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Kerry Halladay, WLJ Managing Editor

Markets
Jun 12, 2015
Cash fed cattle trade was again at a snail’s pace last week as packers hoped for—and again likely missed—an opportunity to buy cattle cheaper. By the close of trade on Thursday, not even 4,000 head had been confirmed sold. Though volumes were too low to establish a trend, live cattle sold for $155 and dressed for $246, steady with the prior week.


News
Jun 5, 2015
When it comes to pest control, breeding for resistance is a very long-range solution. But what it lacks in speed, it makes up for in that it does not spur pesticide resistance among the target pests. As consumers get more concerned about how food animals are raised and treated, non-chemical controls for pests are worth investigating.


Markets
May 29, 2015
Cash trade was slow to develop during the holiday-shortened week last week, and early expectations were for a steady to lower trade compared to the prior week’s $159-161 live and $250-253 dressed prices. As of close of trade last Thursday, 967 head had been confirmed sold with volumes too low to establish the week’s price trend.


Markets
May 22, 2015
The markets may well be on the precipice before the fall, or they could have some good times ahead. It’s anyone’s game at this point, and it all depends on the consumer at the meat counter. How much beef are they willing to buy for the traditionally best beef demand period of the year, and how much are they willing to pay for it?.


News
May 22, 2015
The University of Idaho announced recently that it will not graze sheep this summer on the Centennial Mountains, citing an ongoing unresolved lawsuit with environmental litigation groups. This keeps sheep off the range at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station’s (USS- ES’) high-elevation allotments for the second year in a row.


News
May 8, 2015
Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USF- WS), together with the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, released their final rule amending some definitions related to incidental take of endangered and threatened species.
News
Apr 24, 2015
Two recently-introduced bills that have walked the halls of Congress before and were put down are back. On the afternoon of April 16, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 1105, an effort to repeal the commonly called “Death Tax.” The bill now goes onto the Senate where it faces an unlikely future.


News
Apr 24, 2015
There are fewer cows going to slaughter and more meat in the bank, so to speak. Monthly USDA reports released last week are a glimpse at the changing scenery of the current market; fewer, heavier animals are going to slaughter and increasingly more of them are steers than females, and the strong...


News
Apr 20, 2015
“What you would do with this is you’d put the crowd gate on the first notch, step through the mangate, and step on that little platform right at the center pivot point and then take a flag and make the cattle come right on around you,” Grandin said, noting that the crowd gate doesn’t need to be pushed tight.


News
Apr 13, 2015
As has been covered here and in many other publications, the water situation is getting dire in parts of the West following the drought. In California, the record drought conditions have prompted the governor to implement the first-ever water restrictions across the state, and everywhere efforts to reduce and conserve water are being.


Markets
Apr 6, 2015
Conversations about demand often devolve into arguments about proverbial apples and oranges. This happens on the topics of beef demand and cattle demand quite frequently. One party is talking about bad (beef) demand while the other party scratches their head, thinking about the record high prices they just got for their calves.
Markets
Mar 13, 2015
“Sharply higher beef prices in North America coupled with a very strong U.S. dollar have significantly distorted relative prices in the U.S. and Canada. High beef prices in the U.S. have limited U.S. beef exports to Canada and as a result Canadian consumers have had to rely more on domestic production to fill needs.
Markets
Mar 13, 2015
“Sharply higher beef prices in North America coupled with a very strong U.S. dollar have significantly distorted relative prices in the U.S. and Canada. High beef prices in the U.S. have limited U.S. beef exports to Canada and as a result Canadian consumers have had to rely more on domestic production to fill needs.
Markets
Mar 9, 2015
According to data by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, in 2014 the U.S. imported 2.95 billion pounds (lbs.) of beef and veal. This compares to 2.57 billion lbs. exported in the same year, making a trade deficit of 380 million lbs. The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report projects trade this year will be 2.


Markets
Mar 9, 2015
Cash fed trade was very slow to develop last week as packers tried to play chicken with the rollercoaster futures and cutout prices. They tried to hold out for steady to lower prices—compared to the prior week’s $157-160 live and $252-254 dressed trade—and even by Thursday afternoon there was little indication of where prices would go.
Markets
Mar 9, 2015
According to data by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, in 2014 the U.S. imported 2.95 billion pounds (lbs.) of beef and veal. This compares to 2.57 billion lbs. exported in the same year, making a trade deficit of 380 million lbs. The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report projects trade this year will be 2.
Markets
Mar 9, 2015
Cash fed trade was very slow to develop last week as packers tried to play chicken with the rollercoaster futures and cutout prices. They tried to hold out for steady to lower prices—compared to the prior week’s $157-160 live and $252-254 dressed trade—and even by Thursday afternoon there was little indication of where prices would go.
Markets
Mar 3, 2015
At 490.94 million pounds of beef in cold storage as of Jan. 31, beef stocks are up 14 percent compared to the prior year. Though boneless beef makes up roughly 90 percent of all the beef in freezers, both the volume of boneless beef and beef cuts rose 14 percent.
Markets
Mar 3, 2015
At 490.94 million pounds of beef in cold storage as of Jan. 31, beef stocks are up 14 percent compared to the prior year. Though boneless beef makes up roughly 90 percent of all the beef in freezers, both the volume of boneless beef and beef cuts rose 14 percent.
