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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 17, 2016

Turnout Tips

Overall health and soundness are key factors in determining if your bulls are ready to head to the breeding pasture this year.

Bob Larson, veterinarian and professor of food animal production medicine with the Kansas State University (K-State) College of Veterinary Medicine, and Leo McDonnell, former operator of the Midland Bull Test in Columbus, Mont., share tips to keep your bulls ahead in the breeding game.

Larson says it’s a good idea to categorize your bulls’ needs by maturity level.

“Often, I’ll break bull management and breeding soundness exams, and assessment of those bulls, into yearling bulls and adult bulls,” he says. “The difference, in my mind, is yearling bulls are just reaching puberty and becoming able to breed cows. They’re young. They’ve never bred cows before, so there’s certain things I’m concerned about with yearling bulls that I’m not as concerned about in adult bulls.”

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

U.S. Senate Blocks GMO Labeling Bill

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced the Biotech Labeling Solutions Act in an effort to block state labeling requirements for what has been termed genetically modified foods, or GMOs.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the bill aimed to create voluntary labels for companies that want to use them on food packages that contain GMOs. The act was approved in committee on March 1, but failed to reach the 60-vote threshold March 16 in the full Senate.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s failure to advance the proposed bioengineered food labeling bill.

“Make no mistake, it’s not Republicans these Senators have opposed, it’s the American farmer and rancher. Enough is enough. Americans are tired of viewing a broken system that refuses compromise at the behest of extreme views be it on the left or the right. These Senators have refused to move from their position calling for a mandatory warning label for products of biotechnology.”

Value Driven

There’s only one certainty in the beef cattle market: change is just around the corner.

The current market cycle has left many producers wondering how they can add value and command more dollars for their calves. Larry Corah with Certified Angus Beef says it centers on three drivers: growth, health and grade.

“There are three big areas that we add value to cattle: they have to have the ability to grow,” Corah said. “Once they hit that feedlot, or even before they hit the feedlot, on the cow, the ability to grow. They have to be healthy. Health is of such huge economic importance in the industry today. And finally, they have to create a quality eating experience for the consumer. Because we need to keep in mind that the people that really drive this industry is ultimately is that beef consumer.”

Read more in the Angus Media article online.

Focus on Fly Control in 2016

For most beef producers, the yearly calving season has been completed and breeding cows and heifers is now the main focus. However, another critical step in a profitable season is effectively keeping the various flies attacking your cattle under control, especially as the herd takes advantage of green pastures and warmer summer temperatures.

While horn flies continue to cause the most economic loss in cattle, there are at least three other fly species that economically impact beef cattle production. These species include: the face fly, the stable fly and, to a lesser extent, the housefly. The successful control of these flies can mean extra dollars earned for the beef producer.

Read more in the Angus Media article online.

Novel Endophyte Fescues

Novel-endophyte fescues make cattle perform and look better, says Craig Roberts of the University of Missouri–Columbia.

Bad things happen when cattle graze toxic fescue. Shaggy hair looks bad, Roberts says. “Fescue cattle” retain their winter hair into summer. With new novel-endophyte fescues, cattle slick up in spring. That cuts heat stress. There’s more than better hair, Roberts adds. Cattle gain more pounds per grazing day.

Ergovaline, a toxin found in Kentucky 31 fescue, causes many other problems. The toxin lowers reproduction and milking ability. In winter, the toxin restricts blood flow to extremities. That causes frozen ears and feet. Frozen ears look bad, while fescue foot can cause death.

A series of one-day schools, starting March 28 in Welch, Okla., will continue on into Missouri that week. The schools, in their fourth year, explain the toxic dangers of Kentucky 31 fescue. K-31 fescue is hardy and productive, making it the most used grass in Missouri and many states in the fescue belt.

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


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