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Is Scrotal Circumference a
Good Indicator of Heifer Fertility?

“If we want to improve economic efficiency in our herds, what’s the best thing that we can do? Have more calves,” said Matt Spangler, University of Nebraska beef genetics extension specialist at the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle (ARSBC) symposium hosted in Stillwater, Okla., last fall.

Having more calves on the ground starts with improving the fertility level of the parents. Before improvement can be made, measurement must happen, but measuring female fertility is a difficult process, and data from most females are recorded later in life, said Spangler. Thus, current fertility selection measurements have gone to the bulls. Read more.

Kurt Kangas

Association Perspective

It’s a bull market.

2014 was an incredible year for cattle producers across the United States. Even in areas that faced extreme hardship due to drought or flooding or policy, the prices that these folks received at the sale barn or on video for their product was incredible.

In 2014 we saw the price of feeder calves rise 30%-35% from Jan. 1, 2014, to Dec. 14, 2014, according to CattleFax. Even with the five days of limit-down that occurred at the end of December, it was still a very good year for feeder-calf producers. With that, we saw the average price for slaughter bulls go though the roof. Read more.

Quality Builds Future for Beef

Research indicates as beef herds rebuild, producers who aim for the premium targets are more likely to find buyers at higher prices in the future.

People in the cattle business, especially those with cow-calf herds, are enjoying per-head income levels unimagined even a few years ago.

A glance at the corn market may remind them things can change, but a University of Missouri white paper says they can take action now to stay on a higher profit plane.

“Should Beef Quality Grade be a Priority?” That’s the title of a master’s thesis by Jillian Steiner and economist Scott Brown, which indicates quality drives the beef industry and holds the key to maintaining price strength.

Elasticity of demand and price flexibility are two economic measures that point to USDA Prime and premium-Choice brands as “luxuries” in some sense of the word. Yet, as beef herds rebuild, producers who aim for the premium targets are more likely to find buyers at higher prices in the future, the paper says. Read more.

Practical Tips on Succession Planning

Business workshops at Angus Means Business National Convention & Trade Show share estate-planning strategies.

Succession planning is certainly not easy, but open communication will make it easier. Dave Specht, certified financial planner and owner of Advising Generations LLC, gave some tips on making the transition smoother during the business block workshops at the Angus Means Business National Convention & Trade Show in Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 4-6, 2014.

He shared seven themes that help measure perceptions and manage expectations for all involved in an estate transfer. Read more.

Along the Trail

Raising beef is good for the earth.

Along America’s Angus Trails is celebrating a new birth, a real born-again experience that turned out right. The cynic in me might say, “I told you so.”

It’s all right there in the Wall Street Journal, an article entitled “Raising Beef Is Good For the Earth.” It’s by one Nicolette Hahn Niman, a self-admitted “longtime vegetarian and environmental lawyer, who once bought into those claims.” She is the author of a new book Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production. She and her husband founded Niman Ranch and now have a grass-fed beef business. Read more.

What’s Inside …

In this January 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 Journal Daily archive recently made available in the API Virtual Library.

MU Works To Extend Shelf Life Of Ground Beef

Study to see how store lighting affects color of meat.

Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) are finding ways to extend the shelf life of ground beef. They have found that store lighting plays a role in how long meat retains the bright red color that shoppers favor. After price, consumers consider color when buying meat.

MU meat scientist Bryon Wiegand said discolored meat accounts for an estimated $1 million in lost revenue annually due to markdowns. Those markdowns have become increasingly costly. Increased demand and reduced supply have pushed retail ground chuck prices to an average of $5.76 per pound. The price gap between premium-priced meats and lower-quality ground product continues to narrow as consumers increasingly prefer ground beef for convenience, Wiegand said. Read more.

Your Health


Protect Yourself from Hypothermia and Frostbite

Learn the warning signs, preventative measures to take immediately if you, or someone with you, experience hypothermia or frostbite.

Hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, is a very dangerous condition that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. For humans, normal body temperature can range from 97.7° F-99.5° with 98.6 ° commonly considered average. However, when a person’s body temperature falls below 95°, experts consider that a medical emergency. Each year in the United States more than 1,500 deaths are attributed to hypothermia. Read more.


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