News
Mar 3, 2015
“There has been and continued to be an unexplainable desire by dieticians and other ‘health’ professionals to associate or link dietary components, particularly animal food products, with human disease,” wrote Dr.
News
Mar 3, 2015
While the public relations world does battle with consumer perception regarding beta agonists, scientists do what scientists do…namely, figure out how things work. In this case, they have been trying to figure out how to make beta agonists work better.
News
Mar 3, 2015
“There has been and continued to be an unexplainable desire by dieticians and other ‘health’ professionals to associate or link dietary components, particularly animal food products, with human disease,” wrote Dr.
News
Mar 3, 2015
While the public relations world does battle with consumer perception regarding beta agonists, scientists do what scientists do…namely, figure out how things work. In this case, they have been trying to figure out how to make beta agonists work better.
News
Feb 20, 2015
If yes, how do you manage your manure? Do you spread it on your fields? How often do you test it for nutrient levels? How often do you test the soil? How do you store your manure? Does your storage allow it to leak? What are the nitrogen levels in your soil below the root zone? What about in the ground water? How do you know? Can you prove it?.
News
Feb 20, 2015
If yes, how do you manage your manure? Do you spread it on your fields? How often do you test it for nutrient levels? How often do you test the soil? How do you store your manure? Does your storage allow it to leak? What are the nitrogen levels in your soil below the root zone? What about in the ground water? How do you know? Can you prove it?.
Markets
Feb 16, 2015
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report showed the effect of market drivers prompting expansion of protein supplies coupled with a strong currency that discourages export. The combination means there will be a lot more meat in 2015 that must be absorbed by the domestic market.
Markets
Feb 16, 2015
Only scant volumes of cash fed cattle had sold by Thursday afternoon last week. Prices were mostly $160 for live and $256 dressed, which was steady with the prior week. Analysts had predicted earlier on in the week steady trade would be the likely situation barring future implosions.
Markets
Feb 16, 2015
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report showed the effect of market drivers prompting expansion of protein supplies coupled with a strong currency that discourages export. The combination means there will be a lot more meat in 2015 that must be absorbed by the domestic market.
Markets
Feb 16, 2015
Only scant volumes of cash fed cattle had sold by Thursday afternoon last week. Prices were mostly $160 for live and $256 dressed, which was steady with the prior week. Analysts had predicted earlier on in the week steady trade would be the likely situation barring future implosions.
News
Feb 6, 2015
At the end of January, six environmental and citizens groups filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failure to answer a 2011 petition. The petition enjoined the EPA to rule ammonia a pollutant under the Clean Air Act and establish air standards relative to ammonia “to protect public health and welfare.
News
Feb 6, 2015
At the end of January, six environmental and citizens groups filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failure to answer a 2011 petition. The petition enjoined the EPA to rule ammonia a pollutant under the Clean Air Act and establish air standards relative to ammonia “to protect public health and welfare.
Markets
Jan 26, 2015
In the domestic market, overall trends in beef demand have been surprisingly strong. Americans are forking over record amounts of cash for their favorite protein compared to year-over-year retail prices. According to the most recent National Beef Retail report, the overall price increase for four highly popular retail beef cuts amounts to a 17.


Markets
Jan 26, 2015
Cash fed trade got underway surprisingly early last week with over 5,000 head being confirmed sold on Tuesday. By Thursday afternoon, over 43,000 head had been confirmed sold via negotiated trade at prices of $157-160 live, and $256-257 dressed. This continues the downward momentum from the prior week, being down $3-6 live and $3-9 lower for dressed.
Markets
Jan 26, 2015
In the domestic market, overall trends in beef demand have been surprisingly strong. Americans are forking over record amounts of cash for their favorite protein compared to year-over-year retail prices. According to the most recent National Beef Retail report, the overall price increase for four highly popular retail beef cuts amounts to a 17.
Markets
Jan 26, 2015
Cash fed trade got underway surprisingly early last week with over 5,000 head being confirmed sold on Tuesday. By Thursday afternoon, over 43,000 head had been confirmed sold via negotiated trade at prices of $157-160 live, and $256-257 dressed. This continues the downward momentum from the prior week, being down $3-6 live and $3-9 lower for dressed.
Markets
Jan 19, 2015
The rally in the cash fed market was very short-lived. After seeing large volumes trade at up $4.00-4.50 live during the week starting Jan. 5, last week gave back those gains and then some. By Thursday afternoon, 44,575 cattle had been confirmed sold on negotiated trade at live prices of $162-165 and $260-265 dressed, down $5-15 from the prior week.
Markets
Jan 19, 2015
The rally in the cash fed market was very short-lived. After seeing large volumes trade at up $4.00-4.50 live during the week starting Jan. 5, last week gave back those gains and then some. By Thursday afternoon, 44,575 cattle had been confirmed sold on negotiated trade at live prices of $162-165 and $260-265 dressed, down $5-15 from the prior week.
News
Jan 16, 2015
In recent weeks, the topic of antibiotic resistance has been in the public consciousness. On the one hand, a pair of reports was released in the UK on the topic of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) looking at the costs of AMR and efforts to forestall it. And on the other hand, a potentially massive breakthrough was discovered in the U.
News
Jan 16, 2015
“We’re talking about growing the world population by 75-80 million people a year,” he said, citing averages derived from the projection of 9 billion people in 2050. “Who’s going to feed them? Whose role is it to feed those people? Is that an opportunity for U.
