Drought cuts Size of Cattle Herds in Canada

Parts of western Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta have received less than 40 percent of normal rainfall since April 1, causing Canada, the world’s seventh-largest exporter to have its smallest herd in 22 years. Tight cattle supplies in Canada are causing meat plants to run at 74 percent of capacity, a seven-year low, forcing processors to pay a premium for animals to slaughter. That is forcing prices to jump as high as 44 percent for sirloin steak.

Tri-State Beef Conference to be held August 6 in Abingdon

The Eighth Annual Tri-State Beef Cattle conference will be held in Abingdon, Virginia on August 6. Topics will include the beef cattle outlook, extending the grazing season while improving soil health and managing weeds. Classes on hoof conformation and selecting breeding stock will also be presented. There will be virtual tours of operations from each of the three states, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. Additional information about registration is available at http://economics.ag.utk.edu/conferences.html.

NCBA opposes decision on beef imports

USDA APHIS recently released final rules for importing fresh beef from northern Argentina and a region in Brazil. These areas with a known history of Foot-and-Mouth disease would be allowed to begin the inspection process to import fresh and frozen beef products into the U.S. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is opposed to this regulation on the basis of animal health concerns; Foot-and-Mouth disease is a highly contagious and devastating disease.

Rabies on the rise this year in Kansas

The Kansas Department of Agriculture reports that rabies in Kansas is rising. At the end of June, Kansas had the same number of confirmed rabies cases as the state had in all of 2014. By June 30, 69 cases has been reported to the KDA’s division of animal health. 9 of the cases occurred in cattle. Kansas Animal Health Commissioner Bill Brown urges Kansans to watch for erratic behavior from wildlife or livestock and to vaccinate their pets.

Jane Parish director of Beef Improvement Federation

Jane Parish, PhD, an Extension and research professor at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center is the new executive director of the Beef Improvement Federation. This organization works to connect science and industry to improve beef cattle genetics. Parish conducts research on applied beef cattle production systems and is a beef cattle specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Mexican Wolf May Lose Protected Status


Last week  HR 2910 was introduced in Congress.  If passed, this bill would remove the Mexican gray wolf from the Endangered Species List,  ending the federal program to reintroduce the wolf into the wild.  Endorsed by farm and ranching groups that have opposed the reintroduction of this predator onto public lands, the bill is also opposed by wolf advocates.  There are over 100 animals in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona with 250 remaining in captivity.

MARC Updates Across-breed EPDs for 2015


When cattle producers began using expected progeny differences (EPDs) in genetic decision-making, it was easy to compare bulls of the same breed.  Because of the nature of EPDs, it was impossible to compare EPDs of bulls from different breeds.  In 1993 the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), calculated across-breed adjustment factors for growth traits and maternal milk.  This year carcass weight has been added for the first time.

Animal Anthrax Confirmed in Grand Forks County Beef Cow


North Dakota has a few cases of anthrax each year and the first confirmed case of 2015 was found in a Grand Forks County beef cow.  State Veterinarian Susan Keller urges North Dakota ranchers to make sure their livestock are vaccinated against this disease.  Effective vaccines are readily available, but it takes about a week for immunity to be established.

DOT Approves Hours Of Service Waiver For Livestock Haulers

Recently, cattle, hog and poultry farmers were granted a two-year waiver from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) hours-of-service rule.   Issued in 2013 by DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the rule required truck drivers to take a 30-minute rest break for every eight hours of service.  It also prohibited drivers from caring for animals during the rest period.  The waiver will ensure that during hot summer months livestock won’t sit in the sun for extended periods.

Pastures In Great Shape To Support U.S. Herd Rebuilding

The  USDA’s Crop Progress and Hay Stock reports indicate that 65 percent of grazing land is now in good or excellent condition and that U.S hay stocks are 28 percent higher than last year.  Pastures are in great shape and ahead of the ten year average .  Improved pasture conditions, combined with strong calf prices, strong consumer demand and short beef supplies are an incentive to rebuild herds.