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October 19, 2012

What Does Agriculture Mean to You?

Facebook participants weigh in on what agriculture means to them.

This summer was a rough one for many beef producers throughout the country. Sometimes, in the midst of constant challenges, it is important to step back and remember why you chose to be in this industry in the first place. The Angus Journal Facebook page set out to do just that through pictures and the written word. The My Agriculture Photo Contest allowed fans to submit a picture of what agriculture meant to them, and also an explanation of why they chose that picture. Read more.

Contraction in Global Feed Production Predicted

Speaking in Rome at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Alltech Vice President Aidan Connolly presented the results of the 2011 Alltech Feed Tonnage Survey, along with results from previous surveys, showing a steady increase in feed production year on year.

The 2011 survey, covering 128 countries, put total feed at 873 million tonnes. The 2012 survey, due to be published soon and covering more than 130 countries, is expected to show a further increase. For 2013, however, Connolly, presenting at the International Feed Industry Federation and Food and Agricultural Organization (IFIF-FAO) joint meeting, predicted a contraction in the region of 3%-5%, driven by three factors. Read more.

Vern Frey

Vern Frey

Association Perspective

Market opportunities.

With cow numbers continuing to drop, feedlots closing because feeder cattle are becoming harder to find, and margins to make a profit getting tighter, let's raise and market the right kind — Angus. Get ready for some exciting times in the beef industry, because the calves you sell in the next few years will most likely be the highest-priced calves you'll have the opportunity to market.

The demand for quality beef that will grade Choice and higher has never been more apparent than now. Buyers, feeders and packers want Angus cattle, because Angus have a history of genetics, performance, grading and making a profit. Read more.

Volatility Likely to Continue in Corn Prices

Reports indicate alfalfa and hay supplies are still low, pressuring prices.

The battle for acres between corn and soybeans, as well as drought conditions, pressure on corn supplies for fuel ethanol and demand by China are all factors that have steadily pushed the price of corn upward.

Nutrition and feed ingredient consultant Jerry Weigel believes this scenario is the "new normal." He says, "Now the norm is to expect the unexpected. It's my firm opinion that each year there will be something new to impact the vulnerability of corn."

With the release of the USDA Crop Production report and the monthly World Agriculture and Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) Oct. 11, it does appear volatility in corn prices will continue — offering little relief for livestock producers. Read more.

RFS Waiver May Offer Little for Beef Producers

FAPRI analysis suggests a full waiver might reduce corn prices by just 4¢ per bushel (bu.) during the current marketing year.

Beef producers may see little relief in the way of feed costs or availability if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants the short-term Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waiver sought by some groups. Recent analysis completed by the Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri (FAPRI MU) suggests a full waiver might reduce corn prices by just 4¢ per bushel (bu.) during the current marketing year and only increase corn available for livestock feed by 25 million bu. The analysis also estimates the waiver would have almost no effect on retail beef prices in 2013.

FAPRI's analysis explored the effects of a full waiver of the RFS on corn prices, corn demand, ethanol output, imports and exports, and numerous other agriculture and biofuel market factors. The report found a waiver might be expected to reduce corn use for ethanol by just 1.3% in 2012-2013 and reduce corn prices from $7.87 per bu. to $7.83 per bu. The following marketing year, corn use for ethanol might fall 6.6% and corn prices might decrease 3.2%. Read more.

What’s Inside …

In this October edition of the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA, you'll find valuable articles devoted to the management, marketing, and health and nutrition of your beef enterprise. Select from the tabs at the top of the page to access this month's entire offering by category. A few select features include:

News Briefs …

The American Angus Association and its subsidiaries generate a wealth of information to keep members and affiliates informed of what's happening within the industry as well as with the programs and services they offer. Click here for easy access to the newsrooms of the American Angus Association and Certified Angus Beef LLC and the Angus e-List archive recently made available in the API Virtual Library.

Your Health


Stay Safe

Based on childhood memories of working on the farm and more than a decade of serving as an expert on farm safety, Jesse LaPrade is more convinced than ever that avoiding farm-related injuries and fatalities is best expressed in one word: planning. Another way to express it is with that time-honored British Army adage: Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance.

Indeed, based on his own decade-long study of farm safety-related issues, LaPrade, Alabama Cooperative Extension System farm safety specialist, says injuries and fatalities almost invariably can be traced to a farmer's insistence on getting as much done as possible in the shortest possible time. Read more.

Your Health

Tasty Medicine

An apple a day lowers level of blood chemical linked to hardening of the arteries.

Eating an apple a day might in fact help keep the cardiologist away, new research suggests.

In a study of healthy, middle-aged adults, consumption of one apple a day for four weeks lowered by 40% blood levels of a substance linked to hardening of the arteries. Taking capsules containing polyphenols, a type of antioxidant found in apples, had a similar, but not as large, effect.

The study, funded by an apple industry group, found that the apples lowered blood levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol. When LDL cholesterol interacts with free radicals to become oxidized, the cholesterol is more likely to promote inflammation and can cause tissue damage. Read more.


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