News
Jan 16, 2015
In recent weeks, the topic of antibiotic resistance has been in the public consciousness. On the one hand, a pair of reports was released in the UK on the topic of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) looking at the costs of AMR and efforts to forestall it. And on the other hand, a potentially massive breakthrough was discovered in the U.
News
Jan 16, 2015
“We’re talking about growing the world population by 75-80 million people a year,” he said, citing averages derived from the projection of 9 billion people in 2050. “Who’s going to feed them? Whose role is it to feed those people? Is that an opportunity for U.
Markets
Jan 12, 2015
The Southwest has had its share of hard times in recent years, but in terms of ranchland and ag real estate, it has been flying high. The greatest challenge in that market is also its biggest opportunity; there are willing buyers, but scant inventory. That equates to a seller’s market.
Markets
Jan 12, 2015
The Southwest has had its share of hard times in recent years, but in terms of ranchland and ag real estate, it has been flying high. The greatest challenge in that market is also its biggest opportunity; there are willing buyers, but scant inventory. That equates to a seller’s market.
News
Jan 12, 2015
It was off to the races at breakneck speed in the New Year’s first full week of market activity last week. Cash fed cattle traded early in the week at much higher money. By Thursday afternoon, over 97,000 head had been confirmed sold at $168-172 live and $270-275 (mostly $270-272) dressed.
News
Jan 12, 2015
It was off to the races at breakneck speed in the New Year’s first full week of market activity last week. Cash fed cattle traded early in the week at much higher money. By Thursday afternoon, over 97,000 head had been confirmed sold at $168-172 live and $270-275 (mostly $270-272) dressed.
Markets
Jan 2, 2015
“So far this week we’ve seen some light fed cattle sales in Nebraska and Iowa at $163 live and $260-262 dressed,” reported Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage. “Not enough volume to establish a market but suffice it to say it likely points to a higher cattle trade when all is said and done this week.
Markets
Dec 29, 2014
As the year-end holiday season continues, the markets are calm. The most recent Cattle on Feed report showed a continuation of the ongoing build-up of cattle in feedlots. Cattle on feed numbers were up, placements were down slightly, and marketings were down considerably again.


Markets
Dec 29, 2014
Due to the holiday-shortened week last week and the subsequent lack of activity in the markets, there is not as much to report this week. But, in keeping with the theme of looking back on the year that’s about to fade into history, there were some distinct highlights in this year’s market that deserve reflection.


Markets
Dec 29, 2014
The most recent Cold Storage report came out last week showing red meat supplies in all freezers down fairly significantly year-over-year. Red meat in cold storage as of Nov. 30 stood at 919.08 million pounds, down 10 percent from the same time last year.
News
Dec 29, 2014
California state Senator Jerry Hill (D-13) submitted SB 27 to the state’s senate last month. Among other things, the bill would require a veterinary prescription for any use of “medically important” antibiotics in food animals. It would prohibit the use of such antibiotics for the sole purpose of weight gain or improved feed efficiency.
News
Dec 22, 2014
On the ninth day (before) Christmas, a lot of people in the West got some early gifts when the president signed what might be one of the most bipartisan supported—and bipartisan opposed—bills of the 113th Congress. Of course, that also means a lot of people got the legislative equivalent of a whopping chunk of coal early too.
Markets
Dec 1, 2014
One of the bi-products of the industry’s ongoing argument over Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is added scrutiny of the U.S.’ beef imports. The lines are fairly clearly drawn in the pro and con camps, but as it has been said, “the truth is rarely pure and never simple.
Markets
Nov 28, 2014
Across all warehouses as of Oct. 31, beef in cold storage amounted to 374.87 million pounds (mp), down 15 percent from the same time last year. Beef additionally represented less of red meat and total meat in cold storage at 39.8 percent and 18.8 percent respectively, down from 42.
News
Nov 14, 2014
You may have heard about the benefits of probiotics in health food stores or from your doctor. But the microorganisms that colonize the human gut aren’t the only ones that need some love. Cattle and their colonies of gut microbes also benefit from special attention.
News
Nov 7, 2014
This is the final week to submit comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) and the Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps’) proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) re-definition. Assuming the deadline isn’t extended again, comments are due Friday, Nov.
News
Nov 3, 2014
When an environmental group gives a talk about the destruction of an ecosystem, the usual narrative paints figurative horns on grazing livestock. It is less common—and more than a little refreshing—when grazing livestock and ranchers instead get the proverbial halo of the potential hero.
Markets
Oct 27, 2014
The industry seems to be running a manic two-part market game. On the one hand, strength in the cash fed and feeder markets was striking last week, as were gains in both futures markets, yet at the same time there was continued information on declining and disappointing beef movement.
Markets
Oct 24, 2014
A recent report from Rabobank suggests the future of beef abroad will be Brazil. However, the country—already the world’s second largest beef producer and largest exporter—is not nearly as efficient as its fellow beef competitors. The answer will be American-style feedlots, fueled by the growing Brazilian grain industry.
Markets
Oct 20, 2014
Most things were up in the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, released in the afternoon on Oct. 10. For beef, the increased production estimated hinged mostly on increased carcass weights, but corn and soybean yield estimates were finally catching up with what analysts have been saying for months.
News
Oct 20, 2014
Today was supposed to be the last day comments would be submitted on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) and the Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps’) proposed Water of the U.S. (WO- TUS) rule. But, as before, the comment period has been extended. Comments can now be submitted through to Nov.
