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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

February 10, 2016

The Case for GMOs

One of the most controversial topics in agriculture today is the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The use of the technology has made incredible progress for many important areas of agricultural production, including dramatic increases in crop yields and animal growth.

So why are consumers so averse to adoption of the technology?

Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology with the University of California–Davis, broke it down for her audience at the 118th annual Cattle Industry Convention & National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show Jan. 28, 2016, as a presenter at the 23rd annual Cattlemen’s College®.

“I really hate the term ‘genetically modified organism,’” she said. “I really don’t even know what that is. It’s really an ill-defined term. What people are actually referring to is genetic engineering.”

To read more, view the full Angus news article online.

Accuracy Answers Questions

Volatility in fed and feeder prices has been the enduring theme the past several months — volatility that can make decision making difficult. Reducing risk becomes imperative and quality genetics and accurate selection tools could hold the key.

“Angus has a very comprehensive evaluation system,” says Angus Genetics Inc. President Dan Moser. “We cover over 18 different traits and indexes that are involved for use in selection — everything from things that directly impact production on the ranch, like weaning weight and mature cow size to the carcass characteristics, heifer pregnancy, feed intake. A very wide variety of traits are measured to help us characterize these cattle.”

Moser explains that with the help of these traits, profit indexes, pedigrees and the use of genomic tests, producers can get a very accurate idea of the genetics and the potential behind those genetics.

Watch the full interview on this week’s episode of The Angus Report. You can tune in to the show at 5 p.m. CST this evening on RFD-TV, or at 1:30 p.m. CST Saturday and 7:30 a.m. CST each Monday morning.

Neonatal Care

Fifty percent of beef calf death loss occurs within the first 24 hours of birth, and 70% of calf death loss occurs within three days after birth. Because of those statistics and the resulting impact on cow-calf income and profitability, Colorado State University professor Frank Garry emphasized the importance of monitoring and assisting newborn calves when needed after birth.

He noted that “normal” newborn calves should experience an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, stand within one hour, experience good mothering, maintain a body temperature of 101-102° F, be actively suckling within 2 hours and be attentive, responsive and active.

When newborn calves do not experience this normal course of events, Garry advises producers to focus on three strategies when working with calves that need neonatal assistance.

To read about his three strategies, view the full Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Simple Steps to More Profitable Pastures

“The easiest and cheapest way to improve profitability is to improve pastures,” Dow’s Scott Flynn told attendees during a Learning Lounge session at the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show Jan. 28. Flynn estimates that, particularly in high-rainfall areas, landowners give up about 30% of their pasture’s potential due to lack of weed control.

“Pastures are a cheap source of feed for cattle,” he added, making them worth the investment to renovate or improve.

That said, pasture improvements are not something accomplished in a single day, Flynn emphasized. “It may take a year of planning or a few growing seasons to plan and address issues before you are ready to plant.”

Among the important considerations for pasture improvements, Flynn noted that the needs of the operation should first be identified before forages are selected. Additionally, soil fertility issues and invasive species control should be evaluated.

For more information, please view the full Angus news article online.

Peter Zeihan to Keynote Cattle Raisers Convention

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) announced Peter Zeihan, geopolitical strategist and author of The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder, will deliver remarks on Saturday, April 9, at the 139th annual Cattle Raisers Convention opening general session.

Geography and demography are transforming the international structure. Economic and political systems designed for the post-WWII era are finding it impossible to shift onto a new footing. The notable exception is the United States, uniquely well-positioned to enter a politically stable, economically dynamic, youthful and very soon energy-independent era. Zeihan’s presentation, “Approaching the American Age,” will focus on how the United States will stand apart, even thrive, as many of America’s current competitors simply fall away.

Those interested in attending Zeihan’s presentation should register for the Cattle Raisers Convention by visiting

For more information, please view the Angus Journal Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events here.


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