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June North American Beef E-newsletter

Heat Stress Can Affect Reproduction in Your Beef Herd

After a long winter in most of the United States, herds are facing an extreme switch to summer temperatures. How your herd fares in the summer affects performance during breeding and calving the following year, and one of the biggest determining factors is how animals combat heat stress. Heat stress and oxidative stress can have a negative impact on reproduction in your breeding herd. It is critical to make sure both breeding females and bulls get adequate protection against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a natural component of life and metabolism. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are generated and subsequently neutralized by certain enzymes and vitamins that naturally occur and act as antioxidants. Under heat stress, core body temperatures rise and more ROS are produced than can be neutralized by the normal metabolic routes. When this happens, animals go into oxidative stress. The extra ROS from heat stress will damage actively growing cells like those involved in reproduction.


AGRADO® Plus is a proprietary blend of antioxidants that help beef cattle combat the effects of heat stress by neutralizing excessive ROS. When AGRADO® Plus was added to the ration of breeding heifers in Florida during the summer (Table 1), there were significantly more pregnancies in those heifers that received AGRADO® Plus than heifers not supplemented. Heat stress increases early embryonic mortality, thus reducing fertility.

When breeding bulls were supplemented with AGRADO® Plus, MINTREX® trace minerals and ZORIEN® selenium yeast (Table 2), the supplemented bulls had lower body temperatures, larger scrotal circumferences and higher levels of SOD (superoxide dismutase; an enzyme that neutralizes “ROS”. This shows that bulls fed AGRADO® Plus can better manage the negative effects of heat stress and will assist in better sperm production.

Providing your breeding herd with AGRADO® Plus will help both breeding females and bulls achieve their genetic potential for reproductive efficiency during periods of heat stress.



Spotlight > >



  • Severe transportation shortage (electronic logging devices (ELDs), extreme weather, labor shortage and increased shipper volumes)
  • Transit times are increasing due to the ELDs
  • 1:5 ratio of dry vans to loads, nationally
  • Carriers are able to be selective about loads
  • Spot rates remain well above during the same weeks in 2016 and 2017

Tips and Tricks

  • Make your loading facility as attractive as possible:
    • Limited or no wait times
    • Driver lounge with Wi-Fi
    • Snacks
    • Restrooms
  • Add lead time to your orders to allow for increased booking and transit times
  • Encourage collaboration between customers and suppliers to build networks with backhauls


Novus at the Annual Florida Cattlemen’s Convention

Were you able to join us this year at the annual Florida Cattlemen’s Convention in Orlando, Florida? Our ruminant sales team discussed nutritional and management strategies that fit all cattle operations with fellow customers and partners. Be sure to stop by next year!

Getting to Know Brittany Pham


What is your official title at Novus?
Global Logistics Manager

How long have you been with Novus?
9+ years

Which product of Novus’s is your favorite?
MINTREX® trace minerals

What accomplishment or moment in your career are you most proud of?
Not taking the safe route – taking on roles outside my area of expertise, particularly in an industry/function that is male-dominated.

What is the oddest or hardest question a customer or collaborator has ever asked you?
How to handle a mixture of ALIMET® and a non-methionine liquid when another supplier accidentally unloaded their product into the incorrect tank.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing the animal agriculture industry today?
From a logistics perspective, managing costs during a time in which multiple variables are making a lean supply chain more challenging (aging drivers, cross-contamination/bio-security concerns, transparency to consumers). These issues are manifesting in multiple ways such as consumer pressure to know where their food products have been and government regulatory action (FSMA).

What would be your first move if you were tasked with helping the industry overcome that challenge?
Identify what is feasible to address at the company level (ex. customized bills of lading) and what must be addressed at the industry level and engage industry groups accordingly.

When you are not promoting Novus products what do you like to do?
Read, swim and travel (domestic and international).

If you could go to dinner with any 3 people dead or alive, who would you choose?

  • Abraham Lincoln - I hail from Lincoln, Illinois – the original town christened by Lincoln.
  • Queen Elizabeth I - She succeeded in a time where women didn’t have opportunity for success.
  • Emma Watson - She is leading the HeForShe movement to continue the fight for gender equality globally.

What is your favorite beef/dairy/pork/poultry product to eat?
Cheese. It goes great on just about everything and is also a perfect food by itself.

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