Markets
Oct 13, 2014
The second week of October looked an awful lot like the first week in terms of the cattle markets. Cash was slow to start with expectations putting it at higher money, futures continued upwards, feeders sold for more money, and the beef complex gained some ground while still leaving packers in the red.
News
Oct 13, 2014
Back in the days of the old West, the Pony Express saw fleet-footed horses and their daring riders charging west through hostile territory to get mail through to its destinations. Now the ponies are pointed east and aimed to charge into hostile territory to deliver a petition to the government.
Markets
Sep 22, 2014
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.
News
Sep 22, 2014
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.
Markets
Sep 15, 2014
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.
News
Sep 15, 2014
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.
Markets
Sep 8, 2014
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.
Markets
Aug 25, 2014
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.
News
Aug 22, 2014
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.
News
Aug 22, 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.
Markets
Aug 18, 2014
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.
Markets
Aug 11, 2014
Cash fed cattle trade took its own time in happening last week. By close of the markets on Thursday, 18,288 head had been confirmed sold over the course of the week—not exactly sluggish, but not overly speedy either. The bulk of that volume traded Thursday at $159-162 live and $253-255 dressed, steady to down $4 in both areas.
News
Aug 11, 2014
As a brief background, several Wyoming ranchers filed a trespass suit against WWP’s Wyoming Director Jonathan Ratner and 10 unnamed WWP interns/employees back in mid-June. The ranchers are the plaintiffs in the case, being represented in part by Karen Budd-Falen, Public Lands Attorney with Budd-Falen Law Offices based in Cheyenne, WY.
News
Aug 8, 2014
“The biggest effect of heat stress is reduced reproduction,” he said of the range cow. “When body temperature is elevated, which happens when a cow or a bull can’t regulate its body temperature, that can damage the egg in the ovary, it can reduce symptoms of estrus, and it can it kill the really early embryo.
Markets
Aug 4, 2014
Two key cattle reports were released at the end of July: the biannual Cattle Inventory report and the monthly Cattle on Feed report. The reports were called bullish with both the Inventory report showing continued tightening of the cattle herd and the Cattle on Feed report showing decreased populations, placements, and marketing activity.
News
Aug 4, 2014
The famous list of unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” almost read “Life, Liberty and Property” based on the philosophical roots of the country. But that political and legal heritage is being drawn into question as the Western Watersheds Project has upped the ante in an ongoing trespass lawsuit.
News
Aug 1, 2014
On Monday, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Ed Avalos met with agricultural media representatives at the American Sheep Industry (ASI) headquarters in Denver to announce the programs. First, he announced the inclusion of U.S. lambs and sheep into the USDA Grass Fed Program for Small and Very Small Producers.
News
Jul 25, 2014
As of July 16, APHIS’ Veterinary Services (VS) provisionally re-instated the live cattle import certificate to 56 municipalities in Chihuahua, Mexico. The provisional move lasts until July 1, 2015, according to an emailed Import Alert sent out from APHIS to industry stakeholders.
News
Jul 21, 2014
The EPA and the Department of Defense (DoD) announced mid- June that a long-running program, which made surplus military vehicles available to civilian organizations such as voluntary rural fire fighters, would end. The result would have cut off the availability of low- or no-cost equipment upon which rural and voluntary fire agencies depend.
News
Jul 3, 2014
At the end of June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released a final notice of interpretation regarding the phrase “significant portion of its range” in the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The interpretation is the result of a process that began back in 2011, and in its own words, it will be the final ruling on the matter and “legally binding.
Markets
Jun 30, 2014
Asking prices started the week slightly elevated from the prior week’s sales of $148-150 live and $234-238 dressed. However, after a strong rally—again—in the futures markets, asking prices jumped up a few more dollars. By Thursday morning, cattle feeders were asking $153-154 live and $240-242 dressed.
News
Jun 30, 2014
The IR details 56 specific permitting-exempt activities. The more overtly ranching-oriented exemptions on the list include: • Brush management; • Prescribed burning; • Fencing; • Firebreak; • Forage harvest management; • Prescribed grazing; • Grazing land mechanical treatment; and • Range planting.
Markets
Jun 27, 2014
The most recent Cold Storage report was released last week. It showed that stores of beef in all warehouses across the country are down considerably from the same time last year. As of May 31, there were 378.9 million pounds of beef in cold storage, representing 38.
Markets
Jun 27, 2014
Cattle on feed in feedlots of 1,000 head or greater capacity as of June 1 stood at 10.59 million, down 1.7 percent compared to June 1 of last year. As has been the case for the past several months, all of the major cattle-feeding states, save Nebraska, saw declines in their on-feed populations.
News
Jun 27, 2014
Sage-grouse and desert lizards aren’t the only creatures on the brink of listing that have inspired landowners to roll up their sleeves. In the Pacific Northwest, the threat of listing a small frog has locals putting their heads together to preserve private land rights and help the amphibian.
Opinion
Jun 27, 2014
Earlier this month, I attended the annual Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) as the lone media representative. It was an experience of a lifetime! Meeting young (or young at heart) producers from around the country and hearing about the pressing issues in their states was eyeopening, and simply meeting so many new people was a treat.
News
Jun 20, 2014
During last week alone, the Center for Biologic Diversity (CBD)—just one of several groups that frequently employ the “sue and settle” tactic—announced six lawsuits and one legal petition against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and one lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency.
