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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 30 May 2012

TheBeefSite Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday 30th May 2012
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

Editorial: Why are More Dairy Bull Calves not Finished for Beef?

This week in the UK, the Calf Forum reported that around 20 per cent of dairy bull calves in the UK in 2011 were shot at birth. Some will find this number shocking, but the truth is that the situation has vastly improved over recent years.

Mainstream media shows pictures of day old Jersey bull calves being shot on farm, an image that will have upset many, industry and wider public alike. So far the response to this seems to be to encourage the UK to consume more veal.

The reality is that the UK is not a veal eating nation. Whilst efforts should be made to encourage its consumption, the question is, why are these calves not been finished as bull beef, especially considering the record beef prices the industry has experienced over the last 12-18 months.

David Bowes from the Calf Forum in the UK said that initial data from the first two months in 2012 suggests that more dairy bull calves are going into the beef chain, with less been killed on farm or exported to Europe.

Last week, visiting dairy farms in Wisconsin, US, one producer said he was getting up to $200 (£128) a piece for day old calves. The average price for bull calves in the US over the past month has been around $2 per pound liveweight.

In the UK, over the past 18 months, bull calf prices have increased from £30 ($47) to £90 ($140). This difference suggests that demand for bull calves is increasing, and that more farmers are rearing dairy beef.

Speaking to producers and industry in the UK, there seem to be a number of drawbacks to finishing dairy bull beef.

These include restrictions imposed by bovine tuberculosis (bTB), capacity on farm, geographic limitations and costs of production.

Mr Rogers, who farms in the Midlands, believes that cost of production is the major driver prohibiting producers from finishing dairy bull calves.

Clive Brown from Eblex supported this, saying black and white finishing can be done, but the economics must be right.

Bull beef has to be reared on an intensive cereal system and, for this to be economically viable, beef prices have to be on the high-end and cereal prices competitive.

Interestingly, recent US slaughter statistics produced by the USDA showed a decline in veal production of 3.3 per cent compared to a year ago. Ray Krones, from Strauss Brands says that veal demand has been in a steady decline in the US, partly due to high prices but also due to ethical concerns.

Unlike in the EU, veal calves in the US are not required by law to be reared in group housing. The American Veal Association has set 2017 as a target to have all formula fed calves in the US to be raised in groups.

Charlotte Johnston

Cow Signals Training Books

* This Week's Feature Articles

We have 4 new features this week:

Removing Faulty Sperm from AI Process
All bull semen is not created equal, but Peter Sutovsky has found a way to level the bovine-fertility playing field. Research from the University of Missouri reproductive scientist identifies faulty sperm and takes them out of the equation for artificial insemination (AI) of cattle.
Risk Factors for Bovine Tuberculosis in Great Britain
Large herds and fattening herds are more likely to breakdown with bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in all areas, according to researchers in the UK. In areas with lower perceived risk, the risk of breaking down increased with the number of animals brought in from high incidence areas. On the other hand, in areas where the perceived risk is higher, bTB breakdown is more likely to be related to the history of disease and the probability of the disease in badgers.
Transitioning to a Polled Herd
Transitioning to a polled herd may take 30 years by visual selection but this time can be cut significantly by using the poll gene marker test, according to the Australian Beef CRC.
Housing and Management Biggest Contributors to Welfare
Serious welfare risks to cattle and calves in the EU, identified in a scientific review by the EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW), were associated with housing and management.
Pfizer Animal Health
* Market Reports

 » UK Slaughter Statistics - May 2012
 » Agricultural Price Indices - March 2012
 » Veal Production at Record Low for April
 » Irish CSO Livestock Slaughterings - April 2012
 » AHDB European Market Survey - 25 May 2012
 » AHDB UK Market Survey - 25 May 2012

* Company News

Prevent Coccidiosis Losses with Preparation
US - All producers — from cow/calf to feedlot — could be compromising cattle health and performance because of an intestinal, protozoan parasite called coccidia. Coccidiosis is a disease that affects most species of domestic livestock and poultry and results in significant economic losses due to mortality and, more important, decreased growth and feed efficiency due to the damage to the intestinal tract. Now Available in Slovak
SLOVAKIA - BIOMIN has now launched a Slovak version of the corporate website
* Global Beef Cattle Industry News


 » Paraguay to Fully Eradicate FMD

   United States

 » Hormel Second Quarter Earnings Up
 » Industry Takes Steps to Ensure Beef Safe from E. coli
 » CME: Few Areas See Exceptional Drought Conditions
 » Registration Open for 2012 Cattle Industry Conference
 » Senate Action on Farm Bill Expected in Early June
 » NCBA Joins Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef
 » Cattle Outlook: Fed Cattle Prices Drop Slightly
 » Producers Encouraged by Foreign Markets
 » CME: Total Meat, Poultry Output Down from Last Year
 » Livestock Industry Beefs up Illinois's Economy
 » Season for Determining Corn Yields is Underway

   European Union

 » Safety of Enterococcus faecium in Animal Feed
 » EU Urged to Take Action on Improving Cow Welfare
 » Promoting Farmers, Co-ops in the Food Chain
 » Housing and Management Affect Welfare


 » Farm Incomes Increased by 32 Per Cent in 2011
 » Dawn Secures €300 Million McDonald's Contract
 » Exciting Progress for Beef Market Access to China
 » McDonald's Supports Irish Beef
 » Emerald Expo 2012: Dairy, Livestock Event Launched
 » Processors Must Reconsider Beef Weight Limits

Genus - Value through science and genomics

 » Taiwan Beef Imports Hit Record in First Quarter


 » El Nino Risk Rising for Late Summer
 » International Animal Welfare Systems Adopted
 » Global Meat Production Forecast to Expand
 » CIWF Concerned over US/ EU Organic Rules
 » Hilton Usage Still Low
 » OIE Declares Brazil, Colombia BSE Risk Negligible
 » US Cattle, Pig Prices Firm; Contrast in Irish Trends


 » Livestock Producers Advised to Make Use of Youtube
 » Provide Input on Beef Cattle Code of Practice
 » Alberta Promotes Beef, Pork in Japan
 » Government Strengthens Japan Trade Relations
 » Animal Health Act to Improve Disease Control


 » Tunisian Feed Production Leaps Forward


 » Weekly Australian Cattle Summary
 » Biosecurity Laws Put New South Wales on Front Foot
 » Make Better Business Decisions
 » FMD Policy to Increase Readiness
 » Aussie Experts Take up OIE Positions
 » FMD NEWS: FMD Policy to Increase Readiness


 » Beef Cattle Farms Surveyed in Japan
 » Japan Lifts Five-Month Ban on US Packer

Biomin - the natural way
   New Zealand

 » New Livestock Tax Rules in Budget 2012
 » NZ Beef Production Falls Slightly in First Quarter

   United Kingdom

 » No Quick Fix as TB Dominates Beef Expo 2012
 » Optimism in UK Beef Sector Reflected at Beef Expo
 » £38M Investment to Protect UK Livestock
 » Fifth of Dairy Bull Calves Still Killed on Farm
 » Lords Scrutinise Food Security, Highlight Biofuels
 » Badger Cull Judicial Review Set for June

Animax Veterinary Health

 » Pressure on VION's Profits in 2011


 » Strong Growth in Chile’s Pork, Poultry Meat Output


 » Brazil Feed Forecast Up 2.8 Per Cent in 2012

That's all for this week!

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