Cattlemen’s Notebook

September 28, 2013 09:13 AM

For more of what’s happening in your state, visit


Watch for Pneumonia in Grazing Cattle

Producers should keep a close eye on cows moving from dry, dormant summer pastures to areas with lush growth this fall. Late-season pasture growth can contain more of the amino acid tryptophan, which is metabolized in the rumen to 3-methylindole (3-MI). This leads to acute or atypical interstitial pneumonia (AIP) in cows. In the Southeast, cows developed AIP after ingesting perilla mint, also called wild coleus or beefsteak plant. In the West, AIP can result as cattle move from mountainous pasture to irrigated lowland pasture. Clinical signs develop within days to two weeks after the pasture change. Adult cattle are most at risk; nursing calves are not at risk. Kale, rape and green turnip tops are also sources of tryptophan that can cause AIP.


Missouri Annuals Fail to Fill Summer Slump

Native warm-season grasses might gain a growing place in Missouri pastures after recent studies show that native grasses can survive and thrive in hot summer months when cool-season grasses stop growing. Livestock producers need something besides fescue or other cool-season grasses, says Rob Kallenbach, University of Missouri Extension specialist. After years of testing summer annual grasses, he couldn’t find consistently good results, he said at a September field day. "Annual grasses give erratic results. Some years they give great results. But just when you need them, they may not repay cost and labor in planting." He advises producers to revisit native warm-season grasses, such as big bluestem or Indian grass, because once established, the perennials are there waiting for the summer slump. For more information, visit


New BQA Certification

Ohio Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) programs are moving toward a more uniform nationwide format where they will transition from a "Documentation of Attendance" status to a certification-based program. Producers can become re-certified in three ways. First, they can attend a BQA certification meeting in their area. A BQA certification webinar is being planned for early this winter by John Grimes, OSU Extension beef coordinator. Or you can complete an online certification from The Ohio State University Extension on a new website,
Cost is $20. For more information, visit


Montana gets funding to prevent wolf attacks

The Montana Livestock Loss Board has received a $170,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for wolf attack prevention programs. Of the grant, $100,000 will be ear­marked for projects designed to deter wolf attacks on domes­tic animals, and $70,000 will go to reimburse livestock producers who lose animals to wolves. In the past, efforts have only been focused on loss reimbursement, but the grant now allows the state to find ways to prevent losses from happening. So far in 2013, wolves have killed 76 domestic animals: 44 cattle, 31 sheep and one goat. On Oct. 1, the board will also be funding grizzly bear loss prevention work and loss claims. For more information, visit


Identification of new cattle virus rules out BSE

A new cow virus that causes neurological symptoms reminiscent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has been identified and its genome sequenced by a team of researchers, including scientists at the University of California, Davis. While this particular new virus is unlikely to pose a threat to human health or the food supply, the new findings are critically important because they provide researchers with a relatively simple diagnostic tool by ruling out BSE as the cause of neurological symptoms when they appear in cattle. This new technology will help reassure both ranchers and consumers about food safety and animal health. Results of the study appear online in the September issue of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For a direct link, visit


Impact of Implants on Reproduction

Researchers at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville, Ark., are using orange HeatWatch pads on cows’ backs as part of a study to evaluate the effect implants have on reproduction. Led by UA Department of Animal Science graduate student Tom Devine and overseen by professor Rick Rorie, the HeatWatch system is an automated mount-monitoring system that transmits data via radio signal to a receiver. Using HeatWatch software, researchers can determine if a cow is in estrus or in heat and generate reports indicating specific times, how often and how long the cow was mounted. After individual cows were detected in estrus, they were artificially inseminated (AI) or placed with a bull. The HeatWatch detectors were left on the cows after AI to gather data and to help guide the next phase of research on the effects of three different growth implants on the cows’ reproductive systems. For more information, visit


The American Royal

The American Royal will run from Sept. 5 to Nov. 16. Events include livestock shows, rodeos, barbecue contests and more. Each year, hundreds of America’s youth and livestock breeders travel from across the country to Kansas City, Mo., for a chance to compete at the American Royal Livestock Show. Youth who exhibit prize-winning animals are eligible to participate in the Junior Premium Livestock Auction. A full schedule of cattle shows can be found at Read more at


COOL Preliminary Injunction Denied

In September, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction that would have blocked USDA from implementing and enfor­cing its revised country of origin labeling (COOL) regulations until a lawsuit filed July 8 is concluded. The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), National Farmers Union (NFU), American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) and the Consumer Federation of America were granted their motion to intervene and therefore participate in the injunction hearing.

"We are pleased with the court’s decision to deny the preliminary injunction," says Jon Wooster, USCA president. "If the injunction had been granted, it would have ensured that the U.S. would be in violation of its trade obli­ga­tions under the WTO and also would have further delayed consumers having the type of information Congress has long intended them to have. The revised USDA regulations announced on May 23 will certainly reduce consumer confusion and will allow cattle producers the ability to differentiate their product from foreign beef." For more information, visit


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