Cash fed cattle trade was in a “wait and see” mode last week ahead of the release of the Nov. 1 Cattle on Feed report and the drastic downward movement of the futures market. By Thursday afternoon, light trade amounting to over 11,000 head for the week had sold at $130-131 live in the South Plains and $132 live and $208 dressed in the Corn Belt.
Last week was Antibiotic Awareness Week in the U.S. and other countries. Of course, this meant a lot of attention was directed at the problem of antibiotic resistance. However, both an appeal from an international panel of experts, as well as the speakers of the recent antibiotic-focused convention stressed that the issue is a complicated one.
On the one hand, the most recent Land Values report from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service showed overall farm real estate value—which includes the value of all land and buildings on farms—averaged $2,900 per acre for 2013, up 9.4 percent from the revised 2012 values.
The findings of a new survey of consumer concerns were presented at the recent National Institute of Animal Agriculture’s “Bridging the Gap” symposium on antibiotic resistance. The survey’s findings suggest average American consumers care quite a bit about where their food comes from and how the animals who produced it were treated.
The big news of the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report involved the changes to the corn projections. Though the report’s estimated corn production rate for the 2013/2014 crop is up from the previous estimate, the number was still down from prereport trade averages.
“A post-Thanksgiving rally is expected for product and cash cattle values,” said Andrew Gottschalk of Hedgers Edge. That might not be a good thing in the long run, however, as cash prices and their influencing market elements—such as production rates, feeder prices and futures—threaten to push prices out of consumers’ willingness to pay.
In a recent Federal Register, USDA announced it is seeking input from farmers and other stakeholders regarding “agricultural coexistence.” It defines this watchword as the “concurrent cultivation of conventional, organic, identitypreserved, and genetically engineered (GE) crops consistent with underlying consumer preferences and farmer choices.
In late October, the bill—HR 992 Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act— passed the House in a 292 to 122 vote. “Yes” votes came from 222 Republicans and 70 Democrats, while “no” votes were almost entirely from Democrats, with three Republicans joining. Sixteen representatives didn’t vote.
Cash fed cattle trade again returned to the “leave it ‘til Friday” approach last week. Analyst expectations were mixed on if the week’s trade would be steady/higher, steady/lower, or just plain steady.
After more than two weeks delayed, the September/October Cattle on Feed (COF) report was released to little fanfare. The results were called neutral though analysts predict it bodes well—or badly, depending on your perspective—for months to come. Tight supplies of cattle are coming.
Minimal sales occurred through Thursday last week. By Wednesday, live trade had developed at $132 in Nebraska and $132-133 in the Corn Belt. Iowa saw $209 dressed trade. All of it was too light for a trend, but analysts expected trade to remain steady to slightly up from those numbers.
“Bullying” is the current watchword in schools and its demise is the motivator of a good many afterschool specials. But it isn’t limited to the academic halls of childhood. Sadly for the ranchers who face threats from representatives of federal agencies and the hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation.
The FDA released a proposed rule to regulate pet food and animal feed production last Tuesday. Though the proposed rule largely focuses on pet food and preventing foodborne illnesses in American pets, it has the potential to impact some elements of the livestock feed supply chain.
There’s a war of scientific words going on about agriculture. Unfortunately, you are likely to hear just one side on the evening news or online. And that side is the one trumpeting the message that you—the food animal producer— are wrong and risking the health of humanity.
“It was a fast track in the country with South Plains trade at $132-133 while the Corn Belt traded at $132-134 live and a full range of $206-210 on a dressed basis,” reported Andrew Gottschalk of Hedgers Edge Thursday, noting that the bulk of the Corn Belt dressed trade was in the $208-209 area.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced last Wednesday the release of a new guidance on humane handling for livestock at slaughter. The guidance supports the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act portion of U.S. Code. However, FSIS notes that half of livestock slaughter plants already meet the recommendations set forth in the guidance.
On the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Meatless Monday campaign, the Alliance for Animal Agriculture (AAA) released a rather damning report. According to their private review over the years, the Meatless Monday campaign has been inflating the number of participants, sometimes more than double reality.
Last Thursday came with word that the government was back up and running. Politics and speculations of the future aside, this was a welcomed change from the market point of view. Finally there are official numbers on cattle sales and beef prices! However, the market party can’t start just yet.
California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a pair of bills that are historic in their own way. One bill provides for increased urban farming and tax incentives to landowners who help the movement grow, and the other has been called a de facto ban on hunting in the entire state.