Hereford eNews
Hereford Highlights | Market Update | Industry Insight Volume 3, Issue 17
Welcome{IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE ", " END IF} {IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE [Name] END IF}{IF NOT ISEMPTY [Name] THEN ", " ELSE " " END IF} to Hereford eNews, your source of the most current news affecting Hereford breeders. We aim to focus on news worthy events pertaining to the Hereford seedstock industry. Sponsored by the American Hereford Association (AHA). Information sent to subscribers comes from material available on or authored by AHA, Hereford World and Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC staff.
Hereford Highlights

Able Acres Successful at Indiana Bull Sale

The 57th Indiana Beef Evaluation Program (IBEP) Bull Sale and Video Auction attracted a "standing-room-only" crowd at the Springville Feeder Auction on April 13. Nearly 200 buyers from six states registered to bid on 135 bulls representing 10 breeds.

Able Acres, Wingate, Ind., consigned the three high-performing Hereford bulls in the sale. No. 159 was sired by PR 122L Lad N33 and posted a performance index of 113.8. He sold for $4,000, topping all Herefords and coming in as the fourth high seller overall. No. 160, sired by AA NBD Prototype, had a performance index of 111.5 and a carcass merit ratio of 101.4. He sold for $3,000. The top-indexing Hereford was No. 162 with a performance index of 117.7. He was sired by AA PRF Wideload and sold for $2,800.

Five Hereford bulls sold for an average of $2,480. For additional data on these bulls, including $Profit Indexes, visit the IBEP Web site.

Hall of Fame, Merit Nominations due May 1

Nominations for the Hereford Heritage Hall of Fame and Hereford Hall of Merit are due May 1.

The Hall of Fame recognizes those breeders or Hereford ranch managers who have had a dynamic influence on the direction and advancement of the Hereford breed for at least 20 years.

The Hall of Merit honor is bestowed on those influencers within the beef industry and the Hereford breed, be it businessmen, communicators, educators, research scientists, public affairs or policy makers, or those affecting Hereford youth in America. These contributors must have also been involved in the beef cattle business for a minimum of 20 years.

All nominations must be in the form of a letter with detailed biographical information on the individual nominee, plus at least three other supporting letters.

One letter must be from a state Hereford or polled Hereford association, while the other two letters should be from Hereford breeders.

Send your nominations to the American Hereford Association (AHA), Attn.: Hall of Fame or Hall of Merit, P.O. Box 014509, Kansas City, MO 64101. Questions can be directed to Mary Ellen Hummel at (816) 842-3757.

BIF Happenings

The 2006 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Annual Meeting and Research Symposium was hosted April 18-21 in Choctaw, Miss. AHA Director Jack Evans, Winona, Miss., was elected to the BIF board, representing the southeast region. Jack Ward, AHA chief operating officer and director of breed improvement, was elected as the AHA representative, replacing AHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines.

Online coverage is available on the BIF Conference Web site. Speaker summaries, proceedings, PowerPoint® presentations and coverage of award winners are included. Audio files will be available by May 1. 

AHA Board Summary in Next Hereford World

The AHA Board of Directors met in Kansas City, Mo., on April 7-8. Look for a summary of Board action in the “Breed Focus” column of the May/June Hereford World.

Watch for Delegate Nomination Postcards

The AHA recently mailed delegate nomination postcards to all “active members.” To nominate a state delegate to the AHA Annual Membership Meeting, Oct. 23, replies must be postmarked by May 31. The state delegates have an important responsibility in that they vote on the individuals vying for the three Board of Directors positions.

Mark Your Calendars for May Online Hereford 101

The next online Hereford 101 will be May 18 at 7 p.m. CDT. Dan Moser, Kansas State University animal scientist, will join Jack Ward, AHA chief operating officer and director of breed improvement, to discuss the age of dam adjustments, parameters and correlations. Make plans to log on to for this informative webcast.

Market Update

Cattle Outlook
Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain
University of Missouri-Columbia

Grimes and Plain offer market updates for the week past each Friday afternoon. To view this information, visit the University of Missouri AgEBB Web site.

Industry Insight

Dealing with Grass Tetany
Greg Lardy
NDSU Animal and Range Sciences Department

Grass tetany is a condition that can develop when cattle graze lush pastures. The disease is also known as grass staggers, wheat pasture poisoning, magnesium tetany and hypomagnesia. It is more common in cows in heavy lactation and is caused by low levels of magnesium in the blood. When blood magnesium is too low, proper nerve impulse transmission fails, causing this disorder. High levels of nitrogen (protein) and potassium in forage can reduce availability of magnesium in the forage, which exacerbates the problem. Consequently, the problem can be more common when animals are grazing fertilized pastures.

