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HEIFER AND COW                     are for a slight increase in beef                       The Midwest Cattleman · October 6, 2022 · P10
      continued from page 3              production during 2022 above
                                         2021 which is a shift from the     ASIAN LONGHORNED TICK DISCOVERED IN
      cow slaughter in this region is    projection at the start of the                     NORTHERN MISSOURI
      about 30 percent higher year-      year of a three percent decline.                             By Brian Consiglio
      to-date in 2022 than in 2021.      Higher  beef  production  from
      That is more than 150,000          heifers is a key driver.
      head higher than a year ago           While increased cow and
      in this region. These are very     heifer slaughter totals are
      high levels of cow slaughter       contributing to higher beef
      and even surpass the high          production this year, the lon-
      slaughter  totals  seen  during    ger-run implications are tight-
      the 2011 drought.                  er supplies. The higher slaugh-
         Heifer slaughter during Au-     ter totals imply fewer cows
      gust is estimated about 10 per-    and fewer replacement heifers
      cent above August 2021. There      to produce calves. The current
      was one additional business        WASDE projection for 2023
      day in August 2022 which ac-       beef production would be about
      counts for some of the increase.   six percent below the current
      Meanwhile, steer slaughter         2022 projection. Price expec-
      was less than one percent          tations  are  reflecting  these
      above  August 2021. Heifer         tighter supplies. Live cattle fu-    The Longhorned tick causes  ther heightens the need for
      dressed weights are up  one        tures prices for 2023 contract     the loss of millions of dollars in  Missouri cattle ranchers to
      pound compared to  last  year      months  are  currently  trading    agricultural revenue to cattle  make informed decisions re-
      while steer weights are even       between $155 to $161 while         producers worldwide, and it is  garding quarantining protocols
      with a year ago.                   Feeder Cattle futures prices       now in northern Missouri.         when introducing new cattle
         The increase in heifer          for  2023 contract  months  are      Originally found in eastern  into their herds in an effort to
      slaughter and dressed weights      trading between $185 and           Russia and the  Australasian  protect the health of their live-
      are contributing to higher beef    $200 per cwt. It appears likely    region, this tick was first found  stock, which has significant
      production totals than were        that there will be some attrac-    in the United States in 2017 in  economic implications.
      previously expected. The pro-      tive  pricing  opportunities  for   New Jersey. It has since reached    “Studying the prevalence of
      jections in the latest World Ag-   cattle producers.                  the Mid-Atlantic, New England  invasive ticks in different geo-
      ricultural Supply and Demand                                          and Midwestern regions of the  graphical regions can help vet-
      Estimates (WASDE) report                                              U.S., and now has been discov- erinarians and farmers take
                                                                            ered in northern Missouri for  proactive,  preventative  steps
                                                                            the first time by researchers at  that may ultimately protect
                                                                            the University of Missouri.       the  health  of  livestock,  which
                                                                              Last  year,  the  Longhorned  has huge economic implica-
                                                                            tick was found in the southern  tions,” said Rosalie Ierardi, an
                                                                            part of the state. This latest dis- anatomic pathologist at the
                                                                            covery indicates an addition- MU College of Veterinary Med-
                                                                            al economic burden to cattle  icine who recently discovered
                                                                            producers due to ticks; as the  two Longhorned ticks in Linn
                                                                            Longhorned  tick  infestation  County, Missouri, while con-
                                                                            could lead to significant loss in  ducting anaplasmosis surveil-
                                                                            weight gain for cattle, similar  lance research.
                                                                            to an already widely prevalent       Ierardi collaborated on the
                                                                            disease called anaplasmosis;  project with Ram Raghavan, a
                                                                            but so far, the threat from this  professor in the MU College of
                                                                            species of tick to cattle — and  Veterinary Medicine and MU
                                                                            people and their pets — in Mis- School of Health Professions.
                                                                            souri remains low. However, re- Raghavan, who has been track-
                                                                            searchers emphasize that the  ing the spread of various spe-
                                                                            discovery of the Longhorned  cies of ticks in the U.S. for 15
                                                                            tick in the state increases the  years, predicted the potential
                                                                            need for more vigilance to- geographic distribution of the
                                                                            wards ticks in general.           Longhorned tick back in 2019.
                                                                              While most ticks reproduce  So far, the tick appears to be
                                                                            traditionally,  female    Long- establishing  in  the  areas  that
                                                                            horned ticks can lay thousands  he had predicted in that study.
                                                                            of eggs without the help of a  He said there not only appears
                                                                            male,  which  makes  it  easier  to be an increase in the abun-
                                                                            for them to quickly establish  dance of all ticks in the Midwest
                                                                            in new areas. Infestation of the  in the past decade, but also an
                                                                            Longhorned  tick  can  lead  to  increase in the pathogens and
                                                                            possible transmission of bovine  diseases they transmit to cat-
                                                                            theileriosis, a disease that kills  tle, humans, and pets.
                                                                            red blood cells in cattle.           “Warmer temperatures in
                                                                              While there have currently  the Midwest seem to be creat-
                                                                            not  been  any  confirmed  cases  ing perfect conditions for ticks
                                                                            of bovine theileriosis in Mis- and the pathogens they carry
                                                                            souri cattle, this discovery fur-               continued on page 12
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