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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

January 24, 2018

MLV Reproductive Research

What management steps can producers take to improve reproductive efficiency in heifers and cows? This is a question to which South Dakota State University (SDSU) Associate Professor and Extension Beef Reproductive Specialist George Perry is continuously seeking answers. Perry has long been an advocate that even small gains of 5% to 10% in reproductive efficiency can translate to more calves born — and more profit potential for producers.

Most recently, Perry and his colleagues at SDSU have been evaluating the effect of vaccinations against infectious diseases, specifically bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), and the resulting impact on reproductive efficiency. Perry shared highlights from their research findings with those attending the 2017 Range Beef Cow Symposium hosted in Cheyenne, Wyo., Nov. 28-30.

Many current management protocols have suggested that inactivated (killed) and modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines can both be safely administered to replacement females 30 days prior to the start of the breeding season and as an annual booster to cows. Plus, conventional wisdom has suggested the MLV actually provided better immunity protection.

Keep reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Great Plains Grazing to Host
‘New National Cattle Comfort Advisor’ Webinar

Cattle producers have always monitored their cattle in response to extreme weather conditions. A new tool is available that measures cold and heat stress levels on cattle. The National Cattle Comfort Advisor helps cattle producers closely monitor challenging weather situations and provides a way to measure the severity and duration of cold or hot events.

Great Plains Grazing team member, Albert Sutherland, will present a free webinar, “New National Cattle Comfort Advisor” at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26. The webinar is open to anyone interested in learning more about the National Cattle Comfort Advisor. Specifically, webinar participants can expect to learn the basics of the tool and ways it can be used by producers to monitor stress caused by extreme temperatures.

This new, year-round tool takes into account: air temperature, wind speed, sunlight and humidity. Using these variables, it calculates heat and cold index values. National maps are produced on an hourly basis at three different sunlight levels. Past maps go back to Jan. 1, 2016. The National Cattle Comfort Advisor can be accessed at

For more information, read more online.

Association Perspective

I always enjoy having the opportunity to put some thoughts on paper, and I wanted to take the time to convey an analogy of one of the most frequent conversation topics I have with breeders. That is, “How can I merchandize my cattle for the most money?”

For the sake of this article, I like to use the analogy of something most can relate to, a good piece of beef. What makes a steak taste great? Of course, there are an endless number of options for seasonings, salts, peppers and marinades. Cooking methods add another layer of flavors to the eating experience whether grilled, broiled, fried or set to simmer in a crockpot all day. What about aging? It changes the taste profile in a number of ways, too. All of these methods are certainly important, and I think it is safe to say each of us has a certain combination that suits us best.

Relating this back to merchandizing Angus cattle, all of these preparations are comparable to the numerous tools offered by the American Angus Association and progressive science.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA column online.

Transferring Technology

The Division of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri (MU) College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources boasts many strengths, including its vast research and work with beef cattle reproduction and genetics. The faculty, who have responsibilities in research, teaching, extension and economic development, are experts in taking their findings and sharing them with farmers, ranchers and the Missouri community as a whole.

With the help of a $300,000 grant from the USDA, the division will be able to expand on those leadership opportunities.

The grant, through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will be used to develop The National Center for Applied Reproduction and Genomics (NCARG) in beef cattle. The goal of NCARG will be to promote the economic impact of the technologies MU Animal Sciences faculty have developed and are using every day. The focus is on giving farmers and ranchers the answer to the question: “What is the return on investment if I invest in reproductive or genomic technologies?”

“We’re not just trying to fill people’s heads with new knowledge. It’s more about lighting a fire,” said Jared Decker, an Extension beef geneticist at MU.

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

On Target

It looks like weaning weights have gone pretty much nowhere for 15 years. That’s according to a summary of North Dakota State University’s Cow Herd Appraisal of Performance Software (CHAPS) that presents genetic progress as functionally static since 2003. I couldn’t miss that summary. It was well-publicized and pointed out by just about every contact and source I know.

Static being a relative term — there were fluctuations in the data — weaning weight hovered around 560 pounds (lb.), weaning age was 193 days and average daily gain was 2.5 lb. Seeing the flat trends, author Kris Ringwall suggests genetic progress in the commercial cow-calf sector is “mature.”

The topic came up during a “bull-pen session” at the Range Beef Cow Symposium in Cheyenne, Wyo., in December, where the discussion suggested the beef industry has gone astray, utilizing growth genetics while failing to increase weaning weight but driving cow size up.

Well, some of that rings true. A rise in cow mature weight is evidenced by the increasing yearling weight expected progeny difference (EPD) in all major breeds. Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA column online.


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