Mandatory Livestock ID in 2009
It's come to this...apparently and maybe.
The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) will become mandatory
in early 2009 unless 100% of livestock premises --estimated at around 2
million by USDA -- are registered, 100% of livestock born that year are
registered, and unless movement data is recorded for at least 60% of the
livestock in commerce that are less than one year of age.
That according to the Implementation Plan for the National Animal
Identification System (NAIS) unveiled by USDA last week. Neither USDA
Secretary Mike Johanns nor John Clifford, chief veterinarian for APHIS,
was near that direct during a conference call announcing the plan last
Thursday. However, the implementation plan (animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais) does contain a
contingency for mandating the system to force producer participation.
What the plan doesn't contain is any mention of cost to producers.
During the aforementioned conference call, the closest Johanns came to
addressing the subject was to say, "USDA has invested a rather
substantial sum of money in the system to get it up and
running...President Bush has been most supportive, even placing funds
into his own budget."
More to the point, USDA has thrown about $85 million of tax money at
developing NAIS so far. Depending on your vantage point, that money
hasn't bought much so far, other than getting about 10% of all livestock
Well, that, miles of red tape, canyon-wide industry divisiveness over
the issue, a federal NAIS data repository that was shelved at the 12th
hour, and a mountain of cooperative field trials and projects.
Incidentally, based on the conference call, while these cooperative
projects were presumably going to be used to guide NAIS implementation,
Johanns hasn't yet seen a final report on them.
USDA's implementation plan calls for having 25% of all premises
registered by January 2007 (more than twice the current total); 70% of
all premises and 40% of all livestock entering commerce registered by
Jan. 1, 2008.
Just meeting the premises-registration goal on a voluntary basis would
seem wishful thinking at this point. As an example, Texas Animal Health
Commission (TAHC) commissioners recently tabled a meeting where they
were to consider proposed regulations to mandate premises registration
in that state. At the time, Bob Hillman, TAHC executive director and
state veterinarian, explained, "We are seeking from USDA clear direction
on NAIS timelines for implementation."
Then there are states like Tennessee where some folks don't want
anything to do with NAIS, period. A bill is floating around that state's
House of Representatives that would make NAIS illegal there.
National Stocker Award Applications
Due April 30
If you haven't already nominated your own stocker
program -- or that of a peer -- for BEEF magazine's National
Stocker Award, look for the details at www.beef-mag.com
and consider doing so.
One finalist will be chosen from each of the following categories:
Of these three finalists, one will be selected to receive the National
Stocker Award and a $10,000 cash prize. The winner also receives a trip
to the 2007 NCBA Convention for special recognition. BEEF will
announce the winner and publish stories about the three finalists in the
- Summer stocker operation (forage-based),
- Fall/winter stocker operation (forage-based) and
- Backgrounding/dry lot stocker (feed-based).
Selection will be based on info provided in the nomination form
(available at www.beef-mag.com) and follow-up phone interviews
by the selection committee. The main eligibility requirement is that the
nominee derives the majority of cattle income from the
The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2006. The selection
committee includes representatives from private industry, university
extension and BEEF magazine.
Besides recognizing the best-of-the-best stockers and backgrounders, the
program gives peers a chance to find out how the winners excel. This is
in keeping with the BEEF philosophy of helping producers learn
from one another.
Preconditioned calves are in demand. MERIAL® SUREHEALTH®
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USDA-approved Quality Systems Assessment (QSA) program. Click here
for more information.
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are all registered trademarks of Merial. © 2006 Merial Limited. All
Mass Medication -- Metaphylaxis
Rules Of Thumb
Keeping stocker calves healthy, or preventing them from
succumbing to bovine respiratory disease (BRD) to begin with, isn't easy
or cheap. But the alternative obviously can be worse.
