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10 Healthcare Tips for Farmers What’s Your Marketing Plan? How to Add Value to Your Calves

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alves are hitting the market all over the country. With ample feed supplies and long-term futures telling us the market trend is lower, it will be tough to get much for feeder cattle, especially those that haven’t been weaned or vaccinated. Yearling cattle that have been weaned and vaccinated will trade much better, although it still won’t be any kind of a runaway market. Preconditioning programs will be especially important this year. Calves will be tough to start in a feedlot situation this year because stress really isn’t something they are used to when you take them to a different environment. If you can get your calves weaned, vaccinated and started on feed ahead of selling them, it will add a lot of value to them. Preconditioning is a pretty good way to get $10 or $15 per hundred more for your calves at sale time.

Our risk management and video program will help you lock in the sale price for your cattle regardless of what the market is today. Now is a good time to wean some of the calves that are weighing 600 or 700 pounds. Lock in the price, and then deliver them in November or early December. I think that will get them into a better market.

Bailey Moore: Granby, MO M(417)540-4343

Skyler Moore: Mount Vernon, MO M(417)737-2615

ARKANSAS Dolf Marrs: Hindsville, AR H(479)789-2798, M(479)790-2697

MISSOURI Dan Haase: Pierce City, MO M(417)476-2132

Billy Ray Mainer: Branch, AR M(479)518-6931

Jim Hacker: Bolivar, MO H(417)326-2905, M(417)328-8905

Jr. Smith: Melbourne, AR M(870-373-1150

Bruce Hall: Mount Vernon, MO M(417)466-5170

Kent Swinney: Gentry, AR H(479)736-4621, M(479)524-7024

Mark Harmon: Mount Vernon, MO M(417)316-0101

I’m an optimistic thinker. I still see a lot of opportunity in buying cattle and selling them on video. There are opportunities out there. Develop a marketing strategy for your cattle where you can add some value to them using homegrown forages, and then reap as much out of them as you can. Those of you that are entrepreneurs can still make some money in this business, but it will require you to stay on top of your game from a marketing standpoint.

KANSAS Chris Martin (Video Rep): Alma, KS M(785)499-3011

Bryon Haskins: Lamar, MO M(417)850-4382

Good luck and God bless.

John Simmons: Westville, OK M(918)519-9129, M(417)310-6348


Alice Myrick: Mapleton, KS H(620)743-3681, M(620)363-0740 Bob Shanks: Columbus, KS H(620)674-3259, M(620)674-1675 LOUISIANA James Kennedy: DeRidder, LA M(337)274-7406 CATTLE RECEIVING STATION OKLAHOMA Russell Boles: Watson, OK M(903)276-1544 Chester Palmer: Miami, OK H(918)542-6801, M(918)540-4929

Shane Stierwalt: Shidler, OK M(918)688-5774 Troy Yoder: Chouteau, OK M(918)640-8219 MISSOURI Rick Aspegren: Mountain Grove, MO M(417)547-2098 Clay Barnhouse: Bolivar, MO M(417)777-1855 Sherman Brown: Marionville, MO H(417)723-0245, M(417)693-1701

Mark Henry: Hurley, MO H(417)369-6171, M(417)464-3806 J.W. Henson: Conway, MO H(417)589-2586, M(417)343-9488 CATTLE RECEIVING STATION Joe David Hudson: Jenkins, MO H(417)574-6944, M(417)-342-4916 Steve Hunter: Jasper, MO H(417)525-4405, M(417)439-1168 Larry Jackson: Carthage, MO H(417)358-7931, M(417)850-3492 Jim Jones: Crane, MO H(417)723-8856, M(417)844-9225 Chris Keeling: Purdy, MO M(417)860-8941 Kelly Kissire: Anderson, MO H(417)845-3777, M(417)437-7622 Larry Mallory: Miller, MO H(417)452-2660, M(417)461-2275 Kenny Ogden: Lockwood, MO H(417)537-4777, M(417)466-8176 Jason Pendleton: Stotts City, MO M(417)437-4552 Charlie Prough: El Dorado Springs, MO H(417)876-4189, M(417)876-7765

Joel Chaffin: Ozark, MO M(417)299-4727

Dennis Raucher M(417)316-0023

Rick Chaffin: Ozark, MO H(417)485-7055, M(417)849-1230

Russ Ritchart: Jasper, MO M(417)483-3295

Jack Chastain: Bois D’Arc, MO H(417)751-9580, M(417)849-5748

Lonnie Robertson: Galena, MO M(417)844-1138

Ted Dahlstrom, DVM: Staff Vet Stockyards (417)548-3074 Office (417)235-4088

Alvie Sartin: Seymour, MO M(417)840-3272 CATTLE RECEIVING STATION

Tim Durman: Seneca, MO H(417) 776-2906, M(417)438-3541

Jim Schiltz: Lamar, MO H(417)884-5229, M(417)850-7850

Jerome Falls: Sarcoxie, MO H(417)548-2233, M(417)793-5752

David Stump: Jasper, MO H(417)537-4358, M(417)434-5420

Skyler Fisher: Collins, MO M(417) 298-9051 CATTLE RECEIVING STATION

Matt Sukovaty: Bolivar, MO H(417)326-4618, M(417)399-3600

Nick Flannigan: Fair Grove, MO M(417)316-0048 Kenneth & Mary Ann Friese: Friedheim, MO H(573)788-2143, M(573)225-7932 CATTLE RECEIVING STATION Fred Gates: Seneca, MO H(417)776-3412, M(417)437-5055 Brent Gundy: Walker, MO H(417)465-2246, M(417)321-0958

Doc Haskins: Diamond, MO H(417)325-4136, M(417)437-2191

Brandon Tichenor: Fairview, MO M(417)540-4717 Mike Theurer: Lockwood, MO H(417)232-4358, M(417)827-3117 Tim Varner: Washburn, MO H(417)826-5645, M(417)847-7831 OFFICE: (417)548-2333 Sara Engler VIDEO CATTLE PRODUCTION Matt Oschlaeger: Mount Vernon, MO M(417)466-8438 SEPTEMBER 2016


inside this issue About the Cover

Cattleman Russ Ritchhart shares his story of how a farm accident taught him to never turn his back. See story on page 31. — Cover photo by Joann Pipkin.

Features 20 24 28 30 31 36 38 42 44 48

How Can You Add Value to Your Calves? Ahead of the Game Weighing the Odds Farmers Need Healthcare, Too Never Turn Your Back Why Preconditioning Pays Marketing Health Track Calves Get to Know the Label VFD: 5 Tips for Cattle Producers 10 Tips for Safe Cattle Working

In Every Issue 3 5 6 8 10 56 57

View from the Block Beef in Brief On Target with Justin Sexten Health Watch with K-State’s Dr. David Rethorst Next Generation with Darren Frye Market Watch Event Roundup

Contact Us

Publisher/Advertising: Mark Harmon | Email: Phone: 417-548-2333 | Mobile: 417-316-0101 Fax: 417-548-2370 Editor/Design/Layout: Joann Pipkin | Email: Ad Deadline: 2nd Monday of Each Month for Next Month’s Issue Cattlemen’s News, PO Box 634, Carthage, MO 64836 Subcription questions can be answered by calling 417-548-2333. Although we strive to maintain the highest journalistic ethics, Joplin Regional Stockyards limits its responsibilities for any errors, inaccuracies or misprints in advertisements or editorial copy. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertisements printed, and also assume responsibility for any claims arising from such advertisement made against the Stockyards and/or its publication.

If you wish to discontinue a subscription to Cattlemen’s News, please send request or address label to: Cattlemen’s News - PO Box 634, Carthage, MO 64836

Cattlemen’s News, published by Joplin Regional Stockyards, is a nuts and bolts news magazine dedicated to helping cattle producers add value to their operations. From “how-to” articles to economics and industry trends, our mission is to put today’s producers in touch with the information and products that will make them profitable for tomorrow. Published monthly. Circulation 10,000.

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beef in brief Economic Impact Study Makes Case for Senate Bill 641 The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) hosted an Aug. 18 news conference at the Missouri State Fair to release an economic impact study on SB 641, sponsored by Sen. Dave Schatz (R-26). The study, conducted by University of Missouri Extension economist Scott Brown, Ph.D., demonstrates the impact of drought on farm and ranch families and the history of disaster payments. MCA President Keith Stevens said the study confirms the importance of SB 641, which would exempt disaster payments from state income tax, and the need to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto. “The bill is a fair and justified tax cut for farm and ranch families. Currently, our government taxes disaster assistance as income. No other disaster program is taxed as income by the federal and state government. It is just plain wrong,” said Stevens. “This money is better served in communities who are struggling in the midst of a rare natural disaster.” The study, “The Effects of Drought and Disaster Payments on the Missouri Cattle Industry,” paints a picture of the effects of the 2012 drought on Missouri’s cattle industry. Stevens said the study also concluded that the fiscal impact of SB 641 to the state’s revenue was “hugely exaggerated.” The study also showcases the importance of the cattle industry to Missouri’s economy. Brown’s study concluded that SB 641 will result in more money being circulated in Missouri’s economy. “The income tax refunds available under SB 641 will come at an opportune time for cattle producers and rural Missouri communities who are dealing with lower cattle as well as other agricultural commodity prices,” said Brown. “These monies will multiply through local communities as farmers and ranchers make purchases that might otherwise have to be delayed this year due to the cattle price situation.” MCA was joined at the news conference by the Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Dairy Association, Missouri Pork Producers Association and the Missouri Soybean Association. The veto override session is Sept. 14, 2016. —Source: Missouri Cattlemen’s Association release.

U.S. Beef Export Volumes Ahead of Last Year U.S. red meat exports ended the first half of 2016 on a positive note, as June export values for beef were the highest of the year. June also marked the second consecutive month of solid yearover-year volume growth, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), contractor to the beef checkoff. June beef export volume increased 2 percent from a year ago to 218 million pounds, while export value was $545.4 million, down 5 percent. First-half export volume was up 3 percent to 1.2 billion pounds, while value fell 10 percent to $2.91 billion. Exports accounted for 13 percent of total beef production in June and 10 percent for muscle cuts only – each down about 1 percentage point from a year ago. For January through June, these ratios were also 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively, steady with last year. Export value per head of fed slaughter was $250 in June and $249.67 for the first half – each down 14 percent from a year ago. June beef exports to Japan were the largest in nearly two years at 57 million pounds, up 29 percent from a year ago. First-half exports climbed 12 percent in volume (269.6 million pounds) and 5 percent in value ($707.2 million). Beef exports to Mexico remained strong in June, increasing 14 percent from a year ago to 44.1 million pounds, though value was down 13 percent to $76.2 million. First-half exports to Mexico were up 3 percent in volume to 246.6 million pounds, valued at $475.4 million (down 11 percent). —Source: release.



On Target

Replacement Heifers: A System Approach Targeted genetic selection develps more efficient cowherd Story By Justin Sexten


utumn is exciting as you wrap up haying season and start crop harvest; fall calving begins while you wean the spring-born herd mates. With a growing cowherd and lower calf prices compared to recent highs, producers might want to take a closer look at their whole system for choosing replacement heifers, developing them and allocating feed resources. Careful selection now ensures quality genetics for generations to come, and it’s easier than ever to select a collection of future matriarchs. Genomic testing lets you see genetic potential long before incurring development costs. Instead of thinking about the cost of those tests, look at the



opportunity to save money by identifying bottom-end heifers and marketing them earlier. From a resource-use perspective, this increases feed and forage efficiency because what you have only goes to develop the right heifers. While selection precision becomes better and simpler, understanding the best management practices for heifer development has grown increasingly complex. A recent article from the Journal of Animal Science by Andrew Roberts and other USDA and university researchers took a closer look at how to set up heifers for greater efficiency throughout life. They started with the premise that nutrient restriction during key development periods can

program cattle to be more efficient when nature restricts intake during drought or winter. The first of two periods the authors considered was very early in the heifers’ lives — while they were in utero during the last trimester (December to March for this spring-calving herd). The second period began two months after the heifers were weaned at 180 days and continued through the start of estrus synchronization, 8-12.5 months of age (December to April). These two periods are when spring-calving herd managers naturally supplement forage resources because of natural limitations. Restricted feeding is not a new idea, and short-term trials have shown it can improve feed efficiency, but data were limited on the long-term influence of restricted nutrition during development. In this decade-long experiment, the heifers’ dams received either adequate protein supplement at 4.0 lb./head or marginal at 2.5 lb./head daily of alfalfa cubes or hay. That’s just 62

percent as much supplement, but net protein is 85 percent because of protein in forage. As expected, restricting the protein resulted in less cow weight gain and pre-calving body condition, but pregnancy rates were not different for the two groups at 91 percent for restricted and 92 percent for adequate. When heifers from those dams were weaned and then split into either an adequate development diet with unrestricted access to corn silage and alfalfa hay, or restricted to 80 percent of the adequate groups’ intake, the restricted management offered a 26 percent reduction in feed required for development and reduced the heifer daily gains by 0.35 lb. Weight gain was greater for restricteddevelopment heifers when all heifers were managed together from breeding to the fall pregnancy check. Pregnancy rates were not significantly different between adequate (89 percent) and restricted (88 percent) heifers over the 10 years of the exCONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

REPLACEMENT HEIFERS • FROM PREVIOUS PAGE periment. Day of first calving was not different between the nutrient management groups either, suggesting comparable reproductive performance. Year-to-year differences were noted primarily due to variable forage quality, which does need to be at least average quality to provide restricted heifers with adequate nutrition for compensatory weight gain during summer grazing. When you combine the two treatments, how the cow was managed followed by how her replacement heifer was developed, you can see how the system might look long-term. It could pay to set up and maintain a consistent program. In this data set, there was no difference in stayability in the herd by 5 years for heifers that were restricted in development and born to cows restricted to 85 percent of the control herd during gestation. On the other hand, heifers restricted

in development but born to cows fed adequate nutrition during gestation were significantly less likely to be in the herd by then, likely because they were less adapted to foraging in tougher pasture conditions. This suggests it would pay to begin and maintain a program of limiting supplement during third trimester and later restricting supplement in the replacement heifers from those cows. The one drawback is a likely setback in carcass traits of economic value in the whole system. The restricted development program reduces marbling and ribeye area and produces lighter body weights in the yearlings. That’s a setback you could overcome with more targeted genetic selection such as the use of genomic testing for initial sorting of replacements at the gateway to a more efficient cow herd. —Justin Sexten is director of outreach development for Certified Angus Beef.


Area Horsewoman Competes at World’s Largest Rodeo Riley Moore finishes seventh at Wyoming event


iley Moore, daughter of Bailey and Tia Moore and granddaughter of Jackie and Kristy Moore, qualified for the 2016 National High School Finals Rodeo held July 2, 2016, in Gillette, Wyoming. Riley and her family traveled first to Shawnee, Oklahoma, for the IFYR rodeo. There, she qualified for the top 10 short round and finished seventh out of more than 200 female competitors for the second year in a row. After Shawnee, the Moores traveled to Gillette where she qualified for the short round at the largest rodeo in the world. Finishing tenth in the nation in pole bending, Riley competed against the top 4 competitors in each state as well as Canada and Australia. Riley’s next big event will be in October at the Champions Challenge in Omaha, Nebraska. There, she will be competing for more than $11,000 in scholarships and prizes. After her events this summer, Riley reins as the 2016 Missouri High School Girls Cutting Champion and the Reserve Champion Pole Bender.

—Source: Moore family.




