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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

May 31, 2016

Genomics in Heifer Selection

Genomic testing is prevalent in the purebred Angus business, and the adoption of DNA testing is also growing among commercial producers. Tests available for commercial cattle allow ranchers to better select replacement females and result in an even higher-quality herd, when used in conjunction with selection tools like genomic-enhanced EPDs on registered-Angus bulls.

Michael Gonda of South Dakota State University says commercially available DNA tests allow for more accurate, more efficient selection.

“Most of your commercial cattlemen are going to come into contact with genetically enhanced EPDs when they’re buying bulls. These commercial DNA tests are predominantly for replacement heifer selection,” Gonda said. “You want to choose the DNA test, or a DNA panel, that is able to capture those traits that are important for your operation — things like weaning production and preweaning birthrate and those sorts of things.”

Gonda believes the industry is just at the tip of the iceberg for the genetic traits we will be able to look at with DNA testing.

Learn more about DNA testing options by tuning into this week’s The Angus Report. You can also catch the show at 1:30 p.m. CST Saturday and 7:30 a.m. CST each Monday morning on RFD-TV.

Challenge to the Dow-DuPont Merger

In a letter sent May 31 to the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse, the American Antitrust Institute (AAI), Food & Water Watch (FWW) and National Farmers Union (NFU) urged the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division to challenge the proposed merger of Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co.

The letter details the group’s analysis of the proposed merger that would create the largest biotechnology and seed firm in the United States. The letter unpacks three major areas of concern, including eliminating head-to-head competition in the corn and soybean markets, reducing vital innovation competition, and creating a large, integrated “platform” of traits, seeds and chemicals that would make it harder for smaller biotechnology rivals to compete.

For more information, view the news release online.

New Blood Test for the Detection of Bovine TB

A new blood test to detect Mycobacteria in blood has been developed by a team at the University of Nottingham led by Cath Rees, an expert in microbiology in the School of Biosciences and Ben Swift from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.

The researchers have used this new method to show that cattle diagnosed with bovine tuberculosis (bTB) have detectable levels of the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) in their blood which causes this disease.

“‘Evidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteraemia in intradermal skin test positive cattle detected using phage-RPA’’ has been published online in the peer reviewed medical journal Virulence.

Rees said, “This test delivers results within 48 hours and the frequency in which viable mycobacteria were detected in the blood of skin test positive animals changes the paradigm of this disease.”

For more information, view the full University of Nottingham release online.

TSCRA Applauds Ruling on Coyote Lake Ranch Case

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) applauded the Texas Supreme Court May 27 for ruling in favor of Coyote Lake Ranch LLC in their case against The City of Lubbock. The Supreme Court ruled the accommodation doctrine that applies to mineral estates shall also apply to surface estates.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a major victory for landowners across Texas,” said TSCRA president Richard Thorpe. “This ruling clarifies surface owners have protections against those who may own an interest in not only the mineral estate, but also the surface estate.”

In 1953, The City of Lubbock bought the rights to Coyote Lake Ranch’s groundwater. In 2012, Coyote Lake Ranch took issue with The City of Lubbock’s plan to drill an additional 20 groundwater test wells in the middle of the ranch, followed by 60 additional groundwater wells across the ranch. The owners of the ranch said the construction of these wells would have impeded the travel of their irrigation systems and destroyed grazing for their cattle. The ranch argued the accommodation doctrine, used in the oil and gas industry, should also apply in this case.

For more information, view the full TSCRA news release online.

Apps for Rangeland Management Webinar Topic

Rangeland apps will be the topic of a June 2 natural resources webinar conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service ecosystem science and management unit. The webinar is part of the Texas Range Webinar Series scheduled the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m., said Pete Flores, webinar coordinator in Corpus Christi.

This month’s presenter is Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent in Wilson County, who will talk about a wide range of apps for smartphones and iPads.

This webinar and others in the series can be accessed at



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