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Kerry Halladay, WLJ Managing Editor

Markets
Aug 16, 2013
Corn took the cake in last week’s release of the World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. Counter to prereport estimates which predicted corn yields to be increased, USDA revised the numbers down. This had a short-term positive effect on corn futures and, unsurprisingly, a negative effect on feeder cattle.
News
Aug 16, 2013
There are several ways to talk about cooperation. One way is to repeat the word “together” while at the same time dismissing or making fun of those with differing perspectives. Another is to highlight the need for varied voices in the conversation while calling out bias for what it is.
News
Aug 16, 2013
Among the many items and positions voted on and reports given at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) summer conference, Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, Ph.D—director of sustainability for NCBA, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program—presented the findings of the life cycle assessment (LCA) portion of the U.
News
Aug 16, 2013
When the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) was created, it was intended to allow the proverbial David to take on Goliath in our modern litigative arena. It was not intended as a pool of free money to allow special interest groups to paralyze government agencies with lawsuits then sue them again for inaction.
Markets
Aug 9, 2013
Cash trade was again slow to develop last week and that may have turned out to bite packers. Following an announcement Thursday morning by Tyson that it would no longer accept cattle fed Zilmax—the commercial form of the beta agonist zilpaterol— both live and feeder futures rallied powerfully in response.
News
Aug 9, 2013
Ag land values are up this year, and up nicely. “Nicely” as in cropland values increased 13 percent in one year. Why? It’s the old tale of supply and demand—low supply in the face of high demand—with the added grease of oil money to spur higher prices in parts of the country.
News
Aug 9, 2013
This act of reining in government spending—more officially, H.R. 367, Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act—passed the House on a 232-183 vote on Friday, Aug. 2. The goal of the act, to have another check on government spending, particularly for the taxing of carbon emissions, is closer to becoming a reality.
News
Aug 5, 2013
Those in the ag world have been burned a few times too many by the futures market in recent years. The downfall of MF Global, which took billions of customer money with it, and the upset of Peregrine Financial Group have shaken producers’ confidence in the trustworthiness of ag commodity futures.
Markets
Aug 2, 2013
Cash trade developed in Kansas in low volumes last Thursday at— you guessed it—$119 live. Some small and local loads of cattle were sold in Iowa at $191-194, but volumes were insufficient to set a market trend, though analysts did predict it would set the tone for the rest of the week’s trade.
Markets
Jul 29, 2013
Read any market story and the vision of the market as a creature with its own quirks and foibles is hard to resist. Sometimes it’s the “Bull,” while other times it’s the “Bear.” It can be fickle, nonsensical, and driven by fear or greed. It can be spooked, confident, or ignore things altogether.
News
Jul 26, 2013
Northern Beef Packers—a small processing plant in South Dakota—has gone through a lot in its goal to produce excellent beef from local cattle. Is making tasty beef such a steep order? For the little plant, it seems it is as another problem mars its track record.
News
Jul 26, 2013
It seems cute, computeranimated visions of the antibiotic-riddled farm are the new weapons in the ongoing food war. Reminiscent of Chipotle’s “Back to the Start” advertising campaign, a new marketing push attempts to drive a wedge between production styles in the minds of consumers where one is painted as good and another as bad.
Markets
Jul 22, 2013
Showlists were said to be smaller last week, but expectation of what the Cattle on Feed report might hold kept bidding at a minimum and next to no trade by Thursday afternoon. Analyst expectations started the week at steady at worst, but as the futures markets tumbled on Wednesday, expectations fell to steady to $1 down, dependent on the report.
Markets
Jul 15, 2013
The negotiated cash trade held off last week as small showlists and reasonable strength in the futures gave the bargaining power to cattle feeders. Bids developed low on Tuesday at $115-117 in the South Plains and $190-191 in the Corn Belt, but sales were too few to set a market trend.


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