FDA approves first pain control medication for food-producing animal

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced July 25 the approval of Banamine Transdermal (flunixin transdermal solution), an animal drug approved for the control of pain associated with foot rot and the control of pyrexia (fever) associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD).

Banamine Transdermal is the first new animal drug approved in the U.S. for controlling pain in a food-producing animal (i.e., cattle). Foot rot is a painful disease of the foot in which the interdigital surface (the skin in between the two toes) becomes irritated, inflamed and starts to decay, FDA said. Affected cattle can become severely lame, and the disease can affect deeper structures of the foot and leg if not treated. Although other therapies are available for treating foot rot, there was no approved drug to control the pain associated with this disease until now, FDA said.

Banamine Transdermal is also approved for the control of pyrexia associated with BRD in cattle. BRD can be caused by bacterial, viral, fungal and/or parasitic pathogens. BRD affects the lower respiratory tract and lungs (pneumonia) or the upper respiratory tract (rhinitis, tracheitis and bronchitis); cattle typically present with fever.

The topical formulation of Banamine Transdermal provides a new way to administer flunixin to cattle. Banamine Transdermal is approved for a single application of a dose of 3.3 mg of flunixin per kilogram of bodyweight topically in a narrow strip along the back (dorsal midline/spine from the withers to the tail head). This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication is approved for use in steers, beef heifers, beef cows, beef bulls intended for slaughter and replacement dairy heifers under 20 months of age. It is not for use in beef bulls intended for breeding, dairy bulls, female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older (including dry dairy cows) or suckling beef calves, dairy calves and veal calves.

Because this is a prescription medication, it can be used only by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

The application for Banamine Transdermal is sponsored by Intervet Inc. (dba Merck Animal Health).

Fed Cattle Recap | Cash prices steady on better volume

Fed Cattle Recap

The feedlot cattle trade held its own for the week ending July 22, with several regions topping out around $120 to $120.50 per cwt in the cash. That was an increase for the week, as prices started the week a little lower than that.

We had good volume last week. The Five Area total cash steer and heifer volume was 116,360 head, compared with about 98,995 the previous week. 

Five Area formula sales totaled 205,963 head, compared with about 221,202 the previous week. Formulas typically account for very big harvest numbers.

The Five Area weekly weighted average cash steer price was $119.33, compared with $119.51 the previous week, only 18 cents lower. However, the price was no doubt pulled down after two bearish reports were released Friday—the monthly Cattle on Feed report and USDA’s July 1 Cattle Inventory report.

The Five Area weighted average cash dressed steer price was $189.74, compared with $190.06 the previous week, about  32 cents lwr.

The Five Area average formula price was $192.15, compared with $191.86 the previous week, 29 cents higher.                      

The latest average national steer carcass weight for week ending July 8 was 7 pounds higher at 866 pounds, compared with 875 pounds last year. So we’re seeing carcass weights continuing to climb but still below last year. 

However, this is the time of the year that carcass weights normally continue to climb until late fall, even with some heat-related slowdowns at times. Normally, we’ll add over 50 pounds from the bottom to the top.

The Choice-Select spread was $12.11 on Friday, compared with $13.93 the previous week. That compares with a $10.52 spread last year.  

Estimated total federally-inspected cattle harvest was 622,000 head, compared with 597,000 the same week last year. Following the trend all year, last week’s total harvest was 25,000 head over last year. 

The estimated year-to-date total harvest is closing in on a million head over last year. And we’re only at half-time for the year. However, the previous week and also last week’s estimated harvest numbers were reduced a little by plant shutdowns due to storm damage.  

Czerwien is a market reporter in Amarillo, Texas. From the heart of Cattle Feeding Country, Ed follows the fed cattle, feeder cattle, slaughter cow and wholesale markets to keep beef producers up-to-date on the market moves that affect them. He previously worked with USDA as a Market News Reporter. Ed is now semi-retired and continues to work with cattle trade analysis.



Veteran newsman Steve Alexander fills in for Max Armstrong, who is at ag media conference.

