Brief news articles on important Angus industry happenings.
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News Update
Sept. 8, 2011
North Carolina Farmers Should Have Corn Tested for Aflatoxin

North Carolina Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler is encouraging farmers to have their corn tested for aflatoxin to prevent contamination of feeds and food.

Aflatoxin is a byproduct of the mold Aspergillus flavus, and can be harmful to both humans and livestock.

“The hot summer and the heavy rains from Hurricane Irene have increased the potential for aflatoxin in corn,” Troxler said. “It’s very important that farmers have their corn tested.”

Some farmers may need to have corn samples tested for crop insurance or quality assurance purposes. These samples must be submitted to a grain marketing location certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The tests cost $22.20 per sample.

For insurance or quality assurance purposes, farmers must submit a 5-pound (lb.) sample of shelled corn by mail, UPS or FedEx to a USDA-certified grain marketing location. The following locations can conduct USDA-certified testing, and they will accept samples between 6:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays:
  • Cargill Soybean Plant

    Attn: Ben Honeycutt

    1400 S. Blount St.

    Raleigh, NC 27601

  • Grain Grading Office

    Attn: Judy Grimes

    407-G Griffin St.

    Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Farmers who grow or buy bulk corn to feed to their own animals can have it tested for free by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Constable Laboratory, 4000 Reedy Creek Road in Raleigh. This laboratory is not on the Risk Management Agency’s approved testing facility list; therefore, results from this location will not be accepted for insurance claims.

Farmers may drop off 5-lb. samples of shelled corn at the lab or at one of the following agricultural research stations:
  • Border Belt Tobacco Research Station, 86 Border Belt Drive, Whiteville, 910-648-4703; Lloyd Ransom, superintendent.
  • Peanut Belt Tobacco Research Station, 112 Research Station Lane, Lewiston-Woodville, 252-348-2213; Tommy Corbett, superintendent; station contact is Margaret Pierce.
  • Tidewater Research Station, 207 Research Station Road, Plymouth, 252-793-4118; Jewell Tetterton, superintendent.
  • Lower Coastal Plain Tobacco/Cunningham Research Station, 200 Cunningham Road, Kinston, 252-527-3579; Phillip Winslow, superintendent.
  • Piedmont Research Station, 8350 Sherrills Ford Road, Salisbury, 704-278-2624; Joe Hampton, superintendent.
  • Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, 74 Research Drive, Fletcher, 828-684-7197; Denny Thompson, superintendent.
Forms for submitting samples will be available at collection sites.

Samples also may be mailed directly to the lab at the following address:
  • N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS)
Food and Drug Protection Division
1070 Mail Service Center, 
Raleigh, NC 27699-1070
For additional information about the aflatoxin testing program, contact Jennifer Godwin or Michelle Gilliam at the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division, 919-733-7366.

— Release by North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
Road Safety: A Shared Responsibility

Getting harvest from the field to market can be dangerous work, but doing it in traffic on Iowa’s highways and county roads extends the hazards to other drivers and their passengers. Conditions creating additional risks on Iowa roadways during harvest are drivers who don’t understand how to avoid collision with agricultural equipment, those who are driving distracted and heavier than normal traffic on rural highways due to flooding and construction detours.

Charles Schwab, Iowa State University Extension farm safety specialist, says highway safety is a shared responsibility for both the motor vehicle operators and agricultural equipment operators. Both have reasons and rights to be on those roads.

Agricultural equipment operators need to remember that vehicle drivers, especially those rerouted to rural highways, may not have the necessary understanding to avoid collision with agricultural equipment: how to approach a slow-moving vehicle (SMV), left turns of equipment and how to pass oversized equipment and unique shapes of combines. Schwab reminds operators of agricultural equipment to make sure all SMV emblems are properly mounted, not faded, and to always signal before making turns.

“Motorists may be unfamiliar with the outlines of farm equipment, especially at dusk when operators are returning from fields or moving between fields. Unfamiliarity can cause a split-second delay in reaction that, in many cases, can lead to a collision,” he says.

Schwab says proper lighting and marking for farm vehicles is only half of the solution. Motor vehicle drivers also must be attentive, watch for farm traffic and heed the signs, especially in the weeks ahead.

“Motor vehicle operators need to be patient, show understanding and not drive distracted — rushing and not paying attention to the road causes opportunities for collisions,” he warned. “It is important to understand the issue about coming upon a SMV when traveling at a high rate of speed.”

Defensive driving tips for rural roads

Schwab offers these defensive-driving tips for rural roads this fall:
  • As soon as you see a slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblem, brake as if you were approaching a stop sign.
  • Look for hand or turn signals from the farm vehicle operator, indicating a left turn.
  • When passing, make sure you can see the farm vehicle in your rearview mirror before you get back in your lane.
While farm tractors and other farm equipment comprise a small percent of total motor vehicles nationally, the percentage of fatal motor vehicle collisions involving farm equipment is almost five times higher than other vehicle collisions. In crashes involving farm vehicles, the farm vehicle operator was killed nearly twice as often as an occupant of the other motor vehicle.

