Spring 2018 | Volume 1, Issue 3
Your direct source for livestock news and information
Published by Farmers & Ranchers Livestock, Salina, Kansas
In this Issue: 1 Dry That Quick 8 Spring Spectacular Horse Sale 12 More Meat, More Marbling 16 Next Breeding Season Starts Now 20 International Demand Will Determine Industry Size 23 Squandered Potential 27 What Do Feeders Want? It’s Not All About Hide Color 30 Better Beef Through Better Health 33 Circular Chats 36 Fundamental Market Strength and Volatility Continues
Dry That Quick Groundwater sustainability is in more jeopardy than some realize or admit, but progress is being made toward possible solutions. By Wes Ishmael
“The writing is on the wall and if we don’t act today, our future is bleak. The Ogallala Aquifer is declining faster than it is recharging. Reservoirs, which are critical water storage structures for much of our state, are filling with sediment. At this rate, with no changes in the next 50 years, the Ogallala will
be 70 percent depleted and our reservoirs will be 40 percent filled with sediment.” That stark outlook comes from A Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water Supply in Kansas (LTV), which was published in 2015. It resulted
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PRSRT STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Jefferson City, MO 65101 Permit #303
IS YOUR DEWORMER PASSING THE TEST? AVERAGE PERCENT EFFICACY2 90% Required to Pass 4
Consult your local veterinarian for assistance in the diagnosis, treatment and control of parasitism. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION Safe-Guard EN-PRO-AL Molasses Block RESIDUE WARNING: Cattle must not be slaughtered within 11 days following last treatment. A withdrawal period has not been established for this product in preruminating calves. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. Safe-Guard Protein Block RESIDUE WARNING: Cattle must not be slaughtered within 16 days following last treatment. A withdrawal period has not been established for this product in preruminating calves. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. Safe-Guard Mineral, feed through products and liquid feed RESIDUE WARNING: Cattle must not be slaughtered within 13 days following last treatment. For dairy cattle, the milk discard time is zero hours. A withdrawal period has not been established for this product in preruminating calves. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal.
Safe-Guard®/Panacur® Plus an Avermectin
The FDA has identified growing levels of internal parasites resistant to the Macrocyclic lactones (Avermectin) class of dewormers.1 Results from the Merck Animal Health Fecal Egg Count Reduction Test National database2 shows several cases of internal parasite resistance and supports concurrent treatment protocol to manage resistant parasites. The majority opinion among parasitologists attending the FDA public forum on managing resistant parasites was that concurrent treatment of two different classes of anthelmintics is the best way to manage these resistant parasites. Merck’s database supports 2008 USDA National Animal Health Monitoring Study (NAHMS) showing confirmed or suspected resistance in several U.S. states to Macrocyclic lactone (Avermectin) class of dewormers.3
ADD SAFE-GUARD ADD POUNDS
Safe-Guard Drench and Paste RESIDUE WARNING: Cattle must not be slaughtered within 8 days following last treatment. For dairy cattle, the milk discard time is zero hours. A withdrawal period has not been established for this product in preruminating calves. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. Safe-Guard is a registered trademark of Merck Animal Health. Panacur is a registered trademark of Merck Animal Health. Ivomec is a registered trademark of Merial, Ltd. Cydectin is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. Dectomax is a registered trademark of Zoetis. LongRange is a registered trademark of Merial, Ltd. 1 FDA Public Resistance Forum-March 2012 2 Tests from 1/1/2008 - 4/12/2016 3 NAHMS 2008 4 Dobson R., Jackson F., Levecke B., Besier B., et al. Guidelines for fecal egg count reduction tests (FECRT). World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP) (2011) Proceedings: 23rd International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology 2 Giralda Farms – Madison, NJ 07940 – merck-animal-health-usa.com – 800.521.5767 Copyright © 2016 Intervet, Inc. d/b/a Merck Animal Health, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. 5/16 BV-SG-55108
From the Editor
Volume 1, Issue 3 Spring 2018 Published quarterly by
Farmers & Ranchers Livestock, Salina, Kansas 1500 W. Old Hwy 40 Salina, Kansas 67401 785-825-0211 • 785-826-1590 (fax) FandRLive.com
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Owner: Farmers & Ranchers Livestock, Mike Samples, Salina, Kansas (785) 826-7884 Editor: Deb Norton, Deb@CogentIdeasInc.com Production Coordinator: Julie Tucker Graphic Designer: Daric Wells Editorial Assistants: Dixie Russell, Dave Cumpton Contributing Editors: Wes Ishmael, Paige Nelson and Micah Samples Contributing Artist: Ted Foulkes Sales Andrew Sylvester Farmers & Ranchers Livestock (785) 456-4352 Jay Carlson Carlson Media Group, LLC (913) 967-9085 Subscriber Questions: To be added to our mailing list, contact Julie Tucker, Julie@CogentIdeasInc.com. F&R Livestock Resource is published quarterly with mail dates of January 15, March 1, August 1 and October 15 by Farmers & Ranchers Livestock, Salina, Kansas.
To an outsider, the beef industry complex and food animal production likely appears fairly traditional. Change doesn’t come easy, but it doesn’t mean the industry lacks intellect or is unwilling to accept challenge. In fact, the opposite is true. In a free market system, supply and demand are the greatest motivators. Until the late 1980s, beef producers found little appetite to increase inputs in an effort to maximize outputs. Because no true market for quality had been designed, there was no serious demand or reward. Year after year, the typical producer response to suggestions relative to improving quality was, “Who’s going to pay me for it?” Along came Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB). Then along came U.S. Premium Beef ® (USPB). The industry has seen the proliferation of many branded beef programs in the last 20 years, all with specifications designed to ensure a desirable eating experience. It’s taken 40 years for Certified Angus Beef to become the most recognized beef brand in the world, but there’s no debate about who gets paid. Whomever owns the cattle at harvest earns the premium for meeting the quality specifications. Yet in 1978, the program was not specifically created to become a center of the plate steak. The program was created to incentivize a better market for black hided
feeder calves. Regardless of the intent of the American Angus Association board members in 1978, CAB sold 1.120 billion pounds of product in 2017. According to the American Angus Association’s 2017 annual report, only 6.6 percent of all fed cattle met specifications for CAB in 2006. More than double, 29 percent met the upper Choice specifications in 2017. Today, the brand recognizes more than 19,000 global licensees and is sold in 49 foreign markets in addition to the U.S. U.S. Premium Beef is celebrating its 20th year of operation. As reported by those involved in the early negotiations with packers, the response from some in academia was “the concept is a nice mental exercise!” After all, what incentive did the nation’s largest packers have to pay more? USPB is owned by producers. The company’s mission since day one has been to own processing, provide market access and carcass information, and price cattle and beef based on quality. The company owns a minority interest in National Beef, the fifth largest beef processor in the U.S. According to the U.S. Premium Beef Annual Report, USPB delivered more than 25% of the cattle processed at National Beef in 2016. USPB producers earned more than $38 million in grid premiums in FY 2016. To date, the USPB grid formula is the most advantageous to high quality, value added finished cattle and has paid more than $436 million in premiums above the cash market on 13 million head of cattle since the company’s beginning in 1996. Again, there’s no debate about who gets paid. Whomever owns the cattle at harvest and takes the risk, earns the premium. As a value based infrastructure evolved, the industry’s intellectual capacity to harness the science and technology and make profound and rapid genetic change became a constant search to improve quality. Finally, expected progeny differences (EPDs) made more sense. Then along came ultrasound. Selection indexes more easily quantified the science and could be implemented depending on an individual producer’s chosen end point. Today, commercial producers have access to many of the same selection tools previously only available to the registered seedstock producers. Commercial cow-calf producers are using genomic testing to benchmark their herds and select replacements that better fit their operations. Artificial insemination is routine as producers recognize the efficiencies of tighter calving windows. Commercial producers have access to specialized feeder calf programs, identifying like genetics, management, health and nutrition. At the end of the day, progressive commercial beef producers are embracing tools to raise the quality bar from purchasing more predictable herd bulls, keeping replacements and better managing
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Farmers & Ranchers Upcoming Sales and Events Don Johnson Angus Sale..................... March 5 Focus on Real Beef Sale.....................March 10 Wheatland Farms Angus Sale............March 13 Cow Sale..............................................March 20 New Frontier Bucking Bull Sale..........March 24
Cow Sale................................................. April 20 Cow Sale................................................... May 1 Rope Horse Preview............................... May 18 Ranch Horse Competition..................... May 18 Spring Spectacular Horse Sale.............. May 19
More Upcoming Sales Benoit Angus................................................. March 15.........................Page 11 Gardiner Angus Ranch....................................... April 7.........................Page 31 GeneTrust...................................................... March 27.........................Page 41 Green Garden..................................................... April 2.........................Page 10 Hinkle’s Prime Cut Angus............................. March 19.........................Page 23 Hinkson Angus Ranch................................... March 20.........................Page 42 Fort Hays....................................................... March 19.........................Page 42 Janssen Red Angus...................................... March 17.........................Page 26 Leachman Cattle Company of Colo........March 24-26.........................Page 17
McCurry Angus................................................ March 8.........................Page 9 Mushrush Red Angus.................................... March 16.........................Page 37 Oleen Brothers............................................... March 26.........................Page 25 Sandhill Farms............................................... March 24.........................Page 21 Schrader Ranch............................................. March 20.........................Page 15 Smoky Y............................................................. April 5.........................Page 34 Sunflower Genetics....................................... March 16.........................Page 33 Vaughan Charolais.............................................. April 7.........................Page 35
F&R Livestock Resource page 3
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from former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s call to action in the fall of 2013 to develop a 50-year vision for the future of water in Kansas. “We have a crisis,” Jay Famiglietti explained at Kansas State University (KSU) in 2016 as part of the Henry C. Gardiner Global Food Systems Lecture Series. “The groundwater depletion revealed by GRACE data (more later) poses a far greater risk to global water security, and therefore, food security than we acknowledge.” Famiglietti is a senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and a professor at the University of California, Irvine. “Ultimately, water will be limiting in all respects unless we learn to do a lot more with a lot less, and to reuse and reuse more and more and to manage our way to a sustainable water future, ” Famiglietti explained during an earlier TED talk.
