News Update
April 30, 2007

Software Simplifies Planning Estrus Synchronization Program

Synchronizing the breeding season in beef cattle herds allows producers the opportunity to use artificial insemination (AI) with reduced labor. “Using the best, highly proven sires available in the beef industry can be an economic and labor reality with a little bit of planning and execution,” says Daryl Strohbehn, Extension beef specialist at the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University.

During the fall of 2006, the Iowa Beef Center announced a new and improved software program to assist producers in making choices in estrus synchronization of their beef herds. The “Synch06” edition of the Estrus Synchronization Planner is available to producers and has several new features resulting from the combined efforts of the Iowa Beef Center and the Bovine Reproductive Task Force.

Synch06 assists producers with the basics of planning and implementing complicated synchronization programs. The 2006 edition has several new features, including the latest recommendations of the task force and updated fact sheets on synchronized breeding plans. A new, preferred synchronization system for heifers using fixed-time AI, called “CIDR Select,” was approved last fall during a meeting of the task force.

Producers, veterinarians, AI industry representatives and others can purchase the software for $35 (includes shipping and handling) by contacting the Iowa Beef Center ( or 515-294-2333) or by downloading an order form from the center’s Web site,

— Adapted from Iowa Beef Center news release.

Texas Extension Field Day Addresses Livestock, Zoonotic Diseases

The Spring Beef Cattle Field Day presented by Texas Cooperative Extension is set for 9 a.m. May 16 at the Mason County Community Center.

The program will deal with livestock diseases and zoonotic diseases — animal diseases that are transmissible to humans, such as rabies, says Brent Drennan, Extension agent in Mason County. Participants will also be given information on how to handle a situation and whom to contact in the event of a foreign disease outbreak.

Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered. Individual registration is $10 by May 11 and $15 thereafter. A steak lunch will be provided. For more information or to register, call the Extension office in Mason County at 325-347-6459.

— Adapted from Texas Cooperative Extension news release.

USDA, K-State Plan Meeting on Value-Added Producer Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Kansas State University (K-State) Research and Extension will co-sponsor an informational session designed to help producers write grant proposals. The session is scheduled for 6:30-9:30 the evening of May 2 at the Manhattan Fire Department Headquarters Training Center.

The session is designed around writing proposals for the 2007 USDA Value-Added Producer Grant. Approximately $19.5 million are available in grant funds for ag producers. The purpose of the grant is to assist producers in transforming ag products through processing or marketing. Any Kansas producer or producer group interested in pursuing a value-added initiative is invited to attend.

Chuck Banks, state director of USDA Rural Development, will provide an overview of state rural development activities and the history of the grant. Vincent Amanor-Boadu, K-State ag economics professor, will offer instructions on how to prepare award-winning grant proposals.

Grant proposals must be postmarked by May 16. More information about the event is available by calling 785-532-3358.

— Adapted from K-State Research and Extension news release.

Rural Car Crash Mortality Rate Higher

With the coming of warmer weather, Texans are likely to be bitten by the travel bug, said Bev Kellner, Texas Cooperative Extension program coordinator for passenger safety. But some of those travelers may not reach their destinations. The numbers are especially grim for those in rural areas and those traveling in pickup trucks.

“Studies show that 56% of pickup crash fatalities in Texas happened in rural areas, compared to 44% in urban areas,” Kellner said. That’s why every spring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsors a campaign to increase safety belt use.

Click It or Ticket is a two-week-long program designed to emphasize the ease and cost effectiveness of using a seat belt. Marked each year to include the Memorial Day weekend, this year Click It or Ticket is scheduled for May 21-June 3.

“Safety belt use is the single-most-effective way to protect against injury and death in traffic crashes,” Kellner said. “Using safety belts does not cost a dime; not using them will cost you a citation during the May Click It or Ticket mobilization.”

Law enforcement officers across the state will be extra vigilant in enforcing safety belt usage laws, she said.

In addition, the Buckle Up In Your Truck campaign, which will be conducted during the same two weeks, is “aimed at 18- to 34-year-old men who do not consistently wear their safety belts in their pickup trucks,” Kellner said. This campaign, which focuses on pickup truck drivers and passengers in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and the Indian Nations, continues throughout May.

According to information from the traffic safety administration, from 2001 to 2005, 1,444 people died in pickup truck rollover crashes in Texas. Pickup trucks generally are larger than cars, and owners tend to feel safer in them, she said.

“But pickup trucks roll over twice as often as passenger cars,” Kellner said. “And 65% of the rollover fatalities in pickup trucks were unrestrained, compared to 60% in all passenger vehicles.

Wearing a safety belt reduces the risk of dying in a rollover pickup truck crash by up to 80%, according to figures from the highway traffic safety administration.

Safety belt use is higher in passenger vehicles, Kellner said. Last year in Texas, that rate of usage was 90.4% in passenger vehicles and 86.4% in pickup trucks.

“Take those few seconds to buckle up on every trip,” she said. “It may very well save your life.”

For more information visit the web at or

— Release provided by Texas Cooperative Extension.

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