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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

January 31, 2017

What Can You Pay for a Bull?

The auctioneer chants, “Who’ll give me thirty-five, now four thousand, now four and a half, now five? C’mon boys, look at that solid bull, everything you want there forty-five, now five?”

In that moment, it’s hard to calculate the specific difference in those investments. How will a 20-pound (lb.) improvement in weaning weight change your calf crop and thus your bottom line? Does it matter if you buy a bull with a marbling expected progeny difference (EPD) of +0.2 vs. +0.6?

That homework must be done long before sale day. Identify production goals, look at your financial picture and then set your target range, both in genetic values and economics. There are many variables to consider.

A few years ago, I interviewed Jim McGrann, emeritus ranch management economist at Texas A&M, about a calculator he built to help cattlemen analyze what their bull investment looks like on a per-cow basis.

Continue reading in the Angus Media news article online.

Partners in Progress

There are many people who impact the success of your ranching business, including your customers, your lenders and your suppliers.

One of the important suppliers for cow-calf producers is the local veterinarian. Veterinarians can provide important advice and service to improve ranch income, decrease costs, provide protection from losses due to disease and offer options for marketing high-health cattle.

Ranch income is primarily derived from the sale of calves either at weaning for commercial operations or as breeding bulls or heifers for seedstock producers. Commercial ranchers can increase their income by increasing the pounds of calves at weaning, and seedstock operations can increase the number of marketable breeding animals from the same land and cow resources by increasing the reproductive efficiency of the herd.

Veterinarians can provide advice and services to monitor and evaluate heifers, cows and bulls so that a high percentage of the herd is able to successfully mate at the start of each breeding season.

Read more in the Angus Media news article online.

Financial Focus

Downturn. Reset. Slump. These are all words being used to describe the current ag economy — particularly in comparison to the record-breaking commodity prices from a few years ago.

Where exactly are we in this economic slowdown? Ag industry economist David Kohl shares this perspective: “I call the years from 2008 to 2013 the ‘great commodity super cycle’ in agriculture. … It was the Mount Everest of profits.”

Now, he points to the dramatic dip in commodity price charts and says, “We are on the other side of Mount Everest.”

Thus, Kohl, who is a professor emeritus of agricultural and applied economics from Virginia Tech and crisscrosses the country speaking to ag industry groups, says the No. 1 question he’s being asked is, “When is this market going to turn around?”

For his response, view the Angus Journal article online.

Getting There Fast

Everyone learns the lesson sometime: You can’t judge a book by its cover. Things aren’t always what they seem.

Hugh Bradley learned that about his cow herd less than a decade after Shandi Bradley first learned that about Hugh.

“That is going to be the man you marry,” her mother would tell her often, but Shandi wasn’t so sure.

“I liked him, but he was too wild,” Shandi says with a laugh. After a couple of years of friendship, a horse and a few dozen cows brought them together.

Shandi was at a conservation banquet where a horse was up for raffle. Her tablemate said, “If I win that horse, I’m going to give it to you.” Sure enough, organizers drew that out-of-stater’s number, and with no place to keep an animal herself, that stranger made good on her promise to Shandi.

Continue reading the Angus Journal feature online.

MU Extension Hay School for Livestock Producers

Livestock producers and horse owners can learn how to make “Hay That Pays” at the 2017 University of Missouri (MU) Extension regional hay school March 18 in Kirksville.

“Attendees of this class will be able to decide if making their own hay and balage is an economically sound decision for their farming operation,” says MU Extension agronomy specialist Valerie Tate. The six-hour noncredit course covers all aspects of hay production. The course is geared toward producers who already have their own hay production equipment or have hay custom-harvested on their land.

Tate says the program will help growers learn about what kinds of forages are best suited for hay in northern Missouri. They will also learn what kind of hay meets the nutritional needs of livestock.

Other topics include supplements to hay, hay tests, the economics of fertilizing hayfields, what makes good balage and more.

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



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