Quapaw Tribe to open $5 million meat processing plant

The Quapaw Tribe recently opened its new, $5 million meat processing plant in northeastern Oklahoma. The facility is the first USDA-inspected processing plant on a reservation that is owned and operated by a Native American tribe. The beef and bison processing plant, located in Quapaw, is a natural expansion of its agriculture program that includes a herd of Black Angus cattle as well as a bison herd. The meat products will be distributed under the Quapaw Cattle Company name.

Too soon to tell Harvey’s impact on Texas cattle

Although many cattle producers moved their coastal herds inland to higher ground, others were caught by Harvey’s horrendous rain and flooding. Cattle either drowned or strayed from their home pastures. The 54 Texas counties that have been declared a disaster area contain more than 1.2 million beef cows. That’s 27 percent of the state’s cowherd. Sale barns and fairgrounds are holding stations for livestock. The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) and the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) are working with state agencies to coordinate relief and support efforts for ranchers.

How to support Hurricane Harvey victims

Humanewatch.org warns consumers to choose wisely when donating funds to avoid scams. The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) website provides updates, a hotline providing tips and information, a list of holding facilities for relocating livestock, contact info for AgriLife Extension agents and TSCRA Special Rangers who can provide immediate help and information. Visit http://tscra.org. TSCRA also directs folks to the State of Texas Agriculture Relief (STAR) Fund at http://www.texasagriculture.gov/Home/ProductionAgriculture/DisasterAssistance/STARFund.aspx, which uses private donations to rebuild fences and other relief efforts.

USDA grants $460,000 to develop anaplasmosis immunizations

Anaplasmosis is passed to cattle by ticks through their bite and saliva, infecting red blood cells. The symptoms include severe anemia, fever and weight loss and are often fatal. Currently, the only prevention of the disease is to control the ticks. Recently, the USDA awarded $460,000 to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine where researchers hope to develop a new approach to interfering with the pathogen in the tick.

WOTUS public comment deadline extended

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is giving people more time to comment on the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule in the Clean Water Act (CWA). The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is encouraging farmers, ranchers and dairymen to submit comments in favor of ditching the flawed WOTUS rule. The deadline to submit comments is now September 27. It is important to have ranchers’ voices heard because environmental groups are working to protect WOTUS. Comments may be submitted to the AFBF at https://www.fb.org/advocacy/wotus-your-comments-needed-to-help-epa-ditch-the-rule/ and the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.

Anthrax poses danger to livestock

Recently, cattle in a southwestern South Dakota herd died of anthrax. Anthrax is caused by a spore-producing bacteria that are able to withstand harsh conditions. During drought or times of high rainfall, the spores are uncovered. This places cattle and other livestock at risk when spores come into contact with susceptible cattle. They “hatch” and infect cattle resulting in disease and death. If anthrax is suspected and confirmed by a veterinarian, then vaccination should be implemented as soon as possible. For information about anthrax, visit: www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/livestock/anthrax.

Cold and hot branding disappearing in Midwest

Although branding still takes place in Illinois, many cattlemen have stopped the practice, relying on ear tags and tattooing. Even fewer producers utilize freeze branding. The reason is that raising cattle is much different in Illinois than in large cattle-producing states such as Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Proving ownership is one reason livestock producers brand cattle, however, rustling is not an issue in many parts of the Midwest. In addition, smaller herds on smaller tracts of land are easier to watch.

Researchers to observe cattle behavior during solar eclipse

Located close to the center of totality in Clarksville, Tennessee, researchers from Austin Peay State University’s agriculture department will record observations conducted on university cattle, bees and crickets during the 2017 solar eclipse. An entomologist will observe crickets and bees, while an animal science researcher will look at behaviors of beef cattle on the campus farm. Will they lie down in the brief darkness or continue grazing? Since total eclipses are rare, there is very little data on animal reactions.

USHSLA praises improvement in cattle branding

The U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) has welcomed an American cattle industry report, which highlights the continued improvements in cattle hide quality in recent years. In 2016, some three-quarters of all harvested steer and heifer beef animals did not contain any hot iron branding marks. The 2016 report indicates that most of the cattle branding was located on the butt of the animal, the hide and leather industry’s preferred location for branding. This was an improvement from the 55.2 percent in 2011 and 55 percent of non-branded cattle in 1991.

Hy-Plains Feedyard opens research facility

The Hy-Plains Education and Research Center in Montezuma, Kansas, will provide a modern facility for ongoing research to benefit food animal producers and consumers around the world. This new facility plans to provide common sense information for stakeholders in all areas of the cattle industry. The facility offers a controlled environment and support staff to conduct science-based research and offer education for consumer research. The facility opens August 23. For more information about the Hy-Plains Feedyard and the Education and Research Center, contact TomJones231@gmail.com.