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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

July 14, 2017

Foot Rot in Cattle

Foot rot is an infectious condition that causes swelling, heat and inflammation, resulting in severe lameness. Swelling and lameness usually appear suddenly — one day the animal is fine, and the next day, the foot may be so sore the animal won’t put weight on it.

Andrew Niehaus, associate professor at the Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital, says foot-rot-causing bacteria are generally present in the environment. Animals living in an unsanitary environment where there is a lot of manure are most at risk.

“We tend to see more cases in wet, muddy conditions. Feet are constantly wet, which makes the skin softer. It becomes easier for pathogens to penetrate the skin barrier,” he says.

Any little nick, scrape or puncture around the hoof, heel or between the toes may open the way for opportunistic invaders.

“The organisms that cause foot rot are anaerobic, which means they thrive without oxygen,” he says.

If the foot is in mud, there’s not much oxygen, and this makes the perfect habitat for those pathogens. If cattle are wading through mud or standing in a muddy feedlot, they are at higher risk.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

U.S. Cattle Industry Leaders
Establish Direction for Policy, Checkoff Programs

More than 700 cattle industry leaders are gathering at the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting in Denver this week to help create direction for industry programs. The meeting runs July 13-15.

The event includes sessions of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Cattlemen’s Beef Board, American National CattleWomen and National Cattlemen’s Foundation. Among the purposes of the yearly conference is to create a framework for checkoff and policy efforts on behalf of U.S. cattle producers for the 2018 fiscal year, which for NCBA and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board begins Oct. 1.

Keynote speaker at Thursday’s opening general session was Eric Baumgartner, executive vice president of VML, a global marketing ad agency. Baumgartner provided insight into the advent of technologies that are changing how consumers purchase almost everything they buy, from hamburgers to vacations. General session one is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

Also at the Summer Business Meeting, results from the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) are being unveiled. About every five years since 1991 the NBQA has delivered a set of guideposts and measurements for cattle producers and others to help determine quality conformance of the U.S. beef supply.

Learn more in the NCBA news release online.

Fed Cattle Mid-year Review

In this week’s prior issues, we did short reviews of 2017’s first six months on the hog/pork and the poultry (broiler and turkey) sectors. Today, July 14, we turn to fed cattle, which are represented on the CME futures by the Live Cattle contracts. Steer and heifer slaughter levels have been larger than expected so far this year, while carcass (dressed) weights have been much lower than anticipated. Very strong beef packer profits made packers aggressive buyers of slaughter ready animals and cattle feeders were willing sellers.

We thought cash-market prices were topping out in mid-March when the weekly 5-market average was $130.91 per hundredweight (cwt.) (live basis) and prices did erode for a few weeks. Then they surged higher. The weekly peak was $144.60, which was posted the first week of May. By the last week of June the price had fallen to $118.64 per cwt.

In the first quarter of this year, the 5-market steer price was 8.8% below 2016’s. That price was above a year ago (up 4.0%) in the second quarter.

Read the full report online at

Farms and Ranches Need Tax Relief Now, South Dakota Farmer Tells Congress

Farm and ranch families need a permanent tax code that boosts the agricultural economy and frees them to reinvest in their businesses, Scott VanderWal, a South Dakota farmer, told the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy July 13.

“Farmers and ranchers operate under tight profit margins, often for rates of return that are modest compared to other businesses,” VanderWal said. “Our businesses are also cyclical where a period of prosperity can be followed by one or more unprofitable years.”

Farming is challenging under the best circumstances, with uncontrollable weather, disease outbreaks and unpredictable markets, said VanderWal, who also serves as vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation and president of South Dakota Farm Bureau. On his family farm in Volga, S.D., VanderWal has seen the price of corn go as high as $7.60 per bushel to as low as $2.80 per bushel in the last 10 years. Nationwide, net farm income has been cut nearly in half since 2011.

“Reducing effective tax rates is the most important thing that tax reform can do to boost farm and ranch businesses,” said VanderWal.

Read the full AFBF news release online.

Congress Must Create a Functional,
Adequately Funded Farm Safety Net

As American family farmers and ranchers navigate the most severe economic downturn since the 1980s farm crisis, the National Farmers Union (NFU) Board of Directors is urging the U.S. Congress to allocate more money to the farm safety net to make it work for family agriculture.

Family farmers and ranchers provide an essential service in growing high-quality food, fiber, feed and fuel for the country; and agriculture serves as the backbone of America’s rural economy, the board noted in a resolution passed July 13. However, it continues to be put on the chopping block.

“The productivity of America’s family farmers and ranchers provides our country with national security, renewable wealth and vibrant rural communities,” noted the NFU Board. “The farm bill is to provide the nation with a safe, affordable food system for its citizens. We should increase the dollars in the agricultural budget to make effective farm legislation.”

The board noted that the dialogue around the consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill has once again shifted to budget savings, rather than what is needed to make farm programs effective.

For more information, view the NFU news release online.



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