The Cattle Blog Sun, 15 May 2005 13:02:08 -0500 Transdermal Banamine approved Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:16:00 +0000 Merck Animal Health has introduced Banamine Transdermal (flunixin transdermal solution).   Banamine Transdermal is the only US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved product for the control of pain associated with foot rot and fever associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in a food-producing animal.  It is applied as a pour-on thus obviating intravenous (IV) administration.

In field studies at four US locations involving animals diagnosed with BRD, 58.3% of cattle treated with Banamine Transdermal had at least a two-degree drop in temperature within six hours of treatment compared to 6.1% for the placebo group. Two studies showed significant results in pain associated with foot rot. These showed that 93.3% to 100% of cattle treated with Banamine Transdermal had improved lameness scores compared with 6.7% and 53.3% for the placebo groups.

Banamine Transdermal is a prescription product with pre-calibrated packaging and red-colored solution to help ensure the correct dose is given every time. The unique bottle design makes it simple to apply topically on dry skin in a narrow strip down the animal's midline from the withers to the tail head.

For information contact your herd veterinarian.

Survey: Nearly one-third of Americans support ban on slaughterhouses Sun, 11 Feb 2018 04:51:00 +0000

"The number frankly seemed outrageous, given that more than 90% of Americans eat meat regularly and it is rather difficult to do so without slaughtering houses," the OSU researchers noted.

47%, said they wanted to ban slaughterhouses. Participants who agreed with this statement were asked a follow-up question: "Were you aware that slaughterhouses are where livestock are killed and processed into meat, such that, without them, you would not be able to consume meat?" Approximately 73% of participants stated that they are aware that slaughterhouses are where livestock are killed and processed into meat.

"Suppose we take the 27.1% of individuals who did not apparently understand what a slaughterhouse is, and we change their answer to the statement 'I support a ban on slaughterhouses' from 'yes' to 'no'. That still leaves about 34% of Americans saying they wish to ban slaughterhouses."

The researchers said there are a number of reasons that this 34% is an overestimate. For example, they said a number of questions that came before this question (e.g., "I have some discomfort with the way animals are used in the food industry") might cause people to be less pro-meat than they really are.

"Had the survey began with questions like 'I eat meat on a regular basis' and 'Meat is a healthy food' it is likely the responses would have been different. However, this is not a criticism of the Sentience Institute survey, but a bias inherent in most surveys (including FooDS)."

Yet even after acknowledging these inherent biases, the FooDS researchers said the 34% number is very high, much higher than what was expected.

Court documents allege mislabeling of U.S. beef Mon, 05 Feb 2018 04:47:00 +0000
Secretary Perdue disagreed, arguing in his court documents that imported beef is to be deemed and treated as domestic beef so long as the importing country's food safety standards are equivalent to U.S. standards. Consequently, the secretary allows multinational meat packers to label imported beef as a "Product of the USA" even if the imported beef receives only minor processing, such as unwrapping and rewrapping the package.

Evidence submitted by the groups indicates that U.S. cattle producers received higher prices for their cattle when the origins of foreign beef was distinguished in the marketplace. Evidence attached to Friday's filing supports the groups' contention that proper enforcement of the Tariff Act would require hundreds of millions of pounds of foreign beef that currently can be labeled as "Products of the USA" to bear country-of-origin labels. This, the groups argue, would turn market forces "in favor of true domestic producers."

Record-high U.S. per capita meat, poultry disappearance seen in 2018 Wed, 31 Jan 2018 16:43:00 +0000 Production increases in the U.S. beef, pork and broiler industries expected in 2018 will likely lead to record quantities of red meat and poultry available to U.S. consumers, USDA forecast in its latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report.

For 2018, the combined per capita retail disappearance of beef, pork, lamb, mutton, broilers and turkeys is projected to reach 222.8 pounds, up from 216.6 pounds in 2017. The previous record was 221.9 pounds set in 2004, according to a USDA economist.

