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Pete Crow, Publisher

Opinion
May 1, 2015
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade agreement and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) have been put into high gear after the Senate Committee on Finance passed a resolution to give the president trade promotion fast track authority. But the politics are CROW.


Opinion
Apr 24, 2015
I think it’s a fieldman’s disease, but every spring we all feel compelled to get in the car and drive thousands of miles in the course of a week or two to attend bull sales, which have been remarkable this year. And everyone seems to want heifer bulls.


Opinion
Apr 10, 2015
A lot can happen in 90 days in these cattle markets. April live cattle futures crashed down to $144 at the end of December and now they have rallied back to $161. And the cash market is very near its record high of $173. As of last Thursday, feeders were offering cattle at $170 and packers have


Opinion
Apr 6, 2015
It’s kind of amazing that the Senate and the House have both passed budgets, since we haven’t seen a federal budget for quite some time. But there are some resolutions in this budget that should bode well for agriculture.
Opinion
Mar 30, 2015
Should the cattle industry be worried about the cash market for fed cattle? That question has been bugging cattle feeders for decades. But if you watch their behavior they don’t appear too concerned about the cash market since most feeders market cattle on a formula, and there.
Opinion
Mar 30, 2015
Should the cattle industry be worried about the cash market for fed cattle? That question has been bugging cattle feeders for decades. But if you watch their behavior they don’t appear too concerned about the cash market since most feeders market cattle on a formula, and there.
Opinion
Mar 23, 2015
The House Natural Resources Committee just released their agenda for the next couple years and it appears that they will certainly produce a lot of news that should please western resource users. The new Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) has a very aggressive mindset;.
Opinion
Mar 23, 2015
The House Natural Resources Committee just released their agenda for the next couple years and it appears that they will certainly produce a lot of news that should please western resource users. The new Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) has a very aggressive mindset;.
Opinion
Mar 16, 2015
Beef packers had a few days of profitability a couple weeks ago, but slipped back into red ink again, losing $16.75 per head last Wednesday. Despite profitability, they came to the table and started last week’s bidding at $161
Opinion
Mar 9, 2015
It appears that we’re headed for a dry summer in the western states, where they have been in an extended drought. Here in Colorado, we received a good shot of snow that for the most part stayed in the mountains and dumped several feet. The state of Colorado has 92 percent of our normal snowpack and we have our wettest months before us.
Opinion
Mar 9, 2015
It appears that we’re headed for a dry summer in the western states, where they have been in an extended drought. Here in Colorado, we received a good shot of snow that for the most part stayed in the mountains and dumped several feet. The state of Colorado has 92 percent of our normal snowpack and we have our wettest months before us.
Opinion
Mar 2, 2015
Boxed beef cutout values are on the rise this past week after several weeks of production declines. Packers have been experiencing losses of $100 per head for several weeks and that looks to be changing. The Choice cutout was $244.24 last Tuesday, up about $5 from the.
Opinion
Mar 2, 2015
Boxed beef cutout values are on the rise this past week after several weeks of production declines. Packers have been experiencing losses of $100 per head for several weeks and that looks to be changing. The Choice cutout was $244.24 last Tuesday, up about $5 from the.
Opinion
Feb 23, 2015
This situation with the West Coast shipping ports is getting out of hand and has been for a while. Beef and meat exports to our Asian customers have been damaged and it will take some time to rectify. The labor unions are fighting for relevance while the rest of the.
Opinion
Feb 23, 2015
This situation with the West Coast shipping ports is getting out of hand and has been for a while. Beef and meat exports to our Asian customers have been damaged and it will take some time to rectify. The labor unions are fighting for relevance while the rest of the.
Opinion
Feb 16, 2015
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association hosted their largest annual convention ever with over 8,200 folks showing up to attend meetings and the trade show—which was also the largest ever—with over 330 exhibitors; and it was pleasing to see so many young people attend.
