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A peek inside a hoop beef facility

Are you looking for an opportunity to keep your kids engaged in the family beef business? Are you trying to find a feeding facility that will allow your calves to produce more gain? Have you considered a hoop barn?

One Missouri team of father and son is sharing a few insights on their hoop feeding facility.

George and Danny Wassmann started taking cows off pasture and into the hoop structure four years ago. So far, they've found the process works. By taking the weather off their back, cattle are improving gains and feed efficiency.

"We have seen a 15% boost in feed efficiency," Danny says. "We are able to finish them earlier and with less feed."

George says the facility allowed him to bring his son back into the farming operation full time. It was a win-win for the entire family.

Look at their cattle finishing hoop barn facility near Boonville in the slideshow above.

Weekly Cattle Market Wrap Up | Bigger runs result in weaker prices

Feeder cattle continue to move off of grazeout wheat pastures with 48,200 head coming to test auctions. Prices were mostly $2-4 lower, but with instances of up to $8 lower. They did firm up a little midweek. Last week the mid- and late-week saw the biggest drops which were much lower than the early week sales. This week, the trend flipped and the early week sales dropped the most and midweek sales came back some.

Slaughter cow prices were very regional again with prices in the Southern Plains mostly steady with some weakness because of the very big run in that area last week. However, other areas started to follow the higher cow meat prices and were steady to $2 higher.

Expect pullback in orders as grilling rush ends

The box beef trade continues to rally with very big jumps in the daily spot Choice rib products. However, short-term late ordering for Memorial Day will come to an end now since the meat buyers will have a tough time getting it delivered to a distribution warehouse then out to the retail stores in time for the actual Memorial Day buying by consumers at the stores. The daily cutout has actually started to decline on Wednesday, May 17 because of that fact and the pullback in orders.

7 tips to help you develop a treatment protocol plan for your cattle

Jamie Purfeerst animal health

By Donald Stotts

Some may consider a treatment protocol plan as something feedyards and larger stocker operations do; however, it is a valuable management practice for large and small cow-calf producers as well and a key part of the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program.

“A treatment protocol plan is easy to do, straightforward and takes guesswork and faulty memories out of the equation,” says Dana Zook, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension area livestock specialist.

Simply put, write out a plan for what treatment or treatments are to used when cattle get sick for various reasons, making sure to also include follow-up dates and practices as well as possible alternative treatments if the initial treatment does not produce the desired result. The plan should be reviewed annually.

“As you update the protocol plan, previous versions should be kept on file so that you can refer back to treatments that have worked in previous situations,” Zook says. “Be sure to keep the treatment protocol plan on file where those who need it can find it easily. Putting it in a file cabinet is not automatically the best place on a ranch.”

Advice many find useful is to consult with your veterinarian when writing the plan.

Treatment records are important because:

● Cattle not responding to therapy may require a delayed drug clearance, and good records would indicate if this were the case; and
● Extra-label drug usage is only permitted under FDA guidelines involving a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, making individual animal identification and treatment records paramount.

Barry Whitworth, veterinarian and OSU Cooperative Extension food animal quality and health specialist, says the treatment protocol plan tells the consulting veterinarian what treatments are being applied, enabling them to make sure treatment recommendations are being followed and allowing them to judge whether or not treatment regimens need to be adjusted.

Whitworth and Zook say treatment records should include:

● Individual animal/group identification;
● Date treated;
● Product administered and manufacturer’s lot/serial number;
● Dosage used;
● Route and location of administration;
● Earliest date the animal will have cleared the withdrawal period; and
● Name of the person administering the product.

“All cattle, including dairy beef shipped for harvest, should be checked by appropriate personnel to assure that all prescription withdrawal times for animal health products administered have been met or exceeded for animals that have been treated,” Whitworth says.

In addition, a copy of all processing and treatment records should be transferred with cattle to the next production level.

“Prospective buyers need to be informed of any cattle that have not met recommended withdrawal times,” Whitworth said.

Stotts writes for the Department of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University.

Wolf attacks have long-term impact on cowherd

Photo by Reinaldo Cooke Oregon State University researchers simulated a wolf encounter with German Shepherds to measure stress levels in beef cows.
Oregon State University researchers simulated a wolf encounter with German Shepherds to measure stress levels in beef cows.

By Chris Branam

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a devastating condition. While it’s best known as a major medical issue for combat veterans, it’s also a concern for anyone who has gone through a traumatic event in their lives.

But can it affect animals too?

Cows that have witnessed wolf attacks display physical signs associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a new study by Oregon State University (OSU). This is the first study of its kind to reveal PTSD biomarkers in cattle.

The findings are published in the Journal of Animal Science.

“Wolf attacks create bad memories in the herd and cause a stress response known to result in decreased pregnancy rates, lighter calves and a greater likelihood of getting sick,” says Reinaldo Cooke, an animal scientist in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences who led the study.

