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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 23, 2018

Prepare for FMD

“Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a disease we never want to see. We haven’t had it [in the United States] for 89 years, and if we did it would really be devastating.” That was the somber message veterinarian Jim Roth, distinguished professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University (ISU), shared with individuals attending the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Ag & Food Policy Committee meeting Feb. 2 at the 2018 Cattle Industry Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

Roth, who is director for ISU’s Center for Food Security and Public Health, added, “But we need to face the facts that we might see it.” In preparation for such an event, Roth underscored the need for finances to fund an extensive FMD vaccine bank.

He explained that FMD, while it does not pose a public health or food safety concern, is highly contagious from animal to animal. It is not deadly to the animal, but causes painful lesions on the mouth, feet and teats. If an outbreak were to occur in the United States, it would most surely limit exports.

Keep reading this Angus summary online.

CAB Insider Market Update

In the past three years, fed-cattle prices declined from mid-January to short-term lows at month’s end, or as late as the third week of February in 2017. The trend pointed to a similar February low this year, but live cattle remained in a tight range near $126 per hundredweight (cwt.) from the week of Jan. 22 through Feb. 9. This, on tighter fed-cattle supplies and FEB Live Cattle futures gaining a net $5.81 per cwt. from Feb. 1 through last Friday’s trade. Supplies are tight enough now to incentivize packer competition in the spot market. However, packers bought a large number of cattle in the cash trade last week, some for delivery a few weeks out. Early analyst forecasts for steady to higher may be dampened if packers cut their harvest this week against tight margins, as expected.

The fed steer/heifer price as of last week was 8.4% higher than a year ago, while Urner Barry reported Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) cutout ($217.90 per cwt.) and Choice cutout ($207.40 per cwt.) were 7.4% and 7.6% higher than in 2017.

For more information, please view the full CAB article online.

Digging In on Exports

In mid-December, we reviewed the huge year of 2017 export growth, not only for CAB but across all U.S. beef. As many know, demand for offal such as organs and oxtails helps drive export value, though never carrying the CAB brand label. That means CAB export success is solely based on premium whole-muscle cuts and a small amount of ground beef. We’ve previously highlighted the two largest export growth markets for 2017, Japan and Korea, our second- and fourth-largest volume international markets last year. What may come as a surprise is that 80% of the brand’s export volume sells to the top five destination countries. It shouldn’t be news that Canada and Mexico were No. 1 and 3 CAB export destinations; they don’t have the annual growth seen in Asia, but these trade partners have long been key stalwarts to CAB and U.S. beef exports alike, with Hong Kong rounding out the top 5 list.

Holding our ground and protecting our export position is vital in the two years ahead as our fed cattle supplies grow to the cycle peak and competing U.S. protein supplies become record large.

Learn more in the full CAB article online.

Farm Bureau Calls for Clarity on Exemptions
for Agricultural Haulers

While again urging the Department of Transportation to grant agricultural haulers a waiver and limited exemption from the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, Farm Bureau in recent comments responded to the department’s efforts to provide clarity to the 150-air mile agricultural commodity exemption and the hours of service regulations.

Until recently, very few Farm Bureau members or agricultural haulers were aware of their ability to use the newly interpreted 150-air mile agricultural commodity exemption, which provides exceptions from the hours of service rules for the transportation of agricultural commodities within a 150-air mile radius from the source of the commodities. Enforcement officials, too, likely have very little knowledge about this exemption. This lack of awareness, combined with the unforgiving realities of ELD technology, makes the need for clarity all the more pressing, Farm Bureau emphasized.

In terms of what products are categorized as agriculture commodities, all nonprocessed food, feed, fiber, livestock and nursery and greenhouse crops qualify, according to Farm Bureau. Agricultural commodity “sources” are farms, ranches and other locations where agricultural commodities are loaded for transport, including livestock markets and grain elevators.

Read the full Farm Bureau news release online.



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