A Slippery Paradox On the one hand, Americans are using less water over time, despite a growing population. That has plenty to do with increasing efficiencies associated with agricultural irrigation and hydroelectric generators. At least Americans were using less water through 2010, according to Estimated Use of Water in the United
State in 2010 from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which has published an update every five years since 1950. USGS is currently preparing the 2015 edition. Total freshwater and saltwater use in the United States in 2010 was estimated by USGS at 355 billion gallons per day (Bgal/day), which was 13 percent less than in 2005 and the least since 1970. Freshwater withdrawals were estimated at 306 Bgal/d, or 86 percent of total withdrawals. Of that, approximately 230 Bgal/day was surface water and about 76 Bgal/day was groundwater. Compared to 2005, fresh surface water withdrawals were 15 percent less
and fresh groundwater withdrawals were 4 percent less. Water use for thermoelectric power and irrigation continued to be the primary water users. Irrigation accounted for 38 percent of total freshwater withdrawals for all uses; the lowest level since before 1965, according to the 2010 report. Those withdrawals were 9 percent less than in 2005. Thermoelectric power withdrawals also accounted for 38 percent of the total freshwater withdrawals for all uses. That was 20 percent less than in 2005. Yet, groundwater in the U.S. con-
tinues to be depleted at an unsustainable rate. Cumulative depletion of groundwater in the U.S. from 1900 to 2008 of 1,000 cubic kilometers is about twice the volume of Lake Erie, according to Groundwater Depletion in the U.S. (1900-2008) from USGS. The report evaluates long-term cumulative depletion volume in 40 separate aquifers or areas and one land use area. “This large volume of depletion represents a serious problem in the U.S. because much of this storage loss cannot be easily or quickly recovered and affects sustainability of some
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critical water supplies and base flow to streams, among other effects,” according to the report. “The individual depletion assessments can be lumped into broader categories to help illustrate the magnitude of the problem. The three individual systems that represent the largest contributors to groundwater depletion in the U.S. from 1900-2008 are principal aquifers—the High Plains Aquifer (340.9 cubic kilometers), the Mississippi embayment aquifer system (182.0 cubic kilometers) and the Central Valley Aquifer system of California (144.8 cubic kilometers).”
Closer to Home Producers in western Kansas are more than familiar with the Ogallala Aquifer, which is hydraulically interconnected to the High Plains Aquifer, one of the largest in the world. The Ogallala is the primary geologic formation within the High Plains Aquifer system, underlying the Great Plains in eight states, according to USDA. It supports nearly one-fifth of the wheat, corn, cotton and cattle produced in the United States. It has served as the main water supply in the High Plains for years. Also, according to USDA, it is being depleted at an unsustainable rate. “The Ogallala portion of the High Plains aquifer is the primary source of water in western Kansas for all uses and is heavily developed, primarily for irrigation,” according to the LTV. “Most of the Ogallala-High Plains aquifer is closed to or restricted from additional development. The aquifer has been over-appropriated in many regions and, in localized areas, water quality is deteriorating. Projections of how many more years the aquifer will support a particular level of withdrawal indicates many large areas that have 50 years or less at current usage rates.” page 6
Measuring Water Availability with GRACE “Cumulative total groundwater depletion in the United States accelerated in the later 1940s and continued at an almost steady linear rate through the end of the century,” according to the USGS groundwater report. Authors of this report emphasized, “All of the quantitative calculations underlying the estimates of groundwater depletion are based on limited observed data and assumptions and parameters values that contain uncertainties.” That’s where NASA’s GRACE comes in. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) began in 2002 and involves twin satellites that fly in-line about 137 miles apart in a polar orbit about 310 miles above the earth. At the 2015 annual conference of the National Institute of Animal Agriculture (NIAA), Famiglietti explained that GRACE satellites continuously map the earth’s gravitational field by measuring ground mass via the gravitational tug on the two satellites. The more mass there is, the heavier the ground and vice versa. The difference is water. In simpler terms, Famiglietti likens GRACE to a scale in the sky that tracks changes in water availability around the world. “We can see areas gaining or losing water—changes in all of the surface water, snow, soil moisture and ground water together,” Famiglietti explained. It doesn’t measure absolute amount but change. Until GRACE came along, groundwater data came mostly from some 20,000 monitoring wells scattered across the United States. Moreover, according to the NIAA white paper, Water and the Future of Animal Agriculture, “Historically, people turn to surface water to determine water availability. This is troubling as
GRACE has found when surface water reserves suffer, groundwater depletion is nearly six times worse.” Based on GRACE data over time, water storage changes are most negative in California, the South Central plains, most of Minnesota and Wisconsin and northern Minnesota into Canada. Wetter areas include the Northern Plains and the Corn Belt. “We’ve been in decline (ground water depletion has been increasing) since we began pumping groundwater,” Famiglietti says. “This is happening all over the world.” Globally, he says groundwater accounts for as much as 33 percent of all water withdrawals. “Ironically, groundwater is poorly managed and monitored in many regions around the world, so that global water security is at far greater risk than is currently acknowledged,” Famiglietti says. Plus, Famiglietti explains the most credible science is suggesting changes in fresh water availability and in the water cycle, in terms of increased frequency and intensity of floods and drought. “Climate models suggest that the wetter areas of the world are getting wetter and the dry areas of the world are getting drier,” Famiglietti says.
More than Food and Water Security As daunting as water challenges are in parts of the U.S., collectively, the rest of the world faces even steeper challenges. The 2015 United Nations (UN) World Water Development report (Water for a Sustainable World) says the planet faces a 40 percent shortfall in water supply by 2030 unless management improves significantly. “Groundwater provides drinking water to at least 50 percent of the global population and accounts for 43 percent of all of the water used for irrigation,” according to the U.N. report. “Worldwide, 2.5 billion people depend solely on groundwater resources to satisfy their basic daily water needs.” The global population is growing by about 800 million per year and is expected to reach 9.1 billion in 2050, according to the UN report—2.4 billion in sub-Saharan Africa. “The common issue in over half of the world’s major aquifers is that we use more water than is available on an annual renewable basis, primarily for food production, and we make up the shortfall from groundwater,” Famiglietti explained at the KSU lecture. “Another common feature is poor management of groundwater. Consequently, many aquifers, such as those in India, the Middle East and
China are being depleted at a very rapid pace.” Insufficient potable water creates all sorts of personal misery, from malnutrition and starvation, to poverty, to disease. Civil unrest tags along. “During the next 10 years, many countries important to the United States will experience water problems—shortages, poor water quality, or floods—that will risk instability and state failure, increase regional tensions, and distract them from working with the United States on important U.S. policy objectives,” say authors of a 2012 Intelligent Community Assessment, Global Water Security. “Between now and 2040, fresh water availability will not keep up with demand absent more effective management of water resources. Water problems will hinder the ability of key countries to produce food and generate energy, posing a risk to global food markets and hobbling economic growth. As a result of demographic and economic development pressures, North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia will face major challenges coping with water problems.” More specifically, according to the report, “We assess that during the next 10 years, water problems will contribute to instability in states important to U.S national security interests. Water shortages, poor water quality, and floods by themselves are unlikely to result in state failure. However, water problems—when combined with poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions—contribute to social disruptions that can result in state failure…We judge that during the next 10 years the depletion of groundwater supplies in some agricultural areas—owing to poor management—will pose a risk to both national and global food markets.” “The fact is there is enough water to meet the world’s growing needs, but not without dramatically changing the way water is used, managed and shared,” according to the UN report. “The global water crisis is one of governance, much more than of resource availability.” It also has plenty to do with mindset. “I think that the biggest obstacle to conserving water is a psychological one, at least in the United States,” Famiglietti told his KSU audience. “We need to dispel the myth of limitless water and come to terms with the fact that vast swaths of our country are water limited. That requires a far higher level of water awareness than we are currently used to. Any technology that can help us better monitor and manage our water budgets, from the home to the farm to the entire state, should be considered. We all need to become water managers.”
Farmers & Ranchers Livestock Comm. Co., Inc.
Spring Spectacular Horse Sale Salina, Kansas • May 19, 2018 • 10:00 AM
Selling 300 Horses Only!
Rope Horse & Performance Preview
Friday, May 18, 1:00 PM & Saturday, May 19, 7:30 AM
Ranch Horse Competition Friday May 18, 6:00 PM Catalog Horses Only Trophy Saddle to Winner 100% Payback
2017 Spring Spectacular Top 5
1. Three Dee Chunk , Rick White—$16,000 2. Plenty Wood Hancock, Marty Powers—$15,000 3. Spoonfulla Cinnamon, Gideon & Beka Peterson—$14,700 4. High Brows Danzig, Marty Powers—$13,000 5. Peppys Fancy Spot, Jake McCall—$12,500
Ranch Horse Champion
2nd High Seller
2017 Ranch Horse Competition Results
4th High Seller
5th High Seller
1. Spoonfulla Cinnamon, Gideon & Beka Peterson—$500 & Saddle 2. Mighty Blesses, Russell Powell—$1,560 3. MFO McLovin, Chad Harris—$1,300 4. Peppys Fancy Spot, Jake McCall—$1,040 5. Hates Freezer Burn, Pat Hafenstein—$780 6. Hard to Hit, Ron Richards—$520
Visit our Website: www.FandRLive.com • Kansas connection for ranch and rope horses.
For More Info, Contact: Farmers & Ranchers • 785-825-0211
Mike Samples, Manager • 785-826-7884 | Kyle Elwood • 785-493-2901
Spring Spectacular Horse Sale Features 300 Consignments By Micah Samples
Each May, Farmers & Ranchers Livestock holds their Spring Spectacular Horse Sale, typically featuring 300 consignments. The busy weekend kicks off with the 20-year tradition of producing a ranch horse competition, a favorite event for spectators, sellers and buyers. The ranch horse competition was added to the sale weekend allowing consigners an opportunity to showcase their horse’s ability in a judged, two-part competition. “We added this competition to our horse sale in hopes of showcasing ranch and rope horses in this part of the country and help our local cowboys,” tells Mike Samples, manager of Farmers & Ranchers Livestock. Samples adds the competition is an excellent way to get more money out of true, well-broke ranch horses. The competition is both dry work and cow work. Usually around 40 entries compete for a chance of a 100 percent pay-back pot, not to mention a beautiful custom saddle awarded to the highest score. The competition begins with dry
work. Horse and rider enter the arena through a gate which they will open and close. After closing the gate, the horse and rider begin the pattern loping down the fence to the half-way point. They will come to a stop and back up at least five steps. Then, walking to the middle of the arena, facing the two judges, the rider will lope the horse in circles carrying the correct lead in both directions. Judges look for correct lead changes, control and not being afraid to increase the circles at a faster gate, all while being able to collect and back down to a controlled speed. After circles, the rider will move into a straight line, ask for a stop and roll back, twice in each direction. The dry work is finished in the middle of the arena by completing spins in each direction. Once dry work is finished, the rider collects his/her composure and calls for a cow. The cow has been pulled off grass that morning. The goal is to hold the cow on the north fence. This exercise shows if the horse pays attention to cattle and how “cowy” they are. After holding the cow, the rider releases
her to move down a fence. The rider will then ride aggressively to get back in front of the cow and turn her in the opposite direction. This task must be completed twice. Each rider will then rope and drag the cow at least ten feet. The pattern exercise is an excellent
way to show potential buyers what a horse is capable of. It gives a pretty clear picture of what training has been done and what has not. Samples states it is the ability to show how well a horse is broke in the bridle, takes correct leads and how well horse and
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rider each keep their composure. It also shows how well horse and rider communicate by asking a horse to really step out and cover ground, collect and settle back down. Several horses may excel in only one part. But, a horse that does well in all parts makes it exciting! The contestants are judged by two accomplished horsemen. Judges change throughout the years, but the importance of hiring a respectable, fair judge is always a priority when planning this event. Shannon Frascht of Alva, Oklahoma, a past winner of the competition, has judged the event the last few years, alongside accomplished trainer Mark Miller of Kansas. Having two pair of eyes on each contestant combo keeps things fairly scored. â€œThe top five or even ten sell very well because of their performance in the ranch horse competition,â€? tells Mike. It is truly a considerable event to add value on deserving horses. The quality of horses each year in the competition improves in talent, and even breeding. In 2016, the champion was an own daughter of Peptoboonsmal ($26+ million sire), consigned out of Oklahoma by Marty Powers. The mare was an all-around package of talent, looks and of course, breeding. Not only did the flashy mare handily win the competition, she was able to
It is truly a considerable event to add value on deserving horses. The quality of horses each year in the competition improves in talent, and even breeding. team rope both ends. Many horses in the competition will be shown in the scheduled previews. Contestants are fun to watch year after year with newcomers sprinkled in to keep it interesting. Cowboys range from the likes of $5.4 million earner and National Cutting Horse Association hall of famer, Boyd Rice (a past champion), to local favorites such as Extreme Cowboy Association champion, Clint Donley. These riders consign their best steeds from states all across the Midwest, so it legitimately makes it a worthwhile contest. This upcoming Spring Spectacular Horse Sale will be on May 19, with the ranch horse competition being held at 6:00 p.m. on May 18. Previews are held before the competition and Saturday morning when consigners can show their horses in roping events, barrels and cutting.
