The Hollywood image of “the market” being a throng of traders barking “sell” and “buy” orders over the din of a congested room littered with ticker tape is just that; an image. At least for the futures market anyway.
“Know your audience” is Commandment Number 1 in the world of communication. But as ranchers are being continually called upon to communicate with consumers who may have never had a first-hand experience with agriculture or the animals who produce the food they eat, this and other communication strategies are more vital today than ever.
A recently released white paper found variations in states’ traceability program represent challenges to a comprehensive traceability rule. The release followed up presentations from the early August “Joint Forum on Animal Disease Traceability” conference hosted by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
It was another week of the “put it off ‘til Friday” mentality in the cash trade last week. By Thursday afternoon, barely 6,000 head had been confirmed sold on the negotiated market, for the week-to-date, these being numbers too low dayto-day to set a trend.
The report—“A Critical Crossroad for BLM’s Wild Horse Program”—concludes, among other things, that the growth of the wild horse population on public lands and especially in publicly-funded holding facilities will quickly become fiscally unsustainable to manage, even more so than they are already.
Cattle feeders’ reaction to the bullish Cattle on Feed (COF) report of holding firm on higher asking prices, and packers’ theoretic position of leverage with larger showlists and buying for a short kill week this week had the two parties on the sidelines of cash trade last week.
Calling the most recent Cattle on Feed (COF) report “bullish” is something of an understatement. Instead of the usual bovine mascot for that market scenario—horned, alert, ready for action— let’s substitute something more extreme. Like a rodeo bull or a Spanish fighting bull.
At the end of this month— Sept. 23—a provision preventing the EPA from pursuing enforcement actions against farms they deem not in compliance with the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule will lapse.
The tale of woe continues for the financially troubled, technologically stunning Northern Beef Packers’ (Northern) plant in Aberdeen, SD. The Trustee overseeing the bankruptcy case has called the packing plant “administratively insolvent” and has moved for the plant to liquidate.
It seems the cash attention last week was on the feeder sales because negotiated cash fed sales were slow to “dead.” Very few bids and only tiny and sporadic sales had occurred by midweek. By Thursday afternoon only 4,679 head had been confirmed sold, making the volume too low for a market trend.
That little handheld computer you—or your neighbor, friend, child, or another colleague—carry around on a daily basis might be the single most powerful device on your property. Sure, a smartphone can’t dig holes, bail hay, or move cattle, but it can connect you with information and allow you to share information with others.
The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) recently announced it had created a National Law Enforcement Council to “assist The HSUS to strengthen and better enforce laws to protect animals from cruelty.” The group is comprised of mostly of attorneys and a few current and past law enforcement professionals.
Every two years, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) releases the Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report. The most recent installment came out last Tuesday. The findings show computer ownership and internet access by farmers and ranchers are closing the usage gap with nonfarming citizens.
The cash fed trade last week was at a trickle in terms of volume. Throughout the first half of the week, only slightly more than 4,000 head had sold total on the negotiated market. Bids were slow to appear and were mostly ignored in the face of asking prices of $123-124 live and $200-201 dressed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.