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September 2009 Archive for Livestock Today

RSS By: Sara Brown, Beef Today

The Livestock Today blog is your place to learn the latest production news for the livestock industry.

Anaplasmosis on the Move

Sep 21, 2009

By Sara Brown
 

A few days ago, one of my family’s neighbors noticed some of his cows were listless, weren’t eating well  and were having trouble standing and grazing. The vet diagnosed his herd with anaplasmosis, a parasitic disease that is spread by ticks, mosquitoes, flies and other blood-sucking insects.

It was cause for concern for us, as the disease can cause abortions, decreased milk production, jaundice, fever, severe anemia and even death.  While our herd is located more than a mile away from our neighbors, we have become even more vigilant of checking the health of our cow herd.

There are vaccines to treat anaplasmosis, but it will not prevent the disease. Tests to identify the disease require blood samples from the animals. Once an animal has been diagnosed, the most effective treatments usually include vaccinations of oxytetracycline, or other remedies suggested by your veterinarian.

While this is a new concern for us in central Missouri, it is a nation-wide problem. Anaplasmosis has been found in 40 out of the 50 U.S. states, mostly in the gulf and Western states.  If you have seen problems with anaplasmosis or other diseases, e-mail me at sbrown@farmjournal.com.


 

This column is part of the Beef Today Cattle Drive e-newsletter, which is delivered to subscribers biweekly and includes beef industry analysis, market information as well as the latest beef headline news. Click here to subscribe.

 

Back to Production Basics

Sep 07, 2009

By Sara Brown
 

Tough market conditions mean you have to work smarter to get every bit of value out of your calf crop. To do that, you must have basic production measures in place.

After talking to cattle buyers and livestock market operators for "What Cattle Buyers Want" in the September 2009 issue, it’s clear if you want top dollar for your animals, you need to improve genetics—and then keep improving the herd every breeding season. Genetics are still the No. 1 factor in calf value.

After that, individual production measures are key. Separating bulls and heifers, weaning, proper nutrition, training animals to eat and drink, vaccinations and handling are areas cattle producers need to factor into their marketing plan.

These simple production tools are easy to overlook, but valuable just the same. Justin Rhinehart, beef cattle specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service says recent feeder sales in eastern Oklahoma showed that horned steers bring $3.23/cwt. less than their polled or dehorned counterparts.

That is just one example! Could you factor in an additional $3.23/cwt.? We all could! It’s time to get our ducks in a row…and get balance sheets back to black.

This column is part of the Beef Today Cattle Drive e-newsletter, which is delivered to subscribers biweekly and includes beef industry analysis, market information as well as the latest beef headline news. Click here to subscribe.

 

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