News Update
Nov. 21, 2007

Cattle Feeding: If You Procrastinate, It May Be Too Late

During the National Hay Association Annual Convention last month, the underlying tone was that of short hay supplies and increasing prices.

Several areas of the country have experienced drought this year while other areas saw record rainfall and had trouble making hay. It adds up to a hectic and uncertain winter-feeding season.

Kentucky producers know firsthand about the effect of drought. Most of the state is currently in an “extreme hydrological drought.” That coupled with the early April freeze means hay supplies for many producers are inadequate for the upcoming feeding season.

Anyone needing or wanting to purchase hay for their livestock feeding needs should not “wait to see what the market will do.” National supplies are low (except for pockets of hay in states like Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas) and prices are on the rise.

Determine what your hay needs are going to be, and try to lock in a supply now rather than waiting. If you find hay that will work for your operation, visit with the producer or broker to ensure that the hay will be available for your entire feeding period. However, be careful about “putting money down” or “up front” to hold the hay. If a grower or broker asks for up-front money, make sure you have some type of collateral or security that you will indeed receive the hay. On more than one occasion, up-front money has been taken and the hay sold to someone else. Also, if you agree to take a specific number of bales or tons, make sure that you also honor your obligation by taking the hay.

Once you receive your hay, have it tested. When you receive the results, visit with your County Extension educator, nutritionist or veterinarian and formulate a ration that will allow you to maximize the utilization of that hay and ensure that your livestock receive the necessary nutrition to make it through until spring.

For more forage information, visit the University of Kentuky (UK) Forage Extension web site at

— Adapted from the November 2007 University of Kentucky Forage News

Japan Refuses U.S. Beef Again

Despite having in its hands the same scientific data that prompted the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to classify the United States as a controlled-risk region for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Japan continues to stonewall Washington on its repeated pleas for Tokyo to adhere to OIE guidelines.

According to, the latest news came from Rome, where acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner prodded Japanese Senior Farm Vice Minister Masahiro Imamura during talks on the sidelines of a meeting of the United Nations’ (UN’s) Food and Agriculture Organization.

Imamura told Conner that Japan’s decision on revising its protocols for imports of U.S. beef will be “based on scientific evidence” and “on condition the safety of the food for the Japanese people is ensured,” an anonymous official with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said, according to Kyodo News.

The same went for President Bush last Friday, when he pressed the issue with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda during a summit in Washington.

In crafting a free-trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday, Tokyo agreed to eliminate tariffs on 90% of ASEAN imports, but beef, among other agricultural products, would remain protected.

— Adapted from a release.

Secretary of Agriculture seeks nominations for Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases

Nominations have opened for two-year membership appointments to the committee that advises the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on actions necessary to prevent the introduction of foreign livestock and poultry diseases into the United States.

The committee also advises the Secretary about contingency planning and maintaining a state of preparedness to deal with any introduced diseases.

Members for this committee will be selected so that the broadest representation is possible. The notice seeking nominations for membership is scheduled for publication in the Nov. 21 Federal Register.

— Release courtesy of USDA.

Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory Tests 6,000 Cattle For Export

Pennsylvania’s nationally recognized veterinary laboratory is preparing more than 6,000 cattle for export to Saudi Arabia and Turkey in the next two months, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said today.

All of the cattle were blood-tested for diseases through the laboratory to meet rigid export requirements and to ensure animal and human safety.

In 2006, Pennsylvania exported nearly $23 million in livestock, ranking it in the top 20 nationally in live animal and meat exports.

Between the end of November and the middle of January, the cattle will travel on four specially designed cargo ships to Saudi Arabia and Turkey. All of the animals going to Saudi Arabia are bred Holstein heifers and the Turkey shipment includes some beef cattle, in addition to dairy heifers.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is helping facilitate the export project with cattle collected from the state and across the country.

The Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory tests all of the cattle for brucellosis and bovine leukosis, among other diseases. The animals are then quarantined and vaccinated before being shipped overseas.

— Adapted from a release.

— compiled by Mathew Elliott, assistant editor, Angus Productions Inc. (API)

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