Markets
Jun 16, 2014
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report was released last Wednesday. Though much of the grain-trading world was awaiting its release, the Crop Progress report had more interesting data than did WASDE. Projections of meat and poultry production show the effect of decreased supplies in beef, however.
Markets
Jun 16, 2014
Relative to the action in the feeder markets, describing the cash fed trade of last week as in low gear would be generous. That said, trade—once it happened—was decent. By Thursday afternoon, 18,083 head of cattle had been confirmed sold, almost all of them on Thursday, at $148 live in the Southern Plains and $233-235 dressed in the Corn Belt.
News
Jun 13, 2014
It’s the thick of primary season in the political sphere, and with it comes the march of animal rights groups pushing for or against issues that might show up on states’ ballots. While there are only three confirmed ballot measures regarding agricultural interests, some of the usual suspects are starting to stir.
Markets
May 26, 2014
Last week was the final week retail buyers could fill grocery store coolers with beef ahead of the Memorial Day holiday. That longawaited beef procurement finally came in the 11th hour, bringing up several portions of the cattle and beef market complex.
News
May 26, 2014
On May 15, a settlement between Feld Entertainment—parent company of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus—and a collection of animal rights groups, including the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), was announced. However, some of the claims made by HSUS’ announcement of the settlement raise questions.
Markets
May 19, 2014
Last week’s release of the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report was the first of the year to include predictions of the 2015 production rates. The upcoming year is expected to be one of decreasing beef production, but increased production of pork, chicken, corn and soybeans.
News
May 16, 2014
included a three-elk lethal control option for landowners via permit between May 1-May 15, a time considered high risk for the spread of brucellosis from elk to cattle. The plan also includes a limited and in some places temporary fencing detail aimed at keeping elk out of private cattle pastures.
News
May 12, 2014
The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced it will make $4.5 million available this year to assist agricultural producers seeking to make water conservation efforts. This is the first year’s allocation of $11 million, which will be made available for that purpose over the next five years.
Markets
May 9, 2014
Walmart executives used the event to talk about how to “rewire the system” in ways that would have a significant impact on improving the environment. That entailed touting various collaborative efforts to improve efficiency and reduce waste throughout the supply chain for Walmart stores.
Markets
May 5, 2014
Cash trade was slow to develop again last week, but when a little trade happened on Thursday, the numbers were a surprise. With a little over 7,000 head sold by Thursday afternoon, prices were steady to up $5 compared to the prior week with steers selling live at $148-150.
News
May 5, 2014
All of the bills are tiny by usual governmental standards and overlap in content. Both H.R. 4315 and H.R. 4317 seek to amend the ESA to require the government to disclose information regarding listing decisions. H.R. 4315 would require that all information used in listing decisions be made public on the Internet, while H.
Markets
May 2, 2014
The futures markets reacted favorably to what was a decidedly bullish surprise from the most recent Cattle on Feed report. Following the report’s release, feeder futures and live futures to a lesser extent surged on word that there will be fewer cattle than expected in the coming months.
Markets
Apr 28, 2014
“Packers are trying to lay in the weeds and say they have enough inventory around them and that domestic beef business has yet to pick up seasonally,” reported Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage. “This may be true to a certain extent but they do have first of May beef orders to fill and export orders have been robust lately.
News
Apr 28, 2014
Friday, April 18, saw the signing of the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement (Agreement) by Klamath tribal leaders, local politicians, and representatives from the agricultural interests. This moves the historic decision on a years-long water war to the next level: Congress.
Markets
Apr 21, 2014
The cash fed trade developed in a slow trickle throughout the week last week. By Thursday afternoon, over 59,000 head had been confirmed sold for the week at a weighted average of $146.79 live and $233.33 dressed. That was decidedly lower compared to the prior week’s $147-148 live and $240-241 dressed prices.
Markets
Apr 7, 2014
The cash fed cattle trade decided to play an opposite day prank for the week of April Fools. Compared to the prior week, where the bulk of a very large weekly cash fed trade took place early in the week for surprisingly higher money, last week was sluggish, inactive, and what few trades did occur prior to publishing were depressed.
News
Apr 7, 2014
Though the voluminous work covered a myriad of literally global topics, its impact on agriculture was a frequent theme. And unsurprisingly, one environmental group’s response to the report was entertainingly agriculturallythemed—cherry-picking—though they seemed to be reaching for fruit that wasn’t there.
Markets
Apr 4, 2014
Every year, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) collects surveys from a large number of American farmers and ranchers asking what they plan to plant. This information is collected into the Prospective Plantings report, and the information is invaluable to the markets and subsequent reports.
Markets
Mar 31, 2014
It is such an alien thing to report these days, but cash fed cattle trade was wrapping up Wednesday last week, with the prices paid surprising even bullish analysts. Live cattle went for $150-154, with most volume in the $152-154 area—up $4 in the Southern Plains and steady to up $1 in the Corn Belt—and $242-245 dressed.
News
Mar 31, 2014
Tuesday of last week saw the joint release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) and the Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps’) proposed rule defining the “waters of the U.S.” The rule will be up for public comment for 90 days once it is published in the Federal Register sometime this or next week.
News
Mar 28, 2014
The topic of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a sure thing for a media frenzy. The American public just can’t agree and argues viciously over the topic with passion usually reserved for religious conviction. But forget the GMOs themselves, what people think about them has been in the spotlight lately.
