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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 27, 2016

Replacement Heifer, Systems Approach

Autumn is exciting as you wrap up haying season and start crop harvest; fall calving begins while you wean the spring-born herdmates. With a growing cow herd and lower calf prices compared to recent highs, producers may want to take a closer look at their whole system for choosing replacement heifers, developing them and allocating feed resources.

Careful selection now ensures quality genetics for generations to come, and it’s easier than ever to select a collection of future matriarchs.

Genomic testing lets you see genetic potential long before incurring development costs. So, instead of thinking about the cost of those tests, look at the opportunity to save money by identifying bottom-end heifers and marketing them earlier. From a resource-use perspective, this increases feed and forage efficiency because what you have only goes to develop the right heifers.

While selection precision becomes better and simpler, understanding the best management practices for heifer development has grown increasingly complex. A recent article from the Journal of Animal Science by Andrew Roberts and other USDA and university researchers took a closer look at how to set up heifers for greater efficiency throughout life.

Read more of the article online.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Addresses Endangered Species Act Deficiencies

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced it will begin to address abuse of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing process. The rule limits petitions for new listings to one species at a time and will require additional justification to file a petition for listing under the ESA.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has been working to reform the ESA listing process and says this is a step in the right direction.

“Limiting petitions to one species at a time will provide some desperately needed focus, and notification to the states affected in a timely manner — even if only 30 days — is progress toward increasing local input into the process,” says Ethan Lane, NCBA federal land and PLC executive director.

For more information, read the final rule online.

— Adapted from a release by NCBA.

Prevent Bloat on Fall Pastures

Bloat can be a frustrating problem for producers, and fall pastures may hold greater risk under certain conditions. Emily Glunk, Extension forage specialist at Montana State University, says the higher the percentage of certain legumes in a pasture, the higher the risk of bloat.

“Fall weather can further increase likelihood of bloat after a frost,” Glunk says. “Ice crystals puncture cell walls within the leaves, causing soluble proteins to leak out and become more available more quickly within the rumen. Those soluble proteins lead to buildup of foam in the rumen that eventually causes bloat.”

Other plant parts, like microbial slime and plant cell membranes, can also combine with the soluble proteins to form stable foam. The foam then rises above the top of the rumen contents and obstructs the valve between rumen and esophagus, hindering the cow’s ability to belch.

“Usually bloating occurs on the cereal grains that are bred to have higher-quality protein, so there is higher protein availability to start with,” Glunk explains. Legumes tend to have high-quality protein compared to grasses.

Continue reading the full Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Retail Prices Lower Across Major Household Staples

Eggs, whole milk, cheddar cheese, chicken breast, sirloin tip roast and ground chuck have all seen decreases in retail prices, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Fall Harvest Marketbasket Survey.

This informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items, which can be used to prepare one or more meals. This year’s total cost was $49.70, which is down $4.40 or nearly 8% compared to one year ago. Thirteen of the 16 items have decreased in price.

“Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average,” says AFBF Director John Newton. “Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 17%, according to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series.”

For more information, visit

Diligent Management in Storage

With low grain prices and corn and soybean crops forecasted to reach record amounts, many producers are turning towards home storage of these crops.

The USDA’s September crop report predicts a record U.S. corn crop of 15.1 billion bushels (bu.) and record soybean production at 4.2 billion bu.

Sam McNeill, University of Kentucky extension agricultural engineer, reminded farmers who plan to store grain in alternative structures this fall to remember some key factors to minimize grain spoilage.

“A producer’s job really isn’t done until grain has passed grade at the elevator and is sold,” says McNeill. “The diligence spent scouting fields during the growing season should transfer over to managing stored grain.”

Grains that are properly stored should be protected from pests, aerated and inspected regularly in order to prevent price dockage.

For more information on proper storage, visit



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