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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 29, 2017

Holiday Closure

The American Angus Association and Angus Productions Inc. offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 1, in observance of the new year. Normal office hours will resume Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Breeding Season Schedule

Financial opportunities can be found in designing strong breeding and forage/pasture plans for beef cattle herds, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.

In a business where every pound counts and every expense should be optimized, Monte Rouquette, AgriLife Research forage physiologist, Overton, said producers should consider planned breeding windows for their cow herd, if possible.

Most beef cattle operations have completed fall calving and should introduce bulls by Dec. 1-15 to have calves on the ground in early fall 2018, he said.

Rouquette has researched stocking strategies and ways to optimize the herd and forage performance interface for more than 40 years. He said many producers follow plans designed to birth calves during specific windows throughout the year, while other producers allow up to 120-day breeding seasons or year-round calving either by default or logistical limitations.

“Some producers feel that any pregnant cow at any time of the year is better than an open cow,” he said. “But they may not be optimizing output and taking advantage of opportunities that are available to have those calves on the ground and ready to put on weight when the winter-annual forage spring flush arrives.”

Read more of this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Latest Weekly Export Sales Numbers

The weekly export data released Dec. 29 by USDA gave us an opportunity to refresh our projections for beef and pork exports in November and December. While exports have been quite robust for both species, we think December shipments will fall short of last year’s levels. Below is a brief recap of the implications from the latest information released this morning:

Beef: Total beef exports for the week ending Dec. 21 were 16,176 metric tons (mt), 13% lower than the volume exported in the same week a year ago. For the last four weeks beef exports have averaged 16,338 mt, 3.7% less than a year ago. Beef exports to key markets have been lagging behind last year in recent weeks. Exports to Japan have averaged 4,053 mt per week, down 2% compared to a year ago while exports to South Korea on average have been 3,500 mt, 20% less than last year. On the positive side, exports to Hong Kong are up 11% while exports to Mexico are up 6%. The weekly data only covers muscle cuts and it is on a shipped weight basis and mt.

Read the full report online at

Controlling Lice

For long-term lice control, producers need to kill the eggs, as well as adult lice on cattle, and then not re-expose those treated animals to lice.

Larry Hawkins, technical services veterinarian at Bayer, says many products just kill adult lice but don’t affect the eggs. The eggs go ahead and hatch, and three weeks later the cattle have lice again. Label directions recommend retreatment in two to three weeks to kill young lice that hatched after the first treatment. Retreatment is necessary to kill those lice before they mature enough to start laying eggs.

Another problem is inadequate treatment.

“Lice are found on the nose, on the dewlap, in the armpits and groin area where a pour-on product may not reach very well. Lice move around, however, and are likely to come into contact with the pour-on if it was applied all along the back, on the poll and down the face. If we just put the dosage in the middle of the back, it’s a long ways to the nose, brisket or armpits, so some lice may not contact the product,” says Hawkins.

Learn more in the full Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Beef Talk

Hay is the staple for cow-calf producers.

How much hay an operation needs to feed vs. how much hay an operation feeds are two different numbers. So assuming cattle consume most of their feed needs from forage, let’s figure. A pencil, pad of paper and some notes go a long way in trying to get the answers one needs.

This is not a ration-balancing process, but a rough estimate of forage needs. While grain and other feedstuffs can be fed as a replacement for hay, the question today is to ponder forage needs. Begin by knowing the pounds of cattle to be fed.

In the first couple of weeks of November, the Dickinson Research Extension Center weaned 110 heifer calves at an average weight of 451 pounds (lb.) for a total weight of 49,636 lb., and 119 steer calves at an average weight of 487 lb. for a total of 57,919 lb., or a total of 107,555 lb. The cows were left to graze crop aftermath, winter grass and standing corn, and, I might add, considerable standing forage despite the dry year.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Cold Can Cause Dehydration

When weather gets cold, cattle grow a longer, thicker hair coat. This, and a layer of fat under the hide, provides insulation to reduce heat loss and minimize cold stress. Dropping temperatures in the fall and shorter days with longer nights stimulate appetite, growth of winter hair and other physiological changes.

Body metabolism increases. Feed intake increases and passage of feed through the digestive tract speeds up as cattle need more “fuel” to keep warm. Feed requirements may go up as much as 10% to 25%. All of these changes contribute to an increase in heat production so the animal can withstand winter temperatures.

To process the additional feed, the digestive tract needs adequate fluid. Cattle must drink enough water to handle the demands of ruminant digestion and increased metabolism, and to prevent dehydration and impaction. It is important to provide adequate water for livestock during cold weather.

Terry Mader, Mader Consulting, Gretna, Neb., professor emeritus, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has done research on heat stress and cold stress in cattle.

Learn more in the full Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.


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