from June 24
COMPROMISE BILL EXEMPTS MEAT FROM GMO LABELING
U.S. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts of
Kansas announced this week a compromise has been reached with Ranking
Member Debbie Stabenow of Michigan on a labeling law for genetically
modified foods. Roberts urged his congressional colleagues to support
the approach as an alternative to the restrictive Vermont law set to go
into effect July 1.
The proposal would prohibit states or other entities from mandating
labels for food or seed that is genetically engineered. As part of the
proposal, USDA is required to establish a uniform national disclosure
standard for human food that is bioengineered. Language in the
legislation makes disclosure mandatory, but gives options, including
text on packaging, a symbol or a link to a website.
Of particular interest to the livestock industry, foods containing
meat, poultry and egg products as the main ingredient are exempt from
labeling. Whole muscle cuts and ground product would be exempt as well.
The bill would prohibit the U.S. secretary of agriculture from
considering any food product derived from an animal as bioengineered
because the animal may have eaten genetically modified feed.
The U.S. Senate had not acted on the legislation as of early Friday
(6/24). Nearly a year ago, the U.S. House passed separate legislation
that would prevent states from issuing mandatory labeling laws for foods
containing genetically modified organisms. The bill was introduced by
U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas.
from July 23
FEEDYARDS CAN BECOME BQA-APPROVED THROUGH ASSESSMENT
The Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine is
conducting Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) feedyard assessments this
summer. Completion of the assessment and documented training of
employees will make feedyards eligible for listing as BQA-approved on www.feedyardassessment.org. The approval is effective for three years.
Many Kansas feedyards have been directly contacted by K-State about
participating in the assessment. For those who haven’t, assessments can
be scheduled by contacting K-State veterinarian Dan Thomson at
email@example.com or KLA Feedlot Division Executive Director Clayton Huseman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
from July 22
MARTIN, HIBDON RECEIVE SCHOLARSHIPS FROM KLF
Cade Hibdon of Princeton has been awarded the $1,000
Cancrete Cattle Waterers scholarship offered by the Kansas Livestock
Foundation (KLF). Hibdon, the son of Darren and Julie Hibdon, will be a
freshman in agribusiness at Butler Community College this fall where he
will compete on the livestock judging team. Funding for this scholarship
was generated through sales of Cancrete Cattle Waterers to Kansas
livestock producers during 2015.
Campbell Martin, son of Eric and Holly Martin of Bucklin, will receive
the $500 KLF/Lallemand scholarship. Martin will be a freshman at
Hutchinson Community College this fall and plans to study agriculture
and compete on the livestock judging team. This scholarship was made
possible by Kansans who attended product training at the Lallemand trade
show booth during the 2015 NCBA Convention in San Antonio.
from July 21
BELK SAYS CATTLE MICROBIOME LIKELY INFLUENCING
IMPORTANT BEEF TRAITS
A Colorado State University meat scientist
speaking at last week’s Beef Improvement Federation Symposium in
Manhattan said it is time to better understand the impact of the
microbiota of cattle on economically relevant traits that ultimately
influence consumer demand, like tenderness, flavor and juiciness. Keith
Belk said the microbiome of cattle, which consists of about 2,000
organisms and their collective genetic material living inside and
outside the animal, possibly is playing a greater role in determining
phenotypic expression of marbling and eating satisfaction than the
bovine genome alone.
“This changes the way we need to think about genetic selection,” he said.
Belk based his theory on data suggesting the beef industry has not
improved quality grades, despite a significant investment in research
and genetic selection, since 1974. The last National Beef Quality Audit
in 2011 showed 61% of fed cattle graded Choice compared to 74% in 1974.
He called this trend “rather alarming.”
Other economically important traits likely are affected by the
cattle microbiome, according to Belk. Growth, beef shelf life, immune
response to disease, beef’s nutrient composition and the transmission of
foodborne pathogens all are potential candidates for improvement, he
said, if the influence of the cattle microbiome is better understood and
taken into consideration when genetic decisions are made.
from July 20
STEPS EXIST TO ADDRESS HEAT STRESS IN CONFINED SETTINGS
The combination of high temperatures and humidity, low wind speeds
and high solar radiation can be dangerous for livestock during the
summer months. When these conditions persist, cattle or other livestock
in confinement will experience heat stress and, in extreme cases, death.
Veterinarians and animal scientists at Kansas State University are
suggesting steps ranchers, feeders and dairymen can take to provide
relief and ensure animal welfare. Effective management options include
increasing airflow around confined areas by taking down winter
windbreaks, providing shade using light-colored bedding such as chopped
hay or straw and wetting the surface of pen mounds in the morning.
The National Weather Service, in conjunction with USDA, issues
daily livestock heat stress maps designed to make producers aware of
weather conditions that could adversely affect livestock health. A link
to these maps can be found here.
from July 17
HEIFER FED BY LITTLE AT IRSIK & DOLL FEEDYARD WINS BROOKOVER AWARD
The second place live heifer placed eighth in the carcass contest to
post the best combined finish at the Beef Empire Days fed cattle show.
Owned by Brian Little and fed at Irsik & Doll Feedyard of Garden
City, the 1,454 lb. black heifer finished as a Choice Yield Grade 2 and
won the Earl C. Brookover Memorial Award.