In fact, with the high value of stocker calves today, John Currin and
Dee Whittier, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
Extension veterinarians, explain metaphylaxis is usually worthwhile if
more than 25% of a group of calves is expected to get sick. That's based
on risk factors of incoming calves for BRD, such as:
Though every situation is different, Currin and Whittier say the 25%
level is a useful rule of thumb despite the fact national averages for
applying the strategy to a 5-weight calf range from $4.05-$18.15/head
depending on which of the five products approved for metaphylactic use
- Source of cattle (weekly vs. special sales vs. on farm sales)
- Vaccination, deworming history of cattle
- Commingled vs. single-source cattle
- Age/size of the cattle
- Sex of the cattle (bulls vs. steers)
- Time of the year (spring vs. fall)
- Weaned vs. unweaned
- Your ability to detect and treat sick calves
- Your history of BRD
- Comfort of your adjustment facilities
- Value of the cattle (not a risk factor but important in the decision
to use metaphylaxsis)
Conversely, these veterinarians advise using mass medication --treating
all calves in a group once individual treatment no longer makes much
economic sense -- when 10% of the calves have been treated for three
consecutive days, or when more than 25% of the calves require treatment
on a single day.
"While not perfect, using these rules of thumb will help make careful
decisions, instead of reacting in the heat of the moment or failing to
consider this option until after 60-80% of the calves have been
treated," they say.
Incidentally, Currin and Whittier offer four reasons for the fact the
same percentage of cattle get BRD as 40 years ago, even though
knowledge, vaccine technology and antibiotic variety have increased
substantially in the same period of time:
You can find more info from Currin and Whittier about "Strategic Use of
Antibiotics in Stocker Cattle" at: www.ext.vt.edu/news/periodicals/livestock/aps-06_04/aps-315.html.
- A 500-lb. calf now is much younger than it was 40 years ago.
- A 500-lb. calf is less likely to have been weaned now than 40 years
- Stocker producers are more likely to buy cattle every week as
opposed to a major group buy or two 40 years ago.
- Stocker businesses are larger operations than 40 years ago.
Powerful, cost-effective scours treatment.
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* Discontinue 28 days prior to slaughter.Not for use in lactating dairy
animals. Adverse reactions, including injection site swelling,
restlessness, ataxia, inflammation and respiratory abnormalities, have
TETRADURE is a trademark of Merial. © 2006 Merial
Limited. Duluth, GA. All rights reserved.
Animal ID Education
If you're wondering how and when to get your arms
wrapped around electronic animal ID, Kansas State University (KSU) may
have the solution. The university will host two Electronic Beef ID Crash
Courses this summer.
The programs will be held at the KSU Stocker Unit outside Manhattan, KS,
and will include live-animal demonstrations, hands-on use of animal ID
equipment, a review of available technologies, and how to budget a
KSU Extension beef specialist Dale Blasi says this summer's programs,
each aimed at different audiences, are a follow-up to the KSU Beef ID
Academy programs of summer 2004.
The June 21-22 program is aimed at operators of feed yards, sale barns
and stocker-grower operations. The July 19-20 program is aimed
specifically at cow-calf producers and veterinarians. Space is limited
to 100 attendees in each session. For more info, contact Lois Schreiner
at 785-532-1267 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't take a chance. Treat all incoming cattle with
IVOMEC® Plus (ivermectin/clorsulon)
Liver flukes are spreading and every load of incoming cattle could be
carrying them. The liver fluke problem is hard to diagnose and rarely
shows in clinical signs. Only IVOMEC® Plus
(ivermectin/clorsulon) kills liver flukes and other internal and
external parasites, all in a single dose. Product information.
®IVOMEC and the CATTLE HEAD LOGO are registered trademarks of
Merial. © 2006 Merial Limited. All rights reserved.
Market Continues Tumble
Calves for summer grass are getting cheaper, at least in
relative terms, but so is everything else.
Feeder and stocker cattle lost another $2-$5 last week, with too many
markets moving $10 lower to be considered extraordinary.
"The lightest demand continues for heavy feeders, weighing more than 800
lbs., and the best interest remains for 6-weight hard-weaned or yearling
stockers in ideal condition for summer grass," explain Ag Marketing
Service reporters. "Backgrounders seem to have over-pursued these cattle
over the last few weeks, pushing their prices beyond the realm of
profitability for current market conditions."
Plenty of cattle feeders are surely thinking the same thing. The best
that could be said for that market last week is Southern Plains feeders
mounted a hollow victory of sorts, holding buyers to only $1 less at
$83.00-$83.50. Live sales in the Northern Plains were $3 under that, and
dressed sales were $5 lower at mostly $129.
