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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

July 26, 2017

CAB INSIDER: Beef grades rebound
with dramatic spike in CAB acceptance.

The number had to be checked several times, and it is worth noting many Angus producers wouldn’t consider 34% Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand acceptance as below average. That’s what it was among Angus cattle evaluated at licensed plants in early July. The absolutely huge number, 34.9%, is certainly an anomaly that won’t stay long, but it is in the books now.

How could it reach so high? As cattle feeders aggressively sold cattle ahead of schedule this spring, we noted the decline in quality grade that took the national average Choice and Prime quality grade down to 74%. This seasonally appropriate decline from the January-February grading highs of near 80% Choice and Prime was exacerbated by the aggressive cash market and short-term supply shortage of market-ready cattle.

Bear in mind that 2017, year-to-date, has featured another modern-era record share of Choice, Prime and CAB-brand-accepted carcasses compared to Select and no-roll carcasses.

We typically see a summer peak in quality grade in late July, and 2017 is at least typical in that regard. The Choice and Prime categories are now collectively back up to 78.5%, and that amazing 34.9% of eligible carcasses accepted into the CAB brand for the first week in July. That was the highest one-week acceptance percentage we’ve seen, and 5 points higher than the same week a year ago.

Even with the larger supplies of both low-Choice and CAB product, the Choice-Select spread remains near $12.73 per hundredweight (cwt.) in the latest USDA boxed-beef cutout report. The CAB-Choice spread, now at $12 per cwt., is $7 per cwt. wider than a month ago, according to Urner Barry.

As data become available for the middle of July, we should see the summer grading peak, with a very small decline moving into August.

Stockman Award Presented at NJAS

The first-ever overall Stockman Award was presented at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) hosted July 9-15 in Des Moines, Iowa. This year’s recipients were Ryan Borer, Buchanan, Va., junior division; Eva Hinrichsen, Westmoreland, Kan., intermediate division; and Jayne Bannister, Kent, N.Y., senior division.

To be eligible for the award, National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members had to compete in the cattle judging, quiz bowl written exam and skill-a-thon contests. The top stockmen were selected from each age category — junior, intermediate and senior.

“I knew I did well in the judging contest, then when I got second in skill-a-thon, I was really hoping I’d be up there for the Stockman Award,” Hinrichsen said. “Since it’s a new contest, being the first intermediate winner is a real honor.”

Showing cattle and being involved in the NJAA is more than knowing how to present your calf in the showring. It is intended to teach youth about all aspects of cattle production.

Continue reading this Angus news release online and watch for full coverage of the NJAS in the September issue of the Angus Journal.

Ranchers Applaud Bernhardt As Deputy Secretary of Interior

Ethan Lane, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association executive director of federal lands and executive director of the Public Lands Council (PLC), July 24 released the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of David Bernhardt to be deputy secretary of the interior:

“One of any administration’s most important jobs is to staff key positions with knowledgeable, experienced and top-notch personnel, and those words describe David Bernhardt perfectly. The administration deserves credit for nominating him, the Senate deserves credit for confirming him, and America’s ranchers can’t wait to start working with him to become even better stewards of our nation’s public and private lands.

“Hopefully the White House and Senate will be able to build on this momentum to fill many more vacant senior administration offices in the near future.”

NPPC Supports Legislation To Stop States
From Dictating Practices In Other States

Stating that “pork producers, not animal-right activists, lawmakers or regulators, should make the decisions about what production practices are best for their animals and for producing safe food,” Neil Dierks, CEO of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), July 25 in congressional testimony pledged the organization’s support for legislation that would prohibit a state from imposing tax or regulatory burdens on businesses, including pork operations, that are not physically present in the state.

The "No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017," H.R. 2887, introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., would stop states from adopting laws and regulations that ban the sale of out-of-state products that don’t meet their criteria.

Massachusetts, for example, last year approved a ballot initiative that outlaws in the state the use of gestation stalls for housing sows, battery cages for egg-laying hens and crates for veal calves and prohibits the sale of out-of-state pork, eggs and veal from animals kept in the banned housing. The California Legislature in 2010 adopted a similar sales prohibition after voters in the state in 2008 approved a nearly identical ban on animal housing.

For more information, view the full NPPC news release online.

Increase in U.S. Calf Crop Points Toward
Larger Beef Supplies in 2018-19

USDA provided several key updates last week when it released the July Cattle Inventory report along with its monthly Cattle on Feed report. The mid-year inventory report provided the first estimate of the 2017 calf crop. At 36.3 million head it was 3.5% larger than the 2016 calf crop. The year-over-year increase in the calf crop’s size was slightly larger than in 2016, when the U.S. calf crop increased 2.9% compared to the prior year.

According to Purdue University Extension economist James Mintert, this is the third consecutive year that the calf crop size has increased after bottoming out at 33.5 million head in 2014. The calf crop increase continues to point to larger supplies of slaughter cattle in both 2018 and 2019, despite the downturn in profitability experienced by U.S. cow-calf operations.

“Year-to-year comparisons of other data included in the cattle inventory report are not possible,” says Mintert. “USDA did not publish the mid-year report last year because of budget pressure. Despite that shortcoming, the report does provide some key insights into developing changes in the industry.”

Read more of this University of Illinois news article online

NCBA, PLC Accepting Applications for Spring,
Summer 2018 Interns, Law Clerks

The NCBA and the PLC’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., is accepting applications for 2018 spring and summer public policy interns, as well as semester law clerks. The deadline to submit an application for either position is Aug. 15, 2017.

The internships give college students the opportunity to work alongside staff on a range of issues that impact U.S. cattlemen and women. The interns will work closely with the lobbying team on Capitol Hill and assist with NCBA and PLC’s regulatory efforts, providing college students a one-of-a-kind view into the policymaking process.

Producer-led and consumer-focused, NCBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national organization representing America’s cattle producers. PLC is the only organization in Washington, D.C., dedicated solely to representing cattle and sheep ranchers that utilize federal lands. The organizations work hand-in-hand on many issues, sharing office space in the heart of the nation’s capital.

The public policy internship will give students an opportunity to learn about career options and provide practical experience. From tax and trade to environmental and food safety regulations, interns will work on a variety of issues and have the opportunity to work specifically in the area of their interest.

Learn more in the full NCBA news release online.



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