Blog

Feedlot Trial Shows 87% Reduction in Antibiotic Use on Arrival

In a recent feedlot trial conducted by Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD), the use of a new chute-side blood test (QScout® BLD) demonstrated that a feedyard in Nebraska could reduce antibiotic use 87 percent by selectively treating animals, compared to metaphylaxis, or mass treatment with antibiotics. The QScout BLD test, which diagnoses animals with abnormal immune statuses before visual symptoms occur, could help cattle feeders save $148,000-$218,000 in arrival antibiotic costs per 10,000 head at $17-$25 per treatment. In addition to substantial savings on treatment costs, this test also enables cattle feeders to demonstrate more precise use of antibiotics, which is of growing importance given consumer pressure to reduce use due to increasing fears of antibiotic resistant organisms.

The trial, which was conducted on moderate risk sale barn cattle, found no difference in hot carcass weight or yield grade between the trial group that received metaphylaxis versus the group that was selectively treated based on QScout BLD test results. This demonstrates that cattle flagged as normal by QScout® BLD showed the same weight and quality performance at harvest regardless of whether or not they were treated with antibiotics.

In addition, steers diagnosed as abnormal by QScout BLD and treated saw an increase in carcass weight of 24 pounds per head – which translated to an additional value of $45 at the market price – compared to abnormal steers that were left untreated. Abnormal steers that were treated were also more likely to grade Choice+ compared to abnormal steers that weren’t treated. Trial results demonstrate that this test has the potential to eliminate the need for blanket treatment of entire groups of cattle without sacrificing production or quality.

precisely only on animals that truly need them.

For cattle feeders who participate in natural or organic programs, QScout BLD can be used as a sorting tool to determine which animals should be enrolled in those programs. While premiums are high on natural and organic beef, the cost of an animal falling out of the program can be substantial.

A rapid, chute-side test, QScout BLD uses a single drop of blood collected from the calf during processing using AAD’s QDraw™ collection and transfer device. The blood sample is then transferred to a single-use QScout BLD test and inserted into AAD’s QScout® Cattle Lab, a portable lab-in-a-box diagnostic platform, which is located near the cattle chute.

In seconds, the QScout Cattle Lab decodes the calf’s immune response by identifying and differentiating white blood cells that are the first responders to infection, telling the user if the animal is healthy or needs intervention. Test results are automatically transferred to AAD’s QStats™ online database, which documents an electronic record of each animal’s diagnosis along with key performance metrics.

For more information, visit www.QScoutLab.com or call 1-855 Q2COUNT.

BVD-PI QUICKTEST Now on the Market

Central States Testing has announced their latest product, the CST QuickTest. This BVD-PI diagnostic test is designed to be quickly and easily used on the farm, with results in fewer than 30 minutes. This makes BVD-PI testing more cost effective for users with high volume because you no longer need to ship samples to a lab. Prices start at $2.95 per test, with volume discounts.

“We designed this test for cost effectiveness and simplicity to the end user. The test is priced to allow customers to single-sample test and have the benefit of highest accuracy without pooling,” says Dr. Bill Hessman, founder of Central States Testing. “When you pool samples together on any BVD-PI test you decrease the accuracy of the test and miss PI animals, which defeats the purpose of testing in the first place.”

For more information, visit www.cstbvd.com or call (620) 675-8640.

Vermeer Rolls out New Baler, Mower models

604 Pro

One word describes Vermeer’s 604 Pro baler – versatile. Built for producers and contractors who want simple-to-use baler, the new 604 Pro performs to their needs and gives them the versatility to bale wet or dry hay while producing bales of varying sizes. The 6 ft x 4 ft (1.8 m x 1.2 m) variable chamber allows for production of various size dry bales and your traditional 5 ft x 4 ft (1.5 m x 1.2 m) wet bales. When weather becomes problematic, or a customer requests that their hay be put up in a different way, the 604 Pro gives you the versatility to make it happen.