News
Mar 14, 2014
Things slowed down in the cash fed cattle markets last week. By Thursday afternoon, barely 3,000 head had been confirmed sold. Though the volumes were too low to name it the price for the week, the steers that sold graded 80 percent Choice or greater and went for $148 live.
News
Mar 14, 2014
According to the Rolling Stones’ popular song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you get what you need.” That wisdom permeates the most recent agreement on the Klamath Basin water war, which may prove to be the final word in this decadeslong conflict.
News
Mar 14, 2014
Beef production estimates rose in the most recent WASDE compared to prior estimates, up almost 200 million pounds (mp) for a total of 24.62 billion pounds (bp). This came as a result of the higher-thanexpected placement trend seen so far this quarter compared to the first quarter in 2013.
Markets
Mar 10, 2014
“Effective with the August 2015 delivery month, the amendments will allow heifers to be deliverable against the Live Cattle Futures contract but be subject to additional eligibility requirements,” noted the CME announcement of the decision. The additional restrictions are as follows:.
News
Mar 7, 2014
In Shakespeare’s famous play of star-crossed lovers, titular Juliet argues that a thing’s name isn’t important, but rather what a thing is at heart. Despite her heartfelt—and often quoted—assertion that names are irrelevant regarding roses’ sweetness and Romeo’s lovability, the modern day food world disagrees.
Markets
Mar 3, 2014
And up we go (again)! Packers took the steer by the proverbial horns last week in the cash markets. They were apparently undaunted by their $100-perhead losses as they bid up the price of cash cattle to $150-152 live and $240-242 dressed mid-week.
News
Mar 3, 2014
When it comes to calves and their immune systems, most ranchers know there’s a ticking clock counting down the prospects of that calf’s future. They have to get a lot of good colostrum in them as fast as possible or else they are left poorly defended. That causes problems down the line in the form of sickly, poorly-performing or even dead calves.
News
Feb 14, 2014
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has announced two important data-keeping moves. On the one hand, the Prospective Plantings report is on the horizon and needs producer participation, and on the other hand, it has announced that some of the previously sequesterended agricultural reports will be reinstated.
Markets
Feb 10, 2014
Cash priced continue to settle lower, making the second week this year where the cash fed cattle market did not set a new high record. Compared to the prior week which saw live prices at $144-146 and dressed prices at $230-232, the meager number of sales which had been recorded by last Thursday had declined to $139-141 live and $225 dressed.
Markets
Feb 3, 2014
It’s been a hard year for the West in terms of drought, and the far western states especially. While much of the western U.S. has seen a lessening of drought incidence and intensity, states like California and Nevada are bearing the brunt of the western drought with swaths of red taking up residence in their territories.
Markets
Jan 31, 2014
“It sounds and feels like the hysteria of ‘get me some beef bought, I don’t care the cost’ and ‘go get some cattle lined up for next week’s kill, just pay them what they want’ that we have seen the last six weeks has subsided for at least the near term,” reported Troy Vetterkind of Vetterkind Cattle Brokerage last Thursday.
Markets
Jan 27, 2014
The cash fed cattle trade continued its upward momentum with a vengeance last week as Wednesday saw over 20,000 head sell on that day alone, and at prices $5-6 higher live and $11-13 higher dressed than the prior week’s cash prices. Which, at $141-144 live and $126-129 dressed, were nothing to sneeze at to be sure.
News
Jan 27, 2014
In a recent talk held during the 108th National Western Stock Show, attorney Karen Budd-Falen— of the Budd-Falen Law Offices of Cheyenne, WY, and a name seen frequently in land-rights legal battles—regaled an audience of cattle producers with the state of the country and citizens’ access to justice.
News
Jan 10, 2014
In what is likely a long list of firsts for the year 2014, the derisive moniker of “aggag” has been applied to a proposed Indiana law by animal rights groups. The law in question focuses mostly on trespass and trains, but does include an interesting detail that could even give the agricultural world pause.
Markets
Jan 4, 2014
Cash fed trade last week was riding the strong price tailwind from the prior week. On Friday, Dec. 27, cash cattle prices increased sharply with cattle selling $3-4 higher for live at $133-136 and $3-6 higher with $210-215—mostly $212-214—for dressed.
News
Dec 13, 2013
Thursday, Dec. 5 saw the auctioning of the long-beleaguered Aberdeen, SD, Northern Beef Packers plant. Two groups participated in the auction—Wisconsin-based American Foods Group and California-based investment banking firm White Oak Global Advisors—and it was not the food-related participant that claimed the prize.
Markets
Dec 9, 2013
Trade was slow to develop last week ahead and then during the sudden, intense cold weather that gripped most of cattle country. Light purchasing trickled in throughout the week, but by Thursday afternoon the bulk of the week’s trade took place at $132 live and $208-210 dressed, roughly steady with the prior week.
Markets
Nov 25, 2013
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.
News
Nov 25, 2013
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.
Markets
Nov 18, 2013
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.
Markets
Nov 18, 2013
“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.
News
Nov 15, 2013
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.
News
Nov 1, 2013
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.
News
Nov 1, 2013
“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.
News
Nov 1, 2013
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.
News
Oct 25, 2013
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.
News
Oct 25, 2013
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.
Markets
Oct 21, 2013
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.
News
Oct 21, 2013
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.
