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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

June 15, 2017

Adaptive Management

According to conventional wisdom, managers of grazing lands should err on the side of conservatism. Many also find comfort in applying some kind of formula for determining stocking rate. Range Scientist Justin Derner thinks that’s why so many managers stock their ranges and pastures according to what he calls a “traditional” method.

“They want to use a moderate stocking rate — the old take half, leave half approach. So they plan to use 50% of their average annual forage production, and that works about a third of the time,” explains the Cheyenne, Wyo., based researcher for the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

According to Derner, the problem with always stocking grazing lands on the basis of average forage production is that so few years actually match the average. When growing conditions are most favorable — plenty of timely precipitation — forage production is higher. When rainfall amounts are low or are not timely, forage production will be less than average. Few people complain about abundance, but a drought-induced scarcity of forage can force a manager to make hard decisions.

Continue reading this Angus Media news article online.

AFBF Details NAFTA Renegotiation Priorities

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been overwhelmingly beneficial for U.S. farmers and ranchers — and their counterparts in Canada and Mexico — but there are several good reasons to update and reform NAFTA from agriculture’s perspective, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Under NAFTA, U.S. farmers and ranchers have seen their exports to Mexico and Canada grow significantly, from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38 billion in 2016.

While some of the areas prime for improvement are commodity-specific, others apply sector-wide, such as reducing redundant regulatory costs, expediting transit across borders and hastening the resolution of disputes between members, Dale Moore, AFBF’s executive director of public policy, noted in comments recently submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative.

Some of the changes farmers are calling for are related to the modernization of the industry.

“For example, the rules related to biotechnology, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, and geographic indicators are ripe for amendment in order to reflect the progress that has been made in these areas over the decades since NAFTA was first implemented,” Moore said in the comments.

Read the full AFBF news release online.

Secretary Perdue Names Anne Hazlett
to Lead Rural Development at USDA

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has named Anne Hazlett, Chief Counsel to the Majority on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, to lead the Rural Development agencies at the USDA. Hazlett, whose title will be assistant to the secretary for rural development, will oversee the Rural Utilities Service, the Rural Business Service and the Rural Housing Service within USDA and report directly to the secretary. The announcement is in keeping with a realignment of USDA announced by Perdue in May and represents an elevation of rural development, which had previously been in the portfolio of an undersecretary, who in turn reported to the deputy secretary of agriculture.

“With this addition to USDA Rural Development, rural America will have a seat at the main table and have walk-in privileges with the secretary on day one,” Perdue said. “With her background of advising the Senate committee overseeing agricultural and rural development issues, Anne Hazlett comes with a depth of knowledge and experience perfectly suited to her role in helping to restore prosperity to rural America. We are excited to have her aboard.”

Learn more in the USDA news release online.

Georgia Hosts BIF Annual Meeting and Research Symposium

More than 360 beef industry producers, leading geneticists and allied industry professionals were in Athens, Ga., May 31 to June 3 for the 2017 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Annual Meeting and Research Symposium. The event was co-hosted by the University of Georgia and the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association.

The annual forum brings together members of the industry and research community to discuss issues related to the genetic improvement of beef cattle. Convention attendees learn about technologies and management practices that can enhance the profitability of beef cattle production.

Attendees included seedstock and commercial beef producers, academic and extension professionals, and allied industry participants from 30 states, including 15 attendees from five foreign countries, including Australia, Italy, Spain, Uruguay and Canada.

This year’s BIF symposium featured two and a half days of educational programming and a full day of tours.

“Speakers at this year’s BIF conference did a great job explaining the value of genomic technology in regards to beef improvement,” said Bob Weaber, Kansas State University professor and extension cow-calf specialist.

For more information, read the BIF news release online.

Conaway, Rouzer Praise U.S.-China Beef Agreement

Following the June 12 announcement that the United States and China have finalized an agreement allowing for American beef exports, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (NC-07) made the below comments:

“As one of the world’s largest importers of beef, China has long been an area of great opportunity for the U.S. beef industry. Well today that ‘great opportunity’ becomes a one step closer to reality for cattle producers across the country, hopefully bringing an end to a 13-year drought on beef exports to China. America’s ranchers raise the best and highest-quality beef in the world, and I applaud the administration for its work to move this agreement across the finish line,” said Chairman Conaway.

“Today’s announced agreement that U.S. beef producers will have access to China’s market, the world’s largest, is a major achievement. The opening of this market is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion for the U.S. beef industry,” said Rouzer.

Continue reading this news release online.



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