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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

April 24, 2014

Angus Influence Grows in U.S. Herds

English-origin cattle have dominated U.S. cow herds for more than a century, but a recent online survey of 1,245 producers updates the details.

“We found that 34% of them run straight-bred Angus, having used no other breed of bull in the past three years,” said Steve Suther, director of industry information for Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), which commissioned the study. “That’s about four times the number of all other straight-bred herds.”

Crossbred herds accounted for 58% of the total, and most of those used Angus genetics. Only 20% of all herds have no Angus genetics, and after accounting for non-Angus purebred herds, that means 89% of crossbred herds use Angus genetics.

“Nearly 46% owned fewer than 50 cows,” Suther said, “but results did not change significantly when small producers were excluded.” Those with more than 200 cows or located in the north central region tended to use a slightly lower percentage of Angus bulls. In all, the survey represented 65,000 bulls, 55% of them Angus.

Ages 46 to 75 years made up 79% of producers, followed by those 30 to 45, and older than 75. The 3% younger than 30 were much more likely to use Angus bulls (70%), and those older than 75 used the most other breeds. Except for those opposite ends, the older the producer, the more likely they were to use Angus bulls.

Bull usage in 2013 was recorded as 40.2% Angus only, followed by “multiple breeds including Angus” at 29.2% and “multiple breeds but no Angus” at 7.2%, Suther said. The rest were widely scattered among a dozen or more other breeds that showed as much as one-tenth the Angus level, such as Hereford at 4.2%.

For more information, please view the full release here.

Spring Planting Delays from Wet Conditions
Not a Concern … Yet

Despite the wet conditions that have affected many Ohio corn fields so far this season, growers who haven’t begun planting shouldn’t be concerned yet, according to an agronomist with the Ohio State University (OSU) College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

According to corn planting data for the past 15 years, less than 10% of Ohio corn has typically been planted by April 15, said Peter Thomison, an OSU Extension agronomist.

In fact, historical planting data show that an average of just about 2% of corn has typically been planted statewide by that date.

As of the week ending April 13, there had been no appreciable acreage of corn planted in Ohio, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). That compares to 1% that had been planted by the same time last year and 2% that had been planted on average during the same time period during the past five years, the agency said.

“I’m really not surprised that we’re not seeing more corn planted,” Thomison said. “We’ve had a wet April so far, but in previous planting seasons we’ve experienced wet Aprils with conditions then turning warmer and dry and growers able to get planting done normally.

“This early rain pattern is not at all unusual. Conditions could be better, but there really is no need for concern yet.”

There were 0.9 days suitable for field work in Ohio during the week ending April 13, the federal agriculture agency said.

For more information, please view the full release here.

USDA Announces $150 Million Investment Fund
to Grow Small Businesses, Create Jobs in Rural America

As part of the Obama administration’s new “Made in Rural America” export and investment initiative, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced April 21 the creation of a new investment fund that will help propel the growth of small businesses across rural America. The new Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) will now allow USDA to facilitate private equity investments in agriculture-related businesses. Currently, USDA programs exist to help provide loans or loan guarantees to help rural businesses grow, but many small, cutting-edge businesses also need equity support in addition to or instead of borrowed funds.

Advantage Capital Partners, which will manage the new fund, and their partners from eight Farm Credit institutions, have pledged to invest nearly $150 million into the new effort.

“This new fund will allow innovative small businesses throughout rural America to access the capital they need to grow and create jobs,” Vilsack said. “One of USDA’s top priorities is to help reenergize the rural economy, and we now have a powerful new tool available to help achieve that goal. This new partnership will allow us to facilitate private investment in businesses working in bio-manufacturing, advanced energy production, local and regional food systems, improved farming technologies and other cutting-edge fields.”

The fund is being formed under the USDA’s Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP). USDA utilizes RBIP to license funds to invest in enterprises that will create growth and job opportunities in rural areas, with an emphasis on smaller enterprises. Working through the USDA program enables licensed funds to raise capital from Farm Credit System banks and associations.

For more information, please view the full release here.

Spring Beef Cattle Workshop Slated for May 16 in Bandera

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee for Bandera County will present the “Spring Beef Cattle Workshop” from 3-6 p.m. May 16 in Bandera.

The program will begin at the Mansfield Park Recreation Center, 2886 Highway 16 North, and conclude at the Flying A Ranch.

“With low inventory numbers and high cattle prices, there appears to be a renewed interest in beef production,” said Sam Womble, AgriLife Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources, Bandera County. “More and more landowners are looking at cattle as a management tool to enhance their production system.”

Womble said program presentations will include: basic considerations for getting started in the cattle business, nutrition 101, facilities and cattle handling, and niche markets.

Speakers will include Rick Machen, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist, Uvalde, and Keith Lake and Brent Trussell, both wildlife biologists at the Flying A Ranch.

Womble said the program will also feature hands-on demonstrations.

The cost is $15 per person and includes refreshments. To register, contact the AgriLife Extension office in Bandera County at 830-796-7755 by May 9.

For more information and to learn about upcoming educational programs, go to

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