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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 15, 2017

The Future of Cattle Feeding

What does the future hold for the cattle-feeding segment of the beef industry? Where and how will cattle be fed? How will they be marketed? What challenges lie ahead for cattle feeders?

These were the questions posed to University of Nebraska Beef Feedlot Extension Specialist Galen Erickson, during a Cattlemen’s College® session hosted at the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Lacking a crystal ball and claiming to be armed only with training in ruminant nutrition plus his power of observation, Erickson shied away from long-term predictions. However, he said the current state of cattle feeding and certain trends may offer a glimpse of what lies ahead, at least in the near future.

Reviewing the feedlot sector’s basic needs — things like feeder-cattle supplies, feedstuffs, water, energy, labor and markets — Erickson said climate is likely to become more important in the future because of its relationship to temperature extremes, precipitation and feed and water supplies.

Continue reading the Angus Media news article online.

Immune Priming and the Value of Calf Management

At an early morning Cattlemen’s College session Feb. 1 during the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn., Victor Cortese took attendance by asking cow-calf producers to raise their hands. He then joked that the stocker and feedlot operators in the room had better take a good look at those cow-calf folks because, he said, “Your problems start there.”

Cortese, a veterinarian and director of cattle and equine immunology for Zoetis, explained that he made that point to underscore that more and more research indicates calf health in the first 60 days is paramount to the long-term performance of the animals.

He added, “A calf’s highest genomic potential is the day they are born, and then we start to screw it up.”

That said, Cortese emphasized that research in the area of “perinatal programming” is looking at what is important to the calf after it’s born to help it reach its full genetic potential.

Read more in the Angus Media news article online.

On Target: Resolutions

The calendar turned to 2017 with many resolutions made. What do you resolve for your operation this year? What plan have you and your team made to improve profits, expand or cut costs in 2017?

In most cases, each team member has ideas for the plan, but rarely does anyone put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to capture these ideas. Insert any number of quotable quotes regarding failure to plan and managing what you measure.

My goal is not to focus on the importance of a plan but to help stimulate ideas for it. In view of the challenging market ahead, let’s look at marketing ideas to consider for 2017. It seems early to develop a marketing plan for newborn and expected calves, but development of a flexible plan will influence many management decisions throughout the year.

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

Wheat Acres Hit a 100-plus Year Low

United States planted wheat acres trended to their lowest since 1909 amid low prices and uncooperative weather, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist, San Angelo, said prices for Texas wheat have been in a multiyear downward trend. Texas wheat acres decreased from 6.1 million acres planted in 2015 to 5 million in 2016 and again in 2017 with 4.5 million acres planted, Thompson said.

Cotton is king in West Texas, and wheat is a secondary fall crop that producers typically plant in a rotation for grain or forage production and winter field cover for acres dedicated to cotton, he said. Before prices began falling, wheat was an additional post-cotton harvest income source.

However, covering variable costs for fuel, seed, fertilizer and other inputs has been tricky for producers the last few years as wheat prices fell, Thompson said. At harvest this past year, wheat prices were around $3-$3.10 per bushel. Total expenses per acre could be around $6.25 for dryland wheat that produces about 25 bushels per acre, which is typical for the area.

For more information, read the AgriLife news release online.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Hosted at the Rural Law Center at the University of Wyoming (UW) College of Law, the Farm and Ranch Conference on March 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is part of the Legal Aid of Nebraska Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, supported by a USDA grant.

The conference seeks to assist beginning farmers and ranchers in acquiring land from retiring farmers and ranchers by delivering business succession planning.

The conference is intended to contribute to that objective by giving beginning and retiring farmers and ranchers, and those who serve them, basic education about the legal, financial and human issues related to estate and transition planning.

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



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