What is Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)? BQA is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions.
BQA is certainly not a new program. The precursor to BQA, “Beef Safety Assurance”, originated in the late 1970’s and through the 1980’s emphasized targeting real and perceived beef safety issues. The primary emphasis of the program was educating stakeholders about the proper use of pharmaceutical products and the honoring of withdrawal times. BQA programs as we know them today began in the early 1990’s.
Current BQA programming is expanding with information to help producers implement best management practices that improve both quality grades and yield grades of beef carcasses. USDA Quality Grading is a composite evaluation of factors including carcass maturity, firmness, texture, and color of lean, and the amount and distribution of marbling within the lean. These factors affect the palatability of Continue reading →
– Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL) and a special thanks to JD Green, PhD (Extension Professor (Weed Scientist), UK Plant and Soil Sciences Department)
Poisonous plants are responsible for considerable losses in livestock although many cases go unrecognized and undiagnosed due to a lack of knowledge of which plants could be responsible and the wide range of symptoms that may result from consumption. The potential for poisoning depends on the availability and quantity of the toxic weed, the stage or maturity of plant growth, weather, and season of the year. Most weeds have an undesirable taste and cattle will not consume them unless they are baled up in hay or pasture is limited due to drought or overgrazing. However, if cattle have access to areas where toxic weeds predominate and little else to consume, the potential exists to eat enough of one particular plant to result in illness or death. Usually large quantities are required to cause problems but some are deadly with just a few mouthfuls. Plant poisoning should be considered a possibility in cattle on pasture with a sudden onset of unexplained symptoms such as diarrhea, salivation or slobbering, muscle weakness, trembling, incoordination, staggering, collapse, severe difficulty breathing or rapid death. Oftentimes plant poisonings only affect a few cattle in the herd and severity of symptoms primarily depends on Continue reading →
The overall goal of feed bunk management is to maintain consistency within the feeding system. Photo by Troy Walz, University of Nebraska Extension
Proper bunk management is the art of matching feed deliveries to the amount of feed cattle need for optimal performance. Underfeeding cattle results in poor gains and feed efficiency, longer days on feed, and reduced carcass quality. On the other hand, putting more feed in front of cattle than they can handle leads to digestive upsets, crashes in intake, and wasted feed (Pritchard et al., 2003). Considering an improvement of 0.1 pound in feed to gain (F/G) is worth $10 per head at the feedlot, proper bunk management should not be Continue reading →
– Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee
FED CATTLE: Fed cattle trade was not well established at press. Asking prices on a live basis were mainly $114 to $115 while bid prices were mainly $108 to $111.
The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $113.11 live, up $3.11 from last week and $172.00 dressed, down $2.86 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $118.02 live and $188.06 dressed.
Fed cattle trade continues to be delayed until late in the week. Maybe cattle feeders and packers were waiting on the cattle on feed report. It just so happened that the pre-report estimate averages hit the nail on the head this month. Maybe it was the July 1 cattle inventory report they were waiting on to see how many animals are actually in the pipeline to enter feedlots in the third and fourth quarter of 2018. Maybe it had nothing to do with USDA reports at all, and it all had to do with securing the best price possible. No matter the reason, trading cattle the past couple of weeks has been more difficult than sucking a bowling ball through Continue reading →
– David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
USDA’s Cattle on Feed report, released July 20th did not include many big surprises, but there were some interesting points. But, first the basics. The number of cattle on feed were reported up 4.1 percent over a year ago, on placements up 1.3 percent and marketings up about 1 percent. The 11.282 million head on feed are the most for a July 1 in the history of this report going back to the mid-1990s.
The Taste of Ohio Cafe’ offers the opportunity for consumers to meet the farmers that grow their food.
The free market system will ultimately have a significant voice in how our farm animals are managed . . . the bottom line is that our clientele wants to know more about the food we are producing.
Those words were shared in this publication eight years ago by John Grimes as he discussed the 2010 agreement that initiated the creation of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. Little has changed today in that regard, and little is expected to change anytime soon. With the majority of our consuming public two, three, or even four generations removed from the farm, whether we like it or not, public concern for how our food is produced, by whom, and the sustainability of methods we use is the Continue reading →
– Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Morgan County (originally published in the Summer issue of the Ohio Cattleman)
As I drove around Morgan County in late June and even on my farm, there was still a lot of hay to make. Stems and seed heads on orchardgrass and fescue had turned brown and the quality was poor. We still have a great and inexpensive option for quality forages this fall and winter, and without much effort or cost: stockpiling pastures and even hayfields for grazing.
Stockpile beginning sometime during the next month can result in some of our highest quality and most affordable winter feed.
After feeding corn stalks, probably the lowest cost way to feed cattle in the fall and winter is to stockpile forages. Stockpiling means to make the last harvest by clipping or grazing of a hay field or pasture and then let it grow for grazing latter; in this situation, in the fall or winter. While most predominantly cool season grass based fields will work, fescue works the best as it maintains quality into and throughout the winter better. Many studies have demonstrated that one way to improve the quality and yield is to Continue reading →
In this month’s podcast of Beef AGRI NEWS Today, show host Duane Rigsby visits with OSU Extension Beef Coordinator John Grimes about the winding down of breeding season, pregnancy checking, culling considerations, and late summer forage and hay management options.
– Dr. Roy Burris, Beef Extension Professor, University of Kentucky
It was 1974 and I had just started my career as a beef cattle researcher for Mississippi State University. I was part of projects on grazing systems and crossbreeding but was also starting a new project on finishing cattle in south Mississippi. We were in the process of building a research feedlot but I needed to get something going right away. Fortunately, at that time, finishing cattle on grass was receiving a lot of attention in the southern region. Since I had ryegrass and cattle, one of my first trials was “Finishing Steers on Ryegrass-clover Pastures with Supplemental Grain”. Some of the things that we learned then are still relevant 42 years later.
Steers were grazed for 150 days during the winter and received either (1) no grain, (2) one percent bodyweight (BW) of cracked corn throughout, or (3) cracked corn the last 64 days. Dr. Neil Bradley (UK) always said that it takes Continue reading →