You can find plenty of reasons for the recent price plunge, most of them
expected. There's more cattle going in and coming out of feedlots. Those
cattle continue to serve up heavier carcass weights, too. The equity
funds that pushed the futures market when they bought in earlier in the
year are running the other way. Trade with the Pacific Rim is still in
limbo, etc., etc.
In his recent markets newsletter, Brian Roe, Ohio State University (OSU)
Extension livestock economist, points out, "In January, beef supplies
were up by 7% compared to year previous, while first-quarter supplies
will be 6% higher than last year. Not surprisingly, cash prices dropped
about $0.75/cwt each week during the first quarter of this year... This
is distinctly counter-seasonal and begs the question, 'Is the decline
over?' Sadly, for feedlot operators who paid top dollar for feeder
cattle last fall and winter, the answer is no."
According to Roe, beef supplies in the second quarter will be up at
least 6% compared to last year, and perhaps increase as much as 9%. All
the while, he explains poultry cold-storage supplies are 45% larger than
last year, due in part to global consumers' growing aversion to it
because of avian influenza.
So, from both a fundamental standpoint and from a psychological one, the
bears are having their way.
The summary below reflects the week ended April 7 for Medium
and Large 1 -- 500- to 550-lb., 600- to 650-lb., and 700- to 750-lb.
feeder heifers and steers (unless otherwise noted). The list is
arranged in descending order by auction volume and represents sales
reported in the weekly USDA National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary:
| State|| Volume ||Steers || Heifers
| Calf Weight|| 500-550 lbs. || 600-650 lbs.
|| 700-750 lbs.
|| 500-550 lbs.
|| 600-650 lbs. ||
700-750 lbs. |
| MO || 34,600 || $132.22 || $121.64 || $105.25 || $115.88 || $108.01 || $94.61 |
| OK || 27,100
||$122.15 || $106.37 || $118.63 || $106.52
|| $93.85 |
| TX ||25,000 || $125.70
|| $113.77 ||
|| $102.68 || $94.61 |
| KY* ||21,100 || $113-123 ||
$100-110 || $88-985 || $100-111 || $91-1013 || $82-925 |
| Dakotas ||16,800 |
| $110.094 |
| $116.212 |
| $112.20 |
| NE ||15,500 || $138.25 ||
$123.89 || $112.83 || $120.44 || $109.35 || $96.30 |
| IA ||14,900 || $135.43
|| $111.85 || $99.87 |
| KS ||13,500 || $133.43 || $117.93
|| $105.25 || $120.44 ||$109.35 || $96.30 |
| AL ||8,800
|| $115-1212 || **
|| $97-108 || $93-974 |
| GA*(***) ||7,700 || $100-120 ||
$94-110 || $85-94 || $97-115 || $89-106 || $82-86 |
| TN* ||7,500 || $120.42 ||$106.04 || $95.26 || $110.20 ||$100.04 || $90.65 |
| CO ||7,300
|| $115.60 || $102.96 || $120.11 ||$113.92 || $97.144 |
| AR ||7,000
|| $110.44 || $101.86 || $112.37 ||
$99.73 || $94.57 |
| VA ||6,000
|| $113.41 || $100.66 || $102.10 || $97.74 || $88.62
| WY ||5,600 || $135.25
|| $109.25 || $124.40
| FL ||4,900
|| $97-125 || $102-106 || $100-119 || $88-101 || $81-91 |
||4,700 || $99-127 ||
$89-1133 || $79-98.755 || $91-115 || $75-983 || $73-915 |
| MS* ||4,100 || $110-1201 || $100-110 || $90-1005 || $100-1101
| MT ||4,000
|| $124.50 || $107.396 || $128.27 ||$114.02 || $102.80
| NM ||3,700 || **
|| $97.006 || **
|| $87.216 |
| LA* ||2,800 || $108-126 ||
** || $101-120 ||
$98-1132 || ** |
| WA* ||1,700 || **
||$103.53 || $100.814 |
* Plus 2
** None reported at this weight or near weight
(***) Steers and bulls
Please send questions to:
Wes Ishmael, Contributing Editor, BEEF Stocker Trends, at email@example.com
Joe Roybal, Editor, BEEF magazine, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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