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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 29, 2016

Want to Pass it On?

Chances are, you know someone who has faced farm financial or inheritance challenges following the death of a parent or spouse. Take, for example, the unexpected death of a close friend’s father last year. Amid the grief, she got a call from the bank that her father’s farm property taxes were due. The problem is that neither she nor any of her siblings had access to the checking account to pay them. Grieving and planning an untimely funeral became tangled with having to spend time managing farm assets through a lawyer.

Access to a checking account is just one detail in the estate-planning process that is often overlooked, says Curt Ferguson, attorney and owner of The Estate Planning Center, Salem, Ill., who counsels producers from Illinois and Missouri. “There typically are some pieces of the estate that have not been covered, like names on a car title or a checking account,” he says.

Since an heir must step up and handle such questions, Ferguson says that person generally goes on record with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as the one to be sure anything owed to the government is paid.

For more information, please view the full Angus Journal news article online.

Handle with Care

What happens when semen and embryos are frozen?

When freezing biological cells, such as semen or embryos, the main goal is to remove water from within the cells. Removal of water molecules minimizes the formation of ice that is formed when water molecules freeze at temperatures below freezing (i.e., 0° Celsius, or 32° Fahrenheit). Removal of water is important to prevent the formation of ice, which causes damage to cell membranes, organelles and chromosomes.

Therefore, cryoprotectants such as glycerol or ethylene glycol are frequently used to dehydrate cells before freezing. Once exposed to cryoprotectants, semen and embryos are cooled at a slow rate and then plunged into liquid nitrogen, which has a temperature of -196° C (-320.8° F). From this point, semen and embryos should never be exposed to temperatures greater than -130° C (-266° F) until it is time to thaw the semen or embryos.

What happens if the temperature of stored semen or embryos rises above -130° C?

This -130° C is key since it is the glass transition temperature of water.

For more information, please view the full Angus Journal news article online.

Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook

Red meat, poultry, egg and milk production are all forecast to increase. Increased beef production (+5.4%) in the second half of 2016 will result in lower cattle prices (-11.7%) compared with the second half of 2015. Higher second-half 2016 pork production (+2.4%) will likely drive hog prices lower (-8.3%).

USDA announces that fresh and frozen cuts of Brazilian beef are eligible for import to the United States. Increases in second-half 2016 total beef imports and first-half 2017 beef imports partially reflect the expectation of larger volumes of beef flowing into the United States from Brazil.

For more information, please view the full USDA Economic Research Service report online.

Plan Beef Herd Genetics on Consumer Desires

Cattlemen have focused on quality from the beginning. Their success at delivering cattle that perform for the next owner kept them in business through market ups and downs. The approach seems to work, but can it keep working in an era of relatively higher beef prices?

Mark McCully, vice president of production for the Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand, challenged producers at the inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference to consider looking at their business in reverse.

“We know genetics are important,” he said. “We know health management is important at the ranch and at the feedyard — but they’re also critically important to consumer satisfaction, which ultimately drives demand for that product.”

That, he said, brings profitability to the whole system.

“Let’s start with the consumer and work our way backwards,” McCully said in the August 11 presentation in Calgary, Alta., Canada. “That’s how we will most effectively hit the consumer target.”

Showing a perfectly grilled and plated steak, he encouraged ranchers and feedyard operators to evaluate how their management decisions affect the end product.

For more information, please view the full Angus Media news article online.

Raise ’em or Buy ’em

Deciding whether to raise or buy replacement heifers is never an easy decision. It isn’t the same for every operation.

Scott Brown, University of Missouri assistant extension professor, said the decision fluctuates according to the cattle cycle. High cattle markets make heifer development more expensive, but sometimes, lower cattle markets make producers more interested in buying heifers instead.

Brown said producers have to start with evaluating their herds. It’s important to determine the genetic potential and identify what’s missing.

“If you want to successfully grow replacements, you have to understand your current herd,” he said. Some producers may have high-quality genetics, while others are lacking in certain areas.

After evaluating genetics, it’s a numbers game. Producers need to know how current supply and demand for bred heifers affect the market. If producers decide to raise their own, they run the risk of prices dropping.

For more information, please view the full Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.



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