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CONTENT

TSLN DEPARTMENTS

Range & Pasture Management 3 Providing weed control in pastures can increase stocking rate 9 Protect your forage investment Forage insurance available to western producers By Heather Hamilton

9

15

Management of Spring Animal Health 21 Scours can be a real sour issue for cow-calf producers

21

37

37 Remain vigilant about fly control in cattle

41

41 Proper care when prolapses occur 29

Dr. Robert Cope discusses the differences in uterine and vaginal prolaspes By Heather Smith Thomas

Agriculture Today 49 Take advantage of cover crops Millborn Seeds offers help to understand importance of cover crops By Amanda Radke

49

54 Planting the seed of agriculture in today’s youth 57 Return addresses for bulls By Jan Swan Wood

Layout Design: Sharla Hayford

NE Sales Rep/ Cattle Marketing Assistant: Carissa Lee (877) 347-9114 • clee@tsln-fre.com

SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR: Dianna Palmer SD – Pierre & North of I-90 West of the River (877) 347-9112 • dpalmer@tsln-fre.com MARKETING EXECUTIVES: Susan Cable SD – South of I-90 Rosebud East Territory Midwest & Eastern NE Territory (888) 648-4449 • scable@tsln-fre.com Steve Bass 2009 Coyote St – PO Box 597 Pierre, SD 57501 800-439-0416 • sbass@tsln-fre.com Sarah Swenson MT, WY Territory and Major Accounts Manager (855) 370-0539 • sswenson@tsln-fre.com CLASSIFIEDS: (877) 347-9122 • classifieds@tsln-fre.com COPYRIGHT. All Rights Reserved.

ERRORS: The Tri-State Livestock News & Farmer & Rancher Exchange shall be responsible for errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement only to the extent of the space covered by the error.

By Heather Hamilton

54

Interim editor: Kelli Fulkerson kfulkerson@tsln-fre.com

CATTLE MARKETING EXECUTIVES: Dan Piroutek (605) 544-3316 Scott Dirk (605) 380-6024 • sdirk@tsln-fre.com

By Heather Smith Thomas

David Boxler, entomologist shares his knowledge about fly control By Gayle Smith

Editor: Alaina Mousel (877) 815-4125 • editorial@tsln-fre.com

SALES DEPARTMENT: Cattle Marketing Manager: Doug Hogan (877) 347-9117 • dhogan@tsln-fre.com

What should producers look for? By Kelli Fulkerson

29 Acute toxic gut infections in newborn calves

ON THE COVER: Calf grazing the green grass of spring along the creek banks near Miles City, MT. Photo by Martha Mintz Coral Creek Communications

Publisher: Sabrina “Bree” Poppe Cell (605) 639-0356 ~ Office 877-347-9104 spoppe@tsln-fre.com

15 Know what you have Rick Rasby teaches you how to test your forage By Gayle Smith

Tri-State Livestock News SERVING THE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY FOR FIVE DECADES

By Gayle Smith

3

2012 Spring Calf & Crop Spectacular!

57

Opinions stated in letters or signed columns do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Tri-State Livestock News.

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2


Providing weed control in pastures can increase stocking rate By Gayle Smith for Tri-State Livestock News

Same site in Furnas County where Chaparral™ was applied in late May. The picture was taken mid-August of the same year. Chaparral™ does an excellent job on most broadleaf pasture weeds. Courtesy photo

3 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


With feed prices on the rise and grazing land becoming more scarce, beef producers are spending more time managing the resources they have. With the summer grazing season coming closer each day, producers should analyze their pastures to determine their overall condition, and what they could do to improve them.

Pasture site in Furnas County, NE, where Chaparral™ (Dow Agrosciencies), a broad spectrum weed control herbicide for range and pasture, was demonstrated. Picture taken before the herbicide was applied in late May. Courtesy photo

I

mprovements to grazing pastures can be very cost-effective for producers. Careful management of the grasses they have can result in more grasses available, higher stocking rates, higher weaning weights, and healthier cows. Noel Mues, extension educator with the University of Nebraska, said producers should look at their summer grazing pastures and determine the overall condition based on the grazing

pressure each pasture has had in the past. “It is important to get a feel for the desirable forages that are there,” he said. “Also, look for areas where there is weed pressure and undesirable plants cropping up to determine the best approach to control them.” Depending upon the individual situation, producers may be able to adjust their stocking rate, or graze - See Providing weed control on page 5 -

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 4


Picture taken in late-May of pasture located in Furnas County, Nebraska. The pasture is in excellent condition because of proper IPM practices. This pasture had a timely treatment of fall herbicide during mid October of the previous year. Courtesy photo

Providing weed control - Continued from page 4 -

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the pasture in a rotational program to control undesirable plants and weeds. By applying timely grazing, grasses have an opportunity to build up root reserves, and produce more herbage. Native species that have become no longer abundant may also be able to reestablish themselves during the rest period. Undesirable plants and weeds can also be managed through chemical spraying. However, producers need to use timely application and read the label directions so they don’t remove the desirable forbs and legumes along with the weeds. “There are some new herbicides available that work well on broad-spectrum weed control,� Mues said. “Products like Milestone can be used in the spring. It has a very short grazing restriction before cattle can be put in that pasture to graze,� he explained. “There are also combination herbicides that some of our producers use, like Chaparral and ForeFront from Dow Agrosciences, that have the same active ingredient as Milestone plus some others for broad spectrum control,� he explained. Controlling thistle, Leafy Spurge is a must Mues encourages producers with Canadian or any other type of thistle to use a chemical like Milestone. “I think it is probably one of the best chemicals we have available for controlling thistle,� he said. “But, I strongly encourage producers to look at the label before they apply it for any grazing restrictions,� he added. Research is currently underway on a new chemical DuPont is producing that would control Leafy Spurge. “It is not on the market yet,� Mues said. “They are still testing it, but it has Aminocyclopyrachlor as its active ingredient,� he added.

5 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


In the meantime, Mues said most producers still rely on Tordon to kill Leafy Spurge. However, since Tordon is a restricted use pesticide, producers need chemical training and an applicator’s license to apply it. Some producers have also found success controlling Leafy Spurge with goats, Mues continued. “If you plan to use goats, you will need a high concentration of animals on a small number of acres,” he ex- See Providing weed control on page 5 -

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2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 6


small areas for high intensive grazing,” he added. Mues said producers have been fortunate that plants are still re-

sponsive to the chemicals applied to kill them. “We haven’t seen plants building up resistance to the chemicals available,” he explained. “Mostly, the plants have been very responsive to treatment.” Develop a grazing strategy to avoid overgrazing Mues encourages producers to develop a grazing strategy, and carefully monitor their pastures so they don’t overgraze. “When a pasture is overgrazed, weeds and other undesirable plants will invade the pasture,” he explained. “If you scout the pasture and find a weed you don’t recognize, I would encourage you to bring it to your local extension office so they can try and get it identified for you. You will want to know what it is and how to control it, before it gets out of hand,” he said. Mues said the University of Nebraska also has specialists, Jerry Volesky and Bruce Anderson, who can help producers manage their rangeland pastures. Mues said management is important because cattle will eat the most desirable and palatable forages first. “They will eat undesirable forages if that is all that is available, but I wouldn’t recommend it,” he said. “Some plants, like a new growth of a winter annual like Downy Brome or cheatgrass, will appeal to cattle while its small,” he continued. “However, once it matures they won’t eat it anymore.” Some undesirable plants species will never appeal to cattle. Mues said, in his area, they have Western Iron Weed, which grows in the bottomland and in draws of the pastures. “Cattle avoid it,” he said. “So, producers have to find other ways to get rid of it,” he added. ✦

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7 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


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Protect your forage investment Forage insurance available to western producers By Heather Hamilton for Tri-State Livestock News

