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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

February 27, 2018

The Source

Ever play Go Fish?

It is a pretty simple card game and doesn’t take long to figure out. You just need four of a kind and you’ve got some points on the board.

Trying to compare different bull breeds doesn’t take long to figure out either, but first you need to be using the same deck of cards. Is a heart the same as a diamond just because they are red?

How do you compare different bull breeds when using expected progeny differences (EPDs)?

One of the best tools to use is the U.S. Meat Animal Research (USMARC) across-breed EPD table that was recently updated. This is one government resource commercial cattlemen can use to help make decisions that doesn’t make them feel like they are playing a game.

This table is located on the American Angus Association website at

Angus is the base on this table. If you want to compare a Simmental bull to the Angus base follow these steps:

Example: Simmental bull EPDs from bull stud sale book.

Birth weight (BW) -1.2; weaning weight (WW) 54.5; yearling weight (YW) 63.4; Milk 15.8.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

January Cow and Heifer Slaughter

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released meat production and livestock slaughter data for January Feb. 22. Cattle slaughter (federal inspected) was up 7.1% from the prior January. Some of the increase was due to one more weekday this January than in January 2017. In absolute terms, January cattle slaughter was up 180,000 head from a year earlier.

Of this increase, heifer slaughter accounted for 51,000 head and steer slaughter 70,000 head. Cow slaughter was up 56,000 head. The increase in female cattle processed by slaughter plants raises some questions about how much cattle herd expansion can be expected this year if current trends persist. The composition of cow slaughter between dairy and “other” cows (i.e. beef cows) was skewed towards beef cows, with this category of slaughter up 16% from the prior January.

Regionally, there are some year-over-year comparisons that stand out. The Pacific Northwest, while not a prominent region for cow slaughter (less than 10% of United States total), almost doubled its volume of total cow slaughter and beef cow slaughter was up 400%. The western Corn Belt increased beef cow slaughter by 16%, in line with the U.S. total.

Read the full report online at

Farm Groups Caution President Against Weakening RFS

Ahead of a White House meeting Feb. 27 on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), National Farmers Union (NFU) and five other prominent farm organizations urged President Trump to avoid seeking changes that would weaken the nation’s premier biofuel policy. The meeting will bring together key lawmakers and Cabinet members to discuss escalating tensions over the RFS between oil industry and ethanol industry interests.

The farm groups sent the president a letter Feb. 26, underscoring the importance of a strong RFS for farming and rural communities that are currently coping with a severely depressed farm economy.

“The president and his administration have expressed strong support for the RFS since the early days of President Trump’s campaign,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “We want to be sure he remembers these promises he made to farmers and rural communities as he meets with senior administration officials and lawmakers. Rural communities are under a lot of economic stress, so there is much to gain from a strong RFS, and a lot to lose by weakening it.”

The farm groups’ letter drew attention to the dire state of the farm economy.

For more information, read the NFU news release online.

Goals Established for Texas A&M Animal Science
Beef Programs

During the past decade, dramatic weather changes such as drought and parasites have created a set of new challenges for Texas beef cattle producers.

In response, Texas A&M University’s department of animal science head Cliff Lamb hopes to tap into scientists and specialists within the department and both Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to find new, scientific innovations to help Texas’ beef cattle producers minimize both production and economic risks.

Lamb said he is looking forward to building on the department’s long history of excellence in beef cattle teaching, research and extension education.

“We are the largest, most diverse department of its kind anywhere in the United States,” said Lamb, who took over as department head in March 2017. “We are now setting the bar higher in our quest to become international leaders in a broad range of impact areas.”

Texas leads the nation in beef cattle inventory and production statewide. Agriculture contributes $20 billion annually to the state economy with cattle receipts accounting for half the total.

Learn more in the AgriLife news release online.



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