Opinion
Feb 16, 2015
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association hosted their largest annual convention ever with over 8,200 folks showing up to attend meetings and the trade show—which was also the largest ever—with over 330 exhibitors; and it was pleasing to see so many young people attend.
Opinion
Feb 9, 2015
The markets didn’t seem to like the Jan. 31 cattle inventory numbers that showed 1 percent more cattle available than last year, roughly 1.3 million more cattle. Feeder cattle futures were all down the limit of $4.50, bringing feeder cattle values down to.
Opinion
Feb 9, 2015
The markets didn’t seem to like the Jan. 31 cattle inventory numbers that showed 1 percent more cattle available than last year, roughly 1.3 million more cattle. Feeder cattle futures were all down the limit of $4.50, bringing feeder cattle values down to.
Opinion
Feb 2, 2015
This survey is a proactive tool for public lands ranchers and can be used to combat the many negative perceptions some have about livestock grazing. This survey supports what many of us already know, which is that livestock grazing is a management tool that helps maintain healthy ecosystems.
Opinion
Feb 2, 2015
This survey is a proactive tool for public lands ranchers and can be used to combat the many negative perceptions some have about livestock grazing. This survey supports what many of us already know, which is that livestock grazing is a management tool that helps maintain healthy ecosystems.
Opinion
Jan 19, 2015
Cattle markets are struggling to find value. The live cattle futures contract has declined over $10 over the past week to $155.80, while the cash market touched $170 live. This week fed cattle are trading $5-6 lower, but still a $10 premium over CROW.
Opinion
Jan 19, 2015
Cattle markets are struggling to find value. The live cattle futures contract has declined over $10 over the past week to $155.80, while the cash market touched $170 live. This week fed cattle are trading $5-6 lower, but still a $10 premium over CROW.
Opinion
Jan 9, 2015
Have you had enough of the progressive politics in our government yet? The beef industry is under assault again, this time through the federal government’s dietary guidelines, which are updated every five years. In the past, the struggle for beef was to explain its role in nutrition, and CROW.
Opinion
Jan 9, 2015
Have you had enough of the progressive politics in our government yet? The beef industry is under assault again, this time through the federal government’s dietary guidelines, which are updated every five years. In the past, the struggle for beef was to explain its role in nutrition, and CROW.
Opinion
Jan 2, 2015
If you look at the market dynamics this last December, feeder cattle markets were due for the correction that took place. The year 2014 produced a cattle market that will more than likely never be seen again; you can say it was historical, and you were part of it.
Opinion
Dec 19, 2014
If you were a bull in the feeder cattle pit at the CME, I’m sorry to learn of your fate after five days of limit down trading. With the January feeders touching $237, didn’t you think that was kind of high? Cattle feeders were buying feeder cattle at $190 breakevens in November when.
Opinion
Dec 15, 2014
Watching the federal government fund itself is always entertaining. This last $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill may be just about right because it seems that nobody is happy with it because they didn’t get everything they wanted. It always amazes me that Congress passes laws and then we go to battle to fund the law or not.
Opinion
Dec 8, 2014
Don’t you at times wish this Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) issue would go away? For some reason in the cattle business we take on issues that have the potential to harm our industry and we won’t let them go until somebody gets satisfaction.
Opinion
Nov 28, 2014
It is remarkable how high cattle prices have come; we’re producing just 6 percent less beef than a year ago but the prices of fed steers have increased roughly 30 percent, when fed cattle were trading at $130, and late week fed cattle were trading at $171 with some trades as high as $174.
Opinion
Nov 21, 2014
Last week we reported that the Organization of Competitive Markets (OCM) filed a lawsuit in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals and that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) attorneys prepared and submitted the suit.
Opinion
Nov 14, 2014
Well, guess what? It’s going back to court. This time the Organization for Competitive Markets, (OCM) filed the suit but have attorneys from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) doing the work— pro bono, I assume. The OCM has strong relationships with the aforementioned groups that have been targeting the beef checkoff for years.
