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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

November 12, 2013

Angus Juniors ‘Raise the Bar’
in Nebraska

The future of the American Angus Association is bright. That’s because Angus juniors from across the country are participating in events to continue learning about the industry and expanding their leadership potential. Most recently, National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members met Oct. 17-20 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) to participate in a Raising the Bar conference.

“The Raising the Bar conferences allow Angus juniors to interact outside of the showring and learn about more in-depth beef industry issues and explore their interest in higher education,” says Jaclyn Upperman, Association director of junior activities. “These opportunities give them a chance to expand their knowledge from gate to plate.”

Throughout the weekend, 26 Angus junior leaders, officers and advisors from eight state junior Angus associations toured the UNL and area Angus operations, heard from industry experts, and participated in leadership-training workshops.

On the UNL campus, juniors met with faculty including Ronnie Green, vice chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Chris Calkins, animal sciences professor; College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources student ambassadors; and Karl Moline, cow-calf manager at Agricultural Research and Development Center, Mead, Neb.

Participants made stops at Cargill-Schuyler Meat Solutions, Schuyler, Neb., where they learned about the process of slaughtering cattle; Feller & Co., Wisner, Neb., where they toured the 15,000-head capacity feedyard; and Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, Gretna, Neb.

The next Raising the Bar conference is scheduled for April 10-13 at Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, Texas. Visit for more information as it becomes available.

An Aging U.S. Farmer Population
Does Not Necessarily Warrant Concern

U.S. farmers are aging, and the agricultural community often expresses concern about who will replace them. That apprehension may be overblown, an economist with Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) said.

Although some farm communities worry over a lack of new, younger farmers to replace the current population, these concerns are unwarranted, according to a recently conducted analysis by Carl Zulauf, an economist in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, which is a part of CFAES.

Using USDA census data from 1945 to 2007, as well as data from the U.S. Department of Labor from 1980 to 2010, Zulauf compared the average age of U.S. farmers with the average age of the U.S. labor force. His research shows that while on average U.S. farmers are older than the U.S. labor force, the farmers and the labor force are actually aging at a similar pace and in fact, U.S. farmers are aging somewhat more slowly.

“U.S. farmers are aging, but their aging mirrors the U.S. labor force,” Zulauf said in a recent policy brief on the topic. “The U.S. farmer population is older than the U.S. labor force, but this has been true since 1980 and likely much earlier.”

His research shows that as of 2007, the average age of U.S. farmers was 57.1 years, while in 1945 the average age was 48.7 years. Over this 62-year time frame, the average age of U.S. farmers increased by 17%, or 8.4 years.

For more information, please view the full release here.

Calculating Winter Feed Costs for Cows

Cow-calf producers calculating likely winter feed costs need to take into account the importance of estimating forage usage by cows.

Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension emeritus livestock specialist, said hay or standing forage intake must be estimated in order to make the calculations, and forage quality will be a determining factor in the amount of forage consumed.

“Higher-quality forages contain larger concentrations of important nutrients so animals consuming these forages should be more likely to meet their nutrient needs from the forages,” he said. “Just remember cows can consume a larger quantity of higher-quality forages.”

Higher-quality forages are fermented more rapidly in the rumen, leaving a void the animal can refill with additional forage. Consequently, forage intake increases.

For example, low quality forages — those below approximately 6% crude protein — will be consumed at about 1.5% of body weight on a dry matter basis per day. Higher-quality grass hays — those with more than approximately 8% crude protein — may be consumed at about 2% of body weight on a dry-matter basis per day.

“Excellent forages — good alfalfa, silages or green pasture — may be consumed at the rate of 2.5% of body weight on a dry matter basis per day,” Selk said. “The combination of improved nutrient content and increased forage intake makes high-quality forage very valuable to the animal and the producer.”

With these intake estimates, producers can calculate the estimated amounts of hay that need to be available.

For more information, please view the full release here.

AP Renewable Fuel Story One-Sided, Misguided

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to a recent story by the Associated Press that blames biofuels for causing environmental harm:

“The story blames biofuels for the reduced acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). What it neglects to mention is that Congress reduced CRP by roughly seven million acres in the 2008 Farm Bill and is poised to be reduced by seven to eight million acres in the next farm bill.

“In addition, climate change and new seed varieties are mostly responsible for the expansion of corn production, with warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons making it possible to plant corn in places like North Dakota and Canada.

“American-produced biofuels are a clear and environmentally-friendly alternative to oil. Today’s ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30% compared to gasoline.

“NFU will continue stand up for the Renewable Fuel Standard that is cleaning up the environment, diversifying fuel sources and supporting rural economies.”

Two Overton Pesticide Applicator Trainings Set Dec. 5 and 10

Private pesticide applicators can earn five to 10 continuing education units toward the renewal of their licenses at trainings Dec. 5 and Dec. 10 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton.

Participants can earn five continuing education units by attending the training on either day, or 10 total if they attend both days, said Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service forage specialist at Overton.

The Dec. 5 training program will include presentations on woody weed and brush control, calibrating and maintaining spraying equipment, Bermuda grass mythbusting and aquatic weed control, she said.

The Dec. 10 training presentations will include information on the latest Texas Superstar horticulture plants, control of bedbugs, ants and termites, garden and fruit-tree insect control, turfgrass fertility and water management, and turfgrass weed control.

On either training, pending Texas Department of Agriculture approval, the five continuing education units will be divided into three categories: one laws and regulation, two in integrated pest management and two in general, Corriher-Olson said.

Trainings on both days will start with registration at 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Registration for either day is $30 per person, which will include a barbecue brisket lunch.

Registration is on-site only by check or cash only on the day of the event.

Presenters will include AgriLife Extension and Texas A&M AgriLife Research faculty.

To receive continuing education units, participants will need to present either their driver’s license or a copy of their applicator’s license at registration, she said.

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

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