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CED 13 / BW 0 / WW 79 / YW 142 / MILK 26 SC -.02 / CW 70 / MARB .52 / RE .85 FAT -.002 / $W 82.77 / $B 168.39 Top 1% for WW, YW, CW, $W, $F She Sells March 15
For more information, please contact: 1-888-870-BULL . Everett & Bonnie Benoit (785) 725-3231 Doug Benoit (785) 545-6806 . Chad Benoit (785) 545-8095 email@example.com . www.BenoitAngus.com . 621 Hwy. 36 . Esbon, KS 66941
More Meat, More Marbling Meat scientist challenges beef industry to produce better beef and more of it. By Paige Nelson
What does the beef industry need? One thought camp contends the industry needs more pounds. The other side argues less commodity beef, more Choice and Prime. According to Gretchen Mafi, professor of meat science, and Boulware Endowed Chair of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University, the beef industry needs a renewed charge to do both — produce more beef that’s also high quality. Don’t believe her? Then ask yourself, “What does my consumer want?” Since 1996, U.S. Premium Beef marketed 13.3 million head of cattle and returned $436 million in premiums above the cash market to the producer. In 2017, consumers helped Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) hit its 13th year of straight year-over-year growth and a growth in sales of 25 percent, since 2015, selling 1.12 billion pounds of high quality beef. Consumers are ecstatic about current changes in the culinary world. Professional chefs, meal kit delivery service companies and foodies have never been more excited about value-added cuts than they are today. The National Restaurant Association predicts the number one food trend for 2018 will be new cuts of meat (such as shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip Steak and Merlot cut). Mafi acknowledges that ground beef is the number one beef item in America and probably always will be, but “[Consumers] really enjoy steak,” she says. She adds, the majority of consumers are going to prefer even a small high quality steak to a huge low quality one. Hence, consumers are demanding
more high quality beef options from which to choose and to maintain demand, they must be affordable.
More Meat Mafi bases her argument for more pounds of beef on three causes: • Number 1. The cow-calf rancher, the stocker and the feedlot operator are paid on a price per hundredweight or pound basis. High quality beef is offered higher prices but still on a per pound rate. • Number 2. By 2050, the global population will have doubled, and we will have an even more extreme demand on our food resources. • Number 3. The overhead costs are similar at slaughter whether its a 600 pound carcass or 1,000 pound carcass. It takes the same labor, same equipment and same utilization of time because of the way plants are set up on a continual movement chain. “One thing that I caution about when we talk about increasing pounds is I say, ‘make sure it is increasing cutability not just weight,’” says Mafi. Cutability is the percentage of boneless, closely trimmed retail cuts. Trimming off inches of external and seam fat does not increase cutability or efficiency at the packing plant. Red meat yield, another term in the beef cutting industry, means the actual saleable cuts or red meat being yielded from the carcass. Carcasses are assigned a 1-5 Yield Grade (YG) at the packing plant with YG 1 being high yield and YG 5 being low. In Mafi’s opinion, the optimum YG for a carcass is a 2 with a cutability percentage around 49 to 51 percent.
The current yield grading system was developed in the 1960s. “Obviously cattle have changed a lot since the 60s,” admits Mafi. “Our type of cattle, our use of genetics, our improvement, their efficiency, their ability to gain, and their shapes and deposition of muscle and deposition of fat are different. “Our yield grades aren’t a perfect predictor of overall carcass cutability or red meat yield. We’re probably not giving certain cattle (carcasses) enough credit. Maybe we should look at things to give those cattle that have higher red meat yields a little bit more advantage in a yield grading system,” she proposes, especially, since increasing yield and cutability should be a goal of every cattle producer. There is a point of diminishing returns on beef carcasses at the plant, says Mafi. A 1,050 pound carcass will receive a hefty discount. “Boxes and machinery in packing plants were designed around 700-900 pound carcasses. As carcasses have gotten bigger, they’ve had to make adjustments because we only have certain boxes to go through the sealing process, the way we stack them on the pallet, move them, everything.” To increase cutability without increasing fat, Mafi suggests paying close attention to management decisions throughout the calf ’s life: • don’t background too long, • send calves to the feedlot in a timely manner, • ensure proper number of days on feed at the feedlot, and • pay attention to feed efficiency numbers in the feedlot. A 1,050 pound carcass comes from a 1,650 pound or heavier live weight. Mafi thinks heavy carcasses are showing up too often.
“I think managed properly, their carcasses won’t be too heavy, and we can take advantage of that growth potential and the value that it brings. It still comes back to management,” she clarifies. However, Mafi does believe the industry needs to ask and answer certain questions moving forward. For instance, asks Mafi, “When selecting for growth and those really high growth cattle, when do we stop, or how high is too high? How do we utilize [heavier carcasses]? Do we change our fabrication method? Are we taking advantage of red meat yield and cutability percentage at that heavier weight? How heavy can we push that and not just be adding external fat? “That’s the key right now. I think that number is different for all animals and all breed types,” says Mafi.
More Marbling Some breeds of cattle are adept at adding muscle quickly. Other breeds don’t have the frame size for much more muscle but seem to own the marbling factor. While Mafi’s three causes for more meat are valid and of great importance, she says ranchers would be remiss to add more muscle to a carcass exclusive of ample amounts of intramuscular fat (marbling). “I think it is well proven and shown that marbling does matter,” states Mafi. “You are paid for marbling.” In Mafi’s opinion, in today’s premium-driven market, weight will almost never out pay quality, especially because of discounts for weight and YG 4s and 5s. Sustaining that opinion is 2017’s record-setting Choice-Select spreads. On the year, the spread averaged $11.82-per-hundredweight (cwt.) according to USDA, and at its
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highest peak, hit $27.07-per-cwt. “At a lot of times in the market, the added weight, unless it was very efficient to produce, doesn’t compensate,” Mafi references. As an advocate for genetic technology, Mafi encourages cattlemen to use the tools available to push their cattle in the marbling direction, no matter the starting point or breed. Genetic technology selection is the easiest method followed by proper management, she says. “I think there’s really good ones in every breed and identifying those is critical. You can’t be a single trait selector by any means, but find the ones with marbling and growth or make those matings. To do both is ideal.” But ideal is dynamic. Mafi says a few years ago, the industry would have
said ideal is to grade low Choice. Now, she believes ideal is to grade average Choice and that number will continue to climb. She recommends ranchers ensuring they are paid for those hard earned, high quality pounds by working with an alliance or qualifying for a certified program. Also, be sure the packer to whom you send your cattle recognizes programs in addition to CAB, if you’re selling anything other than black cattle, she advises. “Now there’s so many certified programs, every carcass has a place to fit in a program. It’s just finding the right packer and program to make those things work.”
More Options While packers are calling for more
Gretchen Mafii (second from right), Oklahoma State University
Choice and Prime beef from the front lines, end users are craving alternative cuts with new, interesting names
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Bill Angell—Beloit, KS 785-412-0328 Cole Camac—Augusta, KS 316-250-5292 Mona Klein—Hereford, TX 806-282-8429
Barney Rapp—Clay Center, KS 785-632-4576 Richard Rapp—Nash, OK 580-395-0376 David Wernli—Emporia, KS 620-341-0359
attached to them like the shoulder tender, the flat iron, the petite tender and the ranch steak for a start. “I think beef is in demand, and I think people in foodservice and retail are looking for different opportunities,” says Mafi. Part of this different driven movement may be attributed to traditional fabrication methods and heavier carcasses. Because of increase in size and weight, for portion sizing, steaks have to be cut thinner. “An inch-thick steak is a lot different eating experience than a half-inch steak. I think that’s one reason that a lot of chefs are exploring different cutting techniques and presentation techniques, so they can still have a thicker cut,” she says. The food industry is also looking to attract customers from different price point perspectives, and it’s thinking alternative cuts are the ticket. The majority of the latest cuts come from the chuck and round primals. “We can source these new, alternative cuts much cheaper than we can ribeyes, strips and filets because those classic cuts are in such high demand”, Mafi explains. “Some of [the new cuts] have unique properties,” she says. “I think chefs can utilize them really well because of their different sizes and presentation methods. “There’s so many more people that are experimenting with cooking on their own, becoming foodies. A lot of the different ship-to-home meals are utilizing some of those cuts too.” Bottom line: Why are alternative cuts so trendy? People today have an affinity for different, and something like the Vegas Strip Steak sounds edgy yet appetizing. In conclusion, give the people (our consumers) what they want: More meat per carcass; more marbling per muscle group; and more cut options at the meat counter, the doorstep or the restaurant.
