Weather May Play a Factor in Cattle on Feed Numbers – Drovers Magazine

The USDA has released new cattle on feed numbers.  It is still playing catch up following the partial government shutdown.  As of February 1st, the USDA reports feedlot inventories are up just .4% over a year ago.  Placements during January were lower, 5% below January of 2018.  Marketings were 3% higher than last year.  USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam says the weather may have something to do with the numbers, saying “one [reason] is just wet conditions, muddy conditions, poor winter weather, which may be limiting the ability of feedlots to take these cattle”.

There appears to be no shortage of cattle.  There were 1% more cattle outside feedlots than a year ago, but they may be out grazing on wheat pastures longer than usual.  We’ll get the February placement numbers on Friday, March 22nd.

You can read the full report here.

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Local News 4 cattle in trailer die in crash on Michigan freeway Associated Press 9:40 – WSYM-TV

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say four cattle died when the trailer hauling them crashed in icy and snowy conditions in southwestern Michigan.

Michigan State Police officials say the semi-trailer was hauling more than 30 cattle early Wednesday when it flipped on Interstate 94 in Van Buren County’s Lawrence Township.

Two people in the vehicle weren’t injured. The crash scene took several hours to clear.

Investigators say the cause isn’t known but the area was experiencing white-out conditions.

A 30-vehicle pileup on I-94 in the county on Tuesday morning claimed the life of a Kalamazoo County resident.

The area remains under a winter weather advisory until Thursday morning, with additional snow accumulation of up to two inches.

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March Can Be Brutal on Beef Cattle – Drovers Magazine

March could be the hardest month of the year on beef cattle according to Eldon Cole, field specialist in livestock with University of Missouri Extension.

“I’m not aware of any official statistics on death losses in Missouri by anyone, but it seems there are numerous deaths of both young and old cattle during those thirty-one days,” said Cole.

Why would March be any worse than the other eleven months? Cole says there are several reasons for the difference.

First, March is likely the month with the highest number of cows calving in it.

“With calving, we have difficult deliveries and mortalities of both the cows and calves,” said Cole.

Another reason is it is the end of the winter, and the feed supply leading up to it is not the best in quantity and quality.

“This winter, most cattle producers monitored their hay supply very closely and testing has revealed nutrient values to be somewhat lower this year since all kinds of unusual hay was put up, almost in desperation in 2018,” said Cole.

The low-quality hay or other stored forage results in cows losing body condition. A body condition score (BCS) amounts to about 80 pounds of actual weight on a cow. A mature cow with a BCS of 5 in November and December could easily lose 80 pounds by March.

Thin cows at 4 and lower BCS will have lower quality colostrum for the nursing calf. This results in the calf being weaker and prone to health problems like diarrhea and respiratory concerns when adequate colostrum is not consumed within 6 hours of birth.

“The thin, poor condition cows suffer more from the damp, chilly, muddy weather often seen in March. It can result in deaths of cows with the sole comment about why they died being that she just looked like she ran out of gas,” said Cole.

This year, more than normal, Cole says to plan to supplement the hay with a high energy supplement either corn, corn gluten feed or dried distillers grain. The amount fed may range from five to eight per cow, per day.

Cole says there are other tips that can perhaps help keep beef herd mortalities low include:

  • Feed some alfalfa hay;
  • Provide a creep area for calves to escape into to get out of the mud;
  • Move bale rings regularly for sanitation purposes;
  • Group newborns and their mothers apart from older calves;
  • If you have a scours outbreak in a pasture, do the feeding and other chores in that pasture last;
  • Be sure and thoroughly wash and sanitize your boots and clothing before going to a “clean” pasture; and
  • Treat sick animals immediately after finding them.

“Some of the tips are hard to do but do the best you can,” said Cole.

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Investigators searching for more than 100 head of cattle stolen from ranches in Pryor – KTUL

The thieves only left behind a few clues. A break in a fence near the fair grounds and tire tracks where they loaded the cattle into a trailer. (KTUL)

PRYOR, Okla. (KTUL) — Weeks after prize cattle are shot dead, almost an entire herd is stolen in Mayes County.

Dozens of cattle disappeared overnight in a blink of an eye.

“I can’t believe it. I can’t find the word for it. I just can’t believe it happened,” said Debby Ringling.

Ringling’s cattle are now gone. Twenty-eight missing this week.

“I don’t even know anyone that would be capable of such a thing,” said Ringling.

It’s a mystery that’s emptied her pastures, but she’s not alone.

Her son lost nearly 40 cattle of his own. Together, they’re out more than 67.

“I bet they see this on TV and just bring them back and put them back in the pasture,” said Ringling.

An optimistic approach, but the reality is, this could drastically set Ringling and her business back.

“You don’t really make that much money on cattle these days, but you try,” said Ringling.

The Mayes County Sheriff’s Office says this is the biggest cattle theft they’ve ever investigated, and unfortunately, they don’t have any suspects.

“I have never seen the number of over a hundred head of cattle at one time,” said Captain Rod Howell.

