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December 20, 2012

May your focus this Christmas

Be on who's around your Christmas tree
Rather than what's placed beneath it
And on the presence of our Lord and Savior,
Rather than any other presents we might receive.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

ARSBC 2012


Managing Bull Development to Optimize Fertility

Management of nutrition during development of breeding bulls can be a controversial topic. Nearly all discussion is focused on management of bull calves after they are weaned. According to Albert Barth, veterinarian and professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine, nearly all bull development research also has concentrated on the postweaning period. He thinks researchers have overlooked a very important period of development in a bull’s lifetime — calfhood. Read more.


Matt Caldwell

Association Perspective

Efficiency is the name of the game.

I have been a regional manager for almost 15 years. In that short amount of time, it is truly amazing the advancements the Angus breed has made through member investments in research and technology. The fruit of this labor is available to you in the form of expected progeny differences (EPDs) and dollar value indexes ($Values) to enhance your profitability and your product’s efficiency in the supply chain. Maternal efficiency is what made the Angus breed great — but it is the efficiencies the Angus breed brings to the table on down the supply chain that puts it over the top. Read more.

Expect Volatility Going into 2013

What will 2013 hold for the farm community? It’s anybody’s guess until Congress passes a farm bill, said a University of Missouri (MU) agricultural economist.

Scott Brown, research assistant professor in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, spoke Dec. 3 at an agricultural lender seminar in Hannibal, Mo.

Uncertainty about the farm bill, combined with fear that Mother Nature will throw farmers another curveball, leaves many farmers scratching their heads about the upcoming growing season, Brown said. Read more.

Tax Insights

Agribusiness specialists shares tax insights shared with ag lenders.

Darla Campbell, University of Missouri (MU) Extension agribusiness specialist, gave northeastern Missouri ag lenders insight into farm tax issues during a Dec. 3 seminar at Fiddlestiks restaurant in Hannibal, Mo.

The MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics sponsors a statewide series of ag lender seminars in cooperation with regional MU Extension specialists.

In late October, tax provisions that expired at the end of 2011 remained in limbo as Congress stalled decision-making. Record-high commodity and livestock prices, extensive drought, reduction of livestock herd numbers and soaring crop insurance receipts created interesting income tax scenarios for the agricultural community, Campbell said. Read more.

Mapping a Risk-managed Route

UNL scientist says risks are manageable in new route proposed for Keystone XL Pipeline.

Potential groundwater contamination risks posed by the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline in Nebraska are minimal and manageable under a “risk-managed” route proposed by a University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) water scientist.

Roy Spalding, hydrochemist and water-quality expert, and Aaron Hirsh, graduate student, outlined the findings in a journal article about risk-managed approaches to routing petroleum pipelines. The article is in the Dec. 4 issue of Environmental Science and Technology, a long-standing and highly regarded journal published by the American Chemical Society, based in Washington, D.C.

The risk-managed route the authors propose for the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska “avoids the sensitive, highly vulnerable, agriculturally undeveloped land that elicited strong condemnation of the since-rejected original Keystone XL route,” Spalding said. Read more.

What’s Inside …

In this December 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 recently made available in the API Virtual Library.

Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria:
Issue Demands Action

Part 1: A recent conference raises many questions about the causes of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The mention of antimicrobial resistance strikes fear in some and demands response from many. In this first of a four-part series, we will look at the issue; in Part 2 we will try to answer the question of what is antimicrobial resistance; in Part 3 we will ask who is to blame for it; and in Part 4 we will look at some possibilities to move forward on this issue.

The importance of the topic to animal health professionals and agricultural producers was evident by the attendance of 170 people at a November 2012 conference on the topic of antibiotic resistance sponsored by the National Institute of Animal Agriculture (NIAA) in Columbus, Ohio.

While at the conference, it seemed that we didn’t find out all the answers to the perplexing issue, but began to better understand the questions. Such is the complexity of this issue. Read more.

Your Health


Forecasting Flu Outbreaks

Better predictions equal better planning.

Scientists were able to forecast seasonal flu outbreaks using an approach common to weather prediction. The accomplishment lays the groundwork for systems to help public officials better predict and prepare for outbreaks.

In temperate regions, people become sick from influenza infections most often during winter. Dry air appears to be a factor. People also spend more time indoors together when it's colder, giving flu viruses more opportunity to spread. Beyond this general trend, our ability to make real-time predictions of the timing, duration and magnitude of local seasonal flu outbreaks remains limited. Read more.

Editor’s Note: One has to wonder if the same type of models could be applied for herd health outbreaks, whether pinkeye or bovine respiratory disease.


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