March 29, 2022
There is a lot going on in the Beef world. Spring has sprung across the country. Here is a snippet of Beef news.
1. Red Angus producers will soon have more access to market-based premiums along with potentially seeing an increased demand for the breed, according to Tom Brink, CEO of the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA).
The association completed negotiations with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in late 2021, which resulted in the USDA allowing the breed to be included in Angus-labeled branded beef programs such as Certified Angus Beef.
The Red Angus Association made the announcement in their newsletter, stating, “Red Angus are ‘Angus,’ and now USDA has officially acknowledged that fact by enabling Red Angus and Red Angus-influenced cattle that meet certain requirements to join black-hided animals in as many Angus brands that decide in favor of their inclusion.”
The “decided in favor of their inclusion” is a key component. There are over 70 USDA-certified beef programs and each has its own schedule with its own criteria for accepting beef. Ultimately, it’s up to each brand if it will be willing to accept Red Angus into its programs.
Brink acknowledged that it might be a while before Red Angus will be completely known under the general Angus brand. Now that the USDA negotiations are complete, he and his colleagues are in the process of talking to many certified beef brands.
Right now, some of those programs specifically say “black hided” in their list of requirements for accepting Angus cattle. For instance, the Certified Angus Beef program states on its live animal specification form that “Cattle eligible for certification in Angus-influence beef programs based on phenotype (appearance) will have a main body that must be solid black with no other color behind the shoulder, above the flanks or breaking the midline behind the shoulders, excluding the tail.”
Under the new USDA decision, Red Angus will now be eligible to be simply labeled “Angus” in every certified beef program that agrees to it.
2. In North Dakota, the National Park Service wants to revise the livestock management plan for wild horses and longhorn cattle in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
According to park officials, the plan “is expected to determine appropriate management tools and protocols for managing the horse and longhorn cattle herds based on updated scientific information, methods, and best management practices regarding herd health, animal well-being, and population management goals.”
Some of those goals include reducing emergency disease risk to bison from cattle, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
The park has six draft alternatives for a new plan, including reducing herds over time to having no livestock or placing nonreproductive herds in the park, among other concepts.
3. And something for cattle producers to pay attention to is the sage grouse . A federal judge said he’s leaning against issuing a temporary restraining order sought by environmental groups that would block grazing in six Eastern Oregon pastures.
U.S. District Judge Michael Simon said that he tentatively believes environmental groups haven’t shown that turning cattle out on the pastures will cause irreparable harm.
At the conclusion of oral arguments March 28 in Portland, Simon said he plans to issue a written ruling shortly in the case, which was filed against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management by the nonprofits Oregon Natural Desert Association, Audubon Society of Portland and Defenders of Wildlife.
Aside from seeking a temporary restraining order to stop cattle from being turned out on six pastures in April, the environmental plaintiffs have requested a broader preliminary injunction against grazing on a total of 13 Oregon pastures due to sage grouse habitat.
Attorneys for the BLM and Cahill Ranches, based in Adel, Ore., that’s intervened in the lawsuit, argued that a temporary restraining order isn’t justified because livestock grazing won’t cause irreparable harm to sage grouse populations, the environment or the nonprofits.
Barring livestock would be an “extraordinary remedy” that would be far more detrimental to the ranch than any harms to the environmental plaintiffs if grazing continues another year, the defendants argued.
4. A recent research breakthrough in human medicine could help a Texas A&M Department of Animal Science researcher find a way to increase beef production to help meet the demands of global population growth.
Bos indicus cattle breeds are important to global beef production due to their adaptability to tropical and subtropical climates, including those found in Texas and other southern U.S. states.
But a big challenge or disadvantage for Bos indicus, or Brahman, cattle is that their overall reproductive performance is inferior to that of Bos taurus cattle breeds such as Angus and Hereford, which predominate in the Midwest and northern states.
Rodolfo Cardoso, DVM, assistant professor and reproductive physiologist in the Department of Animal Science of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is leading a four-year project funded by a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Among the collaborators are Gary Williams, Texas A&M AgriLife Research professor emeritus, and graduate students Viviana Garza and Sarah West.
Cardoso said revolutionary advances in neuroendocrine research have defined the mechanisms controlling the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, GnRH. The new insights, he believes, can help his team determine neuroendocrine differences between Bos taurus (Hereford and Angus) and Bos indicus genotypes of cattle and use that to enhance reproductive efficiency in Bos indicus-influenced cattle.
One major challenge is that Bos indicus (Brahman) and Bos indicus-influenced cattle reach puberty markedly later than Bos taurus breeds. That late puberty essentially means one less calf in a cow’s lifetime and also presents challenges when breeders try to synchronize estrus cycles for the annual breeding season.
Cardoso said typically Bos taurus heifers reach puberty at 10-12 months, whereas Bos indicus heifers often won’t reach puberty until 15-17 months.
With more than 4 million replacement beef heifers entering the U.S. cow herd annually, the difference between having a calf when the heifer is 2 versus 3 years old can make a big difference in beef production.
This project will utilize the recent discoveries to determine whether distinct differences observed in reproductive function in Bos indicus and Bos taurus breeds can be attributed to functional differences in the brain area that controls the secretion of the GnRH hormone.
5. A land owner and a ranch hand are learning lessons after a case in East Texas. A ranch hand is accused of stealing cattle from a landowner in Smith County, according to authories.
Jesus Sergio Perez-Sanchez, 65, of Lindale, was arrested March 11 on two felony charges for theft of livestock after an absentee landowner noticed something wasn't quite right about some cattle sales.
According to the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, special rangers conducted a lengthy investigation of Perez-Sanchez beginning in December 2021 after an absentee landowner discovered irregularities in cattle sales from their ranch.
The TSCRA said Perez-Sanchez' first charge is for allegedly taking three yearlings to the livestock auction and placing one of them in his own name without the landowner's consent. The second charge is for allegedly taking one bull and one cow to the livestock auction and placing the cow under his own name without the consent of the same absentee landowner.
So, there are 5 stories to keep your eyes on as the week progresses.
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