In some cases, symptoms of grass tetany are never observed. The animal is simply found dead. Affected animals tend to be excitable and may appear blind. Animals may be observed grazing away from the main herd, have muscular twitching in the flank, appear wide-eyed, have muscular incoordination and have a staggering gait. Ultimately, they will collapse, thrash about, enter a coma and eventually die.

Treatment is difficult due to the rapid onset of the condition. In some cases, intravenous infusion of calcium and magnesium in a dextrose solution can be effective. A veterinarian should be consulted for treatment. The best bet is to take steps prior to grazing to help avoid grass tetany.

Tips to avoid grass tetany:

  • Encourage daily intake of magnesium.
  • Magnesium oxide is the most common source of supplemental magnesium. Keep mineral boxes filled and scattered at several pasture locations. There are many commercial mineral mixes designed to provide adequate magnesium.
  • Salt mixtures containing magnesium oxide can be used as the magnesium source. To be effective, the mineral mix should contain at least 10% magnesium.
  • Magnesium oxide is unpalatable and generally needs to be mixed with other supplements to encourage consumption.
  • Lactating cows require .20% magnesium in their diets on a dry matter basis. This is equal to 18-21 grams of magnesium intake daily.
  • Early, lush grass growth is more problematic than more mature forages.
  • Graze legume or mixed legume-grass pastures first before grazing lush-grass pastures.
  • Cool season grasses (e.g., bromegrass, crested wheatgrass, timothy, bluegrass) and annual cereals (e.g., wheat, oats, rye) cause the most problems.
  • Graze less susceptible animals on problem pastures. Dry cows, heifers, stocker cattle and cows nursing calves more than four months of age are less susceptible than cows in heavy lactation.

Progress with South Korea

According to Pete Hisey,, a South Korean technical team has confirmed that the animal in the latest U.S. case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy was born before the imposition of a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban, clearing the way for imports of boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age to resume by early June. Inspection teams may visit the 33 U.S. plants that have applied for clearance to export beef in May, although Seoul has not yet decided if that is necessary.

NCBA Calls for Action on Death Tax

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is coordinating a "National Cattle Call to Kill the Death Tax" on May 9. The event is a national call-in for cattle producers to call their senators to voice support for full and permanent repeal of the Death Tax. For more information on the call-in, contact Jenni Beck at (202) 347-0228 or Additional material on the issue can be found on the NCBA Death Tax Web site and the NCBA Government Affairs Web site.

Imports of Older Canadian Cattle Delayed

According to Pete Hisey,, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has indicated that his plans to fast-track a new rule to allow the import of Canadian cattle older than 30 months have been stymied, due to the discovery of two new cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Canada this year.

Hisey reports that Johanns had hoped that a new rule would be available by early summer, with imports resuming as early as September. Rule-writing, however, is taking longer than expected, and Johanns has said he cannot set a date for resumption of trade.

Don’t Let Weeds Get the Best of You

If pasture weeds have got you down, take a look at the article by Eddie Funderburg, Noble Foundation ag specialist, on the Noble Foundation Web site. Funderberg reveals the top reasons he thinks pasture weed control programs don't often work as well as they should, and offers suggestions for optimal weed control.

Florida Beef Cattle Short Course Set for May 3-5

The 55th Annual Florida Beef Cattle Short Course (BCSC) will be held in Gainesville, Fla., May 3-5, at the Hilton UF Conference Center. The BCSC target audience is beef cattle producers and managers who are interested in increasing net profits and producing a quality beef product, and willing to make management changes to do so. For more information, visit the University of Florida Department of Animal Sciences Web site.

CSU Extends Invite for Cowboy Shank-Off

The Colorado State University (CSU) Animal Sciences Department of Fort Collins, Colo., is inviting industry representatives and employers to attend the Cowboy Shank-Off, May 6. The program begins with registration at 11:30 a.m. in the Anheuser-Busch Recreational Area, followed by golf and horseshoe tournaments. A dinner and awards program will cap off the day at 6 p.m.

This event provides an opportunity for CSU’s students and faculty to interact with members of the industry. For more information, contact Lucy Whitehead at (970) 491-3969 or

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