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Heat Stress Alert

As the weather changes, producers should guard against
heat stress in cattle.

As the weather changes, producers should guard against heat stress in cattle.
Old Man Winter held on longer than usual this year, but now summertime temperatures are taking hold, providing ample reason for cattle producers to guard against heat stress in their herds.

Brian Freking, Oklahoma State University (OSU) Cooperative Extension Southeast District livestock specialist, said understanding and avoiding heat stress in cattle can be a valuable management tool in Oklahoma, where most areas of the state experience 70 or more days each year with temperatures that exceed 90° F. The tips for how to ward off heat stress, how to recognize signs of heat stress and how to handle cattle in hot weather are applicable to most locales. Read more.

Males More Stressed by Travel

Young male cattle have increased risk of respiratory disease during transport.

According to a study by researchers at Kansas State University (K-State), excessive travel can have detrimental effects on the respiratory health and overall performance of cattle. In a paper published online ahead of print by the Journal of Animal Science, the researchers reported that male cattle, postweaning cattle and cattle traveling during the summer showed increased risk for contracting bovine respiratory disease (BRD) complex. BRD can be fatal to cattle, and cattle that survive can have long-term lung problems.

The researchers measured the distance that cattle in different feedlots traveled across the United States and compared that distance with rates of BRD. They also looked at health indicators such as body weight they gained after travel and the weight of the unchilled carcass after slaughter. Read more.

Bovine Anaplasmosis is a Restocking Risk

Cattle producers should educate themselves on bovine anaplasmosis when restocking herds.

With cattle producers restocking herds in certain parts of Texas following drought, experts are urging ranchers to be mindful of bovine anaplasmosis, an infectious disease that can be transmitted among cattle by blood.

“Due to sustained drought in Texas, many cattle operations have been downsized or depopulated,” said Tom Hairgrove, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program coordinator for livestock and food systems in College Station, Texas. “With restocking beginning on some operations, carrier cattle from areas where infection is common could be problematic.” Read more.

Rick Rasby

Ridin’ Herd

Plan for forage needs now.

Even though some areas have received much-needed moisture this spring, there is still a need to begin planning for forage requirements this winter. Although many of us manage our forage resources and production systems so the cow herd meets its nutrient needs through grazing, there is still a need to plan for some harvested forages.

Drought forces forage/livestock producers to develop strategies that deal with indirect economic and biological effects of too many animals for the available feed resources, as well as direct effects of reduced water supply for plants and animals. The results of the recent droughts and high corn prices are a steep reduction in harvested forage supply and an even steeper increase in forage price.

Drought management strategies can be subdivided into three categories: livestock inventory, use of existing forage resources and alternative feeding programs. This article will focus on use of existing forage resources and alternative forages for feeding programs. Read more.

Stocker Strategies for Beef Quality

Mitch Blanding of Zoetis and Gary Fike of Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) talk about stocker strategies that set cattle up for success. This 2-minute, 16-second video is provided by CAB and the American Angus Association. Visit or for more information.

Bill Would Ease Controlled Substances Law
for Veterinarians

The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act would enable veterinarians to legally use certain drugs away from their practice facility.

Veterinarians who transport certain controlled substances to their clients to treat or euthanize animals on farms, agricultural operations or at clients’ homes have technically been breaking the law, but a new bipartisan bill seeks to amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), making it legal to transport these drugs to the sites where they are needed.

U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Angus King (I-Maine) introduced the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, S. 950, May 15. This legislation would allow veterinarians to legally carry and dispense controlled substances away from the premises or veterinary practice on file with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Read more.

FMD Protection Advances

Novel cell line identifies all foot-and-mouth virus serotypes.

USDA scientists have developed a new cell line that rapidly and accurately detects foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus, which causes a highly contagious and economically devastating disease in cattle and other cloven-hoofed animals.

The cell line was created by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Orient Point, N.Y.

“The new cells detect the FMD virus in field samples that come directly from naturally infected animals faster than existing cell lines currently used for diagnostics,” said Luis Rodriguez, research leader at Plum Island’s Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit (FADRU). “The new cells are the first permanent cell line capable of identifying all seven serotypes of FMD virus.” 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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