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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

April 11, 2016

Water in the West

California may be a unique state in agriculture — often boasted as the No. 1 state in ag — but its challenges are indicative of those faced in other states, or what’s to come for many. With a vast urban population, one of California’s key recurring issues is water.

“The biggest challenge, if you wanted to pick one, is water issues in the state,” said Dave Daley, first vice president of the California Cattlemen’s Association. “We’ve been through four years of drought, we’ve grown to a population of 38 million and we don’t have enough storage. How do we manage that water to take care of urban populations, that No. 1 agricultural industry and at the same time deal with environmental contraints?”

While California’s water problems may be in the spotlight, Daley adds that much of the arid west faces similar water problems.

For the full interview watch this week’s The Angus Report online. You can also catch the show at 1:30 p.m. CST Saturday and 7:30 a.m. CST each Monday on RFD-TV.

Ag and Food Coalition: Pass TPP Now

More than 200 food and agricultural companies and associations, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), recently sent a letter to members of Congress calling for a swift vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). NCBA President Tracy Brunner says cattle producers cannot wait any longer to level the playing field.

“Japan is our largest export market and our Japanese customers demand high-quality U.S. beef,” said Brunner. “However, due to the Australia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, U.S. beef faces a tariff that is 11% higher than Australian beef, our leading competitor. That tax alone makes our beef less competitive and gives Australia’s beef producers a significant advantage that has allowed them to capture over $100 million in additional beef sales at the expense of U.S. producers.”

With the implementation of the Australia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement in early 2015, the tariff rate on Australian beef exports to Japan immediately dropped from 38.5% to 28.5%.

On April 1, 2016, that tariff again dropped to 27.5% and will continue to decrease every April until the tariff rate hits 19% in 2031.

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

R-CALF USA Sends Requests to Senate Judiciary Committee

In its highly detailed and well-documented first request to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (Committee), R-CALF USA provides evidence indicating that antitrust and anticompetitive conduct by dominant meatpackers and certain traders in the cattle futures market in 2015 caused a severe anomaly in U.S. cattle markets. That anomaly, according to the group, caused an “unprecedented extraction of equity from the U.S. live cattle industry” and harmed consumers, as well.

Also included is documentation showing that independent cattle feeders lost more than $500 per head of cattle sold during the collapse and, consequently, “the very foundation of the U.S. cattle industry’s feeding sector — its independent cattle feeders — was irreparably damaged.”

To read more, please view the news release online.

Cows Need Salt to Avoid Grass Tetany

Grass tetany, or grass staggers, affects mature cattle grazing lush forage after weather changes, like freezing early spring pastures or sudden growth after rainfall following drought.

This problem is associated with magnesium deficiency, calcium deficiency and excess potassium in the blood of affected animals. During cool, wet conditions or regrowth after frost or drought damage, sodium levels in certain forage plants plummet, while nitrogen and potassium levels spike. Recommended prevention has been supplemental dietary magnesium. Many producers feed high levels to try to prevent losses. Standard treatment for acute cases has been oral and/or intravenous magnesium.

After examining cattle lost in 2001 following spring frosts in the Midwest, Thomas Swerczek, a veterinary pathologist in the Department of Veterinary Science at the University of Kentucky (UK), found more clues about the cause and prevention of grass tetany.

Read more in this Angus Media article online.

Dip in Cattle Prices not Deterring Texas Ranchers’ Optimism

Hundreds of Texas cattle producers gathered at the 2016 Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Convention in Fort Worth Friday, April 8, to learn more about current industry issues and with optimism despite a dip in high prices, according to organizers.

Calf market prices have fallen from historic highs a year ago, but the event proved there’s still big interest in cattle across the state, they said.

“You know the bloom is a little off the rose in terms of cattle prices, but it’s not stopping folks from restocking,” said Joe Paschal, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock specialist, Corpus Christi. “The feeder cattle market may be off a little bit, but the breeding female market is pretty strong.”

The three-day convention, which continues through Sunday, includes cattle handling demonstrations and presentations from industry leaders on a variety of issues. Though the market is not as robust as in 2015 or 2014, Paschal said good prices are being paid for replacement cattle.

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



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