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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

July 13, 2017

Using Birth Weights Earlier
for Genetic Evaluation

This summer, updates to the weekly Angus genetic evaluation will be incorporated to allow birth weights to be incorporated into the Angus genetic evaluation upon completion of the calving season as issued by individual members. This will allow earlier assessment of calving ease and birth weight traits on sires before the next breeding season.

Calving ease records (on first-calf heifers) and birth weights are used in the weekly genetic evaluation to predict birth weight (BW) and calving ease direct and maternal (CED/CEM) expected progeny differences (EPDs). Historically, these measures were not utilized in the evaluation until a subsequent weaning weight was turned in. Once a weaning weight was reported, weaning weight contemporary groups were assigned to calves, and all information was used in the evaluation to predict EPDs.

Because of this, young bulls with progeny from their first breeding season were not given credit for the birth weights and calving ease scores on sired progeny until after the second breeding season. This lag delayed availability of information, resulting in less accurate predictions.

Read more of this Angus Journal article online.

U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Concludes Third General Assembly Meeting

A group of 130 representatives across the beef value chain gathered in Denver for the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) General Assembly Meeting July 11-12. This meeting allowed USRSB the opportunity to share accomplishments from the past year and the direction of efforts moving forward.

Sessions were led to update attendees on the progress of working groups, which included the Indicator Working Group’s efforts to finalize the beef sustainability metrics. The fourth iteration of the metric report was recently distributed to USRSB membership for review. Additionally, the Engagement, Measurement and Progress Working Group is developing sustainability assessment guides — tools for the beef supply chain to use to self-assess their sustainability efforts. Other meeting highlights focused on findings and updates in beef sustainability research and beef consumer segmentation market research.

USRSB business updates included new board of director election results.

For more information, read the USRSB release online.

Behavior Patterns Indicators of Illness Onset in Cattle

Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists are developing an early warning system for pen riders or animal care providers to more efficiently identify and treat cattle for bovine respiratory disease (BRD).

Bill Pinchak in Vernon and Gordon Carstens in College Station, both AgriLife Research animal nutritionists, have been evaluating the relationships of animal behavior in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to the onset of sickness.

Along with Texas A&M University students Will Kayser and Kirby Jackson, they recently summarized the results of more than four years of research in a paper, “Evaluation of statistical process control procedures to monitor feeding behavior patterns and detect onset of bovine respiratory disease in growing bulls.”

Respiratory disease causes 60%-90% of the morbidity or sickness in feedlot cattle, Pinchak said. Diagnosis is a challenge and currently relies primarily on visual appraisal to determine illness, which can vary by degrees of individual experience in diagnosing.

View the full Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Farm Bureau and FFA to Work Together
to Share the Story of Agricultural Education

On July 12, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National FFA Organization signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to grow leaders, build communities and strengthen agriculture. The MOU outlines how the two organizations will work together to discover opportunities that benefit both their members and agricultural education students in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“This is an opportunity for us to share the story of agriculture and agricultural education,” said Mark Poeschl, CEO of the National FFA Organization. “Our organizations know that agricultural education provides leadership development, career success and personal growth. This MOU allows us to recognize the role of school-based agricultural education.”

The MOU was signed in Washington, D.C., during a national meeting of state Farm Bureau presidents from across the country.

“Farm Bureau has long supported agricultural education’s critical role of creating opportunities for the next generation of agricultural professionals,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “This formal collaboration with National FFA will help us build on that legacy.”

Read the AFBF news release online.

Forage Turnips — A Great Way to Augment Pasture

Sometimes non-traditional crops for livestock can augment forage supplies or increase production on a piece of land. Turnips are a good example. Cattle readily eat them and do well on turnips.

Tom Larson of Colorado farmed for many years in Nebraska, managing an organic crop and livestock farm, and experimenting with alternative crops and rotations.

He designed his system with many paddocks and moved cattle every two days.

“All I had was cool-season pasture and no warm-season grasses. To make up for the time in late summer when cool-season plants aren’t growing very well and there are no crop residues yet to utilize, I discovered that the biggest bang for the buck is turnips,” he said.

Larson was one of the first in his area to plant turnips in 1986. Through some research he discovered, in the colonial days, hay had to be cut by hand with a scythe, so farmers turned to sowing turnip seeds in early summer. By fall, the turnips were big enough to feed the cattle.

Continue reading this article Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.



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