Tag Archives: cattle

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials say the payments to ranchers for livestock killed by certain wild predators exceeded budget but were not as high as projected.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the Livestock Loss Board paid out $8,000 in claims over its $200,000 budget, dipping into cash reserves to cover last year’s bills.

Board executive director George Edwards says the board feared worse after the state Legislature added mountain lions to the list but did not increase the budget last year.

The board has reimbursed livestock owners for 40 animals killed by big cats since October. Edwards says mountain lions more often kill sheep and goats, which are less expensive than cattle.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services had estimated for mountain lion kills to cost more than $61,000 in 2016.


Early spring, I had several calves born during a week of torrential rains. They developed a skin rash that resembled eczema or psoriasis. One calf had it all over his body; some even had it inside their ears and between their toes (hoofs). It was very red and almost looked like they’d been scalded. My veterinarian told me to deworm them, and I also gave them a shot of Nuflor. They all healed and look like normal calves now. Any idea what this may have been?


This is a very common problem under these conditions. Lice and mange are more common in cooler seasons, while flies and other biting insects become more prevalent as the weather heats up. Any of these pests can cause increased scratching, which often leads to skin irritation and infection.

Wet weather combined with longer hair just makes everything worse. In addition, cattle concentrated into smaller areas for feeding or protection from cold weather means increased direct contact between infected and noninfected animals. So, you may have had a “perfect storm” for this to occur.

Many dewormers do help control external parasites, which could have been what initiated the problem. Nuflor probably helped control any secondary infection, and improved weather and shorter hair helped the calves continue to improve. Also, the calves’ immune systems became more active as they aged, which is always a good thing. Here’s hoping that next season you won’t see a repeat with the rash; but, if you do, you know what to do.

Four years of sales data, across 7,525 lots of cattle, reveals something interesting when it comes to heifer calves. Producers are leaving a lot of money on the table. That’s based on Western Video Market data from 2014 through 2017.

Average lot size in the four-year review was 134-head, with all animals in the study out of the western states—primarily California, Oregon and Nevada. Most (80%) were ranch raised, sold-from-the-farm calves. Calves ranged from 4-weights up to 9-weights. Sales the study focused on took place throughout the year, with the majority occurring in the summer months.

On average, just 19% (1,421) of the total sale lots (7,525) were implanted. Statistically, across the four years, there was no difference in sale price between implanted and non-implanted cattle even though implanted cattle received a slightly higher payout ($184.12/cwt versus $183.03/cwt). The difference was noteworthy for implanted heifers, however, which sold for $3.04/cwt more through those years, compared to non-implanted heifers.

Zoetis’ Tom Short, associate director of outcomes research with the company, has been studying this data. He told DTN that while there is a perception that non-hormone treated calves always sell for more, the data isn’t backing that up.

“In fact it tells us just the opposite,” he noted. “In the case of implanted heifers I think what we are seeing here is that buyers know a heifer with an implant will have better growth potential. Also he presumes that those heifers are less likely to have been around a bull, so there is less of a possibility of them being pregnant. From a buyer’s perspective this is a positive on more than one count. It is interesting.”

Asked if programs like the USDA’s Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC) could make up through premiums, for the lack of extra pounds an implant can yield, Short said this does not appear to be the case. Looking at NHTC cattle sold in summer 2017, 1,674 out of 2,018 total lots did not receive an implant. Only about 300 of those un-implanted lots, however, sold under a NHTC program. This means for 1,374 lots, there was neither the possibility of a premium, nor were there additional pounds to sell as a result of use of an implant. Average gain added through the use of a calf implant is reported at 19 pounds.

“Take a 6-weight calf and the NHTC premium was $2.25 per cwt, or about $13.50 per head” Short noted of 2017. “Now look at that calf with a sale price [market average] of $1.45 per cwt, or about $870. If we use the 19-pound advantage research shows us an implant is worth now ($27.55) and add that to the value of the calf, you get $897.55 for that same animal. That is about $28 more. In our current market that more than offsets qualifying for the NHTC.”