Opinion
Oct 31, 2014
By all accounts, it appears that the USDA will appeal the decision from WTO again, which will take time. USDA and the U.S. Trade Representatives have 60 days to appeal, then it’s assumed that the process will take another nine months to get the WTO’s appeal decision.
Opinion
Oct 20, 2014
This Ebola virus situation is getting a little out of hand. It shows once again that the federal government and the Obama administration just can’t govern and are a little too lackadaisical about doing the job.
Opinion
Oct 3, 2014
It’sbecoming clear who has the ear of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; the National Farmers Union (NFU). Last week Vilsack held a meeting with the Beef Checkoff working group and said, “This is going to be a one-way conversation,” telling the group that he plans on.
Opinion
Sep 26, 2014
Placements have been lower over the past six months and at lighter weights up until the August report that said heavy weight placements that were over 800 lbs. were much higher during August. Most areas had great summer grazing, producing heavier cattle, which may defer some for cattle going into the feedlot.
Opinion
Sep 19, 2014
So let’s see who has the most influence. I figured that Facebook may have some answers about membership or something close to it. According to Facebook stats, NCBA is the clear winner with 34,239 folks liking their page. On the other hand R-CALF has 1,048 “likes” and the United States Cattlemen has 698 “likes.
Opinion
Sep 12, 2014
The Beef Checkoff is being threatened again. It’s absolutely amazing to me that the Beef Checkoff continues to cause problems for this industry. A simple dollarper-head is no big deal. Even two or three dollars a head shouldn’t be a big deal.
Opinion
Sep 5, 2014
USDA said in a 2014 risk analysis, “Although the expected consequences of an FMD outbreak in the United States would be severe, the likelihood of such an outbreak occurring due to exposure of the domestic livestock population to FMD-susceptible animals and products imported from the Patagonia region of Argentina is very low.
Opinion
Aug 29, 2014
bubble was inevitable. And that is exactly what happened. Beef wasn’t necessarily the problem but simply the scant amount of meat on the market at that time. Total meat supplies were down 4.4 pounds per capita from a year ago, which is a substantial amount; total beef supplies were down 3.
Opinion
Aug 22, 2014
The scattle markets have become a little volatile over the past few weeks with live cattle topping out at $160 on the futures market, and just a few days later, dropping down to $148 on the August contract. The cash market traded at a $4 positive basis to the board, which appears to be narrowing.
Opinion
Aug 8, 2014
These cattle markets continue to amaze me. The cattle futures took a dump last Thursday with nearly all feeder cattle contracts down the $3 limit in early trading. The live cattle contract wasn’t hit as hard, but suffered.
Opinion
Jul 25, 2014
Cattle markets took a little breather just after the 4th of July holiday, dropping a few bucks on fed cattle, but came roaring back, appearing ready to break some new records and did, reaching $162-163 live. I know that everyone selling cattle right now is star struck CROW.
Opinion
Jul 11, 2014
The cattle markets have gone wild; last week cash fed cattle were trading at $158 just before the 4th of July. The major retailers were offering bone-in New York strips for $5.99 over the weekend, which should have stimulated beef sales. However, market analysts were reporting CROW.
Opinion
Jul 3, 2014
Last week, Northern Video sold a set of all natural steers from the Greet Ranch in Ten Sleep, WY, for $236 cwt. Those cattle may break even in the $160s when they go to market. It seems like cattle feeders have thrown caution to the wind buying replacement feeder cattle.
Opinion
Jun 20, 2014
The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) was back at it last week filing numerous endangered species suits claiming the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has not adequately protected several species. CBD is a radical environmental group that makes their living suing the federal government.
Opinion
Jun 13, 2014
Grazing opportunities in the West are constantly going underutilized. Wild fire prevention has become a huge issue and the agencies responsible for fighting wildfires are taking money from Peter to pay Paul. Taking money from rang e improvement and forest management programs has actually CROW.