The most likely types of collisions are left-turn and rear-end collisions. The left-turn collision happens when the farm vehicle is about to make a wide left turn and the vehicle behind begins to pass. The second most common incident is the rear-end collision, where another vehicle approaches farm equipment and is unable to slow down to avoid a collision. This happens because of large difference in travel speeds of these two types of vehicles.

“Vehicle drivers must stay alert, especially in areas where rural roadways are experiencing heavier than normal traffic due to flooding and construction detours,” Schwab cautioned. “Higher speeds used on rural roads, changeable conditions and a variety of traffic all contribute to injuries. Motorists must stay attentive and watch for farm traffic, which can be difficult to spot, recognizing it travels at much slower speeds than normal traffic.”

Schwab also reminds vehicle drivers that agricultural equipment operators in these areas will be limited in their ability to use the shoulder as they move down the road, since shoulder conditions could have changed considerably this summer because of flooding (washed away, weak or steeper than before).

— Release by Iowa State University Extension.
Historic Partnership Approved to Protect, Preserve and Enhance Public Lands Ranching

The Public Lands Council (PLC) yesterday, Sept. 7, voted to approve the creation of the Public Lands Endowed Trust (the Trust), which Dustin Van Liew, PLC executive director and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) director of federal lands, said will help ensure the future of federal lands grazing. The Trust is the result of more than a year of negotiations between PLC and Ruby Pipeline, an energy infrastructure company. The Trust’s mission will be to “protect, enhance and preserve multiple use of public lands, including the livestock grazing industry’s use of those lands.” Van Liew said the Trust will ensure the more than 100-year-old working relationship between the livestock industry and the oil and gas industry continues into the future.

“Livestock producers have a tradition of working with fellow federal lands stakeholders, and the creation of the Trust is evidence of that tradition. This trust will enable us to work with Ruby Pipeline on projects to preserve and enhance the federal lands grazing industry for years to come,” Van Liew said. “It wasn’t always an easy process, but the creation of the Trust is proof that a diverse group of individuals can sit down at a table and reach an agreement for the betterment of all who utilize the land’s resources.”

The $15 million endowment will be governed by one representative from PLC and one representative from Ruby Pipeline, which recently completed construction of its 680-mile natural gas pipeline that extends from Wyoming to Oregon and crosses through northern Utah and northern Nevada. 

According to Van Liew, the principal amount of the Trust will not be used. Instead, the endowment’s earnings will go toward meeting PLC’s mission to serve the public lands livestock industry. The next step in the creation of the Trust, according to Van Liew, is for PLC to begin the process of developing guidelines for funding projects, which will include a variety of non-litigation initiatives such as research, education, range monitoring, fire restoration, and media and community outreach for the benefit of the public lands grazing industry.      

“This historic partnership will be critical in the future of federal lands grazing and will also help to keep federal lands open to the many multiple-use industries,” Van Liew said. “We look forward to a long relationship with Ruby Pipeline as we work together to sustain and improve federal lands grazing.”

— Release by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Consign for NWSS Now and Save

Producers can save $50 on entry fees by consigning before Sept. 15 for the National Western Angus Bull Sale, set for Wednesday, Jan. 11, in the Beef Palace Auction Arena at the Stock Show Complex in Denver, Colo.  

The annual event is the only sale managed by the American Angus Association.

“Denver presents a unique opportunity for large and small producers to showcase their breeding programs in front of a buying audience consisting of some of the most respected and knowledgeable cattlemen in the country,” says David Gazda, American Angus Association regional manager and NWSS sale manager.

“This bull sale has a documented history of uncovering some of the breed’s great young bulls that have gone on to become some of the most widely used and influential AI sires in the industry; the list of names and their genetic contribution to the Angus breed is impressive,” Gazda says.

All consignments must have Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®) performance data to be eligible. In addition, all bulls’ adjusted yearling weight expected progeny differences (EPDs) must meet or exceed the breed average for non-parent sires, according to the most recent sire summary.

Consignments received on or before Sept. 15 are $400 per head. From Sept. 16 through the Oct. 1 entry deadline, the fee is $450 per head.

All bulls born before Jan. 1, 2011, must have passed a complete breeding soundness examination (sometimes referred to as a BSE), including both physical and semen evaluations, within 30 days of the sale.

Prospective buyers will have the opportunity to preview the bulls during the bull sale show beginning at noon Wednesday, Jan. 11, in the Stadium Arena.

Prospective buyers are also invited into the showring to inspect bulls after the grand and reserve grand champions have been selected. The judges for the show are Paul Bennett, Red House, Va.; Bill Davis, Sidney, Mont.; and Matt Perrier, Eureka, Kan.

Eddie Burks, Park City, Ky., will serve as auctioneer starting at 4 p.m., which follows the sale of the 2012 Angus Foundation Heifer Package, which sells at 3:30 p.m.

For more information about the sale, contact Gazda, at 706-296-7846. For entry forms contact the Association at 816-383-5100.

— Release by American Angus Association.
— Compiled by Katie Gazda, intern, Angus Productions Inc.
Copyright © 2011 Angus Journal, All rights reserved.