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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 18, 2017

That Much Better?

Cattle genetics have made big improvements since the American Angus Association released its beef value ($B) index in 2004. Often called “dollar beef,” it was one of the first tools to combine expected progeny differences (EPDs) for feedyard and carcass traits with economic measures. At the time, the breed average was +$23.79, and $45.48 represented the top 1%.

“Now, today, we’re three times that, or higher,” says cattle feeder Sam Hands of Triangle H, Garden City, Kan. “So, are the cattle really three times better?”

A recent demonstration project, cosponsored by the feedyard along with Gardiner Angus Ranch, Top Dollar Angus and Zoetis, found the answer to be a resounding “yes” in a $215.47 difference between divergent groups of calves from registered Angus parents.

“High-$B Angus outstrip low-$B genetics with great consistency. However, we also recognize the importance of real-world comparisons,” say the study authors in their summary report, “Field-Testing of $B in Purebred Angus Cattle.”

They created a Low $B group by purchasing older embryos in storage and used current genetics from Gardiner Angus Ranch to provide High $B comparisons.

Learn more in this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

In The Cattle Markets

The latest data, released June 1, 2017, reflects a steep drop — 1.5% — from March to April in the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI). The RPI is a monthly composite of the health of the U.S. restaurant industry and is measured in values relative to 100. Values exceeding 100 indicate the industry is expanding, while values below 100 indicate contraction.

April currently stands at 100.3, just barely over the 100 mark. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) cites a net decline in customer traffic and same-store sales, as well as a decline in optimism over the economy, compared to the March survey. Fig. 1 shows the RPI from 2003 to April 2017.

Using different industry indicators, the RPI can be divided into the current situation or expectations. The current situation part of the index uses four industry indicators: same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures. This, too, dipped below the previous month, down 2.3% from March to 99.1. The current situation would indicate restaurants are currently in a contraction-oriented phase.

Read this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Get the Jump on Grasshoppers

Hoards of grasshoppers or Mormon crickets can quickly decimate a forage crop or pasture. If your area is prone to high numbers, control strategies may be beneficial, and it pays to plan ahead. The best planning starts with anticipating what might be coming next year.

Grasshoppers can be a problem anywhere, but their detrimental effects are most damaging in dry climates, since vegetation is more sparse, says Charles Brown, rangeland grasshopper and Mormon cricket suppression program policy manager for the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) unit of USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Nearly 400 species of grasshoppers are native to the 17 western states, but only a dozen or so feed on grasses and have the capacity to reach high populations quickly and spread to other areas.

Read the full Angus Journal article online.

NYC #BeefTogether Meat Retreat

Seven New York City bloggers and retail influencers attended a daylong #BeefTogether meat retreat, all thanks to a partnership between the national beef checkoff and the New York and South Dakota Beef Councils.

The event was a meat fabrication and culinary experience hosted at the Brooklyn FoodWorks kitchen in Brooklyn. Attendees had the opportunity to observe Kari Underly, a master butcher and author of The Art of Cutting Beef, break down two beef subprimals, the rib and the top butt, with the opportunity to fabricate their own.

Attendees then took their passion for beef into the kitchen where they created five different “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” recipes. Checkoff staff provided insight into the beef life cycle, beef choices and beef nutrition through interactive presentations and question-and-answer sessions (Q&As) with attendees.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

MU Extension Weed Scientist to Discuss Pasture Weeds

Pasture weeds reduce forage quality and yield. Learn how to control them at an evening workshop presented by University of Missouri (MU) Extension Aug. 14 in Linneus.

MU Extension agronomy specialist Valerie Tate says the results of MU Extension weed scientist Kevin Bradley’s work on a recent pasture survey will be shared. This includes the effect of soil fertility on weed pressure.

Weeds replace desirable grass and can rob good forage of water, light, space and nutrients. Poisonous plants can cause livestock to become sick or die, as well as affect forage intake and quality. Bradley’s work on how to control weeds through proper soil fertility levels will be shared.

The workshop begins at 6:30 p.m., Central with registration at 6 p.m. The $15 fee includes a light dinner.

For more information, visit the Angus Journal Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events.



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