Tag Archives: cattle

If you ever get the chance to visit with a cattle rancher or beef producer, you may hear some good stories about overprotective momma cows. Cows can be very protective of their calves, even more so than some people!

First calf heifers (young cows that have given birth to their first calf), usually aren’t too bad because they don’t know the process yet. In fact, a heifer will sometimes walk away from her calf, not knowing it is hers to take care of. At this point, the farmer has to get the two of them into a pen together and acquainted so the calf will begin to nurse. This can involve some good kicks from the cow, either to the calf or to the farmer. Farmers learn to stay clear of those back legs but sometimes kicks hit the target and it can hurt.

A cow, who has had calves before, knows she may have to defend her calf from coyotes, big cats or other animals (depending on where you are in the U.S.) that may think it will make a tasty meal. For these momma cows, the farmer that feeds her every day is sometimes also viewed with suspicion.

Most cows are in a pasture and that is where they give birth to their calves. When it’s a good delivery, a calf is born and the cow immediately licks it off to get it dry and moving. A healthy calf will usually stand on its own within the first 30 minutes to an hour after birth and begin nursing. Shortly after birth, some farmers put ear tags in the calves. This helps match cows to their calves. The tag is like putting a pierced earring into an ear. Tags usually have a number matching the cow and the birthdate of her calf. The farmer has to catch the calf shortly after it is born to put in the ear tag. If he waits too long, the calf may be too fast to catch. Enter the overprotective momma cow! The cow does not like anything or anyone getting near her newborn calf. If the farmer gets near and catches the calf, the calf will bawl and the cow will come running, so the farmer has to be quick.

A farmer I heard about decided to work on a calf in his pickup truck, only to have the cow charge and tear up the cab. A large cow is strong and may ram a truck, a 4-wheeler or gates to protect her calf. Another story I heard recently was about a farmer checking his cows who found one in a pasture with an injured calf beside her. He knew something had tried to attack the calf because the cow had run circles in the ground around the calf defending it, only to accidentally step on and injure it.

A couple of years ago, my husband was showing me how to do chores, as he was going to be away for a weekend. While out, he noticed a calf that needed tagging. He dumped feed on the ground to get the cows to eat while he caught the calf. When he caught the calf it bawled; the cow immediately faced off and bawled back.

Before my husband could let go or do anything, the cow rammed into him, rolling him out of my sight where I sat in our pickup. Before I could get out to help, she rammed him again. She rolled him about 15 feet one way and back the other way. I started yelling at the cows because all of them had gathered around. They backed off as my husband lay on the ground, moaning. He told me to give him a minute as the cow had knocked the wind out of him. He ended up with bruised ribs and some scrapes where the cow had stepped on him and was stiff for a while. We were very thankful that he wasn’t hurt worse. I was glad I was along that day as he is usually out by himself.

Farming is considered a dangerous occupation. Farmers always must be mindful of livestock, the machinery they’re operating, the terrain of the land and weather conditions. Still, most would not trade this lifestyle for any other.

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP (“Scott+Scott”), a national antitrust and securities litigation firm, along with Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP (“Cafferty Clobes”), have filed a class action lawsuit in federal district court in Chicago on behalf of R-CALF USA and four cattle-feeding ranchers from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Wyoming. The suit alleges the nation’s four largest beef packers violated U.S. antitrust laws, the Packers and Stockyards Act, and the Commodity Exchange Act by unlawfully depressing the prices paid to American ranchers.

The complaint was filed against Tyson Foods, Inc., JBS S.A., Cargill, Inc., and National Beef Packing Company, LLC, and certain of their affiliates (the “Big 4”), who collectively purchase and process over 80% of the U.S.’s fed cattle—that is, cattle raised specifically for beef production—annually. It alleges that from at least January 1, 2015 through the present, the Big 4 packers conspired to depress the price of fed cattle they purchased from American ranchers, thereby inflating their own margins and profits.

The class action lawsuit seeks to recover the losses suffered by two classes believed harmed by the Big 4’s alleged conduct. The first class includes cattle producers who sold fed cattle to any one of the Big 4 from January 2015 to the present. The second class consists of traders who transacted live cattle futures or options contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”) from January 2015 to the present. The complaint, which is supported by witness accounts, including a former employee of one of the Big 4, trade records, and economic evidence, alleges that the Big 4 conspired to artificially depress fed cattle prices through various means, including:

  • collectively reducing their slaughter volumes and purchases of cattle sold on the cash market in order to create a glut of slaughter-weight fed cattle;
  • manipulating the cash cattle trade to reduce price competition amongst themselves, including by enforcing an antiquated queuing convention through threats of boycott and agreeing to conduct substantially all their weekly cash market purchases during a narrow 30-minute window on Fridays;
  • transporting cattle over uneconomically long distances, including from Canada and Mexico, in order to depress U.S. fed cattle prices; and
  • deliberating closing slaughter plants to ensure the underutilization of available U.S. beef packing capacity.