Are You Marketing or Selling? A little planning goes a long way in improving your bottom line and end-product Story By David Rethorst for Cattlemen’s News


arketing is preparing the product you have to sell in such a manner that it is more desirable to the buyer. The buyer, hopefully, then is willing to pay more for your more desirable product. Selling your product is when you hope your product meets the specifications the buyers are looking for that day. It most likely means you have done nothing to differentiate your product, but have matched the needs of the buyer. The differ-

ence in your strategy can result in significant income differences in the value of your product. In the beef business, this can be seen in the marketing of calves and in the marketing of weigh-up cows and bulls. Preconditioning of calves (castrated, vaccinated, dewormed and weaned 45 days before marketing) has been recognized as a sound animal husbandry practice for a number of years. Yet, the adoption of this practice has been less than optimal due to questions about the economics. These questions come from both the cow-calf producer’s and feedyard’s perspective. Cow-calf producers feel they need more premium to make the practice worthwhile while feedyard operators do not feel the additional premium is justified. Tight margins, combined with the societal pressures of transparency, sustainability, judicious use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance are changing the attitude of many feedyard operations regarding the value of preconditioned calves. They are less willing to accept the risk of the morbidity and mortality associated with respiratory disease in calves at the feedyard. With some antibiotics costing approximately $25.00 per injection, they would rather put that money toward the purchase price of the calves. In this scenario, the feedlots do not want the unweaned calf that is not castrated or vaccinated. An 11-year case study evaluating the profitability found that preconditioning calves was profitable each of the 11 years, returning an average of $80.70 per calf per year to labor and management. When the records for one particular year were broken out, it was found that 63 percent of the profit was due to additional weight sold while 37 percent was due to market advantage for preconditioning health. The owner’s goal was to sell a high-quality calf while improving the profitability of his operation. These calves were fed to gain 2.5 to 3 pounds per head per day, and they were carrying some flesh when sold. They most likely didn’t bring the highest price per hundred pounds the day they sold. Yet, the bottom line showed more profit for the cow-calf operator than if the calves had been sold right off the cow. A number of calves enter the market channels each year that have received respiratory vaccines on the farm or ranch of origin but have not been weaned or bunk broke. These calves are pulled off of the cow and “weaned” in the trailer on the way to the sale barn. I prefer to call these calves “prevaccinated” rather than preconditioned as they have not been thru the full preconditioning protocol. While these calves represent less risk in the feedyard than the unweaned, unvaccinated calf, they certainly are not as predictable as the truly preconditioned calf. Preconditioning is good animal welfare, it is good animal stewardship and the CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE



MARKETING OR SELLING? FROM PREVIOUS PAGE right thing to do. If properly managed, it is also profitable. In addition to preconditioning or prevaccinating, addressing basic animal husbandry practices such as nutrition, low-stress handling and biosecurity will improve the functionality of the calf’s immune system at the feedyard. Enhancing the lifetime health and performance of a calf begins at conception rather than at birth as we have thought in the past. Anyone who owns a cowherd has a list of cows and bulls, at least in their mind, that need to be culled each year. The income derived from the marketing of these animals accounts for 15-20 percent of the annual income of a cow-calf enterprise so this is worthy of some attention to details. Referring to these animals as cull cows and bulls does not, in my opinion, enhance the perception of the beef industry to the consuming public. To use the word cull as a de-

scriptive, as opposed to using it as an action, to me, implies that the animals are of inferior quality. Why would consumers want to buy product from an inferior quality animal to feed their family? Remember, these animals do not all end up as ground beef. Ribeyes, tenderloins, eye of the round and other cuts can come from these market or weigh-up cows and bulls, which enhances their value to the industry. One way to better market these animals is to early wean the calves off of the cows that need to be culled mid-to-late summer and market them while they still have an acceptable body condition score (4, 5, 6, or higher). Weaning in late fall often cases cows, particularly older ones, to lose condition and be sold at a 2 or 3 body condition score. The result of marketing these animals late summer is that a more acceptable product is marketed, more income is derived from them because the market is better that time of the year and in many cases, more pounds are being sold.

Marketing of lame animals sooner rather than later is another method of improving income from weigh-up cows and bulls. Many of these animals lose weight as we try to treat the lameness so there is less pounds to sell. Transportation of some of these chronically lame animals can also be an issue, so the sooner, the better. Remember this to differentiate marketing from selling. Selling your cattle leaves you at the mercy of the market

and the whims of the buyers. Taking the time to plan and market your preconditioned calves or market cows and bulls can significantly improve your bottom line. It is a win for all involved — the cow-calf operation, the feedyard, the industry and the consumer. —David Rethorst is director of outreach for the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University.

SAVE THE DATE Value-Added Feeder Cattle Sale Dec. 1, 2017 Wean Date Oct. 20





ily communicate about the future and get on the same page?


Communicate Farm’s Transition Plan Clearly

• How will we deal with any issues that come up as we’re figuring out how to transition our farm?

Is your family all on the same page? Story By Darren Frye for Cattlemen’s News


s your operation grows, it’s likely that more and more people are involved on the farm. And sometimes, no matter how great your family members and employees are, communication issues can happen — simply from dealing with other people. This can become even more apparent when a transition to the next generation is approaching.

Have you ever felt like this: life would be so much easier if my family members — or anyone else — never frustrated me, but the truth is, everyone is made in a unique way. I’m fascinated by how different each person is — how unique they are, and the strengths or weaknesses they have that I don’t.

As a farm leader, you deal with people each day — and that usually includes family members who work on the farm and might be part of the farm’s future transition plan. Here are some questions to ask yourself, no matter what stage of the planning process you’re in right now: • With our unique differences, how will our fam-

• How will we make sure the plan is communicated clearly with all stakeholders?

What’s the plan? When it comes to farm transition planning, consider the matter of figuring out how you want the transition to take place. Then, it’s important to get the thoughts and wishes of the next generation — and your own hopes and dreams for the farm’s future — out on the table. Once a plan is in place, it needs to be communicated clearly with each person who will be affected. Sometimes we think we’ve told someone else about something, but we actually didn’t. We might think we’ve communicated the plan for the future clearly enough to the next generation, but they might not have heard what we think we told them. Misunderstandings can start to develop inside of that communication gap. The next generation might not have completely understood just what we meant as we explained the future plan. Maybe the spouses of the next generation weren’t in on those explanations at all. They might feel like they are in the dark about what’s going to happen. You might even already have a plan in place but haven’t yet communicated it to the next generation or others who are involved. You might feel hesitant to do so for some reason. In operations where that’s the case, a lot of confusion might exist as the younger generation starts to wonder if they’ll even have a future on the farm.

Lead through change Leading your farm through a transition starts with understanding that each family member thinks and influences others differently. They process information uniqueCONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE



COMMUNICATE FARM’S TRANSITION FROM PREVIOUS PAGE ly. Their thought patterns and what motivates them are probably different from how you think and what motivates you. As part of the farm transition planning process, everyone in the family needs to get on the same page. You want to know how your family members can best communicate with each other for a smooth transition — and to maintain family harmony. Assessment tools can help you understand your family members’ personalities and how to best communicate with them. Advisors who act as guides, such as our firm’s legacy advisors, can help families through the planning process, including guidance around family communication before, during and after the plan is completed.

their families and their operations. You can talk with us about your farm’s approaching transition or any of these tools by getting in touch with an advisor. Read the new issue of the Smart Series publication, bringing business ideas for today’s farm leader. This issue features the story of a farm family who is working on a legacy plan to keep the farm in the family while maintaining family harmony, items to consider as you select an estate planning attorney for your legacy plan, and how to work toward increasing your operation’s efficiency. Your free issue is available at: www. —Darren Frye is President and CEO of Water Street Solutions, a farm consulting firm that helps farmers with the challenges they face in growing and improving their farms including the challenge of transitioning the farming operation to the next generation. Contact them at or call (866) 249-2528.

We’ve helped farms use these assessment tools as they build communication and teamwork within


Agriculture Leaders Discuss Farm Economy Trade, profit margins top agenda


issouri Department of Agriculture’s Richard Fordyce and University of Missouri Extension’s Dr. Scott Brown hosted a Four-State Economic Discussion with state leaders from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska on Tuesday, Aug. 2, in St. Joseph, Missouri. The meeting was a unique opportunity for collaboration and allowed each state to report feedback gathered from producers and agriculture finance experts in their respective states. This feedback will ultimately assist in setting outreach and policy priorities. Common themes that emerged from the discussion included the importance of encouraging international trade, supporting younger generations’ efforts to return to the farm and helping producers recognize break-even points and profit margins.  In July 2016, Missouri Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce and department staff toured the state to listen to farmers, ranchers and community leaders about their take on the current financial situation and current opportunities and challenges facing the industry. Nearly 400 people came to discuss the latest topics in Missouri agriculture. Similar sessions were hosted by departments of agriculture and university extension offices in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. —Source: Missouri Department of Agriculture release.



Management Matters

Know Your Feedstuff One of the big differences between corn and corn distillers grains is the starch content Story By Karla H. Jenkins


he development of the ethanol industry in the Midwest has resulted in an abundant supply of distillers grains available for cattle feed. Additionally, a number of recent years recorded high corn prices. This has made distillers grains a very favorable supplement for pasture cattle. However, distillers grains are in limited supply in some regions of the country, and transportation expenses make acquiring distillers grains less favorable. Today, corn prices are lower than they have been in a number of years making corn, especially corn with lower transportation costs, very favorably priced for cattle producers. Regardless of the commodities available, producers should

think about a couple of things before purchasing supplement. The first thing producers need to consider is the requirements of the cattle on the pasture. Mature, gestating, dry cows have a different requirement for protein and energy than lactating cows, and growing calves will have different needs from cows. The second thing producers need to know is the quality of the pasture being grazed. Cattle prices are much lower this year than the last couple, and producers are not going to want to spend money unnecessarily on supplement. While corn can be an acceptable supplement, several differences exist that must be considered when substituting corn

for distillers grain as a pasture supplement for grazing cattle. One of the big differences between corn and corn distillers grains is the starch content. Corn is about 73 percent starch while corn distillers grains has only trace amounts of starch since it is used for the ethanol production. This is important because starch can have negative impacts on fiber digestion because it shifts the microbial population in the rumen away from fiber digesters. Obviously, if cattle are grazing grass they need to be able to effectively digest grass. The total digestible nutrients

(TDN), a measure of energy, is only 83 percent for corn when used in a roughage-based diet. Distillers grains, which is high in digestible fiber and contains some corn oil has actually been determined to be 108 percent TDN in forage-based diets. This might seem surprising, but the protein and oil in distillers grains is concentrated, and both have more energy than starch. In forage-based diets dry distillers has equal feeding value of the wet product (on a dry matter basis), but dry distillers might be easier to store. If a high starch supplement like corn is fed with very low-quality forage, supplemental protein is likely to be needed as well. While several protein commodities are available, alfalfa hay can serve as a protein source in this situation very well. Another difference between corn and corn distillers grains is the crude protein (CP) content. Corn is roughly 10 percent CP while distillers grains is 30 percent CP. Therefore, distillers grains is commonly used as a protein source and CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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Management Matters

Watching and Waiting Helping fall-calving cows and heifers during calving Story By Glenn Selk


n issue facing the rancher at calving is the amount of time heifers or cows are allowed to be in labor before assistance is given. According to traditional textbooks, fact sheets and magazine articles, Stage II of labor lasted from 2 to 4 hours. Stage II is defined as that portion of the birthing process from the first appearance of the water bag until the baby calf is delivered. Research data from Oklahoma State University and the USDA experiment station at Miles City, Montana, clearly show that Stage II is much shorter, lasting approximately an hour in first-calf heifers, and a half hour in mature cows. In these studies, heifers that were in Stage II of labor much more than one hour

and beginning to pull, make certain that the cervix is fully dilated. Most ranches develop heifers fully and use calving-ease bulls to prevent calving difficulties. However, a few difficult births are going to occur each calving season. Using the concept of evening feeding to get more heifers calving in daylight and giving assistance early will save a few more calves and result in healthier more productive two-year-old cows to rebreed for next year.

or cows that were in Stage II much more than 30 minutes definitely needed assistance. Research information also shows that calves from prolonged deliveries are weaker and more disease-prone, even if born alive. In addition, cows or heifers with prolonged de- —Source: Glenn Selk is Oklahoma State University professor emeriliveries return to heat later tus. and are less likely to be bred for the next calf crop. Consequently a good rule of thumb: If the heifer is not making significant progress one hour after the water bag or feet appear, examine the heifer to see if you can provide assistance. Mature cows should be watched for only 30 minutes. If she is not making progress with each strain, then a rectal examine is conducted. If you cannot safely deliver the calf yourself at this time, call your local veterinarian immediately. Before applying chains

KNOW YOUR FEEDSTUFF FROM PREVIOUS PAGE at times as an additional energy source. Corn is not a good protein source, particularly in low-quality forage diets. With cheaper prices, corn can be used as a pasture supplement, but it needs to be fed in combination with a protein source. Producers need to evaluate the price of acquiring, storing and delivering supplements as well as the expected cattle performance to determine if supplementation is needed and what commodity choices make the most sense. —Source: Karla H. Jenkins is cow/ calf range management specialist with University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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Managing Beef Cow Margins Round bale pitfalls: Part 1 Story By Derrell S. Peel


ound bales have been a popular feed technology in the beef industry for many years. However, challenges exist in buying (or producing) and using round bales correctly and cost effectively.  Round bales are often priced individually, but the amount of hay in a bale depends on its size and density. For example, assume a 5-by-6 round bale (5 feet wide and 6 feet in diameter or height) is priced at $52.50/ bale. If the bale weighs 1,500 pounds, the price is equivalent to $70/ton. A comparable 5-by-5 bale (with equal density) would weigh 1,046 pounds and be priced at $36/bale ($70/ ton) and a 4-by-5 bale (with equal density) would weigh 833 pounds and be priced at $29/bale.  The density of round hay bales varies considerably and typically ranges between



9 and 12 pounds per cubic foot (lbs./ft3). In the example above, the bales are assumed to have a density of 10.61 pounds per cubic feet. Bale density varies depending on the type of forage, adjustment of the baler and skill of the baler operator.  Lower density bales weigh less, are more difficult to handle and transport, and have more storage losses. If the 5-by-6 bale in the example above has a density 10 percent less (9.55 lbs./ft3), the bale weighs 1,350 pounds while a density 15 percent less (9.02 lbs./ft3) results in a bale weight of 1,275 pounds. If the 5-by-6 bale is priced at $52.50/bale, the per-ton price increases to $78 and $82 for the lower density bales. Round bale use inevitably results in storage and feeding losses. Hay loss with round bales varies widely depending

on storage and feeding management. Well-managed bale storage and feeding might limit losses to 10 percent, but combined storage and feeding losses frequently climb to 50 percent or higher. Round bales stored outside, uncovered and on the ground and fed in unrolled, exposed bales or in simple open-sided ring feeders will have the biggest losses, easily 30 to 50 percent. In contrast, bales stored inside or covered, off the ground and fed unrolled or in cone style feeders can limit losses to between 5 and 15 percent. The amount of hay actually consumed by cows drops dramatically with increased storage and feeding losses. At 10 percent loss, hay consumption is 1,800 pounds for each ton of hay; at 25 percent loss, hay consumption is 1,500 pounds; and at 40 percent loss, hay consumption is 1,200 pounds. At $70/ton, storage and feeding losses increase the effective hay price to $78/ ton (10 percent loss); $93/ton (25 percent loss); and $117/ton (40 percent loss). Storage and feeding losses combined with low bale density increases hay price further. The low-density

bale above (5-by-6 at 1,275 pounds, priced at $52.50/bale) results in a hay cost of $91/ton (10 percent loss); $110/ton (25 percent loss); and $137/ton (40 percent loss). The combination of low bale density and high storage and feeding losses result in actual hay cost nearly double ($137 versus $70) the stated per-ton price of hay. Whether hay is purchased or produced, cow-calf producers face the same challenges with round bales. Without knowing the weight and the storage and feeding losses associated with round bales, producers cannot possibly know the true cost of hay nor manage the quantity of hay consumption and cow herd nutrition. As important, or perhaps more important, than the quantity is the quality of round bales. The cost of hay ultimately depends on the pounds of crude protein and energy delivered to the cow. I’ll discuss hay quality and nutrition cost in part two. —Derrell S. Peel is Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist.


Managing Beef Cow Margins Round bale pitfalls: Part 2 Story By Derrell S. Peel


ow-calf production is best viewed as the business of producing and marketing grass. The most successful and profitable cow-calf operations are generally those that most efficiently use grazed forage. However, seasonally limited quantity and quality of grazed forage means producers often need additional nutrition in the form of harvested forages or purchased supplemental feed. Most beef cow-calf operations rely on grass hay to help meet cow nutritional needs. A variety of grasses are harvested as hay to provide supplemental protein and energy for cattle. The quality of grass hay varies widely depending on the type of forage, the management or condition of the forage, baling conditions and quality degradation during storage.

• Manage the quantity and quality of pastures to extend grazing and minimize hay needs. Consider stockpiling pasture for fall and winter grazing. Feeding hay costs 2.5 to 5 times as much as grazing. Every day that cows graze instead of receiving hay will save $0.50 to $1.50 per head in feed costs. • Know the quantity and quality of purchased or produced hay.  Buy tons of hay, not bales. Weigh it and test it.  • Know how much hay cows are actually eating. Measure storage and feeding losses to know actual consumption and the true cost of hay. • Calculate the cost of hay nutrients compared to other supplemental feed sources. Projected record grain crops mean that energy and protein from other feed sources will likely be cheaper this winter. Supplements using grain and/or by-product feeds might actually be less expensive than poor quality hay. —Source: Derrell S. Peel is with Oklahoma State University Extension.