H

e added that an index is calculated for each grid annually, and the expected average value is always 100. Each grid’s index will vary, and producers may have land that falls in multiple grids. Coverage can be purchased for any consecutive three-month time period for any amount of acres owned. These acres do not have

to be contiguous. In some areas there won’t be coverage available for all months of the year, most notably late fall and winter months when production is typically stagnant. “When you’re purchasing coverage, you’re able to choose the level of coverage you want, and establish a trigger level of when the policy will kick in if there is a

loss. However, you may experience a loss in one pasture or hay field, but if the grid makes its index as a whole, you won’t be indemnified. Or, it can go the other way, and say your ground didn’t experience any loss, but the grid index was below 100. Depending on your level of coverage, it’s possible indemnities will be paid out when you didn’t experience loss. It

9 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


“You can think of Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) Insurance as yield insurance. You use it to protect a level of forage production on range or hay ground, and if that production falls for whatever reason, you may be eligible for indemnity payments to cover some of those losses,” explained University of Wyoming Farm and Ranch Specialist, John Hewlett, of the PRF Pilot Insurance Program, which he discussed with producers at WESTI Ag Days in Worland, WY, in February.

doesn’t have to do with your experience right in one spot, but with what occurs within the grid as a whole,” noted Hewlett. When considering the product, producers will have to choose which grid they are purchasing insurance within, the type of coverage, how many acres they’re enrolling,

Satellite imagery is used to calculate vegetation indexes on grids laid out in 4.8 by 4.8 square mile sections in some states, and others calculate indexes based on rainfall as reported by various weather stations. “Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho and Western Colorado use the satellite vegetation index, and Montana, Eastern Colorado and North Dakota use rainfall measurements,” explained Hewlett.

and whether it is rangeland or hay land. “You can evaluate this product on the Internet and see how it would work for your own operation. The Risk Management Agency (RMA) Web site will allow you to select your location, what type of insurance you want to purchase and at what level, and

the months of the year you would purchase it for. The Web site will show the different types of coverage available through the product and the available coverage levels, which can range from 70-90 percent,” said Hewlett. - See Protect your forage investment on page 11 -

Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) insurance options are currently available in western states for both hay lands and native rangelands. Producers can choose a level of coverage, and use tools on the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) Web site to determine if the insurance would be beneficial to their operation. The 2012 enrollment deadline is September 30, giving producers ample time to research and determine if they want to purchase coverage. Photo by John Hewlett

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 10


Protect your forage investment - Continued from page 10 “There is also a protection factor, which you may think of as a percent of the grid average you would typically expect, and it ranges from 60 to 150 percent of production. You can view a graph showing the last five years of production for a specific location. It will have the 100 index line, and give you a feel for what indemnities would have been possible within that time period. This is where you

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start to see whether it would be of benefit to purchase a policy or not,” explained Hewlett. If producers want to look farther back into production levels and possible indemnity payments, there is data included on the Web site back to 1989. Options on the site allow users to select a level of coverage, and choose to see only the years when indemnities would have been paid out

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11 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


in their location, among other things, using data from the last two decades. “You can even chart out that information and put it into a spreadsheet to do further calculations on, if that interests you. That allows you to make your own estimates of what might be reasonable in dollars and cents,” stated Hewlett. In 2011, there were 221 policies sold in Wyoming that insured just over one million acres of range and hay land. Forty-two of those policies were indemnified across the state. For 2012, 172 policies have been sold, insuring 769,000 acres. The annual enrollment date to sign up is September 30. “The PRF insurance does work well in conjunction with some other products for crop protection. The Disaster Assistance Program from the 2008 Farm Bill required that you purchase some type of insurances for almost all of their programs. Whether pasture, rangeland, forage and-or NAP insurance. If you don’t buy one type, you don’t qualify for coverage under several disaster assist programs, and PRF is one product that provides that protection too,” said Hewlett. “PRF Insurance will work best if you enroll and stay enrolled. That way you will have coverage on the year your forage production drops off for whatever reason. Visiting the RMA Web site will provide you with resources to see if it is something that will work on your operation. It also has examples of ranches, and walks you through how those people looked at their insurance needs. If you are interested and don’t know where to purchase PRF Insurance, there is an agent locator on the main RMA page as well,” stated Hewlett of how interested producers can find additional

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Rick Rasby shows the group what a hay probe looks like. A hay probe can be purchased, or the local county extension office may have one they lend out. Courtesy photo

15 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


Know what you have Rick Rasby teaches you how to test your forage By Gayle Smith for Tri-State Livestock News

W

ith forage costs on the rise, beef producers need to find the best way to manage the hay resources they have available. According to Rick Rasby, extension beef specialist with the University of Nebraska, beef producers who purchase hay also need to be concerned with the quality of the product they are buying. Rasby recommends whether the producer is buying hay or growing it himself, he should sample the hay and have it analyzed at a laboratory. “Forage is becoming more and more expensive,” Rasby said. “Producers need to know what they are buying.” “When you look at a bale of hay, it is hard to determine the quality of that hay just by making a visual appraisal,” he continued. “Hay can really vary bale to bale,” he said. “It is like buying a bull just by his phenotype. You can’t see the genetics behind it,” he explained. “It is important to know the nutrient quality of a bale of hay, so if the hay is deficient in something, you know what supplements to purchase to fill the gaps,” Rasby explained. Hay is primarily used as an energy source, but alfalfa can also be used as a protein source if it is of good enough quality, he added.

NIR Analysis nless producers are concerned about hay being mineral deficient, they can take a sample and send it to a lab, where it undergoes an NIR analysis. The Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) analysis uses an infrared light spectrum to measure the organic matter in the sample, Rasby explained. “What I like about this test is it is a rapid method of measuring nutrient value. It is accurate and quick, and most of the time you can send in a test and once they receive it, have the results back by email within 48 hours,” he explained. During the analysis, Rasby said the reflectant is collected and measured against a sample in a library of different types of hay to determine nutrient content. “Most of the NIR libraries for hays are quite large,” Rasby said. “The

U

“Solution of pollution is dilution. If you have hay high in nitrates, you can still feed it. You just need to dilute it with another forage not high in nitrates to prevent nitrate toxicity.” - Ricky Rasby

- See Know what you have on page 17 Rick Rasby shows how to take a sample of a small square bale of hay using a hay probe. When sampling a small, square bale of hay, the probe needs to be stuck in the end of the bale. Courtesy photo

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 16


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Ricky Rasby, beef extension specialist with the University of Nebraska, discusses the importance of sampling hay to determine its quality and feed value. Courtesy photo

Know what you have - Continued from page 16 larger the library, the more accurate the results will be.� Because the NIR test isn’t a chemical analysis, it doesn’t recognize inorganic material like minerals. “It will give a measurement for calcium and phosphorus because they are closely tied to organic material, but a wet chemistry test will be needed to test for other minerals,� he explained. Finding a balance between quality and tonnage he primary factor that affects the quality of forage at harvest is the maturity of the forage at harvest, Rasby said. Alfalfa will typically average 15 percent crude protein, and 56 percent TDN, while native hays average 6 percent crude protein and 52 percent TDN. “As the maturity of the hay increases, the quality will decrease. This is because most of the nutritional value is in the leaves, which start to fall off as the hay matures,� Rasby said. “Tonnage will also increase as maturity increases, which presents a dilemma for the producer as to when is the best time to harvest the hay and get the most value from it,� he added. “If alfalfa averages 1820 percent crude protein, it’s considered high end,� he said. “If it is closer to 12 percent, it is considered lower quality.�

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17 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


