Angus — The Business Breed

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MLV Reproductive Research

Research re-evaluates effect of modified-live vaccines on beef females’ reproductive performance.

What management steps can producers take to improve reproductive efficiency in heifers and cows? This is a question to which South Dakota State University (SDSU) associate professor and Extension beef reproductive specialist George Perry is continuously seeking answers. Perry has long been an advocate that even small gains of 5% to 10% in reproductive efficiency can translate to more calves born — and more profit potential for producers.

Most recently, Perry and his colleagues at SDSU have been evaluating the effect of vaccinations against infectious diseases, specifically bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), and the resulting impact on reproductive efficiency. Perry shared highlights from their research findings with those attending the 2017 Range Beef Cow Symposium (RBCS) hosted in Cheyenne, Wyo., Nov. 28-30. Read more.

David Gazda
Adam Conover

Association Perspective

A recipe for success.

I always enjoy having the opportunity to put some thoughts on paper, and I wanted to take the time to convey an analogy of one of the most frequent conversation topics I have with breeders. That is, “How can I merchandize my cattle for the most money?”

For the sake of this article, I like to use the analogy of something most can relate to, a good piece of beef. What makes a steak taste great? Of course, there are an endless number of options for seasonings, salts, peppers and marinades. Cooking methods add another layer of flavors to the eating experience whether grilled, broiled, fried or set to simmer in a crockpot all day. What about aging? It changes the taste profile in a number of ways, too. All of these methods are certainly important, and I think it is safe to say each of us has a certain combination that suits us best. Read more.

Transferring Technology

MU Division of Animal Sciences receives grant to develop The National Center for Applied Reproduction and Genomics.

The Division of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri (MU) College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources boasts many strengths, including its vast research and work with beef cattle reproduction and genetics. The faculty, who have responsibilities in research, teaching, extension and economic development, are experts in taking their findings and sharing them with farmers, ranchers and the Missouri community as a whole.

With the help of a $300,000 grant from the USDA, the division will be able to expand on those leadership opportunities.

The grant, through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will be used to develop The National Center for Applied Reproduction and Genomics (NCARG) in beef cattle. The goal of NCARG will be to promote the economic impact of the technologies MU Animal Sciences faculty have developed and are using every day. The focus is on giving farmers and ranchers the answer to the question, “What is the return on investment if I invest in reproductive or genomic technologies?” Read more.

Justin Sexten

Behind the static, 560-lb. weaning weights.

It looks like weaning weights have gone pretty much nowhere for 15 years. That’s according to a summary of North Dakota State University’s Cow Herd Appraisal of Performance Software (CHAPS) that presents genetic progress as functionally static since 2003. I couldn’t miss that summary. It was well-publicized and pointed out by just about every contact and source I know.

Static being a relative term — there were fluctuations in the data — weaning weight hovered around 560 pounds (lb.), weaning age was 193 days and average daily gain was 2.5 lb. Seeing the flat trends, author Kris Ringwall suggests genetic progress in the commercial cow-calf sector is “mature.” Read more.

Five Rivers Cattle Feeding Bought by Investment Firm

Pinnacle Asset Management to acquire JBS USA Five Rivers Cattle Feeding.

Affiliates of Pinnacle Asset Management L.P., a leading commodities and natural resources investment firm, announced they have entered into an agreement to acquire the U.S.-based cattle-feeding assets and farms, collectively known as Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, from JBS USA, a leading global food company, for approximately $200 million (USD).

Five Rivers Cattle Feeding is the largest cattle-feeding operation in the world, with roots in the United States dating back to the 1920s. The transaction includes 11 feedyards across Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, with feeding capacity of more than 900,000 head of cattle, and a long-term agreement to supply cattle to JBS USA beef processing plants. The current Five Rivers management team will remain in place, led by president and CEO Mike Thoren, to ensure business continuity and build upon Five Rivers’ strong track record of innovation and stewardship. 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 available in the API Virtual Library.

Your Health

Hold the Salt

NIH-funded study suggests impaired blood flow and dementia can result from a high-salt diet.

We are often warned of the dangers of high levels of salt in our diet, yet the risks of salt consumption and the effects of salt on the body, including the brain, are not entirely clear. In a new mouse study, scientists link changes in the gut caused by a high-salt diet to impaired blood flow in the brain. This reduced blood flow can eventually lead to impaired cognition that could be reversed by changing back to a normal diet. The study, published in Nature Neuroscience, also provides molecular clues for treating these problems.

“For years researchers have wondered how a high-salt diet harms the brain,” said Jim Koenig, program director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which supported the study. “This mouse study provides a detailed cellular and molecular diagram for how the problems start in the gut and opens unexpected paths towards new treatments.” Read more.