Presentations for the annual conference focus on animal health and management practices.
By Lisa Henderson
Nearly 300 producers attended K-State’s annual Beef Stcker Day conference in Manhattan on Sept. 25. Producers, practitioners and other industry participants came to learn about animal health and management practices for stocker cattle and hear a market outlook for the stocker industry.
Glynn Tonsor, ag economist at K-State, provided an optimistic market outlook about the role of stocker segment in beef herd rebuilding. Tonsor said the record prices throughout the industry this year are the result of tight meat and live animal supplies, strong retail meat demand and pending herd expansion.
In the short-run, Tonsor said, the historically low cattle numbers will force stocker operators to “be more flexible in buy/sell decisions.” He also said stocker operators should consider buying alternative weights of cattle and consider strategies that increase rates of gain.
The morning concluded with a panel of stocker operators who answered question about their receiving and growing nutrition programs. The panelists were Brian Barnhardt, Lebo, Kansas; Chad Cargill, Isabel, Kansas; Jaret Moyer, Emporia, Kansas; and Jay Rezac, Onaga, Kansas. The producer panel shared their experiences in managing newly arrived cattle and animal health protocols. Other topics ranged from when to use a thermometer, whether or not to use a probiotic on processing and their general philosophies on nutrition for receiving cattle.
Joe Dedrickson, DVM for Merial Animal Health, gave a presentation about parasite control and how Merial’s new product, LongRange, could benefit stocker operations. LongRange is an extended release injection that is the first FDA approved treatment that lasts 100-150 days per treatment. Dedrickson showed results from studies in 18 sites across nine states.
Dr. Mike Apley, professor of clinical sciences at K-State, discussed management strategy techniques stocker operations could implement in response to the FDA requiring a veterinarian prescription on antibiotics by December 2016.
The FDA is applying guidelines to drugs considered “medically important,” which they describe as being important for treating human diseases. “Cattle production will be less affected than swine because cattle growth promoters are typically ionophores, which are not considered medically important,” Apley said.
“We should be clear that this action is about decreasing the use of antibiotics in food animals, not about having clear evidence that growth promotion uses are driving problems in human therapy.”