Because the quality of hay can vary so much, Rasby recommends producers test their hay for moisture, crude protein, and energy (TDN). If they are planning to feed a summer annual forage like sorghum sudangrass or millet, the hay should also be tested for nitrates. “High nitrates can easily crop up in forages grown under drought conditions, and especially forages grown under drought conditions and fertilized with high nitrogen fertilizer,” he said. If a forage comes back high in nitrates, it can still be utilized, Rasby said. “The lab will tell you the level of toxicity. It will say it is okay, moderately high, or high,” he said. “Solution of pollution is dilution. If you have hay high in nitrates, you can still feed it. You just need to dilute it with another forage not high in nitrates to prevent nitrate toxicity.” Rasby said he has seen instances where producers run into problems with nitrate toxicity after cattle come off a cornfield and are fed a hot bale. When an animal gets nitrate poisoning, nitrates get into the animal’s bloodstream and starve the animal of oxygen causing them to go down,” he said. One way producers can avoid nitrate problems is by setting the cutter head higher when harvesting an annual forage. “Most nitrates are in the bottom six to eight inches of the plant stem,” he said. Producers should determine what they have in the stackyard so they feed the right quality of hay to the right animals. Heifers and especially heifers after calving have the highest protein requirements, so feeding a higher quality of alfalfa can help them meet their nutritional needs. “On the other hand, most cows can get by with 8-9 percent crude protein before calving, so they don’t need as high of a quality forage,” Rasby stated. “However, after calving their nutritional needs

are higher, so they may need a better quality forage at that point,” he added. How to correctly sample forage ay should be sampled using a hay probe, Rasby said. A producer can purchase one, or inquire at their local extension office about borrowing one. When using the hay probe, Rasby said it is important to plunge after each sample so it doesn’t become stuck in the barrel. He also encourages producers to take care of the tips of the hay probe. A powerful drill will also be needed to operate the hay probe for best results. “Tight bales are easier to sample than loose bales because they are easier to probe,” he said.

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- Cont., from page 18 Rasby recommends each cutting of alfalfa be sampled separately. Native hay should be sampled by field, and by cutting since hay can be early cut, middle cut, and late cut. Native hay quality will change throughout the season, he said. Producers should sample one-third of their bales to get a good, representative sample of the forage. If the sample is too big to fit into one bag, Rasby recommends either sending in more than one sample, or mixing the sample until it fits into one bag. An easy way to mix the sample is to lay out some newspaper and dump the sample onto it. Then, mix the sample, half it, and quarter it. Repeat the process until the sample will fit into one bag, he explained. “It is important to take a sample that is representative of what is in the field,â€? he said. “Use a forage probe, and package the sample properly. Don’t dry it down or squeeze the air out of the bag,â€? he said. “It is also important to fill out the paperwork correctly, accurately identifying the sample. Be specific,â€? he added. âœŚ

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When calves are infected with scours they should be given electrolytes to help gain their lost strength back, if a calf is down, producers should use intravenous therapy to administer electrolytes. Courtesy photo

21 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


Scours can be a real sour issue for cow-calf producers What should producers look for? Kelli Fulkerson, Interim editor for Tri-State Livestock News

It is not uncommon for calves to encounter difficulties after birth. The largest issue seen in calves today is scours, which is the name for diarrhea in calves. Diarrhea is a disease of the digestive system, distinctively characterized by watery feces and frequent bowel movements.

S

cours can be caused by one of three infectious microorganisms; bacteria, viruses and parasites. These infectious agents attack the lining of the calves’ gut and cause water loss through the damaged gut wall. Calves can potentially be infected with multiple infectious agents at the same time. Dr. Russ Daly from South Dakota State University Extension discussed the importance of “Knowing what germ producers are looking at when calves develop scours,”

during a recent iGrow radio network show. When producers know what infectious agents are attacking their herd they can tailor treatments to kill the specific outbreak. When analyzing future preventive measures, pre-calving vaccination programs can be modified to target the infectious agents that their individual herd had during pervious calving seasons. Remember to always offer a balanced mineral program to mother cows prior to calving. - See Scours can be on page 23 -

Scours chances of affected a calf can be narrowed, if producers are to give mother cows the proper vaccines before they calve. Photo by Leah Bohlander

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 22


Scours can be: - Continued from page 22 “Many interventions during a scours outbreak are the same regardless of the germ identified,” said Daly. “Providing sick calves with fluids and electrolytes are important in treating all cases of calf diarrhea.” If a calf is strong enough to stand and suckle, offer oral electrolytes which keep acidosis at a minimal level. If a calf is down, oral electrolytes are not enough and intravenous therapy should be administered by a veterinarian. One thing to never do is mix electrolytes with milk, which could interfere with curd formation and cause an even stronger case of scours, due to digestive upset. Daly said, “The only definitive way to identify the germs present in scours outbreaks is an analysis by a

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veterinary diagnostics lab. However there are some factors that producers can keep in mind; age of onset, color of scours and other substances such as blood and mucus.� Calves, during their first few hours of life, are exposed to thousands of organisms that all have their own incubation period. A calf’s age at the time of scours may provide some clues as to what infectious agent is affecting the calf. A very early life calf, 0-5 days of age, usually contracts infections from pathogenic E.Coli strains, type C. Clostridium perfringens and salmonella. Calves ranging from 4-21 days of age, could be affected by viruses such as Rotavirus and Coroavirus. From ages 7-28 days parasites such as, Cryptosporidium can be an issues and even coccidiosis, but this is usually never seen before 28 days of age.

“Many interventions during a scours outbreak are the same regardless of the germ identified,� said Daly. “Providing sick calves with fluids and electrolytes are important in treating all cases of calf diarrhea.�

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2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular â&#x2DC;&#x2026; Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange â&#x2DC;&#x2026; 24


Scours can be: - Continued from page 24 “Bloody stools usually point towards coccidiosis in older (more than 4 weeks of age),” said Daly.

The largest cause of scours is from a lack of adequate intake of colostrum by the calf within the first few hours after birth. Colostrum contains high concentrations

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25 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


“Color of scours to identify what specific pathogens are infecting the calf are not generally useful,”

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of protein antibodies. These antibodies are absorbed directly into the calf’s bloodstream after colostrum is ingested. Colostrum is only available to the calf for a short amount of time and the calf’s ability to absorb these antibodies is limited. The maternal antibodies are the calf’s protection against infectious organisms during the first few weeks of life. Many scours outbreaks are a result of overwhelming exposure to contaminated calving lots and barns. Always make sure to clean calving areas several times during calving season to reduce the risk of bacteria and viruses in the young calf’s environment. Try to move cow-calf pairs - See Scours can be on page 27 -

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 26


Scours can be:

- Continued from page 26 from their local veterinarian. With a general sense of the causes of scours in cattle, aspects of the disease such as treatment, prevention and control can be addressed,â&#x20AC;? concluded Daly. F

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Calving lots or pens should be cleaned frequently during calving season to ensure a clean environment for the calf to spent its first few hours of life in. Photo by Leah Bohlander

      

          

  

 

      

     

        

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Acute gut infections in newborn calves By Heather Smith Thomas for Tri-State Livestock News

N

ewborn calves can develop infection due to bacteria that proliferate rapidly in the gut and produce toxins. If this condition is not treated quickly and reversed, toxins get into the bloodstream and the calf goes into shock and within a few hours will result in death. Warning signs are: severe gut pain (the calf is kicking at the belly region, or runIf a calf can be treated early – at the first signs of acute gut pain or bloat, ning frantically trythere is a good chance of saving him. Infection can be halted with proper ing to get away from the pain, then col- antibiotics, and the shutdown gut can be stimulated with castor oil to start things moving through again. Courtesy photo lapses and thrashes on the ground) and-or “I usually give the calf oral penicillin, since this sudden bloat. This type of in- drug is very effective against clostridial organfection is called enterotoxemia, which isms. It is most effective for this disease if put literally means toxemia (presence of directly into the gut.”

