In these last few days before Christmas, the Grainews publishing machine is cranking out the January 5, 2021 of the magazine and actually before December ends we will be in the final stages of putting together the January 19 issue of the magazine as well. No rest for the wicked this time of year.
But before anyone starts feeling too sorry for me, each issue I rely on a great group of contributors — experts and columnists with stories to tell that inform and entertain.
Without giving away too much of the plot, long time Alberta large animal vet Roy Lewis describes some of his concerns about leptospirosis in the January 5 Cattleman’s Corner. It is difficult to diagnose, but can have a real impact on reproductive performance in cattle.
As Lewis writes, the disease is more often seen in dairy cattle and for both beef and dairy cattle vaccines are available:
“In Eastern Canada they definitely see leptospirosis in dairy cattle, producing a big drop in milk production. It is often one of the presenting complaints. This is where more of the multivalent vaccines (designed to immunize against two or more strains of the same micro-organism) are used in Canada.
“Most of the major companies have a vaccine combined with the five-way virals and it can be in combination with vibrio as well. The vaccines would be used in instances where your herd veterinarian has diagnosed it or there has been an unconfirmed abortion issue and other causes have been pretty much ruled out. Vaccines of course will give a titre but it is generally a lower one that will wane with time. When combined with the respiratory virals, we need to follow the booster recommendation with that specific vaccine.
“Leptospirosis vaccine is always a killed product so safe to use reproductively, but follow your veterinarian’s recommendations on when to give these vaccines.”
See the Jan. 5 Grainews for the full article.
And at the Heather Smith Thomas ranch in Salmon, Idaho winter-feeding is underway. The deer found their way into the feed supply for the new yearling bull that was bought in November. So plastic netting was used to keep the deer away from the feed. Also in the Jan. 5 Rancher’s Diary there was some sad news about one of the long time “family” members as one of the horses had to be put down.
And near Handel, Sask (about 45 km west of Biggar) the Eppich News reports that as the snow arrived it was a busy time getting the cows home from pasture and sorted for the winter-feeding program. Heather and Gregory Eppich and their young family, James and Joseph raise crops, beef and horses.
Also coming in January, a bit more positive news for beef markets says market analyst Jerry Klassen; while nutritionist Peter Vitti reminds producers during winter feeding – “for every 1 C drop in temperature below 0 C, the beef cows’ TDN energy maintenance requirements are increased by about two per cent. This means that if the temperature was 0 C today and the early morning temperature tomorrow is -25C, there is an increase of about 50 per cent in the cows’ basic dietary energy needs.”
And there is also, what I considered, an interesting article from Chris McCullough of Ireland, who looks at agriculture in various parts of the world, as he describes some of the challenges faced by South African farmers in dealing with poachers and vandals.
Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary. Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]