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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 13 May 2015

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Wednesday 13th May 2015.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

MSD Animal Health

Novus International

Angus Cattle Lift Performance of Australian Brahman

Angus cattle from temperate Australia are being successfully introduced to the arid north where they raise the game of Bos Indicus herds.

Crossing Brahman cattle has resulted in 22 kilograms of weight gained at weaning and 20 cents per kilo liveweight premiums for pure Angus and crosses.

However, in order to tap into the many benefits Angus cattle can bring, great care needs to be taken when moving cattle from the south into the northern tropical and sub-tropical grasslands. read more

The performance of Angus cattle and the best practice for introducing them is the focus of breed association Angus Australia, which says Angus increase carcass quality, enhancing the marketability of Brahman herds.

The Association has told ranchers that Angus infusions bring better fertility, reduced age at puberty and increased calving rates, while improved weight gains mean progeny are finished earlier.

Angus Australia explained: “This enhanced the chances of obtaining premiums associated with Meat Standards Australia grading by ensuring that bullocks were above 500 kilograms live weight with milk or 2 teeth. “

Given the results, Angus Australia is keen to impart best practice for preparing bulls prior to relocation and thereafter.

Ranchers are advised to give bulls time to acclimatise, which will take longer for older animals.

Angus Australia prescribes a minimum period of three months for bulls 18-24 months old and six months for 12-18 months old animals.

“Bulls 12 months and under will ultimately adapt better to the new environment, but should be allowed 6 to 12 months adaptation period,” is the advice.

“If used within the first 12 months, bulls should only be given a very light load.”

Angus Australia also recommends timing relocation for the end of the rain season. This increases the chances of pasture quality being sound and it coincides when temperatures are dropping.

“If feed quality and availability after arrival is limited then bulls should be provided with some supplementation until they are placed into the breeding herd,” advises the association.

A 14 day period after introduction to pasture will allow bulls to adapt, with supplementary feeding recommended until introduction to the breeding herd.

Ahead of transportation, bulls should be placed on a low grain diet.

“Bulls that have received large amounts of grain supplementation prior to relocation should be let down on a protein and energy supplement for at least a three month adaptation period.”

Further considerations are tropical flies and diseases. Angus have lower resistance to ticks than Brahman cattle and can lose weight rapidly when affected.

Twice yearly treatments at the start and end of each wet season should be administered. 

Vaccination programmes should also address the risk of Botulism, three day sickness and clostridial diseases – Pestivirus and Vibriosis.

In terms of selection, choosing bulls depends on the breeding objectives and goals of the operation.

Angus cattle can be used in simple cross-breeding programmes to more complex composite breeding systems, says Angus Australia. 

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

How to Get Rid of Bedstraw
Smooth bedstraw is an invasive and opportunistic weed, which requires management to prevent proliferation in forage fields.

Tips for Cost Effective Calf Rearing
Weaning calves as quickly as possible may seem cheap but there can be some hidden longer-term costs, says Dr Bob James at Virginia Tech.

Amazon Deforestation by Cattle Ranchers Slows
Expansion of cattle pastures has led to the destruction of huge swaths of rain forest in Brazil, home to the world's largest herd of commercial beef cattle. But a new study led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows recent agreements have slowed deforestation rates.

Comparing Bulls Finished on Grass With Concentrates to Indoor Intensive Bull Finishing
Finishing late-maturing, spring born bulls on grazing after winter can reduce production costs but intensive feeding is required.

How to Get Summer Success With Sorghum and Millets
Whether grazing, silaging, or hay making, sorghums and millets provide energy and protein, standing up to some drought pressures and high temperatures that summer can bring.

Getting Into Beef Production
There are many aspects of beef production that a farm can focus on, or some farms opt to get involved in all aspects. If you are just thinking about starting in beef you need to decide what aspect of production fits your land, labour and financial resources.

Milk Quotas and Beef Herd: What Will the Effect of Quota Abolition Be?
Many are questioning what role the dairy herd will play in the beef herd going forward as many dairies look to expand after 30 years of quota restriction.

Best Practice in Calf Rearing
Calf rearing, Australians have been told, is like a jigsaw, with many vital elements all fitting together in balance.

Fluffy Cows: Getting Behind the Internet Sensation
Pictures of pampered cattle went viral on the internet last year. A science student and beef ambassador explains they aren't a particular breed, they've just been given special attention.

Company News

Novus to Sponsor International Food, Agribusiness Management Association Conference
US - Novus International, Inc. has announced its support as a Platinum Sponsor for the 25th Annual International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) World Conference held this year in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Market Reports

USDA WASDE - 13 May 2015
Irish CSO Reports - Agricultural Price Indices March 2015
EBLEX Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 11 May 2015
Animal Feed Statistics for Great Britain - March 2015

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