– Dr. Lee Meyring

bacterial toxins in the bloodstream) from bacteria that are normally found in the intestine. Many, but not all bacteria that produce enterotoxemia are found in the intestine of healthy animals; they produce disease when certain conditions allow them to rapidly multiply. The most common type of enterotoxemia in calves is caused by Clostridium perfringens, one of the Clostridia species found in the GI tract of livestock and passed in feces. These bacteria rarely cause gut infections in adult animals, but can - See Acute toxic on page 31 -

29 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


toxic

Usual treatment for a calf with the toxic gut infection that is usually called “colicky bloat” is to give castor oil and neomycin sulfate solution via stomach tube. Photo by Heather Thomas

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 30


Acute toxic: - Continued from page 29 cause fatal disease in calves. There are several types of C. perfringens, however, all these different types can affect calves in different ways, at different ages. The alphabet killers – the types of C. perfringens that cause disease in cattle include types: A, B, C, D and E. These produce several major toxins. As stated by Dr. Francisco Uzal, Professor of Diagnostic Pathology, University of California-Davis. The toxins involved are alpha, beta, epsilon and iota. Every type of C. perfringens produces the alpha toxin. The breakdown on which types produce which toxins is as follows: A-Alpha; B-Alpha, Beta and Epsilon; C-Alpha and Beta; D-Alpha and Epsilon; EAlpha and Iota. “These 4 toxins are called major toxins but there are many other so-called minor toxins. One of the minor toxins is called beta 2, but it has nothing to do with the beta toxin except the name. All types of C. perfringens (A, B, C, D and

Bloat is the most common sign of a toxic gut infection in cattle, treatment should be administered immediately. Photo by Kelli Fulkerson, interim editor

E) may or may not produce beta2. There is also another minor toxin called CPE (Clostridium perfringens entertoxin). All of the types may or may not produce this one, as well – although CPE is mostly produced by type A strains. There are strains of type A, for instance that produce

CPE and there are other strains that do not,” explained Uzal. This complicates the picture. Some of the type strains can thus be more damaging than others. “But in the case of beta2, no one has actually confirmed beyond doubt that this toxin has any damaging affect

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on cattle. This is a relatively newly discovered toxin, found in the late 1990s,” Uzal said. “The second minor toxin, CPE, is important in humans. It can be the second or third (depending on the year) most important cause of foodborne poisoning in humans. It causes diarrhea that lasts a day or two but usually does not require medical treatment – although there have been occasional fatalities in humans. The majority of ‘food poisoning’ cases in the U.S. are caused by E. coli, Salmonella or CPE,” explained Uzal. CPE is not important in cattle. In cattle the main players in producing intestinal disease are the major toxins produced by type A and type C. “Type C produces alpha and beta toxins. It produces disease in many animal species, mostly in the very young – because beta toxin is extremely sensitive to trypsin,” said Uzal. Trypsin is an enzyme produced by the pancreas and the small intestine. It breaks down proteins. “Trypsin is normally found in the GI tract and since it breaks down proteins it also breaks down beta toxins. Thus, trypsin is the natural defense against beta toxins. But newborn animals and human babies have very low levels of trypsin in the gut. If an adult consumes something containing beta toxin, trypsin will break it down. But babies of all species are more vulnerable. This is why type C can cause a disease in very young animals such as calves, piglets, foals, etc,” stated Uzal. This is why we vaccinate the dam ahead of calving, to create antibodies that will be in the colostrum immediately, and hope the calf nurses promptly.

“Type B contains alpha and epsilon toxins, and is traditionally the disease we see in sheep and goats – which is often called overeating disease. However, this particular disease has never been diagnosed in the U.S. Most cases have been reported in the Middle East. Type B often proliferates in the GI tract when there are a lot of carbohydrates. When people talk about enterotoxemia in cattle they are usually referring to type D in older calves, such as in the feedlot, eating grain. However, this is also a rare

form of enterotoxemia in cattle and I’ve only seen a handful of confirmed cases during the past 30 years,” said Uzal. “There are a few cases of type E reported, but they are also rare. This leaves type A as a more common possibility. If you look at the scientific literature, you see that most cases are thought to be caused by type A. But we are not able to confirm whether this really happens. The way we confirm the disease is to detect the toxin in the intestine. Type

- See Acute toxic on page 33 -

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2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 32


Acute toxic: - Continued from page 32 A produces only the alpha toxin. But every type of C. perfringens produces alpha toxin, and this toxin is usually found in the GI tract of normal animals, which makes confirmation of the diagnosis very difficult.” It might be there anyway, and be perfectly harmless. “So if we find type A in the three-month-old calf with an acute gut infection, we don’t really know if the disease was actually caused by C. perfringens type A. It may be caused by some other toxin-forming bacteria,” Uzal said. “I would advise ranchers who have cases of acute toxic gut infection in calves to have a thorough diagnostic workup. Send a freshly dead animal to a diagnostic laboratory to perform a necropsy and investigate any possible cause of gut disease – including BVD, salmonella, E. coli, coronavirus, rotavirus, and so on. A stool sample can also be sent to the lab. Then we might at least find out what could be causing the problem.”

If a calf has a toxic gut infection earning signs are kicking at the abdomen stomach region, bloating, or thrashing themselves on the ground as the calf is doing in this photo. Courtesy photo

“Here in California, we work with many big ranches, and when they see a calf going rapidly downhill, we ask them to bring it to us alive. Then we can put the calf down and have a very fresh body to work with,” he stated. Another possible cause of acute disease in calves might be C. difficile, which can cause acute and severe gut infection in newborn foals (and sometimes adult horses, and in other animal species). “We know very little about this in cattle,

however. We are finding it in calves but since we also find it in healthy animals we don’t know if it is actually causing the disease,” Uzal said. “There may be a few other toxinforming bacteria involved in acute gut disease in calves, including E. coli and maybe a few other organisms we don’t know about.” It is very difficult, without laboratory diagnosis, to know what you are dealing with. Many bacteria, or even some viruses and parasites, can produce similar symptoms.

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There is a vaccine for C. perfringens type A. There have also been a couple vaccines that include this; the United States Department of Agriculture approval. Novartis has a conditional license for their type A vaccine. This vaccine might be worth a try, in some herds. Even if you don’t know exactly what’s causing a problem, if you use a vaccine and the incidence of disease is reduced, this may be a clue. Treatment: If a calf can be treated early – at the first signs of acute gut pain or bloat, there is a good chance of saving him. Infection can be halted with proper antibiotics, and the shutdown gut can be stimulated with castor oil to start things moving through again. Once the toxins get into the bloodstream, however, the calf quickly goes into shock and all the internal organs begin to shut down. At that point it’s more challenging to save the calf. Dr. Lee Meyring, cow-calf veterinarian at Steamboat Springs, CO said that if he suspects C. perfringens type C or D he gives the calf antitoxin. “You can give it through various routes, including orally and intravenous. You can also give Banamine to help reduce the inflammatory reaction and ease the pain,” Meyring said. “I usually give the calf oral penicillin, since this drug is very effective against clostridial organisms. It is most effective for this disease if put directly into the gut.” Another antibiotic that works for treating toxic gut infections is oral neomycin sulfate solution. “If you do a necropsy on the calves that die, it’s amazing how much of the intestine is dead. The bacteria multiply quickly and release massive amounts of toxins. This poison shuts down the gut almost immediately, ” stated Meyring. “If a calf is bloated, I usually give him oil, to help get things moving through – if he’s not so ‘full’ that there’s no room for the oil.” Castor oil often works better than mineral oil, partly because you don’t need as much volume (especially if the calf is already bloated and full) and it also stimulates the gut to move. Mineral oil merely works as a lubricant. The usual dose for castor

oil is two-three ounces for a small calf, up to five or six ounces for a bigger two-three month old calf. You can’t overdose a calf on castor oil, and it may help save him – by absorbing some of the toxins and stimulating the shut-down gut to move things on through. Some calves are severely bloated, and some just have extreme gut pain, without bloating. “Some of these bacteria are tremendous gas-producers and some less – and this may be part of the difference,” said Meyring. “At any rate, the castor oil stimulates things to move through.” Once the calf is in shock, however, the only chance for saving him is to give large amounts of intravenous fluids, along with medication to combat shock. If you can reverse this condition

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2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 34


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35 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


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2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 36


Remain vigilant about fly control in cattle David Boxler, entomologist shares his knowledge about fly control By Gayle Smith for Tri-State Livestock News New feed additive available A new feed additive, ClariFly Larvicide, disrupts the development of horn fly and face fly larvae in the manure of treated cattle. The product, which became available last fall, can be purchased in mineral or as a block from participating livestock feed centers. ClariFly is an insect growth regulator (IGR), which means the animal has to intake that product on a regular basis through the season for it to work, Boxler explained. “If they aren’t eating the material, chances are you aren’t getting maximum control,” he said.

