October 26, 2018 | Vol. 11 : No. 10

Health & Nutrition


Economics of Trichomoniasis

The cost of not knowing your herd is infected outweighs the cost for testing.

“We are going to talk about the economics of trichomoniasis. Nobody get up and leave please,” joked John Wenzel, New Mexico State University Extension veterinarian, about the disease for which many producers forego testing despite the high risk of its economic impact.

On average, the test itself costs $46 per bull. However, the high costs of the test come from holding bulls in a pen, feeding them while waiting for the test results and potentially culling those testing positive for trichomoniasis, Wenzel noted.

Fumonisin Not Detrimental to Beef Cattle Diets

Research supports change to FDA feeding guidelines.

Increasing levels of dietary fumonisin do not adversely affect feedlot cattle performance, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist in Amarillo.

After a tumultuous 2017 corn season resulting in grain price discounts due to fumonisin, Jenny Jennings conducted a controlled beef cattle feeding study to determine the dangers of the mycotoxin in feed corn.

Vaccination Reactions

Most reactions can't be predicted or prevented, so it's important to be prepared.

An allergic reaction to vaccination can be mild and local, like temporary swelling at the injection site, or fatal if the animal goes into anaphylactic shock. Janice Berg, director of veterinary affairs at Merck Animal Health, says clostridial vaccines often produce local reactions. A large injection-site reaction can make the neck sore for a few days.

“If the animal is very sensitive to the vaccine, it can be a large swelling, and the animal may be reluctant to move — and lame — for several days,” she says. “If swelling is near the shoulder, pain hinders movement when the animal walks.”

Montana DOL Adopts New Brucellosis Rules

Montana expands Designated Surveillance Area and vaccination requirements for brucellosis.

The Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) has adopted changes to rules affecting vaccination requirements and the boundary of the Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) for brucellosis, or Bang’s Disease.

The newly adopted brucellosis vaccination rule (ARM 32.3.433) mandates that eligible animals in 10 Montana counties must be vaccinated against brucellosis.

When Preg Check Doesn’t Go Your Way

Rule out nutritional culprits and plan for above-average breeding results next round.

You think you’re doing everything possible to prepare for a great pregnancy check, but are you seeing the payoff? Are you hitting a 90%-95% pregnancy rate? If your results are average or below, it’s time to pinpoint the reason.

“Lots of things could contribute to disappointing preg-check results,” says Doug Hawkins, technical support specialist for Purina Animal Nutrition. “Is it nutrition? Health? The bull? Identifying the culprit starts with the process of elimination.”

CRP Considerations

CRP risk management decision aid available through AgriLife Extension.

As Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts expire, landowners must decide if they should re-enroll acreage, convert it back to farmland or leave it in permanent cover for wildlife and/or grazing, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist said.

Reduce Methane Emissions and Improve Feed Efficiency

Ranchers can benefit from using technological and nutritional approaches to reduce methane emissions.

Things got a little gassy at the Beef Improvement Federation Research Symposium and Convention in Loveland, Colo. Sara Place, director of sustainable beef production research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association spoke to ranchers about lowering methane emissions.

Place said consumers have recently been pressing beef producers to focus on sustainability. Consumers are demanding cattlemen better manage the amount of methane emitted, despite beef cattle being responsible for only 1.86% of total methane emissions in the United States.