Markets
Jun 6, 2014
Feeder cattle markets continue to move higher with a major record high set last week. October feeder cattle futures broke $2 in overnight trade last Wednesday. Good rains have come over the past couple weeks in areas of the Southwest, causing a case of grass fever which has encouraged cattlemen to bid on light calves.
Markets
Jun 6, 2014
Widespread rains over the Memorial Day weekend may have curtailed holiday activities but were enthusiastically welcomed by cattle producers in the Southern Plains. Much of the worst drought areas in eastern New Mexico, western Texas and western Oklahoma received rainfall that was very timely for forage production.
Opinion
Jun 6, 2014
The last news we received on the Battle Mountain, NV, story was that the ranchers were able to turn out their cattle for two weeks on their BLM allotment, while the agency determined if they could stay out longer, and the “grass ride” made it to Carson City to deliver a petition to the governor to CROW.
Opinion
May 30, 2014
Good spring rains have fallen in many areas of the West, which is a sigh of relief for most ranchers in the region. Still, in many areas, rain is the exception rather than the rule. Drought in the West persists while grass and fuel loads are high and fire dangers remain high, especially in the far West and West Coast.
Opinion
May 16, 2014
There are a lot of issues occurring that could have a profound effect on public land ranching. At this point, I would have to say the Endangered Species Act is the one that needs the most attention, and soon. As an industry, we have a lot on the table that we need to pay close attention to right now.
Opinion
May 9, 2014
Global warming was the big national topic last week when President Obama came out with the third national assessment on climate change in the U.S. This was a collective effort of a group of 13 federal agencies called the “U.S. Global Change Research Program.
Opinion
May 2, 2014
Cattle markets remain strong with Mother’s Day and Memorial Day just around the corner. You can see packers gearing up to get more beef on the market. Cash fed cattle were trading at $148 last week and the beef cutout value is showing stability in the $130.
Opinion
Apr 25, 2014
Environmental groups have been active in guiding public policy on federal lands and working through the federal government to create policy that is not allowing resource users to gain full value from federal land use.
Opinion
Apr 18, 2014
Cliven Bundy finally made the national news with his personal range war and staring down the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This story has been going on for years, but it certainly reached a critical point last week when the BLM decided it was time to gather his cattle.
Opinion
Apr 11, 2014
Cattle markets continue to move higher, and I know that you all are wondering just how high it can go. Right now there is great demand for feeder cattle of all grades as short supplies have cattle feeders scrambling to replace inventories.
Opinion
Apr 4, 2014
I just can’t seem to get California’s Proposition 2 egg law off my mind this week. In 2008, California voters passed a measure on the general ballot to ban the use of battery cages for egg laying hens; it was inhumane to put those birds in those small cages.
Opinion
Mar 28, 2014
We all love to see wildlife, unless it’s in the grill of our vehicles. A good healthy wildlife population means that we have a solid ecosystem at work. Conservation efforts in most regions of the country have been highly successful, restoring populations of many CROW.
Opinion
Mar 21, 2014
Beef sustainability has been in the news a lot lately with McDonald’s announcing that they would start purchasing sustainable beef for their supply chain in 2016. They weren’t sure what sustainable was for beef, but it sure sounded like a good thing to say and get some positive CROW.
Opinion
Mar 14, 2014
Environmental and cultural motivations are a constant threat to Western society. At times, it seems like outright blackmail when Indian tribes want to control water or when environmental groups want cattle off the range. But at the end of the day, we’re all activists with an agenda.
Opinion
Mar 7, 2014
The BLM has already postponed several horse gathers because they don’t have a place to put the horses and they already have 35,000 head in holding facilities. With their $69.6 million 2014 budget, the agency is spending 61 percent on long-term and short-term care for the inventory they already have.