TM1210 & TM1410

With cutting widths of 20.8 ft (TM1410)  and 17.7 ft (TM1210) the new 10-series trailed mowers are ideal for operators who want to cut more hay in less time and want convenient features that take the stress out of operating, transporting and maintaining a large trailed mower. They offer features like the Q3® Cutter Bar, 2-point Quick Hitch hook up, a nitrogen-charged accumulator suspension system, and the patented Quick-Clip® Blade Retention System that reduces the process of blade replacement to mere seconds. That means big time productivity, big time convenience and a narrow 9-ft transport width. Vermeer offers a 3-year cutter bar warranty on parts and labor.

Beef and Dairy Veterinarian Pioneers Inducted into Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame

Two distinguished veterinarians – Don Williams, D.V.M., and Elmer Woelffer, D.V.M. – have been inducted into the Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame (CPVHOF), recognizing their exceptional contributions to the practice of veterinary medicine in the beef and dairy cattle industry.

Don Williams, D.V.M.

Don Williams, D.V.M.

 

Elmer Woelffer, D.V.M.

Elmer Woelffer, D.V.M.

CPVHOF was established in 2011 to recognize the rich traditions of production veterinary medicine and honor the distinguished individuals who have made lasting contributions to the profession. It is sponsored by the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP), the Academy of Veterinary Consultants (AVC), Bovine Veterinarian, Merck Animal Health and Osborn Barr.

“Drs. Williams and Woelffer are role models for all of us, and we are honored to induct them into the hall of fame,” said Rick Sibbel, D.V.M., director of beef technical services for Merck Animal Health, who served as emcee of the induction ceremony. “Their vision, standard of excellence and ability to make a difference in the beef and dairy veterinary community is something we can all aspire to.”

The new inductees were honored at the AABP Annual Conference and were selected by their peers, including members of AABP and AVC.

Don Williams, D.V.M., center, was inducted into the Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame. He is pictured (left to right) with his grandson, Stephen Williams; daughters, Laura Toellner and Donna Mann; and son-in-law, Carl Scroggins

Don Williams, D.V.M., center, was inducted into the Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame. He is pictured (left to right) with his grandson, Stephen Williams; daughters, Laura Toellner and Donna Mann; and son-in-law, Carl Scroggins

Dr. Don Williams developed the first national preconditioning program and was instrumental in developing large-scale cattle health programs, training initiatives for feedyard personnel and science-based animal health management protocols. He also has been an independent cattleman throughout his career.

“I’m very grateful for this award, and nothing could mean more to a person who has spent his life in the beef cattle industry,” Dr. Williams said, who also reminisced about the growth and success of AABP since its first annual meeting in 1969. “It’s a special honor to be recognized by my peers, and especially meaningful when you get to be late in your years.”

His award was presented by Dee Griffin, D.V.M., of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center, who noted that Dr. Williams was his father’s veterinarian. “Dr. Williams shaped my enthusiasm for beef cattle, and was the first person I knew to focus on beef cattle production management and the need for veterinary medicine.”

A Texas native, Dr. Williams received his veterinary medical degree from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. After 18 years of private practice in Texas and Oklahoma, he served as company veterinarian for Hitch Enterprises in Guymon, Okla., and later moved into feedyard management for the Henry C. Hitch Feedlot.

He served on the organizing board of directors and as president of AABP, was a founding member of AVC and served as president of the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation. During his career, Dr. Williams also received the AABP Award for Excellence in Beef Preventive Medicine and the Amstutz-Williams Award.

Dr. Williams is retired and lives in Colorado Springs, Colo.

2013 Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Famer Elmer Woelffer, D.V.M., posthumously inducted, was represented by his daughters, Nancy Woelffer and Linda Thomas; and grandson, Greg Thomas. The family is pictured (left to right) with the award presenter and sponsors: Stephanie Meyers, Osborn Barr; Randy Pedersen, D.V.M., award presenter; Gatz Riddell, D.V.M., American Association of Bovine Practitioners; Dave Sjeklocha, D.V.M., Academy of Veterinarian Consultants; Mark Spire, D.V.M., Merck Animal Health; and John Maday, Bovine Veterinarian.