Well-fertilized Bermuda grass, harvested early, will have 12-15 percent crude protein and total digestible nutrients (TDN) over 55 percent. Crude protein in underfertilized, mature Bermuda will drop below 6 percent with TDN less than 50 percent. Prairie and meadow hay typically has crude protein values between 6 and 9 percent and TDN of 50-52 percent. If harvested late and very mature these values might drop to 4 or 5 percent for crude protein with TDN below 50 percent. Purchased or produced, it is critical for producers to know the quality of hay.  Round bales of unknown quality and bale weight, subject to significant storage and feeding losses, is wasteful, expensive and make it very difficult to manage cowherd nutrition. Round bale technology is convenient and saves labor. Unfortunately, the convenience of round bales often encourages production of low-quality hay and poor storage and feeding management. Often, hay production is a residual to poor pasture management where mature, rank grass that was not grazed effectively is baled. Good pasture management and good hay management are two sides of the same coin. The labor saving and convenience of round bales has, in many cases, fostered poor pasture management that results in increased hay needs and production of poor-quality hay. In days of old, producers feeding smallsquare bales were typically more aware of the quality of the hay, how much they were feeding, how much was being wasted and, as a result, often did a better job of managing cowherd nutrition and feed cost. It takes some additional management to capture the advantages of round bales without wasting hay and incurring additional cost. Hay production per beef cow has more than doubled in the past 40 years in Oklahoma. It appears that now significantly more hay is wasted and that poor pasture management has increased the number of days that cows are fed hay. Consider the following for round bale use:



management matters

What’s Your Plan? Now is the time to develop calf marketing strategy Story By Lisa Henderson for Cattlemen’s News


t’s never too early to begin your fall calf marketing strategies. While your payday might still be two or three months away, marketing specialists say the plans you implement now can boost your revenue later. Ranchers are looking at gross sales that will be 30 percent to 50 percent lower this year than last, which underscores the need to develop and implement a plan that will maximize returns. One of the first chores is to evaluate the current market for feeder cattle as seasonal patterns might offer opportunities to utilize risk-management tools. Early August, for instance, produced a rally in feeder cattle futures that offered an opportunity for many producers to lock in modest profits. “It’s important for producers to be aware of current cattle market forecasts,” says Bob Weaber, Kansas State University extension animal science specialist. “Producers need to recognize market timing and what seasonal prices have done historically.”

have declined almost constantly since last fall. Analysts note the decline was driven by large feedlot losses last winter and their need to lower input costs. “Cattle feeding was a disaster last year,” says John Nalivka, president, Oregon-based Sterling Marketing. “A large share of those losses were driven by the high price of feeder cattle. Last fall the cost of feeder cattle represented 80 percent of the total cost of finishing a steer. Today, we’re seeing feeder cattle that represent about 72 percent of the cost of feeding, which is much more manageable and offers an opportunity for feedyards to make a modest profit.” While the projected price of fed cattle this fall is significantly lower than last year, potential profit margins for feedyards appear much improved, Nalivka says. Feedyard buyers will always seek feeder cattle at lower prices despite other factors that lend support to feeder cattle prices this fall.

Seasonally, cattle markets hit a summer low in mid- to lateJuly. Consumer beef demand typically increases into the fall as cooler weather helps improve consumption of all meat products.

“We’ll produce a large corn crop, which will keep grain prices relatively low,” Nalivka says. “Cheaper feed costs mean feedyards will be able to lower their cost of gain and that will support demand for feeder cattle.”

This year presents some difficult hurdles because prices

In addition to analyzing markets and trends, extension spe-



cialists say some of the best returns on investment come from animal health and preconditioning programs.

veterinarian to identify a program, and the veterinarian can also verify that the program was completed.

“Selling weaned and preconditioned calves helps two ways,” Weaber says. “The calves are healthier and more attractive to buyers, and they’ll weigh more on sale day.”

The verification includes documentation on which vaccines were administered, the brand name and the dates. Other details such as nutrition programs might also be required.

That sentiment is echoed by Dan Thomson, DVM, Kansas State University. “Preconditioning makes money for everybody in the chain and improves the quality of beef for consumers.”

On sale day, the benefits of preconditioning are two-fold. Buyers will have some assurance of the health of the calves and they’ll be willing to bid that into the price. Data from JBS Five Rivers cattle feeders suggests that calves weaned and preconditioned prior to shipping experienced about one-third of the feedyard morbidity and mortality of unweaned calves. Additionally, they posted daily gains averaging 0.3 lb. higher than unweaned calves and better feed conversion.

Discounts on new-crop calves that were not preconditioned run $20 to $25 per cwt., says Jackie Moore, co-owner, Joplin Regional Stockyards. Preconditioning is defined as calves that are vaccinated, castrated, dehorned and weaned for 45 days on the ranch prior to marketing. “They’re through the bawl of weaning and they know how to find the feed bunk,” Thomson says. “We’ve greatly reduced the risk of respiratory disease for the next owner.” If you’re considering a preconditioning program, you should first target a sale date and then begin 45 days ahead of your target. For a Nov. 1 sale date that means the vaccinations and other animal health administrations should be complete by Sept. 15. Several preconditioning programs exist that are recommended by a number of sources. Extension specialists say it is best to consult your local

The second benefit of preconditioning to the calf producer is realized through heavier sale weights. A growth implant can be administered to the calves at vaccination time, which might add 10 to 15 pounds by sale day. Thomson encourages all producers to precondition their calves, claiming it is one of the industry’s most important issues. “It’s an animal welfare issue, it’s an economic issue and it’s a beef quality issue,” he says. “Preconditioning is the time when we’re building the calf’s immune response, building that health security and decreasing the animal’s stress.”


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Safe-Guard Drench and Paste RESIDUE WARNING: Cattle must not be slaughtered within 8 days following last treatment. For dairy cattle, the milk discard time is zero hours. A withdrawal period has not been established for this product in preruminating calves. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. Safe-Guard is a registered trademark of Merck Animal Health. Panacur is a registered trademark of Merck Animal Health. Ivomec is a registered trademark of Merial, Ltd. Cydectin is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. Dectomax is a registered trademark of Zoetis. LongRange is a registered trademark of Merial, Ltd. 1 FDA Public Resistance Forum-March 2012 2 Tests from 1/1/2008 - 4/12/2016 3 NAHMS 2008 4 Dobson R., Jackson F., Levecke B., Besier B., et al. Guidelines for fecal egg count reduction tests (FECRT). World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP) (2011) Proceedings: 23rd International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology 2 Giralda Farms – Madison, NJ 07940 – – 800.521.5767 Copyright © 2016 Intervet, Inc. d/b/a Merck Animal health, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. 5/16 BV-SG-55108




Research Sheds Light on Cow Pregnancy

sue and evaluate factors affecting embryo development in the early part of pregnancy, from days 16 to 50. “Up until about day seven after fertilization, it’s easy to look at what’s going on,” says Carl Dahlen, a scientist in NDSU’s Animal Sciences Department. “But for the rest of the loss period, it’s like a big black box.”

The scientists are focusing on nutrient transfer to the embryo North Dakota scientists work to make beef production and development of the placenta, an organ that connects the developing calf to its mother, and how and when those occur. more efficient They’re also studying how disruptions in nutrient supply and placental development might cause embryo loss. They found orth Dakota State University (NDSU) scientists are a step that the transfer changes dramatically during the first 50 days closer to solving the mystery of why 90-plus percent of beef of pregnancy. cows become pregnant after artificial insemination, but only 50 to 60 percent still have a viable embryo 30 days later. “We’re seeing impacts on some of the key indices as early as 16 days after breeding,” Dahlen says. The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station scientists have developed a technique that allows them to obtain fetal tis- Days 16 to 50 of pregnancy in cattle are a key time because that’s when the embryo is transitioning into a fetus, says Joel Caton, another scientist in NDSU’s Animal Sciences Department who is involved in this project. This transition period is critical in development because a great majority of organ systems are in place and differentiated by 50 days after breeding.


While fetuses receive many nutrients through a shared blood supply with their mothers, that’s not the case for embryos. Instead, transporters, or nutrient-transferring tissues, carry specific nutrients to the embryo before a shared blood supply is established. As part of their research, the NDSU scientists have identified two transporters that had not been identified before in cattle. “We’ve opened the door on that black box to take a look,” Caton says. Learning why so many embryos are lost is important because beef production needs to be as efficient as possible if the U.S. is going to help meet the challenge of feeding 9.2 billion people by 2050 with the available resources, he notes. “There’s no one else in the world who is doing this research,” Dahlen says. “This puts NDSU squarely in the forefront of this research.” Caton and Dahlen are among nine scientists from campus and the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station’s Central Grasslands Research Extension Center (CGREC) near Streeter, North Dakota, who are working on this issue with assistance from about a dozen graduate students and a few undergraduates. The scientists are using Angus heifers from the CGREC and state-of-the-art technology in NDSU’s Advanced Imaging and Microscopy Core Laboratory, Animal Nutrition and Physiology Center and Animal Science Nutrition Laboratory to aid their research. They also are collaborating with New Mexico State University scientists, who are conductCONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE




Microbiomes Affect Eating Quality Tenderness, flavor affected by genomes in meat animals Story By Bridget Beran, intern, Angus Media


eith Belk, Colorado State University, spoke to producers at the 2016 Beef Improvement Federation Annual Meeting and Symposium hosted in Manhattan, Kansas, about trait selection to improve the value of beef. Belk said tenderness and flavor topped the list of factors determining a satisfactory experience for consumers. If tenderness and flavor could be consistently provided across the beef industry, Belk said, he believes premium value would be easily attainable for producers.

COW PREGNANCY FROM PREVIOUS PAGE ing related research. Scientists from other universities are interested in getting involved as well. “By understanding the critical stages of early pregnancy, we may be able to help influence management decisions that benefit livestock producers,” Neville says. One of those management decisions is making sure pregnant livestock have adequate feed so they can meet their metabolic demands and supply embryos with the nutrients they need from the start. The scientists also hope this research ultimately will lead to a new reference book on the subject of embryo development. Current publications are decades old. —Source: North Dakota State University Communications release.

“We know that marbling is important. We know marbling is associated with both tenderness and flavor,” Keith Belk said. “But there are a bunch of other things that result in a higher eating satisfaction. So, while marbling is important for certain, let’s not forget about those other things.” Different muscles and their interactions, as well as the influence of the microbiome (the community of microorganisms that live in or on the animal), can increase or decrease the flavor and tenderness of meat. Belk said it’s important for scientists and producers alike to stop thinking of animals as a single organism in an environment. “We have to instead think about all of the organisms in the environment and how they interrelate and affect each other’s physiology, and then how they express that physiology in their environment,” Belk explained. With more than 2,000 organisms in and around an animal at any given time, Belk said their impact on the animal cannot be ignored. Moving forward, Belk’s research will focus on understanding the microbiome and understanding the relationship between these smaller organisms and the animal in question. “There is a symbiotic relationship between the organisms that live in you and on you with your own genome and how you express that genome,” Belk said. “We need to learn to take advantage and capitalize on that.” —Source: This article is reprinted with permission from, the Angus Media’s online coverage site of the 2016 Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium and Annual Meeting.


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How Can You Add Value to Your Calves? Simple management practices can make a big impact on your bottom line Story By Austin Black for Cattlemen’s News


attle prices fluctuate regularly and can be a gamble. It’s hard for producers to always know when the best prices will occur. Adding value to calves can be as simple as using basic management practices to make them worth more at sale time. Proper calf management begins at birth. Dehorning and castration are among the easiest ways producers can add value to calves. Paul Beck, Ph.D., University of Arkansas Extension animal scientist, said research in several Midwest states follows market premiums and discounts. These studies show that on average, bull calves are discounted at least $5-$10/cwt. at sale time. If those calves have horns, the average discount is another $5/cwt. Beck said dehorning and castrating when calves are young offers the best results. “We generally castrate calves the day after birth,” he said. Some producers wait until calves are three to four months old, enabling them to give shots at the same time and improve efficiency. Beck said another option is to dehorn and castrate at weaning. This timing is popular in all-natural programs. Some producers believe keeping bulls intact increases growth and performance due to natural hormones. However, Beck said his research doesn’t show much benefit in this area. “Since discounts are so big, I believe you’re losing more with a freshly cut or uncut bull calf,” he said. Dehorning and castrating early in life allows calves time to heal and reduces stress.

Adding Weight Pays As calves get older, increased weight gain adds value. Implanting and creep feeding are two easy ways to help calves add weight. Beck recommends implanting calves 3 to 4 months before weaning. “We expect calves to


gain an additional 10 percent from using an implant for the last 90 to 100 days before weaning,” he said. Each implants costs about $1.30. Creep feeding is a convenient way to add weight throughout the year. But producers should make sure it’s profitable. “It depends on the cost of feed and market prices,” Beck said. Sometimes it can add value, other times the price reward of increased gain isn’t worth the cost. Creep feeding works best with spring-born calves, and Beck said fall-born calves have coolseason grass to graze in the spring. This eliminates their need for protein supplement. Therefore, they don’t benefit as much from creep feeding.  He recommends starting calves on creep feed at 3 to 4 months old. The goal is to provide a steady source of protein while the calf is growing. Forage quality decreases during the summer, and milk production declines. But, the calf continues to grow and requires more feed. Creep feeding helps supplement the calf’s forage based diet and keeps it gaining weight. Calves should consume 1 percent of their body weight each day. “If you start with a 300-pound calf, try to supply three pounds of feed each day,” Beck said. Producers can handfeed several times a week or use a creep feeder for unlimited access. “Many times calves on unlimited creep will get pretty fleshy and get discounted over and above for added weight,” Beck said. “If the creep is fed as a supplement, the calves usually don’t get as fat and aren’t discounted.” If producers use a creep feeder and pelleted feed, calves usually need about 10 pounds of feed per pound of gain. Including an

Calves reduce their nutrient intake during the weaning process. To make up the difference, feed a diet that is 12.5 to 17 percent protein. —Photo by Joann Pipkin

ionophore in the feed can aid in feed conversion. This adds value by reducing the amount of feed needed per pound of gain. Another option is hand-feeding a soybean-hull-based ration three times a week. Research in southwest Arkansas showed feeding calves this diet at 1 percent of their bodyweight for three months resulted in a 4.3:1 feed conversion.              In addition to protein supplement, quality mineral supports calf health and immune function. Supplying mineral during lactation gives calves access to nutrients through personal consumption and nursing. “If calves are raised with a good mineral before weaning, we don’t stress about using organic chelated minerals after weaning,” Beck said.

Post-weaning management Preconditioning cattle can add more value to calves than any other single practice. It ensures calves are healthy and adds weight before they are sold. Still, certain elements are important to make preconditioning profitable. Vaccinations and a balanced nutrition program are keys. Beck said two vaccination protocols exist producers can use. The first includes a killed vaccine before weaning and modified-live shot at weaning. Or, they can give two modified-live shots, one at weaning and a booster two to three weeks later. Vaccinating against respiratory disease and blackleg is crucial. And, deworming ensures calves respond well to vaccines. Clean water, quality hay and a balanced ration keep calves eat-

ing and drinking. Hay should be dust- and mold-free and preferably a grass calves are used to eating. Beck said hay with moderate to high crude protein and low fiber content is more digestible and nutritious. If calves aren’t used to feed, good hay can entice them to the feed bunk also. “Getting them started on feed early is important,” he said. Beck recommends Bermuda grass and prairie hay for weaned calves. But, he said calves raised in western states aren’t familiar with Bermuda hay and won’t eat it. During weaning, calves reduce their nutrient intake. To compensate, producers should feed a diet that is 12.5 to 17 percent protein. Beck recommends including cottonseed hulls in the ration. This makes the feed more palatable and desirable to calves.      Producers should precondition calves for at least 28 days. This ensures they are healthy and eating well. Keeping calves on the farm longer can add value if they are gaining weight. But Beck cautions producers about feeding calves for more than 45 days. “If you keep them much longer than 45 days, you need to be adding weight to calves economically,” he said. “Make a profit on every pound of gain added.”        Beck said producers who sell at weaning lose value by not marketing those calves. “We have a lot of really good operations that spend time on CONTINUED ON PAGE 22




Business bytes

their genetics and then sell at weaning. They are losing a lot of the benefits of marketing the genetic quality of those calves,” he said.  

Implants: Your Common Questions Answered

It’s important to remember that even if calves are preconditioned, premium prices aren’t guaranteed. In 2010, an Arkansas study showed that preconditioned calves sold in weekly sales only brought $6.64/cwt more than non-preconditioned calves. But, research by the Oklahoma Beef Quality Network shows calves sold in special preconditioned sales can bring a premium of $19.99/cwt.

Producers must be prepared to talk about value and safety of products

“It appears the special sale may be the best way to market these calves,” Beck said. Buyers pay more for healthy, preconditioned calves because they perform better in the feedlot. By managing nutrition, animal health and adding weight, producers can make sure their calves are profitable for everyone.



rowth implants have been used in the beef cattle industry for more than 50 years. Over the years, the technologies have improved, and beef producers are comfortable talking about the value of implants — helping improve the productivity, feed efficiency, average daily gain and beef carcass quality. But conversations are changing beyond talking just benefits. Consumers, and even producers, are asking more. They are asking what impact these tools have on the safety of food, the environment and animals. “Beef producers work hard every day raising healthy and safe beef, so it’s important for

them to be armed with all of the facts in exactly how they are doing this,” said Gary Sides, Ph.D., managing nutritionist, Beef Strategic Technical Services at Zoetis. “If producers can’t explain the value and safety of all of their management practices, then we know for sure consumers won’t be able to understand this.” Sides recommends producers take time to review information about practices and technologies to help them feel confident communicating about the health and safety of beef they are producing. To start, here are a few questions and answers to help with some tough conversations about

the use of implant technologies.