Opinion
Feb 28, 2014
It’s been quite a February for the cattle markets, reaching new highs when demand is typically at its lowest. It’s amazing that beef demand has held up with average retail prices reaching a new high of $5.25. Now it appears beef is in a market of its CROW.
Opinion
Feb 21, 2014
The latest casualty in the beef processing industry makes you wonder who will be next. From the outside, it appeared that National’s Brawley beef plant had a nice little deal going on the West Coast. Feedlots filled with dairy steers that were no doubt contracted to go to Brawley Beef, and when Japan would only accept cattle from the U.
Opinion
Feb 14, 2014
CattleFax again produced one of the most well-attended events at the beef industry convention that was held in Nashville, TN, a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps the most interesting part of their industry forecast is the long range weather forecast from Dr.
Opinion
Jan 31, 2014
2014 Farm Bill was, for the most part, completed last week and it appears that there was something in it for everyone, except for the meat business. After a huge legislative effort from major groups representing the cattle and meat industry, they were ignored at the end of the day.
Opinion
Jan 24, 2014
It was another wild record-setting week in the cattle and beef markets. The boxed beef cutout values moved over $240 on Choice product and $237 on Select trade volume was called moderate. Packers had to come to terms with paying as much as $150 for live fed cattle in the north and $239 for dressed CROW.
Opinion
Jan 17, 2014
After months of reduced feedlot placements, the decline in fed cattle production and beef supplies is finally coming home to roost. Live cattle prices reached a new all-time high last week with the bulk of fed steers trading at $140 to $141, and some cleanup trade as high as $145 live.
Opinion
Jan 10, 2014
There’s that word again— “sustainability”—and now McDonald’s is using it. I think I know how most ranchers define sustainability— the ability to make a profit from one year to the next. And if you look around, there are lots of ranches in this country with long productive histories.
Opinion
Jan 4, 2014
It’s going to be an interesting year for the beef import/ export business. USDA has forecasted that beef production will be down somewhere around 6 percent to 7 percent this year and that our beef exports will be down 6 percent. Beef production for 2013 finished out at.
Opinion
Dec 27, 2013
The year 2013 will be one to remember for cow/calf producers. We had a recovering drought and calf prices had a record long rally starting in May and reached new highs right on to the end of the year. Who would have ever thought that 450-pound steer calves would bring over $1,000 a CROW.
Opinion
Dec 20, 2013
T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the land, Not a creature was stirring, as it was too cold to stand. The hay wagon was loaded all ready for the chore, In hopes that the hired man would be there before..
Opinion
Dec 13, 2013
Every industry has its activists, both pro and con. Last week, while watching the evening news, an ad about American farmers popped up. The ad was very well done and told consumers essentially who feeds them and the importance of respecting the farming community for doing such a good CROW.
Opinion
Dec 6, 2013
A couple weeks ago the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its plan to reduce mandated biofuel, mostly ethanol production, by 1.4 billion gallons, to a 2014 mandated production of 13 billion gallons. This move is creating a mixed bag of reactions across agriculture.
Opinion
Dec 3, 2013
There is certainly a lot less pressure on feed stuffs this winter. With the EPA proposing to lower the volume of ethanol production last week, there should be even less pressure on the huge corn crop that was just produced, and harvest is mostly complete.
Opinion
Nov 22, 2013
For some reason, major media and agriculture don’t seem to communicate very well. I think it’s because we don’t try very hard. We as an industry, and I mean all the trade associations, don’t work at cultivating relationships with major media, like Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times.
Opinion
Nov 15, 2013
It’s hard to think about investing in the beef industry’s future when cattle and beef values are already so high. As a whole, we need to breed more heifers and produce more products. Then we need to sell more of the high priced product. My concern is that beef prices will move higher and we will shun many consumers from eating beef.
Opinion
Nov 8, 2013
Beef and cattle markets were trying to find some direction last week after live cattle ran up to the $134 level and the Choice beef cutout ran above $205 for a short period of time. Last Thursday packers were trying to offer $129 and feeders were asking $133 to $134.
