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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

March 4, 2016

Tax & Credit Changes

“Even when you win, it’s not over.”

South Dakota rancher Bill Slovek offered that statement as a warning to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) members attending the organization’s Tax & Credit Committee meeting Jan. 29. Slovek chairs the committee, which met in San Diego, Calif., during the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show.

Slovek’s truism seemed particularly appropriate as NCBA staffer Kent Bacus reviewed 2015 and the twists and turns of the ever-changing U.S. tax code. In retrospect, Bacus called it a good year. For one thing, the House of Representatives voted to fully repeal the federal estate tax — the so-called death tax. The Senate has not taken up the measure, but Bacus called the House action a good sign.

According to Bacus, NCBA had pressed Congress to act on expired tax extenders. Action was slow in coming, but passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill was favorable for agricultural producers because it included a permanent extension of Section 179 expensing.

Read more in the full Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Feedbunk Management

When it comes to nutritional management of growing and finishing cattle, the scientific aspects tend to get the most attention. Hours are spent getting the formulations right and debating the merits of different ingredients and additives.

In truth, feeding cattle successfully is as much art and judgment as science. Judgment is required to balance between over- and underfeeding. Underfeeding limits performance and possibly quality grade. Feeding too much increases feed waste and, more importantly, can trigger acidosis, poor performance and increased death loss.

A South Dakota State University (SDSU) research study conducted by Bierman and Pritchard (1996) compared cattle fed all they would eat to those fed just enough so that all the feed was consumed in a 24-hour period. They observed that the steers fed with the slick-bunk strategy had similar average daily gain (ADG) but improved feed efficiency compared to the steers fed to appetite. There was also more variation in ADG among the steers fed all they would eat, suggesting that some of the steers may have experienced subclinical acidosis from overconsumption.

To read more, access the complete article online.

Livestock Diversity: Storing Genes for the Future

The National Animal Germplasm Collection, part of the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), is ensuring that our livestock genetic diversity doesn’t disappear.

The mission is to build a germplasm collection as diverse as our present livestock populations as insurance against disasters like the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak that hit Britain in 2001. An incident like that could easily decimate the gene pool of a livestock species and cost billions in lost revenue, explained ARS geneticist Harvey Blackburn, who oversees the Collection. And dead is dead-and-gone if there aren’t backups in the freezer as the National Animal Germplasm Collection has in Fort Collins, Colo., he added.

As the world’s largest gathering of genetic material from food and fiber animals, the Collection stores nearly a million samples from 31,000 domestic animals. This includes conventional livestock like pigs, chickens and cattle, and farmed fish like trout, as well as unexpected species such as bison, elk and even yaks, because they are also raised for food and wool.

For more information, please view the full ARS news release online.

American Farm Bureau Federation Joins Initiative

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and a host of other agricultural groups revealed March 3 a ground-breaking data repository that supporters say will give farmers ultimate control over the ever-increasing business data gathered and transmitted by high-tech farm machinery.

Tractors, tilling equipment, planters, sprayers, harvesters and agricultural drones are increasingly connected to the Internet. Even so, farmers don’t always have the ability to precisely control where that data goes, nor transfer it from one data processor to another. The newly formed Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC) will empower farmers to better control, manage and maximize the value of the data they collect every day in the fields.

ADC’s goal is to build a national online repository where farmers can securely store and control the information collected by their tractors, harvesters, aerial drones and other devices.

For more information, please view the full Farm Bureau news release online.

Replacing Toxic Fescue

The last stop on a four-day series of novel-endophyte fescue schools will be hosted at Linneus, Mo., March 31. Many of the Missouri studies of new nontoxic fescues were at the University of Missouri (MU) Forage Systems Research Center (FSRC), site of the school.

“FSRC has 150 acres of novel-endophyte tall fescue,” says Dave Davis, superintendent. “We use it with management-intensive grazing systems.”

All commercially available varieties are being compared under grazing in small-plot research, Davis says. The variety plots were seeded in September 2011. Farmers can see and compare the stands during the daylong school.

“To date, all cultivars have held up well,” Davis said. “One reason for the test was to see how they held up under grazing.”

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


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