Nebraskas two U.S. senators and three representatives sent a letter to USDA requesting funds to compensate a Rock County, NE, rancher for culling his herd after several cattle in the herd contracted bovine tuberculosis (TB).
Talks are starting among cattle and meatpacker groups over possible changes to the beef checkoff. The American Farm Bureau Federation hosted a meeting last Tuesday in Washington for several groups to explain their individual policies and review recommendations laid out in January to the U.
The U.S. beef industry could lose $13.2 billion a year in market access overseas if a more robust livestock tracking system is not adopted, a study released by the Agriculture Department said last Wednesday. The report, written by university researchers, said the international market expects exporters to have animal identification and tracing systems.
Senatorial holds placed on the nomination of Gary Gensler to chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are increasing Wall Streets power to stop efforts to boost regulation of credit default swaps and other derivatives, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-MN, said last Tuesday.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack sat down last Wednesday to listen to opinions from livestock and meat industry representatives on what direction they believe the government should take in improving its animal identification and tracking program.
South Korea has reclaimed its position as the No. 3 market for U.S. beef after lifting a five-year ban put in place following the first case of mad cow disease in the U.S. in 2003. Industry sources expect sales to South Korea to continue rising in coming months amid some stability in the currency markets and as the cookout season begins.
Barring any unforeseen weather factors, the coming growing season should be favorable for alfalfa, according to Dr. Bruce Anderson, professor of agronomy at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Conditions are good for a pretty favorable growing season so far, Anderson said.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said last Wednesday that it will allow a 60-day delay on implementing more stringent feed ban regulations for livestock feed ingredients. The regulations, meant to help prevent any potential spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Legislation aimed at stopping the slaughter of wildlife that are munching on crops has passed the state Senate and now goes to the House. Under the bill, ranchers and farmers could no longer kill wildlife on private land unless the animals were predators threatening people, pets or livestock.
While strong 2008 incomes and years of conservative borrowing have kept U.S. farmers in a relatively good credit situation heading into planting season, the long-term outlook is less positive, analysts said.
The Montana House of Representatives strongly endorsed a bill that paves the way for construction of a horse slaughterhouse in Montana and aims to bring the industry back to the U.S. Backers said ranchers and those who own horses have been struggling ever since all the slaughterhouses in the country were closed down.
Japanese consumers have shifted their buying habits to lower-priced cuts of meat and U.S. beef exporters can take advantage of that move, but must overcome an unfavorable exchange rate hurdle. Still, the beef exporters will have to accept a partial consumer shift to other protein sources as well, market observers say.
The state of the ethanol industry is decidedly different than it was just months ago, but Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen told industry representatives last Tuesday at the National Ethanol Convention that despite the tough economic times, he believes the ethanol industry will emerge better for it.
Land values fell in the fourth quarter of 2008, but so far in 2009, land is holding its own, slightly off last years highs. Land prices in the fourth quarter were down 6 percent in Iowa and 3 percent in Illinois, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Bart Chilton is endorsing a bill that would strengthen CFTC?s regulatory powers, but Chilton says he believes CFTC should have authority to launch criminal investigations. CFTC regulates the grain, meat and financial futures exchanges in Chicago, New York, Kansas City and Minneapolis.
Advocates of wind energy touted the industry?s potential, while highlighting the potential struggles last week, even as the U.S. Senate passed its version of the stimulus bill that would pump billions into wind energy and investments in upgrading the nation?s transmission grid.
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U.S. farmers will have to spend roughly 30 percent more next spring to plant corn and soybeans due to soaring energy prices driving up the cost of fertilizer, according to a University of Illinois study.
As a result, consumers will likely pay higher prices for everything from bread to milk to meat.
The cost to plant corn next spring will be $529 per acre, up 36 percent from 2008 and up 85 percent from the five-year average $286 per acre, said Gary Schnitkey, an agricultural economist who conducts the annual survey of expenses excluding land costs.
At $321 an acre, soybean input costs