Markets
Oct 11, 2013
The continued government shutdown has lent more speculation to the cash markets. Asking prices, bids, and the fact it was another week of Friday trade were all easy to track. But expectations of where that Friday trade would eventually come in was all over the map, from “up” to “down” to “steady” predictions.
News
Oct 11, 2013
There were some big surprises on a gorgeous Colorado fall day. Not only was Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), on a beef ranch for the first time, he also voiced support for animal agriculture. There was, of course, a catch.
News
Oct 4, 2013
HSUS’ recent “pork” lawsuit against the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) was slapped down by U.S. district judge Amy Berman Jackson in the last week of September. Judge Jackson basically said HSUS had no standing to bring the case, couldn’t prove injury, and was effectively trying to sue the wrong defendant anyway.
Markets
Sep 30, 2013
The most recent Cattle on Feed report again had bullish surprises in the placements area. Analysts expected placements to be down, but what actually happened was a shock. Placement numbers inspire questions; are cattle being held back or do they exist at all?.
News
Sep 30, 2013
H.R. 1526—Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act—passed the House with a 244 to 173 vote. Among other things, the bill aims to prevent catastrophic wildfires by streamlining the process of fuel load removal. It provides for the use of livestock grazing and timber removal in at-risk areas.
Markets
Sep 27, 2013
The trend of a Friday trade continued last week; Packers might have done themselves a disservice in waiting as futures did nothing but strengthen throughout the week and they were said to have had short supplies of contract cattle around them. Analysts expected trade to take place late Friday at higher money compared to the prior week.
Markets
Sep 23, 2013
Yet another week of “wait- ‘til-Friday” trade in the cash fed cattle markets. With larger show lists, a number of outside influences on the market, and the expectation of a late Friday-afternoon Cattle on Feed report, the theme was one of biding time..
Markets
Sep 20, 2013
Production estimates were upped for both this year and next on increased bull and cow slaughter throughout this year. Estimates of 25.68 billon pounds (bp) of beef were set for 2013 and 24.23 bp for 2014. These are both below the production of 2012, but up from earlier expectations this year.
News
Sep 20, 2013
Chipotle’s recent marketing campaign, “Scarecrow,” has as its cornerstone a three-and-a-half minute animated video featuring a dystopian world where food really is produced in a factory. A morose cover of the song “Pure Imagination” from the original “Willy Wonka” movie serves as the track for this dark vision.
Markets
Sep 16, 2013
Bids were slow to develop and were passed over out of hand by cattle feeders offering cattle at $3-5 above the Spartan bids. That said, analysts expected trade would develop at slightly depressed prices from the prior week of $123 live in the South Plains, and $194-195 dressed in the Corn Belt.
News
Sep 16, 2013
‘Tis the season for scoreboards! As football season is starting out and fans are talking records, predicting scores, daring to speculate on the Super Bowl, and tracking figures for their fantasy team, there are some other records to consider. When it comes to regulations, the Endangered Species List has its fair share of fumbles and penalties.
News
Sep 13, 2013
“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.
Markets
Sep 3, 2013
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.
Markets
Aug 23, 2013
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.
News
Aug 23, 2013
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.
News
Aug 23, 2013
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.
Markets
Aug 16, 2013
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.
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.
News
Jul 15, 2013
In a last-minute Thursday afternoon vote, the House of Representatives passed the split farmonly farm bill. The vote was a razor-thin 216 to 208 divide in favor of it. The bill-splitting occurred only the evening before and took out the supplemental food and nutrition elements from H.
Markets
Jul 5, 2013
Last week’s short trade week saw surprisingly sluggish buying behavior from packers. Because of the July 4 holiday, markets—cash and futures alike—closed early on Wednesday and were closed Thursday, leaving only Monday through Wednesday and some of Friday for trading cattle.
News
Jun 24, 2013
Western ranchers are no stranger to fire. The recent years-long drought in many states has made that an even closer relationship as massive wildfires devastate parched rangelands. But in Idaho, more and more ranchers are turning in their cowboy hats for firefighters’ helmets as this year’s fire season starts up.
News
Jun 14, 2013
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently announced a proposed labeling requirement for beef products. Addressing the recent concern over the increased potential for foodborne illness in “mechanically-tenderized” beef, FSIS’ proposal would require all such products to be clearly labeled and come with safe cooking instructions.
News
Jun 10, 2013
In addition to targeting certain groups for greater scrutiny, some have speculated the IRS was shielding other groups from investigation. In this case, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and its questionable level of political involvement given its tax-exempt status seem to reside in the IRS’ blind spot.
News
Jun 7, 2013
The most obvious benefit of course is the added forage availability. Cattle that will only eat grasses are at a disadvantage compared to those which will also eat thistles, sages, knapweed and others. And if cattle can and will eat weeds, that removes the need to spray for or otherwise destroy them, which represents both time and money.
Markets
Jun 3, 2013
The cash markets were sluggish as packers are trying to hold onto their positive profit margins as cutout values have begun to move lower. By midweek, the asking prices were $126-128 live and $202-204 dressed, but packers were only bidding $122 live in the South Plains and $197 in Nebraska by Thursday morning.
Markets
May 27, 2013
Cash trade on live cattle kept analysts guessing throughout the week. At first, expectations were for a midweek startup, then after the futures’ bust on Wednesday, analysts were calling for a lateweek trade. All the while, the cash market failed to show the repeatedly record-setting cutout values.
