Steers Outsell Bulls by $11+/cwt

Recently, University of Kentucky economist Kenny Burdine shared the chart below. It carries a significant economic and quality assurance message that needs little additional explanation . . . over the last 10 years, a 550 lb steer has outsold a 550 lb bull by an average of a little over $11 per cwt in Kentucky auction markets.

What’s Next for Food Animal Antibiotics?

– Dr. Michelle Arnold, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

What is “antibiotic resistance”? When an antibiotic is no longer useful against an infection because the targeted bacteria changed in some way that protected it from the effects of the drug (antibiotic), this is referred to as “antibiotic resistance”. The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine is the government agency responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of animal drugs for their approved uses. FDA has already restricted the use of antibiotics in feed and water through the Veterinary Feed Directive. Now they are gearing up to remove all over-the-counter “medically important” antibiotics approved for foodproducing animals within the next two years and place them under veterinary oversight (“Over-the-counter” means available for purchase at any farm supply or internet retailer without the need for a prescription). FDA has established three goals to accomplish from 2019 to 2023:

  1. Align antimicrobial drug product (antibiotic) use with the principles of antimicrobial stewardship;
  2. Foster stewardship of antimicrobials in veterinary settings;
  3. Enhance monitoring of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial drug use in animals.

This process will begin after the agency considers comments on the draft Guidance for Industry (GFI) #263 and issues the final guidance. In addition, the FDA plans to “engage with affected stakeholders and state partners at public events, such as meetings and conferences, to hear feedback and Continue reading

Beef Cattle Handling Facilities a Topic at First Cow/Calf Workshop

During the first session of the Ohio Beef Cow/Calf Workshop next Thursday, January 30, being held at Claylick Run in Newark, Ohio Beef Specialist Dr. Steve Boyles will facilitate a conversation and demonstration on how best to move beef cattle through properly designed handling facilities. Get a preview of Dr. Boyles approach to handling cattle in the short video below.

Cattle Transport and Concerns for Beef Quality

By the start of 2020, the major beef cattle processors have requested that any livestock hauler delivering cattle to their facilities be certified in Beef Quality Assurance – Transportation (BQAT). Any professional hauler or farmer delivering loads of cattle directly to a processor should plan on participating in BQAT training and certification prior to delivering their first load of cattle next month. Much like producer BQA, the goal of the BQAT program is to ensure that cattle transporters are implementing good animal handling and transport practices in order to safeguard beef quality from feedyard to consumer.

To learn about upcoming in-person training opportunities contact your local extension office or Steve Boyles (boyles.4@osu.edu), OSU Extension Beef Specialist. In addition to in-person trainings that will be offered from time to time, BQAT may also be taken on-line by going to https://bqatransportation.beeflearningcenter.org/

Also, any upcoming BQA Transportation programs will be listed at the OSU Beef Team website in the Events/Programs section.

In this recent video, Dr. Boyles reviews many of the basics that are included in BQA Transportation training.

Beef 509 Program to be Held in February

Beef 509 is the result of a partnership with the Ohio Beef Council, Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation, The Ohio State University Extension and The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences

The Ohio Beef Council (OBC) will hold its Beef 509 educational event at The Ohio State University. The Beef 509 program is held to raise the awareness level about the beef that is produced and what goes into producing a high-quality and consistent product.

The 2020 program will take place on two consecutive Saturdays, February 22 and 29, 2020. The part of the program held on February 22 will include a live animal evaluation session, harvest demonstration, rumen function and nutrition discussion, an animal disposition and carcass value presentation, a grid pricing discussion, a quality assurance overview and a review of current issues. Attendees will also have the opportunity to Continue reading

Developing a Herd Health Program

Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

There are Key Practices to Develop a herd health plan that conforms to good veterinary and husbandry practices:

  • Provide disease prevention practices to protect herd health including access to veterinary medical care.
  • Follow all FDA/USDA/EPA guidelines and label directions for each product.
  • Use FDA-approved feed additives including those requiring a veterinary feed directive (VFD) in accordance with label requirements.

The FDA requires all VFD records to be retained for two years and available upon FDA request for inspection. Keep extra-label drug use (ELDU) to a minimum and only when prescribed by a veterinarian working under a Veterinary/Client/Patient Relationship (VCPR). Properly administer products labeled for subcutaneous (SQ) administration in the neck region.

When available, use products approved for SQ, intravenous (IV), intranasal (IN) or oral administration rather than Continue reading

Study Shows Premium in Cattle from BQA Certified Producers

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (July 30, 2019) – While producers have traditionally participated in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) because it’s the right thing to do, there is sound research that indicates BQA certified producers can benefit financially as well. According to a recent study by the Beef Checkoff-funded BQA program and conducted by Colorado State University (CSU), results show a significant premium for calves and feeder cattle sold through video auction markets.

The research study “Effect of Mentioning BQA in Lot Descriptions of Beef Calves and Feeder Cattle Sold Through Video-based Auctions on Sale Price,” led jointly by CSU’s Departments of Animal Sciences and Agricultural and Resource Economics, was conducted to determine if the sale price of beef calves and feeder cattle marketed through video auction companies was influenced by the mention of BQA in the lot description. Partnering with Western Video Market, CSU reviewed data from 8,815 video lot records of steers (steers, steer calves or weaned steers) and heifers (heifers, heifer calves or weaned heifers) sold in nine western states from 2010 – 2017.

The result was a premium of $16.80/head for cattle that had BQA listed in the lot description. This value was determined by . . .

Read more Study Shows Premium in Cattle from BQA Certified Producers

Cattle Handling and Carcass Value

Steve Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist

Utilization of proper cattle handling is key. It can eliminate carcass bruising and the presence of dark cutters. Although the industry has observed a decrease in the presence of carcass bruising according to the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit results, the “2016 Lost Opportunities in Beef Production” publication indicated that carcass bruising cost the industry approximately $62.15 million. Additionally, the presence of dark cutters cost the beef industry $132 million.

These include the elimination of side and multiple brands, proper cattle handling/transport techniques and facility design, and the elimination of improper IM injections. Proper administration of animal health products, branding only in the shoulder or hip areas, marketing cattle at an optimum time, and reducing stress placed on when handling cattle are just some of the management practices that can Continue reading

BQA Transport Training & Certification

Beginning in 2020, several packers will require BQA Transportation certification of the hauler/drivers delivering cattle to their plants.

By the start of 2020, the major beef cattle processors have requested that any livestock hauler delivering cattle to their facilities be certified in Beef Quality Assurance – Transport (BQAT). Any professional hauler or farmer delivering loads of cattle directly to a processor should plan on attending a BQAT training and certification prior to delivering their first load of cattle in 2020. Much like producer BQA, the goal of the BQAT program is to make sure that cattle transporters are implementing good animal handling and transport practices.

Transportation quality assurance plays a critical role in the Continue reading