• 16TH ANNUAL BULL SALE •
TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2018 | 1:00 PM AT THE RANCH
Top End Bid Off | 80 Charolais & SimAngus Bulls on Test Charolais Sires: Ledger, Venture, Wrangler Angus & Simmental Sires: Final Answer, Broadway, Cowboy Cut, Graduate, Spartan
LT Ledger 0332 P CCR Cowboy Cut 5048Z
CCR Spartan 9124A Hooks Broadway 11B
SUTHER FEEDS - DIRECT LINK Dan Suderman. 620-381-1014
Spencer, Laci, Weston & Josi Schrader Home. 785-488-2135 | Spencer. 785-488-7204 2118 Oxbow Road Wells, Kansas 67467 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more sale information, videos & the sale catalog visit our website
F&R Livestock Resource page 15
Next Breeding Season Starts Now Reprinted with permission from Certified Angus Beef®
We can debate the single largest factor in reproductive success for the cow herd depending on gender: Is there a fertile and able bull in the herd? Are the cows cycling? A failure in either of these systems results in a miserable day come preg-check time, and anyone who has been the victim of a bull gone bad would swear the male side of this equation is the most important. While a fertile bull is important, he is of little use to a cow that is not cycling. Breeding soundness exams provide a foundation to sort out infertile bulls
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prior to breeding. On the dam side, we can’t assess reproductive abilities through a single test prior to the breeding season. However, we can judge those prospects in bred heifers and cows 45 to 60 days pre-calving. Yes, you read that correctly: pre-calving. That’s the time you can do something about the potential non-cycling cows during the following breeding season. More than 60 percent of the nutrients required for fetal development are needed during the last two months of gestation. As calving draws near, feed and forage intake typically declines as the placenta and fetus increasingly crowd the rumen. That’s why nutritional management has so much influence on the calf en utero and the cow’s odds of the next pregnancy. Both are influencing the quality beef supply. Let’s start with the developing calf. Data related to fetal programming, or gestational nutrition if you prefer, has repeatedly shown a calf ’s ability to gain, grade and achieve puberty can all be negatively influenced by under nourishing the dam. You don’t need to carry heavy feed buckets to provide all she needs, just work with your nutritionist to ensure adequate protein and energy intake based on the base ration. Forage quality is the largest source of nutritional variation, so test it and set up a matching supplement program so calves can express their full genetic potential and cows can breed back. Nutrients used to support fetal growth are also critical in colostrum development. We know health is one of the largest factors in quality beef production, and passive immunity transfer at birth is the first critical point for success or intervention. Inadequate nutrients to the cow in those last 45 to 60 days can result in less or lower quality colostrum that
Bull & Female Sale Saturday, March 24th ●
Join us for the Early Arrival Dinner Social.
Sunday, March 25th ● ● ●
Cowboy Church – 9:00 a.m. Cowman’s Seminar – 1:00 p.m. Cowman’s Banquet & Concert – 6:00 p.m. (RSVP required)
New Sale Location at Leachman Headquarters!!
Monday, March 26th Bull & Female Sale 9:00 a.m.
At the Leachman Bull Barn
2056 West CR 70 ● Fort Collins, CO 80524
Book your room: Embassy Suites Hotel Loveland, CO (970) 593-6200
500 Efficiency & $Profit Stabilizer Bulls 150 Hairpin Females
Call (970) 568-3983 or go online to www.leachman.com to learn more. Lee Leachman, Partner Ryan Peterson, Director of Sales 2056 West County Road 70 • Fort Collins, CO (970) 568-3983 · www.leachman.com
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7AN389 SURE FIRE The breed has never had calving ease choices like this bull.
will set her calf back for all of its life. Many have suggested supplementing a cow once she calves rather than pre-calving, but it should not be either/or. The delayed approach addresses the larger nutrient demand from milk production, but waiting means the cow must prioritize feeding the calf at hand before preparing for the next calf. Cows, like anything else taking in food, allocate nutrients according to a hierarchy of needs. They must first support maintenance for essential functions such as breathing, digestion and locomotion, followed by supporting their own mass. After taking care of their own needs, those nutrients are used to maintain the cow’s pregnancy and grow the fetus. Once the calf is born, nutrients once used for pregnancy are now used for milk production. After meeting the demand for milk production, nutrients will be used to support reproduction. That’s why supplementing the cow prior to calving and the demand for nutrients associated with milk is so important to next year’s breeding success, especially in young cows that have not achieved mature size. To improve the odds of cycling and conceiving during a controlled breeding season, make sure cows have adequate condition prior to calving.
Those who argue that their precalving nutrition is enough to ensure adequate fetal and colostrum development—who want to wait to add condition prior to breeding in a “flush” effect—should look at the classic work from Oklahoma State. It reminds us that cows calving at lower body condition scores (BCS) and then managed to achieve greater condition still don’t achieve comparable breeding rates to those in adequate condition at calving. Contrary to what grandpa told you, it is possible to starve the profit out of a cow. Sire selection is the foundation of genetic potential in the cow herd. Ensuring cows have adequate nutrition during the last two months of gestation builds on that foundation to impart positive and lasting effects on at least three generations: cow, calf and next calf. Managers of spring calving herds may think it’s early to begin preparing for the breeding season, but we have to realize the opportunity to make progress is short. If you are 60 days from calving and need to improve condition by even one BCS (approximately 100 pounds), the gain needed to prepare for a successful breeding season exceeds a pound a day.
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AREA SALES MANAGERS Rick Mix Uniontown Ryan Bodenhausen Muscotah Shawn Roy Palco Lucky Keller Sawyer BEEF BUSINESS MANAGER Matt Caldwell BEEF SALES REPRESENTATIVES Tim Adams Wakefield Ashland Vet Clinic Ashland Dr. Ty Brunswig Great Bend Byrant Ag Services Arkansas City Austin Cline Frankfort Downs Vet Clinic Downs Ebert Ranch Tescott Dr. Brock Hanel Courtland Alexis Hissong Oberlin Bruce Kaufman Pretty Prairie Allison Ott Maize Erik Peterson Lindsborg Chris Riedel Hill City Russell Ranch Supply Paxico Alex Scheierman Kanorado Dr. Curt Vogel Utica
620-224-9423 785-221-3284 785-737-3107 620-770-6241 913-755-1105 785-461-5625 620-635-5507 620-617-2181 620-441-8284 785-565-3246 785-454-3474 785-477-1941 785-374-4550 785-470-7311 620-459-6932 512-966-7060 785-227-5414 785-627-6300 785-636-8902 785-399-8005 785-454-1144
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- Your Success You are certain to find several bulls that meet your goals. Listening to the needs of the commercial producer drives every decision we make.
- Year-around Resources In a competitive climate we have your back: customized consulting and herd visits, guaranteed sight-unseen bull purchasing options, calf and replacement heifer marketing assistance and more…
- Exclusively Private Treaty You won’t be choosing from bulls that “didn’t make the sale” or were “caught” in the auction. HPR customers receive personalized assistance to view the entire offering when you visit.
- Find Your Fit Over 250 18-month-old and spring yearling bulls in three breeds to select from. Managed in large contemporary groups, we raised and own the dam of every bull in our offering. Our goal: The right bull to the right herd every time.
For more than 20 years this has proven to be a successful path for hundreds in the HPR Family. On your journey for genetic solutions you will find Harms Plainview Ranch is a comfortable place to call home.
PRIVATE TREATY BULL SALE ANGUS | CHAROLAIS | RED ANGUS
HARMS PLAINVIEW RANCH
Your Partner In Progress Photos, Videos and Sale information will be available on our web site the first week of February. www.HARMSRANCH.com Please contact us to request a print catalog. Harms Plainview Ranch • Mark & Kim Harms & Family 2528 250th Street • Lincolnville, Kansas 66858 Office: (620) 924-5544 • Cell: (620) 382-6388 • email@example.com
International Demand Will Determine Industry Size By Wes Ishmael
Notwithstanding current beef herd expansion, it’s easy to argue that global demand will ultimately determine if the U.S. beef industry can grow and by how much. U.S. exports must increase to accommodate the expanding U.S. cattle and beef industries, according to a baseline report published by RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness (RRFA) group last summer. The RRFA report, Expanding Beef Production Increases the Need for Exports: U.S. Long-Term Beef and Cattle Baseline Outlook, projected industry expansion lasting another two to three years and noted the domestic industry is mature with a steady rate of beef consumption. “In order for the beef market to remain in equilibrium, the U.S. will have to increase exports to be consistently above 10 percent of total production (greater than 3.1 billion pounds), thereby also becoming a net exporter of beef,” according to the report. Equilibrium in this case refers to the balance between beef supplies and demand necessary to maintain industry infrastructure at its current size. Think here of things like feedlot and packing capacity. “Population growth, along with improving middle-class incomes, are the global drivers behind the opportunity for increased beef exports,” noted RaboResearch Global Senior Data Analyst Sterling Liddell. “Conversely, beef imports into the U.S. face headwinds as an increased number of head available for slaughter combines with relatively persistent carcass weights to equal, or exceed, domestic demand levels.” The report provides an outlook through 2025 for U.S. beef and cattle industries.
Meat Supplies Will be Record Large In the meantime, continued beef demand strength domestically and internationally takes on added weight with the mountain of meat heading for U.S. consumers. “For the next two years, the major market outlook issue or headwind for all the U.S. livestock and poultry markets is the sheer tonnage of product that will be produced,” according to analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) toward the end of last year. “In both 2018 and 2019, forecasts call for record-large topage 20
tal U.S. red meat and poultry output. It is important to note that even though many consumers do some substituting between categories, it is not one-forone. For example, in the overall retail marketplace, one pound of beef does not substitute for that same amount of chicken.” Analysts with USDA’s Economic Research Service expect per capita quantity (disappearance) of total red meat and poultry this year to be 222.8 pounds/capita, the most since that particular data series began. In the January Livestock, Poultry and Dairy Outlook, those analysts explain, “Red meat and poultry disappearance is calculated as the volume of meat and poultry production that remains for domestic use after subtracting
Internationally, the steamy pace of beef exports helped underpin last year’s surprising cattle prices.
net trade and changes in cold storage volumes. Dividing this residual by the U.S. population yields the per capita quantity, which is used in the domestic market.” “Domestic and international beef demand will determine cattle and beef price pressure relative to increasing beef production,” explained Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his early January market
comments. “Modest price pressure is expected at this time but any threat to demand would quickly result in additional price weakness.”
So Far, So Good
Domestically, Peel says demand will depend on the continuation of generally strong macroeconomic conditions, including decreased unemployment and growth in consumer income. “Any change in overall macroeconomic conditions is a threat. Factors
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Bob Weaber, cow-calf extension specialist at K-State, reminds producers that the basic benefits of crossbreeding in a cow herd can equate to more than a $198/calf advantage over straightbreds. At Sandhill Farms, we are creating genetics that compound this basic advantage by increasing your profits above $198/calf because our cattle are bred for additional performance and carcass merit.