Opinion
Oct 25, 2013
This cattle market over the past few weeks has put some much needed black ink in cattle feeder’s hands. And what do they do? Go and drive the feeder cattle markets even higher. Feeder cattle markets took a little bit of a breather this last week, but who could blame it after a very long extended rally starting in May.
Opinion
Oct 18, 2013
I don’t know how you all feel about this partial government shutdown deal. It’s over for now, but will be back in play this next January, so it isn’t really over in my book. It just means more of not knowing what this administration plans to do.
Opinion
Oct 4, 2013
ObamaCare is to blame for this entire mess. Ironically, as a small businessman, I still don’t know what to expect with ObamaCare and I’ve tried to learn as much as I can over the past couple years.
Opinion
Sep 20, 2013
Last week we experienced major moisture events in much of the country. Here in Colorado we received a years’ worth of rain and hail in roughly four days. Larimer County in central Colorado received up to 18 inches of rain in a few short days and many parts of the state received three to six inches of rain.
Opinion
Sep 13, 2013
After re-racking the COOL rule in the wake of a WTO complaint from Mexico and Canada, the USDA was forced into a do-over on the rule. Mexico and Canada and the entire meat industry weren’t very happy with the rule that USDA came up with which mandates a new label that will require born, raised and slaughtered information.
Opinion
Sep 6, 2013
Higher, higher and higher is the mantra of the feeder cattle market, which has been on a rally of extraordinary strength. It’s just amazing that this market has been on a three month roll and nothing is holding it back.
Opinion
Aug 30, 2013
It’s been quite a summer for calves and feeder cattle. The market took off in June and hasn’t looked back. Ever smaller supplies of feeding cattle have forced cattle feeders to dig deep into their pockets if they want to keep their yards operating efficiently.
Opinion
Aug 16, 2013
Live cattle markets finally moved off the six-week average of $119 last week when Tyson foods announced that they would not be buyers of cattle fed the beta-agonist Zilmax. The announcement came on Aug. 7 during the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) midyear conference in Denver.
Opinion
Aug 9, 2013
All of a sudden, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come to their senses about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate and finally realized that cellulosic ethanol won’t be a big contributor to the ethanol mix for a while.
Opinion
Aug 2, 2013
Fed cattle markets have been pretty dull this past July. The cash price for fed cattle was $119 every week of the month. Futures markets have also been dull, with the August contract staying in a $3 trading range for the month. We know that July is typically the hardest month on the fed CROW.
Opinion
Jul 26, 2013
The December corn contract broke below $5 last week, which seemed like a major support level. Some of the latest corn reports are suggesting we’ll have a good pollination season despite the late planting, and there appears to be confidence that we’ll have a record-setting corn crop this year.
Opinion
Jul 19, 2013
The House of Representatives may have put the cart ahead of the horse on their recent farm bill project. Last week, the House narrowly passed a farm bill that excluded any food assistance programs. Separating the two pieces of legislation is a good idea in my CROW.
Opinion
Jul 12, 2013
It looks like the gloves are off in this industry battle for a bad Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law. Last week, eight U.S. and Canadian meat and livestock industry groups filed suit against USDA for injunctive relief regarding COOL.
Opinion
Jul 5, 2013
I get the feeling that Canada and Mexico decided not to wait around for WTO tariffs and may be starting to sidetrack some U.S. beef markets. Logistically, it wouldn’t make sense for Canada to bring in beef from Mexico in any kind of volume to intentionally damage U.
Opinion
Jun 21, 2013
One thing I learned is that animal agriculture activists come in all shapes and sizes and can camouflage themselves very well. You might be visiting with a guy who has all the right credentials and shares some of the same opinions, but he just might turn out to be the wolf in boots and a cowboy hat.