The Des Moines Register's annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) began Sunday in Orange City and will end in Lansing.

Over 20,000 folks still without power in Kansas City area. Lot of clean up to be done after storms and flooding.

Many of those in Kansas may be having midway carnival rides for final year. In western Kansas, there are new requirements including inspecting rides that will likely force fairs to do away with carnival rides next year.

There's a big sign company in Brookings, S.D., that is making a big sign for Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit.


Steve Alexander fills in for Max Armstrong who's at an ag media gathering in Utah.

Much of the Midwest got a breather from the bad weather yesterday and they needed it as there are still 20,000 people without power across the Midwest.

This could be the final year of the carnival midway at fairs in western Kansas because of new standard that includes requirement that rides be inspected before use.

In Michigan, there is pipeline under Strait of Michigan that is aging and some want it shut down, others want frequent maintenance.

Big Sign Company in Brookings, S.D., is making a big sign - over 1,500 square feet. The company was started in 1968 and is world leader in LED sign manufacturing with much of the manufacturing taking place in Brookings. Company was started by two college professors.

Farm Progress America, July 25, 2017

Max Armstrong shares the news that wine makers have turned to eyes in the sky for making wine. Kendal Jackson has been using the aerial information gatherers since 2015. Max shares information about how those high-flyers help vineyard managers do a better job.

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.

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

My response to blogger’s tips for ditching meat

Amanda Radke Beef for health

The Meatless Monday movement is based on animal rights rhetoric and the misguided notion that their ethics are superior to the low-lifes who choose to eat meat, dairy and eggs in their diets.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.

The folks behind this crusade have likely never been to a farm or ranch, and many base their decision to forego an entire food group on misinformation and dramatic videos and documentaries created by the creators of the movement themselves.

This movement to ditch the beef continues with a recent article written by Jared Piazza for Science Alert.

Piazza writes, “Are you a conflicted carnivore – loving meat but also hating that you love it? Perhaps you are worried about the carcinogenic, heart-clogging properties of cooked meat or the industry's use of antibiotics creating threatening superbugs. Maybe you're ashamed of all the wasted water and food that goes into meat production and the deforestation and damaging emissions caused by animal agriculture. Many of us also simply struggle to accept the justifications used to defend the killing of intelligent, emotionally sensitive animals.”

He offers five ways to psychologically trick your body that it doesn’t need meat including, being prepared, mindfully eating, broadening your outlook, picturing the emotions of the animals and finding sympathetic friends.

When you’re a meat-eater, you don’t need to play mental games to trick yourself not to eat something that’s naturally nutrient-rich and proven for centuries to be a healthful, enriching food for our bodies, brains and overall well-being.

Here is my response to these tips for going meatless:

1. Be prepared

While Piazza suggests planning ahead with veggie options and replacing traditional holiday fare like turkey at Thanksgiving with a falafel or vegetarian pizza, when you eat meat without the guilt, you can enjoy it without having to trick your brain that the substitute tastes just as good as the original.

Preparing as a meat eater means thawing your steaks, firing up the grill, cooking to a medium rare and enjoying with a dash of salt and pepper. It’s as simple and easy as that.

2. Try mindful eating

The blog post talks about training your brain to overcome temptation by placing greater attention on our food-related thoughts and eating. When you eat animal proteins and fats, your body stays fuller longer, and because you’re satiated, you don’t have to fight cravings. You can be mindful of the foods you eat by knowing with great confidence that beef is packed with protein, iron, zinc, B-vitamins and healthy saturated fats. No supplements or mind games required.

3. Broaden your outlook & picture the animals

Piazza says ditching meat can save 30 animal lives each year. Even if you skipped meat in the diet, he neglects to recognize the animal by-products most consumers rely on each and every day. Makeup, medicine, antifreeze, insulation, shampoos/conditioners, charcoal, glass, airplane lubricants, hydraulic brake fluid, biodiesel, marshmallows, ice cream, gum, candy, shoes, purses, wallets, plant, asphalt, softballs, baseball gloves, car upholstery and the list goes on and on.

