Beef Tips

Category: May 2016

Tally Time – Too many late calving cows

by Sandy Johnson, livestock specialist

We choose the length of our calving season by how long we leave the bulls out.  Some leave bulls out until it is convenient to remove them and may get away with a reasonable calving period, until they don’t.   A recent call reported a frustration with as many cows yet to calve after 60 plus days of calving as had calved in the first or second 21 day periods.  Assuming all those remaining calve in the
4th 21-day period, those calves will be 80 to 100 pounds lighter than the early born calves at a common weaning point.  If we assume a sale price of
$1.80, that is $144 to $180 in lost value.

It will be important for the producer to work through possible causes of this issue which may include nutrition, genetics, health, male fertility, management or a combination to prevent future occurrence.  Consideration may be given to marketing these as bred females as they may fit better in another producer’s system.  There are some management actions that can be taken now to hasten rebreeding.

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Dealing with anaplasmosis in cows

by David Rethorst, DVM, Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

Historically, anaplasmosis in Kansas has been diagnosed in the counties east of and including the I-35 corridor.  The 2013 Disease Trend Map from the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (KSVDL) shows that anaplasmosis was diagnosed in 37 of the 51 counties in this area and only 8 of the 54 counties west of the I-35 corridor.


In 2015, the KSVDL map revealed that cattle infected with anaplasmosis were diagnosed in 45 of the 51 eastern counties and 24 of 54 counties west of the I-35 corridor.  Three of the fifteen counties west of the I-35 corridor, yet east of and including the 281 corridor, had positive cases of anaplasmosis in 2013.


Yet in 2015, cattle infected with anaplasmosis were diagnosed in 13 of the 15 counties.  Are there more cases of anaplasmosis creeping west in Kansas or are our improved diagnostic tools and our awareness of the disease helping us do a better job of finding this problem in our cows?  Or is it a little bit of both?  With cows being routinely hauled into and out of disease endemic areas on an annual basis for summer grazing and reports of strains of Anaplasma marginale that are resistant to chlortetracycline, one can see why the prevalence is increasing in Kansas.


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