Why are implants considered safe for consumers? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture have checks and balances in place to help ensure the food supply is free from unsafe levels of hormones.

· Food safety.

These products must be approved by the FDA, and approval is granted only after rigorous and extensive scientific tests to show efficacy and safety. They must be proven safe for animals, the environment and people. Producers and veterinarians also are legally and ethically obligated to follow FDA requirements for safe and effective use on farm.



· Safe hormone levels. Throughout their history of use, these products have no documented negative effects on human health. The FDA established safe limits for hormones in meat, based on extensive scientific study and review. Hormones naturally occur in all humans, plants and animals, which include cattle, raised organically or traditionally. This means “hormone-free” beef doesn’t exist. Consider this: A 3-ounce serving of beef from a nonimplanted steer contains 1.3 nanograms of estrogen. A 3-ounce serving of beef from an implanted steer will have just 1.9 nanograms of estrogen. One pound of implanted beef has 15,000 times less estrogen when compared with the amount of estrogen produced every day by the average adult man and nine million times less than the amount produced by a pregnant woman.

beef cattle, 81 million more tons of feed, 17 million more acres of land and 138 billion more gallons of water. The proper use of implant technologies allow beef producers to provide a safe, high-quality product for a growing population, with no significant impact on food safety and supply and the environment. For more answers to questions about technologies that contribute to healthy and safe beef production, visit the Sustainable Beef Resource Center website at To learn more about the line of SYNOVEX implants, contact your nutritionist and local veterinarian or Zoetis representative, or visit Do not use SYNOVEX products in veal calves. Refer to label for complete directions for use, precautions, and warnings. —Source: Zoetis release.

Why are implants considered safe for the environment? For approval and licensing, implant products need to show no significant impact on the human environment. · Environmental assessment (EA). In order for Zoetis to be granted approval for SYNOVEX® ONE implants, Zoetis was required by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine to show no significant effects of the active ingredients in SYNOVEX CHOICE — trenbolone acetate and estradiol benzoate — on aquatic organisms in the water systems where cattle might be fed (either pasture or feedlot locations). In 2014, after five years of research, the FDA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact, based on the results discovered in this environmental evaluation. In this EA, no significant impacts of these implants and their metabolites on humans or the environment were found in all five regions included in the study, which included waterways, air, plants or aquatic species, when these products are used according label directions.

· Fewer emissions.

Studies show animals with implants grow faster, thus having less impact on the environment than animals without implants — using less nitrogen and producing less carbon dioxide and methane per pound of protein. Implants help the animal retain more nitrogen, so less nitrogen is lost to the atmosphere and soil. And because producers are raising animals using less feed over a shorter time, this means less methane and manure are produced.

Why are the use of implants valuable for the future? To help answer this question, let’s quantify the impact of withdrawing these technologies. For example, to produce the same total amount of U.S. beef without using growth implants, U.S. beef producers would need 10 million more




Ahead of the Game Use video marketing to lock-in feeder cattle prices Story By Rebecca Mettler for Cattlemen’s News


he feeder calf market is historically lower and often more volatile in the fall due to the influx of spring-born calves hitting the market during October and November. To secure a good price at sale time, producers must become better marketers, ultimately fine-tuning their risk management strategies. “Today’s market, and moving into the future, is not a market to be unprotected in any fashion,” said Kade Thompson, commodity broker with Western Futures whose independent office is housed at Joplin Regional Stockyards (JRS).

no “wrong” time to market a fall calf, and no “right” time to market a spring calf because there’s such a greater number of spring calves that are marketed at the same time each year. And, fall calving isn’t nearly as popular. Keith Mitchell, a stocker operator from Aldrich, Missouri, also uses the video sales at JRS and

the requirements of the contract. “I do think it’s very important to deliver the cattle that you promised,” Mitchell said. “Check the weights of the cattle. You need to know where they are at and meet the terms of the agreement that you promised.” The thought of leaving money on the table if the market goes up after a producer already has cattle under a forward contract is enough to drive some away from forward contracting. However, producers who have had experience with the video auction see it in a different light.

“Today’s market, and moving into the future, is not a market to be unprotected in any fashion.” Kade Thompson Commodity Broker Western Futures as shrink, that he can experience during shipment. Instead, prior to departure from his ranch, calves are weighed on the ground with scales or on the truck. Then, a standard shrink of 2 to 3 percent is figured into those weights, which is customary for most video contracts — all while being backed by JRS’s active market structure.

Take it one step beyond

Video marketing load-lots of cattle is one risk management tool that has been steadily increasing in popularity over the last several years and has proven to help many producers protect their bottom line.

In general, commercial producers don’t have much experience with the futures market as a way to manage risk. Thompson explains that a lot of producers are leery; however, he sees opportunity in every market. Still, it’s important to understand when that opportunity has passed.

JRS introduced video marketing in 2007 and now provides producers with avenues to market their cattle on video sales each Monday following its feeder calf sale as well as a video sale on the first Friday of the month.

“You can’t outlast the market; there’s a famous quote that says, ‘Markets can remain irrational a lot longer than you and I can stay solvent,” Thompson said. “The question becomes, how can I use the market to my advantage?”

One of the values of video marketing — aside from placing cattle in front of a large audience of buyers — is the ability to place a forward contract on the calves, which allows producers to market those animals prior to delivery and gives them the added benefit of selling cattle ahead of the market. “Now I know how much money I can make,” said Jim Hacker, a cow-calf and stocker operator from Bolivar, Missouri. “The market is very volatile in the fall, and I don’t want to be exposed to the market into October and November. It’s hard to sell a feeder calf in October and November.” Although it’s harder to sell when everyone else is marketing similar weighted calves, Hacker prefers a spring-calving cowherd because of the advantages of production efficiency. Yet, he admits there’s


Marketing load-lots of cattle on video is a risk management tool offered at Joplin Regional Stockyards to help producers protect their bottom line. —Photo by Joann Pipkin.

forward contracts his calves because of the added protection that it delivers, which ultimately comes with added peace of mind. “I like the idea of getting wrapped up in a contract that I know is going to make a profit,” Mitchell said. “It lowers the risk.” Mitchell explains that if you know what the calf is going to be worth at the end of the contract, you are going to have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to take to get it there. This is because producers can also lock in their feed prices and better manage their profit when they have an alreadydetermined price that they are going receive at the end of the contract, provided they fulfill

“That’s how I stay in business; I don’t turn down a profit,” said Monty Nail, owner of M and M Livestock, Vinita, Oklahoma. “That’s why I use the video to try to keep them tied up as much as I can, either way the market is going.” Nail credits the video auction and forward contracting process for allowing him to be more aggressive by using it as a tool to keep cattle sold. “I can go do more in the cattle business by taking some of the risk out of the cattle,” Nail said. Beyond forward contracting, Nail chooses to use the video sale so that he can market his animals on his ranch, which reduces the stress on the calves. It also protects him from the added weight losses, known

Purchasing put options and/ or call options in the market is a good place for producers to start out in the futures market. Producers must have a full load of feeder cattle — 50,000 pounds — and open an account with a brokerage company in order to buy a put or call option, both of which come at a one-time purchase cost. “A call works in the opposite direction of a put,” Thompson said. “A put guarantees a floor price while a call will pay you anything over the price you buy it. If you buy the call at $150 per cwt. and the market goes to $152 per cwt., you get paid anything over $150 cwt. plus the premium.” Buying a call option to open up for topside potential along with the video marketing and forward contracting is a plan





buys a cheaper put to save room for a call option if the opportunity arises.

of action that Thompson highly recommends. The forward contract protects the price and the call option gives producers the Work with your financial opportunity to reap the benefits of an increase in the market if that occurs. He also suggests producers start off by placing a advisors call option on half of the cattle if producers have more than one Steps that producers make to manage risk for their own operaload-lot. tions will also help manage risk for the financial institutions that Mike Chesnut, senior vice president of agriculture lending with invest in their business. Arvest bank in Neosho, Missouri, is also a lifelong cattle produc“Historically, we’ve seen cycles in the cattle market,” said Shawn er who believes his personal and professional experiences in the Kemp, vice president and commercial livestock team leader, FCS farm crisis of the ‘80s has shaped how he does business. Financial, Springfield, Missouri. “In a 10-year span, there’s usu“I don’t ever buy a put to make money but instead to protect my ally seven or eight good years and maybe two or three bad; the majority of those years are good. But, since 2010 the cycles have breakeven,” Chesnut said. become more extreme with extreme highs, and we are also noChesnut has also been known to place a call option on his cattle ticing record lows.” if he sees the futures market trending upward for August when his forward contract matures and the cattle are delivered. He The extreme shifts in the market affect the way lenders provide finances for those producers looking for assistance. One of the main factors that the banking business relies on is stability, which is harder to find in such a rollercoaster market environment.

Kemp looks to a producer’s risk management practices when making a decision to lend money. He looks for producers who are more than just price takers. In other words, he’s looking for someone who actively takes steps to maximize the value of their cattle. Do they produce the right type of cattle for the market? How about preconditioning their calves to lessen the potential death loss? Does the producer sell early and deliver at a deferred date, or maybe take it a step farther and use options in the futures market? “The video auction transitions the producer farther from being a seller to a marketer,” Kemp said. “I like it as a banker. For one, it takes initiative, and I know they are thinking more about their breakevens.” Both Chesnut and Thompson express the need for producers to calculate their “true breakeven.” The breakeven is more complicated than just covering the upfront costs of production. Plus, every producer’s breakeven is different. Finding the true breakeven allows producers to more accurately assess the financial health of the operation. All in all, Chesnut analyzes video marketing and risk management with this scenario: Some producers manage the buying process very good; they take two weeks or a month to buy a load of calves. When they get them home they “manage the tar out of them” but don’t manage the sale of those cattle, which equates to a lost opportunity. In today’s market, stocker operators and cow-calf producers alike need to manage the sale by reducing risk. They have the instruments available to them to do so; it’s just a matter of using those risk management tools to their advantage. Running naked, or unprotected in today’s volatile market can be a scary proposition for producers without the capital to back them up.



No-Bull Enterprises introduces new Callicrate PRO Bander N o-Bull Enterprises is proud to introduce the next generation Callicrate Bander — the Callicrate PRO BanderTM. It is the most advanced tool of its kind, thanks in part to the use of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).

puterized numerical control (CNC) machine tools to ensure accurate fit and finish tolerances, while building on NoBull Enterprises’ two decades of experience in bringing the most humane, effective, highquality American-made tools

“We eliminated the need to crimp the tensioned loop, which speeds up the operation by removing a step in the process, while also making the tool lighter-weight and ergonomically easier to handle,” said retired aerospace manufacturing engineer Roy Harbach, the product’s designer. “We also traded out heavier materials in favor of lighter weight, high strength aerospace-grade materials.” Other upgrades include replacing the tension system pull cord with a tough, webbed strap and adding a new 360-degree tension indicator that can be read easily from any angle. In addition, the loops are bright green to help the operator verify the loop is secured and placed properly. There is no wrong way to load the PRO LoopTM. Plus, the larger loop opening allows for easier application.

to the animal health market,” Harbach said. “The fully encapsulated, ratchet design helps to protect the mechanism from the elements, ex-

panding on the product line’s existing reputation for resistance to grit, wear and abrasion.”

Get the JRS Mobile App Download it today from

In addition to the new Callicrate PRO BanderTM, No-Bull Enterprises manufactures the Callicrate WEE BanderTM, a state-of-the-art high-tension nonsurgical castration tool made specifically for smaller animals, including newborn calves, sheep and goats. The original Callicrate SMART Bander and Loops will still be available. Ask for Callicrate Banders at your local animal health supplier or call NoBull Enterprises at 800-858-5974 or 785332-3344 to find a distributor in your area. Rachel and Sam are standing by to answer any questions you might have about the PRO Bander – the first new tool for delayed castration in two decades. All Callicrate products are made in St. Francis, Kansas. —Source: No Bull Enterprises.

“Precision components are machined on modern com-




Weighing the Odds: 2016 Marketing Options Lower grain prices could spur more meat production Story By Lisa Henderson for Cattlemen’s News


ignificantly lower prices this year means every semi-load of calves are worth approximately $30,000 less than last year. That’s a grim prospect for any rancher, but livestock analysts encourage you to explore your options.

the additional health costs a rancher will incur. While he

markets. Seasonally, calves held over until mid- to latewinter sell at higher prices than those sold during the peak of the fall calf run. But analysts see a hurdle to that seasonal trend this year. “We’ve already seen significant increases in red meat and poultry supplies this year,” Nalivka says. “Red meat and poultry production is 6 percent higher than in 2014 at the low point in production. That means we’ll

the most rapid phase of expansion is over. “We’ve seen rapid herd rebuilding for the past two years as cow and heifer slaughter were both down sharply,” Nalivka says. “Cow slaughter was down 14 percent in 2014, followed by a 4 percent drop in 2015. And while sharply reducing herd culling in order to take advantage of higher prices, cattlemen also bred more heifers. Heifer slaughter fell 8 percent in 2014

If you’re looking at dramatically lower income this year, it might be worth your time to pencil out the financial opportunity of a retained ownership program. Such a program might include backgrounding your calves for sale as heavier feeders at a later date, or possibly sending them to a feedyard for finishing. Both options offer you some flexibility, but both also carry significant risks. The first step in evaluating any type of retained ownership program is to evaluate the quality of your herd. “If you don’t have hard data on your cattle such as performance, cost of gain and carcass information, you’re unlikely to have a positive experience with retained ownership,” says John Nalivka, president, Sterling Marketing, Vale, Oregon. “That’s not the time to guess on cattle performance.” Retained ownership, either in a backgrounding or finishing program, offer ranchers the opportunity to benefit from the genetics, health and management that they’ve put into their herd. But, analysts warn, if you’ve never held your calves past weaning, your market risks grow significantly. “We’re entering a fall season that will produce a lot of corn, and we generally have a lot of feed resources,” says Bob Weaber, Kansas State University Extension animal scientist. “Those feed resources may offer many producers the opportunity to background their calves, and they may be able to add $50 to $75 profit per head with such a program.” Weaber says one of the risks involved in backgrounding is


Cow herd expansion continues to take place in the current cattle cycle. However, Sterling Marketing President John Nalivka says its unknown at what pace that expansion is taking place. —Photo by Joann Pipkin. recommends preconditioning calves whether you plan to sell them or background them, he says the costs of preconditioning must be included in any marketing analysis plan. One tool available to help analyze the potential of backgrounding calves is, which can help determine the value of gain and whether the economics of such a program look attractive. Kansas State University Economist Glynn Tonsor says with producers can “calculate the value of gain, but producers must know their cost of gain in order for that information to be valuable. If they don’t know their cost of gain, or they’ve never retained ownership before, they should proceed with extreme caution.” That’s because market analysts see the potential for more downside pressure on cattle

need to sell more product to consumers, and it means it will sell at lower prices.” Along with more beef, pork and chicken in the months ahead, analysts say lower grain prices could add another worry to cattle markets; lower grain prices will encourage producing even more red meat and poultry. There’s also the question about America’s expanding cattle herd. “We know we are in an expansion phase of the cattle cycle,” Nalivka says. “What we don’t know is if we’re still expanding at a rapid rate.” USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service cancelled their annual mid-year cattle inventory report that provided a glimpse at the size of the national herd and whether trends such as expansion or liquidation remain in progress. However, Nalivka says cow slaughter data suggests

and then was down another 12 percent in 2015.” That trend reversed, however, in 2016 as cow slaughter increased through June. “Cow slaughter will likely continue to increase into the second half of the year, posting a 3 percent increase from a year earlier through September. That pace will continue into the fourth quarter, leaving cow slaughter for the year up 3 percent.” Thus, additional pounds of beef will hit the market this fall and winter, adding additional risk to those who have either backgrounded calves or placed them in a feedyard. If you’ve invested in genetics, Nalivka says, backgrounding or retaining ownership of your calves is the only way to find out their value. But, he cautions to know both their marketing and production risks.



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Farmers Need Healthcare, Too Develop a relationship with your doctor Story By Joann Pipkin, Editor


nvironment. Equipment. Livestock. All play a role in the health and safety of farmers. It is no secret rural residents have higher rates of mortality, chronic disease and disability than their urban counterparts. Farmers and rural patients experience a number of common health issues including cuts and punctures, sun exposure and joint pain. “Small cuts and abrasions become larger abscesses quicker now with the emergence of more aggressive drug-resistant bacteria,” explains Dr. Keith Meyer, an internist with Mercy Clinic, Aurora, Missouri. “Later in life, it is common for me to see the problems brought on by constant hard work and exposure to the elements. I look at moles on farmers with a more cautious eye knowing their exposure to UV light has been tremendous.” Aside from common health care concerns, Dr. Meyer says farmers mirror the general population in their physical and emotional response to stress.