4. Find sympathetic friends

Apparently, being a vegetarian or vegan is quite isolating. What a bummer to never eat steaks, burgers, bacon or cream in your coffee! How depressing would a diet of tofu, lentils, peanut butter and supplements be! What’s a summer barbecue with friends without beef? Friends and family tend to congregate when there’s the smell of meat wafting from the grill.

Piazza is a lecturer in social psychology, not an expert on animal agriculture or nutrition. We certainly do not see eye-to-eye on this issue, and my opinion is, we need to listen to our body’s cues. If you have to fight against eating meat so hard, perhaps it’s time to look back on the history of civilizations that ate meat and know that those who remained the healthiest included diets rich in animal fats and proteins. But that’s just my two cents.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

July 1 Cattle Inventory report shows expansion still underway

Getty Images Scott Olson Midwest cattle auction

In spite of drought in several regions of the country and an uncertain outlook for cattle prices, it appears cattle producers are still betting on a positive future. At least that’s one take-away from the USDA midyear Cattle Inventory report.

According to the report:  

  • Cattle inventory of 102.6 million total cattle and calves is 4.5% (4.4 million head) more than July 2015.
  • 32.5 million beef cows are 6.6% (2 million head) more than in 2015. The 31.2 million cows on Jan. 1 were 3% more than a year earlier.
  • Beef replacement heifers of 4.2 million head are 2.1% less than two years earlier. The 6.4 million beef replacements at the start if the year were 1% more than at the beginning of 2016.
  • Estimated calf crop for this year of 36.3 million head is 6.5% (2.2 million head) more than in 2015.

Since USDA didn’t conduct a midyear inventory estimate last year, it’s harder to make comparisons, according to the Steiner Consulting Group, which publishes the Daily Livestock Report. However, the 32.5 million estimate on July 1 is higher than the Jan. 1, 2017 estimate of 31.21 million head and 6.6% higher than the midyear estimate in 2015.

“The July cow herd tends to be larger than the January count because bred heifers are not considered part of the cow herd until they drop a calf in the spring,” DLR economists say.

“The survey also indicated that the dairy herd continues to expand. The dairy herd on July 1 was up 1.1% from two years ago. By far, however, the primary determinant for the increase in cow/beef supplies is the expansion of the beef cow herd,” DLR economists conclude.



Additional CRP land opened for haying, grazing in drought-stricken states

Getty Images/JohnMoore Devastating effects of drought

Source: USDA

In an effort to help drought-stricken beef producers, USDA has authorizing the use of additional Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands for emergency grazing and haying in and around portions of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota affected by severe drought. USDA is adding the ability for farmers and ranchers in these areas to hay and graze CRP wetland and buffer practices.

For CRP practices previously announced, including those authorized today, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is allowing this emergency action during and after the primary nesting season, where local drought conditions warrant, in parts of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota that have reached D2, or “severe”, drought level or greater according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. This includes counties with any part of their border located within 150 miles of authorized counties within the three states, and may extend into Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wyoming. All emergency grazing must end Sept. 30, 2017 and emergency haying must end Aug. 31, 2017.

“We are working to immediately address the dire straits facing drought-stricken farmers and ranchers,” said Perdue. “USDA is fully considering and authorizing any federal programs or related provisions we have available to meet the immediate needs of impacted producers.”

The Secretary said that epic dry conditions, as high as D4 in some areas, coupled with an intense heatwave, have left pastures in poor or very poor condition resulting in the need for ranchers to, at best, supplement grain and hay and at worst, sell their herds.

Landowners interested in emergency haying or grazing of CRP acres should contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office and meet with the local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff to obtain a modified conservation plan to include emergency haying/grazing. Individual conservation plans will take into consideration wildlife needs. CRP participants are reminded that a certain percentage of fields must be left unhayed or ungrazed.

Additional information about the counties approved for emergency haying and grazing and the eligible CRP practices in this area is available at www.fsa.usda.gov/emergency-hayandgraze.

