October 31, 2008

Contact: Cornell Cooperative Extension: Essex County: Anita Deming, 518-962-4810;
Franklin County: Jessica Prosper, 518-483-7403; Jefferson & Lewis counties: Ron Kuck, 315-788-8450; St. Lawrence County, Betsy Hodge: 315-379-9192, 315-379-0607 (messages)

Cornell Specialist to Present Timely Topics to NNY Beef Producers: Nov 4 in Westport, Nov 5 in Hopkinton, Nov 6 in Watertown

Timely topics for beef producers range from the results of the North Country Liver Fluke Study funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program to winter feeding strategies, and Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) laws. On November 4 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Westport, November 5 at Hopkinton Town Hall, and November 6 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Watertown, Cornell Beef Cattle Extension Specialist Michael J. Baker will discuss these topics and answer questions. The meetings will run from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.

Baker will also be available for daylight farm visits in each area. Call your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office to schedule a farm visit and/or pre-register for beef producers meetings. There may be a minimal charge for refreshments payable at the meetinghouse door.

For more information producers in St. Lawrence can contact Betsy Hodge at 315-379-9192, in Franklin County: Jessica Prosper, 518-483-7403, in Essex County: Anita Deming, 518-962-4810; for Jefferson and Lewis counties: Ron Kuck, 315-788-8450.

Meeting Topics Timely for Beef Producers
Liver Flukes:
As part of a project funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, Baker, veterinarian Dr. Laura Raymond and local slaughterhouses have been monitoring beef livers for the incidence of large liver flukes. This project responds to farmer interest in increasing use of NNY grasslands to improve beef animal production and profitability. Wet pastures, however, are breeding grounds for the internal parasites. The large liver fluke has been found in cattle livers at two NNY slaughter plants. USDA regulations require infected livers to be condemned. While the value of liver is not a large part of producer income, heavy infestations can affect the growth of younger cattle and impede reproductive efficiency in beef cow herds. Baker will provide producers with management strategies to cope with this parasite.

The Cost of Grain and Hay: With increasing grain and hay prices producers need to feed their beef cattle a proper winter ration to maintain herd productivity and profits. Using sample feeds and feed analysis reports, Baker will show producers at the Northern New York beef meetings how to prepare good winter rations. Minimizing costs but still feeding the correct nutrients will be emphasized.

Country of Origin Labeling allows consumers to know where their food comes from. For producers, the legislation requires paperwork to verify the origins of their animals. At the November beef producers meetings, Baker will provide details on exactly what producers are responsible for regarding COOL paperwork and product labeling. Sale barn representatives will be at the meetings as well to discuss their role with COOL. # # #