Often, the stress becomes oppressive. For some, retirement might mean moving to town and selling everything the farmer has worked to build. “I have been fortunate to have developed good relationships with my patients, and they are able to talk with me about their stress,” Dr. Meyer says. “I have been able to help several of them find ways to cope. Farmers need to know there is no shame in looking for help when they become overwhelmed.” According to the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), hypertension alone is higher in rural than in urban areas. NRHA also reports the suicide rate among rural men is significantly higher than in urban areas, particularly among adult men and children. In addition, the suicide rate among rural women is escalating rapidly, and is approaching that of men. NRHA cites abuse of alcohol and use of smokeless tobacco is a significant problem among rural youth. The rate of DUI arrests is significantly greater in non-urban counties. Forty percent of rural 12th graders reported using alcohol while driving compared to 25 percent of their urban counterparts. And, rural eighth graders are twice as likely to smoke cigarettes.

Farming is not an occupation without stress, and it goes from sun up to sun down. “I am seeing more farmers in their middle and later years struggling with depression and anxiety,” Dr. Meyer says. “It is almost impossible to get away from the responsibilities Consider farm accidents. Death and serious injury acof the farm.” cidents, according to NRHA, With minimal time for them account for 60 percent of total to recharge, Dr. Meyer says rural accidents versus only 48 the issue is compounded by percent of urban. A primary farmers literally living, eat- reason for the increased rate ing, working, sleeping, play- of morbidity and mortality ing, worrying, struggling and can be attributed to prolonged even retiring all in one place. delays in emergency medical In addition, he says there isn’t response. National average much chance to get away from response times from motor the worries and challenges vehicle accident to EMS arrivthey face, so depression is a al in rural areas was 18 minreal disease process for them. utes, or eight minutes greater Plus, he says they struggle with than in urban areas. thinking about retirement. NHRA reports only about 10 “When you literally live on the percent of physicians practice job, how can you really slow in rural America despite the down?” Dr. Meyer says.


fact that nearly one-fourth of the population lives in those areas. That staggering statistic alone leads a list of challenges and concerns for those living in rural areas as they seek access to medical care. “I saw a huge shift in my population of farmer patients over the last three years,” Dr. Meyer says. “They went from insurance policies that were reasonable and comprehensive to now having policies with $3,000 to $5,000 deductibles and much more expensive medications.” Despite these tough insurance policies, Dr. Meyer says he encourages his farmer patients to understand the value of routine healthcare. “It is true that the up-front costs for health care are greater, but the price from not hav-

ing routine care is far worse in the long run,” he says. Dr. Meyer encourages farmers to develop a relationship with their healthcare provider. Ask what is available and what they think is the most important for their patients to consider, he says. All in all, quality healthcare begins with asking for help. “That mole you are concerned about may be treatable before it spreads,” Dr. Meyer says. “That problem swallowing may be worse than just heartburn. The poor sleep may be lack of oxygen from obstructive sleep apnea. Those headaches may be hypertension that will cause a stroke. And, the lack of energy or the crankiness your family has noticed may be depression that needs to be evaluated.”

10 Health Care Tips for Farmers Story By Joann Pipkin, Editor

1. Have an internist or family doctor.

That means you need to see him or her at least once yearly.

“We appreciate seeing patients regularly to discuss health recommendations and to keep up on concerns,” says Dr. Keith Meyer, an internist with Mercy Clinic, Aurora, Missouri. “You are more likely to call your doctor if you have a working relationship with him or her.”

2. Wear eye protection. 3. Wear a hat. 4. Keep sunblock in the truck and on the tractor.

Dr. Meyer recommends Bullfrog gel. “The old farmers from my youth had a wide-brimmed hat, long cotton pants and long-sleeved, thin cotton shirts,” he says. “Their sweat would soak into the clothing and evaporate, cooling them naturally.”

5. Listen to your body.

If your elbow hurts, rest it. If a joint is swollen, it is reacting to an injury by making more lubrication to protect itself.

6. Ask for help. 7. Don’t lift something you shouldn’t. 8. Don’t struggle with stress or depression; seek help. 9. Talk with your doctor about snoring and sleep.

“Snoring is not just an annoyance, but can be a sign of a lack of oxygen and other harmful problems while you sleep,” Dr. Meyer explains. “Get it checked out.”

10. Don’t work beyond your point of exhaustion.

“We get injured and make poor decisions when we are tired,” Dr. Meyer says. —Source: Dr. Keith Meyer, Mercy Clinic, Aurora, Missouri.

Never Turn Your Back Russ Ritchhart tells you why its vital to stay alert when working with livestock Story and Photos By Joann Pipkin, Editor


uss Ritchhart has seen his fair share of testy cows over the years. You know, the ones that charge, even snort at you, before sending you climbing the nearest fence. As a cattle buyer and field representative for Joplin Regional Stockyards, Ritchhart says he often never fully knows the attitude of an animal until he gets it home and turns it out. On this particular day in early June, a seemingly ordinary

task of helping a newborn calf that was having trouble nursing turned the Carthage, Missouri, cattleman’s summer upside down.

I went over, my leg got caught between the top two rungs of the gate and my leg just snapped.” Not only was Ritchharts’ leg broken, but he also suffered a stretched LCL and MCL and a torn ACL to his knee. While one surgery took place the day after the accident, he awaits another later this fall to repair the torn ACL.

Today, screws help hold his leg bones in place as he rehabilitates. Mobility in his left leg is limited, and doctors want as much of that regained as possible before the second surgery. Although he doesn’t move as fast as he did before the accident, Ritchhart says Ritchhart knew it wasn’t un- he can do nearly everything common for a cow to change he wants to on the farm. her tune after becoming a “I’ve got another month of renew mother. The otherwise hab, and then I go back to the gentle cow charged him a cou- doctor to see what he says, to ple of times before Ritchhart see if (my leg) has gained any climbed to the top of a nearby motion,” Ritchhart says. gate to escape. As much as Ritchhart works “Then, she hit me from behind with cattle, he says getting and knocked me over (the top hurt was bound to happen of the gate),” he recalls. “When sooner or later. “It’s like going “The cow had just had a calf the day before,” Ritchhart recalls. “The calf was having trouble nursing, so (my nephew and I) got the cow up. We were going to put the cow in the stanchion and milk her out and give the milk to the calf.”

Gates like the one pictured can become dangerous to farmers when working around cattle. Russ Ritchart’s leg was broken after a cow butted him from behind and his leg was pinned between the gates’ top two rungs. — Photo by Joann Pipkin.

to the casino. If you bet $10 every day for a year, you are bound to win once.” Only in this instance, his luck didn’t bring him pay dirt. Looking back on the accident, Ritchhart says he could have been more careful that day. Having his nephew with him proved helpful, and he says it’s important for farmers to have another person around, especially when working in dangerous situations. Raised on a farm, Ritchhart played college football and owned an autobody business in nearby Jasper before his roots called him back to the cows. Today he runs about 150 head of cattle in addition to working for JRS. Ritchhart is also an avid runner. Before the accident he and his wife would spend most every weekend running races from Kansas City to Little Rock, Arkansas, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Springfield. That said Ritchhart is proof that farm accidents happen to even the most physically fit individuals. “Always be alert,” Ritchhart advises. “Never turn your back on an animal. Always pay attention to how they’re looking at you.” SEPTEMBER 2016


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Diabetes Rates Double Are you at risk?


new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells the story of how diabetes rates in the United States have skyrocketed in the last 20 years, with the prevalence nearly doubling in the last two decades.

Over time, diabetes can seriously damage organs in the body, especially the nerves and blood vessels. If uncontrolled and unmanaged, the progression of diabetes can have rapid and devastating complications and lead to possible premature death.

Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use insulin. Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

The good news is that diabetes can be controlled, and prevented, by changing what we eat, increasing physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and smoking cessation.

Types of Diabetes University of Missouri Extension Nutrition and Health Specialist Dr. Pam Duitsman said four basics types of diabetes exist: prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and Type 1 diabetes. Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. CDC reports that 86 million Americans now have prediabetes and of those 86 million, nine out of 10 don’t know they have it. Prediabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. But, prediabetes can be reversed. This is why screening is very important.

People are at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, are not physically active, or women who had gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health issues and accounts for 90-95 percent of all diabetes in the United States, but about one-third are unaware that they have this serious illness. Some women get this type of gestational diabetes when they are pregnant. Even if a woman’s blood sugar levels go down after her baby is born, she is at higher risk of getting Type 2 diabetes later in life. In people with Type 1 diabetes, the body cannot make insulin, so insulin must be taken every day. Type 1 is less common. Only about five percent of the people who have diabetes have Type 1. Currently, no one knows how to prevent Type 1 diabetes.

Screening Guidelines The 2016 American Diabetes Association has guidelines for screenings, which are medical tests to check for diseases before you have symptoms. “Tests for diabetes should begin at age 45 in people that do not have any risk factors. If results are normal, the screening should be repeated at least every three years,” said Duitsman. Screening should begin at any age for those with one or more of the following risk factors: overweight, physical inactivity, family history, high-risk ethnicity, gestational diabetes, high triglyceride levels, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, a history of cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes Prevention “If you want to prevent diabetes, make sure you get an early diagnosis through screening, and follow some simple guidelines,” said Duitsman. “Choose healthy, lower fat, whole-foods such as vegetables and fruits and whole grains with high fiber. Increase your physical activity to moderate intensity at least 30 minutes on most days and maintain a healthy body weight.” If you smoke, discuss smoking cessation with your doctor. Smokers are 30-40 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers according to Duitsman. —Source: MU Extension.


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Seven Steps to Reduce Your Risk for Heart Disease Take action now to avoid nation’s No. 1 killer


eart disease remains our nation’s No. 1 killer for both men and women, causing nearly one of every three deaths in America. Heart disease is a term used to describe several conditions related to the build-up of plaque on the walls of our arteries. “As the plaque builds up, the arteries narrow, making blood flow more difficult, and creating risk for heart attack and stroke,” said Dr. Pam Duitsman, nutrition and health specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

Keep your blood pressure under control. If your blood pressure is 140/90 or above, see your doctor. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure starts with eating better. “Other important factors are exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting salt and alcohol, and taking any blood pressure medication your doctor may have prescribed,” said Duitsman.

Maintain a healthy weight. For overweight adults with other cardiovascular risk factors, losing 3-5 percent of body weight can produce clinically meaningful results. “Losing, even more body weight may help with blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels,” said Duitsman. Strive for stable, healthy blood sugar levels. Diabetes increases the risk of death by heart disease two to four times. Reduce your chance of diabetes by eating right, controlling your weight, exercising, and taking blood sugar medication that your doctor may have prescribed. Stop any type of smoking immediately. Going smoke-free

can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as many other diseases. “If you’ve already experienced a cardiovascular event, it’s important that you take steps to protect yourself. Be sure to take medications, quit smoking, and lose weight, increase your physical activity, and follow a healthy eating plan. Although this may seem like closing the barn door after the horse got out, it’s not. These steps can prevent a second heart attack or stroke, halt the progression of cardiovascular disease, and prevent early death,” said Duitsman. —Source: University of Missouri Extension.

The American Heart Association and other experts advocate seven steps, which studies show can help reduce your risk, and prevent the majority of deaths related to cardiovascular disease. Start by getting active. “Start small by incorporating activity into your daily routine. Aim for at least two and one-half hours of moderate physical activity each week,” said Duitsman. Regular activity can increase strength and stamina, lower blood pressure, help with body weight, might lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, reduce depression, improve bone density, and improve sleep. Control your cholesterol. HDL (the good cholesterol) can help keep our arteries clear, whereas LDL (the bad cholesterol) can cause clogging of the arteries. “Avoid eating unhealthy trans-fat and high levels of saturated fat. Refined carbohydrates and added sugars tend to increase plaque formation also,” said Duitsman. Eat better and avoid salt. Choosing the right foods helps to control weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. Choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, and poultry; while going easy on processed meats, sugary beverages, sweets and sodium. Chose healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil, and eliminate sources of artificial trans-fat.




Protect Yourself: Be Wary of Heat-Related Illnesses Heads up during harvest in late summer temperatures By Bob Schultheis


t’s that time of year when the stresses of harvest and heat are constant companions for farmers and agricultural workers. Certain populations within the agricultural community might have elevated risk for complications from the heat. Older workers might have more difficulty regulating body temperature, and young children sweat less and quickly produce more heat than adults. Farm workers might be working far from water or shade, might be compensated in a way that discourages taking a break, and might be fearful of reporting any symptoms of heat-related illness to supervisors.


Factors that influence heatrelated illnesses are outdoor temperature, length of sun exposure, dehydration, workloads and speed of work, age, preexisting health conditions, and acclimatization or how new the person is to the heat and the job. According to a 2008 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study, crop workers had a death rate from heat stroke nearly 20 times greater than all U.S. civilian workers. To protect yourself, it’s important to recognize the differences between and treatments for the common types of heat stress, in increasing order of severity. Knowing the warning signs can save lives.

Heat Cramps Cramps affect workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. Sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels. Symptoms can include muscle cramps, pain, or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs.

First aid procedures are: • Stop all activity, and sit in a cool place. • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage, or drink water with food. Avoid salt tablets. • Do not return to strenuous work for a few hours after the cramps subside. • Seek medical attention if you have heart problems, are on a lowsodium diet, or if the cramps do not subside within one hour.

salt, usually through sweating. Symptoms can include rapid heartbeat; heavy sweating; extreme weakness or fatigue; dizziness; nausea or vomiting; irritability; fast, shallow breathing; or slightly elevated body temperature.

First aid procedures are: • Rest in a cool area. • Drink plenty of water or other cool beverages. • Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath.

Heat Stroke This condition occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature, and can cause death or permanent disability. Symptoms can include high body temperature; confusion; loss of coordination; hot, dry skin or profuse sweating; throbbing headache; or seizures or coma.

Heat Exhaustion This is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and



First aid procedures are: • Request immediate medical assistance. • Move the worker to a cool, shaded area. • Remove excess clothing and apply cool water to their body. To protect yourself and others from heat-related illness and death, avoid heavy exertion, extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity when possible.

When these cannot be avoided, take the following preventative steps:

National AgrAbility Project


he National AgrAbility Program is a consumer-driven USDAfunded program that provides vital education, assistance and support to farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Get details on the web at


Want to Know More on Farm Safety? Visit the web at for tips on • Tractors • Equipment • Grain • Livestock • Electricity

• Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers for signs or symptoms of heat illnesses. • Wear a hat and lightcolored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton. Avoid non-breathable synthetic clothing. • “Easy does it” on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it. • Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of day. • Take more breaks when doing heavier work, and in high heat and humidity. • Take breaks in the shade or a cool area. • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty. Drink enough water that you never become thirsty. • Be aware that protective clothing or personal protective equipment might increase the risk of heat-related illnesses. • Pay attention to the weather forecast and plan accordingly based on the heat index (see chart). —Source: Reprinted with permission from Jasper County Ag News and Views, University of Missouri Extension.




Why Preconditioning Pays 11-year study shows value in nutrition, health of calves Story by Jillian Campbell for Cattlemen’s News


ditioning process while calves are still in the womb thanks to some exciting new technology in veterinary animal nutrition. “If you want to get real picky, the nutrition of the dam while the calf is gestating inside the cow is also important to help that unborn calf,” Hilton ex-

s preconditioning a no-brainer? W. Mark Hilton, thinks so. A clinical professor emeritus from Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and currently a veterinary technical consultant with Elanco Animal Health, Hilton isn’t afraid to shout his belief from the mountains, nor is he afraid to recommend preconditioning in times when ranchers might not find it feasible. Hilton’s extensive research experience in preconditioning backs up its countless benefits, but when it comes down to it, he bases his decision to precondition calves on his morals as a producer. “One reason to precondition is, he (the producer) is more proud,” Hilton explains. “He is more pleased with the product he is selling into the market because he knows that it is going to be healthier in the feedlot, and so he’s happy because he is helping the entire beef industry. While the cow-calf producer might at times question how preconditioning benefits his operation, Hilton says benefits almost always exist for the calf and the buyer. Hilton hopes to plant inside the minds of beef producers. An 11-year Indiana financial study Hilton directed resulted in more than 80 dollars of


her) make a ration for those calves after weaning,” Hilton says. “That is just as important as what vaccinations the calf gets.” Some people would say the ration is more important for those calves, says Hilton, who admits that even his expertise cannot cater to the needs of calves across the country. Like other experienced cattlemen, Hilton emphasizes the importance of timely vaccinations before weaning and at the beginning of the preconditioning process. “Get those vaccinations into those calves while they are still on the dam; I really like that,” he says. “It works super because that calf has very little stress. You give them the vaccination and get that stress out of their system before weaning.”