Through the entire four-year’s of data, across 7,525 lots, a total of 1,421 lots were implanted; 6,104 were not.

Short added he believes this data would be typical across the country. Asked if environment could reduce gains on implants, he said in drought situations it is possible performance might be compromised, although he added “many in the scientific community would say there is still some benefit. The implant can help you more effectively utilize the resources you have. It can make an operation more sustainable.”

The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension service notes in “Implants and Their Use in Beef Cattle Production” the use of implants is lowest in small cow-calf operations, with only 9% of those producers it surveyed using an implant in steers. Operators with more than 100 head used implants at a rate of about 37%. Implant use goes up dramatically for the stocker and feedlot phases. Heifers intended as replacements, the report notes, should be separated from stocker heifers, so implants can be used on the stockers without concerns over any impact on conception rates.

The report concludes: “Implants are one of the most cost effective technologies available to cattle producers.” It adds a nursing calf implanted at three months of age, and 150 days before weaning, can be expected to have an increase of value $15 to $30 per head.

For details on correct implant procedure, and to read the full report from Oklahoma Extension, go to this link: http://factsheets.okstate.edu/…

TOPEKA, Kan. — The checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program launched a new training and certification initiative last fall for cattle transportation. Known as Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT), it provides cattle producers and haulers comprehensive training based on their roles in the cattle community.

Numerous transporters already have become BQAT-certified. In fact, of the 700 BQAT certifications across the country, Kansas leads the nation, followed by Texas, Colorado, Iowa and Pennsylvania. In addition to hosting a few online training webinars, the beef checkoff in Kansas hosted an in-person training for truckers from one of the state’s largest packing plants earlier this month.

Transportation quality assurance plays a critical role in the health and welfare of cattle. Proper handling and transport of cattle can reduce sickness in calves, prevent bruises and improve the quality of meat for consumers.

Online and in-person training for BQAT is offered in two different modules, one for the farmer/rancher and one for professionals. Farmer/rancher modules focus on the use of stock trailers and smaller loads of cattle that beef and dairy cattle producers typically might haul themselves. The professional modules focus on the use of tractor-trailers and larger loads hauled longer distances.
Producers or professional drivers who would like to learn more or become BQAT certified can click here.

Mother nature over a 48 hour period opened up the skies and filled creek beds, fields and rivers.  Thank you to our listeners for sharing their video’s and photo’s with us.

Rain & flooding has also effected folks in South East South Dakota, South West Minnesota & North West Iowa.  We are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers as waters recede and you get back to what you love doing and that’s farming and ranching.

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State University agricultural economists and veterinary medicine faculty members have completed an analysis of the economic impact of treating groups of high health-risk animals with antimicrobials, and they think their findings will help to inform public debate on the topic.

Their work focused on the practice of metaphylaxis, or the mass treatment of a pen of high health-risk cattle to eliminate or minimize the onset of disease. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, metaphylaxis is used selectively by 59 percent of U.S. feedlots on 20.5 percent of all cattle placed on feed.

The use of antimicrobials in livestock production is under intense public scrutiny, with many major restaurants, food service companies, supermarkets and others pressuring producers to use fewer antibiotics.

“There’s a general sentiment and public policy concern about the use of antibiotics in animal production,” said Ted Schroeder, a livestock economist with K-State Research and Extension and University Distinguished Professor of agricultural economics. “Our study assessed the economic impacts on the beef cattle industry and on consumers of using metaphylaxis in the beef cattle industry.”

Their major finding: if metaphylaxis were eliminated in the U.S. cattle industry without suitable health management alternatives, it could cost that industry as much as $1.8 billion annually.

“We know that if metaphylaxis were not available, a reduction in revenue would result from reduced average daily gains, increased feed conversions, higher health costs from treating more sick animals, more deaths primarily for those high health-risk animals,” among other factors, said Elliott Dennis, a K-State doctoral student who worked on the study.

“That reduction in profitability would then be passed up and down the beef supply chain, ultimately resulting in higher prices for consumers to pay for beef at the supermarket. Consumers, when facing higher beef prices at the supermarket would then (choose) other meat products besides beef.”