After they were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the last two decades, gray wolves have dispersed through the West and have hunted in livestock grazing areas. Oregon’s wolf population has grown steadily since wolves migrated to northeast Oregon.

OSU researchers have heard anecdotes from ranchers that cows that have come in contact with wolves eat less and are more aggressive and sickly. In this study, cows at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center (EOARC) in Burns, Ore., were exposed to a simulated wolf encounter and their brain and blood were analyzed for biomarkers, in this case, expression of genes associated with stress-related psychological disorders, including PTSD.

The research builds on a 2014 study led by Cooke, showing that cows that had been exposed to wolves showed more fearful behavior even when they had not been attacked. The latest findings confirmed the researchers’ hypothesis: the cows’ stress response was expressed in certain biomarkers in their blood and brain cells linked to PTSD in humans and other mammals. Similar research has been conducted with rodents exposed to potential predators.

In their latest 2016 study, researchers simulated a wolf encounter with 20 Angus crossbred cows to appraise the stress of a wolf attack. Half of them were raised at the EOARC and had never seen a wolf, and the other half had been part of a commercial herd in Idaho that was previously attacked on the range. None of the Idaho cows had been directly attacked or injured by wolves.

Both sets of cows were gathered separately for 20 minutes in a pen scented with wolf urine while pre-recorded wolf howls played over a stereo. Three trained dogs – two German shepherds and one adult border collie-Alaskan malamute mix – walked outside the pen.

“The cows previously unfamiliar with wolves showed no signs of agitation and actually approached the dogs,” Cooke said. “They also didn’t have biological signs of PTSD, according to PTSD-related biomarkers evaluated in their blood or brain tissue.”

Multiple studies from Cooke and other researchers have established a link between cow stress and poor performance traits that can cost ranchers. The researchers call for further research into ways of successfully managing both wolves and livestock so they can co-exist.

The Oregon Beef Council funded the study.

Branan writes for the Oregon State University Extension Service.


In the press today, the Wall Street Journal is giving attention to cow comfort, which is crucial to dairy productivity. Cows are being treated like 'dairy queens.' Robotic back scratching, sprinklers, fans.

Economists are saying it's a good sign we are borrowing again. The Federal Reserve report includes some signs of potential trouble. Our household debt in 2008 represented 100% of our household income. Today, it's just 80%.

The four-term Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke of Wisconsin will accept federal appointment as assistant secretary in Department of Homeland Security. He has spoken in defense of Trump.



The economists are saying it's a good sign that we are borrowing again. Loan delinquency is climbing, though.

Some farm organization leaders telling me privately they are worried about agenda in Washington getting sidetracked. They are thrilled with first 100 days of Trump administration.

Powerful winds yesterday took topsoil from fields and moved it around. It wasn't blowing from cover crop fields.

As this week's powerful storms have moved through, I'm reminded that more than 100 people a year die when in floodwaters, most from people trying to drive through floodwaters. 61% died in vehicles, often after driving through barriers or ignoring signs that told them to turn back.

Farm Progress America, May 18, 2017

The rising need to provide eggs from cage-free systems has Rose Acre farms making significant investments including three new facilities. Max Armstrong offers insight into how these new chicken houses will be constructed.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

What is exceptional customer service?

It is making that one person in front of you feel, for those moments you are together, they are the most important person in the world. There's nothing you wouldn't do to make their day better. There's nothing you would hold back. It's all about the customers' experience.

Check out how The Retail Doctor, Bob Phibbs, defines exceptional customer service.

Read more



New Select Grass and Alfalfa Ration Balance from Richdel

Select The Best has always believed that the foundation of every horse’s diet should be forage.  Feeding forage-based diets is what the horse’s digestive tract is designed for. Unfortunately forage alone may not provide all the nutrients necessary to meet the rigors of today’s performance horse. The company's new Select Grass & Alfalfa balances feed ration for the needs of the equine performance athlete by the type of hay or forage in a ration.  Select Alfalfa for alfalfa rations and Grass for grass rations provides all the key amino acids, minerals, vitamins and minerals, including lysine and methionine to support hoof health, muscle development, healthy coat, immune function.

Select Alfalfa provides less calcium more phosphorus and Select Grass provides more calcium and less phosphorus to balance these hays. The micro group are Zinpro ( organic trace minerals complexes)  and  Sel-Plex  (a selenium yeast),  which are better absorbed, stored and utilized than other inorganic forms.

Select Grass & Alfalfa also provides horses with a full serving of Alltech’s Yea-Sacc1026 live yeast culture. It has been shown in research studies to improve fermentation of feeds and forages and enhance beneficial bacteria in the horse’s hindgut. 

As a member of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) Select The Best utilizes Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), undergoes frequent independent audits and with all products, including Select Grass and Alfalfa. Products are laboratory tested to ensure the highest quality, and guarantee what is on the label  is in the product.

For more information contact Richdel, Inc., Carson City, Nev., 775-246-30222 or [email protected]