Control with fly tags “We haven’t seen anything new come out this year as far as fly tags,” Boxler said. “We have found the XP 820 ear tag from Y-Tex still offers the greatest control against horn flies,” he added. The problem with fly ear tags, Boxler said, is most producers want to apply a control product before they turn the animals out to grass, and not deal with the animals the rest of the summer. “If producers want to use a fly tag, I recommend they wait until as close to June 1 as they can to get the greatest de-

gree of control throughout the summer,” he explained. “The longer you can postpone ear tagging, the greater degree of control you’ll have toward the end of summer. You cannot tag in early May and expect the tag to last all summer.” Fly control tags like the XP 820 provide about 14 weeks of good fly control, which is about as good as can be expected in Nebraska, Boxler said. “When producers brand in May, they like to apply the tag then, but there are very few flies,” he explained. “What happens is the tag is releasing product, but the pro-

37 H Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange H 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


I

f a producer fails to provide adequate horn fly control for his cattle, he may be looking at a 4-15 percent reduction in weaning weight. In addition, if the cattle are located in an area with stable flies, calves may be losing up to a half pound of gain a day. Face flies can also transmit diseases like pinkeye, which can be difficult to treat when cattle are grazing. Although vaccines exist to guard against pinkeye, producers need to consult with a veterinarian to select the vaccine with the best

prevention against the strain of pinkeye the cattle have. Fly control is important, and can be a successful management tool if used correctly. According to David Boxler, entomologist with the West Central Research and Extension Center, producers need to evaluate their management style, when their cattle go to grass, and how much access they have to the animal once it goes to grass to determine the best method of fly control.

Cattle in pasture being sprayed with mist blower for stable fly treatment. This should be reapiled once a week throughout the fly season. Courtesy photo

A1 Mist Blower Sprayer used during the evaluation of mist blower sprayer methodology for the reduction of stable flies on pastured cattle. Courtesy photo

ducer is getting very little benefit from it.” “Our studies have indicated to get the most dollar from your investment, the tag needs to be applied around June 1,” he

stated. “Normally, you will start to see an increase in horn flies around the last week of May. Horn flies will be around until mid-Sep-

tember, and maybe even later if we don’t see a frost,” he said. “We could see horn fly numbers through the end of September if the weather is mild.” Boxler said scientists continue to pursue research of a slow release fly tag system, but the technology hasn’t been completely developed, and is very expensive. In the meantime, producers need to consider rotating through the different classes of fly tags on an annual basis to prevent the flies from building up a resistance to the fly control currently available. - See Remain vigilant on page 39 -

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular H Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange H 38


Cow infected with face flies. Courtesy photo

Not only do producers battle horn flies and face flies, but stable flies are also becoming more of a threat in some areas. A pastured animal with stable flies on their front legs. Courtesy photo

Remain vigilant: - Continued from page 38 Three classes of fly tags are currently on the market – organophosphates, synthetic pyrethroids, and Abamectin (macrocyclic lactone) . Stable flies becoming a bigger threat Not only do producers battle horn flies and face flies, but stable flies are also becoming more of a threat in some areas. “Fly tags aren’t totally effective in reducing stable flies,” Boxler said. “Because of that, we have been focusing our research on developing an effective treatment method for stable flies.” Currently, Boxler recommends treatment by spraying the affected animals with a mist blower sprayer or power sprayer. “We have found it will reduce the stable fly numbers by 72 percent, if it is done correctly,” he explained. “It needs to be reapplied once a week throughout the fly season.”

A pastured animal with 179 horn flies, economic injury level (EIL) is 200 horn flies per animal. Courtesy photo

A mist blower sprayer can be mounted in a pickup bed or on flatbed. When a producer is refilling salt and mineral, or checking on windmills weekly, they can use the mist sprayer on the cattle at that time. “This has become a popular method of controlling stable flies by some livestock producers in the Nebraska Sandhills,” Boxler said. “In addition, this type of spray methodology is also very effective for reducing horn flies and face flies.” The downside of the mist sprayer is the initial cost, Boxler continued. “The average cost of a mist blower sprayer is around $6,500,” he said. “However, if you treat it right, it could last 10-15 years. You can also use it to spray weeds in the pasture,” he added. The sprayer can be cleaned with a mixture of 10 percent ammonium and water flushed through the system, which will neutralize any products in the sprayer. Evaluating fly control A producer should check their cattle between 8-11 a.m. to evaluate whether their fly control is working. “Look for horn flies on the sides and backs of your cattle,” Boxler explained. “If there are enough flies to cover a couple silver dollars, you may want to reevaluate the fly control method you are using. A couple silver dollars are the equivalent of a couple hundred horn flies. Two hundred horn flies per animal is considered to be the economic injury level,” he added. Boxler said morning is the best time to evaluate horn fly control because flies will be resting on the top and sides of the cattle. As temperatures increase, horn flies move downward to the belly region of an animal where they remain until day time temperatures fall, he explained. ✦

Pastured cow with 503 horn flies, economic injury level (EIL) is 200 horn flies per animal. Courtesy photo

39 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


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2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 40


Typically cows are given an injection of local anesthetic when someone begins the task of cleaning up and replacing the inverted organ. This will keep her from straining. Photo by Ree Drummond

(Right) The sooner the uterus is replaced, the less damage it will suffer, and the less chance for serious complication. Photo by Ree Drummond

41 â&#x2DC;&#x2026; Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange â&#x2DC;&#x2026; 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


If the uterus is not out very long, and is kept clean and undamaged until it can be replaced, the cow generally recovers. Most cows that prolapse will re-breed, and have no problems with the next calving season. Repetition of this condition is rare, so if she is a good cow, it’s usually worth the gamble to keep her. Photo by Ree Drummond

Proper care when prolapses occur By Heather Smith Thomas for Tri-State Livestock News

T

wo problems that sometimes occur during calving season are vaginal and uterine prolapses. Both are situations that must be corrected, but a uterine prolapse is more of an emergency. Uterine prolapse occurs soon after the cow calves, while vaginal prolapses generally occur before calving – sometimes as much as several weeks – and can occur at other times of the year at earlier stages of pregnancy.

Dr. Robert Cope discusses the differences in uterine and vaginal prolaspes Prolapse of the uterus: A calf has just been pulled. It was not that difficult. But the cow gives a few more strains, and out comes her uterus. Or your conducting preg-

nancy checks on new calves that were born unassisted, and find a cow standing there licking the calf, with her uterus hanging down behind her.

Prolapsed uterus’s usually occurs within a few minutes – to a couple hours after calving, while the cervix is still dilated, according to Dr. Robert Cope, Salmon, ID. If a cow keeps straining because of continued contractions and after-pains, she may push the uterus out. This can happen whether or not the birth was easy or difficult. Cope explained that after the cow calves, the far end of one or both uterine horns may begin to turn inside itself. “This gives the cow the opportunity to push against it. To lessen the likelihood of uterine prolapse, I - See Proper care on page 43 -

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 42


Proper care: - Continued from page 42 always try to get the cow up as soon as possible after pulling a calf. Getting her up and moving around will usually make the uterus drop back down in the abdominal cavity and straighten the uterine horns. Without a partially inverted horn against which to strain, it is difficult for a cow to prolapse.”

