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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

April 23, 2018

Mineral Nutrition

“Over half of the cattle I test are copper-deficient,” shared Jeff Hall, professor of veterinary sciences and toxicology at Utah State University, as he addressed those attending a Cattlemen’s College® session sponsored by Zoetis in Phoenix, Ariz., this winter.

Hall noted copper is the No. 1 mineral deficiency in cattle nationwide, but also shared that selenium, zinc, vitamins A and E, and manganese are frequently deficient. He explained deficiencies can decrease growth rates, drag down immune systems and contribute to other health risks. Thus, Hall stressed the importance of testing cows and calves to assess — and correct — mineral deficiencies, and ultimately add performance and profit to cattle.

In posing the question, “Why do we see more mineral deficiencies today than 30 years ago?” Hall offered several reasons.

Foremost, people didn’t measure deficiencies then, he noted. “It’s always been there, but there is more testing today.”

Hall also noted that production has intensified today. We have larger cattle and shorter production windows.

“We are asking more of our cows than we did in the past,” he explained.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Kansas State University Researchers Study
Ways to Stabilize River Banks

Along a 2-mile stretch of the meandering Smoky Hill River, Kari Bigham is earning a nickname among the locals that she’s pretty proud of.

Bigham, a graduate student at Kansas State University (K-State), has been called “The Streambank Lady,” a tribute to her steady work to monitor changes in this part of the river.

“What drives this work,” Bigham says, “is the fact that landowners in general are losing acreage to streambank erosion every year.”

Streambank erosion is a natural process caused by the force of flowing water against the resistance of the bank. When the force of water wins out, adjacent land or sediment essentially ‘falls’ into the waterway and is washed downstream along with sediment-attached pollutants.

Those pollutants create risk to aquatic life, humans and, in some cases, can end up in downstream lakes, as well.

Bigham’s work, which began in 2016, aims to slow erosion on parts of the Upper Lower Smoky Hill Watershed. She is currently monitoring six sites on the river between Salina and Lindsborg.

“The goal here is to protect land and improve water quality,” Bigham said.

For more information, read the full K-State news release online.

Cattle on Feed; Weekly Summary

USDA released on Friday, April 20 the results of its latest feedlot inventory survey, showing that feedlots with +1,000-head capacity had 7.4% more cattle on feed than a year ago. All the key numbers in the report were close to prereport estimates and futures this morning April 23 opened higher following the latest data.

The larger inventory was well-anticipated, and it is currently reflected in the sharp discount for the summer months. Indeed, at this time it appears participants are looking to square the expectations for ample supplies/lower prices in May and June vs. very tight spot supplies and prices that on Friday were around $121 live and $194 dressed. Beef demand for spring grilling remains key, determining the marketing rate for April and May and ultimately the supply of finished cattle on June 1.

Feedlots placed 1.921 million head of cattle on feed in March, 196,000 head (-9.3%) less than a year ago. Analysts polled ahead of the report were expecting placements to be down 9.1%. Placements in Kansas were down 85,000 head (-17%) compared to a year ago and placements in Colorado were down 40,000 head (-19.5%).

Read the full report online at

I-BELIEF Grant will Train Illinois Leaders
in Beef Cattle Nutrition

A new grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will provide more than a quarter million dollars to train 20 undergraduate students in beef cattle nutrition research during the next four years. The unique program, known as the Illinois Beef Experiential Learning and Industry Exposure Fellowship (I-BELIEF), pulls underrepresented students from four public agricultural universities across the state to leverage the research resources available within the University of Illinois (U of I) system.

“One of the things we’re excited about is strengthening the relationship with our partner institutions: Illinois State University, Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University. Illinois is unique in having four public institutions with programs in animal science and beef cattle,” says Josh McCann, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at U of I, and co-principal investigator on the grant.

Dan Shike, associate professor in the department and co-principal investigator on the grant, adds that they’re hoping the program will diversify beef cattle industry leadership in the long term. “For example, we have a huge population of female undergraduates in the department, but there are very, very few female faculty members in beef nutrition and a pretty small number of female scientists in industry.”

Read the full U of I news release online.

Two Beef Quality Assurance courses offered
in East Texas this May

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer two Beef Quality Assurance Training events in East Texas in late May.

Both events are free and open to the public and are in collaboration with the Texas Beef Council and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. The events are sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

On May 22, a training course will be hosted from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Priefert Manufacturing Hangar, 409 Farm-to-Market Road 4000 in Mount Pleasant.

On May 23, a training course will be hosted from 3:30-7:30 p.m. at the Hart-Morris Conservation Center, 601 County Road 4812 in Athens.

Jason Banta, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, Overton, will be the speaker at both events. Topics will include residue avoidance, vaccine handling, proper injection technique, genetic selection, environmental stewardship and cattle handling and welfare.

Learn more in the AgriLife news release online.



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