Reassurance is difficult to come by in today’s cattle business.
Between the historic drought, soaring input costs and market uncertainty, many producers are wondering if there is any good news left at all.
The American Angus Association® is pleased to release fiscal year (FY) 2012 data showing the breed continues to offer producers opportunities, even throughout growing industry wide challenges.
In FY 2012, the Association reports overall sale averages increased more than 20% above last year, and registrations are up nearly 7% to 315,007 animals.
“The Angus breed is fortunate to have been built upon strong genetics, solid performance records, superior marketing and, most importantly, producers dedicated to raising the best quality beef imaginable,” says Bryce Schumann, Association chief executive officer.
“That will keep our breed strong regardless of shifting industry challenges.”
Records that spanned from Oct. 1, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2012, show Angus bull sales averaged $4,536 per head — a 20% increase over the previous year.
Angus females averaged $3,371 per head in reported sales, a rise of 18%.
Registrations also grew in FY12, as members registered 315,007 animals. The top five states for registrations were, in order: Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Of total registrations, nearly 10% were embryo transfers, and the number of artificially sired calves was up slightly, with almost 160,000 reported in FY12. That’s an increase of 4% over last year.
Continuing trends in many parts of the industry, more producers are now processing information electronically.
About 10% more registrations were stored electronically in FY12, with a total of more than 106,000 registrations (nearly 34% of the total).
“We’re always looking for ways to increase convenience for members,” Schumann says.
“In the coming year, we expect more people to access registration data and other pertinent information on their smartphones using our Angus Mobile app.”
The Association’s National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) gained momentum this year, as well. Each Friday, new information is released on recorded animals.
In FY12, the Association received a total of 801,793 birth, weaning and yearling weights submitted by 8,262 herds; processed ultrasound measurements on 107,757 animals.
In addition, the USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) AngusSource® enrolled 135,041 head in FY12, bringing total enrollments to more than 900,000 animals since the program began in 2005. AngusSource documents source, group age and a minimum 50% Angus genetics.
Promotion, marketing, outreach
Solid performance numbers give the business breed much to promote throughout the year, and the Association relies on creative efforts to tell its story.
In FY12, Angus television reached more than 3 million viewers, thanks to both The Angus Report and I Am Angus audiences on RFD-TV and YouTube.
A growing online presence makes it easier than ever before to reach people almost instantaneously via social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.
New in FY12, Angus Productions Inc. (API) launched an online auction website for Angus breeders interested in buying or selling individual animals, groups of cattle, as well as semen and embryos.
AngusTradingPost.com gives cattlemen, of all sizes, the chance to expand their customer base with a click of a mouse.
While digital efforts are increasing in popularity, print publications remain a staple of the cattle business. In FY12, API produced more than 375 sale catalogs, and page counts for both the Angus Journal and Angus Beef Bulletin are coming in at record highs.
The Angus Foundation, a not-for-profit affiliate of the Association, continues to fuel the breed for the next generation by supporting youth, education and research.
In FY12, the Angus Foundation awarded more than $200,000 in undergraduate and graduate student scholarships.
Supplying the brand
Success for the Angus breed continued through the supply chain in FY12. Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) achieved its sixth consecutive sales record, totaling 811 million pounds, up 4 million lb. from last year for a 49% growth in six years.
More than 16,000 licensed partners worldwide leveraged brand value to advance their businesses and create continued demand for Angus beef and Angus genetics.
Growth varied between sectors, led by the foodservice and international division records of 260 million pounds and 94 million pounds, respectively, both up 4% from 2011.
The largest rate of growth came from the 16% hike in value-added product sales of 21.5 million pounds.
Approximately 14.3 million head, or 62% of U.S. finished cattle, were identified as black-hided.
With drought conditions factoring into an overall decrease in supplies, the 3.24 million cattle accepted for the brand were 320,000 short of 2011 but the third-largest number to qualify in any year.
The key to sales records in spite of lower cattle supplies came from the increase in pounds sold per carcass. That utilization increased 10% from 2011, demonstrating additional packer commitment to the premium brand.
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