Saturday, March 24, 2018 • 1 PM NEW A S LE DATE
At the farm near Haviland, KS
125 Polled Hereford Bulls 25 Hereford Cows with Heifer Calves at Side 50 Open Commercial Hereford Heifers 15 Open Black Baldie Heifers
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Kevin & Vera Schultz Tyler & Hannah Schultz 2048 280th Avenue • Haviland, KS 67059 • Home (620) 995-4072 Kevin’s Cell (620) 546-4570 • Tyler’s Cell (620) 546-1574 Kevin@SandhillFarms.com • www.SandhillFarms.com Ron & Arnita Schultz • (620) 348-4863
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to watch include rising interest rates and inflationary pressures,” Peel says. “Shocks external to the beef industry—such as a sudden jump in gasoline prices—could sharply impact consumer spending and beef demand.” Internationally, the steamy pace of beef exports helped underpin last year’s surprising cattle prices. For January through November (most recent data available), volume of beef exports was seven percent more than the same period a year earlier and value was up 15 percent at $6.6 billion, slightly more than the record pace established in 2014. That’s according to export results released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Average beef export value per head of fed slaughter for January through November was nine percent more than the previous year at $282.34. “Total U.S. beef exports are projected to increase another 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent year over year in 2018 to a new record level,” Peel says. Keep in mind beef exports grew stronger last year in the face of trade policy uncertainty and barely a start in China. “U.S. beef has only really scratched the surface in China, so exports are still relatively small but the value per
pound is among the highest in the world,” explained Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO in January. “This makes China an exciting addition to our strong portfolio of Asian markets, where beef exports continue to expand at an impressive rate. It was a tremendous year in 2017 for U.S. beef in Asia and the coming year looks very promising as well.”
In January, Peel explained beef exports to China were 1.97 million pounds, making it the tenth largest beef export market for the U.S. “USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has projected China will import 2.26 billion pounds of beef in 2018. At the current level, U.S. beef exports to China would represent roughly one percent of Chinese beef
imports,” Peel said. “If the U.S. were to increase beef exports to China tenfold to a 10 percent market share, it would make China the fifth largest beef market for beef exports and add roughly 10 percent to total U.S. beef exports. However, growth this rapid seems unlikely in 2018. Such a level may be more feasible in three to five years.”
Squandered Potential By Wes Ishmael
Before you blame a particular animal health product for not working, consider whether you gave it a chance—not the cattle, but the product itself. “A vaccine can cost more than $3 per head, and if not stored properly the vaccine can be rendered ineffective,” said Gant Mourer, Extension beef value enhancement specialist at Oklahoma State University last summer. “Producers cannot afford to overlook the importance of how they store vaccine and handle it prior to injection.” According to Mourer, biological products should be stored under refrigeration at 35° to 45°F unless the nature of the product makes storing at a different temperature advisable. If vaccines are not stored within this temperature range, efficacy to the calf can and will be reduced. So, chute-side coolers make sense in hot weather, but still do no good if the product in the refrigerator was already compromised.
Lots of Inefficient Refrigeration A study conducted by researchers at the University of Arkansas (UA) several years ago found that of the refrigerators used to store biologic products, only 26 percent recorded temperatures within 35° to 45°F greater than 95 percent of the time over a 48-hour period. On the other end of the spectrum, 24 percent recorded temperatures within 35° to 45°F less than five percent of the time over 48 hours. In one extreme example, the temperature never dropped below 50° F in a producer’s refrigerator that was kept closed with a strap. The study included 269 refrigerators of producers, retail stores and veterinary clinics. A data logger was used to monitor and record the refrigerator temperature every 10 minutes for 48 hours. A case study conducted at the University of Idaho (UI) in 2013 found much the same. About a third of the 176 refrigerators—producer and retailer—maintained the recommended temperature range, while about a third did so less than five percent of the time. Only 44 percent of retailers in the study had thermometers to monitor refrigerator temperatures, and 41 percent didn’t monitor their refrigerators.
Impacts of Too Warm and Cold
Monday, March 19, 2018
At the farm n Nevada, Missouri n 11 AM (NEW sale time)
SELLING APPROXIMATELY 300 HEAD This is the most powerful offering in our two decades of serving as a trusted Angus seedstock supplier. We encourage you to take a look at our “preview” of the 16th Annual Production Sale!
140 Bulls n 160 Females
(including 30 two-year-old spring pairs)
HPCA Check It (18759682) When we talk about breeding cattle that can check all the boxes rather than chase an extreme, this direct son of 9022 is a perfect specimen. He does it without sacrificing fleshing ability, structure and muscle. Look him up and find a better young herd sire prospect!
HPCA Patron R56 (18842143) HPCA Patron R56 is a full brother to the great HPCA Sunrise 9022. He is as powerful Sunrise as you will find. A true “stock” bull!
Watch the sale and bid live online.
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HPCA Straightforward (18835117) HPCA 100X A696 is a genomic and phenotype standout and another bull that can check all the boxes. Sired by 100X out of one of our best Prophet daughters, A696 is a true herd sire prospect.
Kenny & Janyce Hinkle n 14103 E. Summers Rd. n Nevada, MO 64772 Phone/Fax: (417) 944-2219 n Kenny’s Mobile: (417) 448-4127 n KennyHPCA@gmail.com Trevor Hinkle: (417) 684-1122 n Blake Baker: (417) 448-4384
According to the UA researchers, “Storing animal health products at 7x9 jr4c-F&R.indd 1
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F&R Livestock Resource page 23
Just For Fun by Ted Foulkes
less than 35°F can be more damaging than storing animal health products at greater than 45°F because the antigen can separate from the adjuvant.” “Killed vaccines are especially susceptible to freezing temperatures,” Mourer said. “Freezing a killed vaccine will alter its delivery system. In turn, this negatively affects the immune response to the antigen in the vaccine.” Further, Mourer points to a UI study showing that modified live viruses (MLV) are more stable but can be inactivated if they are repeatedly cycled above or below the required temperature range. Once activated by mixing, he explains the effective life on an MLV will be reduced to an hour or two, during which the 35° to 45°F range should be maintained. “This can be accomplished by only mixing the doses a producer will use at the time and using a cooler to maintain the proper temperature range while working cattle,” Mourer said.
Monitoring Your Temperature Monitoring the temperature of the refrigerator you use for storing animal health products is as simple as installing a thermometer and checking it on a routine basis. Tom Troxel, a UA emeritus professor was one of the Arkansas researchers; associate department head of the university’s animal science department at the time. He recommended checking the temperature at various times of the day. After you know the temperature range is correct, he suggested checking it at least once page 24
every week, especially if you’re storing lots of product. The University of Idaho’s “Cattle Vaccine Handling and Management Guidelines” suggests placing maximum/minimum thermometers in refrigerators and recording the temperature at least weekly. If you find that products have been stored at temperatures outside of the recommended range, Troxel said,
“When in doubt, it’s probably wise to replace the product.” And, no product can be expected to work if it’s expired. At one operation, UA researchers found 28 of 31 animal health products in a producer’s refrigerator to be expired. Across the UA study, of the 5,016 animal health products stored in the test refrigerators, four percent were expired and 10 percent were opened.
Troxel authored the UA factsheet, “BQA: Storing Vaccines Properly.” In it, he offers advice on helping refrigerators accomplish their task. Location—Ambient temperature affects refrigerator performance. “Do not position them in direct contact with hot appliances, as this will make the compressor work harder,” Troxel said. Gasket—That seal around the inside of the door should last a lifetime with proper care. Troxel suggested keeping it clean with soapy water and using the paper test. “You should not be able to slide a piece of paper between the rubber seal and the wall of the refrigerator,” Troxel explained. “If the piece of paper slips between the seal and the wall, the seal is not tight enough and the gasket requires replacement.” Maintenance—Keep the refrigerator coils and drip pan clean. “Dusty coils have to work harder to cool down the interior and contents of the refrigerator,” Troxel explained. “In automatic defrost models, the water from the defrost process flows out a drain in the floor of the refrigerator and into a pan where it sits until evaporating. Food particles can be carried along and clog the drain or be left behind to rot.” He also recommended defrosting manual-defrost freezers, never allowing frost to build up more than 0.25 in.
F&R Livestock Resource page 25
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What Do Feeders Want? It’s Not All About Hide Color By Brandi Buzzard Frobose, RAAA Communications Coordinator, with assistance from Gary Fike, RAAA Director of Commercial Marketing
Ask any number of feedyard owners what they value in incoming cattle and you’re likely to get a host of answers as broad and varied as the seven seas. Some like them weaned for 45 days, others insist upon nothing less than 60 days. A few have very specific guidelines for vaccinations and preconditioning, while others will vaccinate and deworm upon arrival. But one thing that many agree on is that hide color isn’t the top priority. Sage advice for sure. Scott Keeling, owner of Keeling Cattle Feeders in Hereford, Texas, attests the fact that everybody wants the red steers and when it comes time to market finished cattle, it’s very easy to market reds, blacks and smut-nosed cattle. In fact, Keeling adds that he receives multiple inquiries on the reds in his feedyard. These come from packer buyers looking to purchase finished cattle with quality and yield. John Schroeder, who manages Darr Feedlot in Cozad, Nebraska, doesn’t let hide color guide his decisions on which cattle to buy and which to pass over. “You can go too far with any trait, as a rancher. Lighter birth weight and hide color have dominated the industry too much and created smaller calves that don’t allow me to take cattle as far as I’d like them to go, in terms of outweight. Hide color is a problem in the summer—even being in an area with lower humidity the weather won’t forgive me on black cattle, without adding more management expenses to handle summer heat.” Traverse south approximately 250 miles to Hy-Plains Feedyard in Montezuma, Kansas, and manager Tom Jones says that known genetics, not hide color, are part of his risk management program. “If I am running with known genetics, I don’t really care what their hide color is. There are so many good seedstock producers out there and the commercial ranchers can benefit from them and their offerings. Good genetics are reliable and predictable.” Obviously, breeders, commercial producers and feeders understand there’s more to raising great feeder cattle than hide color, so what else do feedyard operators want in their incoming calves? John Schroeder believes that group size matters, to a point. “The more cows you have on your ranch, the greater your flexibility to
send a whole pen of cattle. If you are a smaller rancher with smaller numbers, you need to make sure to tighten up your calving period so you have less sorting. Additionally, smaller ranchers can work together and make their cattle more similar, which will increase the value you receive.” One factor that smaller breeders should consider is efficiency and working together with ranchers with similar genetics and management styles.
