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Hot Topic, Cool Solutions

Holistic approach to heat tolerance.

Many challenges in the beef community are tackled with a two-pronged approach: genetics and management. Heat stress should be no different, says Megan Rolf, Oklahoma State University Extension beef geneticist.

“Certainly from the feedlot side there has been a lot of work done on mitigation strategies, and I think we have a real opportunity in the cow herd to use genetics to work on adapting cows to the different environments,” she says. Rolf and other researchers gathered with cattlemen and beef community partners more than a year ago to discuss the role of genetics in heat tolerance. Read more.

Larkspur Alert

Larkspur poison concerns continue for cattle producers.

Last spring, cattle producers in Washington’s northern Columbia Basin experienced serious problems with larkspur poisoning. Following recent discussions with a producer who saw significant losses in 2015, it seems that larkspur may be as bad in 2016.

With the increased soil moisture and larkspur levels in 2015, cattle producers could see significant larkspur blooms as weather warms this spring.

Larkspur is one of the deadliest, most commonly encountered poisonous plants for cattle on western U.S. rangelands, usually occurring on foothill ranges in the spring, and in the mountains during summer. Read more.

Time Liver Fluke Treatment for the Fall

Timing of internal parasite treatments in the
Gulf Coast region critical to ROI.

If you’re treating for liver flukes this spring, you may not be getting the most out of your deworming dollars.

Liver flukes are a devastating cattle parasite in many parts of the United States, with significant focus in the Gulf Coast, decreasing productivity, affecting reproductive health and hurting a producer’s potential profitability.1 It’s important to treat them, but it’s equally important to treat them at the right time. Read more.

Rick Rasby

Ridin’ Herd

Summer mineral supplementation strategies.

This time of year, one of the questions producers ask centers around the mineral program for the beef herd. They understand the importance of the mineral program and the implications on herd performance if it is not adequate.

Minerals are important in diets of beef cows because many chemical reactions in their bodies require them to be present. Producers often ask questions like, “What mineral(s) should be focused on?” and “What is the cost?” These are good questions, but they’re not easily answered because minerals needed can differ from ranch to ranch. Read more.

Seek Veterinary Consultant

Play offense rather than defense by using your veterinarian as a consultant to prevent problems rather than as an emergency technician.

It pays to have a working relationship with a veterinarian to assist in a herd-health management strategy and preventative medicine, rather than relying on a veterinarian to solve emergencies. The veterinarian can answer questions and help prevent problems, often increasing the rancher’s profit margin.

John Hall, extension beef specialist for the University of Idaho, says arranging for a veterinarian to be a consultant offers cattlemen several advantages. Read more.

Washington Vet School Adds Utah, Montana, Idaho

Regional cooperative veterinary training program draws students from
four states and offers resident tuition for all.

According to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), the United States boasts only 30 accredited colleges of veterinary medicine. The entire western region, 13 states, is home to only six. Thus, western states have had to find solutions to ensure their residents have access to affordable veterinary training.

The latest measure taken by some western states has been the Washington-Idaho-Montana-Utah (WIMU) regional program in veterinary medicine. Read more.

Prevention Must Become More Prevalent

Professional services veterinarian encourages evidence-based medicine.

Stewardship and judicious use of animal health products were emphasized by John Davidson during an educational session on cattle health at the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention in San Diego, Calif. Davidson, a senior professional services veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., shared his remarks in the Learning Lounge at the NCBA Trade Show.

Davidson reported that the industry has had a 63% increase in dollars spent on injectable antibiotics used to treat bovine respiratory disease (BRD) between 2009 and 2014. In spite of that, statistics indicate death loss at the feedlot level is not declining, with BRD among the leading causes of death. Read more.

Cattle Diseases: Common Conditions/Terms

Click here for a list of common conditions and terms related to beef cattle diseases, such as anaplasmosis, brucellosis, BVD, E. coli, IBR and others.

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