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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

December 14, 2016

Start Calves Off Right

Ted Perry, Purina animal nutritionist, was a recent guest on Angus Talk, a weekly radio program on Rural Radio, Channel 147. Tune in at 10 a.m. CST each Saturday morning on SiriusXM Radio.

  1. Q: Why is it so important to get calves off to a good start after weaning?
  2. A: Well, if you think about the lifetime of a calf, the first six to nine months they’re on mama, and she’s kind of taking care of everything they need. Then after weaning, when they walk away from mama, we’ve got to get them onto solid feed. During that three to four week transition, that’s where we’re setting up the rumen, and we’re setting up his whole metabolism health and everything else to get off to that good start. If we do a good job with that, and no sickness, then we’re setting a calf up for the rest of his life to be more efficient and to grow better.
  3. Q: What’s a good start look like for a freshly weaned calf?
  4. A: Well, we want these calves to start eating quickly. The quicker we start getting those calves to eat, then the better the rumen is.

Continue reading in the Angus Media news article online.

Loud and Clear

The beef market tells you what it wants. You just have to pay attention.

“We know there are signals out there in the marketplace for quality. As you move further away from the end product, we know those signals are … not quite as distinct,” said Mark McCully, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) at the 2016 Angus Convention in Indianapolis in November.

The brand’s vice president of supply made sense of many of those economic indicators.

“We need to make sure we’re watching the long-term trends and don’t get too carried away with some of the short-term ‘noise,’ because the decisions we’re making in our breeding programs are really about the next two, three, five years,” he said.

On a carcass-weight basis, there’s 37% more Prime beef today than just two years ago, compared to Select grade, which is down 21.7%.

“This year we actually see a higher percentage of dollar contribution is coming from branded product than Select,” McCully said, noting that branded beef accounts for 16.3% of total industry revenue.

Read more in the Angus Media news article online.

Feed Outlook

Feed grain balance sheets for 2016/2017 were nearly steady this month, with the most significant change a 5-million-bushel (bu.) increase in sorghum used to produce ethanol and a corresponding decline in sorghum ending stocks. Season-average prices for corn are forecast 5¢ per bu. higher than last month at $3.35, and sorghum prices are lowered 5¢ per bu. to $3.05. The forecast season-average price for oats was raised 5¢ per bu. to $1.90.

A sharp increase in corn supplies in Argentina and Brazil is expected to intensify the competition facing U.S. exports during the latter part of 2016/2017. Despite strong export commitments, U.S. export prospects are unchanged, reflecting increased competitor supplies and the expectation of a slower pace of sales when countries of the Southern Hemisphere start exporting new crop.

With global consumption projected only marginally higher, global ending stocks rise. On a September-August basis, 2016/2017 U.S. feed and residual use for the four feed grains plus wheat is projected unchanged from last month’s forecast at a total of 157.1 million tons, 18.0 million above the total of 139.2 million for 2015/2016.

For more information, view the USDA ERA news release online.

Check Nitrate Levels in Forages

Nitrate in forages can sometimes be a problem for cattle, according to Kevin Sedivec, professor of range science at North Dakota State University. Depending on growing conditions, nitrate levels may be excessive, and those levels remain high in stored feeds.

“Nitrate toxicity potential can occur in two scenarios. The first is annual forage crops harvested for hay. Nitrate levels can be excessive if the grower uses too much nitrogen fertilizer. If you fertilize the crop thinking in terms of what would be adequate for “X” amount of production and it’s a dry summer — and the crop has less biomass than expected — there will be elevated nitrogen levels,” he explains.

“I recommend testing soils for nitrogen and then add fertilizer as needed to achieve the production potential,” he says.

For more information, view the Angus Beef Bulletin Extra article online.

Partnership to Promote Ag Education

Leaders of the National 4-H Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) announced Dec. 12 a newly established partnership during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two groups.

Recognizing the need to support agricultural education and highlight the impact ag plays in our daily lives, National 4-H Council and AFBF aim to ignite the desire of young people to embrace agriculture, cultivate innovation and empower them with opportunities to improve the world around them. Through collaboration on thought leadership and ag literacy initiatives, both organizations are committed to better link young people to agriculture of today and tomorrow.

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



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