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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 1, 2013

The Tag Store Features New Items

The American Angus Association's Tag Store is introducing some new product enhancements in time to prepare for the fall sale season. Starting Aug. 1, the online store will offer the Dark & Durable™ tag marking process as the new standard tag mark, as well as the new ProGripII™ Universal Tag Applicator.

“The new product improvements Destron Fearing has introduced make viewing and inserting tags easier,” says Ginette Kurtz, AngusSource® Genetic program manager. “I think producers are going to enjoy the new changes and see an improvement in efficiency.”

Now is the time for cattlemen to start ordering custom tags for fall production or bull sales, Kurtz says, and the ear tags offered by The Tag Store are an effective way to promote a farm or ranch. The interactive website ( allows producers to upload customized spreadsheets and view a proof before placing the order.

For more information, please view the full release here.

Livestock Industry Hails Passage of Forest Management
and Wildfire Prevention Package

The Public Lands Council (PLC) and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) hailed the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee's passage of the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, H.R. 1526, legislation to prevent the continuation of catastrophic wildfire events by improving federal forest management. The bill, passed on a voice vote, was offered by Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and includes prescriptive measures offered by various western congressional members whose districts are threatened by catastrophic wildfire and forest mismanagement.

According to PLC and NCBA, the wildfire and forest management package's resounding passage through committee signals legislators' recognition that current practices of federal forest and range management, combined with extreme drought, are creating dangerous and economically and environmentally damaging conditions across the West. PLC and NCBA specifically applauded the package's inclusion of Rep. Paul Gosar's (R-Ariz.) Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention Act, which was introduced as a stand-alone bill earlier in 2013. Rep. Gosar's legislation would put hard deadlines on analyses performed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in those areas with excessive fuel loads, expediting livestock grazing and timber thinning for the purposes of hazardous fuels reduction while increasing forest and economic health.

“Decades of mismanagement have turned our U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands into a tinderbox,” said PLC President and Hesperus, Colo., rancher Brice Lee. “Over the years, ranchers who count on the grass resources for their livelihoods have been told they must scale back grazing. Not only has this been economically damaging for their families and their communities, it has also contributed to a massive overload of fuel. H.R. 1526 sets this upside-down situation straight.”

For more information, please view the full release here.

Ohio State Grain Rescue Simulator to be
Demonstrated at the Ohio State Fair Aug. 2

Ohio's first Grain Rescue Simulator trailer, which was designed by students from Ohio State University's (OSU) College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and is used to train first responders, grain industry employees and farm families about the hazards of flowing grain, will be demonstrated during the Ohio State Fair Aug. 2.

The Ohio Grain Comprehensive Agriculture Rescue Trailer, or C.A.R.T., will be featured at the fair with demonstrations at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture tent at the Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave., organizers said.

The grain rescue simulator was created to meet training needs identified by first responders who are called to an agricultural scene where grain is stored, said Dee Jepsen, state safety leader for Ohio State University Extension. The trailer was dedicated to the state of Ohio to be used by the Ohio Fire Academy and OSU Extension to increase the training capacity in the area of agricultural rescue, she said.

Jepsen and other staff members will be on hand at the fair to demonstrate how the Grain C.A.R.T. works and will discuss the dangers of flowing grain, as well as OSU Extension's partnership with the Ohio Fire Academy.

The Grain C.A.R.T. was designed in partnership with the Ohio Fire Academy and made possible through contributions from a number of agribusinesses. Mounted on a 40-foot flatbed trailer, it includes a grain bin, grain leg, gravity wagon and other training essentials.

For more information, please visit the Angus Journal's Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events here.

Canada Beef Pleased Import Levy Introduced

Canada Beef and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced an amendment to the Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Levies Order to include an import levy on beef cattle, beef and beef products. The import levy will treat importers in the same way as Canadian cattle and beef purchasers, all paying the equivalent of $1 per head of cattle.

Canada Beef is mandated to promote the marketing and production of beef cattle, beef and beef products for the purposes of interprovincial, export and import trade. In order to support its business plan, Canada Beef is empowered by the Farm Products Agencies Act to impose levies or charges on persons engaged in the importation of beef cattle, beef or beef products into Canada.

“These regulations give Canada Beef the right to collect a levy on imports of beef cattle, beef and beef products, something that has not been done before on other agricultural products coming into Canada,” says Canada Beef Chairman Chuck Maclean. “This is a significant step forward for not only the beef industry, but for the Canadian agriculture sector.”

The levy allows for an equitable treatment between domestic beef producers and beef importers. Agriculture and Agri-food Canada has worked very hard with Canada Beef to obtain the information from Canadian Border Services to enable collection of the levy. Collection of the levy is estimated to be worth between $600,000 and $800,000 annually, depending on market conditions, and the organization hopes to be collecting the levy as early as September 2013.

For more information, please view the full release here.

Early Pregnancy Detection

Early pregnancy detection in replacement heifers or cows is a tool producers can use to increase profit.

Traditionally, cows and replacement heifers are pregnancy-tested in the fall of the year and non-pregnant cows and cull cows are marketed at that time. This is also when cull cow prices are seasonally at their lowest.

Pregnancy can be detected in cows as early as 30 days using ultrasound and blood tests.

For cows to be identified as pregnant utilizing the palpation method, cows often need to be at least 35-50 days pregnant. Experience of the person palpating can make a significant difference on how early in this range that pregnancy can be detected.

Producers should realize that stress to heifers and cows early in pregnancy can result in loss. Research has shown a pregnancy loss of 1%-3.5% when palpation or ultrasound are used for pregnancy diagnosis at 40-75 days of gestation. For cow herds calving January-April, cows can be pregnancy tested in late August and non-pregnant cows sold at that time. Marketing at this time provides two advantages.

The first is that cull cow prices in August tend to be 5%-10% higher than they are in October or November.

The second is that cows that are nursing a calf will typically lose weight from August through the time that calves are weaned due to forage quality having matured and decreasing in its nutritive value.

Selling non-pregnant cows in August when they weigh more and prices are seasonally higher provides the opportunity for producers to capture more value from these cows than leaving the calves on the cows and waiting to pregnancy test at weaning.

For more information, please view the full release here.

New Burn-Detection-Modeling System in Development
to Help Identify Potential Wildfire Threats in Texas

A burn-risk-detection modeling system in development by a consortium of Texas A&M University System researchers will help predict potential wildfire threats throughout the Lone Star State, according to its developers.

The modeling system will be used by the Texas A&M Forest Service. Researchers with the Center for Natural Resource Information Technology, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, are developing the modeling program. One of those researchers, Richard Conner, also an AgriLife Research economist and professor in the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M, said the system is a modification of several modeling projects developed a decade ago. “This current modeling system measures the amount of forage fuel load in a county and is used to predict potential fire danger,” he said.

The modeling system will provide real-time information on fuel loads using vegetation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather information for regions susceptible to wildfire.

“In the wildfire predictive services arena, one of the hardest things to get a handle on is herbaceous fuel load across the state,” said Tom Spencer, head of fire predictive services, Texas A&M Forest Service. “It's challenging to determine the condition and amount of it. There's no good way to do that through remote sensing. It's always been the case where someone has to physically go out and look, then make a judgment call.

“This project will help determine if it is possible or not. We think it is, but we still need to determine if the science supports it. Overall, we are looking forward to seeing how this helps us understand potential fire season severity, which will help us assist local governments to better plan ahead. It's a huge deal if this works out.”

For more information, please view the full article here.


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