May 20, 2019 | Vol. 12 : No. 5



Heat Research

Research looking at heat stress in Angus cattle.

Some cattle handle heat better than others, and there is a genetic component to heat tolerance. A number of research projects have looked at this to see if there might be ways to select for more heat-tolerant cattle.

$Value Changes Explained

Changes to $Values — second-generation selection tools offer improvements.

Commercial users of Angus genetics have become very familiar with $Values, or economic selection indexes, during the last 15 years and have utilized them heavily in their selection decisions to select for profitability. Recently, the American Angus Association went through a rebuild of these selection indexes, better known as $Values to the Angus breed. This effort led to an updated beef value ($B) model, along with updates to its two counterparts, feedlot ($F) and grid value ($G). Plus, there has been an update of the cow energy model ($EN) and an addition to the Association’s suite of selection tools — maternal weaned calf value ($M).

Drought Insurance

A tool is available to help operations get through dry times, but needs enrollment before the rains stop.

Crop insurance gets a lot of press when weather conditions are tough, but there is also a risk-management tool available for livestock producers during drought. Livestock producers can enroll in the Pasture, Rangeland and Forage (PRF) rainfall index program.

Stocking Rate Tips

Noble Research Institute consultant offers tips on preparing for drought.

The issue with unintentional stocking rates is that producers set a number but don’t manage that number. They set the number based on history and experience, instead of a science-based approach, says Hugh Aljoe, a pasture and ranch consultant and director of producer relations with Noble Research Institute.

Prepare for Hurricane Season

As hurricane season looms, AgriLife Extension offers preparedness instruction.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is urging those along the coast to prepare homes, businesses, farms and ranches for a hurricane or other disaster.

“Hurricane season in the Atlantic and the Caribbean begins around June 1 and typically lasts through November 30,” said Monty Dozier, AgriLife Extension special assistant for Rebuild Texas, College Station. “It’s nearly impossible to know if a hurricane is approaching any sooner than five to seven days out, so it’s vital that people, especially those in coastal areas, take the time to prepare well in advance.”

Local Effort Leads to Overhaul of USDA’s Livestock Insurance

Cattle producers now have improved insurance to protect against unexpected price declines.

USDA recently announced significant improvements to the Livestock Risk Protection Insurance Plan (LRP), a program that allows cattle producers to insure against unexpected price declines.

LRP allows producers to insure between 70% and 100% of the projected price of their cattle. The projected price is based upon feeder-cattle futures prices and varies depending upon the type of cattle (e.g., steers or heifers) and the weight of the cattle. The insurance coverage can be matched to the time that the cattle would typically be sold.

Electrical Safety Resources

Electrical safety during natural disasters to be the educational focus for the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

May is National Electrical Safety Month, and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reminds us that disasters bring serious risks for electricity-related fatalities, injuries and property loss. To highlight those risks and ways to plan for severe weather events, this year’s campaign theme is “Electrical Safety During Disasters.”

Angus Advisor

Our team of Angus advisors offer regional tips for herd management for the spring season.