Animal identification has received increased attention lately in the United States. Recent animal disease outbreaks around the world have underscored the importance of animal identification and the need to track an animalsí location history and herd mate contacts. These incidents have led to a heightened awareness of the risks posed to our domestic livestock populations by the accidental or malicious introduction of a foreign disease or the emergence of a domestic disease of concern. Some animal diseases may also present a threat to the public health furthering the urgency to maintain animal health control. A significant animal disease outbreak could affect both our social and economic stability. The potential disruption that a large-scale disease occurrence could cause would go way beyond the suffering and loss to animal life. Leaders in the agriculture industry and government have recognized the need to have a universal animal identification system in place to help avoid the undesirable consequences our country could experience as a result of certain animal disease outbreaks. A reliable system of animal identification would greatly aid animal health officials by providing the information necessary to control and halt the spread of a disease and minimize the impact of such an event. Maintenance of public confidence in and continued marketability of food animal products are added benefits of an effective animal identification system for the industry. Through a collaborative effort, the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) has been developed. The USDA, APHIS (United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) introduced a voluntary system in 2004. The system is being implemented under a phased-in approach at the state level by each stateís animal health authority. As the infrastructure for the system is being assembled these state officials have the prerogative to customize the system to serve their unique needs while maintaining compatibility with the national system standards. Information compiled in the animal identification system will be used for animal disease control, surveillance, and eradication efforts. The focus of the NAIS is the health of the US livestock population and the goal is to support traceback of an animalsí history within 48 hours of disease confirmation. The NAIS is comprised of three major components: Premises registration, animal identification, and animal tracking. Premises registration is the foundation of the NAIS and as such is the first component to be introduced with animal identification and tracking to follow. The South Dakota Animal Industry Board is moving forward with the NAIS in South Dakota. The premises registration process has begun and is an important first step that you can take to protect your investment in the livestock business. Anyone who owns or is responsible for livestock are encouraged to register. Whether large or small, farm or ranch, production site, feed yard, livestock market, or processing plant, if you are involved in the livestock industry and are responsible for the handling, care, and movement of animals you are asked to register your premises. Non-producer participants who are associated with animals or the animal industry are encouraged to register as you are an important link in the livestock production chain and may be a source of vital information in the event of a disease traceback. The minimal information that you submit during the premises registration process will be kept confidential and be used only by state and national animal health officials to support disease control and animal health surveillance efforts. You will have access to your personal information by establishing your own user name and password. Your participation will support the capability to provide a timely response and minimize the impact in the event of an animal disease outbreak. ...More
EARLY WEANING BENEFITS FIRST-CALF COWS
Summer heat can be hard on pastures, cows and calves, especially first-calf cows. These cows are in a special class as they are still trying to maintain body condition, actively grow, support reproduction by gestating with her second calf, and lactating.
PRODUCT HANDLING IS CRITICAL TO HERD HEALTH SUCCESS
The cow-calf production unit is the basis for the entire beef industry. The production of quality calves requires strict attention to the health of all calves, cows and bulls in the facility.
HYDRAULIC CALF TABLES MAKE LIVESTOCK HANDLING EASIER
Chutes and calf tables have made livestock handling easieron the animals, and for the people doing the job, whether branding, castrating, dehorning, implanting calves, etc.
IT'S THE PITTS -- RATTLED
Despite having lived in, or near, rattlesnake country my entire life I've never known anyone who actually got bit by one, let alone got bit and lived to tell the tale. Until now, that is.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE BUYING BULLS
As the bull-buying season gets underway, commercial cattlemen should do their homework to help ensure the bull(s) they purchase this year meet their needs.
PREWEANING CALF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ADD VALUE TO FEEDERS
The concept of a value added calf (VAC) program is not new today, but in the late 1980's it was thought to have little value in some circles.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO HOOTER MCCORMICK -- NO WORSTER
LeRoy was ancient. The lines in his face looked deep enough to hide in. His hair, mostly silver now, was still thick; his black eyes continued to sparkle with mischief.
DO HOMEWORK BEFORE HEADING INTO BULL BUYING SEASON
When it comes to genetics, bull selection is the most important decision the cow-calf producer has to make.
BLACK INK -- WEIGHING PREVENTION
Sometimes it only takes a couple of 2-cc subcutaneous shots to head off problems down the line. Sometimes it takes a few tons of steel, careful planning and focused construction.
WEANING IS CRITICAL TIME IN CALF'S LIFE
As we enter the fall months, weaning time is at hand for most spring calving herds. This is the exciting time of year when producers are able to reap the benefits of a year's worth of work and planning.
FALL CALVING SEASON MAY YIELD HIGHER RETURNS FOR S.E. PRODUCERS
The vast majority of cow-calf producers in Tennessee and the Southeast using a defined calving season have long favored spring calving; however, researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have evaluated the risk and returns for a fall calving season, proving once again that timing is everything.
HAVING A VACCINATION PLAN IS IMPORTANT TO HERD HEALTH
To begin, I do not believe it is appropriate to recommend "cookie cutter" vaccination programs. Your vaccine program must be developed with your risks and expectations in mind.
PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS TO KEEP COWS PREGNANT
Getting cows bred is only part of the story. Keeping them bred, especially through the summer months, also takes attention to detail.
START PLANNING FOR HEIFER DEVELOPMENT
Even in this current, somewhat depressed, cattle market, replacement females for the Florida commercial cow herd are an annual expense of approximately $400 million. Development and selection of the best females to join a productive herd is one of the most challenging aspects of a beef operation, and two of the keys for success, not surprisingly, are: 1) start early and 2) have a plan. Weaning time is not far off.
HAVE A PLAN WHEN MAKING CULLING DECISIONS
When culling cows, it is important to have a plan, and this should include pregnancy testing and closely evaluating every cow.
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