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Rising from the Ashes

Resources and links relating to March’s wildfires.

An outbreak of wildfires left a path of destruction across Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas earlier this month. The fires burned more than 700,000 acres in 21 Kansas counties, with more than three-quarters of that acreage burning in Clark and Comanche counties. More than 23,000 acres burned near Amarillo, Texas, threatening more than 150 homes; a fire in the Texas Panhandle near the Oklahoma border burned more than 156 square miles. In Colorado, more than 45 square miles burned in Logan County, threatening nearly 1,000 homes and forcing the evacuation of three schools. Fires in Kansas caused thousands to evacuate their homes and left many in shelters.

At least five human lives were claimed, along with thousands of cattle and other livestock.

Conditions remain favorable for wildfire flare-ups, and the threat of more fires remains. Farmers and ranchers now face the challenge of disposing of carcasses, treating injured cattle and caring for orphaned calves. Read more.

Allen Moczygemba

Allen Moczygemba

The Front Gate

Valor, resilience, faith.

Valor. It’s a word used to describe folks who show great courage in the face of danger. In today’s modern society, it’s a word that fortunately isn’t needed to be used often. Tragically, on the afternoon of March 6, valor became commonplace in areas of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Many of our friends, and in some cases family members, displayed great valor as they battled ravaging wildfires fueled by 60 mph winds that burned livestock and pets, destroyed homes and barns, and left an indelible imprint on families across the plains.

Near McClean, Texas, Sloan Everett — a member of the Association — along with Cody Crockett and Cody’s girlfriend, Sydney Wallace, were working on the Franklin Ranch when wildfires exploded in fury from the south. All three ultimately perished as they raced frantically in a futile attempt to move cattle away from the rapidly approaching wildfire. They showed uncommon valor in their efforts to save the cattle, completely disregarding their own safety in an attempt to protect livestock that were under their stewardship. Read more.

Jake Troutt

Jake Troutt

Association Perspective

Bull structure.

This spring will put a strain on producers as they wonder if they should purchase new bulls or stick it out with those already in the bull battery. Calf prices have seen a slight increase since last fall, but there is still incentive to keep the older bulls for another year and wait out the market. Margins are tight, and every dollar counts. Therefore, there is no time like the present to stress the importance of fertility and longevity in each herd sire, specifically feet and leg structure.

Genetics, productivity and pedigrees do play a significant role in the length of time any bull stays within a herd. Yet, assuming all those criteria are met, it would be a shame to sell a bull because he did not stay sound and lost the ability to effectively breed cows. No matter the pasture size, it is good practice for producers to evaluate foot size and structure, as well as the general build and mobility of each bull before purchase. Read more.

Optimizing the Feeding Value of Corn

Steam-flaking offers increased starch availability resulting in greater digestibility and a predictable increase in performance.

Figuring out how to feed cattle more efficiently is one of the things ruminant nutrition researchers do. At the University of California–Davis, researcher Richard Zinn has sought ways to glean more nutrient value from feedgrain. Zinn shared information from his research with cattle producers attending the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn., explaining how the steam-flaking process affects the feed value of corn.

Zinn acknowledged that dry-rolled corn and high-moisture corn are viable alternatives for use in beef cattle rations. However, research shows that steam-flaking increases the energy value of corn. Many nutritionists consider the energy value of steam-flaked corn to be more than 10% greater when compared to dry-rolled corn and nearly 7% greater compared to high-moisture corn. Read more.

Winding Down

In Texas, livestock supply points for wildfire donations set closing dates.

The truckloads of hay have slowed, and producers affected by wildfires in Texas are beginning to get some perspective on the damage done and the path forward, so Livestock Supply Points in three counties will begin winding down, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service officials.

Danny Nusser, AgriLife Extension regional program leader in Amarillo, said each county has a plan to bring the efforts of volunteers and donors to a close at the Livestock Supply Points opened March 7 in response to wildfires that burned 480,000 acres across the Texas Panhandle. Read more.

What’s Inside …

In this March 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 available in the API Virtual Library.

New Opportunities, New Challenges

D.C. team outlines goals and expectations for new administration.

‘It’s interesting to see a president who has done everything, or a lot of the things, that he said he was going to do,” Colin Woodall told his audience at the Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 2.

With a laugh, the vice president of government affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) continued, “There was a headline the other day that said Washington, D.C., was absolutely shocked that the president was doing what he said he was going to do.”

All jokes aside, Woodall said there is much to be optimistic about, but just as much to work on as the new president of the United States (POTUS) takes the stage. The D.C. team’s standout issues include regulatory repeal and reform, the 2018 Farm Bill, international trade, the Endangered Species Act, and border security and immigration. Read more.

Facing the Effects of Wildfire on Cattle

With the threat of wildfires in the affected areas still great, K-State veterinarian offers advice for care of surviving cattle.

Among those hit hard by recent wildfire outbreaks are the surviving beef cattle. From mild surface burns to debilitating hoof injuries, ranchers and veterinarians are teaming up to render care and compassion.

The recent outbreak of wildfires in Kansas burned hundreds of thousands of acres of land, destroyed homes and other infrastructure, and placed many cattle ranchers in the unenviable position of having to euthanize thousands of animals with insurmountable injuries.

The cows, calves and bulls that are left may need extraordinary amounts of care, said A.J. Tarpoff, a beef veterinarian with Kansas State University (K-State) Research and Extension. Topping the list of concerns are the orphaned calves. Read more.