These alleged practices are estimated to have depressed fed cattle prices by an average of 7.9% since January 2015, causing significant harm to U.S. ranchers.

“R-CALF USA is taking this historic action to fulfill its promise to its members to prevent the Big 4 packers from capturing the U.S. cattle market from independent U.S. cattle producers,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard, adding “we have exhausted all other remedies but now, with the expert help of Scott+Scott and Cafferty Clobes, our members’ concerns will be addressed and we hope U.S. cattle ranchers can be compensated for years of significant losses.”

“The impact of the packers’ conduct on American cattle ranchers has been catastrophic,” said David Scott, managing partner, Scott+Scott. “The health and integrity of the American cattle industry is being permanently and irrevocably damaged, independent ranchers are systematically being driven out of business, and consumers are losing the ability to buy high-quality American beef with confidence.”

“The packers’ alleged conduct has had a direct and significant impact on the commodities underlying CME live cattle futures and options contracts,” said Anthony Fata, partner, Cafferty Clobes. “It is imperative for investors to maintain confidence in this vital financial market, relied upon by ranchers, traders and others to manage the risks associated with their businesses.”

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.0 million head on April 1, 2019. The inventory was 2% above April 1, 2018, USDA reported Thursday.

Listen to see what Jerry Stowell had to say about the report: https://post.futurimedia.com/krvnam/playlist/cattle-on-feed-report-wjerry-stowell-4-19-6528.html

This is the highest April 1 inventory since the series began in 1996. The inventory included 7.45 million steers and steer calves, down 1% from the previous year. This group accounted for 62% of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.51 million head, up 8% from 2018.

Placements in feedlots during March totaled 2.01 million head, 5% above 2018. Net placements were 1.95 million head. During March, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 325,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 300,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 595,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 539,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 185,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 70,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during March totaled 1.78 million head, 3% below 2018.

Other disappearance totaled 69,000 head during March, 3% above 2018.

“The increase in placements as well as the combined growth in overall fed cattle numbers is expected to negatively affect trade values early Monday once futures trade opens following the long holiday weekend,” said DTN Analyst Rick Kment. “Cattle marketed in March were slightly higher than early estimates, but still fell 3% from year-ago levels based on adverse weather conditions, limiting gain in many areas of the country. The lower marketed level is not expected to offset the pressure of growing cattle supplies.”

**

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

USDA Actual Average Guess Range
On Feed April 1 102.0% 101.8% 100.4-102.2%
Placed in March 105.0% 103.8% 97.9-106.0%
Marketed in March 97.0% 96.8% 95.7-98.4%

The Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund is providing financial assistance on a statewide basis to needy or distressed cattle producers in Nebraska impacted by Winter Storm Ulmer/Bomb Cyclone.

Eligible applicants under the Fund include any cattle producer with an operation located in a county or tribal area falling under an emergency or disaster declaration made by the Nebraska Governor or Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Moreover, applicants must demonstrate genuine need or distress as a result of the disaster by providing relevant asset information and certifying their assets are not sufficient or adequate to rebuild from the damage suffered.

 

Membership in Nebraska Cattlemen is NOT required for an applicant to receive relief.

 

Submitted applications must be fully completed and have all required eligible expense documentation attached or enclosed to be considered. Applicants may submit documentation and requests for reimbursement for cattle production expenses not paid for by insurance or other governmental sources, including but not limited to costs for rebuilding and recovery for lost fencing and pens, feed, livestock/carcass removal or other necessary cattle production costs directly related to rebuilding from the winter storm.   Documentation can include copies of receipts for purchases of supplies, invoices for repairs, photos of damage, etc.

 

Applicant must demonstrate that expenses/losses incurred were related to cattle production and directly caused by recent storms and flooding as the result of Winter Storm Ulmer/Bomb Cyclone in the State of Nebraska.

 

Submitted applications will be reviewed individually by a committee selected by the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund Board of Directors. Eligibility for financial assistance will be determined on a case-by-case basis with the goal of distributing relief so as to maximize the Fund’s charitable impact to support cattle producers in Nebraska. The total amount that each applicant will be eligible to receive will be determined after the application period ends in accordance with the above stated impact goal. The review committee has the right to reject any and all applications for any reason.

 

Applications must be completed and have all required documentation to be considered.
Applications for relief must be postmarked by May 31, 2019. No application will be considered if postmarked after that date.

 

Completed applications must be mailed to 4611 Cattle Drive, Lincoln, NE 68521 or scanned and e-mailed to disasterrelief@necattlemen.org.

