability on their operation. At National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattlemen’s College, Mark Hilton, DVM, Purdue University, says producers can significantly increase their bottom line by simply utilizing some precautionary management techniques. He says there is a preconceived notion as to what degree health is important in a feedlot situation, but it should be on the top of each producer’s list. “If that calf gets sick, the chances of profit on that calf are reduced severely,” he explains.

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Focus on cattle health as BRD season approaches

Focus on cattle health as BRD season approaches

Beef Magazine

While the cooler weather that fall brings is welcome relief from summer’s heat, the fall season also brings the greatest incidence of Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). Producers need to take steps now to weather the BRD storm. BRD is a major problem for cattle and continues to cause serious economic losses for producers, causing up to $1 billion in losses each year in the United States alone.

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Cloning beef cattle for meat quality sparks debate

Cloning beef cattle for meat quality sparks debate

Eric Mortenson

Capital Press

Ty Lawrence still talks about it as his “lightbulb” moment. He was in a Texas slaughterhouse in 2010 when two absolutely beautiful beef carcasses rolled by. Each was the pinnacle of USDA grading: “Prime” and “Yield Grade One.”

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VQA Cattle Adds Value to Virginia Cattle Market

VQA Cattle Adds Value to Virginia Cattle Market

Jason Carter

Lancaster Farming

Each August, prior to the fall run of feeder cattle in Virginia sale barns, is the run of Virginia Quality Assured feeder cattle through the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association-sponsored Tel O Auction and board sales. Many local producer groups cooperate each year to sell these weaned and preconditioned calves that are underpinning Virginia’s reputation as a source of quality genetics and performance.

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Newly received stocker calves need good nutrition

Newly received stocker calves need good nutrition

Dana Zook

The Enid News

Stress is the principal factor affecting the health of newly weaned or shipped stocker calves.  Just imagine a kindergarten student riding the bus to school the first day. This student will experience new food, activities and people. Some of these kids are excited for their first day but some of them are just plain mad. These kids will have an adjustment period, but if things go smoothly their first couple days away from home, things will go well from there on out. 

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Improving Your Herds Response to Vaccines

Improving Your Herds Response to Vaccines

Robert Fears

The Cattleman

Improving vaccine response can result in heathier cattle and better economic returns from the herd. Due to benefits from vaccine response improvement, an in-depth discussion on the subject was led by Larry Hollis, D.V.M., beef cattle health management consultant, at the 2016 Cattle Raisers Convention. The following information was largely taken from Hollis’ presentation.

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Add Inoculants to Help Improve Silage Quantity, Quality – Feedlot Magazine

Add Inoculants to Help Improve Silage Quantity, Quality – Feedlot Magazine

Feedlot Magazine

“It pays to focus on producing silage that is maximized both in terms of quantity and quality,” says Renato Schmidt, Ph.D., Forage Products Specialist, Lallemand Animal Nutrition. “Focusing on good silage management practices helps producers reduce dry matter losses and increase retention of important nutrients that contribute to robust growth and health.”

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Cover Crops for Additional Forage

Cover Crops for Additional Forage

Travis Meteer

University of Illinois

Illinois is blessed with very fertile farmland. Higher land prices, soil health benefits, and the ability to grow more feed are incentives to add cover crops to a diversified farming operation. Using cover crops following cash crop production for added forage is one of the best opportunities for IL cattlemen to lower production costs.

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USDA Seeks Comment on Whether to Revise the U.S. Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef

USDA Seeks Comment on Whether to Revise the U.S. Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking comments on whether or not to amend the U.S. Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef to include dentition and documentation of actual age as an additional determination of maturity grouping for official quality grading.

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Survey finds U.S., Brazilian consumers more likely to buy antibiotic-free beef

Survey finds U.S., Brazilian consumers more likely to buy antibiotic-free beef


Newly released survey results comparing consumer attitudes in the two largest beef-producing countries – the U.S. and Brazil – have revealed several important trends in purchasing preferences that are influenced by how beef animals are raised and fed.

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