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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

May 20, 2016

Preparing for VFD

The veterinary feed directive (VFD) final rule goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. That means it’s time for beef producers to begin preparing. The directive is aimed at minimizing antibiotic resistance in livestock and responding to consumer concerns.

Bill Brown, Kansas Animal Health Commissioner, says once VFD is in place, beef producers will have to follow drug-use labels to the letter, under veterinarian supervision. Establishing a veterinary-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) is the first step in preparing your operation for VFD.

Veterinarians, beef producers and feed industry personnel will work in tandem to ensure that pharmaceutical label directions are followed.

“One, get to know what the VFD is about and how it will impact them. No. 2, ask questions. Go to meetings. Go to their veterinarian. If they don’t have [a] VCPR set up, set one up,” says Brown.

Brown adds that there are still several gray areas about VFD, but hopefully during the next several months everything will become clearer as more outreach and education takes place.

Learn more about VFD on this week’s episode of The Angus Report.

Report Shows Economic Benefit of TPP

On May 18, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) released its report on the economic benefit of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to the U.S. economy. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Tracy Brunner said this report confirms that TPP not only levels the playing field for U.S. beef exports, but also supports U.S. economic growth.

“Cattlemen and women worked closely with the administration through the U.S. Trade Representative to ensure TPP met the highest standards and lowered taxes and trade barriers in all member countries,” said Brunner. “We supported the conclusion of the agreement in Atlanta in October and have called on Congress to swiftly pass this agreement. This report clearly shows that TPP would not only lower the taxes on U.S. beef into critical markets like Japan and level the playing field with our competitors, it would provide a boon to the entire U.S. economy.”

According to the report, the TPP agreement would increase annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $42.7 billion and expand U.S. employment by close to 128,000 full-time equivalents by 2032 when the agreement is fully implemented.

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

Report Predicts Increase in Trade Deficit,
Modest Gains From TPP

The USITC released their economic assessment of the widely contested TPP trade agreement, predicting modest gains for the overall economy despite an increase in the United States’ already massive trade deficit. National Farmers Union (NFU) is skeptically weighing the report’s findings against the trade deal’s inadequacies.

“These reports are often overstatedly positive, which is why it’s striking that the USITC’s optimistic results only project very modest economic gains for TPP. The commission’s assessment of a gain of just .15% in U.S. GDP in the next 16 years, while increasing our massive trade deficit, should raise serious alarms about the proposed benefits of this trade agreement,” said Roger Johnson, NFU president.

The TPP has been promoted by the administration as a trade boon for agriculture that will break down trade barriers, but Johnson points out that with TPP, even agriculture does not stand to gain much with the rosiest of estimates. “Even agriculture, which is often touted as the most beneficially impacted sector of the economy, is only estimated to see a half percent gain over 15 years.”

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

Senate Ag Hearing on Farm Credit

The Senate Agriculture Committee examined on May 19, the current state of affairs at a hearing about the Farm Credit System (FCS) and the farm sector’s credit outlook.

NFU President Roger Johnson applauded committee members for making this issue a priority.

“The multi-year trend of low commodity prices coupled with higher input costs is becoming ever more challenging for producers,” he said. “Unfortunately, we are seeing this manifest in weakening credit conditions as it relates to loan repayment rates and lenders restructuring debt to manage credit risk.”

Johnson earlier shared his concerns about the farm economy and credit accessibility in April, testifying before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.

Many producers have already tapped capital from prosperous years and now find themselves with liquidity challenges, he explained. If low commodity prices persist, debt restructuring of operating and equipment costs from short-term to medium- and long-term debt may present a real challenge for the farm credit sector.

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

Wheat and Stocker Cattle Conference
set for July 26 in Wichita Falls

Pricing wheat and cattle at profitable levels has been challenging during 2016, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agricultural economist.

The Cattle Trails Wheat and Stocker Cattle Conference on July 26 will cover how producers in the North and Rolling Plains regions of Texas and southwestern Oklahoma can meet these challenges and prepare for 2017, said Stan Bevers, AgriLife Extension economist at Vernon.

While it appears the weather has returned to normal and agricultural production has reached more favorable levels, greater production has led to commodity prices below cost of production, Bevers said.

Add to this environment more government directives regarding production, and a producer’s stress level rises, he added. One regulation cattle producers will face in 2017 is the implementation of the VFD.

In this year’s conference, AgriLife Extension and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service experts will cover how producers can continue to remain profitable under these prices and the new regulations, Bevers said.

The conference, which alternates between Texas and Oklahoma each year, will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the MPEC Event Center, 1000 5th St., Wichita Falls. Registration is $25 per person and includes educational materials, a noon meal and refreshments.

For more information please view the Angus Journal Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events.



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