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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

August 6, 2013

Candidate résumés due Aug. 15

Association members who are seeking election to the Board of Directors of the American Angus Association may send a short biography, along with a photo, to Angus Journal Editor Shauna Hermel by Aug. 15. Biographies and photos submitted by the deadline will be published in the October Angus Journal, prior to the election at the Annual Convention in November. Biographies should be approximately 500-700 words and will be shortened, if necessary.

For more information on the particulars of running for the Board, see “Vying for the Board” in the March 2011 Angus Journal.

Call for House Action on Immigration Reform Intensifies

Farmers and ranchers are counting on the House to pass responsible immigration reform that addresses agriculture’s significant labor challenges. That’s the message producers from coast to coast will be hitting their lawmakers with during Congress’ August recess.

In June, the Senate passed the Farm Bureau-supported Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744), a balanced immigration reform bill that includes a fair and workable farm labor provision. Now, growers have turned their attention to the House, where, as they did with the Senate, they’ll push for passage of immigration reform legislation that includes an earned adjustment for experienced undocumented agricultural workers and a new, flexible guest worker program.

“Helping members of Congress and the public understand that farmers and ranchers depend on the workers who show up every day to tend our crops and raise livestock has been challenging at times,” American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman wrote in a recent op-ed. “However, we press on because we know responsible immigration reform is imperative for the continued success of American agriculture.”

For farmers and ranchers, the two most important parts of the Senate immigration reform bill are those related to a Blue Card program for current experienced farm workers and a new agricultural visa program to meet future labor needs. These provisions are intended to ensure producers can keep their experienced but undocumented workers and will replace the current H-2A guest worker program with a program with more flexibility. The measure also provides increased surveillance of high-risk areas along our borders.

For more information, please view the full release here.

AFBF Acquires Leading Events, Publications

The AFBF announced Aug. 5 the acquisition of Cygnus Business Media’s agricultural events and publications. The purchase includes five IDEAg branded farm shows — Minnesota Farmfest, Dakotafest, Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show, Northern Illinois Farm Show and the IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference. The business also publishes Feed & Grain magazine and Case IH’s Farm Forum magazine.

“This acquisition is the union of very strong brands that are deeply-rooted in agriculture,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “By joining the Farm Bureau family, these publications and events create additional opportunities for us to serve farmers, ranchers and the stakeholders looking to connect with them.”

The events and publications will operate as part of IDEAg Group LLC, which is wholly owned by the AFBF. All of the current managers and staff of the events and publications agreed to continue in their positions.

For more information, please view the full release here.

Fall Grazing Prospects for Oklahoma Cattle Shaping Up

Much of Oklahoma experienced significant rainfall as July gave way to August, providing a number of cattle producers with what appears to be the best opportunity for fall and winter grazing in more than three years.

Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock marketing specialist, said the moisture had two significant effects: First, it boosted summer forage production of both pastures and hay. Second, it enhanced prospects for wheat pasture this fall.

“Conditions could turn dry at any time, and there remain critically dry areas in the state’s western counties and the Oklahoma Panhandle,” he said. “Still, the soil moisture now in place likely means early wheat establishment for grazing will be possible for a good portion of the state.”

Feeder-cattle prices have improved significantly since the lows of late May, with most classes of feeder cattle up $10 to $12 per hundredweight. Prices for heavy feeders have improved proportionately more than for the calves, and that has improved the stocker value of gain offered in feeder markets.

At current prices, the value of weight gain for stockers is more than $1 per lb. of gain for a wide range of beginning stocker weights — from 400 lb. to more than 600 lb. — and for weight gain ranging from 250 lb. to 400 lb.

“This value of gain reflects the fact feedlot cost of gain continues to run well in excess of $1.10 per lb. in most cases,” Peel said. “Some of the strength in feeder prices reflects expectations of a large corn crop and a roughly $2-per-bushel decrease in average corn prices in the coming crop year, compared to the 2012-2013 crop year.”

For more information, please view the full release here.

Joint Texas/Oklahoma Cattle Conference
Set for Aug. 13 in Lawton

The Cattle Trails Wheat and Stocker Cattle Conference, a joint effort between the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, will be Aug. 13.

This annual conference provides wheat growers and stocker cattle operators with the most up-to-date information on topics that influence profits, said Stan Bevers, AgriLife Extension economist in Vernon, Texas.

The conference, which alternates between Texas and Oklahoma each year, will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Comanche County Coliseum, 920 S. Sheridan in Lawton. Registration is $25 per person and includes educational materials, a noon meal and refreshments.

Producers are encouraged to preregister by contacting their local AgriLife Extension county agent, their Oklahoma Cooperative Extension county educator or the Southwest Oklahoma Area Extension office at 580-255-0546.

The keynote speaker will be Bart Fischer from Washington, D.C., chief economist for U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas from Oklahoma. Lucas is the current House Agriculture Committee chairman. It is anticipated Congress will complete work on the new Farm Bill this fall and Fischer will provide insight into what the new bill might look like and how its impact will influence area wheat producers’ income.

Two speakers will address new research and technology, Bevers said. Gerald Horn, Oklahoma State University department of animal science professor in Stillwater, will discuss results from the Marshall Stocker Cattle program. David Worrell, AgriPro/Syngenta wheat breeder and product manager at Lockett, Texas, will provide an update on his wheat-breeding program.

Ted McCollum, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist in Amarillo, Texas, will discuss what to do with stocker cattle prior to wheat being ready and still have the cattle gain. Bevers will provide his expectations for the wheat and stocker cattle markets.

Industry sponsors also will have their products on display during the event. For more information on the event, go to


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