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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

February 9, 2017

Turning Loss Into Gain

Reproduction has been called the single most important economic trait in beef cattle production. In recent years, numerous genetic defects have been identified as causes of reduced cow fertility or reproductive failure.

Genetic defects may cause early embryonic death or abortion and, in some cases, an affected calf may be carried to term but die soon after birth. In any case, there are consequences to animal welfare and producer profitability.

“Turning Loss Into Gain: Managing Genetic Risk to Improve Fertility” was the title of a Cattlemen’s College® session during the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Talking about a management tool for avoiding or managing the mating of carriers of lethal recessive genes were geneticists Megan Rolf, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University, and Alison Van Eenennaam, cooperative extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology at the University of California–Davis.

Read more from the presentation in the Angus Media news article online.

Where the Windmills Are

Fifty years ago, other than a trusted family milk cow, it would have been a difficult task to find cattle grazing the hills of Solano County, Calif. For generations, its western portion of Rio Vista on the Sacramento River thrived on agriculture, but this “Gateway to the Delta” was sheep country. Today, it’s a collisional mecca where warm air from the valley blends with cold air from the Coast, a wind tunnel where heritage and history meet burgeoning infrastructure — each better off for the other.

Sheep and cattle share pasture here with four kinds of wind turbines stretching 300 feet to the clouds. Multitudes benefit from the energy these “mills” provide, but few come close enough to notice the livestock that rest in their shade below.

Those who do may think it unorthodox, mixing the two, or rather the three, but the animals pay no mind. Neither do the Hamiltons.

Read more of the Angus Journal feature online.

Kentucky Producers Host Feeder-calf Auction

Tim White and James Coffey joined forces to bring their customers a new marketing opportunity this year. The pair hosted a special feeder-calf auction for their customers who chose to enroll in AngusSource® or AngusSource® Genetic, and wean, as well as vaccinate their calves within a two-week time frame.

Buyers showed good genetics and sound management practices, and cattle enrolled in a program command extra dollars earned on sale day. White and Coffey both agree their sale was a success for their customers.

“Many of our customers buy outstanding genetics but are not able to put a load lot together,” White says. “This gives our customers the opportunity to get paid for their investment in our bulls.”

White understands the problem better than most purebred Angus breeders, because he raises more commercial Angus than he does registered Angus. He knows the difficulty Kentucky producers face when marketing their Angus-sired calf crops.

At the end of the day on Dec. 8, the sale block had 437 calves going to a new home. Producers who sold calves were asking if another sale would be put together for next year.

For more information, read the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Fescue Toxicity Weapon

With fescue toxicity costing the U.S. cattle industry an estimated $1 billion annually, management methods to mitigate this issue are continually sought. One solution now being evaluated with success is application of Chaparral™ herbicide to suppress fescue seedheads.

“It’s not a new herbicide, but a new benefit we’ve found from Chaparral,” explained Casey Onstot during a special seminar to share Dow AgroSciences field research to support the claim. The event was hosted at the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Onstot is range and pasture portfolio marketing leader for Dow AgroSciences.

Dow AgroSciences field specialists have been looking at the use of Chaparral to suppress fescue seedheads since 2009. They and producers are noting that early application of the herbicide — in April and early May — not only suppresses fescue from setting seed, but also still provides good control of late-emerging weeds from June through August.

Continue reading in the Angus Media news article online.

Angus Highlands

For years, American ranchers have dedicated their lives to improving the Angus breed. Legacies are built on it. Lifestyles are made from it. Legends live on through it.

The field of cattle genetics is stronger now than it’s ever been. Genomic advancements have made tremendous progress in the last decade, measuring expected progeny differences (EPDs) for numerous traits that have contributed to a surge in cattle performance and, ultimately, a superior breed.

Careful selection and precision breeding have led to the world’s most successful, recognized and desired breed of cattle. It’s nothing to sneeze at, but halfway across the world, Julia and Geordie Soutar of Forfar, Scotland — which just so happens to lie right smack-dab in the center of Angus County — are doing something different: They’re bringing back the basics of the breed.

Continue reading the Angus Journal feature online.



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