2013 Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Famer Elmer Woelffer, D.V.M., posthumously inducted, was represented by his daughters, Nancy Woelffer and Linda Thomas; and grandson, Greg Thomas. The family is pictured (left to right) with the award presenter and sponsors: Stephanie Meyers, Osborn Barr; Randy Pedersen, D.V.M., award presenter; Gatz Riddell, D.V.M., American Association of Bovine Practitioners; Dave Sjeklocha, D.V.M., Academy of Veterinarian Consultants; Mark Spire, D.V.M., Merck Animal Health; and John Maday, Bovine Veterinarian.

Dr. Elmer Woelffer – Dairy Inductee

Honored posthumously, Dr. Woelffer was considered by many to be the father of bovine reproductive programs. He integrated sound scientific principles into reproductive programs and authored “Cowside Practice,” a herd-health column in Hoard’s Dairyman, for more than 30 years.

“Dr. Woelffer was a friend, colleague, mentor and truly a veterinarian’s veterinarian who had a great love of dairy cattle,” said Randy Pedersen, D.V.M., a private practitioner from Royal, Neb. “Our profession and the livestock industry have all benefited from his contributions. His legacy is truly remarkable and he has set the bar high for us to follow.”

Dr. Woelffer grew up on a family farm in rural Wisconsin and earned his veterinary medical degree from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, he worked as a farm manager and veterinarian for H.P. Hood & Sons and Pabst Farms. He then entered into private practice in Oconomowoc, Wis., focusing on theriogenology until his death in 1995.

Dr. Woelffer was one of only 14 professionals to be named an honorary member of the Klussendorf Association, considered to be the hall of fame of dairy cattle exhibitors. He was an honorary lifetime member of AABP and received numerous awards during his career, including the AABP Award for Excellence in Dairy Preventive Medicine and the Amstutz-Williams Award.

Greg Thomas, grandson of Dr. Woelffer from Beverly, Mass., shared memories of his grandfather during the awards event, noting that he had followed in his footsteps by also earning a degree from Cornell University. “I hope you are as inspired as I have been by Dr. Elmer A. Woelffer, affectionately known by family and friends as Daddy Doc,” said Thomas. “He lived a very rich and full life, advanced the field of veterinary medicine and, even in his 80’s and 90’s, inspired a boy who, now a man with his own family, hopes to pass on a bit of his legacy.”

 

– Merck Animal Health News Release

Meatless Mondays Hit Los Angeles Schools

How long will we have to pay for the flawed United Nations Report on carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere from meat consumption?  No common sense is showing up yet according to recent developments in California. 

The Los Angeles United School District announced recently that they were adopting the International Meatless Monday system. The school district serves over 650,000 meals daily and has the largest school breakfast program in the United States according to Annenberg TV News.

“The obesity and overweight rate in Los Angeles is 42 percent. A meatless diet, studies have shown, yield lover cholesterol levels and a lower body mass index, or BMI,” the TV News went on. According to the article, celebrities including President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Mike Tyson and Rev. Al Sharpton have endorsed the movement. 

Like the USDA school lunch guidelines, political correctness provides a façade for ignorant decisions with no regard to common sense.

Thoughts on the Annual NCBA Meeting in Tampa

Just back from the Cattle Industry Convention in Tampa and certainly did enjoy Florida and the hospitality offered there. Over 6,500 attendees gathered to discuss the state of the cattle community and the future in an ever changing environment. As is usually the case, the cattlemen and women got down to business quickly, working on the numerous challenges and coming up with solutions to low numbers, short finances and high feed costs. Listening to conversations in the halls, people are not complaining about the hand we have been dealt with drought and regulations. Instead, they rolled up their sleeves and got to it. Policy decisions were brought forward on cattle health, food safety and immigration among others, along with reports on new technology and trends affecting sale of beef.

Exciting for me was the election of CALF News writer and friend, Barbara Jackson, as the 62nd president of the American National CattleWomen, Inc. (ANCW). I hadn’t realized that Barb’s mother also served in that position back in 1970. A native of Arizona, Jackson has been active in the family cattle feeding operation as well as a founder, with her husband, Tim, of Animal Health Express in Tucson, Az. A crackerjack of an organizer as well as a true leader, Jackson will help the ANCW continue as an inspiring force for the cattle community.

