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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

September 1, 2016

Avoiding Ranch Business Wrecks

“If we will consider changes not when we feel the heat, but when we see the light, we will be better prepared.” That’s a piece of philosophical advice that Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Economist Jason Johnson wants ranchers to ponder. Particularly as the beef industry has seen a downturn in cattle prices during the past year, ranchers may be faced with making some “belt-tightening” business changes in the near future.

With that in mind, Johnson has surveyed lenders, as well as extension and academic specialists, to gather their candid comments regarding the biggest threats they see to ranch businesses. It is advice many producers may have heard before, but it bears repeating and hopefully prevents a wreck or two.

Topping the list of factors that contribute to ranch business wrecks, according to lenders, is failure to communicate. Johnson explains, “The sooner you let a lender know you might be having repayment issues, the more options there are to deal with it. They can’t do anything after the note is due.

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

July Prices Received Index Decreased 3.7%

The July Prices Received Index (Agricultural Production), at 89.9, decreased 3.7% from June 2016.

At 82.9, the Crop Production Index decreased 5.0%. The Livestock Production Index, at 96.3, decreased 1.9%. Producers received lower prices for cattle, broilers, corn and wheat, but higher prices for milk, market eggs, peaches and cantaloupes.

Compared with a year earlier, the Prices Received Index is down 10%, the Crop Production Index decreased 4.2% and the Livestock Production Index is down 16%. In addition to prices, the indexes are influenced by the monthly mix of commodities producers market. Increased monthly movement of wheat, grapes, hay and cotton offset the decreased marketing of milk, cattle, oranges and hogs. The Food Commodities Index, at 93.7, decreased 3.8% from the previous month and is down 12% from July 2015.

Read more in the NASS report online.

Indicator Cows

When you have just enough cows to name them all, it’s easy to characterize them by appearance, temperament and some might even say personality. Kids like to find names to fit. Twister was one of ours 20 years ago, an outlier for poor docility that left no daughters in the herd.

Now with 100 or more cows to start each year, we are less likely to name them and none would sound like rodeo bulls if we did, but the occasional high-headed one still stands out. When she shows her wild side, we take note, check records and see if it relates to genetics.

Then there are the calm but adventurous types that test fences. They serve a purpose, alerting us that we waited a bit too long to rotate pastures in summer or suggesting the need to replace a fence that’s no longer dependable.

Our favorites are the quiet majority supported by records, pedigree and progeny performance.

Continue reading in the Angus Media news article online.

Lifelong Student, Teacher

Growing up on a 1950s North Dakota farm, Larry Corah engaged his curiosity by helping to try the next new thing. A couple of decades prior, his dad, Leonard, kept learning after eighth grade by working for farmers and noticing differences.

The Leonard and Liz Corah farm west of Park River, N.D., enjoyed a close relationship with the Extension service and anyone who’d join in the continuing education. Its many classrooms, from wheat plots to potatoes, turkeys and Shorthorn cattle enterprises became occasions for other farmers to learn.

“If there was something innovative, our place was probably one of the first to try it,” Corah recalls. When rural electric cooperatives brought power, it lit up the Corah house and barn first. When that could automate the milking parlor, it did, before the next installation powered a silo unloader. The cows were among the first on area farms bred by artificial insemination (AI).

Continue reading in the Angus Media news article online.

Tri-County Cattle Workshop Sept. 13

Optimizing efficiency in cattle production will be the theme of the Tri-County Cattle Workshop hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Sept. 13 in Wichita Falls.

“Cattle Feeding Decisions for Efficient Production Cost” is set for 6-8 p.m. in the Region 9 Education Center, 301 Loop 11. The event is coordinated by the AgriLife Extension offices in Archer, Clay and Wichita counties.

Bryan Nichols, Noble Foundation livestock consultant from Stillwater, Okla., will provide training on the OSU CowCulator. David Graf, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent in Wichita County, said the training will be packed with valuable information producers need to survive today’s markets.

He said attendees will learn: how to adapt your herd and your forage for optimum efficiency; how to evaluate body condition score, the key to increasing percent calf crop; and how to make informed decisions on various feed values and feed cost.

For more information, contact any of the following AgriLife Extension county offices: Archer, 940-574-4914; Clay, 940-538-5042; or Wichita, 940-716-8610.



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