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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 20 August 2014

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Wednesday 20th August 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Mick Priestley

MSD Animal Health

Novus International

Ryegrass Management at Heart of Tasmanian Ill-thrift

A condition costing Tasmanian farmers over A$10 million each year could be linked to the island’s most widely used pasture grass.

Ill-thrift robs the state’s farmers of 3,300 tonnes of beef production every year, Meat and Livestock Australia study has calculated, dubbing it a ‘silent thief’.

Causing cattle to underperform despite having enough good feed, ill-thrift is widespread across temperate regions of the world, according to a consultant with Australian company Macquarie Franklin.

Researcher Basil Doonan has honed down the factors to three linked causes – mycotoxins, parasites and pasture quality.

Regarding mycotoxins, he explained that toxins produced by fungi in ryegrass could be behind the large cost to farmers.

Ryegrass is the most dominant pasture species used in Tasmania for finishing, and hosts a number of fungi and mycotoxins, he added.

“Mycotoxins can occur in both pasture and fodder crops and are secondary chemicals produced by a wide range of fungi that have toxic effects on animals, for example ryegrass staggers,” said Mr Doonan.

“Ryegrass staggers, photosensitisation and ill-thrift are all related to elevated levels of mycotoxins on pasture, particularly older, under-utilised pastures with more fallen dry feed.”

However, managing the condition has no easy answer, with Mr Doonan insisting more research is required before ‘practical solutions to ill-thrift could be recommended’.

A broad brush approach is through improved grazing management and changing feed, he suggested.

This would entail considering ryegrass quality in the autumn and winter months, a known time for ill-thrift to flare up.

Combatting its two main causes – parasites and pasture quality – are worthwhile, according to Beef and Lamb New Zealand advisers.

They recommend worm control and pasture renovation before tackling ‘more complex fungi issues’.

Furthermore, due to the different factors causing ill-thrift, testing is advised.

This could be faecal eggs counts for parasites, urine tests for endophyte toxins, pasture/faecal spore counts for facial eczema and liver assessments for trace elements.

Pneumonia and fusaria fungi are also linked to the disease.

Summarising a New Zealand study, Beef and Lamb New Zealand said: “The most common reason for stock growing slower than farmers expected over summer and autumn was poor pasture quality.

“However, when pasture quality was taken into consideration the next biggest cause of ill-thrift was parasitism.”

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Feedlot Profitability: What Will Happen in the Fourth Quarter?
Many have been surprised by margins made in the feedlot sector this year. However, a Kansas economist explains why things may not remain positive going into winter.

Managing the Safe Delivery of Animal Feeds
Accidents and fatalities plague the agricultural sector, so planning for expected events, such as feed delivery day, should be worthwhile for an industry trying to stay safe.

10 Tips to Prevent Hay Fires
Journalise hay making moisture levels and test forage rigorously to assist in keeping hay fires at bay, a forage specialist from Idaho suggests.

Effects of the 60-d Window Around the Time of Weaning on Subsequent Quality Grade and Eating Quality of Beef
Marbling and eating quality of beef can be effected by not just by diet, but by weaning, timing of castration and growth promotants. Dr Jason K Ahola, Colorado State University explores current thinking on how a calf's weaning can effect the final product.

Bovine Temperament: A Feedlot Focus
As a new load of weaned calves enters the feedlot, workers prepare to process the calves upon arrival. Processing would likely include vaccinating these calves to prevent respiratory disease and treating them for parasites, among other regular processing procedures. Many handlers would acknowledge that the calves with more docile, or calm, temperaments are much easier and safer to process.

Company News

New Analysis Shows BVD-PI Testing Pays – Netting Producers $14 More Per Head
US - For the second consecutive year, research shows cattle buyers are paying a higher premium for calves that test negative for being persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea (BVD).
Market Reports

QMS Monthly Market Report - August 2014
USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook - 18 August 2014
EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 15 August 2014
USDA Feed Outlook - 14 August 2014
UK Farming Statistics - Provisional Arable Crop Areas at 1 June 2014, England
UK June Agricultural Price Index - 14 August 2014
Irish CSO Reports: Agricultural Price Indices - June 2014

Global Beef Industry News

   United States

Wyckoff's Weekly Cattle Outlook: Mixed Tones Across Livestock Markets
Slaughterhouse Employees Indicted over Illegal Sales of Condemned Meat
Cattle Outlook: Government Forecasts 14 Billion Bushel Corn Crop
Food Safety Protections for Ground Beef Enhanced
Cattle Futures: Cattle Closed Up on Thursday
Cargill Sees Fall in Revenue and Earnings
Wyckoff's Weekly Cattle Outlook: Significant Selling Pressure Across Markets
AFIA Submits Comments to FAO on Sustainability Guidelines
Orr Beef Research Center Field Day Scheduled for September
Wyckoff's Closing Report: Cattle Futures Closed Lower


Introduce Institutional Reforms in Agriculture to Hike Yield, says PHDCCI
India LInks Agri MoUs with 52 Nations
India Holds Workshop on Brucellosis
Odisha to Set Up Veterinary University


JBS Sees Continued Growth
Brazilian Steer Prices Ease as Exports Surge
Agribusiness Exports Reach $9.61 Billion in July

   Russian Federation

Russia to Introduce Electronic Veterinary Certificates
Can Traders Find Another Russian Back Door?


Farmers Challenge Tesco Assertions on Mixed-origin Beef
Ireland to Export Beef, Pork and Lamb to the Philippines


Chile's Beef Price Under Pressure


Russia Eyes New Food Importers to Sustain Supplies
Outcome Measures Drive Producer Profitability, Sustainable Practices
Global Hilton Quota Use Rises
Animal Feed Additives Market to Reach $20 Billion by 2020

   Viet Nam

Viet Nam Vets Complete Argentinian Tour

   European Union

Copa Cogeca Welcomes EU Commission Move to Support EU Agriculture Sector


Small Fall in Chinese Food Prices


Australian Weekly Cattle Summary
Experts Meet to Solve Infectious Disease Challenges

   Palestinian Territory

Damage to Agriculture and Fishing in Gaza Will Have Long-lasting Effects

   United Kingdom

New Veterinary Vaccinology Network to Help Tackle Animal Disease Threat
Beef Supplies to Tighten Towards 2015
New Agency to Safeguard Animal Plant Health


FMD NEWS: FMD Outbreak in Mozambique Affects Cattle
FMD Outbreak in Mozambique Affects Cattle


Colombian Efforts Mount Against TB, Brucellosis

   New Zealand

New Zealand Sees Improved Cattle Returns


The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
VIV Europe Digital 2014
VIV China 2014
EuroTier 2014



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