News
May 24, 2013
The May 20 Crop Progress report showed overall corn plantings jumped 43 percent in the prior week. The previous report (released May 13) showed only 28 percent of the expected crop planted, but the most recent report quoted 71 percent. The five-year average for that week in May is 79 percent.
News
May 24, 2013
What seemed at first like a promising free trade agreement with the European Union (EU) has started to feel a bit like a bait and switch. Talks of “comprehensive” free trade only go so far with the EU pushing to maintain its “precautionary principle” with ag imports.
Markets
May 20, 2013
By Thursday afternoon, about 15,000 head had been confirmed sold, adding to the 8,000 head sold throughout the week. With the exception of Texas—where live cattle sold at $125, a dollar lower than the prior week’s live price—nothing in trendsetting numbers.
News
May 20, 2013
Friday, May 10, National Livestock Credit (National) announced its acquisition of Superior. The purchase was made possible by a limited partnership between National and a number of cattlemen from a variety of states. By all accounts, little will change with Superior following the transition but the improved stability offered by the new owners.
Markets
May 17, 2013
Friday, May 10 saw the release of the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report. Though the report contained very few surprises compared to prereport industry expectations, this was the first WASDE report of the year to include domestic projections for the 2013/2014 marketing year and 2013 world production estimates.
Markets
May 13, 2013
The Australian beef industry is experiencing a perfect storm of economic disaster. Drought, oversupply from closed markets, and ag policy gone awry have left Aussie producers scrambling to find an alternative to simply shooting the hundreds of thousands of excess animals which cost more to feed and ship than they’re worth at market.
News
May 3, 2013
Corn plantings across the country have been severely hampered by weather. In 2012, the corn planting progress as of the week ending April 28 stood at 49 percent of the total crop. The fiveyear average for the same week is 31 percent. Compared to both of these numbers, this year’s corn planting has amounted to 5 percent of the expected total.
Markets
Apr 29, 2013
The April Cattle on Feed report (COF) came out Friday, April 19. The report covers numbers of cattle on feed in feedlots of 1,000 head or greater capacity as of April 1, and the number placed and marketed during March. The biggest surprises came from the number of cattle placed, which was well above both year ago levels and pre-report estimates.
News
Apr 19, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, Assembly Bill 343 was pulled by its author, effectively killing it. The bill would have required documenters of animal cruelty to turn over a copy to local law enforcement within 120 hours (five days) of capture. The Humane Society of the U.
News
Apr 12, 2013
Overall, meat (beef, pork, chicken, and turkey) production was estimated up compared to the prior month’s report—mostly on declines from beef—while imports were expected to be up and exports were projected to be down. All of this results in a higher-than-anticipated domestic meat supply, upping the per capita availability.
News
Apr 12, 2013
February’s World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA, turned up some potentially helpful new equipment offerings to the world of agriculture. Every year, 10 new products receive one of agricultural equipment’s top honors, the Top 10 New Product Award. Below are four of the 2013 award winners that made WLJ´s.
Markets
Apr 1, 2013
The most recent Cattle on Feed report was released Friday, March 22 by USDA. The report covered the number of cattle on feed as of March 1 in feedlots with a 1,000-head or greater capacity, as well as the number placed on feed in, and marketed from, such feedlots during the course of February.
News
Mar 25, 2013
This move has been a long time in coming, with Prime Minster Shinzo’s predecessor—Yoshihiko Noda—having begun informal talks with the U.S. in 2011. The potential of Japan’s entry into the group could open up massive trade opportunities via reduced trade barriers on key agricultural commodities, beef in particular.
News
Mar 22, 2013
Senator John Cornyn (R- TX) submitted Senate Bill 19 (S. 19) which seeks to reform the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The overall goal is to put an end to what has been called the “sue and settle” cycle used by environmental groups to extract huge sums of money from federal agencies—and thereby taxpayers—in the form of covered legal fees.
News
Mar 8, 2013
Arizona cattlemen who have been grazing their cattle on the federal public and state trust lands have had frequent issues with off-road vehicle (ORV) riders. The issue is quickly complicated when ORV riders engage in illegal riding and other illegal activity which a growing number of people claim goes hand in hand with the activity.
News
Feb 15, 2013
Monday, Feb. 11, Russia announced it had adopted a “zero-tolerance” position regarding ractopamine residues in meat. This move has effectively suspended all Russian imports of U.S. beef, pork and turkey as there is no unified tracking protocol in place for the feed additive in the U.
Markets
Feb 8, 2013
The most recent Cattle Inventory report was released Friday, Feb. 1 and reported on all cattle— beef and dairy—in the U.S. herd as of the first of the year. Overall, the number of cattle and calves recorded was down 1.6 percent at 89.3 million head, making this the lowest Jan.
News
Feb 1, 2013
Monday, Jan. 28, U.S. government officials announced Japan would ease age restrictions on beef imports from the U.S. This move has been long anticipated and the possibility has circulated since 2011. As of Friday, Feb. 1, beef from animals 30 months or younger could be exported to Japan, this limit up from the prior 20-month maximum.
News
Feb 1, 2013
A story akin to the old western tales of cattle rustlers is playing out in Missouri. Apparently, traitorous cowboys are turning on their fellow cattlemen and using their ranching skills for the dark side, stealing the best calves out from under their owners’ noses.
News
Jan 25, 2013
In the “border war”—crossing the border, that is—between federal veterinarians and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), one side has relented. The agency will not force current veterinary employees to cross the Mexican border to staff a new inspection facility there.