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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

June 1, 2018

What is the Cost of
Keeping an Open Cow?

Financial survival as a cow-calf producer is like a game of Risk. Producers have a lot of factors to consider each year. Without a doubt, one of those decisions will be what the cost is to keep an open cow in the herd.

First, the particular segment a producer is in needs to be considered. A purebred producer who decides to keep an open cow for another breeding season will likely be able to recover the extra cost of a non-producing cow with the sale of the next calf. However, rarely will a commercial cow-calf producer recover the cow expense if he or she decides to keep an open cow and rebreed her the next year.

“It is often the inclination of the producer that the cow won’t bring in much money if he sells her open, so he will hold onto her and rebreed her next year,” said Kevin Glaubius, director of nutrition at BioZyme Inc. “That typically makes for a really expensive cow and is rarely profitable in a commercial setting.”

Producers should preg-check their cows as early as possible and consider their options.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

USDA Reopens Application Period for
Producers Recovering from Cattle Loss, Other Disasters

The USDA will begin accepting disaster-assistance-program applications June 4 from agricultural producers who suffered livestock, honeybees, farm-raised fish and other losses due to natural disasters.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is reopening the application period for two disaster assistance programs in response to statutory changes made by Congress earlier this year.

“When disasters hit, help is as close as your USDA service center,” said Bill Northey, under secretary for farm production and conservation. “After any catastrophic event, an eligible producer can walk into any one of our local offices and apply for help.

Beginning June 4, FSA will accept new applications for losses for calendar year 2017 or 2018 filed under the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) or Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP). Producers who already submitted applications and received decisions on their applications for these years do not need to file again, but they can reapply if they have additional losses or their application was disapproved because it was filed late.

In February, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which made several changes to these two disaster programs.

For more information, read the USDA news release online.

TSCRA Welcomes New Law Enforcement Director

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) May 31 welcomed its new executive director of law enforcement and theft prevention.

The position is responsible for leading TSCRA’s Special Rangers, an elite group of law enforcement officers who have extensive knowledge of the cattle industry and primarily investigate cattle theft and other agricultural crimes, though they are well-trained in all facets of law enforcement. In all, TSCRA has 30 Special Rangers stationed throughout Texas and Oklahoma who are commissioned through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) or Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI).

The post also oversees more than 80 TSCRA market inspectors who collect data, such as brands and other identifying marks on 4 to 5 million cattle sold at 100 Texas livestock markets each year. Market inspectors report their findings to TSCRA’s Fort Worth headquarters, where the information is entered into the nation’s largest brand recording and retrieval system. The database is a vital tool for law enforcement when investigating theft cases.

Learn more in the TSCRA news release online.

Land O’Lakes Inc. Announces CEO Retirement

Land O’Lakes Inc. announced May 31 that Chris Policinski will retire as Land O’Lakes president and chief executive officer, effective June 30, 2018. Policinski was appointed president and CEO of the Fortune 216 farmer-owned cooperative in 2005.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Chris for his many years of service on behalf of the company and the results he has generated,” said Pete Kappelman, chairman of the Land O’Lakes Inc. board of directors.

“It’s been a privilege to help lead Land O’Lakes through a period of growth and innovation,” said Policinski. “My deepest thanks go to the members and employees who have made our success possible and who have created the opportunities ahead.”

Policinski’s tenure has been marked by significant growth in the size of the company, which is twice the size today than it was when he assumed leadership nearly 13 years ago. In addition, Policinski oversaw global expansion in recent years with joint ventures in both South Africa and Kenya, and the biggest merger in the company’s history with United Suppliers in 2016.

Read the Land O’ Lakes news release online.

Cow Slaughter

Dairy cow slaughter so far in 2018 has been up 15,000-20,000 head per month from a year ago during the first four months (except for February, which registered a 7,000 head increase). In percentage terms, the increase is 5%-10% above last year. At this pace, annual dairy cow slaughter will be 3.1 million head, the biggest since 2013.

Total cow slaughter, including beef cows, has been up 25,000-55,000 head per month, on a course to exceed 6 million, again, for the first time since 2013. The elevated cow harvest prior to 2014 reflect the impact of the last major drought in the western United States that receded during the course of 2014. Beef cow slaughter accounted for 60% of the decline in total cow slaughter from 2013 to 2017. Pasture and range conditions rated poor or very poor in the Southern Plains, as of late May in 2013 stood at 36.5% and 36% in 2014. By the end of October 2014, Southern Plains ranges and pastures rated poor or very poor was down to 24.5% as summer weather was more favorable.

Read the full report online at



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