News Update
Sept. 27, 2007

Angus Associations to Conduct “Partners in Profit” Meetings

The American Angus Association and Missouri Angus Association will sponsor four educational programs, “Partners in Profit,” Oct. 8-11, 2007, in regions throughout the state of Missouri. The program will focus on resources and tools that are beneficial to producers involved in commercial beef production. Each program will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Ty Groshans, director of commercial programs at the American Angus Association, will review the extensive survey report, Priorities First, authored by Tom Field, Colorado State University. Priorities First highlights management priorities to increase profits in the commercial cow-calf sector.

Bill Bowman, the Association’s director of performance programs, will discuss “Selection Tools for Profit” that will include the use of the genetic tools generated by the American Angus Association. Calving ease direct (CED) and birth weight (BW) EPDs and how they are used on virgin heifers and mature cows will be discussed. Bowman will also cover how to make directional change in a cow herd utilizing expected progeny differences (EPDs), dollar value indexes ($Values) and general use of EPDs in the commercial industry. 

“Marketing for Profit” will be the last segment of the evening. Groshans, along with Josh Worthington, Missouri Angus Association, and Roger Eakins, University of Missouri Extension, will highlight value-added marketing tools that are available to producers. Groshans will discuss the AngusSource® program. Worthington will discuss the Missouri Angus Association’s Angus Advantage Plus Sale program; and Eakins will cover the use of the Missouri Show-Me Select program along with the use of documented genetics.

Meeting dates and locations are listed:

• Monday, Oct. 8, University of Missouri-Southwest Research Center, Mount Vernon, Mo.
• Tuesday, Oct. 9, Mineral Area College, North College Center, Park Hills, Mo.
• Wednesday, Oct. 10, Green City Community Center, Green City, Mo.
• Thursday, Oct. 11, Rotary Building, N.W. Corner of Town Square, Clinton, Mo.

Mark these dates on your calendar, and come with your questions on how to use genetic and marketing information to generate profit for your operation.

For more information about these meetings, contact Association Regional Manager Don Laughlin at 816-387-3807. 

Proper Timing of Last Alfalfa Cutting Can Improve Long-Term Productivity

It may be tempting to squeeze out one last cutting of alfalfa in mid-October, especially if a late rain encourages late growth, but producers must consider the long-term effects of such a decision, says Jim Shroyer, Kansas State University (K-State) Research and Extension crop production specialist.

“The last cutting of alfalfa for the year should be timed carefully since it could have a long-lasting impact on the productivity of the stand,” Shroyer says.

At this stage of the growing season, plants need to store enough carbohydrates to survive the winter, the agronomist explains. “To do that, the last cutting has to be timed properly. If root reserves are not replenished adequately before the first killing freeze (24º to 26º F.) in the fall, the stand is more susceptible to winter damage than it would be normally. That could result in slower early growth next spring.”

The last cutting, prior to fall dormancy, should be made so there are 8 to 12 inches of foliage, or four to six weeks of growth time, before the average killing freeze date, Shroyer said. This should allow adequate time for replenishment of root reserves.

For northern areas of the state, particularly northwest, late September should be the target date for the last cutting before dormancy, he advised. The first week of October is the cutoff for southeast Kansas.

Later cutting dates could reduce root reserves during a critical time.

“About the worst thing that could happen to an alfalfa stand that is cut in mid-October would be for the plants to regrow about 3 to 6 inches and then get a killing frost. In that scenario, the root carbohydrate reserves would be at a low point going into winter,” Shroyer says.

After a killing freeze, the remaining forage (if any) can be hayed safely, he adds. However, the producer should act quickly because the leaves will soon drop off.

More information on alfalfa management is available at county and district K-State Research and Extension offices or on the web in the K-State publication C-683 “Alfalfa Production Handbook,” at

— Release provided by K-State Research and Extension

USDA Announces $16.6M in Economic Development Funding

Acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner yesterday announced that 30 recipients will receive $16.6 million in loans and grants to spur economic development with the objective to create or save nearly 2,200 jobs in 18 states.

“Creating jobs is a core part of our Rural Development goals,” Conner said. “These funds invest in the future of rural communities and their residents to increase economic opportunities throughout rural America.”

The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program provides zero-interest loans and grants to Rural Development utility program borrowers, which in turn re-lend the money at zero interest to local entities to promote economic development and job creation projects.

For a complete list of groups selected to receive Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant and Intermediary Relending Program awards, visit Funding of individual recipients will be contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the grant agreement.

Concentrated Animal Environmental Training Class Oct. 2

A one-day training program on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) will be Oct. 2 at the Crossroads Hotel and Huron Event Center, 100 Fourth St. S.W., in Huron, S.D.

South Dakota State University specialists, along with specialists from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will offer the training.

The training program costs $40 and takes place from 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. The cost includes lunch, breaks and materials.

The event is open to producers and other interested individuals. The Oct. 2 event fulfils the environmental and manure-management training requirements needed to obtain a livestock permit from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Current Federal EPA, USDA, and South Dakota water pollution control programs encourage producers — even those who do not need permits — to adopt livestock production and manure management practices that protect water quality.

Training sessions begin after the 8:30 a.m. registration period. The sessions include the following speakers and topics:

• NRCS Conservation Agronomist Jeff Hemenway will explain conservation practices for reducing soil and manure loss from fields;

• Natural resources engineer Jeanie Votava of the S.D. Department of Environment and Natural Resources will discuss her department’s livestock permit program;

• SDSU Soil and Plant Analysis Service Laboratory manager Ron Gelderman will talk about land application of manure with regard to nitrogen and phosphorus management;

• SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Specialist Erik Loe will discuss livestock nutrition options for reducing nitrogen and phosphorous content of manure; and

• SDSU Extension Safety and Farm Machinery Specialist Dick Nicolai will discuss air quality issues.

Participants can preregister by calling Candy Willms at 605-688-5141.

— Compiled by Crystal Albers, associate editor, Angus Productions Inc.

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