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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 26, 2016

Breed All Cows at One Time

If your opinion of artificial insemination (AI) for the beef cattle herd is “been there, done that,” you may want to give it another look. New protocols and synchronization methods have eased the pressure.

“We’ve found that fixed-time insemination has worked so well in heifers and cows with the new protocols that we’ve gotten to where we can get more cattle pregnant on the first day of your breeding season,” says Willie Altenburg, Select Sires beef development advisor.

That’s because it allows for a better conception rate — up to 60% — on the first day of breeding season, he adds. AI reduces the uncertainty of unproven bulls and serves as a risk management tool, too.

“The advantage of using proven genetics in the heifers, the ability to synchronize and get proven calving-ease genetics — that is where we see the most use of AI today,” Altenburg says. “Then you can use that over into the cow herd, of course.

“It’s a stepping stone of just how much the genetics are being utilized more and more to incorporate things like carcass traits to harvest cattle with outstanding carcass merit to enhance the eating quality so that our producers and consumers enjoy that benefit,” he says.

Go online to Continue reading this article from Certified Angus Beef LLC.

Cattle Remain Historically Valuable

While cattle prices have taken a hit within the last 18 months, industry expert Pete Anderson of Midwest PMS says historically cattle are quite valuable.

“In the [19]80s and [19]90s when inflation was relatively high, cattle prices stayed the same, which showed our demand was weakening,” Anderson says. “In the last 15 years, where there has been relatively low inflation in the economy, beef prices have doubled. It shows us our demand is strengthening.”

Anderson also says in today’s market, quality is driving production: “The value differences between those which meet certain specification versus those [that] don’t are greater than they have ever been.”

Watch more of Anderson’s interview in this week’s The Angus Report. You can also tune in to the show at 1:30 p.m. CST Saturday or 7:30 a.m. CST each Monday morning on RFD-TV.

NASS Finds Cattle Numbers on the Upswing

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its cattle statistics for the month of August with cattle on feed up 1% from last year.

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in U.S. feedlots totaled 1.88 million head during August, which is nearly 15% above 2015. Of the 1.88 million, 360,000 head were less than 600 pounds (lb.), 290,000 head were between 600 lb. and 699 lb., 429,000 head were between 700 lb. and 799 lb., and 800,000 head weighed greater than 800 lb.

Marketing of fed cattle was also up for 2016, totaling 1.87 million head, up nearly 18% from 2015.

For more information, visit for a complete detailed breakdown of August’s cattle statistics.

Heavy Considerations

How has cattle feeding changed in recent years? As a technical services manager for Merck Animal Health and a bona fide industry watcher, Wade Nichols has seen feeding periods extended to 150 days — even to 180 days. Accordingly, finished cattle weights now reach levels seldom seen before. Hot carcass weights have increased, now averaging in excess of 830 pounds (lb.). Dressing percentages are up, too, as is the percentage of cattle grading Choice or better for quality.

“What’s the incentive for increased days on feed? It’s because it improves margin,” Nichols told an audience gathered for the 2016 International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare hosted June 8-10 in Manhattan, Kan. “We feed cattle longer to reach heavy weights because we can.”

Nichols explained that cattle feeders are rewarded for taking cattle to very heavy weights, when they sell on a carcass basis, with premiums awarded for carcass merit. Indeed, 85%-90% of fed cattle are sold that way, rather than live. Nichols said little more than 20% of finished animals are sold live for a negotiated cash price.

Read more in the Angus Media news article online.

Cases of Anthrax in Deer

The Texas Animal Health Commission has reported nearly 30 cases of anthrax in deer at a high-fence ranch in Kinney County, Texas.

“One of the important things to know about these recent instances of anthrax is that they were isolated, and all occurred in deer on a high-fenced ranch,” says Emily Grant, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resource agent for Kinney County. “That area has been quarantined, so the risk of any further exposure to wildlife or livestock outside that contained space is highly unlikely.”

Grant says while cases of anthrax are rare, landowners and ranchers need to be aware of the symptoms for cattle, sheep, goats, horses, swine, domestic and exotic deer, as well as humans, since all are susceptible to anthrax.

Common symptoms include lethargy, loss of coordination, staggering, difficulty breathing and occasionally blood oozing from the animal’s orifices.

Visit to learn more.



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