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Schroeder says, “It’s not about big guys versus small guys, it’s about efficiencies. Smaller operators need to work with someone else to get bigger marketing groups, which will help you on sale day as a smaller rancher. If you have to buy a 10 ml vaccine bottle and only use three ml, then your cost increases. But if you have larger numbers, you spread your costs out and are more efficient. All categories of costs are that way.” While Schroeder is less particular about hide color, he and Darr Feedlot have built a detailed vaccination protocol that they prefer all incoming calves receive. For example, Schroeder prefers three rounds of intranasal and/ or injectable doses of a modified live vaccine for virals, two rounds of Pasteurella, Mannheimia, Histophilus, 1-2 rounds of Clostridial and pinkeye as needed, along with being dewormed 2-3 times. Schroeder stresses, “The important piece is to talk with your veterinarian on building immunity to diseases cattle are most likely to come in contact with throughout stages of their life.” Simply put—plan the plan, then work the plan. Similarly, Scott Keeling prefers to buy cattle that have had two rounds of vaccines, particularly Pasteurella, BRD
Schroeder says, “It’s not about big guys versus small guys, it’s about efficiencies.” complex as a modified-live and clostridials. Tom Jones is also a proponent of a MLV program, but encourages producers to work with their veterinarian to identify what protocol best fits their operation. While health, hide color and weight all factor into the marketability of calves, these feedyard operators want producers to know that weaning length is crucially important. In fact, Jones and Keeling agree that 60 days minimum weaning length is the ticket to attracting their business as buyers of large numbers of feeder calves. Combining vaccination protocols with good management practices, while providing calves proper nutrition and a good mineral program, will certainly pave the way for success and overall improved wellbeing for calves at the feedyard. This article is the first in a two-part series focused on sharing insight into what makes calves attractive to feedyard operators.
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RL Blazing Peptocat’s first foals are 2-year-olds as of 2017. His sire, Cat Ichi, has earned $306,191 and was named NCHA Open Derby Champion; NCHA Open Supre Stakes co-Reserve Champion; top 10, NCHA Open Futurity; Memphis 4-Year-Old Open Futurity Champion; 3rd, Augusta 4-Year-Old Open Futurity and Suncoast Winter Open Derby, etc. A 2016 NCHA Top 10 Leading Sire and a NCHA All-Time Leading Sire, siring earners of $5,300,000. His dam, Peptocandy, is by Peptoboonsmal and has earned $151,386. She was named NCHA Open Futurity Reserve Champion and is the dam of 4 money-earners.
High Brow Hickory High Brow Cat Smart Little Kitty Cat Ichi Doc Quixote Laney Doc Christmas Four Peppy San Badger Peptoboonsmal Royal Blue Boon Peptocandy Shorty Lena Shortys Candy Montadocs Candy
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Better Beef Through Better Health The Beef Bull… A sizable investment financially and genetically. By Randall K. Spare, DVM
The spring of the year is an exciting time. Calving season is in full swing, hence the fruit of the past year’s labor will soon be filling the pastures. This time of year, many beef producers are studying genetic goals for their individual production systems. Cow-calf producers have many genetic choices relative to sire selection in the coming breeding season. After the bulls are chosen, the question might be what is the best manage-
ment scenario for these animals. It is important to remember the age of the bull, current management system and geographic area where the bulls originated. Many of these ani-
mals are moved across several state lines to new environments. Some may become a part of a larger bull battery. The nutritional resources may be quite different. All of these challeng-
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es may be overcome with common sense, an understanding of the age of the young bull and a thought process to help that animal flourish in his new environment. The age of the bull at the time of purchase is important so that we acknowledge and make provisions for maturity and growth changes. Many bulls are purchased ranging in age of 12 to 24 months. There is a vast difference in a 12-month old bull compared to a 24-month bull. First of all, the young bull, 12 months of age, only has young, deciduous teeth for incisors. These “baby teeth” erupted in the mouth during the first year. These incisors are only on the lower jaw and are used to grab feed material by biting against the “dental pad” on the upper jaw. There are no upper incisors in the bovine animal. Therefore, they are very dependent on the quality and quantity of forage as the lower teeth develop. At approximately 18 months of age, these “baby teeth” are lost as the permanent incisors are erupting or pushing the deciduous teeth out. If these natural changes are occurring during or near the first breeding season, or at a time when forage quality is marginal, the bull may not consume adequate forage to meet maintenance, growth and breeding activity requirements. An animal can live and maintain off of the body reserves. However, after the breeding season, it is important to make provisions for adequate dry matter intake to make up for the youthful sire’s nutritional needs as well as his developing incisors. A bovine has a full complement of incisors (8 teeth) by 4½ years of age. Just like a two-year-old heifer that has different nutritional targets than a mature cow, a developing sire has more nutritional requirements than a mature bull. If bulls are acquired from different environments, management systems, and geographic locations, and as the bulls are relocated, we must make adjustments for new disease challenges like anaplasmosis or parasites. Many bulls are raised in environments where
Real World Ranching…
Real world ranching means sale day is harvest. Planning for that all important day begins nearly two years before the actual event. At Gardiner Angus Ranch, planning for the next generation of genetic all-stars is perpetual. For more than half a century, every calf born on the ranch is the result of artificial insemination or embryo transfer. The practiced discipline of AI and ET, using only high accuracy, progeny proven sires, has enabled our family owned enterprise to accurately predict outcomes. Put another way, our breeding discipline and commitment to proving young sires by feeding and harvesting their progeny is some of the best risk management we offer our customers. Today, we market more than 2,500 bulls and 1,000 females annually. We want every customers’ harvest to be as successful as ours.
Lot 1 n GAR Phoenix
18636106 n CED: +13 / 5% n BW: +1.7 / 60% n WW: +81 / 1% YW: +143 / 1% n DOC: +32 / 1% n MH: +1.1 / 1% CW: +67 / 1% n Marb: +1.31 / 2% n REA: +.93 / 4% n $B: +180.84 / 1% Method Genetics Indexes: MPI: 159 / 1% n QPI: 156 / 1% n ROI: 284 / 1% GAR Phoenix is one of the greatest AI sire prospects in the history of GAR. Designed genetics take decades to build. Phoenix traces back to 30 years to an embryo collection we purchased from Wehrmann Angus, sired by Scotch Cap x Rita 5H11. Ten generations later, Phoenix was born. Why is this so exciting? He’s a triple top 1% Method Genetics Index bull (top 1% for MPI, QPI and ROI). Method Genetics helps us benchmark with our commercial clientele and the industry for what makes money. The new buyer will be our partner with Select Sires. Photographed September 24, 2017
Lot 2 n GAR Inertia
39th Annual Production Sale
18636043 n CED: +9 / 25% n BW: +1.2 / 45% n WW: +77 / 2% YW: +134 / 2% n DOC: +30 / 3% n MH: +.6 / 20% CW: +67 / 1% n Marb: +1.46 / 1% n REA: +.91 / 4% n $B: +193.59 / 1% Method Genetics Indexes: MPI: 159 / 1% n QPI: 158 / 1% n ROI: 285 / 1% Dam is a full sister to GAR Proactive and GAR Prodigy and sells as Lot 475.
Saturday, April 7, 2018 n 9 AM
Photographed January 21, 2018
Henry & Nan Gardiner Marketing Center n At the ranch near Ashland, Kansas
Selling Approximately 1,600 Head, Including: 450 Bulls n 550 Registered Females 210 Bred Commercial Heifers 200 Commercial Spring Pairs Registered Females Include: 43 Donors / 85 3-N-1 Pairs 125 Bred Registered Cows 225 Bred Registered Heifers
Lot 3 n GAR Momentum 6706
18636142 n CED: +12 / 10% n BW: +.8 / 35% n WW: +78 / 1% YW: +143 / 1% n DOC: +20 / 30% n MH: +1.1 / 1% n CW: +70 / 1% Marb: +1.34 / 2% n REA: +.82 / 10% n $B: +189.51 / 1% Method Genetics Indexes: MPI: 161 / 1% n QPI: 154 / 1% n ROI: 284 / 1% A Method Genetics trifecta! Top 1% MPI, QPI & ROI
Photographed January 21, 2018
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1182 CR Y • Ashland, Kansas 67831 • Office (620) 635-2156 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.GardinerAngus.com • The Henry & Nan Gardiner Family • Mark (620) 635-5095 • Greg (620) 635-0233 • Garth (620) 635-5632 • Grant (620) 635-0382 • Cole (620) 635-0727 • Kayla (661) 747-3824 • Ransom (620) 635-0283 • Proud to be a founding member of U.S. Premium Beef. More than $8.1 million in premiums and dividends have been paid to GAR customers using USPB delivery rights. Free Delivery n USPB Delivery Rights n Repeat Buyer Discount n Feedlot Relationships n Marketing Assistance n Revenue Sharing Semen Interest n G3 Age & Source High Accuracy Progeny Proven Genetics n Method Genetics Benchmarking n Genetic Consultation n THE Gardiner Angus Ranch Guarantee
there are few or no parasites. Because parasite exposure may be low or parasite in comparison to the new location, it may be important to use parasite control after relocation in a new production system. Once a parasiticide is applied, we can be assured of greater efficacy for 60-90 days. Anaplasmosis is a growing concern when young bulls move from an area with very little or no prevalence to an endemic area. Management procedures to reduce the exposure or clinical signs is important since these animals are being exposed to the organism for the first time. There may be other diseases that are endemic to an area that must also be managed so these adolescent animals have an opportunity to adapt to the disease pressures as they perform their genetic function.
Lastly, social acclimation to other bulls is important when being received at a new ranch. Bulls are always a challenge to acclimate or adapt to each other or even in a new pasture. It is important to understand that a “pecking order” will be re-established each time a new bull enters the bull battery. With this in mind, it is important to place bulls of similar ages and weights together. Even when placing bulls with a group of cows, many injuries to bulls can be reduced when bulls with similar weights or age are together. Bulls are the tools used to make genetic advancement in a cow herd. When we choose to understand and apply basic animal husbandry to a herd bull acquisition and entry into your operation, a more robust return on investment is realized.
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risks in the feedyard and on the rail. Obviously, it’s our hope you enjoy all the editorial in this issue. However, please do take the time to read More Meat, More Marbling, written by Paige Nelson. Nelson interviewed Dr. Gretchen Mafi, professor of meat science and Boulware Endowed Chair of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University (OSU). As a meat scientist and among her many responsibilities at OSU, Mafi is involved in research that adds value to a carcass from new cuts of beef. What may get lost in translation in the discussion, identifying new cuts of beef, is the fact that improved quality and cutability have made this research a reality. Most of the new cuts
are fabricated from the chuck or round. Data indicates these new cuts from the chuck add from $70 to $100 per carcass. During recent conversations with a friend and colleague, we struggled to broadly define adding value. Adding value in the past was simply a perception. With a system in place that recognizes and rewards quality and supported by demand, adding value is now reality. Change is never easy. Adding value in our beef production system was difficult, necessary and littered with more early failures than successes. Today, consumers all over the world are confirming the value of decades of progress by enjoying beef like never before.
