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2015 July 24
The most recent Cold Storage report shows a growing stock of all the major protein in U.S. warehouses. All told, stores of all meat (red meat and poultry) as of June 30 stood at 2.33 billion pounds, up 17 percent from the same time last year. Most of this increase came from increases in stored beef, though all the major proteins saw increases.


by USDA
2015 July 24
Herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops, developed to survive the application of specific herbicides that previously would have destroyed the crop along with the targeted weeds, provide farmers with a broader variety of options for weed control. Insect-resistant crops (Bt) contain a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that produces a protein.


2015 July 24
Cash cattle trade was slow to develop last week ahead of the release of the monthly Cattle on Feed and bi-annual Cattle Inventory reports. By close of trade on Thursday, over 20,000 head had been confirmed sold with prices ranging from $144-147 live (averaging in the low $145s) and $230-233 dressed (averaging in the upper $231s).


2015 July 24
The All Fresh retail beef price was $6.114/lb., up $0.059 cents from May and up $0.606/lb. from one year ago. The June retail pork price was $3.703/lb., up $0.007/lb. from last month but $0.413/lb. lower than June of 2014. The retail broiler composite price was $1.


by USDA
2015 July 24
Since USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey began collecting data in 1996, the median income of farm households has risen while real U.S. median household income has remained essentially flat. This may be due to a variety of factors including farm consolidation, increasing commodity prices, and minimal increases in hourly wages for all U.S.


2015 July 24
During the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) summer conference, held July 15-18 in Denver, CO, the ESA was a matter of considerable concern. The matter of reforming the ESA—or rather, “modernizing” it—was a focal point of the Property Rights and Environmental Management/Federal Lands Policy Committee.


2015 July 24
Ranchers from several western states participated in a roundtable discussion with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Partners for Conservation (PFC) and Utah Grazing Improvement Program last week to discuss their efforts at improving and maintaining habitat for the greater sage-grouse.


by WLJ
2015 July 24
Implementing the 2014 farm bill provisions for conservation compliance is expected to extend conservation provisions for an additional 1.5 million acres of highly erodible lands and 1.1 million acres of wetlands, which will reduce soil erosion, enhance water quality, and create wildlife habitat.


2015 July 24
Available acres for summer grazing have been shrinking in recent years, particularly in areas where it is feasible to convert grass into cropland. The combination of fewer acres and strong cow/calf returns results in increased pasture costs, either for purchase or for rent.


2015 July 24
Colorado’s first vesicular stomatitis (VS) cases of 2015 have been detected in horses, and Colorado State University’s (CSU’s) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories have gained special certification to test for the highly contagious virus, which causes painful sores in animals’ mouths and forces mandatory quarantines.


2015 July 24
Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are the best selection tool available to beef cow/calf producers for bull selection. The data is derived from performance information collected on the given individual, its ancestors, collateral relatives and progeny.


by WLJ
2015 July 24
These are just some of the adjectives used to describe those who have been successful in the cattle-feeding industry. What makes this industry so demanding and distinguishes it from other vocations? Former Hall of Fame inductee Roy Dinsdale shares one reason: “It’s a challenge every year between Mother Nature and me.


by DTN
2015 July 24
This calendar year is predicted to deliver the worst economics in grain farming in 20 years. Low grain prices and high input costs could actually lead to an operating loss, unless yields come in exceptionally high. However, this looming dark cloud may have a silver lining in the form of tax benefits.


by WLJ
2015 July 24
During the 2015 Cattle Industry Summer Conference July 15-16 in Denver, CO, beef industry leaders representing every link in the beef value chain presented a plan for meeting aggressive goals to strengthen the industry from 2016-2020. The Beef Industry Long Range Plan Task Force has been meeting since December, 2014.


2015 July 24
A common metric that indicates expansion or contraction in the cattle herd is the availability of forage. Pasture conditions are one indicator of the short-run amount of grass, while measures of current and expected stockpiled forage indicate the level of feed available to mitigate short-run changes.


by USDA
2015 July 24
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the selection of Dr. Robert Johansson as U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Chief Economist, effective July 12. Johansson has served as USDA’s Acting Chief Economist since Jan. 3, 2014, and as Deputy Chief Economist since 2012.




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