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Take several stitches across the vulva to hold it closed and prevent future prolapses. Stitches should be anchored in the haired skin at the sides of the vulva. This skin is thick and tough and won’t tear out as easily as the skin of the vulva itself (and is also less sensitive and less painful for the cow when you are stitching). Photo by Ree Drummond

A prolapsed uterus is always a serious emergency, and a vet should be called as soon as the condition is discovered, unless you are experienced at putting this organ back in. The forty-odd pound mass of fragile tissue hanging from the cow can be a life-threatening situation unless it is replaced quickly. If weather is cold, the exposed uterus serves as an outlet for loss of body heat; the cow may chill or go into shock and die. If the cow happens to lie on, step, or kick the uterine tissue hanging past her hocks, she may rupture a major artery and quickly bleed to death. During pregnancy the uterus has a very large blood supply to take care of the developing fetus, and these large arteries can have nearly the size and pressure of a garden hose.

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43 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


“When the uterus turns inside out, these arteries are on the inside surface of this large organ. If an artery ruptures, the cow may bleed to death within 5-10 minutes. By the time you realize what is happening, it is too late to do anything about it,” said Cope. The inverted uterus is easily bruised, and will become infected if the cow is lying on the ground or if it becomes covered with manure. The cow needs antibiotics after the prolapse is replaced. She will more than

likely have to fight off infection. The sooner the uterus is replaced, the less damage it will suffer, and the less chance for serious complication. The veterinarian will probably give the cow an injection of local anesthetic when he begins the task of cleaning up and replacing the inverted organ. This will keep her from straining. The uterus must be thoroughly cleaned and washed, before it can be put back.

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2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 44


Proper care: - Continued from page 44 The next step is to keep the cow from pushing it right back out again. The vet may give the cow another injection of local anesthetic afterward

to keep her from straining, or put a few sutures across the vaginal opening to keep the organ from being pushed out again, until the cervix has contracted and there is no danger of recurrence. The stitches can be removed in a few days.

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If the uterus is not out very long, and is kept clean and undamaged until it can be replaced, the cow generally recovers. Most cows that prolapse will re-breed, and have no problems with the next calving season. Repetition of this condition is

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45 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


rare, so if she is a good cow, it’s usually worth the gamble to keep her. Sometimes, however, the prolapse is followed in an hour or so by death of the cow, due to internal bleeding. The weight of the uterus hanging down can tear some of the tissues, rupturing major arteries. But in most cases, even when there has been bruising and contamination, the uterus will heal and the cow will fully recover. Prolapse of the uterus should not be confused with prolapse of the vagina (a condition which usually occurs before calving, in the heavily pregnant cow). The vaginal prolapse is a pink mass of tissue about the size of a large grapefruit or even a volleyball, whereas the inverted uterus is a much larger, longer mass, more deep red, and covered with the “buttons” on which the placenta attached. Vaginal prolaspe: This is a common problem, and generally occurs before calving. “Many things can cause a cow to strain until the vagina prolapses, including vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina), estrus, breeding, or the presence of the calf’s head or feet within the pelvic canal,” said Cope. Some cows have a structural weakness of the reproductive tract that allows part of the vagina to prolapse during late pregnancy, and this is an inherited problem. Some bulls sire daughters that tend to prolapse, and they may pass this tendency to their offspring. Never keep a bull from a cow that prolapses, since some of his daughters will have this weakness. Cull any cow that proplases, and never keep a daughter from her. Occasionally a cow will prolapse her vagina for other reasons, but the most common cause is from pressure and weight of the large uterus in late pregnancy. When the cow is lying down (especially if her hind end is downhill), this pressure may cause the vaginal tissue to prolapse. Mild prolapses (a bulge the size of an orange or grapefruit) will usually go back in when the cow gets up. But if she starts to prolapse each time she is lying down, or strains a little while lying there, the tissues may be forced out farther, to the point they cannot go back in. Sometimes

the presence of a mild prolapse will stimulate the cow to begin straining, making the situation worse. Then she has a mass of vaginal tissue bulging out, becoming damaged and dirty, and possibly infected. According to Cope, the vaginal wall is not a sterile environment,

so infection is not the primary concern. “The main problem is that once these tissues are turned inside out, the returning blood supply from the prolapsed area becomes restricted, making the tissue swell. The longer - See Proper care on page 47 -

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2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 46


Ranches for Sale Lazy JS Ranch—Newcastle, WY Low overhead yearling or cow/calf operation with a total of 8,916 acres including 5,195 deeded acres, an adjacent 3,641 acre Nat’l Grasslands grazing permit & 80 acres of State lease. Hard-grass country located between Newcastle & Wright on Hwy 450. Livestock water is strategically located throughout the ranch with 5 wells on the deeded land and 2 seasonal creeks. Here’s a combination of productive cattle country with good water resources, excellent year round access and recreational potential. $2,500,000

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Boles Canyon Retreat—Custer Co, SD 40 acres bordering National Forest on 3 sides. One of the last year round places before entering the Forest. Comfortable 3 bedroom home with spacious living room, formal dining, office, artist’s studio, sun room. The well-kept lawn with shade trees makes the perfect venue for outdoor gatherings. Shop, ATV storage, numerous barns, & sheds. A unique Black Hills treasure at the south end of Boles Canyon. About 1.5 hour drive from Rapid City. $475,000

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Proper care: - Continued from page 46 it is left outside of the cow’s body, the more swelling that occurs, and the harder it becomes to replace. If the cow is near calving, this swelling may make the birthing process difficult. For these reasons, vaginal prolapses should be repaired as soon as possible, even though the condition is not usually life-threatening,” he said. Some heavily pregnant cows strain when passing manure while lying down, or just from the irritation of a mild prolapse, making a small problem into a larger one. If the prolapse is large (volleyball size) the bladder may become involved; the urinary passage has pressure on it, the cow cannot urinate until the prolapsed tissue is pushed back inside. She may strain to urinate (unsuccessfully), aggravating the problem further. If the tissue has been prolapsed several hours or longer, it will be covered with manure. It should be cleaned off before being pushed back, or irritation from contamination will cause inflammation and infection. Wash it gently with warm water and a mild disinfectant before pushing it back in. If a prolapse has been out for several days before it is discovered, the tissues may be dry and damaged, and harder to clean up and push back in. Some cows prolapse every calving season during late pregnancy, even after the tissues are replaced. To correct this problem, restrain the cow, clean up the protruding tissue and push it back in, then take several stitches across the vulva to hold it closed and prevent future prolapses. Umbilical tape is ideal suture material for this purpose – less likely to pull out than regular suture thread. A large curved surgical needle is best for making the stitches. “The stitches should be anchored in the haired skin at the sides of the vulva. This skin is thick and tough and won’t tear out as easily as the skin of the vulva itself (and is also less sensitive and less painful for the cow when you are stitching). It usually takes at least three cross stitches to keep the vulva safely closed so the inner tissue cannot prolapse if the cow strains. She can

47 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


still urinate through the stitches, but the vulva cannot open enough for prolapse,” said Cope. If she is stitched, she must be watched closely as her time approaches to calve. The stitches must be removed when she starts to calve or she will tear them out, or worst case, have difficulty calving. When she goes into labor, stitches can be cut with surgical scissors, tin snips or a very sharp knife – whatever you have on hand to cut them with quickly and easily without poking the cow – and pulling gently out. Once she calves, the pressure that caused the prolapse will no longer exist, and she generally won’t have any more problems until late in the next pregnancy. Most ranchers cull a cow once she has prolapsed, because of the likelihood she will do it again next year. Offspring from such a cow should never be kept for breeding stock. ✦

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2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 48


Take advantage of cover crops Millborn Seeds offers help to understand importance of cover crops By Amanda Radke for Tri-State Livestock News

In a fast-growing trend to diversify, add value, improve soil quality and provide additional grazing resources for livestock, the use of cover crops in farm and ranch operations is a quickly growing trend that isn’t soon to go away. With cost-sharing grants available through the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the opportunity for a more efficient livestock feeding system is one to take advantage of.