The trade show in Tampa was bright, loud and colorful. It never hurts to have pirates marching up the aisle to make you feel festive. In talking to the exhibitors, traffic was good and people were active on the floor.

The Opening General Session with the Tuohy’s from the story of The Blind Side was very inspiring as was General Session 11 highlighting Stuart Varney from the Fox Business Network. Everyone there brought home something positive to think about.

 

Farmers National CEO: Agriculture’s Perfect Storm

During 2012, several unrelated events came together to create what might be referred to as a “perfect storm” in agriculture! The three main drivers that drove our markets to new highs include: monetary policy at the Federal Reserve holding interest rates near zero; renewable fuels standards or the ethanol market; and demand for our agricultural products from developing countries like China.

The 2012 crop year began with low inventories coming off of a below expected crop yield from 2011. Early in the growing season, the number of planted acres and ideal planting conditions indicated the potential for record crops. Then it quit raining at the end of June!

The exceptional demand for our products driven by the factors noted previously was now being measured against one of the worst droughts of the last century. As yields started to fall, grain prices began to escalate rapidly. The high prices eventually cut into profit margins for livestock producers.

The election and the inability of Congress to come to any conclusion on tax law or the farm bill just added to landowner concerns. The threat of tax law changes and the pending increase on capital gains motivated many landowners to sell before the end of 2012.

Intuitively one might expect falling crop size due to drought and a significant increase in the number of farms for sale to hold land values and rental terms in check. Instead the land market gained strength and the demand from farm operators to rent more acres increased rental values. One fundamental was crop insurance guarantees revenues for producers.

The net effect . . . a perfect storm. When all the possible factors that could drive this market came together and were viewed positively, it pushed the market higher and higher to what some consider dangerous levels.

The strength in the market remains as we roll into 2013 for all except certain segments of the livestock industry. Drought conditions continue in many key growing areas causing concern over next year’s crop prospects. Despite the weather concerns, agriculture remains strong, land is in strong hands, and balance sheets look very good.

Interest rates remain at historic lows and the renewable fuels standards remain in effect, so building on a theme that I used in the last Farm & Ranch Scene, I think the good times will continue to roll for crop producers well into the new year!

–          Farmers National News Release

Gathering Fall Calves

For us here at Circle Land and Cattle, the gathering involves visiting ranches and watching good cowboys on good horses with good horse sense bring in the herd, strip the calves from their momma’s and, after the heifers are sorted from the steers, quietly being loaded on a truck and going to greener pastures.  We have had a great time taking some of our town friends with us to see what, to many, is a throwback to the John Wayne days.

It’s dusty, as it’s so dry in this country this year, and early, many 5 o’clock days and it’s exhilarating to be there when the herd comes in. Last week, there were 21 cowboys, big and small, coming across an expanse of Colorado ranch country that looks like it goes all the way to Canada or at least Nebraska.  With the drought, the cattle have been on feed all summer. How’s that for expensive for the cow/calf people that own them?  Even with the high prices for calves this fall, profits are hard for everyone involved. To see some of the pictures of the gathering go to the gallery page here on the website. It’s awesome to be there.

Changes over the years

The new issue of CALF News is in your mailbox and on our Web site, Calfnews.net. In talking about the advancements in the cattle community, I can‘t help remembering the tenets I learned at Fall River Feedlots in Hot Springs, S.D., many years ago. We knew that cattle gained 2.5-3 lbs. per day, cost of gain was in the 70-cent range, and we were delighted with a 1,000-lb. steer and 50-cent payday.

We’ve come a long way, baby. Consider the advancements in breeding, feeding, health practices and harvest. Makes me proud that I’ve had the opportunity not only to watch it, but to participate in those advancements. Next issue we look at the future and your place in the world.

Ranchers for Romney

A small group of cattlemen have started a campaign: Ranchers for Romney.

The Double R has a nice ring to it, but you don’t have to be a rancher to join. Click here for information: http://www.blueprintma.oli.us/romney2.pdf