Feeding cotton seed to beef cattle (how safe is it?)

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My father-in-law feeds his cattle cotton seed in the winter, and I noticed last year that it stinks of pesticides! I can't prove it, but I can always tell the smell of bug spray, and that's just what this stuff smells of. I know that cotton is a crop that requires a lot of pesticides. So what does this do to the meat? Anyone know?

-- Elizabeth in E TX (kimprice@peoplescom.net), October 17, 2001


Dairymen have fed cottonseed for years seems if there were a problem with pesticides it would show up in the milk. However there are many different products; whole fuzzy cottonseed, cottonseed, cottonseed hulls, cottonseed screenings, gin trash, cottonseed meal

-- buzz in mo (smhamp@yahoo.com), October 17, 2001.

This is the whole fuzzy cotton seed. Yes, I've read a few articles about how cotton seed is one of the best feeds, but to me it smells of bug spray... Maybe it's the urea that makes it smell that way?

-- Elizabeth in E TX (kimprice@peoplescom.net), October 18, 2001.

I have never used cotton seed but I have read that cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed agricultural crops out there. I don't think I would use it to feed my animals. People will argue that there is no residual effect on the meat or milk, but I think that is naive.

-- Elizabeth (ekfla@aol.com), October 18, 2001.

Elizabeth, our custom mix had cottonseed meal in it. It is very well known for increasing butterfat. I will smell it next time I am at the mill, I am one of those folks who smells everything, so it's odd that I haven't noticed this before. Now Kelp, I recently started feeding it again with the herd so small, I love it, one whiff and it is in my nose all day, reminds me of home :) San Diego and the sea. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaughTX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), October 18, 2001.

I'm quite prepared to believe you're allowed to use it in cattlefeed to feed to the beef you feed to people in the USA; but we in Australia aren't. That is, there are some pesticides which, if used on the cotton, preclude that cottonseed being used as animal feed. Similarly, cotton trash after harvest is used as stock feed, and there are defoliants used to promote leaf-drop and give a cleaner pick which mean the picked plant shouldn't be used as feedstuff. I can't remember which it was, but there was a period when a feed-lot operator in Australia did the wrong thing, and closed down Australia's beef export market to the USA for two months, until they had identified the problem, and had inspections in place to ensure that such contaminated meat couldn't enter the food chain again. I remember news coverage at the time pointing out that our standards had already been higher than yours, and that if the meat had originated in the USA the contamination would never have been identified.

-- Don Armstrong (from Australia) (darmst@yahoo.com.au), October 20, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