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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

December 7, 2016

Smaller Isn’t Always Better

There is no “one size fits all” in the cattle business. So it is with calving ease and birth weight, too, said Dan Shike, University of Illinois animal scientist. He presented on finding the optimums during an Angus University Workshop sponsored by Merck Animal Health Nov. 6 at the 2016 Angus Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.

Cow size, calf size and shape, and presentation all figure into calving season success.

“We could approach and address calving-ease problems by making our cows bigger,” he said. “There’s probably not a lot of people interested in that as a primary approach.”

That’s why, historically, there’s been such a major spotlight on birth weight.

“Focus on calving ease, not birth weight. Don’t keep driving birth weight down,” Shike told Angus University participants.

In the Angus breed, expected progeny differences (EPDs) for weaning and yearling weight have undergone a steady increase since the 1980s, but birth weight peaked in the mid-1990s and has gone down since.

Read more in the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Angus Producer Featured in Beef Magazine

Darrell Stevenson, a registered-Angus producer, is featured in this issue of Beef Magazine.

USDA Expands Working-Lands Conservation Opportunities

Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Deputy Undersecretary Alexis Taylor announced Nov. 4 that the USDA will offer a new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands practice specifically tailored for small-scale livestock grazing operations.

Livestock operations with 100 or fewer head of grazing dairy or beef cows (or the equivalent) can submit applications to enroll up to 200 acres of grasslands per farm. USDA’s goal is to enroll up to 200,000 acres.

“CRP Grasslands recognizes the conservation value of well-managed, working grazing lands and pasturelands,” said Taylor. “This new opportunity for small livestock operations, like the dairy farms or small beef farms common in Pennsylvania, will help ensure that livestock operations of varying scales and across the country have an opportunity to achieve environmental and economic benefits. Small livestock operations are encouraged to contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to learn more about this program.”

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

Association Perspective

During the past year AngusSource, a program for any commercial producer who sells feeder calves and replacement heifers sired by a registered-Angus bull, has enrolled groups of calves ranging from six to 3,200 head.

In 2015, Missouri was ranked sixth in the country for total cow numbers; more than 79% of producers in the state have fewer than 50 head of cows. The American Angus Association started the AngusSource program to assist producers in marketing their calves, regardless of herd size.

Leland Browning, an AngusSource customer from Missouri, is glad his calves are part of the program and has sold approximately 18 sets through AngusSource. He merchandizes cattle in both spring and fall, retains his own replacement heifers and buys new bulls every two years. Each set of feeder calves Browning sells ranges from 10 to 12 head and is enrolled in the program.

Continue reading in the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Healthful Holiday Eating

Overeating is as much a holiday tradition as watching football, so a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert has some tips on how to alter holiday recipes and make better food choices for healthier eating.

“Many times, the sugar, fat or sodium content of holiday recipes can be reduced without a noticeable difference in taste,” said Jenna Anding, AgriLife Extension associate department head, nutrition and food sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station. “In addition, there are several traditional holiday foods you can prepare in ways that don’t have a lot of extra fat or calories.”

If a recipe calls for a cup of sugar, try using two-thirds of a cup instead, she said.

“If reducing the fat content of a recipe is the goal, try using reduced-fat or nonfat cheese, milk, cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt or mayonnaise versus their higher-fat counterparts.”

She said another recipe alteration is to substitute evaporated milk for cream.

For more information, read the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.



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