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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

June 7, 2016

When to Market Calves?

As calving and breeding seasons wrap up, many producers begin to look at the marketing of their feeder calves. One of the most commonly asked questions is, “When should I try to sell my calves so I can capitalize on the highest prices?”

Chasing the summer video markets can be a frustrating experience, and using last year’s highs and lows to determine when to place this year’s calves isn’t always the best strategy. In the past two years, if you sold calves in June each year you would have captured a seasonal high last year, while catching a seasonal low the previous year.

The same could be said about the fall markets. Producers who sold in August and September in 2015 did not see the highs of those that sold in the spring and early summer. However, in 2014, those selling in the late summer and fall video sales sold their calves at a much higher price than those who sold in the spring of that year. If a producer tried to “chase” the highs and lows, it would not be inconceivable that they missed the highs and came close to catching the lows through each cycle.

For more information, please view the full Angus Media news article online.

Gut Health First

The veterinary feed directive (VFD) will become effective in December 2016. At that point, any cattle producers who plan to add antibiotics to feed or water will need to have a veterinarian’s authorization to do so, and these antibiotics can only be used for the purpose of disease treatment or prevention rather than for growth promotion.

It actually makes more sense to treat disease therapeutically (at levels high enough to kill or halt pathogens) than with low levels in feed, says Chris Chase, professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at South Dakota State University (SDSU). “This is because we are beginning to understand how important the resident bacteria — the microbiome — are in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.” If we hinder resident bacteria with antibiotics, we adversely alter gut function.

“We learned about this after people got infections with Clostridia difficile,” he notes. “Generally, the only reason we see this disease in humans is because they’ve had a massive antibiotic treatment and their microflora didn’t bounce back the way it should.”

For more information, please view the full Angus Media news article online.

Documented Beef Quality

For all the talk of fads and changing consumer habits, this remains: what makes a good beef eating experience today is the same as it was 40 years ago.

A new research report details — and updates — the science that still defines the ideal carcass.

“They continue to research it, and we continue to see the same results, that more marbling is better,” says meat scientist Phil “Dr. Phil” Bass.

The 25-page literature review he recently authored for his company is titled, “The scientific basis of the Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand carcass specifications.” It combines findings of 127 published scientific articles to help explain the technical basis for the brand’s third-party-evaluated criteria.

Those include everything from a “10- to 16-square-inch ribeye” to “no dark cutters.”

It all starts with cattle that are at least 51% black-hided, as a way to identify “Angus-type cattle.”

“It’s amazing the amount of data that’s out there that just shows Angus cattle, in general, will tend to have better carcass quality,” Bass says, referencing work as old as 1982 and as current as 2014.

For more information, please view the full Angus Media news article online.

USDA Celebrates National Homeownership Month

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off National Homeownership Month June 2, by highlighting USDA’s ongoing role to help people buy homes in rural areas.

“Owning a home helps promote stable communities and is one of the best ways American families can build wealth,” Vilsack said. “During the Obama administration, USDA has helped more than one million rural families and individuals realize their dreams of homeownership. This year, our celebration of National Homeownership Month will recognize partnerships with some of the many organizations that have worked with us to make this achievement possible.”

USDA builds strong relationships with lenders, home builders, realtors, community development organizations, nonprofits and housing finance authorities to provide homeownership opportunities to very-low, low- and moderate-income individuals in rural areas.

USDA’s Guaranteed Loan program, for instance, increases access to mortgage financing in rural communities by offering approved lenders a 90% loan guarantee to offset their risk if a borrower defaults. By partnering with approved public and private lenders, more than one million low- to moderate-income families have bought and refinanced homes in rural America through this program during the Obama administration.

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

April Red Meat Exports Below Last Year

April exports of U.S. pork and beef were below the volumes recorded a year ago, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Through the first four months of 2016, both pork and beef exports were steady with last year’s pace in volume but fell 9% and 13%, respectively, in value.

Pork exports totaled 188,324 metric tons (mt) in April, down 6% from the large volume reported in April 2015. Export value fell 9% to $466.7 million. For January through April, pork exports were 722,645 mt valued at $1.77 billion.

Beef exports totaled 88,190 mt in April, down 4% from a year ago, while export value fell 13% to $481 million. Through the first four months of the year, beef exports were 343,176 mt valued at $1.84 billion.

April exports accounted for 13% of total beef production and 10% for muscle cuts only, each down about 1 percentage point from last year. For January-April, these ratios were down slightly from a year ago at 12.5% and 9.5%.

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



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