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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

April 19, 2017

Pasture Practicality

A corn hybrid variety is only viable in the market for about three years, said Justin Burns, sales manager for Barenbrug USA. Burns addressed his audience at the Cattle Industry Convention Feb. 2 as part of the NCBA Trade Show’s Learning Lounge.

Burns explained that while corn and soybean seed varieties turn over every three years, and cattle genetics every five to 10 years, some grass seed varieties have been used for as many as 87 years. Why is it that so many things in our industry are well-adapted and change frequently, but we don’t look at our pastures the same way, he asked.

“We’re in a profit squeeze, and the silver lining to that profit squeeze is that we have to look for places in our operations to add value,” Burns said. Maybe adding value through improved pasture seed varieties is one of the ways to do just that.

Read the entire Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Association Perspective: Evaluating Structure

This spring will put a strain on producers as they wonder if they should purchase new bulls or stick it out with those already in the bull battery.

Calf prices have seen a slight increase since last fall, but there is still incentive to keep the older bulls for another year and wait out the market. Margins are tight, and every dollar counts. Therefore, there is no time like the present to stress the importance of fertility and longevity in each herd sire, specifically feet and leg structure.

Genetics, productivity and pedigrees do play a significant role in the length of time any bull stays within a herd. Yet, assuming all those criteria are met, it would be a shame to sell a bull because he did not stay sound and lost the ability to effectively breed cows. No matter the pasture size, it is good practice for producers to evaluate foot size and structure, as well as the general build and mobility of each bull before purchase.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Calving Season Prep

Some producers are finishing up calving season while others are just beginning, or maybe you calve in the fall. Here are a few tips to think about before that first calf hits the ground. A little prep work can help reduce calving-season stress.

  1. 1. Nutrition is a year-round concern. Two- and 3-year-old bred heifers need to be in good condition prior to calving. They are still growing themselves. They may not eat as much 50-60 days prior to calving because of decreased capacity. If the weather is cold, it can really take their condition down fast.
  2. 2. Check calving facilities and equipment. Make sure the gate closures work and the hinges are greased. Clean the calf pullers and chains so they are in working order. In the calving shed I like to replace light bulbs, grease the head catch and make sure the lariat is in good condition. It seems the flashlights and spotlights usually walk off so I get those rounded up and purchase new batteries.
  3. 3. Make sure to have supplies on hand such as calf tags, electrolytes, colostrum, calf bottles and esophageal feeders.

For more information, continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

UK Entomologist Offers Tips on Ticks

A mild winter can have its downsides. One is that more ticks probably survived than normal. The result is more hungry ticks out earlier than usual, according to Lee Townsend, extension entomologist in the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Typically, warm weather brings ticks out of hiding to find the blood meal they need to continue their life cycle. In the past two weeks, Townsend has received calls about ticks on both people and pets.

The two most common ticks found in the state are the lone star tick and the American dog tick. The adult female lone star tick has a white spot on her back. The male is entirely reddish-brown. American dog ticks are reddish-brown with mottled white markings on their backs.

However, a small percentage of lone star ticks may be carrying erlichiosis, a bacterial disease. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 to 50 cases may be diagnosed in Kentucky each year.

For more information, read the full news release online.

Texas A&M History on Display

The Legacy of Ranching, a comprehensive exhibit covering some of Texas’ most historic ranching operations and featuring a historical perspective of the Texas A&M University animal science department, is on display at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum through Jan. 7.

The exhibit showcases the rich history of beef cattle production in Texas, which contributes $11 billion annually to the state’s economy and is the second-leading commodity behind oil and gas, said exhibit organizers.

“This is a chance to give a very public view of life in Texas ranching,” said Penny Riggs, who, along with Russell Cross, both Texas A&M animal science professors, led efforts to assemble the many exhibits that depict the department’s long history.

Learn more by reading the Texas A&M news release online.



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