“W

inter forage accounts for 70 percent of costs in a cow-calf operation,” said Justin Fruechte, Millborn Seeds forage special-

ist. Fruechte spoke at a winter meeting for the South Dakota Farm Bureau Association’s Young Farmers and Ranchers group. “Cover crops can be used as free solar energy to promote year-round growth and use of your land. Land values are high, and cover crops help get the most out of each acre.” For those considering adding cover crops for the first time, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. “Selecting the right cover crop seed is critical,” stressed Fruechte. “With the correct blend for your land, cover crops can increase crop yield by 12 percent with every 1 percent increase in organic matter that cover crops promote. Talk to your area NRCS representative or a respected seed salesman to determine the appropriate blend.” Peter Sexton, South Dakota State University (SDSU) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) state coordinator, offered advice on the benefits of different blends. “Cover crops can be used to address a variety of soil issues,” he explained. “For example, Brassicas, which usually consist of a blend with turnips and radishes, are helpful in reducing compaction of the soil, fixing problems such as surface crusting, plow layer compaction and subsoil compaction. To address nitrogen needs of the soil, look, plant lentils or peas. Livestock producers are using blends with more grasses in it because the brassicas by themselves tend to be low in fiber. The blends are dependent on their goals.” “For salinity management, where excess salts reduce plant growth, consider salt-tolerant crops like beats, barley and rape, which can also be used as livestock forage,” added Fruechte. Both agree that cover crops are a useful tool for anyone wanting to improve the land, increase efficiencies and diversify their operations. “People are becoming more interested in cover crops as a way to improve soil quality,” said Sexton. “It’s a good fit where people are raising small grains, and they have time to add in a blend. We will probably see more of this down the road, as people gain experience with it and find what blends work on - See Take advantage on page 51 The benefits of cover crops are hard to ignore, and with cost-sharing grants offered through NRCS, the opportunity to experiment with blends is ready for the taking. Courtesy photo

49 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


“Winter forage accounts for 70 percent of costs in a cow-calf operation,” said Justin Fruechte, Millborn Seeds forage specialist. Photo by Amanda Radke

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 50


Take advantage: - Continued from page 49 their place. We have several studies in the works that will enhance the information that’s already available on cover crops. We are looking at winter rye as a cover crop for soybeans. We are also looking at nitrogen credits for cover crops. We are also doing preliminary work looking at clovers interceded into rye grass. Additionally, we are looking at nitrogen-release rates from different cover crops. We are trying to find something that will fit into the soybean and corn system as a cover crop. We are also looking at energy costs of production to evaluate how much energy it takes to produce a bushel of corn. The big draw for energy is nitrogen fertilizer.” With SDSU research well-underway, the use of cover crops will continue to grow and can be better applied and managed by producers in the future. A recent study con-

ducted by Iowa State University (ISU) revealed 5-10 percent corn yield jump using erosion-slowing cover crops. The four-year study showed that cover crops can improve corn yields, by as much as 10 percent, when used as a soil-saving approach to farming. According to the study, planing living mulch between rows of corn will help maintain soil moisture, slow soil erosion and sequester carbon. The study looked at the effect on the soil of removing corn stalks, cobs and leaves to use as biomass for producing cellulosic-based ethanol. Using cover crops helps to maintain the carbon in the soil and reduce erosion. “The challenges of cover crops are that the crops come off the field so late, and it can be hard to get something in behind them,” said Sexton. “Also, moisture is a challenge, too. A really dry fall can really hurt the growth of cover crops.”

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“The time of seeding is important,” said Fruechte. “The crop must reach maturity to prevent volunteer growth in the following year. Also, consider the method of planting. Using broadcast, drill or air seeder, the method impacts rates because of various seed sizes in the blend. Understand your goals before choosing a blend; whether you’re planting cover crops for grazing, nitrogen fixing or compaction, reducing residue or increasing organic matter, a reputable seed company can help you select the best blend for you.” Bloat is always a major concern when turning cattle out into a cover crop field. NRCS offers ways to reduce the risk of bloat. “Don’t introduce hungry animals in to a field; introduce animals slowly or restrict access over a 7-10 day period; provide dry matter (hay, millet hulls, dry pasture, or crop stalks) to the cattle when they are grazing in the cover crop field; the cover crop species should be at least 25 percent grasses and not be more than 70-80 percent brassicas; strip graze if possible to get the best utilization of the cover crop plants. Strip grazing will cause the animal to utilize the entire plant instead of the leafy portion of the brassica plant first and the bulb later; use bloat blocks where ever practical.” Despite a few areas of caution to be made when grazing cover crops, Fruechte said the benefits for cover crops in a livestock grazing system are numerous and hopes producers will consider using them as a beneficial addition to their feeding programs. “Cover crops reduce feed costs, provide high-protein content for efficient gains, are very cold tolerant and regrow quickly,” he said. “For $10-20 per acre, you can promote soil health, increase yields on your crops and add another feed source for your cattle.” “Cover crops have a role to play in adding diversity and improving soil quality; they are here to stay and can be used,” added Sexton. The benefits of cover crops are hard to ignore, and with cost-sharing grants offered through NRCS, the opportunity to experiment with blends is ready for the taking. ✦

51 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


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53 H Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange H 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) Committee members Chad Sears, Raenell Taylor and Chalsey Kortes read the 2012 Ag Books for Kids book, Seed Soil Sun, to a classroom of third graders. Following the book, the committee members lead the class in a seed planting activity, and left each student with their own cup of seeds to watch for growth. Teachers were given supplemental materials to accompany the activity, including a list of the state teaching standards it met. Courtesy photo

Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) Chair Chalsey Kortes asked students to identify various seeds during a classroom visit in late 2011 as part of the Wyoming Farm Bureau YF&R Ag Books for Kids Program. The program is designed to get farmers and ranchers into classrooms to read an ag book to kids and lead a supporting activity designed to further enhance the books subject. Courtesy photo

Planting the seed of agriculture

in today’s youth By Heather Hamilton for Tri-State Livestock News

E

verything from planting seeds and baking bread to reading ag-based literature and meeting farmers and ranchers face to face is occurring in schools across western states thanks to various groups with the goal of educating today’s youth on where their food really comes from. “It is important to educate school children about where their food comes from at a young age. You can make such an impact; they will go talk to their parents about what they

learned and about how they met a farmer or rancher, and you can plant that seed and let them realize how important agriculture is in everyday life,” stated Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Coordinator Kerin Clark of the reward, and reason why, it is so important to educate young people on where their food comes from. The Wyoming YF&R Committee has a program called Ag Books for Kids that is in its eighth year in the state. The primary goal of the program is to get ag books into elemen- See Planting the seed on page 53 -

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 54


Montana elementary students learn about noxious weeds found in their state by studying silk replicas. Agriculture in Montana Schools volunteers presented the information, and provide free ag-oriented educational materials for grades K-8 to over 600 schools across the state that are specifically designed to meet teaching standards. Courtesy photo