The World According to Hooter McCormick Circular Chats Hooter hated driving anywhere with lots of traffic, which was about anywhere on an interstate highway, within at least 50 miles of a city. He never worried about his skills or reaction time but he had definite concerns about those he encountered: yapping away on a phone, texting, bobbing for who knows what in a food sack, even applying makeup, for crying out loud. Hooter was a defensive driver first, an offensive driver when necessary and a courteous driver to anyone pulling or hauling a load of anything. He was always puzzled by how ignorant folks were about the laws of physics, darting in front of trucks that were loaded for bear, apparently unable to comprehend inertia and the fact that weight wins. Whenever he saw such transgressions he remembered a friend—let’s call him Bubba—who made a living hauling hay, lots of it, from North Park in Colorado to lower elevations. Bubba always drove a Peterbilt with enough chrome to blind a near sighted armadillo at midnight. Back in the day, Bubba was carrying a questionably heavy load through the mountains. A tiny sports car cut him off in one of those blind and steep curves, causing all manner of calisthenics to maintain his lane and regain control. About 30 miles later, Bubba spied the same little car in the rear-view attempting the same maneuver at an approaching curve; he swung the trailer out just enough to prevent it. Bubba never saw the car again, which he thought was odd. When he finally pulled into a truck stop about 70 miles down the road, he figured out why. Rather than take the hint, the driver of the offending sports car had apparently accelerated at the wrong time, somehow got his car’s bumper intertwined with some low-slung steps at the back of the trailer and went along for the ride. As the story went, the driver was paler than bleached chalk, with fingers frozen around the steering wheel. Bubba jerked him out of the car, then proceeded to back his rig toward a concrete wall until he felt the offending and now-crumpled hitchhiker come undone.
Placebos for Dummies So, Hooter tried to help the heavy-laden whenever he could, at least stay out of their way. Unless those same types were the offending party. Hooter was heading through Fort Worth toward Dallas at exactly the
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wrong time of day, which is a fairly broad window. Traffic screaming along one minute, screeching to a halt the next, repeat. It was during one of those sudden 60 to zero interludes that a truck swerved into his lane, just missing Hooter’s front bumper and forcing him to mash the brake pedal through the floorboards, leaving good and expensive rubber along the way. Hooter honked, shook his fist, cussed and generally threw a fit. Traffic was packed tighter than a rusted nut on a cold day. Hooter inched along with the traffic and simmered. Then, Bingo, he saw it. There on the trailer, just below the faded letters of a trucking company name he couldn’t decipher: “How’s my driving? Call XXXXXXX.” Hooter wasted no time thumping out the phone number on his cell phone. “Hello,” came a cheery voice, this is Rush Truck Global, how can we help you?” “One of your drivers just cut me off in the middle of I-20, danged near caused me to wreck!” “Are you sure it wasn’t your fault?” That stopped Hooter for a second. “Why would I call you to report me?”
“Why, indeed. Just making sure.” There was the noise of static. “I’m sorry, you seem to be… ” click. Hooter tried again. “Hello, this is… ” “We just got caught off.” “Oh, you again.” “Yes, me again. I want to report the bonehead that just cut me off.” “What, again? You just did. Surely, there hasn’t been… ” That static and dead line, again.
Once more, thumping the numbers. “Hello, this… ” “I know who it is.” “I haven’t even given you the truck number.” “I know what it is. Thank you.” Click. By now, Hooter was gauging the potential of letting his pickup idle along in granny gear, while dashing for the cab of the offending truck. Too much of a stretch. He grabbed his phone
again. Thump, thump, thump. “I assume it’s you again.” “Yes, it’s me again,” Hooter growled. “I want to talk to somebody in charge.” “That would be me.” “Well then put someone on who isn’t in charge.” “That would be me, too.” “Huh?” “I can see you in my rearview mirror. You’re following too close. Shame, shame.”
Coming Two-Year-Old Charolais Bulls
VFR Turton 6T25 Pld
Born: March 20, 2016 BW: 88 lbs. AWW: 690 lbs. EPDs: BW: –0.1, WW: 25, YW: 47
VFR Boardwalk 6B22 Pld Born: February 19, 2016 BW: 96 lbs. AWW: 738 lbs. EPDs: BW: 4.1, WW: 34, YW: 54
Annual Bull Sale
Saturday, April 7, 2018 1 p.m.
Farmers & Ranchers Livestock— Salina, Kansas Sale Manager
Greg Hubert P.O. Box 100 Oakley, KS 67748 785-672-3195 (office) 785-672-7449 (cellular)
VFR Boardwalk 6B51 Pld Born: September 15, 2016 BW: 88 lbs. EPDs: BW: 1.4, WW: 37, YW: 65
Jerry Vaughan Corey Vaughan - Ranch Manager 14630 E. 44th St. S. • Derby, KS 67037 (316) 213-5484 • email@example.com (316) 765-3878 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.vaughanfamilyranch.com
VFR Sterling Silver 7S38 Pld Born: March 16, 2017 BW: 82 lbs. AWW: 782 lbs. EPDs: BW: 1.7, WW: 39, YW: 71
Selling: 33 Bulls & 5 Females To view Videos or Sale Catalog — www.vaughanfamilyranch.com
Fundamental Market Strength and Volatility Continues Drought is the wildcard as margins poised to narrow. By Wes Ishmael
Despite growing cattle numbers and beef production, demand strength continues to underpin cattle prices. “Demand is robust on all fronts. Domestically, retail demand is increasing and beef is being featured more in the consumer markets,” explained Kevin Good, Senior CattleFax analyst at that organization’s recent 2018 Industry Outlook. “The retail and foodservice industries are doing very well and the solid economy in the United States is one of the main drivers as unemployment rates continue to decline and per capita income rises.” Although the holiday schedule and severe winter weather added pressure to calf and feeder cattle prices during January, Andrew P. Griffith, agricultural economist at the University of Tennessee explained in his early-February market comments, “There has been less volatility in cash markets and a more steady hand as stocker operators and feedlot managers continue to be active participants in the calf and feeder cattle markets. The feeder cattle market remains strong and should continue to remain strong in the coming months.” In fact, Randy Blach, CattleFax CEO, says calf prices might not fall below the cost of production for average-cost and low-cost producers this year.
CattleFax projects the price for a 550 pound steer calf this year at $135-$180 per cwt.; an average of $158, which is $7 less than last year. The price for a 750 pound steer is estimated at $135-$160; an average of $145, which is $1 less. Resurgent wholesale beef values suggest cattle feeders have the opportunity to remain profitable, at least through the front half of the year on a cash-to-cash basis. Prices for fed steers and heifers moved approximately $3.50 higher (Weekly 5-Area) from the beginning to the end of January; about $5.25 higher in the beef. That was with winter weather stalling cattle performance in the northern plains and Midwest. CattleFax projects fed steer prices at $110-$130 for the year; $115 average, which would be $6 less than last year. According to Good, fed cattle prices are likely to face resistance near the $130 level, with downside risk in the upper $90 range. He expects the bargaining position will continue to favor cattle processors and retailers, with profit margins at or above 2017 levels. First-quarter fed steer prices were projected at $120-$124/cwt. in the January World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE); $115-$123 in the second quarter;
$110-$120 in the third quarter; $112-$122 in the fourth quarter. For reference, WASDE projected the average fed steer price last year at $121.51. CattleFax expects grain prices to remain steady with yields driving corn prices in the 2018-19 marketing year. Futures corn prices are projected to range from $3.25 to $3.95 per bushel on adequate supplies. With more livestock to feed in 2018 and the smallest acreage on record in 2017, CattleFax predicts hay prices will increase $10-$15 per ton with additional weather-related price risks. Wholesale beef prices held their ground for the first month of the year, too. Choice beef cutout averaged $207.81/cwt. in January. Select averaged $201.49. “How long price increases can be sustained during a time period that generally experiences seasonal declines in demand is not known,” Griffith says. “Price support in January and February is generally led by end meats before succumbing to strength of middle meats in the spring and summer months. The price strength witnessed in January may just be another sign of strong beef demand, which has been persistent since 2015. It is likely the market will experience another downturn before
With the growth in production, Good said he anticipates lower, but still profitable price levels for the cow-calf segment, while feeders and backgrounders will see their margins narrow. making a run in the spring.” Even though beef demand is high, Good explains leverage will continue to be a challenge for the feedlot and packing segments as shackle space becomes increasingly constrained by rising slaughter rates. With the growth in production, Good said he anticipates lower, but still profitable price levels for the cow-calf segment, while feeders and backgrounders will see their margins narrow.
Record-Large Meat Production “Production increases in the U.S. beef, pork and broiler industries expected in 2018 will likely lead to larger quantities of red meat and poultry available to U.S. consumers,” say ERS analysts and the January Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook (LDPO). They expect per capita quantity (disappearance) this year to
be 222.8 pounds per capita, the most since the series began. “The most important factors driving per capita disappearance this year are forecast increases in yearover-year production of beef (+6.1 percent), pork (+5.4 percent), and broiler meat (+2.1 percent),” ERS analysts say. For the record, those analysts explain, “Red meat and poultry disappearance is calculated as the volume of meat and poultry production that remains for domestic use after subtracting net trade and changes in cold storage volumes. Dividing this residual by the U.S. population yields the per capita quantity, which is used in the domestic market.” Although beef production is expected to increase to 27.5 billion pounds during 2018, Good said current consumer demand is expected to remain strong and potentially increase as retail prices moderate. Good added that CattleFax expects beef to remain a strong competitor against other proteins.
Historic Volatility Will Continue Blach highlighted feedlot profits and losses in recent years as an illustration of now commonplace extreme price volatility. Using a simple average and assuming no risk management: feedlot profits were $4.5 billion in 2014; losses were $6.5 billion in 2015-16; profits were $4 billion last year. Further, Blach points to price swings of $40/cwt. ($550 per head) for fed cattle, from highs to lows during the past three years. Shorter term, he says it’s common to see daily cash fed cattle prices move $14-$18/cwt. within two or three weeks. “These equity swings are unprecedented and the reason risk management has increased,” Blach says. “We think this will continue. We think we’ll have more price volatility than at any time in the past.”
