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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

August 9, 2017

Bee Buzzes Could Help Save
Their Decreasing Population

According to recent studies, declines in wild and managed bee populations threaten the pollination of flowers in more than 85% of flowering plants and 75% of agricultural crops worldwide. Widespread and effective monitoring of bee populations could lead to better management; however, tracking bees is tricky and costly. Now, a research team led by the University of Missouri (MU) has developed an inexpensive acoustic listening system using data from small microphones in the field to monitor bees in flight. The study, published June 7 in Plos One, shows how farmers could use the technology to monitor pollination and increase food production.

“Causes of pollinator decline are complex and include diminishing flower resources, habitat loss, climate change, increased disease incidence and exposure to pesticides, so pinpointing the driving forces remains a challenge,” said Candace Galen, professor of biological science in the MU College of Arts and Science department. “For more than 100 years, scientists have used sonic vibrations to monitor birds, bats, frogs and insects. We wanted to test the potential for remote monitoring programs that use acoustics to track bee flight activities.”

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Ag Workers at High Risk of Heat Illnesses

Agriculture workers are 20 times more likely than other workers to die from heat.

Heat deaths are 100% preventable with water, rest and shade, says University of Missouri Extension health and safety specialist, Karen Funkenbusch.

That is why she encourages everyone to support the “Summer 2017 Beat the Heat” campaign from the U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Workers in farming, fishing and forestry are at high risk of heat illness because heat builds in the body during hard work. Heat illness occurs when the body can no longer cope, and physical and mental functions start to break down.

“Farmers should be aware that heatstroke occurs when temperatures may not seem abnormally high,” says Kate Smith, a health science paraprofessional working with Funkenbusch.

“Heatstroke doesn’t only affect you on those 105° days,” Smith says. “You can be in danger when temperatures are over 80° and humidity is over 75%. Acclimate yourself to blistering temperatures and be especially cautious if you work in direct sunlight.”

Learn more in this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

The Facts About Food and Agriculture

It seems most everyone has an opinion these days about what agriculture in America should look like and how our food should be grown. What’s often missing from the conversation about agriculture is facts. The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture works to provide those facts and promote a more-informed discussion.

For example, did you know that we Americans spend just 10% of our income on food? People in other countries must spend more. Farmers and ranchers make up just 2% of our nation’s population, but one farm feeds 165 people each year. It takes less feed to produce the same amount of milk than it did 30 years ago, and farmers produce 360% more corn per acre than in 1950. Thanks to the growing productivity of America’s farmers and ranchers, America doesn’t have to depend on other nations to meet our most basic need.

Today, 99% of all U.S. farms are owned by individuals, family partnerships or family corporations. That means just 1% of our farms and ranches are owned by non-family corporations.

Read this Farm Bureau news release online.

Hay Storage, Forage Management
Discussed at Forage Field Day

Producing hay requires both time and expense, but it can lead to unwanted waste if bales are left sitting in the field, according to experts.

To preserve nutritive value and money, there are options that can be implemented to manage unwanted waste, said Larry Redmon, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state forage specialist, College Station.

Redmon shared several options with producers at the recent O.D. Butler Forage Field Day hosted at the Circle X Land and Cattle Co. Camp Cooley Division in Robertson County.

“A barn can pay for itself in four to six years, according to studies done by our Extension economists,” Redmon said. “Many think they can store hay outside, but when hay costs as much as $120 a ton to produce, can we afford to give up some of that expense? Many of us can’t.”

During the demonstration, Redmon peeled back several layers of hay from a bale that had been sitting outside for more than a year.

“The good hay is in the center,” Redmon said. “A cow knows where the good hay is.”

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

Five Tips to Help Your Calves Beat Summer’s Heat

As summer heats up, you may find yourself spending more time in the pool, enjoying ice-cold drinks and sitting in air conditioning to keep cool. Calves also behave differently in the summer to avoid heat stress. By providing a proper environment and good management, you can help reduce the harm of heat stress on your calves.

“Heat stress in calves causes an increase in respiration rates and body temperature, decreased feed intake, rapid dehydration, and reduced immune system function,” says veterinarian Julian (Skip) Olson, technical services manager for Milk Products. “It is important for the health and well-being of your calves to avoid heat stress.”

Use these five tips to help your calves combat heat stress this summer.

  1. 1. Provide clean, fresh water
    The most important aspect of summertime calf raising is to provide free-choice, fresh water. Calves exposed to heat stress can consume 3-6 gallons of water each day. It is important to check availability and cleanliness of water a few times daily.
  2. 2. Adapt calf housing
    Modifying your calves’ environment is one of the best ways to protect them from the weather.

Learn more in this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.



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