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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 01, 2017

Office Closing Today
at 3:30 p.m. Central

The Angus offices in St. Joseph, Mo., will be closing one hour early, at 3:30 p.m. Central, today for an employee Christmas celebration. Regular business hours will resume Monday, Dec. 4.

Disposition: Convenience or Performance Trait

We often consider temperament a convenience trait. When looking for bulls to use, we study pedigrees, pictures, performance data and, now, videos until we develop a list of prospective herd sires. The final call before bidding: Is he docile enough? Replacement heifer candidates will follow a similar pattern with “attitude” a deciding factor after you consider many other traits.

Even if it’s the last thing you think about at decision time, recent work at Texas A&M suggests disposition affects performance at many points in development.

Researchers sorted heifers from the same ranch into excitable and calm groups based on exit speed from the chute after processing. Like most evaluations by default, that sort produced a group of “fast” or excitable heifers. Interestingly, cattle in this experiment were fed in the same pens, so performance was comparable between these groups within the same environment.

Excitable heifers were 72 pounds (lb.) lighter upon feedyard entry suggesting preweaning performance was reduced. That says herd operators at all stages along the production chain could realize benefits from selecting for docile cattle.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

USDA Publishes School Meals Rule,
Expands Options, Eases Challenges

The USDA Nov. 29 provided local food service professionals the flexibility they need to serve wholesome, nutritious and tasty meals in schools across the nation. The new School Meal Flexibility Rule makes targeted changes to standards for meals provided under USDA’s National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, and asks customers to share their thoughts on those changes with the Department.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the rule reflects USDA’s commitment, made in a May proclamation to work with program operators, school nutrition professionals, industry and other stakeholders to develop forward-thinking strategies to ensure school nutrition standards are both healthful and practical.

“Schools need flexibility in menu planning so they can serve nutritious and appealing meals,” Perdue said. “Based on the feedback we’ve gotten from students, schools and food service professionals in local schools across America, it’s clear that many still face challenges incorporating some of the meal pattern requirements. Schools want to offer food that students actually want to eat. It doesn’t do any good to serve nutritious meals if they wind up in the trash can.”

Learn more in the USDA news release online.

NCBA Challenges Members to Boost Beef Industry Wins

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has recently helped secure several beef industry wins in Washington, D.C. — for instance, on the Waters of the United States rule and on President Obama’s BLM Planning 2.0 rule. It has also helped lay a foundation for beef’s return to China for the first time in more than a decade. Now the NCBA is upping the ante, asking its members to help fortify its ranks to help maintain the momentum in Washington.

Through its 2017 “Just Ask” fall membership drive, NCBA is encouraging its members to recruit at least one new member from their community. The charge intends to sustain support for NCBA’s advocacy in Washington, D.C.

For more information, read the NCBA news release online.

Don’t Let Vaccines Freeze in Cold Weather

Cold weather can make things more challenging when vaccinating cattle. Russ Daly, Extension veterinarian and associate professor at South Dakota State University, says one important consideration when working cattle in cold temperatures is to be careful to not let vaccines freeze — whether you’re working with a modified-live virus (MLV) or a killed product.

It is important for vaccines to be kept at an optimal temperature while working cattle in cold temperatures so the vaccines work properly.

No matter what type of vaccine you’re using, it shouldn’t be allowed to freeze. The modified-live viruses will be inactivated by freezing, and the vaccine will no longer be potent, he explains. It won’t be able to stimulate an immune response, so you would essentially be wasting your time vaccinating those animals.

“It may even be more important to be careful with killed vaccines that contain adjuvants. Freezing of the adjuvants may create some compounds that could make the animals sick. We want to make sure we can keep those vaccines at refrigerator temperature while we are working with them,” he says.

Keep reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Livestock Weight Discussion and Implication

Cattle and hog weights have followed a somewhat different trajectory this fall, and this has impacted the amount of meat actually showing up in the marketplace. Actual weight data are reported with a bit of a lag, as USDA needs time to collect and compile all data it receives from inspectors at slaughter facilities. The latest data available are for the week ending Nov. 11. The report showed that the average steer weight for the week was 902 pounds (lb.) (dressed carcass), 16 lb. (-1.7%) less than the same week a year ago. Seasonally fed cattle weights increase in summer and fall, but this year the increase has not been as big as in the last two years. Feedlots have been able to market cattle in a more timely fashion and strong beef demand has allowed beef packers to process more cattle, while at the same time preserving their quite lofty margins.

For more information, read the full report online at


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