Planting the seed: - Continued from page 52 tary schools so children have the opportunity to check out and read the books. Supplemental teaching materials and activities, all of which meet state teaching standards, are also available to teachers. The program also hosts an annual, statewide coloring contest for Kindergarten and first graders, a poster contest for second and third graders and a book review contest for fourth and fifth graders. “Our YF&R Committee reviews and selects a book each year, and our grassroots County Farm Bureaus are who purchase the books for their local schools. County members and our YF&R Committee are really the backbone of the program. These are actual farmers and ranchers that go into local schools and read the book and do activities with the students across the state,” explained Clark of the great opportunity the program offers for students to meet and hear from actual agriculture producers. Even the Wyoming Governor backs the program. Clark said current Governor Matt Mead followed a trend set several years ago of declaring an Annual Week of Ag Literacy for the week of February 13, 2012. “It’s so important, and emphasizes to the schools, teachers and students that our Governor thinks it’s important to read books, and non-fiction books about agricultures. It places a great emphasis on the importance of this project,” she noted. In Montana, the Agriculture in Montana Schools Program (AMS) was started in 1983. Original member and current State Vice President Carol Anne Sparks explained that the organization is an independent entity run completely by volunteers. Their mission is to promote agriculture to students in order

to help them become educated voters and make smart food purchasing decisions with the knowledge of how safe our country’s food supply is. “We have teaching materials available for grades K-8., and many of them are on CD today. There are 625 schools in Montana with more than 10 students, and all of those schools have our materials, at no charge. We provide the resources so that teachers can incorporate agriculture into their lessons within any subject. With everything teachers have to teach to meet standards today, it’s hard to incorporate a new subject, so we provide lessons within math, science, reading, English and history that include agriculture in some way,” noted Sparks. The group also provides teacher training, where teachers can obtain 1-2 Continuing Education credits, and are working to get a mandatory, one credit, college level course in teaching agriculture incorporated at multiple Montana universities. Sparks explained that a required course or workshop helping educate teachers on agriculture would benefit everyone. “We also host an annual bumper sticker contest for younger grades, and an essay contest for Seventh through Tenth graders. Winners of the essay contest get a trip to Bozeman, and spend three days on campus at MSU, where we show them all the different things that are ag related, beyond becoming a farmer or rancher,” said Sparks. South Dakota’s Ag in the Classroom program is under the new leadership of Ann Price, and she is excited to grow the program over the next several years. “We encourage teachers to utilize an agbased curriculum in their classroom. We pro-

55 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


While learning about the many uses of corn, Montana students studied packing peanuts, which include corn starch as an ingredient. Agriculture in Montana Schools (AMS) provided the hands-on lesson about the versatile crop during a classroom visit. AMS also provides ag education opportunities to teachers in their state, and are working to get a mandatory, one credit course in teaching agriculture included in the education curriculum at numerous Montana universities. Courtesy photo

vide curriculum in any subject matter that utes at each station learning about that topic. will meet state standards, and our curricuThen we had a packet for all the teachers to lums are specifically designed to be suppletake back with them that included additional mental and complimentary without adding lesson plans and activities,” said Price. anything extra for the teacher,” noted Price, “I am also hoping to become more interacadding that many of the lesson plans were tive online with the program in the future. I designed by current and former teachers in think a blog would be beneficial, and allow the state. teachers to communicate with other teachers, During National Ag Week, March 5-9, nuand with me and our volunteers, about what merous volunteers went into South Dakota works well for them and what doesn’t, and classrooms to teach to get questions answered kids about agriculture Want to help, or learn more? The Wyo- and to just provide a way face to face. Some ming Ag Books for Kids, Agriculture in to communicate about the communities brought Montana Schools and South Dakota Ag program,” said Price of the kids to a field day, in the Classroom programs all work with future goals for Ag in the where various stations volunteers, and are always looking for ag Classroom. hosted animals, crops, producers to help educate youth. All three “One example of how equipment, and where programs are also happy to help with any rewarding and critical it is kids were allowed to education related efforts. Their contact in- to teach kids about agriget a hands-on experi- formation is list below: culture comes from when I ence. read to a first grade WyoPrice also partnered ming class from a dairy Wyoming Farm Bureau Ag with South Dakota Exbook about butter, cream Books for Kids Program tension to host a, “Kids and milk. My question www.wyfb.org Take Stock in Ag and was, ‘where does your food Please go to the education tab Science,” booth at the come from?’ Their answer for additional information Black Hills Stock Show was, ‘The grocery store.’ Contact Kerin Clark in 2012, and hopes Three years later, I’m still 307-532-2002 to make it an annual reading to that same group kclark@wyfb.org event for Ag in the of kids, and when I asked Agriculture in Montana Schools Classroom. them that same question www.aginmontanaschools.rog “We had five stathis year, they all answered Contact Carol Anne Sparks tions: branding, eggs, with, ‘farmers and ranch406-778-2320 wool, aerodynamics ers,’” stated Clark of the sparks@midrivers.com and water. We invited great potential found in edall the elementary ucating youth about where South Dakota Ag in the Classroom schools in the area to their food and fiber comes www.agclassroom.org bring their K-5 stufrom, and why it is so imContact Ann Price dents, and all the kids portant. ✦ 605-853-6040 got to spend 10 minsdagclassroom@yahoo.com

2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 56


Return addresses for bulls By Jan Swan Wood for Tri-State Livestock News

B

ulls are notorious for going places they aren’t authorized to go, so it’s always handy to have them identifiable for other folks who see them. A brand is one form of identification, of course, but not all brands are easily read, or the person seeing the bull isn’t able to read it. Generally, a bull will look at a person, so, an ear tag is another option for identification. We put a cow-sized ear tag with our last name and home phone number clearly printed on it in the bull’s ear so whoever sees him can call us and let us know. If the ear tag fades, it’s simple to replace it when the bull is in the chute being tested in the spring. ✦ A bull with a cow-sized ear tag with the ranch name and telephone number, is a great way to identify what rancher he belongs to. Photo by Jan Swan Wood

57 ★ Tri-State Livestock News / Farmer & Rancher Exchange ★ 2012 Calf & Crop Spectacular


JD Hewitt 605-347-1100

email: jd@hewittlandcompany.com

Tyson Hewitt 605-206-0034 email: tyson@hewittlandcompany.com

13167 Arapahoe Dr. Piedmont SD Office phone/fax 605.791.2300 www.hewittlandcompany.com

Kendall Smith 605-222-6261 email: kendall@hewittlandcompany.com

Parker Ranch

The Parker Ranch is comprised of 4,320 ac deeded and 800 ac state and private leased land, totaling 5,120+/- ac. The ranch is located in Northwestern SD, only 3.5 miles off a paved hwy. Rabbit Creek (live) and Lottie’s Creek both cross the ranch providing excellent protection and a live water source. The productivity is outstanding, complimented by 1,100+/- acres of cultivated land currently in hay production. A summer possession could be acquired.

The ranch is priced to sell at $2,500,000

LD

JUST SO

Butte County, SD

Large working ranch 12,465+/- acres Deeded with approx. 1,400 acres cultivated. Two homes, Barns, Large sheds/Calving barns, Pipe corals, Certified digital scale, Deep well with miles of pipeline and tanks. Sulfer Creek flows through the property for over four miles.

Priced at $4,550,000 Lotton Ranch

Located in SW South Dakota and NW Nebraska, this ranch is comprised of; 8,720+/- acres deeded, 640 acres state lease, and 467 AUM’s lease in the Buffalo Gap Nat’l Grassland. (There are 4,000+/- acres which are or have been in cultivation, current CRP contract on 1,000 acres and 2,706 base acres.) Indian Creek crosses the ranch for three miles, two homes, headquarter facilities, water pipeline, and abundant wildlife.

Priced at $4,046,000 LaDuke Property

This property consists of 160 acres of which 137.5 acres are irrigable from the Belle Fourche Irrigation District. County roads border both the East and West sides of the property, as well as power and rural water. Great views and access combined with good production and income potential allow for several viable options with this property.

Price $184,000

Seaman Property

NG I D N E P SALE

The Seaman property contains 160 acres in Northern Meade County, SD which provides convenient access to both Sturgis as well as Spearfish, yet maintains a private setting. Pasture and hay fields surround the property and the closest residence is ¾ mile to the east. Power is nearby with rural water on the property.

Priced at: $160,000


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2012 Spring Calf and Crop  

A publication created to offer farmers and ranchers the best source of information about this year's spring crops and calves.

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