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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

November 3, 2017

No Good Weed Goes Unpunished

Are there too many weeds in your pastures? Whether the answer is yes, no or maybe, probably depends on your definition of the term. “Weed” is a word commonly applied to any kind of unwanted herbage –– any plant that is out of place.

However, according to Chris Helzer: “One man’s weed is another man’s wildflower.” Helzer serves as director of science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. A grazing advocate, Helzer says grazing by ruminants was a part of the evolution of grasslands, including the prairies of the Great Plains. He believes grazing remains important to grassland ecosystem function. Besides grazing, Helzer studies and shares information about other grassland management strategies, including prescribed fire and invasive plant species control.

Helzer says some so-called weeds get a bad rap and actually play significant roles in the ecology of grasslands. He goes so far as to say their roles are necessary to the health and resiliency of grasslands. That view might be hard to accept by landowners who dream of pastures filled, fence to fence, with only the best grasses. To them, any broadleaf plant, or forb, is an enemy.

Continue reading this Angus Journal article online.

Farmers Applaud Move to Reform Tax Code

Regarding the proposed tan code reform, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said: “Farm Bureau applauds Congress for its progress in reforming the tax code. This new tax plan moves us closer to a tax system that rewards the hard work and entrepreneurship of America’s farm and ranch families.

“[This Nov. 2] proposal includes expanded, immediate expensing while continuing the business interest deduction important to so many farmers and ranchers. It also provides immediate relief from the estate tax with a repeal to follow in subsequent years. We will be studying the plan to ensure the new rate structure reduces the tax burden of our nation’s farmers and ranchers and gives them the flexibility they need to reinvest in their businesses.

“We are long overdue for a permanent tax code that recognizes the unique financial challenges farmers and ranchers face in managing their businesses and keeping their farms running from one generation to the next.”

More Regressive Taxation Would
Increase Burden on Family Farmers and Ranchers

U.S. House of Representatives leadership released Nov. 2 its blueprint for sweeping tax reform, including significant cuts to individual and corporate tax rates and eventual repeal of the estate tax. The plan is estimated to cost $1.51 trillion over the next decade.

In response to the proposal, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said: “While NFU supports efforts to simplify the tax code, we adamantly oppose the overarching elements of this plan because they shift the nation’s tax burden from the top earners in our country to the backs of American family farmers, ranchers and the middle class.

“This plan offers significant tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. It repeals the estate tax, a significant revenue generator that affects only the wealthiest in our nation, and it does not provide adequate offsets for these cuts, translating to a $1.51 trillion increase to our federal deficit.

“While we await details on specific provisions for farming operations, NFU urges a shift towards simplified, progressive tax policy that recognizes the unique needs of family farming and ranching operations.”

For more information, read the NFU news release online.

Don’t Feed the Fever

Keeping cattle healthy — and encouraging quicker recovery from illness — helps animals direct their energy toward growth and production. Any disease challenge requires cattle to mount an immune response. In the zero-sum game of livestock production, this means resources are pulled away from building muscle mass or producing milk.

“It’s extremely important for us to provide the animal with the optimal environment and tools to maintain a healthy immune system,” says Ty Schmidt, assistant professor of muscle biology/physiology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. “When we have an animal that mounts an immune response, it has to have enough energy to get the immune system going, fight the infection, then come back and continue producing.”

In beef cattle, there’s no more challenging time than after the stress of transportation. The industry has long battled bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) in newly received calves. In fact, the average pull rate for BRDC in feedlot cattle has remained around 30% for years, even with advances in vaccines and antibiotics to tackle both viral and bacterial BRDC causes.

Read this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Get Ahead of Lice with a Plan to Control the Population

The winter of 2016-2017 was a challenge for controlling lice in the beef cow herd. Varying weather conditions may have been the heart of the issue, as it means a critical adjustment in parasiticide application timing.

“The weather the fall of 2016 was mild up through Thanksgiving, so lice didn’t really begin to replicate until early December,” said Jon Seeger, managing veterinarian with Zoetis. “Often, we tend to apply our external parasite-control products in conjunction with other herd events like weaning or pregnancy-checking earlier in the fall. When the lice population exploded, we were past the duration of activity for many products.”

Seeger explains that lice are on cattle throughout the year, but populations tend to migrate to the lower parts of the body during the summer months as they seek area out of the direct sunlight and heat. As weather turns colder, the hair coat gets longer and denser, and the days get shorter, so lice move to the neck, shoulder and rump areas. When weather conditions are right, lice can replicate quickly.

Keep reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.



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