It’s an astounding number for someone to make off with.

Captain Howell believes whoever is responsible, used the nearby county fairgrounds to corral the cattle and haul them off.

“That takes time, that takes resources to get away with something like that,” said Howell.

The thieves only left behind a few clues — a break in a fence near the fair grounds and tire tracks where they loaded the cattle into a trailer.

“Obviously, this is taking away from these families,” said Howell.

Ringling says the worst part is of those cows allegedly stolen, most were calves, not ready to leave their mothers.

“I still really can’t believe it,” said Ringling.

It’s a huge hit to this hardworking rancher.

“Please bring them home or tell us where they are so we can go get them,” said Ringling, hoping her message is heard loud and clear.

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Republic man charged with stealing after missing cattle found re-branded on property – Springfield News-Leader

A Republic man’s missing cattle have finally been found — in his neighbor’s corral. 

Joseph William Tummons, 40, is charged with stealing after deputies say he re-tagged and re-branded six head of cattle that belonged to another man.

The alleged victim had six cattle that had been missing since Dec. 31, 2018. On Jan. 18, he told law enforcement that he had finally located them on Tummons’ property. Tummons rents land from the alleged victim, according to court documents.

The victim told a law enforcement official that he had 80 head of weaned calves on a 50-acre pasture about 40 days prior to Jan. 19, according to court documents.

One day, he found a hole in his fence. After repairing it, he counted his cattle and they were all there. Later that week, he found another hole in his fence that hadn’t been there. When he counted his cattle again, six were missing.

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The man fixed the hole in the fence and then ran his siren to call his cattle, according to court documents. He couldn’t find them.

The victim has two neighbors, including Tummons, and both said they hadn’t seen the calves.

“(The victim) said again he checked every group of cattle in the area where his cattle could have gotten in with, but they weren’t there,” court records stated.

On Jan. 14, the victim sold all of his calves — 74 in total, with six still missing, according to court documents. The victim said he brands his calves with his registered brand on the right hip and puts ear tags on the calves — steers get tagged on the right ear and heifers on the left.

While out feeding his cattle on Jan. 18, the victim said he knew of other pastures Tummons’ rented. The victim drove past 8247 West Farm Road 94 and saw six head of cattle standing behind a corral. They looked just like the ones that he was missing, court documents stated.

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“(The victim) said he hit the siren on his truck and the 6 calves came running up to the fence like all of his calves do when he calls them,” court documents stated.

The victim saw that the ear tags had been removed and replaced with blue numeric ones in the left ear. The cattle had also been freshly branded on the upper right hip, which is the same location he places his brands, according to court documents.

He couldn’t get close enough to locate his brand, so he called 911. Law enforcement officials contacted Tummons and he agreed to let them inspect the cattle inside the pen. A deputy, who is in the cattle business, said the brands looked three to four weeks old and smeared, court documents stated. There were four heifers and two steers. Both steers had holes in their right ears, which was consistent with an ear tag being removed.

“(The victim) said he thought it was odd Tummons didn’t want him there when he got the cattle up to be looked at,” according to court documents.

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The victim returned a couple of hours later to find no one else but the cattle in a corral. He could clearly see the bottom part of his brand that was underneath Tummons’ brand.

On Jan. 19, law enforcement officials used clippers to shave the calves’ winter hair and revealed the victim’s and Tummons’ brands. Both brands are registered through the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

“Tummons’ brand is registered to be placed on the left hip and (the victim’s) brand is registered to be placed on the right hip,” court documents stated. “After shaving the calves’ winter hair, four of the calves clearly revealed (the victim’s) registered brand on their right hips.”

The four calves were seized and released to the victim.

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On. Jan. 20, Tummons admitted during a post Miranda interview that he had moved the other two calves after the initial search two days prior from the property on West Farm Road 94 to pasture he rents near the Springfield-Branson National Airport, according to court documents.

“The two calves were inspected in the same manner as the other four, and (the victim’s) brand was clearly visible on the right hip after shaving the winter hair,” court documents stated.

The two calves were released to the victim.

During that same interview on Jan. 20, Tummons admitted that he placed his brand on on these calves on Jan. 4. Tummons was arrested Jan. 21 and booked into Greene County Jail. His bond was set at $5,000. According to court records, he is not to possess any livestock.

MORE: 9,365 feral hogs killed last year continues rising trend in Missouri

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WI cattle among Red and White Cow and Heifer of the Year contest winners – Wisconsin State Farmer

Red and White dairy cattle from Wisconsin are among the top three winners of the annual Cow and Heifer of the Year Contest sponsored by the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association.

Nominated and voted on by the membership of the RWDCA, winners were named in both the Open division and Junior Division.

Sweeping both the Heifer of the Year and Junior Heifer of the Year was Kress-Hil Saphire-Red-ET, exhibited by Owen and Kendyll Kress and Savanah Barts, Newton, Wis. Saphire topped off her show season being named the Junior Champion of the International Red & White Open and Junior Show and being awarded the first ever Supreme Heifer of the Junior Show award at World Dairy Expo, Madison, Wis.