For more information on CRP emergency grazing and haying, or other disaster assistance programs and loans, contact your local USDA Service Center, visit http://offices.usda.gov .


Veteran newsman Steve Alexander fills in for Max Armstrong. Max is in Snowberg, Utah, for Agricultural Media Summit.

Here in the Midwest, it's a cleanup day for lots of people after weekend storms in Missouri and Kansas. There's also been flooding in Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. Though flooding in Wisconsin is nothing new of course. Flooding records go way back to 1785 in Wisconsin.

Federal ag officials say 64 million bushels of wheat will be lost from northeast Montana through Dakotas.

Electronics factory jobs may be coming to Midwest. Flurry of lobbying by Midwestern states to land factory. Talk of up to 5,000 jobs.

David Letterman has never forgotten his Midwest roots. He has donated several items to his alma mater, Ball State University in Indiana.

5 Trending Headlines: Japan company seeks Chinese beef market; PLUS: Essential oils for cattle?

Cattle at feedbunk

Japanese meat company buys Creekstone Farms, sees opportunity in China

When the U.S. and China agreed to resume beef trade, it whetted the appetites of not just U.S. beef producers, but of companies worldwide. Take, for example, the Japanese meat company Marubeni.

The Japanese trading house, which has been exporting U.S. beef to Japan for 40 years, has acquired all of Kansas-based Creekstone Farms, a distributor of premium beef, in a deal worth about $170 million, including liabilities. With the resumption of American beef exports to China, Marubeni expects the country's appetite for the meat to grow as its middle class expands, reports Nikkei.

Click here to read more.

Limiting livestock access to ponds is best for bass and bovines

As both a cattleman and manager of one of the country’s largest fish farms, Matt Flynt is responsible for hundreds of cattle, millions of fish, thousands of acres of water and miles of levees in central Arkansas. His livelihood relies on water quality. So when it comes time to let the cows drink, he can’t afford to muddy the waters, reports the Angus Beef Bulletin.

“I’m in the business to raise fish, so I’m definitely not going to do anything with the cattle to jeopardize the water,” says the owner of Fly’n“T” Cattle Co. and manager of Pool Fisheries in Lonoke, Ark. “My situation is unique, but in general, I think it’s a really good idea to fence off the ponds and restrict livestock access.”

Click here to read more.

Wyoming wolves in the crosshairs, literally

John Moore / Staff / Getty Images

Gray wolves killed a record number of livestock in Wyoming last year, and wildlife managers responded by killing a record number of wolves that were responsible, according to a new federal report.

The report, released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and reported by the Associated Press, found that wolves killed 243 livestock, including 154 cattle, 88 sheep and one horse, in 2016. In 2015, 134 livestock deaths attributed to wolves were recorded, according to the Spokesman, in Spokane, Wash.

Last year’s livestock losses in Wyoming exceeded the previous record of 222 in 2009.

As a result, wildlife managers last year killed 113 wolves that were confirmed to be attacking livestock. In 2015, they killed 54 wolves.

Click here to read more.

Essential oils can assist with livestock digestion, study finds


NikiLitov / ThinkStock

Essential oils have long been touted for their positive effects on human health. But livestock? Yep. Kansas State University researchers have found that essential oils can play a role in livestock health.

In a study, professors Evan Titgemeyer and T.G. Nagaraja found that limonene, which is in lemon oil, and thymol, which is in thyme oil, help combat a harmful bacterium in cattle stomachs. The bacterium, Fusobacterium necrophorum, makes dietary protein less available to the animal.

Click here to read more

Montana rancher finds that wildlife, cattle can run the range together

Burt Rutherford

On the Endecott Ranch near Ennis, Montana, cows are number one. From calving through weaning, and throughout the long, harsh winters in the Madison Valley, Janet Endecott’s Red Angus and Herefords receive the best of everything, reports onpasture.com.

But after years of the cows drinking from South Meadow Creek, the banks were word and eroded and the old, inefficient irrigation structures didn’t work well when stream flows ran short in the summer.

What did the Endecotts do about that? Click here to read the rest of the story.