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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 17, 2016

Cattle Numbers Up

The latest U.S. cattle inventory report released by the USDA shows restocking is well under way. That’s no surprise for most watchers of beef herd trends, but it did shed light on some feeder cattle supplies, according to Derrell Peel of Oklahoma State University.

The report lists that cattle producers have increased the number of cows in the country by about one million head. Thus far, all signs indicate continued herd expansion despite recently bumpy markets.

“For the all-U.S. numbers, all cattle and calves was up 2.3%. The beef replacement heifers were up 3.3% after a large increase the year before. So, we’re still in herd expansion, more than likely, and that’s to be expected, as well,” says Peel.

“The number of cattle on feed was just slightly above a year ago levels, which is kind of consistent with other reports we have been getting. And the other thing is the 2016 calf crop was up about 2.3% in this report,” he continued.

With more calves, Peel suggests a larger feeder supply coming, which may pressure the market.

For more information, please view the full episode of The Angus Report.

Beef: The Main Feature

Not long ago, the news was “sharply higher beef prices in a still-recovering economy.” Industry insiders wondered how consumers would respond. Amid the talk of fewer retail features and penny-conscious shoppers, people still turned to beef.

“Sometimes we all get more worried about those price points than maybe the consumer does,” said Randy Blach, CattleFax senior market analyst.

He put it in perspective during the Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand annual conference last fall, noting that the average consumer has to work 12-15 minutes to pay for a pound of Choice beef today. That’s down from more than 30 minutes in the 1970s and 1980s.

Blach said that helps explain why demand for high-quality beef continued to rise, even during the steep increase in prices.

“We’re producing the highest-quality product that we have in decades,” he said. “Why do we see these millennials coming back to meat, coming back to beef? Because it’s good.”

As prices trended lower last fall, retailers were quick to respond.

For more information, please view the full Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

President Obama Uses Antiquities Act
to Lock Up Additional 1.8 Million Acres

For the 22nd time in his administration, President Obama has improperly leveraged the Antiquities Act of 1906 to lock up millions of acres of the American West.

In a press release touting the designation of Sand to Snow National Monument, Mojave Trails National Monument and Castle Mountains National Monument — a total of 1.8 million acres — USDA celebrated this administration’s prowess for these types of designations that have locked off 265 million acres in the last seven years without any formal review, economic analysis or public comment.

“This president has misused and abused his executive power more than any of his predecessors in an attempt to distract from his true environmental legacy, which will be one of mismanagement and undue economic hardship in rural communities,” said Brenda Richards, Public Lands Council president.

As Obama closes out his final term, a rash of last-minute designations totaling nearly 10 million acres in states like Oregon, Arizona and Utah is expected. Congress must rein this abuse of the Antiquities Act and ensure the American public is engaged whenever the federal government makes sweeping decisions that impact such large areas of land.

For more information, please view the full NCBA news release online.

Wildfire Awareness Week:
Number of Kansas Wildfires Spikes in Spring

The coming spring holds the promise of longer, warmer days, but it also marks the time when the number of wildfires typically peaks in Kansas.

Wildfires in Kansas don’t usually make the national news the way they do in California or other states, but they can be just as destructive, said Chip Redmond, network manager of the Kansas Mesonet and Kansas Weather Data Library at Kansas State University (K-State).

Kansas fire departments responded to nearly 6,000 vegetation-related fires that resulted in more than $4.8 million in property loss in 2015 alone, according to the Kansas Department of Emergency Management.

Governor Sam Brownback has designated Feb. 22-26, 2016, as Wildfire Awareness Week in Kansas.

“Any one of us can cause a wildfire without realizing it,” Redmond said, noting that cigarette butts, car exhaust and burning trash are among some of the most common ways wildfires can start. When ignition sources like that come into contact with dried grass, brush, leaves and other materials that are easy to ignite, the chances of a fire are even greater.

For more information, please view the full K-State news release online.

Dairy Farmer Behind “#Farm365” to Share Advice

Farmers are often advised to use social media to tell their story and connect with consumers. Attendees at the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2016 Stakeholders Summit will hear from one Canadian dairy farmer who took that challenge to the extreme and caught the attention of the public and the media — along with animal-rights activists. The Summit, themed “Securing Animal Agriculture’s Future: Action, Please!” will be hosted May 5-6 at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Va.

On Jan. 1, 2015, Andrew Campbell decided to post one picture every day of the year from his dairy farm in southern Ontario on Twitter using the hashtag “#farm365.” Campbell’s goal was to share his daily experiences as a dairy farmer and drive conversations with consumers about agriculture and food. Campbell was shocked by the response he received, with thousands of other farmers from around the world joining in and using the hashtag to share their own stories.

Campbell’s effort quickly drew the ire of animal-rights activists, and the #farm365 hashtag was flooded with gory images, misinformation and outright lies about animal agriculture.

For more information, please view the full Alliance news release online.


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