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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

February 12, 2018

‘2018 Should be a Profitable Year’

CattleFax CEO Randy Blach provided a big-picture view of the cattle industry market outlook for those attending the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention & National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in Phoenix, Ariz., Jan. 31-Feb. 2. Of the beef industry’s current status, Blach reported, “2017 was the second best in history [for profitability]. Every sector made money through the chain. 2018 won’t be as good, but it still should be a profitable year in total.”

Cow-calf profits have averaged $165 per head from 1998 to 2018, Blach noted, sharing historical data. “If we can continue to grow demand domestically and globally, we’ll be in good shape.”

With that said, Blach encouraged producers to “remember where we came from.” He pointed out that beef demand dropped 50% from 1980 to 1998. As a result of that declining consumer demand, cow-calf profitability during that two-decade period averaged $2.04 per head.

“Where would our industry be today had these issues [of declining demand] not been addressed?” he asked. Blach credited beef industry leadership with listening to consumers’ requests for high-quality beef. As a result of delivering higher-quality product, he said, “We’ve seen demand pick up, and what we’ve experienced in the last 15-20 years is phenomenal.”

Read the full Angus Journal summary online.

Perdue Applauds Trump Infrastructure Agenda,
Benefits to Rural America

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Feb. 12 praised the infrastructure agenda laid out by President Donald J. Trump, specifically its emphasis on investment in rural America. The plan calls for 25% of new federal funds to be dedicated to rural infrastructure needs, as prioritized by state and local leaders.

In a statement, Perdue said:

“President Trump has made it a priority to rebuild our infrastructure since the day he took office and he has followed through on that commitment. No area of the country needs investment in infrastructure more than rural America. With a quarter of the new federal money heading to rural parts of the country, states will have the ability to expand broadband access, increase connectivity, rebuild roads and supply affordable utilities. Importantly, states will have the flexibility to choose which projects will best meet their unique needs.

“Our Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, which President Trump created on my first day as secretary of agriculture, identified infrastructure — and specifically access to high-speed internet — as a key area where rural America must improve.”

Learn more in the full USDA news release online.

American Farm Bureau Pleased with Ag Provisions
in Budget Deal

Regarding last week’s budget deal, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said:

“The budget deal approved by Congress and signed by President Trump (Feb. 9) includes a number of important agricultural provisions that will help America’s farmers and ranchers and support food security for all Americans. First, the measure assists farmers affected by natural disasters. Last year’s fires and hurricanes were devastating for many farmers. This disaster assistance is much needed so that affected producers can recover and continue to help feed, house, fuel and clothe our citizens.

“By including measures to improve policies for cotton and dairy farmers, Congress has taken important steps to address two of our biggest farm bill priorities. Also important was eliminating the cap on USDA livestock risk-management tools to provide more options in the livestock sector.

“We appreciate the efforts of congressional Agriculture Committee leaders and congressional leadership to craft this package, secure bipartisan approval and get it signed by President Trump.”

Conaway Lauds Hurricane, Wildfire Relief for
U.S. Farmers and Ranchers

After the House approved long-delayed disaster relief for U.S. farmers and ranchers, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) said:

“President Trump called on Congress to enact hurricane, wildfire and natural disaster relief for millions of Americans still working to put their lives back together after last year’s record-breaking losses. Today (Feb. 9), Congress answered the president’s call.

“The congressional delegations from the two hardest hit states of Texas and Florida worked particularly hard to develop a package that provides help where it is needed most. The relief includes vital improvements to standing disaster programs and addresses significant gaps in the safety net for cotton and dairy farmers.

“From natural disasters to predatory trade practices, America’s farm and ranch families face unique and daunting challenges every day. We have more work to do on their behalf in the farm bill, but today was an important step forward.”

Noble Research Institute Launches Land Stewardship Program

When philanthropist Lloyd Noble established the Noble Research Institute, he focused the new nonprofit organization’s mission on the soil, saying: “No civilization has outlived the usefulness of its soils. When the soil is destroyed, the nation is gone.”

Today, the Noble Research Institute announces the launch of the Noble Land Stewardship Program as part of a seven-decade-long effort to support farmers, ranchers and land managers, the guardians of the soil.

“The agriculture industry is poised for land stewardship solutions,” said Bill Buckner, Noble Research Institute CEO and president. “No organization is better suited to help meet these industry-wide challenges than the Noble Research Institute.”

The Noble Land Stewardship Program is designed to quantify the ecologic and economic benefits of managing land with a stewardship ethic as a focus. The program will provide producers with critical information to help them make timely decisions within their current enterprises, as well as a mechanism to help them fully understand the value of their ecological contributions to society (called ecosystem services). This program then positions producers to participate in ecosystem services markets as they arise.

For more information, read the Noble Foundation release online.


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