Livestock Briefs: Cattlemen optimistic about China

Wisconsin State Farmer
Livestock briefs


Cattlemen cautiously optimistic on US beef in China

News has been circulating that China is opening its doors to U.S. beef, but Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) Executive Vice President Mike Deering says it's not that simple.  

"In September of last year, China announced they were lifting the restrictions on U.S. beef, but we are still unable to send our product because of several technical trade barriers. One example is the issue of traceability," says Deering. "It will still be a while before we see U.S. beef in the Chinese market. We have good reason for optimism but this isn't a done deal." 

The recent news that has the U.S. beef industry excited about the possibility of entering the Chinese market was spurred by a weekend summit between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. During the summit, beef was a major topic of conversation and a priority for President Trump. Deering says this alone is a victory.

According to the Trump Administration, over the next 100 days the two countries will be engaging in dialogue to identify a path forward and address the barriers that have made trade impossible in the past.


New Technology could corral bovine TB

A research breakthrough allowing the first direct, empirical, blood-based, cow-side test for diagnosing bovine tuberculosis (TB) could spare ranchers and the agriculture industry from costly quarantines and the mass slaughter of animals infected with this easily spread disease.

“We have adapted an assay originally developed for human TB to bovine TB, a particular challenge because the bovine disease is caused by a different species of the pathogen,” said Harshini Mukundan, leader of the Chemistry for Biomedical Applications team at Los Alamos National Laboratory that developed the assay and corresponding author on the study, published this week in the journal Analytical Sciences.

Mycobacterium bovis causes the disease, which easily spreads among large herds, periodically resulting in the quarantine and destruction of thousands of cattle. It also infects wild deer and elk, which can pass it on to domestic cattle with which they graze. A skin test to detect exposure or infection is used in cattle, but due to various colors of cows’ skin and hide, environmental exposures, previous testing for M. bovis and other factors, the visual assessment can be inconclusive. Further, Mukundan notes, gathering a herd once for testing and then again 48 hours later for reading the skin results can be a challenge in itself.

The idea for the bovine application evolved from discussions between Laboratory researchers and scientists at the New Mexico health laboratory, who recognized the need for rapid detection by ranchers seeking to ship their herds.


May CattleFax webinar to address expectations for cow-calf producers 

An upcoming free CattleFax webinar will address profitability, as well as provide an outlook for the cow-calf and entire beef industry for 2017.

The CattleFax Trends+ Cow-Calf Webinar will be May 24 at 5:30 p.m. MT. To participate in the webinar and access program details, producers and industry leaders simply need to register online at!/about.

CattleFax analysts will discuss a variety of topics in the one-hour session, including: Cattle and feedstuff market projections for the next 12 to 18 months; calf market outlook through summer and fall of 2017; and analysis of a recent Cow-Calf Survey conducted by CattleFax.

One of the most aggressive U.S. beef cowherd expansions in the last four decades has increased beef supplies and caused cow-calf profitability to be reduced back toward long term levels. As profits have narrowed well-informed producers can maintain healthy margins by adjusting production, marketing and risk management plans with increasing supplies in mind.


National Junior Angus Show to be held July 9 - 15

The National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members and families will compete in the most competitive national junior livestock show in the country from July 9 - 15 at the Iowa State  Fairgrounds.

The tentative schedule of events is available online, along with  ownership and early-entry forms that must be completed by May 15. Entries can be submitted online at

Themed “Winning with the Angus Team,” the 2017 NJAS expects to draw more than 1,000 head of registered Angus cattle to compete. Classes include owned heifers, bred-and-owned heifers, cow-calf pairs, steers and bred-and-owned bulls.

States will join together to compete for the Best Five Head, while individual members will vie for Junior Premier Breeder and the Silver Pitcher Award. A Top 5 selection of Bred-and-Owned Heifers and Owned Heifers will be chosen at the conclusion of each respective show.