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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

May 7, 2018

Measuring Up

A week spent in a feedyard pen is helping researchers gain a better understanding of greenhouse gas emissions. Their goal is to improve the national inventory of greenhouse gases and determine potential mitigation measures.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are collaborating to analyze nitrous oxide and methane emissions from an area feedyard pen.

Ken Casey, AgriLife Research air quality engineer in Amarillo, and David Parker and Heidi Waldrip, USDA ARS livestock nutrient management researchers at Bushland, spent the better part of a week sitting inside a feedyard pen just vacated by cattle.

The project is funded by USDA ARS and AgriLife Research, with instrumentation used in the study partly supported by the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA).

Using six automated chambers, more than 575 automated flux measurements were taken, as were 60 manual flux measurements from separate static chambers, to help monitor nitrous oxide and methane gas emissions. Halfway through the experiment, a half-inch of water was applied to the pen surface within the measurement chamber bases to simulate a rainfall.

Read the full Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

March Export Data; Weekly Price and Production Summary

Beef and pork export data on a product weight basis were released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday, May 3. The following day the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the USDA issued the carcass weight trade statistics. Carcass-weight calculations are done using specified conversion factors and there is often a slight difference between the year-over-year change on a product-weight and carcass-weight basis. For those looking to know the exact difference in terms of export volumes and dollar sales from one year to the next, we think the Census data provides the most exact measure.

However, there is a very good reason for looking at export numbers on a carcass-weight basis — it allows for a comparison with the production data that is reported on a carcass-weight basis. Below are some of the highlights from this latest report:

Beef: Total beef exports in March were 260.6 million pounds (lb.) carcass weight, 26.6 million lb. (+11.4%) higher than the same period a year ago. Japan remains the biggest market for U.S. beef, purchasing 75.6 million lb. in March, 1.2% more than the previous year.

Read the full report online at

Brashears Excellent Choice for Under Secretary
for Food Safety

Regarding the appointment of Mindy Brashears as Under Secretary for Food Safety at the Agriculture Department, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said:

“Consumers deserve to have confidence that their food is safe and that sound science is used to ensure they have access to the most wholesome products. That is why President Trump’s selection of Dr. Mindy Brashears as Under Secretary for Food Safety is welcome news to America’s farmers and ranchers. Her extensive and innovative track record of improving food-safety standards is an excellent fit at USDA, where food safety remains a core part of the agency’s mission and always a priority for farmers and ranchers.”

Group Urges Trump Administration to Block
Sale of National Beef

In a letter sent Thursday, May 3, to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of American (R-CALF USA) urges the Trump administration officials to block the proposed sale of the nation’s fourth largest beef packer, National Beef Packing Company (National Beef), to Brazilian-owned Marfrig Global Foods (Marfrig).

Brazilian-owned JBS is currently the largest beef packer in the world and the second-largest beef packer in the United States. Its bid to buy National Beef Packing Company a decade ago was blocked by the antitrust enforcement action filed in U.S. federal district court by 17 state attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Now, according to R-CALF USA, Marfrig has followed JBS to the United States so Brazil can gain additional control over U.S. fed-cattle marketing outlets and the U.S. live-cattle supply chain. The sale would result in the two Brazilian firms controlling about 36% of the U.S. fed-cattle market.

The group contends that both JBS and Marfrig are state-controlled enterprises controlled in whole or in part by the Brazilian government, which is providing resources to the companies so Brazil can become a global, beef-packing powerhouse.

For more information, read the R-CALF news release online.



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