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
TAKE STEPS TO REDUCE SHRINK WHEN WORKING CATTLE
One of the largest overlooked costs for stockmen when selling cattle is shrink. For example, if you are taking calves to a feeder calf sale, to be weighed off the truck and a two percent pencil shrink taken, those calves may have already lost six percent or more of their weight just getting them to market, resulting in at least eight percent shrink deducted from your paycheck.
BE PREPARED TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL CALVING SEASON
The fall calving season has kicked off, but are you really prepared for it? Here are a few of the important things to have handy for a successful calving season.
RESEARCHERS STUDY GENES TO ASSIST IN CATTLE BREEDING
Beef cattle selection may soon be as easy as looking at a cow's genes.
FOCUS ON GOOD MANAGEMENT OF A.I. PROGRAMS
The use of artificial insemination in beef cow operations has never reached anywhere near the acceptance of that of the dairy industry. The reasons for this bear discussion as they typically relate to many of the problems we encounter with A.I. in beef herds.
COMPOSITE BULLS HAVE BECOME POPULAR IN SOME AREAS
Heterosis (hybrid vigor) has proven its value in many agricultural sectorswhether production of hybrid corn, hogs or beef. There are three kinds of heterosis; individual (the calf), maternal, and paternal. Of the three, paternal heterosis has had the least attention.
HUNTIN' DAYLIGHT - SHRINKING HAY LOSSES
Expanding beef production and looming increased calf numbers continue to pressure cattle prices lower, further and faster than many expected.
LOOK AT ALTERNATIVES THAT CAN REDUCE ANTIBIOTIC DEPENDENCE
The handwriting on the wall has become pretty clear. Justified or not, the use of antibiotics in managing the beef animal, at any stage of production, is becoming more challenging.
IT'S THE PITTS -- YOU NEVER KNOW
The bull business is very competitive and purebred people play to win. Because there's a limited number of buyers, breeders spend a fortune on color ads and hire their own field men to exhort ranchers to come to their sale. I knew one breeder who passed out a hundred dollar bill for every bull a ranch manager bought, and once I even saw a bull breeder buy the county fair show steer that belonged to the granddaughter of a large rancher hoping it would pay off.
MAKE A GOOD INVESTMENT WHEN BUYING BULLS
Are you sifting through stacks of bull sale catalogs looking for your next bull? While bull selection can be a daunting task, your choice will impact your herd for years to come. Thus, taking some time to think about what you need from your next herd sire is important.
ADVANCEMENTS IN EPDS IMPROVE ACCURACY
It was about 40 years ago that the beef industry was introduced to the Expected Progeny Difference (EPD). In the early days, data were limited and based on comparisons with a few reference sires used in designed programs. There has been much progress in the methods used to calculate EPDs, and today most breed associations provide EPDs on all animals in the breed. After 40 years, there is still confusion over how to use these tools.
ANNUAL FOOD PLOTS PROVIDE NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS
When planting wildlife food plots, which is better: annuals or perennials? Ideally, you should have different plots designated for both cool- and warm-season annuals, as well as perennials.
PLAN VACCINATION PROGRAM BEFORE BREEDING SEASON
Some diseases affect reproduction, in bulls as well as in cows. It's best to try to prevent these diseases by making sure the cows and bulls have adequate immunity before breeding season.
18TH HERDBUILDER REPLACEMENT FEMALE SALE AVERAGES $2,086
The 18th Annual Herdbuilder Replacement Female Sale was held August 26th at Alabama Livestock Auction in Uniontown, Ala.
BREEDING SOUNDNESS EXAM CAN PREVENT FINANCIAL WRECK
The importance of a breeding soundness exam in herd bulls can prevent costly revenue losses, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.
S.E. BRANGUS FIELD DAY HELD IN GEORGIA
The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) was represented by five staff members at the Southeastern Brangus Field Day, on Thursday, August 11 through Saturday, August 13, in Grantville, Georgia.
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