Question:

I have a young cow, on her second calf. She has a rather ugly udder and two overly large teats. The calf is doing fine but won’t suck those two teats. Disposition-wise, the cow is a little high-strung, and I have problems milking those teats out. If I use a little metal tube insert to drain the milk, will it cause permanent damage to the udder?

Answer:

This cow has a condition commonly called “balloon teats.” Teat and udder quality is a major problem. It is a Top 4 reason for culling cows. The Beef Improvement Federation has a teat and udder scoring system to help producers make culling decisions (beef.unl.edu/learning/udder_score.shtml). In addition, the Hereford breed has developed expected progeny difference (EPD) scores for udder suspension and teat size.

A cow’s udder is an amazing structure. At the end of the teat is a complex structure called the “street canal,” a one-way valve that releases milk to the calf but keeps infectious organisms out. A large metal “teat needle” as you describe can introduce these organisms into the teat and udder. Even worse, it can temporarily or permanently damage the street canal, making the udder much more vulnerable to infections.

On a few exceptional occasions when I could not milk out a teat, I have used a much smaller, single-use sterile plastic cannula to drain it. In some of these cases, the calf has been able to begin nursing the teat afterwards. But, it’s important to note the condition will recur with the next calf, and it will usually be worse. This condition significantly reduces milk production and weaning weight of the calf. There is also a very real chance the calf does not receive adequate colostrum, which affects its performance even into the feedlot. In a worst-case scenario, the weaning weight is reduced to zero because of death of the calf. I advise you to sell this cow and cast a questioning eye to her dam and sire. This is not something you want in your herd.

Question:

I have a young cow, on her second calf. She has a rather ugly udder and two overly large teats. The calf is doing fine but won’t suck those two teats. Disposition-wise, the cow is a little high-strung, and I have problems milking those teats out. If I use a little metal tube insert to drain the milk, will it cause permanent damage to the udder?

Answer:

This cow has a condition commonly called “balloon teats.” Teat and udder quality is a major problem. It is a Top 4 reason for culling cows. The Beef Improvement Federation has a teat and udder scoring system to help producers make culling decisions (beef.unl.edu/learning/udder_score.shtml). In addition, the Hereford breed has developed expected progeny difference (EPD) scores for udder suspension and teat size.

A cow’s udder is an amazing structure. At the end of the teat is a complex structure called the “street canal,” a one-way valve that releases milk to the calf but keeps infectious organisms out. A large metal “teat needle” as you describe can introduce these organisms into the teat and udder. Even worse, it can temporarily or permanently damage the street canal, making the udder much more vulnerable to infections.

On a few exceptional occasions when I could not milk out a teat, I have used a much smaller, single-use sterile plastic cannula to drain it. In some of these cases, the calf has been able to begin nursing the teat afterwards. But, it’s important to note the condition will recur with the next calf, and it will usually be worse. This condition significantly reduces milk production and weaning weight of the calf. There is also a very real chance the calf does not receive adequate colostrum, which affects its performance even into the feedlot. In a worst-case scenario, the weaning weight is reduced to zero because of death of the calf. I advise you to sell this cow and cast a questioning eye to her dam and sire. This is not something you want in your herd.

CENTENNIAL, CO — The Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board (CBB) has named Gregory Hanes of Colorado as their new chief executive officer, effective June 17, 2019.

“Knowledge of beef producers and the overall beef industry is a must in this role,” notes Chuck Coffey, CBB chairman from Davis, Oklahoma. “Greg is well-regarded – both here in the U.S. and abroad – for his background and understanding of promoting beef and building industry relationships.”

The Beef Board is a body which oversees the Beef Checkoff and works very closely with the USDA, state beef councils, contractors, beef industry leaders and cattle producers. As a result, the person who serves as the Beef Board’s operational leader needs to function in many different roles and in many environments. According to Coffey, Hanes fits that description very well.

“Greg is extremely talented with a diversified skillset,” said Coffey. “He already has knowledge of the Beef Checkoff, and he’s an outstanding public speaker who clearly articulates his message, has a great work ethic and is a team builder at all levels. Most importantly, he is passionate about the beef industry. The Cattlemen’s Beef Board is elated to have him as part of the team.”

Hanes comes to the CBB from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) in Denver, Colorado, where he most recently was vice president of international marketing programs, and he led the marketing team through global strategic planning processes. Hanes also served as the USMEF liaison to the beef industry and worked closed with a variety of national and state beef organizations. From 2006 to 2009, he was the director of the USMEF’s Tokyo-based office, where he was responsible for all activities occurring in Japan. During his time as the USMEF Japan director, Hanes lived in Japan for nearly 11 years. Throughout his time overseas, he was the only foreigner in a Japanese company, and he held an additional position with responsibilities across Asia.

