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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

October 3, 2017

Watch for Signs of Aflatoxin
in Drought-stressed Corn

When it comes to the weather in Kansas this year, the state is again one of the haves and the have-nots. Parts of Kansas have had more-than-normal precipitation while others, mostly in the central part of the state, are in abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.

It is those hot, humid and drought-like conditions where aflatoxin is typically found in corn, said Doug Jardine, plant pathologist with Kansas State University (K-State) Research and Extension. He’s encouraging farmers to be on the lookout for signs that it could be present.

Aflatoxin, a poisonous carcinogen, is a naturally occurring toxin caused by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, a greenish-yellow, dime- to quarter-sized mold that grows on corn ears between the kernels. In severe cases, the mold may cover larger portions of the ear.

Jardine said he’s had no reports of positive samples of aflatoxin in corn from elevators to date, but he and others have found Aspergillus ear rot at levels not seen since 2012. The simple presence of the fungus can, but does not necessarily, translate to aflatoxin problems because different field strains of the fungus can be more or less efficient at producing the toxin.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

FDA Proposes Extension of Compliance Date
for Nutrition Labels

In a proposed rule by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Oct. 2 published in the Federal Register, the compliance dates for nutrition and supplement labels may be extended by approximately 1.5 years for the final rules providing updated nutrition information on the label of food, including dietary supplements; defining a single-serving container; requiring dual-column labeling for certain containers; updating, modifying and establishing certain reference amounts customarily consumed (RACCs); and amending the label serving size for breath mints.

The final rules appeared in the Federal Register of May 27, 2016. The FDA is taking this action because, after careful consideration, it has tentatively determined that additional time would help ensure that all manufacturers covered by the final rules have guidance from FDA to address. For example, certain technical questions were received after publication of the final rules and this makes sure companies are able to complete and print updated Nutrition Facts labels for their products before they are expected to be in compliance with the final rules.

Read the full proposed rule in the Federal Register online.

Dry Weather Increases Incidence of Respiratory Disease

Many areas of the country, including most of the western states, have seen an increase in respiratory problems in calves. Eugene Janzen, assistant dean of clinical practice, Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary, says there have been studies in western Canada in earlier years looking at this problem in cattle on community pastures. Often they have more trouble in dry years, when conditions are dusty when gathering and working cattle. Dust can irritate the respiratory tract, making the animals more susceptible to problems.

“I used to explain to my students that when calves inhale dust, the first line of defense in the respiratory tract may be easily overwhelmed. If the inside of the nostrils and upper respiratory tract get clogged with dust, then the bacteria are not as readily exposed to the nasal secretions, which tend to kill them or help flush them out. If bacteria cling to dust particles, they can be sucked down into the lungs,” says Janzen.

The dust and irritation also inhibit normal action of cilia — the tiny hair-like structures that line the windpipe and move in wave-like motions, continually moving mucus, dust and foreign material up and out of the respiratory tract to be coughed out.

Read the full Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Deworming Program Integral to Herd Health

You’re spending hard-earned money on dewormers, but are they working hard for you? If you’re using the same product over and over, the wrong product for your operation or the right product at the wrong time, the answer may be no.

Doug Ensley, technical marketing manager with Boehringer Ingelheim, said dewormers are the most overlooked aspect of many herd health programs, but also one of the most important.

There used to be a time when we could look at cattle and know that they most likely had parasites. Today, most of the signs of parasites in cattle are subclinical and may point to a number of other afflictions altogether. Calves aren’t growing like you think they should, weaning weights are down or the gains just aren’t what they used to be. Maybe your reproductive efficiency isn’t what you expected, and your pregnancy rates are lower than past years.

“You need to think of parasites as an iceberg,” Ensley said. “Most of the problem is unseen, but performance is affected. If you’ve done a good job preventing disease but have not taken a look at your deworming protocol, maybe it’s time to talk with your veterinarian.”

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

Farmers, Ranchers Ready for
Long-overdue Immigration Reform

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commends the Ag Act’s proposed guest worker visa program, saying: “Every year, farmers and ranchers face greater challenges in finding enough workers to keep their businesses running. The labor shortage on America’s farms and ranches is growing, and the lack of a stable, legal supply of workers places the health of too many farms at risk. We cannot afford to see any more of our nation’s food supply lost in the fields.

“The Ag Act’s proposed guest worker visa program would bring much-needed improvements to the current system while addressing the needs of our current workforce and providing a streamlined visa process for skilled, agricultural workers in the future. Although Farm Bureau members have concerns on certain points, such as capping the number of visas, we stand ready to work with Chairman Goodlatte and members of Congress to refine these provisions for the good of all U.S. agriculture.

“Farm Bureau applauds Rep. Goodlatte for his leadership on this legislation and looks forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to solve agriculture’s labor problems, now and in the future.”



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