Saphire was also named the Junior Champion of the Junior Show and Reserve Junior Champion of the Open Show at the Midwest Spring Red & White Show and Reserve Junior Champion of the Wisconsin Championship Red & White Junior Show.

Most recently, Saphire has been named the All American Red & White Fall Calf and the Unanimous Junior All American Red & White Fall Calf.

Jr. Cow of the Year

Winning the Junior Cow of the Year in the Junior Division is Mead-Manor Def Adeline-Red. A Junior 2 year old, Adeline was the winning Junior 2 year old in both the Open and Junior shows at International Red & White Junior Show at World Dairy Expo, Madison, Wis., she was also named the Reserve Intermediate Champion of the Junior Show and Best Bred & Owned of the Junior show.

Bred and Owned by Michael and Megan Moede, Algoma, Wis., Adeline was most recently named the All American Red & White Junior 2 year old and Unanimous Junior All American Junior 2 year old.

Adeline was also named the Supreme Champion of the Wisconsin Junior State Fair and Grand Champion of the Junior show and Reserve Grand Champion of the Open show at the Wisconsin Championship Red & White show.

Cow of the Year

Winning Cow of the Year in the Open Division is Oakfield A Shampagne-Red-ET. Shampagne is owned by Westcoast Holsteins, Chilliwack, BC, Canada. She was bred by Oakfield Corners Dairy, Oakfield, NY.

The highlight of Shampagne’s year was topping the International Red & White Show at World Dairy Expo, Madison, Wis. Shampagne has also been named the All American Red & White Junior 3 Year Old.

Full articles on the winners will be featured in the upcoming issues of The Red Bloodlines, the official publication of the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association.

The RWDCA strives to encourage and promote the progressive breeding and development of superior Red & White Dairy cattle providing breeders with information, programs and services to help track, evaluate and improve the breed from one generation to the next. Visit for more information.

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Basic steps to keep cattle warm – Farm and Dairy

Beef cattle in winter.

By Warren Rusche
South Dakota State University Extension

Winter weather conditions often present challenges to cattle managers across the Midwest. Although we can’t alter the weather, there are management steps that can be taken to help maintain cattle health and performance.

Here are some things you can do to help keep your cattle warm and healthy.


Providing bedding is the most useful tool to improve cattle comfort, especially in outside yards. Bedding helps cattle preserve body heat and mitigate the negative effects of cold stress on maintenance energy requirements.

Feeders should consider bedding sooner rather than later when extreme cold weather is expected. Waiting until cattle are exhausted before providing bedding results in calves simply “resting up” on the bed pack instead of maintaining dietary intake.

This could result in diminished performance and increase the risk of digestive upset when cattle resume eating. In extreme cold conditions, the priority pens for bedding should be the lightest calves (<750 pounds) and cattle that are within 45 days of being shipped.

The lightest cattle would lose the most body heat to the environment and are likely at the greatest risk for sickness and death loss. Bedding the almost finished cattle helps avoid negative impacts on carcass quality and can also reduce the chances for injury or mobility problems late in the feeding period caused by cold or icy conditions.

Cattle that are not in the lightest group and not expected to finish until late winter or spring have time to compensate for any performance losses they might experience due to cold conditions.

Managing feed intake

Keeping feed intake consistent is a challenge during extreme weather conditions. Some days keeping machinery running simply to get the cattle fed on time is a major accomplishment.

Inconsistencies in feed intake lead to poorer conversions and in extreme cases, acidosis. Adding additional roughage to a finishing diet (feeding 12-13 percent instead of 10 percent roughage, for instance) could reduce the impacts of any inconsistencies in feed consumption.

Backgrounding cattle are usually fed to achieve a certain ADG target. Extended periods of cold conditions can cause cattle to fall short, especially if the cold temperatures last for an extended period of time.

Increasing the energy content by another 2 to 4 Mcal NEg or increasing the amount fed by an additional 0.2 percent of body weight might be required to meet production targets.

Lot conditions, particularly ice, can affect feed consumption. Slick areas on the feed bunk apron and around waterers can reduce the willingness of calves to come to eat or drink, not to mention the increased risk of injury.

Pen maintenance

Keep in mind that today’s snow can easily become tomorrow’s mud. Muddy conditions in the feedlot can be one of the biggest issues in getting cattle to perform during the winter and early spring.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that muddy yards can result in as much as a 100 pounds difference in final weight between cattle of similar genetic type that were fed similar rations. Removing snow and scraping outside pens can be incredibly difficult to accomplish, especially during extreme weather conditions.

However, anything that can be done to remove snow and improve lot conditions now will pay off later as the lot surface starts to thaw.

(This article first appeared in the Jan. 30, 2019, Ohio Beef Cattle Letter, a publication of the OSU Extension Beef Team. The author is a South Dakota State University Extension beef feedlot management associate.)


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