Herd Expansion Slowing The nation’s beef cow herd continued to expand last year at a slowing rate, according to the Cattle report released by USDA January 31. There were 31.72 million beef cows to start this year. That’s 509,800 head more (+0.74 percent) than January 1 of 2017. That’s in line with, but on the short side of many expectations heading into the report. The U.S beef cow inventory increased 2.8 million head in four years. Good says another 200,000400,000 head are over the next few
years. Of course, the depth and length of drought will have plenty to say about whether the nation’s beef cowherd continues to expand, and if so, by how much. Of the eight states with 1 million or more beef cows, South Dakota producers added the most cows (+137,000 head), followed by Texas (+125,000) and Missouri (+111,000). Of the states with more than 1 million beef cows, producers in only two of them started the year with fewer cows: Kansas (-63,000) and Nebraska (-10,000). There were 6.13 million beef replacement heifers, which was 3.72 percent less than at the beginning of last year
The total inventory of all cows and calves January 1 was 93.70 million head, which was 0.74 percent more than the previous year, the most in nine years, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
Drought Expands Drought conditions continue to expand, covering two-thirds of the nation, according to CattleFax meteorologist, Art Douglas, who is professor emeritus at Creighton University. He notes the Southwest is the driest so far. “These drought conditions will continue to weigh on wheat grazing country, which is not supportive of calf prices. However, the poor grazing conditions in this area have
been persistent through much of the late fall and early winter months and are largely priced into today’s market,” Griffith says. “The market may have to make it through the first quarter of 2018 before significant price improvement occurs. However, producers should not be expecting a repeat of 2017 where prices strengthened from January through June and then held steady for much of the second half of the year. The market continues to slowly seek the historical seasonal price trend and decision makers should consider this.” “With drought conditions in the Southern Plains, cattle have been moving off wheat and winter pastures at a pretty good clip,” AMS analysts say. “The 1.5 million head listed as
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“We have a bigger supply of all proteins ahead in 2018. For the past year we were very fortunate to have solid export volume,” says Good.
grazing small-grain pasture (Cattle inventory report) is the lowest total since January 2013, when the severe drought in fall of 2012 was realized.” Douglas predicts the current La Niña conditions behind the drought could transition to a weaker El Niño by summer. Already, hay stocks are the snuggest since 1976 (except for 2012-13), according to CattleFax.
Exports are Key “We have a bigger supply of all proteins ahead in 2018. For the past year we were very fortunate to have solid export volume,” says Good. “We are forecasting trade to increase year-over-year in 2018, but still, the rate of production is outpacing the rate of exports.” For perspective, Good explains the balance of trade improved by 1
billion pounds between 2015 and 2017, offsetting 40 percent of the production growth. “We have to see these exports grow,” Blach says. “We’ll need to see record export numbers through the balance of the decade to keep supplies from overwhelming the market.” He adds that overall demand will be the key to maintaining fed cattle prices in the $100 area through 2020.
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Brief Leading Beef Breed Associations Partner to Release “Premium Red Baldy” Program Two of the largest beef breed associations in the U.S. have teamed up to offer commercial cattlemen a groundbreaking, genetically verified program to improve their bottom line. The Red Angus Association (RAAA) of America and the American Hereford Association (AHA) are proud to introduce the “Premium Red Baldy” program, designed to capitalize on the best traits from both breeds while developing supreme quality commercial females. RAAA CEO Tom Brink and AHA executive vice president Jack Ward announced the new initiative at the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Phoenix. At The Red Reception, a special breeder’s event held to commemorate the joint venture, Brink said, “Both Red Angus and Hereford are committed to the success of commercial cow-calf producers, and we believe the pathway to profitability begins with having the right genetics in the cow herd. This new program will help producers access genetically verified females that are packed with heterosis and ready to go to work on farms and ranches all across the country. It all starts with the right cow traits, and Premium Red Baldy females will excel in that regard.” “AHA is honored to join Red Angus to introduce the Premium Red Baldy program that identifies genetically superior F-1 females,” Ward said. “The AHA and RAAA are the only two breed associations that implement a mandatory whole herd reporting performance program which gives strength and reliability to their respective genetic evaluations.” Premium Red Baldy is a tagging program designed to take advantage of hybrid vigor by maximizing the best traits of both breeds and providing commercial producers with premium replacement females. This program, targeting only heifers, will generate females for the commercial producer by emphasizing longevity, fertility, adaptability and efficiency. This partnership of powerhouse breeds promises to elevate the best genetics from each, and will build better F1 females to further the beef industry. To take advantage of the program, producers must verify that eligible females are sired by AHA or RAAA registered and transferred bulls. The bulls must also rank in the top 50 percent of their respective breed for AHA’s Baldy Maternal Index (BMI$) or RAAA’s Herdbuilder Index (HB).
Targeted breed percentages will range from 25 – 75 percent for both breeds, with the balance being the alternate breed. Cattlemen and women should call their respective breed association office to verify females and order Allflex™ tags for the program. Tags will be shipped to the producer upon completion of a satisfactory phone interview and only enough tags will be shipped to match the number of red bodied and white or brockle-faced females born on the operation. Premium Red Baldy is not a Process Verified Pro-
gram (PVP) through the USDA. For more information about the Premium Red Baldy program, please contact Trey Befort, AHA Director of
Commercial Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chessie Mitchell, RAAA Tag Program Coordinator at chessie@ redangus.org.
F&R Livestock Resource page 39
Finish What You Start: OSU Graduate Walks Across Stage 48 Years After Earning Degree One of the most respected coaches in any sport, John Wooden, once said, “It’s not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.” Oklahoma native and educator, Jerry Ott, a humble family man who uses words like honor, respect, responsibility and service, has worn many hats over the years. However, the educator, administrator, veteran and 1970 graduate of Oklahoma State University had on a new type of cap December 16. While he completed requirements for his bachelor’s degrees in vocational agriculture and agronomy in the fall of 1969, his opportunity to walk across the stage was taken away when learned he was going to be drafted into the military. Ott served in the United States Army and the Oklahoma Army National Guard during the Vietnam Era from 1969 to 1979. When his classmates were participating in all their commencement activities in May 1970, Ott was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey. When a family friend contacted Oklahoma State University and shared the story of Ott’s missed opportunity to walk across the stage to receive his diploma, a cap and gown was shipped to the family. As Ott walked into his son’s house before church one Sunday morning, he was asked to take off his coat. “I could tell something was wrong. There were tears in his eyes,” Ott said. “I tried it on and I felt pretty big, I felt pretty important. I didn’t want people to make a fuss about it, it’s been long time ago. The students that graduated Saturday, their parents weren’t even born yet, probably, when I graduated from OSU.” A few days after trying on his new graduation attire, Ott received a phone
call from Tom Coon, vice president of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. It then became official; Ott was invited to the Fall 2017 OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Commencement, a short 48 years after he graduated. “You always finish the job you start and don’t give up or quit until the job is finished,” he said. “It may not mean anything to you now, but as I’ve experienced 48 years later, it’s pretty important. OSU is a good place.” Coon was happy and excited to extend the invitation. “Mr. Ott and I have something in common, many years of public service in education and a love for Oklahoma State University,” Coon said. “The opportunity to demonstrate his love of education to his grandchildren and other youngsters is a terrific gift that we can provide to him this holiday season. It’s an honor when alumni come back to visit the OSU campus and certainly Mr. Ott’s walk across the stage was a long time coming.” Strangely enough, while Ott just walked at a graduation for the first time, he has officiated many ceremonies over the years. “Every time we had those graduations, I’d always think about not being able to walk at graduation,” he said. “It’s always been important to me. My parents didn’t get to see me graduate from college, they’re gone now, and I was hoping that they would because they helped me, encouraged me and kept me going.” Daily flag salutes throughout his educational upbringing in the Drummond school district helped instill his sense of patriotism, which continued to grow during his time in Stillwater, and even more so while serving the country.
After graduating 48 years ago, Jerry Ott walks across the stage to receive his degrees from CASNR.
“My military career means a lot to me,” said Ott, proud husband, father and grandfather of five. “I’ve always told the kids, I really thought I was doing it for myself, but as time went on I realized I was doing it for them. I love this country and I know we’re going to make it.” His passion for Old Glory has remained throughout his decades-long career in education. He has taught voag, science and history and has been a principal and superintendent in the Ames, Drummond and Pioneer-Pleasant Vale school districts over the years. Living on his family farm just outside Enid, Oklahoma, Ott is currently serving as the administrative assistant to the principal at Pioneer-Pleasant Vale. He has given many speeches during Veteran’s Day programs and carried the colors numerous times before local athletic events and celebrations. It is his deep-rooted passion for the United States and unwavering respect for the American flag he hopes to pass
to future generations. Every Independence Day, Ott and his family raise a brand new flag in his yard. His five grandchildren rotate the honor and responsibility of running the new flag up to the top of the pole to fly high in the sky. “They all know how important it is to me,” he said, holding back tears. “That’s more than just a piece of cloth with colors and stars and stripes. I’ve just always tried to do my part to bring honor to those veterans that served in all the wars, because I think it’s important kids understand the meaning of the flag and what it stands for.” While Ott said he does not feel deserving of all the attention, time and effort given to his day of walking across that stage, he is appreciative and proud to be an OSU Cowboy. “I’m happy to represent OSU. I’m happy to represent the country and I’m happy to represent the flag, because they’re all very important to me,” he said.
Brief Angus Genetics, Inc., Announces Foot Score Research EPDs Angus Genetics, Inc. (AGI) has released two new foot score research EPDs, the first of its kind in the U.S. for beef cattle. The American Angus Association® has collected foot scores since 2015, with approximately 12,000 data points submitted. Members have reported two scores for claw set page 40
and foot angle. The pair of scores are based on a scale from one to nine, with five being ideal for both traits. AGI Director of Genetic Research Stephen Miller says the collaboration with membership in collecting foot scores allowed steady advancement toward a foot score research EPD. “Angus breeders have completed a
Kelli Retallick, Angus Genetics, Inc.
Stephen Miller, Angus Genetics, Inc.
tremendous amount of data reporting in such a short period of time; this is truly a testament to their commitment toward genetic progress,” Miller said. “We are absolutely thrilled to begin the process of rolling this breakthrough out to the membership.” Last summer, AGI initiated a research analysis on yearling foot scores with the collected data. The analysis reported moderate heritability estimates for both claw set (0.25) and foot angle (0.25). Since the preliminary analysis, AGI worked alongside the Association’s Information Systems team to develop the appropriate genetic evaluation model to predict foot score selection tools and now has research EPDs ready for delivery. A research EPD is a prelude to a production EPD, serving as a onetime analysis delivered to the membership and enabling the Association to get meaningful feedback from Angus producers. Unlike a production EPD, a research EPD does not get updated weekly but can be updated periodically as more data flows into the database. The more data collected, the more robust the evaluation becomes and the sooner the research EPD can be moved into production. AGI Director of Genetic Services Kelli Retallick says it’s important producers continue to send in quality, consistent data. “Though we are getting closer to a production EPD, we encourage members to continue sending in data,” Retallick said. “Consistency of scoring within a producer’s herd is key, and luckily, we have a variety of resources here at the Association to help.” Currently, producers submit two foot-score data points, claw set and foot angle. During the research phase, AGI found that only a low genetic correlation (0.22) exists between these two traits. Because of the low correlation, scores are evaluated as separate traits and separate EPDs,
termed Claw Set EPD and Foot Angle EPD. Claw Set and Foot Angle EPDs published in this first report are AI
sires who possess accuracy value great than 0.40. Additional information on these research EPDs is located here.
For more information about foot score guidelines, call the office at 816-383-5100.
F&R Livestock Resource page 41
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