Angus — The Business Breed

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Charting the Industry's Course

Charting the Industry’s Course

Research suggests quality of U.S. beef supply improving, but opportunities remain.

Data from the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) suggest the beef industry continues to improve the quality of its products, but there is still room for improvement. Results from the research were presented at a session during the 2017 Cattle Industry Summer Meeting in Denver July 13.

The research, funded by the National Beef Checkoff Program, has been conducted every five years for the past quarter century, and provides a set of guideposts and measurements for cattle producers and others to help determine quality conformance of the U.S. beef supply. NBQA results through the years have helped lead to improvements in cattle and beef production, including reductions in carcass blemishes and fewer lost opportunities related to branding and other practices. Read more.

Terry Cotton

Terry Cotton

Association Perspective

Exploring the state of the West, beef options to China.

Greetings from Region 11, the states of Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah.

First, I’d like to share what things have been like since last year with my report in the August 2016 Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA.

The best news is that we have finally climbed out of severe drought that lasted for about seven years. The welcome rain and snow last winter was so plentiful, the groundwater table has risen greatly — some breeders say as much as 40 feet. Farmers and ranchers have to rely on irrigation, so that is a welcome relief. Snow in the mountains was also at near-record levels, as much as 150% of normal. Read more.

Emergency Grazing Approved

USDA authorizes emergency grazing in drought-stricken Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue June 23 authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. All or parts of these states are experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions –– indicated as categories D2 and D3 on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

“Due to reduced availability of forage, ranchers in the hardest-hit locations have already been culling their herds,” said Perdue. “Without alternative forage options like grazing CRP lands, livestock producers are faced with the economically devastating potential of herd liquidation.” Read more.

Angus Value Discovery — So Easy

One email or call can do it, but time is running out.

This year’s Angus Value Discovery Contest closes Aug. 15 on cattle harvested any time from last fall to the end of July 2017, but there’s still time. Although this competition requires a nomination, anybody with a stake in the cattle can start the enrollment. Customers of artificial insemination (AI) companies and registered Angus breeders work with them to enroll groups of at least 30 calves.

All it takes is a completed harvest report from the packer and closeout from the feedyard. If you use registered Angus bulls, or feed for someone who does and their cattle ring all the bells for quality and performance, take action now. Contact Kara Lee, production brand manager for the cosponsoring Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand at or call 330-345-2333.

What’s at stake? A share of nearly $5,000 in this contest that builds relationships along with better herds, Lee says. Genetics providers contribute 25% of prize value in credit if their nominee wins grand or reserve champion pen, and CAB pays the rest.

Qualifying groups of 30 or more must be at least 75% sired by registered Angus bulls, harvested by July 31 at a CAB-licensed packer with closeouts submitted by Aug. 15 (or they fit into the next year’s contest).

“We encourage anyone who believes their cattle could qualify and compete well in the 2017 contest to take action right away and get in under the wire,” Lee says. Scoring is based on a combination of carcass merit and feedyard performance. For more details, visit, and again, email or call 330-345-2333.

What’s Inside …

In this July 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.

Bee Buzzes Could Help Save Their
Decreasing Population

Small microphones in the field monitor bees in flight.

According to recent studies, declines in wild and managed bee populations threaten the pollination of flowers in more than 85% of flowering plants and 75% of agricultural crops worldwide. Widespread and effective monitoring of bee populations could lead to better management; however, tracking bees is tricky and costly. Now, a research team led by the University of Missouri (MU) has developed an inexpensive acoustic listening system using data from small microphones in the field to monitor bees in flight. The study, published June 7 in Plos One, shows how farmers could use the technology to monitor pollination and increase food production. Read more.


Your Health

Ag Workers at High Risk of Heat Illnesses

Water, rest and shade prevent heat stress.

Agriculture workers are 20 times more likely than other workers to die from heat.

Heat deaths are 100% preventable with water, rest and shade, says University of Missouri Extension health and safety specialist, Karen Funkenbusch.

That is why she encourages everyone to support the “Summer 2017 Beat the Heat” campaign from the U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Workers in farming, fishing and forestry are at high risk of heat illness because heat builds in the body during hard work. Heat illness occurs when the body can no longer cope and physical and mental functions start to break down. Read more.