Beating the Heat – Tips for Dealing with Heat Stress

– Dr. Katie VanValin, Assistant Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

Heat stress is a problem that can affect cattle throughout the United States. However, in Kentucky and across the southeast cattle are at risk for experiencing more frequent and severe heat stress events than in other regions of the country. Heat stress occurs when cattle cannot dissipate or get rid of excess heat, and there are a multitude of factors that can impact how susceptible an individual animal is to heat stress. These factors include things such as breed, stage of production, age, and hair coat color which can make it difficult to predict an animal’s susceptibility to heat stress. Heat stress results in decreased growth and reproductive performance and in severe cases even death; thus, it is not a problem that should be overlooked.

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TDA Alerts Livestock Producers to Possible Scam

See message below from the Tennessee Department of Ag.  Some Knox County Cattlemen have received these phone calls as well!

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is warning livestock producers about a potential scam.

Several Tennessee cattle farmers have recently been contacted by a person or persons indicating they want to buy cattle. The supposed buyer reaches out via text, claiming that a cashier’s check will be sent as payment with money added for shipping, and that the seller should contact the buyer once the payment is received. If the seller indicates they won’t accept a cashier’s check, the conversation ends.

While a cashier’s check is a standard method of payment and typically safe to deposit, sellers should first contact the financial institution where the check is drawn to ensure its validity. There may be insufficient funds associated with the transaction, or the check itself may be counterfeit. To TDA’s knowledge, no Tennessee producers have fallen victim.

“Although at this time it appears that no crime has been committed, we want farmers to be cautious,” Agricultural Crime Unit Captain Greg Whitehead said. “This person appears to be targeting seedstock producers who advertised through reputable agriculture publications. Farmers have avoided being caught up in a possible scam because they’ve alerted each other, their local Extension office, and TDA.”

Good practices to prevent being scammed include researching the potential buyer online before agreeing to a transaction and resisting pressure to act immediately on a sale or purchase. Consumers should be wary of offers to pay over the purchase price, even if there seems to be a valid reason. This tactic is common in check cashing scams.

If you suspect a crime has been committed, please contact the Agricultural Crime Unit at 844-AG-CRIME (844-242-7463) or

The Process of Artificially Inseminating a Cow

– Clif Little, OSU Extension Guernsey County

What are some logical steps in utilizing artificial insemination (AI) on the farm?  We will assume cows and heifers are good candidates for a synchronization program.  However, months prior to AI implementation review the desired cow and heifer physiological condition and factors that influence response to AI.  As with any new venture, it is beneficial to first observe the AI process.  There are many steps to the process, and the timing and flow of work are of utmost importance to the success of AI.

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Natural Service vs Artificial Insemination

– Clif Little, OSU Extension Educator, Guernsey County

Originally posted in the BEEF Newsletter

Evaluating the cost of artificial insemination (AI) versus natural service in beef cattle is difficult since there are a great number of variables to consider.  A simple search of the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle online resources reveals the many different kinds of comparisons that have been done, (  Each cattle producer will have a unique set of factors that weigh more heavily in their production system.   Producers will find comparisons of producing pregnancies utilizing various methods of artificial insemination and realizing costs versus value is important.  The obvious economic benefits of AI are: the uniformity of calves, concentration of work, shortened breeding and calving season, fewer bulls, improved genetic merit of the AI sired calves, and potentially more pounds of beef to sell annually.  Some factors relating to AI are not easily measured such as increased safety, fewer bull escapes, capturing the full genetic value of the AI sired calves, and improved working facilities.

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Processing Increase and Beef Values

– Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

The month-long rally in the Choice Boxed Beef Cutout Value (BBCV) peaked at $475.39 per cwt on May 12 last week according to the USDA National Daily Boxed Beef Cutout Report. By Friday, the BBCV was $434.32. This report includes daily negotiated prices and volume of boxed beef cuts delivered within 0-21 days using average industry cutting yields.

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Wet Years have Favored Weeds

Melissa Bravo, agronomic and livestock management consultant
Previously published in Hay & Forage Grower: April 21, 2020)


Here we go again. Another mild winter of heave and thaw with little snow cover to protect the shallow roots and crowns of improved forage crops.

Without that snow barrier, species such as alfalfa and timothy — the most susceptible of our non-native forages — are subject to winter injury, which thins stands. This leaves less competition for weeds to establish and flourish.

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Check Cattle for Lice in Late Winter/Early Spring

– Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator Wayne County

Originally posted on the OSU BEEF Newsletter

Check beef and dairy cattle for lice infestations during the late winter and early spring months.  Although lice can be present throughout the entire year, high numbers of lice are most likely during winter months when cattle have longer, thicker hair coats, which make self-grooming less effective in reducing lice numbers.  Hot summer temperatures, and for pasture-based production systems, direct exposure to sun, plus rain showers, all play a role in reducing lice numbers and offer further explanation of why heavy lice infestations are most often seen during winter months.

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