Cash fed trade was slow to develop last week as packers were trying to mitigate recently very red margins and everyone was collectively holding their breath for the Friday release of the Cattle on Feed report. Even by Thursday, bids were limited to $155-156 live in the Southern Plains and $242-244 dressed in the Corn Belt.
Overall, the report found the rate of fatal workplace injuries declined, but “cattle ranching and farming,” which includes both dairy and beef operations, represented over a third of all agricultural (crop and animal production) occupational fatalities, and the massive majority of all fatalities within the animal production category.
Last week, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller announced the details of this year’s Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) award winners. This year sees 47 awardees being granted $15.7 million in grants, with over half of the projects focused on the theme of soil health.
The cash fed trade last week was slow, but this was not surprising. Analysts expected packers to hold off buying cattle until the release of the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WAS- DE) on Thursday, and that seemed to work out for them, though not because of WASDE.
Three bills sit on California Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. They were passed by the state’s assembly and await the governor’s signature. With three strokes of a pen, Gov. Brown could drastically reshape the water landscape of the parched Golden State, overturning over 100 years of water law tradition.
In mid-August, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of oil and gas company Entek GRB in its appeal of an earlier case against Stull Ranches in Colorado. Stull owned the surface rights to the area in question, while Entek owned the mineral rights under much of Stull’s ranch and adjoining surface parcels.
Very light trade developed Wednesday at $158-160 live in Minnesota and $250 dressed in Nebraska and Iowa, but at levels too low to set the week’s trend. Still, the early trade at $3-5 higher live and $5-8 higher dressed caught the market’s attention. Live futures closed strong on Wednesday and followed suit on Thursday.
Back in mid-July, Tyson issued an Offer to Purchase Hillshire Farms for $63 per share in cash, with the acquisition totaling $8.5 billion. The offer was extended several times and eventually came under Department of Justice (DOJ) scrutiny for potential antitrust concerns.
The frog was once native to much of the Pacific Northwest, but is now found in restricted areas in northern California, Oregon, and Washington in the U.S. as well as British Colombia in Canada. According to the USFWS’ final rule, it currently occupies 10-24 percent of its historical range.
“However, I believe we get past Labor Day and further into the month of September and the market will be dealing with increased supplies of competing proteins and heavier carcass weights. This likely resumes the recent downtrend in cash cattle prices from the historic highs posted earlier [in August].
The Aug. 1/July Cattle on Feed report was released Friday, Aug. 22. While everything was predicted down— and everything was down— things weren’t as down as analysts expected. The report has been called mixed neutral to bearish, particularly for record low placements that still disappointed expectations, and for the lagging marketing rate.
As with the prior week, cash fed trade developed earlier than usual last week. A trickle of trade began Tuesday with Wednesday seeing the majority of trend-setting prices. Trade on Thursday was in clean-up mode as almost 70,000 head were confirmed sold week-to-date.
U.S. farmers and ranchers finally got a farm bill in 2014 after waiting years for an update on the 2008 version. The bill was passed with little fanfare—or booing—outside of the agricultural community, but there have been a steady stream of implementation dates and milestones since it was signed by the president.
Last Monday, the U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and Lori Chan, USDA Office of Inspector General, announced the indictment and charges against two co-owners and two employees of Rancho Feeding Corporation, the slaughter plant that resulted in 8.7 million pounds of recalled beef in February 2014.
PETA’s most recent video, taken at a small North Carolina dairy, shows Holstein cows walking through hockdeep liquid manure. The voiceover claims the cows are emaciated and forced to live in the squalid conditions, a detail that caught the attention of dairy farmer and active ag blogger, Carrie Mess, better known online as “Dairy Carrie.
As with July, the August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report showed most things up from previous estimates. Production estimates for beef, the other major competing proteins, corn, and soybeans were all up for 2014, and up for most in 2015.
The cash fed trade developed earlier last week than usual, though the prices left a lot to be desired from the cattle feeders’ perspective. Tuesday saw a surprising number of cattle trade in the Corn Belt at $154-155 live and $245-248 dressed. This was lower than the prior week’s cash trade, which was itself lower than the week before that.