USDA projects beef per capita disappearance at 59.4 pounds in 2018, up from 56.8 pounds in 2017 and 55.6 pounds in 2016.

Per capita pork disappearance is projected at 52 pounds in 2018, up from 50.2 pounds in 2017 and 50.1 pounds in 2016

U.S. broiler disappearance is pegged at 92.4 pounds per capita in 2018, up from 90.7 pounds in 2017 and 89.8 pounds in 2016.

Turkey per capita disappearance is forecast at 16.5 pounds, up from 16.4 pounds in 2017, but down from 16.6 pounds in 2016.

The most important factors driving per capita disappearance this year are projected increases in year-over-year production of beef (up 6.1 percent), pork (up 5.4 percent), and broiler meat (up 2.1 percent).

Per capita disappearance is a supply statistic and does not take account of waste or non-food uses of livestock meat products. It imparts no information about prices, tastes and preferences, and other factors that ultimately determine how much red meat and poultry individual consumers will choose to buy and consume]]>
New study: Don’t graze fescue to the ground Sun, 17 Dec 2017 14:13:00 +0000 website.

The verdict is in. Grazing toxic fescue to the ground is dangerous to pastured livestock. Findings released by the University of Missouri indicate that the highest levels of toxic alkaloids are held in the bottom 2 inches of infected grass.

Sarah Kenyon, an MU extension agronomist based in West Plains, Mo., documented these findings in her Ph.D. dissertation.

Kentucky 31 fescue, the most-used grass in Missouri pastures, contains a toxic alkaloid that comes from an endophyte fungus inside the plant that grows between the plant's cells.

Over the course of three years, Kenyon collected grass samples twice per growing season — first in April prior to seed set (boot stage) and in October prior to frost.

Kenyon's findings differ from previous research, which showed that plants were most toxic after seed set. This particular study found it is actually the bottom 2 inches that are the most dangerous. The seed set stage of a plant is still toxic, just not as toxic or inedible.

The study, set in Alton, Mo., tested fescue that was to be grazed by cow-calf pairs and cut for hay. Kenyon cut fescue tillers into 2-inch segments from root crown to top and had layers analyzed separately at Agrinostics lab in Watkinsville, Ga.

Methods in the past used to prevent toxicity included grazing before boot stage or clipping seed heads. Now, Kenyon says that farmers will know not to graze down to the root crown and that leaving a 3-inch stubble reduces problems.

"This research can be used immediately by farmers," says Craig Roberts, MU extension forage specialist, noting that these new findings will be a great help in pasture grazing management."

Fescue toxicosis is notorious for causing fescue foot. This occurs when the toxin constricts blood flow to cattle extremities, causing ears, tails, and feet to freeze. In milder cases, it deters cattle from walking and grazing, but in more serious cases loss of tails and hooves are common if results are not fatal.

In addition to these symptoms, cows can fail to breed, abort their calves, or simply give less milk, impacting calf performance. In the summer, cattle may have brown hair that doesn't shed, causing heat stress and low average daily gains. As for horses, toxicosis frequently causes foal death at birth.

Roberts urges producers to kill off toxic grasses and reseed with a novel-endophyte fescue, which protect the plants but aren't toxic.]]>
USDA announces changes to U.S. beef grade standards Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:40:00 +0000 This article was from this link.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced this week that it is updating the voluntary U.S. Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef.

USDA said the update to the standards will provide companies using the USDA grading program with additional options – dentition or age documentation – to establish the maturity of animals and ensure that cattle 30 months old or less are included in the youngest maturity group recognized as "beef" (A maturity). Skeletal and muscular evidence will still be used to determine maturity for those animals over 30 months of age.

This change for voluntary beef grading activities will be implemented on Dec. 18, 2017.

