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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

October 4, 2016

Can you afford to sell calves this fall?

In the mid-1990s, cow-calf producers weaned mid-500-pound (lb.) calves that produced 750- to 800-lb. carcasses on the rail. Today, cow-calf producers wean mid-500-lb. steers, but these steers have typical carcass weights that approach 900 lb.

About a year ago, I asked, “Can commercial producers afford to sell 7-month-old calves?” and said, “Ponder this!” The point — a big point — is we have 100 lb. to 150 lb. more carcass on the rail, and cow-calf producers still are selling calves of the same weight — and for less money.

So, how many of you pondered the question, or did those thoughts disappear with the daily chores? Realistically, the simple tasks of the day interfere, and we never answer the question, leaving us “stuck in the box.”

A year ago, based on a review of the last several years of income and expenses per cow from the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota, I conservatively estimated a gross margin at $600 per cow.

Why so low? Remember, gross margin accounts for the purchase and sale of all calves, cull cows and bulls, plus the expense of animals transferred in and overall changes in cattle inventory.

To continue reading, visit Angus Media.

Biobased Products and the Economy

According to a recent USDA report, the biobased products industry contributed $393 billion and 4.2 million jobs to America’s economy in 2014. Since 2013, the sector grew by $24 billion and an additional 220,000 jobs.

“America has an appetite for everyday products — including plastic bottles, textiles, cleanings supplies and more — made from renewable sources, and that demand is fueling millions of jobs, bringing manufacturing back to our rural communities, and reducing our nation’s carbon footprint,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As this sector is strengthening, so is the economy in rural America, where this year the unemployment rate dropped below 6% for the first time since 2007.”

This is the second Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry report released by USDA. In addition to the rural economy contribution, biobased materials have had key environmental benefits, including the reduction on the the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information, visit

New World Screwworm Strikes Keys

The USDA confirmed the presence of New World screwworms in Key deer from the National Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Key, Fla. This is the first infestation in more than 30 years.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam, declared an agricultural state of emergency in Monroe County, Fla. Throughout the past two months, deer and a few pets have exhibited similar infestations; however, no larvae had been colected. There have been no human or livestock cases, and it has been restricted to one of the Florida Keys.

New World screwworms are fly larvae, which infest livestock and other animals. Most infest animals through an open wound. In most instances, adult flys do not travel more than a few miles.

For more information, visit To report any potential cases call 1-800-435-7352.

$17.7 Million to Train Next Generation of Producers

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $17.7 million in grant funding to help train and educate producers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).

“USDA is committed to supporting the next generation of farmers and ranchers, and we know that they have unique educational, training, technical assistance and outreach needs,” says Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program funds projects that provide valuable tools and resources to help these producers succeed in building profitable and sustainable businesses in communities across the country.”

The BFRDP helps fund workshops, educational teams and training on techical assistance for first generation farmers and ranchers.

For more information regarding grant applications, visit

Neogen and CRV Partner

Neogen Corp. has announced its GeneSeek subsidiary has entered into a partnership with CRV. This will add CRV’s innovative health and efficiency traits to GeneSeek’s extensive dairy genomic testing.

With this partnership comes four proven traits, better life health, better life efficiency, hoof health and udder health, and these will now be offered as add-ons to GeneSeek’s Igenity genomic profiles. This will allow producers to select animals based on their ability to respond to and select to avoid specific ailments and to produce efficiently.

“Many commercial dairy operations are finding a great return on investment with genomic screening of their herds,” says Neogen’s Stewart Bauck. “The opportunity to add CRV’s well-respected health and efficiency traits to our dairy genomic tests provides even greater value to the results that we can provide producers.”

Neogen’s Igenity Dairy Heifer program provides genomic profiling focused on commercial dairy cattle.

For more information, visit



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