The economists’ findings are based on data from 10 large Midwest feedlots in which they analyzed production and health management data from cattle that were classified as high health-risk and administered an antimicrobial upon entering the feedlot.

They classified animals into three weight categories to determine differences between treating high health-risk animals compared with those not treated.

They found that for 550-pound animals, producers would lose on average $104 per head by not treating those high health-risk cattle. For 700-pound animals, they would be expected to lose about $99, and for 850-pound animals, the losses would be $64 per head.

“We found that if metaphylaxis was not available for high health-risk cattle, it would reduce industry gross revenue by about 1 percent,” Dennis said. “That’s a sizable amount if metaphylaxis was not allowed to be used in feedlots on high health-risk cattle.”

Schroeder noted that removing metaphylaxis or any animal health management technology from feedlots has a snowball effect.

“A lot of that direct cost would be absorbed by the feedlot, but a very significant amount of it would go back to cow-calf producers who are supplying calves,” he said. “Even if they are supplying healthy calves, they are still going to be influenced because overall the feedlot sector’s costs get passed down because they are a margin-taker.”

“So it’s a very important issue not only for the feedlot sector, but for the cow-calf sector and consumers, as well.”

Dennis said the agricultural economists plan to continue their analysis, looking more closely at options that producers may have for using different types of metaphylaxis drugs, “and what happens if they took away certain drugs, but allowed other drugs to be present. Kind of get down to the producer decision level so that we could create a tool for producers to look at the options they have when it comes to metaphylaxis use.”

Schroeder said the current study and future work will nonetheless help to better inform those who make decisions regarding animal health management.

“These studies take a long time to do; there is considerable research analyst time to complete projects like this,” he said. “Our goal was to make sure that as such policy options are being debated that at least folks are informed about what kinds of economic impacts alternative strategies like this could entail.”

K-State’s study can be read online at http://www.agmanager.info/livestock-meat/cross-subject-areas/value-arrival-metaphylaxis-us-fed-cattle-industry.

LINCOLN, NEB. – Trade disputes, dwindling returns, changing technologies, fickle consumer tastes, global economics . . . the challenges and opportunities in agriculture change daily. The 2018 Agricultural Economic and Technology Summit offers up the best opportunity to stay on top of the changes in agriculture, mingle with agriculture’s leading players, and discuss issues facing agriculture. The Agricultural Economic and Technology Summit, to be held at the Kearney Holiday Inn, July 17-18, is a partnership between Nebraska Farm Bureau, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Agricultural Economics and Biological Systems Engineering Departments and KRVN Rural Radio Network.

“We know farmers and ranchers are terribly busy right now trying to stay up with their growing crops and livestock. The summit offers them the opportunity to get away from the day-to-day grind, learn about long-term trends affecting their operations, and get the latest happenings in the world of agriculture. Plus, those attending can compare notes with fellow producers and others involved in agriculture from across the state on how the year is going so far,” said Jay Rempe, Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist.

The summit is recommended to producers, ag-business professionals, and consultants and is packed with leading national experts like: Jason Henderson of Purdue University, offering his big picture outlook for the agricultural economy; Brian Watkins of Cropzilla, on Ag Technology; Dick Wittman of Wittman Consulting, on farm and ranch transitions; and Brian Kuehl of Farmers for Free Trade, on the trade roller coaster and how that impacts farmers/ranchers and the agriculture economy.

The Agricultural Economic and Technology Summit will also feature a series of breakout sessions to dig deeper into a range of subjects important to agriculture today. Topics include; what successful farms are doing right, UNL-Testing Ag Performance Solutions program, economics of technology applications, big data = better beef, farm policy updates, and data intensive farm management.

“These breakouts will give the summit participants the ability to focus on the topics that are most interesting and critical to the health of their farms and ranches,” Rempe said.

Information on the summit, including an online registration form and agenda, can be found at www.nefb.org/agecontech or contact Whittney Kelley at (402) 421-4760 or via email at whittneyk@nefb.org.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Many livestock owners and industry professionals wonder why some nutrients are important, how some animals utilize feed better than others, and what value they should give to various ingredients when making smart purchasing decisions. These questions and many more are addressed through the IGP Fundamentals of Animal Nutrition distance offering planned for July 16–August 25, 2018.