In the steer division, the overall winner was a Charolais fed and
owned by Cargill Cattle Feeders of Leoti. The 1,576 lb. steer placed
10th live and third in the carcass contest as a Choice Yield Grade 2.
Gardiner Angus Ranch of Ashland owned the 1,392 lb. black steer that
won the Cargill Meat Solutions overall grand champion carcass award.
Fed at Triangle H, the steer was a Prime Yield Grade 2.
The Zoetis-MGA champion heifer carcass was produced by a
smoky-colored entry that finished as a Prime Yield Grade 2. Schurrtop
Angus and Charolais fed the 1,238 lb. heifer at -77 Feedyard.
There were 78 steers and 43 heifers from feedyards across the High
Plains entered in the show. Of the steers, five graded Prime, 65 were
Choice and eight graded Select. In the heifer division, two made Prime,
36 were Choice and five graded Select.
from July 16
ECONOMISTS OFFER LONG-TERM BEEF OUTLOOK AT BIF CONFERENCE IN MANHATTAN
Trade agreements represent long-term propositions that will shape
the U.S. beef industry over the next 20 years, according to Kansas State
University Ag Economics Professor Ted Schroeder. He and K-State
Associate Ag Economics Professor Glynn Tonsor projected the
opportunities for domestic and international growth in the beef sector
during the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Symposium yesterday in
Schroeder said the biggest growth potential for U.S. beef is in the
global market. He recommended focusing on countries where consumers can
afford high-quality U.S. beef. This includes countries that are part of
the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which, for example,
would reduce Japanese tariffs on U.S. beef from 38.5% to 9% over a
period of 15 years. Schroeder said TPP countries represented 54% of U.S.
beef export value last year.
“TPP will impact this industry for a long time, if approved,”
Schroeder told the 620 seedstock and commercial producers in attendance.
The K-State Department of Animal Sciences & Industry is hosting
the BIF Symposium. BIF represents more than 40 state and national beef
cattle associations, including KLA. The national organization’s mission
is “to develop cooperation among all segments of the beef industry in
the compilation and utilization of performance records to improve
efficiency, profitability and sustainability of beef production.”
from June 15
SCHOTTE NAMED WINNER OF GOBOB SCHOLARSHIP
Hadley Schotte of Marysville, son of Pat and Kelly Schotte, has been
selected as the winner of the $1,000 Cattlemen’s Scholarship from GoBob
Pipe & Steel and the Kansas Livestock Foundation. Schotte will be a
freshman at Hutchinson Community College this fall, with plans to study
animal science and compete on the livestock judging team.
Funding for this scholarship was generated through the purchase of
GoBob Pipe & Steel products by KLA members, plus proceeds from the
auction of a Hay Conserver bale feeder at the 2015 KLA Convention. GoBob
is a distributor of farming supplies, such as steel pipe and gates,
corral and fence materials and heavy-duty equipment.
from June 14
APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR KLF WILDFIRE RELIEF FUNDS IS JULY 1
producers who lost fence, livestock or feed in a wildfire during 2016
are encouraged to apply for relief funds through the Kansas Livestock
Foundation (KLF). Any producer affected by wildfire is eligible to
apply. The application is available at www.kla.org or by calling the KLA office at (785) 273-5115. Completed applications are due July 1.
Donations to KLF from individuals, organizations and companies
currently stand at more than $407,000. Throughout the foundation’s
fundraising campaign, contributors have expressed a consistent desire
for the money to go directly to affected ranchers. One hundred percent
of every dollar donated to KLF will be used to help ranchers recover
from the wildfires.
A special committee including representation from the ranching
community in counties affected by wildfire will review applications and
determine how the funds will be allocated.
from June 13
K-STATE ROLLS OUT FATIGUED CATTLE SYNDROME ONLINE LEARNING CENTER
Researchers at Kansas State University are developing an educational program to help feedyard and packing plant personnel avoid fatigued cattle syndrome (FCS). Based on research into the condition, K-State College of Veterinary Medicine Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology Dan Thomson and Extension Feedlot Specialist Chris Reinhardt have created online modules, training videos and handouts to facilitate the management efforts of feeders, transporters and packers dealing with finished cattle on a regular basis.
Thomson thanked Merck Animal Health for funding the education initiative, which can be found here.
“This support allows the research to be translated into education for FCS prevention,” he said.
FCS causes mobility issues in feedlot cattle stressed during the end of the finishing period. Problems can occur at the feedyard, during transportation or in holding pens prior to processing at a packing plant. More complete information on FCS and how to manage it will appear in the July Cattle Feeders Issue of the Kansas Stockman.
from June 10
CATTLE FED AT DANNER, SUPREME WIN BEEF EMPIRE DAYS LIVE SHOW
A 1,524 lb. black entry fed at Danner Feeders of Burwell, NE, and fed by Mark Rock was chosen as the champion steer at the Beef Empire Days Live Show. In the heifer division, Supreme Cattle Feeders of Kismet owned and fed the 1,384 lb. red entry named live show champion.
The reserve champion live steer, fed by Bauer at Triangle H of Garden City, was red-hided and weighed 1,468 lbs. Brian Little fed the reserve champion live heifer, a black entry weighing 1,454 lbs., at Irsik & Doll Feedyard of Garden City.
Feedyards from several states entered 78 fed steers and 48 finished heifers in the show. Cattle were taken to Tyson Fresh Meats of Holcomb for processing and the carcass contest.