Companies using the USDA voluntary grading program must do the following prior to Dec. 18, 2017:

1. Provide documentation to the AMS supervisor and graders describing how carcasses over 30 months of age are identified and segregated within the plant. AMS will review these procedures either during routine quality systems assessment (QSA) audits or during supervisory visits.

a. Plants with a QSA program (e.g., for export verification) will provide the applicable section from their quality manual that details this process.

b. Plants without a QSA program will document their process through a standard operating procedure or similar document.

2. Ensure that the AMS supervisor and graders are aware of how carcasses over 30 months of age are identified/marked. The carcasses must be identified in a manner that allows the AMS grader to easily see the identification when presented for grading.

On Dec. 18, companies may offer carcasses only for initial quality and/or yield grading, USDA said, adding that no carcasses shall be presented for grading that were held as regrades from the previous week.

National Cattlemen's Beef Assn. (NCBA) president Craig Uden released a statement in response to the newly announced revisions.

"Today's update to the beef standards will benefit U.S. beef producers in every segment of our industry. By basing carcass quality grades on the most current scientific data available, we will improve grading accuracy and ensure that producers are getting maximum value out of each head," he said, adding that the group is grateful to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and the USDA staff "for implementing this decision, which demonstrates their continued commitment to supporting American (cattle producers)."

NCBA said the changes announced were the result of a petition it had led.

According to NCBA, dentition is a method for measuring the age of cattle based on their teeth. Cattle with fewer than three incisors are classified as under 30 months of age; three or more incisors indicate that cattle are more than 30 months old.

"Prior to the change, a significant portion of cattle under 30 (months of age) were incorrectly deemed ineligible for USDA quality grades because of limitations in the process used to assess their age," NCBA said. "Dentition and/or documentation of actual age provides a more accurate assessment method. Ultimately, this will ensure that more carcasses are eligible for USDA quality grades and allow producers to maximize the value of each head."

A beef industry working group comprised of representatives from the cow/calf, feeder and packer segments conservatively estimated that incorrect classification of carcasses cost the industry nearly $60 million annually. Incorrectly classified carcasses were sold at an estimated discount of nearly $275 per head.

Value of bull to commercial herd exceeds ‘relative’ value Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:59:00 +0000

The value of bulls in commercial herds goes beyond the "relative" value typically ascribed to them in market pricing, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock specialist Dr. Joe Paschal said.

"In publications referencing cattle values for commercial producers as well as reports from beef breed associations, the value of a bull is often given as equivalent to the average value of five weaned calves," Paschal said. "This has been a long-held comparison for determining the value of a bull, but it really doesn't take into account all aspects of what bulls provide to the herd."

Paschal said the ratio of one bull to five weaned calves resulted from a relative equivalency identified as market prices fluctuated over the past several years.

"At least up until around 2010, producers paid less than 50% of the value of those five calves on a bull," Paschal explained. "Then, from 2011 until 2015, producers began to pay more, including up to 100% of the value of five calves in 2013. Then, in 2015, producers paid up to 150% of the value of five calves for one bull. When calf prices dropped in 2016, the ratio dropped back to about 115% — between $5,000 and $5,250 — closer to the average value of the five calves."

However, this ratio doesn't fully reflect the additional value bulls supply to the herd, Paschal said.

"Bulls supply the genetics for the next generation of replacement females in most commercial herds except those strictly using terminal crossing," he said. "It should be remembered that bulls are more than just 'cow fresheners,' as my former colleague, Dr. Rick Machen, retired AgriLife Extension livestock specialist in Uvalde (Texas), was fond of saying. As such, their value goes beyond the market price for five head of calves."

Paschal said if a bull is used for three years and the producer does not introduce any outside female replacements into the herd, that bull will then be responsible for up to 87% of the cow herd's genes.

"A lot of products and equipment are touted as being the best investment a cattle producer can make, but a good bull is the only thing that can really match that description," he said. "If you maintain a closed herd, the genes entering the cow herd will come completely from the bulls you select, and that's a huge contribution — for better or worse — to the herd's overall genetic makeup. When you look at it from that perspective, you see just how valuable a good bull is to a commercial cow herd."