Ag by the Numbers – Pigs & Cows

About half of DeKalb County’s top crops of corn and soybeans are fed to livestock. The leading livestock in the county are pigs and cows. Local farmers market over 954,000 hogs each year.  Now that’s a lot of hogs! At any one time there are 276,000 hogs and pigs on farms. The second largest more

Lambing Season Underway

With the spring season comes lambing season. Local farms are welcoming new lambs to their flocks. But spring lambing is sort of a misnomer because lambs are born year-round, according to Julie Barr. “Some lambs are born in the spring (March-May), but many are born in January and February or in more

Farm & Food Talk – Beef Cattle Diets

Are there regulations covering what can be fed to animals raised for food? Yes, there are regulations on animal feed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is in charge of inspecting feed mills to ensure quality ingredients are going into animal feed. There are regulations on what types of feed can be given more

What is African Swine Fever?

What is African swine fever (ASF)? Highly contagious virus in pigs (wild and domestic) Does NOT affect public health or food safety – meat is safe for people to eat. Causes fever, skin discoloration, diarrhea, and death. Other signs may include piling, tiredness, and going off feed. Sudden deaths or more

What’s that Thing? Cow Brushes

Keeping their animals comfortable and content is any livestock farmer’s number one priority. No reasonable person wants their animals to be uncomfortable or in pain. Plus, healthy, calm animals perform better by producing more milk, eggs, or meat. Cow brushes are a tool many dairy farmers provide to keep their cows more

Dairy Calves & Cows Come First

Cows come first on a dairy farm. That’s because farmers know that well-cared for cows are healthy cows that give safe, wholesome milk. To make sure that their cows are healthy as can be, farmers go to great lengths by providing nutritious feed, safe housing and individual care to their animals more

BQA: A commitment to food safety

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) does more than just help beef producers capture more value from their market cattle. BQA reflects a positive public image and instills consumer confidence in the beef industry. When producers implement the best management practices of a BQA program, they assure their market steers, heifers, cows, and more

Fitbits for Cows?

Some dairy farms are turning to fitness trackers, similar to Fitbits, to monitor cows’ health and wellness. Instead of counting steps and tracking fitness goals, these precision dairy cattle monitoring systems are able to detect when a cow may become ill. The technology can also evaluate cow comfort by monitoring activity, more

The Business of Ultrasounding Beef

Robert “Bert” Hueber knows a good ribeye when he sees one. As a certified ultrasound technician Bert evaluates ribeyes regularly for Beef Performance Technology. He uses the ultrasound technology as a tool to aid cattle feeders in producing a high quality product for consumers. Bert ultrasounds thousands of beef cattle raised in more

What’s in there? – Hog Building

DeKalb County is one of the leading pork-producing counties in Illinois. But if you drive around the county, chances are you won’t see any pigs. Where are they? Pigs need shelter. Most pigs are raised in specially-designed buildings. Outside features From the outside, a modern hog building looks like a long, low shed. more