This course is designed for professionals who are interested in attaining an understanding of animal nutritional requirements and the digestive systems of production animals. The main training focus is on the elementary principles of farm animal nutrition. This includes the anatomy, nutritional digestion, absorption, metabolism, and a general overview of the nutrients necessary for animal growth and development. By the end of this course, participants will know how an animal’s digestive system and nutritional requirements influences the ingredients and makeup of feed.

“It is important to understand the basics of animal nutrition in order to work in the animal feed industry,” says Cassandra Jones, assistant professor of animal sciences and industry. “Whether you are feeding animals, manufacturing feed, work in sales or marketing, or are responsible for procurement or logistics, understanding the background of animal nutrition helps you understand the purpose and function of the product with which you are dealing.”

The course is a five-week, self-paced, online training including lectures and readings specifically designed for industry professionals looking to gain a larger understanding of animal digestive anatomy and nutrition utilization. The course offers one continuing education credit. For information about registration, please contact Cassie Jones at jonesc@ksu.edu or call 785-532-5289. To register for this course, visit www.grains.k-state.edu/igp.

This is one example of the many distance courses offered in feed manufacturing and grain quality management presented by the IGP Institute. In addition, the IGP Institute provides trainings in the areas of flour milling and grain processing, and grain marketing and risk management. To learn more about training opportunities at the IGP Institute, visit www.grains.k-state.edu/igp.

OMAHA (DTN) — Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.6 million head on June 1, 2018, USDA reported on Friday. The inventory was 4% above June 1, 2017. This is the highest June 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Placements in feedlots during May totaled 2.12 million head, slightly above 2017. Net placements were 2.05 million head. During May, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 445,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 340,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 480,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 524,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 235,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 100,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during May totaled 2.06 million head, 5% above 2017.

Other disappearance totaled 73,000 head during May, 4% above 2017.

“The June 1 on-feed report looks somewhat negative thanks to a larger-than-expected placement activity in May,” said DTN Livestock Analyst John Harrington. “Indeed, last year’s in-movement was historically large (the largest since 2007). So the fact that feedlots equaled that effort last month is fairly impressive.

“Look for cattle futures to open lower on Monday, possibly as much as 100-200 points. Lower feedlot sales developing Friday afternoon will not help the general psychology.”

To view the full report, visit https://www.nass.usda.gov/…

USDA Actual Average Guess Range
Cattle on Feed:
On Feed June 1 104.0% 103.5% 103.0-104.5%
Placed in May 100.0% 96.0% 92.0-101.0%
Marketed in May 105.0% 105.0% 104.0-105.5%


I always cut (castrate) my calves at birth, but as I get older, that gets harder to do. I am thinking about waiting and castrating them closer to weaning and banding them. If I do, what is the best bander? I am also confused about vaccinations, especially tetanus in this case. What do you recommend?


In the spring, we had a reader interested in the best bander for early castration. Now you are interested in delaying castration. It just shows there is no one approach that fits every operation.

The best bander is one of those Ford or Chevy pickup questions… and many might want to add Ram, GMC and Toyota to the argument. The best bander is the one that works best for you. More important is your question regarding vaccinations.

I really like the initial series of IBR (infectious bovine rhinotracheitis), BVD (bovine viral diarrhea), PI3 (parainfluenza-3) and BRSV (bovine respiratory syncytial virus), and clostridials to be given between 3 and 4 months of age. Boosters should be given a few weeks later. If you are going to band bull calves, be sure to use the clostridial vaccine that contains tetanus (Clostridium tetani). Never assume a “seven-or-eight-way vaccine” contains tetanus. I don’t think tetanus antitoxin is needed when the right clostridial vaccine is used prior to or at the time of banding.

I always advise that you consult with your herd veterinarian who can help custom-design the best program for your operation and make sure any bulls banded are well-protected from tetanus.