Purdue University Professor Emeritus W. Mark Hilton is a firm believer in preconditioning feeder cattle, citing benefits to calf health and higher premiums to producers at sale time. —Photo by Joann Pipkin.

profit per head per year. Hilton says the rancher being observed made a $75 an hour minimum when he figured his additional labor due to preconditioning on his 100 calves per year. Additionally, only two calves were lost, and only three were treated for sickness during the 11-year study, he notes. So, how can you put preconditioning to work in your own operation? It is important to start during breeding season. Not only can you background your cattle and select the best breeds for the business according to your goals in place, but you can also start the precon-

plains. “We are learning a lot more about this concept. It’s called fetal programming. What it’s saying is that the nutrition of the gestating dam has a big effect on that calf’s health.” Before making any rash decisions, Hilton said that it is important to discuss your plan with your veterinarian first. He also emphasizes the importance of talking to a nutritionist if your veterinarian is not a nutrition expert. “In an ideal situation, the producer would work with a nutritionist that helps (him or

Hilton is also a believer in fence-line weaning before preconditioning. He says an ideal and low-budget procedure ranchers might consider divides a pasture with electrified wire and walks calves through a chute where they will be fit with QuietWean nose flaps for 5 days to prepare for their cow-less rotation. Choosing nose flaps over weaning guards with spikes is important to avoid unnecessary harm to the cow’s udder and the calf itself, Hilton says. Stress relief is vital to the preconditioning process as it maintains a healthy immune system and prepares calves for weight gain in accordance with their genetic potential.





Marketing Health Track Calves at JRS 2016 Value-added program pays dividends for producers

As mentioned before, in last year’s sale the HT calves also averaged more than the other value-added program calves that sold on Thursday. The same was true this year. As you can see on the next two graphs 650-pound HT calves were $3.16/cwt and $20.51/hd. higher than the average of the

other 650-pound steer calves sold during the value-added sale on Thursday. This is proof that the reputation Health Track has been building for the last 16 years offers significant value to our participants. —Mike John is director of MFA Health Track Beef Alliance.

Story By Mike John for Cattlemen’s News


ast year, we analyzed sale results from calves sold at Joplin Regional Stockyards on the two sales the week of June 22 — the regular Monday sale on June 22 and the ValueAdded sale on June 25. What those results showed was not only the expected dramatic added value of Health Track (HT) calves over the Monday averages, but also a measureable value attached with the HT brand over other valueadded program cattle sold on Thursday. We found the same

relationship at this year’s June sale.


condition them. I can control gain because I can control the nutrition. I can control the genetics of the calf. I can have a crossbred calf that’s going to be healthier and grow faster. I can control the disposition of the calf by having good genetics and using low-stress cattle handling. Those are the things I can control.”

What to feed during the preconditioning phase is another consideration. “What I don’t want to feed the calf is a lot of starch at weaning time,” Hilton says. “The calf should consume very little to no corn, wheat, barley or corn silage. What we want is hay as the base of the ration, along with high-fiber, high-energy feeds like distiller’s grain (DDGS), corn gluten feed and soy hulls. Oats are fine also.” Hilton says your nutritionist should have a plan for feeding those preconditioned calves. He also suggests an ionophore in the ration to prevent coccidiosis and help reduce bloat while ensuring feed efficiency. “Nutrition is the foundation of health,” Hilton says. “I can take an animal with excellent nutrition, throw a disease at it, and it laughs at it. I can take an animal that has terrible nutrition, give it a bunch of vaccines, throw a disease at it and it gets sick.” Beyond nutrition, Hilton wonders why producers try to control what we cannot. “I can’t control what the (buyers) bid on a calf,” he says. “What I can control is how much goes in (the calves) during the 45 to 90 days I pre-


The first set of graphs show the premium in both $/cwt and $/ hd of the HT steer calves over the Monday steer calves of the same weight. The 650-pound steers on Monday averaged $134.24/cwt and the 650-pound HT calves on Thursday averaged $10.82/cwt more and brought $145.06. In dollars per head as shown in the next graph for 650-pound steers, that adds up to $70.33/hd.

Hilton adds that the price the calves bring and any health price advantage due to preconditioning cannot be controlled. “In our 11-year study, we showed that more than 50 dollars of the extra profit the producer made by preconditioning was due to the weight the calves gained during preconditioning,” Hilton explains. “Less than 30 dollars was due to the so-called preconditioning bonus or the health price advantage as I like to call it. We need to stop focusing on the bonus that we cannot control and more on the things we can control.” Producers that refuse to precondition might call it a gamble. Yet, Hilton’s 11-year study proves a rancher can profit every year while preconditioning. While the potential to lose money exists, with veterinary and nutritional assistance, ranchers who choose to precondition find the odds are in their favor.




4 Tips for Fall Forage, Grazing Management Rotate pasture for more grazing 1. Rotate pastures on a weekly basis to keep grass in a growing stage. • This will be worthwhile if drought sets in. Savings from improved grazing management is equal to 2 to 3 weeks more grazing when drought hits.

• Defer grazing until October. • Savings from grazing stockpiled forage instead of feeding hay = $25-$50 per animal unit or $50-$75 per acre of forage stockpiled.

3. Pick a tall fescue field to stockpile for winter grazing

2. Stockpile one or two Bermuda grass or bahiagrass pastures for fall grazing.

• Clip or graze off old fescue forage to a 3-inch stubble.

• Clip or graze off old Bermuda/bahiagrass forage to a 2 to 3-inch stubble.

4. Pick a Bermuda grass field or a field to be renovated and prepare for planting a forage brassica and/or ryegrass.

• Apply 50-60 lbs/ acre of nitrogen fertilizer.


• Brassica planted early September on a lightly disked pasture

Tall fescue fields should be clipped or grazed to 3-inch stubble during early fall. This will help stockpile grass for winter grazing. —Photo by Joann Pipkin

will be ready to graze by mid- to late-October.

• Secure source.

• Savings from forage brassica or ryegrass = $25 to >$100 per animal unit.

• Local farm stores might not carry the recommended forage variety but might be able to order them.

• Forage brassica varieties are more productive & have better cold tolerance than common food plot varieties used to attract wildlife.



—Source: University of Arkansas Beef Cattle Tips.


What Happens Now Matters Later Fetal programming’s impact on calf health Story By Glenn Selk


relatively new arena of beef cattle research is labeled “fetal programming.” Fetal programming is generally considered the nutritional and health status of the mother during pregnancy and its impact on the health and productivity of the offspring. Much of the research on maternal nutrition during pregnancy has focused on the last trimester when most fetal growth takes place. The relationship between late pregnancy nutrition and health of the calf is confounded by the colostrum production and intake. Undernourished cows in late gestation produce less colostrum and therefore calves with increased sickness and death loss. 

tion and subsequent health of the calf. The immune system of the fetal calf is developing at this time. Will an undernourished beef cow adversely affect the ability of her calf to ward off diseases after birth and into the feedlot phase of production? 

South Dakota State University scientists looked at the effects of cow energy status during mid-gestation on progeny performance including immune function. They used 151 cows fed to maintain a body condition score of 5.0 to 5.5, positive energy status treatment, or fed cows to only 80 percent of what they needed to maintain body weight and condition — negative energy status treatment.  These treatments However, little is known were applied during the midabout the effect of nutrition dle three months of gestaon the middle third of gesta- tion. During the first one-third

of gestation and the last third of gestation, all cows were fed similar diets. After weaning, the calves were taken to a feedlot where growth and production traits could be monitored. A subsample of the calves was subjected to a foreign protein — ovalbumin — challenge 19 days after arrival at the feedlot. They then measured the antibody response to the ovalbumin challenge to determine immune activity by the calves. These scientists found no differences in birth weight, weaning weight, feedlot average daily gain, dry matter in-

take, or gain-to-feed ratio due to the nutrition of the cows in mid-gestation. However, the calves born to the positive energy status cows had significantly greater antibody titers when challenged than did the counterparts that were born to the cows with restricted energy in mid-gestation. They concluded that mid-gestation nutrition might very well have an effect on immune response of calves during a receiving period in the feedlot. — Source: Glenn Selk is Oklahoma State University emeritus extension animal scientist.

It’s weaning time, which means it’s time to test your heifers with GeneMax® Advantage TM. If you purchased CIDRs between March 1-June 30, 2016, you’re eligible for a $27.70 rebate per bag of CIDRs toward GeneMax Advantage.

BOUGHT CIDRS? GET FREE MONEY, FAST! How much is it worth to your operation to select and breed the most productive replacement heifers? That’s what GeneMax Advantage from Zoetis helps beef producers do. The more CIDRs you buy, the more you can save on GeneMax Advantage. Beef producers who use Eazi-BreedTM CIDR®s to synchronize their cows can now receive a $27.70 rebate per bag toward purchase of GeneMax Advantage to select heifer replacements. Act now–rebates can only be received on CIDRs purchased between March 1-June 30, 2016. It’s easy to get your rebate toward purchase of GeneMax Advantage: • Upload a photo of your Eazi-Breed CIDR purchase receipt to • You’ll receive a rebate code by email. • Submit the rebate code with a GeneMax Advantage DNA sample order form to Angus Genetics, Inc. • Rebate checks issued within approximately four to six weeks after requests are received.




Get to Know the Label Clock ticking for USDA’s new Veterinary Feed Directive Story By Austin Black for Cattlemen’s News


n just a few months, agricultural antibiotic use will change significantly. Jan. 1, 2017, the FDA’s Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) is scheduled to take effect. An attempt to reduce antibiotic use in food-producing animals, VFD changes the wording on labels for many feed grade and water-soluble antibiotics. Dr. Craig Payne, University of Missouri extension veterinarian, said VFD changes how producers will acquire and use antibiotics in two ways. First, it will be illegal to use antibiotics for production purposes. “Any antibiotic that the FDA considers medically important that has a production claim on the label will have that claim removed,”

Payne said. Production claims include increased weight gain or improved feed efficiency. The second impact will be eliminating over-the-counter access to medically important feed grade and water-soluble antibiotics. “One thing we have a tendency to talk a lot about are the feed antibiotics,” Payne said. “But this impacts water-soluble products as well that are considered medically important.” Producers will need a VFD to buy feed grade antibiotics. Watersoluble products will require a prescription. “Tetracyclines are what most people are thinking about,” he said. Other common drugs are neomycin, penicillin and tylosin to name a few. Payne said

the FDA website shows about 240 water-soluble products and 250 feed-grade antibiotics that will fall under VFD jurisdiction. Producers can visit with their veterinarian to see if products they are currently using will be affected. Payne said it’s important to have this conversation before the change occurs.  The directive requires producers have a Veterinary-Client Relationship (VCPR) to get a VFD or prescription. “The vet needs to be familiar with the operation and be acquainted with the care and keeping of the animals the VFD or prescription is being issued for,” Payne said. Vets can then decide if the antibiotic request is justified. For some producers, their current relationship with their vet is sufficient for a VCPR. “Discuss with your veterinarian if a VCPR is in place and if not, what is required,” Payne said. Once the directive takes effect, there will be a process for purchasing feed grade antibiotics. Producers must first contact their vet and ask them to write a VFD. “Once the vet writes a VFD, a copy needs to go to the distributor where the product will be picked up,” Payne explained. “The producer will also get a copy and all three parties will need to keep their copy for two years after the date issued.” The distributor must have a copy of the VFD in hand before orders can be filled. Once they receive the document, the distributor can complete the order and make the sale. All VFD’s will have an expiration date, with six months as the maximum. “Once the VFD expires, you can no longer feed that medicated feed on the operation,” Payne


said. Since multiple parties are involved, there might be some lag time between requesting a prescription and picking up the feed. Producers should prepare to ask for a VFD in advance to avoid timing issues.

Looking ahead Payne said some benefit to the changes made by the directive exist. It requires producers and vets work together. “It will allow producers and vets to discuss whether they need a feed-grade antibiotic in the operation or not,” he said. “It’ll allow us as an industry to reflect on our judicious use of antibiotics.”     Still, concern remains about the future of antibiotics in agriculture. “Is this restriction one step of more to come that will dictate antibiotic use in the livestock industry?” Payne said. “Producers often ask about the future of injectable over-the-counter antibiotics, such as LA200 or penicillin. We have to be prepared for injectable antibiotics to move from being available over-thecounter to prescription only in the next five years,” he said. Payne said producers don’t always realize the changes affect a variety of animals, not just cattle. “The wording on the label will require documentation from a veterinarian to use feed grade or watersoluble antibiotics, regardless of the species,” he said. “Anyone who uses these products, including 4-H kids and even beekeepers, will be impacted if they continue to use these antibiotics after the beginning of next year.” This means producers will have to know what labels do and don’t allow. “Extra label drug use is not permissible,” Payne stated. “Producers will not be able to get their vet to write a VFD for anything not on the label for that feedgrade antibiotic.” A perfect example of this is using chlortetracycline for pinkeye treatment. That will no longer be an option since CTC is not labeled for pinkeye treatment or prevention. “The way producers have used antibiotics in the past may change some,” he said. —EDITOR’S NOTE: See related article VFD: 5 Tips for Cattle Producers on Page 44.




VFD: 5 Tips for Cattle Producers Cattlemen urged to be proactive before Jan. 1, 2017, rule takes effect Story By Joann Pipkin, Editor


ith a new era for veterinary feed directives (VFD) set to begin Jan. 1, 2017, now is the time for cattlemen to be proactive on how to comply with the new regulations set forth by the Food and Drug Administration. David Officer, livestock production specialist, cattle, Zoetis Animal Health, has been conducting producer education meetings

across the Midwest and southern United States. He says producers have had the luxury of accessing medications from their local feed supplier, often on short notice when an illness is imminent. However, new VFD regulations might make that scenario a challenge in the future. “With the shortage of large animal practitioners in some geographic areas, there is apprehension on whether they can access a veterinarian to produce a VFD in a timely manner,” Officer explains. Producers have also expressed concern, Officer says, on what a veterinarian might charge for a VFD. “Most veterinarians endorse the new process and are willing to work with clients to provide the products they’ve used successfully,” he says. “The fees charged will vary by veterinarian and appear to be fair in comparison to other veterinarian procedures.” A veterinarian client patient relationship is required for approved VFD’s to be written, and Officer cautions producers to not wait to develop a relationship with a veterinarian. “Be proactive before a medical incident happens,” he says. Officer reminds livestock owners that an expiration date and duration will be noted on the VFD issued by the veterinarian. “FDA prefers the producer fill the entire feed order from the same dealer or feed supplier for each VFD written,” Officer notes. “This allows the feed supplier to accurately record product dispensed.” And, if feed is left over following the expiration date, he says a similar VFD can be written for cattle to consume the remaining product. “Extra label use and unapproved combinations will not be allowed, although all approved combinations will continue to be available,” Officer says. Other details to help producers stay in compliance, Officer says, include making sure the veterinarian is licensed in the state where the cattle reside and having all information available on the approximate number of cattle for the VFD treatment period. The veterinarian, feed supplier and producer must maintain each VFD for two years. Officer lists 5 tips for beef cattle producers can prepare for VFD once Jan. 1, 2017, rolls around:

1. Locate a veterinarian if you don’t already have one. “With the many thou-

sands of producers needing VFD’s, it’s in the producers and veterinarians best interest to build a relationship early in the process,” Officer says. “Having a good knowledge of the cattle and operation will help the veterinarian expedite the VFD process.”

2. Take a feed tag to your vet to help generate a VFD. A feed tag indicating

the grams per ton and feeding directions will help both the veterinarian and feed supplier, Officer says. “Most CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


VFD: 5 TIPS FROM PREVIOUS PAGE feed companies have specific feeds with specific grams of drug per ton manufactured,” he explains. “Applying the feed tag – grams per ton – information to the VFD will help alleviate confusion, or a need to retun the VFD to the veterinarian for modifications.”

3. Don’t risk disease outbreak.

“Many producers will choose not to pay for a VFD to protect their cattle from disease,” Officer says. However, diseases such as anaplasmosis can be costly to producers and is one that can be sneaky with minimal clinical signs until it is too late. “To control the disease, chlortetracycline must be used in the mineral or feed at the correct dose during the vector season,” Officer says. “A VFD is a small price to pay for preventing a costly outbreak.”