Hanes currently serves as the chair of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council (USAEDC), a group comprised of 80 U.S. commodity trade associations, farmer cooperatives and state regional trade groups from around the country, representing the interests of growers and processors of U.S. agricultural products.

In addition to a master’s degree in international management with an emphasis in marketing from the Thunderbird School of Management at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, Hanes also holds a B.A. in economics from Colorado College. Hanes was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

For more information about the Beef Checkoff and its programs, including promotion, research, foreign marketing, industry information, consumer information and safety, visitDrivingDemandforBeef.com

Senators from states that are still recovering from natural disasters met with President Trump at the White House to talk about stalled disaster aid.

The House passed a bill that failed to advance in the Senate. Politico says the legislation has been bogged down for months over a dispute about U.S. aid to Puerto Rico. Roll Call Dot Com says Hurricane Maria battered the island in 2017 and Congress set aside billions of dollars in assistance. However, some $20 billion in rebuilding aid hasn’t been spent yet and President Trump has accused Puerto Rico officials of mismanaging the aid. Senate Republicans have introduced a $13 billion aid package, which includes $600 million in additional assistance to Puerto Rico. Democrats want an additional $462 million for the long-term rebuilding of the country.

House Democrats introduced a $17.2 billion bill last week that builds on the House version while adding an additional $3 billion to help Midwest flooding victims recover. Another winter storm dumped heavy snow on parts of the Plains and the Midwest last week. At one point, almost 90,000 people were without power in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The additional precipitation and snow melt could cause another surge in the Missouri River after severe flooding swamped farmlands and grain storage sites last month.

A project that aligns the efforts of four Midwestern universities and two other groups dedicated to improving grazing practices for beef cattle in the Great Plains has received national recognition for its work.

 

The Great Plains Grazing project has been selected for a Partnership Award for Multistate Efforts by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which cited the group’s “outstanding efforts to strengthen the stewardship of private lands through technology and research.”

“This award is a testament to the significant efforts of all the collaborators involved in Great Plains Grazing,” said Dan Devlin, project leader and director of the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE) at Kansas State University. “This research is important not only for projecting how climate change will affect the beef grazing industry but also how to manage that industry more successfully through future drought conditions.”

Devlin noted that protecting the nation’s vital beef production from the stresses of climate variability is a key method to ensure the success of ranchers in the Southern Great Plains as well as to protect food security for the country.

The project fostered partnerships between K-State faculty and researchers from Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Noble Foundation, and Tarleton State University.

The interdisciplinary project included 45 scientists, and more than 50 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers assisted with the research. Together, they successfully measured the net greenhouse gas emissions of grazing cattle in the Great Plains and were able to develop and quantify the impacts of improved grazing management practices on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Along with Devlin, K-State faculty and staff who played significant roles in Great Plains grazing work in the Department of Agronomy, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, KCARE, the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation, the Western Kansas Research-Extension Center, and the Southeast Kansas Research-Extension Center.

Martin Draper, K-State College of Agriculture interim associate dean for research and graduate programs, will join Devlin to accept the NIFA Partnership Award on behalf of Great Plains Grazing on April 25 in Washington, D.C.

The annual NIFA Partnership Awards were established in 2007 to recognize achievements and contributions by partners at land grant universities and other organizations and institutions.

QUESTION:

We had a very bad cold, wet snap with lots of snow, ice and rain right in the middle of calving season. Several calves started scouring, and we treated them with scour boluses and penicillin. We lost four of them. We have not had any more cases since, but we’d like to know what we can do to prevent this in the future.

ANSWER:

There are so many potential causes when it comes to scours, you really need to get your veterinarian involved. A good history of what happened leading up to this is going to be very important. Some key information would include age of the calves, age of the dams, body conditions, available feed, available minerals and whether cows had been vaccinated and dewormed.

You note this started when bad weather moved in. The cold, wet conditions you describe can sometimes keep calves from getting up and nursing quickly. That can mean they don’t get enough colostrum those first few critical hours of life. Also, muddy, nasty conditions increase the chances disease will spread. They also make maintaining a normal body temperature difficult at best.

If cows are thin, or lacking in balanced nutrition including minerals, colostrum quality may suffer. All of these things can work together to increase the potential for sick calves.

An accurate diagnosis is the first step in knowing how to treat calves and prevent future outbreaks. Calf scours can be caused by several different viruses, bacteria and parasites. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses or parasites; they only help if the bacteria involved is susceptible. Just as importantly, antibiotics may kill good bacteria and make the situation worse. The decision on whether, when and what antibiotics to use must be made in consultation with your herd veterinarian. As you discuss this, ask for a review of your overall herd-health program. If the situation recurs, act fast to get a diagnosis and a treatment plan under way.