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August 22, 2011

Better Decisions

EPDs help cattlemen make better genetic improvement decisions.

Better data yields better decision-making in genetic selection, according to Ohio State University (OSU) Extension beef coordinator John Grimes. A new expected progeny difference (EPD) from the American Angus Association and improvements in DNA technologies mean even better data for beef producers.

An EPD is a statistical estimate of how progeny of a given animal are expected to perform relative to progeny of another animal.

"We have this whole catalog of EPDs," Grimes said. "In the past we concentrated on growth, carcass and maternal traits. The trait we need to improve now, as far as profitability for cattle breeders, is fertility." Read more.

Not Something You Want to Hear

Forage expert tells Texas drought victims it's a no-brainer —
sell out herds now.

With little to no grazing and hay, should livestock producers continue to try to buy feed, move cattle to another state or just sell out?

"It would be much less expensive to just get out and come back later," said Larry Redmon, Texas AgriLife Extension Service state forage specialist. "And that's the message that we're trying to convey."

Many livestock producers have already tried to cut feeding costs by extensively culling their herds, but have held onto enough cows to rebuild their herds if the drought passes, he said.

In some dry years, that might be a good strategy, but not this one, Redmon said. Read more.

Chuck Grove

Matt Prinz

Association Perspective

Adding value to your calves.

Fall is upon us. For many ranchers and cattle producers that means it is time to sell calves. Although cattle are considered a commodity, and cattle producers are "price takers" rather than setting the price they receive, there are many different practices that you can adopt that should add value to your calves and increase net return.

Many producers already practice some form of adding value, such as castrating their bull calves, which can add $4-$8 per hundredweight (cwt.). Dehorning calves is another way of adding value because it is one less thing the buyer needs to worry about after purchasing those cattle. Using homozygous polled bulls, such as Angus, is the easiest way of dehorning. Read more.

Herman Cain Addresses Cattlemen

Former restaurant giant addressed 2011 Cattle Industry Summer Conference attendees in Florida. Overregulation and
economic burdens dominated discussion.

More than 500 attendees jockeyed for a seat in a crowded auditorium to hear Herman Cain, candidate for president, during the 2011 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Kissimmee, Fla., Aug. 2, 2011. Cain told an inspiring story of growing up with very little in Georgia and the courage and innovation of his father, who followed his dreams.

Cain, co-owner and former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, said restrictions on business are stifling economic growth. Read more.

Confidence in Checkoff Remains Strong

Research has found that producers' attitudes toward the beef checkoff program remain stable and are quite favorable. The survey of 900 beef and dairy producers nationwide was conducted in late June and early July 2011 by the independent firm Aspen Media & Market Research.

About three in four approve of the program, which maintains the five-point positive shift reported in January. In the past five years, approval levels have ranged between 68% and the current level of 74%. Read more.

What’s Inside …

In this August edition of the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA, you'll find valuable articles devoted to the management, marketing, and health and nutrition of your beef enterprise. Select from the tabs at the top of the page to access this month's entire offering by category. A few select features include:

News Briefs …

The American Angus Association and its subsidiaries generate a wealth of information to keep members and affiliates informed of what's happening within the industry as well as with the programs and services they offer. Click here for easy access to the newsrooms of the American Angus Association and Certified Angus Beef LLC and the Angus e-List archive.

Enforcing Humane Handling

USDA announces directive to improve humane handling enforcement measures to ensure consistent treatment of livestock.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Aug. 15 issued a directive with new instructions to its inspectors that will better ensure the humane treatment and slaughter of livestock presented for processing at FSIS-inspected facilities. FSIS will train its personnel to ensure they are prepared to carry out these new instructions.

"USDA is deeply committed to ensuring the humane treatment of livestock at federally inspected establishments," said Undersecretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen. "We are honoring that commitment with clear guidance and better training for our inspection program personnel."

This directive provides new instructions for inspection program personnel to ensure that treatment of livestock during handling and slaughter minimizes the animal's amount of excitement, pain, injury or discomfort. Read more.

Your Health

Spend Time Discussing Mammograms

Conflicting guidelines cause confusion for patients
and health care providers.

Due to changing guidelines concerning when and how often they should first be screened for breast cancer with mammograms, many women are confused. The American Cancer Society recommends women 40 years and older get a mammogram every year, but the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends mammograms every other year for women older than 50. Read more.



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