Angus Association Considers Long-Range Plan   Focus on advancing the breed’s leadership position 


he American Angus Association enjoys a storied history of leaders making important decisions at the right time. Those decisions, repeatedly, are based upon months of indepth planning and thoughtful deliberations. On Aug. 15-16 the organization’s Board of Directors met in Denver, Colorado, to consider goals and strategies for the development of a new Long

Range Strategic Plan (LRSP) for the Association. The overarching objective of the LRSP is to support the mission of the Association to enhance Angus genetics, broaden its influence within the beef industry and expand the market for high-quality Angus beef worldwide. “This process has been a continuation of the commitment

that Angus has made to the industry — to pioneer new opportunities and ultimately build demand for Angus genetics and high-quality beef,” says Allen Moczygemba, association CEO. The LRSP process began earlier this year and included unprecedented, valuable input from members, commercial cattle producers, feeders, packers, academia and allied-industry professionals to ensure all had a voice in the process. The results of this input revealed a changing cattle business with evolving needs, and the importance of Angus leadership as the industry


4. Work with your local and federal government agency when questions arise. VFD rules can

be interpreted differently within the ag industry. Information can be dispersed verbally or in print in a variety of ways and might be confused depending on the information source. “The local feed inspector is an extension of the FDA and is trained to provide VFD guidelines and is a good resource on correct implementation,” Officer says. “FDA intends to use a phased enforcement strategy for implementation with education and training for a specific period into 2017. They will then engage in risk-based general surveillance as well as for cause inspections.”

5. Be patient. This alone will be a major change for the livestock industry, Officer says. “Communication between the veterinarian, feed supplier and producer will be essential for success.” While the new VFD rules all boil down to the FDA working to ensure a safe food and sustainable use of antibiotics for animals and humans, a primary objective is to reduce pathogen resistance for when antibiotics are used. “We in the livestock industry need to make this program work and show the general public our livestock is cared for and healthy, in a manner acceptable to those who scrutinize us most,” Officer says.



ANGUS PLAN among cattle producers across the industry. FROM PREVIOUS PAGE looks to grow demand and The association most recently market share. conducted a long-range strateWhile the final LRSP will not gic planning process in 2011. be unveiled until the National The 2011 plan resulted in facilAngus Convention, Nov. 5-7, itating the widespread adopin Indianapolis, Indiana, the tion of genomics technology board shares the following among Angus and commerfive key areas of focus that cial producers; the launchsurfaced through LRSP dis- ing of innovative marketing cussion: genetics, commercial and informational platforms, programs, research priorities, such as Angus TV; and the product, and industry leader- creation of the Education and Culinary Center at Certified ship and education. Angus Beef’s headquarters in The board also evaluated ex- Wooster, Ohio. isting association programs and considered strategies —Source: American Angus Association release. for improving and expanding their use and relevance

Management Matters

Update Your Technology Noble Foundation releases ag calculators, utilities app


ith continuous technology advancements, production agriculture is more efficient and mobile than ever before. As part of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation’s focus on advancing agriculture, the organization has released a new app called “Ag Tools.” The app will provide agricultural producers and land managers with calculators and utilities to help crunch numbers and

gain information when making management decisions. Calculation topics include beef cattle, grazing, wildlife and fisheries, pecan trees, sprayer calibration and fertilization. “We wanted to create an app that would provide more information for farmers and ranchers, giving them the ability to make better-informed management decisions out in the field,” said Bryan Nichols, Noble Foundation livestock consultant. “We chose the calculators that best fit the common situations producers encounter on a daily basis.” The app is available for free download through the Apple and Android app stores. The calculators are also available in a desktop version online at

Calculators currently available in the app are: • Body Condition Score Change • Breeding Season • Calving Season • Frame Score • Lime Application • Pond Fish Stocking • Pearson Square Ration Balancing • Value of Gain More calculators will be added in the future. —Source: This article is reprinted with permission from the Samuel L. Roberts Noble Foundation for Agriculture. Visit the Noble Foundation on the web at www.noble. org.

Get More for Your Cattle! The commingling program at Joplin Regional Stockyards groups together cattle from producers into larger lots to offer buyers a greater selection.

Commingling Now Underway Arrive by 5 p.m. Sundays to commingle your feeder cattle. 46 SEPTEMBER 2016

Management Matters

Mouth Tells All Teeth condition can aid culling decisions Story By Robert Wells


s fall approaches, producers should start to think about which cows should be culled after they wean their calves. Many considerations must go into deciding whether a cow stays in the herd for another year. Some of the most typical are disposition, physical structure, body condition,

In general, a heifer younger than 18 months will only have her temporary milk or “baby” teeth. The teeth will often be loosely set in the jaw. By 18 months of age, space will exist between each tooth so that one will not touch the next. At 18 months to 2 years of age,

udder condition and structure, general health, and age. However in many herds, the age of the cow might be questionable or outright unknown. To maintain condition in a pasture setting without copious amounts of supplemental feed, a cow must have a full set of teeth that have not been worn down too much. Using dentition, or the condition and wear, of the cow’s teeth can be a useful tool to determine if the cow should stay in the herd for another year.

the heifer will lose her center two milk teeth, which will be replaced with the first of the permanent incisors, called pincers. The pincers will be the middle two teeth on the front lower jaw. Then every following year, she will lose the next set of teeth beside the last permanent tooth that has erupted on each side until she reaches 5 years of age when the corner incisors fill in.

The age of younger cows can be closely estimated by the number of permanent incisors present on the lower front jaw (See Table 1). The difficulty in aging a cow comes when looking at middle aged, 6- to 10-year-old, cows. Rather than the number of permanent incisors that have erupted, tooth wear and degree of separation between teeth is the indicator of age in older cows.

From 6 years old and on, age is determined by tooth wear, separation between teeth or disappearance of teeth. The degree of wear on the biting or grinding surface of teeth will be used as an approximation of age. However, care must be used as the type of forages consumed and grazing intensity (how closely to the ground the cow must eat) will affect the amount of apparent tooth wear. Cows grazing in sandy or rocky pastures might have exaggerated tooth wear and

be younger than dentition indicates. Once cows become older than 10 years, age is typically replaced with general terms such as short and solid, brokemouthed, or smooth-mouthed (gummer). The terms are defined as follows. Short and solid means significant amount of wear to the cow’s incisors exists, but they are all still present and solidly attached to the mandible. Broken-mouthed indicates a cow is missing one of the incisor teeth. The smooth-mouthed description indicates the cow has lost or completely worn

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down most if not all of her teeth. Worn teeth might still be present but worn down to the gumline, hence the term gummer. In summary, cow dentition can be used to estimate a cow’s age, but more importantly it can be used to determine if she is capable of biting and chewing forage efficiently for another year of life on the ranch. If a cow does not have the dentition to efficiently harvest forage, she will have a difficult time maintaining body condition. Cows that have missing or extremely worn teeth are candidates to leave the breeding herd and be replaced by younger females. —Source: This article is reprinted with permission from the Samuel L. Roberts Noble Foundation for Agriculture.



if a calf or cow kicks a gate they can come back and knock you down and hurt you. Some of our newer equipment, especially the hydraulic chute, can work very favorable to prevent this from happening.” Cole also says the popular Bud-Box while working cattle might help prevent unneeded accidents from happening.

Management Matters

7) Watch Temple Grandin. “Look the facility over to see if there are any weak spots,” Cole says. “Of course you’ve read enough about Temple Grandin to hear about the things she analyzes as she is going through a working corral and saying, ‘Well here’s an area that might cause some possible stoppage as the cattle are moving through it.’ Good maintenance needs to be done. Those are the important things to me when it comes to updating and correcting certain road blocks in the way of smooth cattle handling.”

10 Tips for Safe Cattle Working Do’s and don’ts are a matter of life and health

8) Familiarize cattle with the chute. Although it’s not a pos-

Story by Jillian Campbell for Cattlemen’s News


ork smarter not harder. University of Missouri Extension Livestock Specialist Eldon Cole’s advice on working cattle can be summed up in those four little words. Cole outlines his top 10 tips for keeping you safe while working with cattle.

1. Be familiar with docility scores. Cole says docility scores

really do make a huge difference when it comes to dealing with cattle safely. Docility scores are based on a six scale scoring system that monitors temperament within cattle, which is transferrable through genetics. “We have research that shows that those excitable cows, those with a very bad docility or temperament score — 4’s and 5’s — do have a little more difficulty getting settled and bred than those who are puppy-dog like; the 1’s and the 2’s,” Cole says.

2) Update your equipment.

Outdated facilities are a no-no for Cole. “One of my pet peeves of working around the chute is the lack of scale facilities, and there is probably nothing that plays a more important part in a farm’s beef cattle success than knowing weights,” he says. “If you don’t have a scale, I am really insistent that people try to get a scale that works.” He also


explains that sometimes producers will have to talk themselves into removing a piece of old equipment to maintain proper safety measures.

3) Remove loudness.

Do you have squeaky or noisy equipment? Cole suggests lubricating equipment and searching for noisiness before each use to ensure that cattle are not becoming unnecessarily stressed. He also has reservations toward using dogs around cattle. “Dogs tend to get in the wrong place and that can be an inconvenience that heightens the anxiety of the animal,” Cole explains. “If you’re getting (cattle) up in an area with a lot of brush I think they could be useful. I’m not totally against dogs; I just think that there is a time and place to use them.”

4) Think before you use that hotshot. Before you resort to anger

and impatience and zap that cow taking her time to move through the chute, ask yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’ Cole finds use in other tools to keep movement steady through the corral, scale and chute.

“One of the greatest inventions that I think came along, and I don’t know why it took us so long to discover it, is the paddle,” Cole says. “They are better than a lot of whips and loud

noises and things like that. We see more and more farmers adopting the use of a paddle or a rod with a flag on the end of it. Causing the cattle to stop and look and see something is probably more helpful than you realize.”

5) Identify the crazies.

How many times have you written less than polite words next to the identification number of a cow while taking records? Cole says he’s done it more than once, and his efforts weren’t futile. “Gentle animals sometimes if you get them in the wrong situation, can react in a pretty violent way,” Cole says. “We notice this most during calving season. We also notice this in bulls we previously thought were gentle. We have learned a lot through docility scores and I have learned that is a very important score to pay attention to when breeding cattle.”

6) Invest in equipment and technology. “Try to keep the

person from coming into direct contact with the cattle,” Cole suggests. “We’ve got some new equipment and moveable gates that don’t force you to be right behind the cattle pushing them with your body. Let the gate work them. Those gates are pretty bad things, too, because

sibility for some ranchers, Cole finds it to be a good practice to try and familiarize cattle with the chute. He says the option of incorporating it into fencing so that cattle are forced to pass through it in route to a feed or water source is a good idea when possible. Getting cattle to associate the chute with something that isn’t a needle is a great way to make the working process quicker and easier.

9) Use tranquilizers and calming medications as a last resort. Cole isn’t completely against the use of tranquilizers. While these management tools might be helpful in the right time and place, Cole likes to see darts as a last resort for working cattle.

10) Make a game plan. Call your vet, your wife and your kids because tomorrow is the day you breed those 40 head of heifers. Cole suggests establishing a good plan and securing plenty of help for working more unruly groups of cattle. “No yelling or screaming at one another because as we said earlier, that is contagious among those animals you are working,” Cole says. “This is kind of a pie-in-the sky approach to it, but it is factual that your temperament and your willingness and ability to work cattle calmly plays a big part in nervous cattle handling.”




Think Ahead: Fall Calf Marketing Plan marketing strategy to maximize calf value Story By Ken Olson


eing prepared with a marketing plan this fall will allow you to take fullest advantage of prices and maximize the value received for your calves.

be used. Developing a relationship with a commodity broker to gain assistance with understanding market fundamentals would be valuable.

Cash & Futures Markets

An obvious potential downside of retaining ownership is its exposure to the risk of ownership beyond weaning. However, risk management tools are readily available and can provide protection from downward movement in the market while the cattle are on feed. Many cattle feeders will include assistance with risk management as part of their services for feeding cattle. Shopping for the right cattle feeder to contract should involve checking out their risk management services.

A first step in market planning for calves this fall is to stay on top of markets, both cash and futures. While the cash markets are important at telling you where the market has been and to compare market strength among various options, the futures market has traditionally been the best predictor of where the market has been expected to go. This means both cash and futures markets should be monitored. The futures market provides tools to consider alternative market dates and options. For example, a question to consider is whether to sell your calves at weaning or to background them until they reach a predetermined larger weight at a later date. In other words, should a person sell their 500 lb. calves at weaning in mid-October, or should they background them to 700 lb. to be sold in mid-January? Using cost and availability of feed and projected price for each weight of calves at each date, a person can calculate which option will provide the greatest net profit. If you were to get carried away with these calculations, you could also look at the projected profit from retaining ownership all the way to slaughter. While you might not have the capacity or desire to finish cattle, contracting with a custom feeder is an option. In this case, the calculations of potential profit include the feeder’s contractual cost and the projected value of the finished calves.

Volatility & Risk Management Despite the historic value of the future market, a lot of recent news about volatility has created concerns about its continued viability as a tool for tracking the market and serving as a risk management tool. While this concern is real, it is not a reason to believe that its value is lost and abandon it; it simply means caution needs to


Another concern with retaining ownership is the uncertainty about how your cattle will perform and their price value at slaughter if you have never followed them to slaughter before. Do your cattle grade well so they will draw premiums on highquality price grids? Or, should they be targeted toward other pricing options? Not knowing how they will perform will make it somewhat challenging to calculate their profit potential at slaughter. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done; it just makes the results less certain.

Calf Value Discovery Programs One option to get a handle on postweaning performance and carcass traits without taking the risk on the entire herd is to experiment with retained ownership on a subset of calves. Many land grant university animal science Departments have programs that small groups of calves can be enrolled in that provide reports about feedlot and carcass performance. Enrolling a representative subset of your calves can provide the information for future calculation of their value if ownership is retained. This information can also be used to focus retained ownership programs (if chosen) toward capturing their highest value such as highquality versus high yield pricing grids. CONTINUED ON PAGE 52



Bayer Launches New Pour-On Insecticide for Lice Control

Livestock Publications Council Honors Beef Industry Leader

Clean-UpTM II provides new option to combat lice

Joe Roybal receives LPC Hall of Fame Award



ayer Animal Health introduces Clean-UpTM II PourOn Insecticide with IGR, a combination of an insecticide with an insect growth regulator (IGR) pour-on for topical application to control lice on dairy and beef cattle and calves. “Lice can make cattle uncomfortable and unproductive, causing loss of hair from rubbing, reduced weight gain and damage to facilities and equipment,” says Bruce Brinkmeyer, product manager for livestock insecticides at Bayer. “Clean-Up II offers lower viscosity than the previous formulation, making it easier for producers to apply at cold temperatures, when lice are more prevalent and problematic.” Lice spread by contact between infested animals. Lice lay eggs that hatch after seven days,

then have a 2-3 week lifespan, with females laying 30-40 eggs in that time. To control lice, existing adults and nymphs on the animal as well as the eggs must be killed. Clean-Up II requires only one application to kill adults, nymphs and eggs (nits). It can be used directly on the animal on lactating and non-lactating dairy cattle, beef cattle, calves and mature horses. It also has a zero-day pre-slaughter interval and milk discard time. “As a ready-to-use formula, Clean-Up II offers a convenient option for producers,” Brinkmeyer says. “Killing lice eggs before they hatch allows for one treatment control of lice, more convenience.” —Source: Bayer Animal Health.

he Livestock Publications Council (LPC) honored Joe Roybal (at right with Greg Henderson, Drovers), Woodbury, Minnesota, with its Hall of Fame Award during the Agricultural Media Summit (AMS) held in St. Louis, Missouri. A native of South Dakota and a graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in journalism. After rising to the position of the second editor in BEEF magazine’s history, Roybal held the top editorial position for 22 years. During that time, he helped grow and expand the magazine’s reach and audience in both print and electronic markets and presided over the magazine’s 50th anniversary in September 2014. When he began with BEEF magazine in 1985, it was purely a print effort. When Roybal left the publication in May 2015, BEEF staff was producing 12 monthly issues of the print magazine for its 100,000 beef industry readers, 300 electronic newsletters per year, and a website,, logging 7 million page views annually.

—Source: Livestock Publications Council release.



FALL CALF MARKETING FROM PAGE 50 Other valuable information about your calves can be gained from these programs as well. For example, if you learn that they don’t perform well in the feedlot or grade well when harvested, then you can alter your breeding program/bull selection to improve the deficiencies. Or, if they do perform and grade well, you can use that information as a marketing tool if you use a marketing outlet that allows interaction with potential buyers to promote the “added value” of your calves.

The Bottom Line I have described opportunities that can be gained from putting forth the effort to make a variety of calculations. This task can appear challenging to anyone that hasn’t done it before. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to learn how to do them. A variety of sources for help exist, including university extension or your ag lender. —Source: Ken Olson is professor and extension beef specialist with South Dakota State University.


on the calendar

Barry County Missouri Farms Featured in Cattle Tour Unique farms feaured at Sept. 17 event


he Southwest Missouri Cattlemen’s Association will hold an educational tour in Barry County on Sept. 17. “Three unique farms have agreed to serve as tour hosts,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension. The first stop at 1:30 p.m. is at Anderson Ranch, Seligman. Owner, Gary Anderson and farm manager Lindell Mitchell will discuss their 300-head Angus-based cowherd. “The herd has been built on buying top-performing bulls and retaining outstanding heifers. A combination of Bermudagrass and novel fescue round out their forage program. About 90 percent of their hay is barn-stored,” said Cole.

To reach the first stop take Missouri 37 south of Seligman to Arkansas 62. Follow 62 about one mile west to Gann Ridge Road, take it to the right and follow the signs to the Anderson corral. The second stop at 3:30 p.m. will be south of Exeter off of MM. A & W Brooks Farm with Phillip and his children Audra and Will features 220 breeding females. The forage is primarily Kentucky 31 fescue with some sudan raised to background fall calves. Heifer calves are evaluated and handled according to the Missouri Show-Me-Select. Several of these heifers will be in the SMS sale Nov. 18 at Joplin Regional Stockyards.

sold direct off the farm. A key feature in the farmstead is a corral under roof with several fans to provide relief in hot weather. The farm’s cattle records were developed with their banker’s help,” said Cole. The final stop will be Schallert Brothers Farms, just west of Purdy on State Road B, then north on Farm Road 1055. Their operation embraces family and modern technology that works. It is a Century Farm with fescue and 900 to 1,000 head of stocker cattle a year. “The Schallerts pioneered the use of anhydrous ammonia to treat fescue stubble hay in southwest Missouri. They use row crops and small grains to convert Kentucky 31 fescue to novel varieties of fescue,” said Cole. For more details, contact the MU Extension Center in Mt. Vernon at 417-466-3102. —Source: University of Missouri Extension release.

“The Brooks have followed their cattle in the feedlot, being sold on video auctions and

on the calendar

Cattlemen’s Seminar to Focus on Effective Management Programs slated for two Missouri locations


rea beef cattle producers are invited to a pair of free profitability seminars Sept. 9 and 10 in Springfield and Gainesville, Missouri, respectively.

for Melisa or Dee) or via email at melisa.myers@mo.nacdnet. net. Speakers scheduled are Dr. Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist, Oklahoma State University; Dr. Peter Ballerstedt, Barenbrug USA; Brant Mettler, Range & Pasture Specialist, Dow AgroSciences; Lee Leachman, CEO, Leachman Cattle Co.; and Peggy Thompson, DVM, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. Cattlemen are encouraged to register early; seating is limited. —Source: Dow AgroSciences release.

This year’s seminar, “Effective Management Strategies in a Challenging Market,” has grown to a second day and a second location. Local representatives of Dow AgroSciences, Barenbrug USA and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., once again are hosting this annual event, with the Ozark County Farm Bureau and Ozark County Soil and Water Conservation District helping bring the program to Gainesville. Expanding cattle numbers, low grain prices and other market factors have created a challenging economic climate for agriculture, including beef cattle producers, seminar organizers say. Getting more production from resources and maximizing cattle value will drive profit opportunities. Each day’s program is free, is open to the public and includes lunch. Speaker lineups and schedules vary slightly:





White River Conference Center, 600 W. Sunshine St. (adjacent to Bass Pro Shops). Registration: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Program: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Register online at; via email at kevin.rathermel@bivi-sales. com; or by calling 877-702-0115, Ext. 7161. Speakers scheduled are Dr. Glen Aiken, research leader, USDA-ARS-FAPRU; Dr. Peter Ballerstedt, Barenbrug USA; Eric Martin, Ag Spray Co. Equipment; Lee Leachman, CEO, Leachman Cattle Co.; Peggy Thompson, DVM, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.; and Dr. Tom Yazwinski, professor of animal science, University of Arkansas. A panel also will discuss pasture improvement strategies, including managing endophyte-infected fescue through seedhead suppression.





Gainesville Livestock Market, Highway 160 West. Trade Show: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration: 9 to 10 a.m. Program: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register by calling 417-679-4876 (ask




on the calendar

Missouri State to host Farm Safety Day

Value-Added Feeder Cattle Sale Dec. 1, 2017 Wean Date Oct. 20

Students invited to Sept. 23 event in Springfield, Missouri Story From Missouri State University Cattlemen’s Association


he Missouri State University Cattlemen’s Association annually hosts MSU Farm Safety Day. Designed for FFA and 4-H members as well as other high school age students, this year’s event is set for Sept. 23 at Pinegar Arena in Springfield, Missouri. This month’s program will also welcome 66 international students. After enjoying last year’s session, the group will bring a new slate of visitors to learn the ins and outs of farm safety. Most people think accidents only occur while working on or driving large machinery either on the farm or down the highway. However, other ways to become injured exist. Farm Safety Day doesn’t focus solely on tractors and other equipment. Stations are dedicated to grain bin and auger safety, farm chemicals and first aid. Not every student in attendance comes from a traditional farm background, so MSU’s Cattlemen’s Association works to create a variety of stations that could benefit every individual in attendance. Doing this generates interest in farm safety and prompts students to think about different scenarios they might become involved in on the farm. Students are divided into eight groups and rotate through eight farm safety stations. Questions and individual involvement is encouraged. Displays, animals and equipment are featured at the stations to give students a first-hand look at what is being presented. Visual aids help further demonstrate to students proper safety techniques. Demonstrating on a tractor or fourwheeler before it’s driven makes it easier to explain safety techniques than just stating the information. Having cattle on site in pens to demonstrate flight zones also

helps students visualize proper safe handling techniques. Teaching young people ways to prevent and treat injuries is incredibly important. Knowing the safest way to operate a four-wheeler or the best way to move cattle can reduce the amount of farmrelated accidents. Perhaps the biggest takehome message for this event is that MSU Cattlemen’s Association hopes students are actually able to glean positive safety information from the event. “We want them to learn something every year, and we want it to be something they remember from here on out,” explains Samantha Riley, president, MSU Cattlemen’s Association. “If we can help prevent an accident, then we have succeeded with this event. We try to keep it fun and entertaining for them as well, but we do make it known that the information we present them with is important. We want them to take this event seriously.” The mission behind Farm Safety Day is to provide the resources, knowledge and skills needed to prevent injury or death while farming. It’s sobering to think about all of the injuries and fatalities that happen every year that a simple change in procedure could have stopped. “We present the students with information that often they had never thought about,” says Riley. “It brings to light the seriousness of being cautious and prepared at all times. The worst could happen to anyone; no one is invincible. Educating these students is the first step in preventing the worst from happening.” —Source: Missouri State University Cattlemen’s Association.


Ozark Fall Farmfest Set Farm show set for Oct. 7, 8 and 9 in Springfield, Missouri


he Ozark Empire Fairgrounds will be flooded with visitors coming to attend the Ozark Fall Farmfest Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7, 8 and 9. The 37th annual edition of the largest farm and ranch show in the Ozarks will feature the latest in agricultural technology and rural living products and services. “With 800 booths and more than 500 head of registered livestock on display, the Ozark Fall Farmfest continues to be the premier agricultural event in southwest Missouri,” said Lance Markley, Ozark Fall Farmfest coordinator and Farm Talk Newspaper advertising manager. “Four State area attendees look forward to the show each year and many actually make a full weekend excursion to the event,” Markley added. “The opportunity to view a large variety of agricultural and rural living exhibits coupled with the restaurant and motel choices in Springfield make for an ideal day trip or weekend destination.” Vendors will feature a wide selection of animal health products, trailers, livestock handling equipment, livestock waterers, feed, tools, trucks, forage equipment, agricultural services, rural living items and livestock exhibits. “We have a variety of exhibitors offering home décor, lawn furniture, cosmetics, clothing and apparel, and more in our rural living displays,” said Brittany Gillig, Ozark Empire Fair agricultural director. Some of the best livestock in the Four States also will be featured in the barns. “There will be a wide range of



beef cattle breeds on display,” Gillig said. “As far as the livestock goes, our space for beef cattle is sold out.” Livestock exhibits will include Angus, Belgian Blue, Brahmousin, Brangus, Braunvieh, Beefalo, Beefmaster, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Irish Dexter, Limousin, Longhorn, Maine-Anjou, Red Angus, Romagnola, Salers, Scottish Highland, Shorthorn, SimAngus, Simmental and White Park cattle in addition to horses, Boer goats, dairy goats, Katahdin hair sheep, swine, miniature donkeys and rabbits. The crowd-pleasing stock-dog demonstrations by Danny Shilling will return and take place daily at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the demonstrations will take place at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the evolution of agricultural technology at the Ozarks Steam Engine Association and Southwest Missouri Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association display of antique equipment. Hours for the Ozark Fall Farmfest are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking on the fairgrounds are free. The Ozark Empire Fairgrounds are easily accessed on the north side of Springfield, Missouri, just off Interstate 44 and Highway 13. The Ozark Fall Farmfest is sponsored by the Ozark Empire Fair and Farm Talk Newspaper. For more information, contact Farm Talk at 1-800356-8255 or the Ozark Empire Fair at 417-833-2660. —Source: Farm Talk Newspaper.



JRS Sale Day Market Phone: (417) 548-2012 Mondays (Rick Huffman) | Wednesdays (Don Kleiboeker) Market Information Provided By Tony Hancock Mo. Department of Agriculture Market News Service Market News Hotline (573) 522-9244 Sale Day Market Reporter (417) 548-2012


Joplin Regional Stockyards Market Recap | Feeder Cattle & Calf Auction

August 2016 • Total Receipts 19,815 | Last Month 9,176 | Last Year 15,389 | Total Video Receipts from 8/5/16: 7,925

Tune in to the JRS Market Report

Monday & Wednesday 11:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Monday 12:40 p.m. Wednesday 12:40 p.m. Monday 12:15 p.m. Wednesday 12:15 p.m.


M-F 9:55-10:05 a.m. (during break before AgriTalk) M/W/F Noon Hour (during Farming in the Four States) T/Th Noon Hour (after news block)

Monday 11:30 a.m. Wednesday 11:30 a.m. Monday 11:45 a.m. Wednesday 11:45 a.m.

Monday 11:38 a.m. Wednesday 11:38 a.m.

Monday 12:50 p.m. & 4:45 p.m. Wednesday 12:50 p.m. & 4:45 p.m.


4th Annual Fall Cattlemen’s Seminar White River Conference Center, Springfield, Missouri FMI: 918-645-9365


University of Missouri Southwest Center Field Day Mt. Vernon, Missouri FMI: 417-466-2148


Cow & Bull Sale 5 p.m. | Sat. | Sept. 17, 2016

Joplin Regional Stockyards | I-44 & Exit 22 | Carthage, Missouri 17 Buford Ranches Angus & Hereford Bull Sale Welch, Oklahoma FMI: 918-948-5104 Pastureland Farms Purebred Angus Dispersal 17 Replacement Cow & Bull Sale 160 Purebred Angus Cows—4 to 5 years old and weighing 1,300 lbs. Shoshone bloodlines. Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage, Missouri No papers available. Start calving Sept. 15 for 45 days. FIELD REP: SKYLER MOORE. PHONE: FMI: 417-548-2333 417-737-2615. 22 K-State Beef Stocker Field Day 50 Angus and Red Mixed Cows—Complete dispersal. Running ages. Bred back to black Manhattan, Kansas Angus bulls. Few calves on ground by sale day. FIELD REP: FRED GATES. PHONE: 417-437-5055. FMI: 785-532-5427 23 Farm Safety Day 25 Red and Black First Calf Heifers—Bred to easy-calving black bulls. Few calves on ground by sale day. FIELD REP: FRED GATES. PHONE: 417-437-5055. Pinegar Arena, Springfield, Missouri 30 Angus Cows—Running ages. Fall calvers bred to Limousin bulls. FIELD REP: MARK FMI: 417-836-5638 HARMON. PHONE: 417-316-0101. 27, 29 Regional Management-intensive Grazing School Lamar, Missouri 10 Black Angus Cows—2-3 years old. Bred to Angus and Red Angus bulls. Due to calve in September. FIELD REP: MARK HARMON. PHONE: 417-316-0101. FMI: 417-682-3579 29 Soil Health Field Workshop 10 Brangus Cows—Short and solid. Bred in second period to Angus and Red Angus bulls. FIELD REP: MARK HARMON. PHONE: 417-316-0101. Rusty Hathcock Farm, Bois D’Arc, Missouri

Expecting 700 head of quality cows and bulls

FMI: 417-831-5246


10 Hereford Pairs—2 years old. Bred to Red Angus Bulls. Baldy calves at side weighing 300 lbs. FIELD REP: SHANE STIERWALT. PHONE: 918-688-5774.

30 Charolais/Red Angus Pairs—3-6 years old. Bred to Red Angus bulls. FIELD REP: SHANE STIERWALT. PHONE: 918-688-5774.


Maple Oaks Red Angus Bull & Female Sale Miller County Regional Stockyards, Eldon, Missouri FMI: 314-630-0332


Jac’s Ranch 28th Annual Production Sale At ranch in Bentonville, Arkansas FMI: 479-273-3030

1, 4

Regional Management-intensive Grazing School Lamar, Missouri FMI: 417-682-3579

20 Black & Red Mot Baldy Cows—3-6 years old. Start calving Feb. 20; bred to Schaff black Angus bulls. FIELD REP: SHANE STIERWALT. PHONE: 918-688-5774.

FMI: 918-961-5173

19 Mostly Black First-Calf Heifers—Bred to easy-calving Angus bulls. Start calving Dec. 1. FIELD REP: JIM SCHILTZ. PHONE: 417-850-7850.

30 Red Angus/Charolais Heifers—Bred to calve beginning Jan. 1 to low birthweight Red Angus bulls. FIELD REP: SHANE STIERWALT. PHONE: 918-688-5774. 30 Red Angus/Charolais/Black Angus Cows—3-6 years old. Bred to Red Angus bulls. FIELD REP: SHANE STIERWALT. PHONE: 918-688-5774.

30 Angus & Red Angus Cross Cows—Running ages. Fall calvers bred to black Angus bulls. FIELD REP: FRED GATES. PHONE: 417-437-5055. 7-9 Farmfest 16 Black & Black Baldy Heifer Pairs—Coming with second calf. FIELD REP: JIM SCHILTZ. Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield, Missouri PHONE: 417-850-7850. FMI: 417-833-2660 24 Mixed Cows—Running ages. Some with calves by side. FIELD REP: JIM SCHILTZ. PHONE: 8 The Cattlemen’s Kind Bull Sale 417-850-7850. Welch Stockyards, Welch, Oklahoma

11-13 R.A. Brown 42nd Annual Sale Thockmorton, Texas 20 Red Angus Heifers—Due with second calf beginning Feb. 2017. Bred to low birthweight Red Angus bull. FMI: 940-849-0611 Bull Listing Includes: 15 Aschermann Charolais 23rd Edition Bull Sale At the ranch in Carthage, Missouri 11 Brangus & AngusPlus Bulls—18 mos. old. Actual BW range from 66-79 lbs., WW from FMI: 636-236-0306 525 to 738 lbs. FIELD REP: BRYON HASKINS. PHONE: 417-850-4382. 2 Registered Balancer Bulls—16 mos. old. CED scores 10 & 11. 15 Circle A Angus Bull & Heifer Sale 1 Registered Gelbvieh Bull—3 years old. Son of Premonition. At the ranch in Iberia, Missouri FMI: 1-800-Circle-A 2, Nichols Angus Bulls—2 years old. FIELD REP: JIM SCHILTZ. PHONE: 417-850-7850. 15 Seedstock Plus Bull Sale 2, Angus Bulls—2 years old. FIELD REP: JIM SCHILTZ. PHONE: 417-850-7850. 2 Registered Angus Bulls—18 mos.+ old. One sired by Upshot; one from Circle A blood Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage, Missouri lines. Both are gentle with great disposition. Raised on grass with little grain. FMI: 877-486-1160 16

Frank/Hazelrigg Cattle Co. 4th Annual Values Sale At the farm, 7 miles south of Fulton, Missouri FMI: 608-279-3172


Hinkles Prime Cut 1st Annual Bull Sale At the farm in Nevada, Missouri FMI: 417-488-4127 JRS Office | 417-548-2333 Jackie Moore | 417-825-0948 Bailey Moore | 417-540-4343 Skyler Moore | 417-737-2615

18-20 Regional Management-intensive Grazing School Fair Grove, Missouri FMI: 417-831-5246 Ext. 3 26

Fink Beef Genetics Angus & Charolais Bull Sale Randolph, Kansas FMI: 785-532-9936

All bulls must be semen and trich tested Tan is 7505c (0c, 70m, 30y, 55k) Red is Pantone 186 (0c,100m, 81y, 4k) Joplin Regional is Knomen Stockyards is Playbill Tagline is BaskertonSW-Italic








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Need Hay?

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September 2016 Cattlemen's News  

September 2016 issue of Cattlemen's News published by Joplin Regional Stockyards

September 2016 Cattlemen's News  

September 2016 issue of Cattlemen's News published by Joplin Regional Stockyards