Opinion
Jun 14, 2013
It sounds like it ought to be a simple matter, to label meat products with their country of origin, but when you take it to the level of where it was born, where it was raised and where it was slaughtered, things get a bit more cumbersome and expensive for processors and distributors.
Opinion
Jun 7, 2013
This farm bill will cost nearly a trillion dollars over 10 years, according to the Office of Management and Budget, and will save somewhere between 24 billion over the 10-year span. I honestly don’t understand how Congress got into this 10-year budget idea.
Opinion
May 31, 2013
Market fundamentals are starting to look pretty good right now although a few things look a little out of line. The beef industry finally got the cutout over $2 on May 2 and it has remained there with the top coming in just before Labor Day at $211.67. The last.
Opinion
May 24, 2013
First I have to say that states that have seat belt laws have them for good reason. The Montana Highway Patrol said that they would have had a good chance of making it if they were wearing their seat belts. The Highway Patrol also told us that there have been seven accidents on that same curve in the last two weeks.
Opinion
May 10, 2013
Wholesale beef prices finally moved over the $200 mark and have remained there for the past five days. Last Thursday, Choice beef was $3.00 higher at $204.67 in the afternoon report. Trade volume has been light as everyone tries to adjust to this new price point.
Opinion
May 3, 2013
Corn is back in the news and it looks like the livestock industry has re-armed and is going after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) again over the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS). Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, proposed legislation a few weeks ago that would reform the law.
Opinion
Apr 26, 2013
Boxed beef started to move higher last week and beef markets were turning more active for middle meats. Let’s hope that folks feel an overwhelming need to fire up the grills after several weeks of pent up demand from the delay of grilling season. Lateseason snows have hammered Plains states the past few weeks.
Opinion
Apr 19, 2013
have to wonder how US- DA will finally deal with Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL). I took a good look at the comments filed at USDA’s filing website, and if USDA looks at them closely, from a number of points of view, the beef industry will have a problem and CROW.
Opinion
Apr 5, 2013
The corn report sent corn prices into a tail spin, losing nearly $1 in the three days that followed Thursday, March 28. Conversely, feeder cattle were up the limit, $3, that Thursday and have been quite strong since, which suggests that the low for feeder cattle may have arrived.
Opinion
Mar 29, 2013
When you buy your bulls to breed the cows, you have tons of data that you can utilize to pick the right bull for your needs, and the list of selection traits is getting longer and more accurate. Add in the new DNA gene marker data and you have even more information to pick just the right bull.
Opinion
Mar 22, 2013
Cattle feeders are finding a little relief these days with feeder cattle prices much lower than a year ago. All classes of feeder cattle are down nearly $20/ cwt., which should give cattle feeders a chance to earn back some of their equity that has been lost over the past year.
Opinion
Mar 15, 2013
Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (mCOOL) has been a contentious issue in the past and will continue to be contentious. The mandatory labeling law went into effect in 2009 and was a product of the 2002 farm bill. It took a lot of arm twisting to get Congress to.
Opinion
Mar 8, 2013
This sequester situation sure has to make one think about having faith in government. We all know that the federal government has been on a spending spree since President Obama took office four years ago. The thought of them being forced to cut 2.4 percent out of their 3.
Opinion
Feb 22, 2013
Fewer people are buying beef and even with smaller fed cattle supplies, the market isn’t responding to lower prices. The beef cutout value toyed around with $2 beef over the holidays but has been in a tail spin since the New Year; the beef cutout was CROW.
Opinion
Feb 15, 2013
Last week’s cattle industry convention held in Tampa, FL, was, for the most part, uneventful, and I suppose the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association prefers it that way after years of arguing over the checkoff and governance issues. There was a new committee structure in place that seemed to produce CROW.
Opinion
Feb 1, 2013
The live cattle market regained all the losses that were realized two weeks ago after Cargill announced the closing of their Plainview, TX, beef plant. The market has made nearly a full recovery. I’ll admit, it was a bizarre day at the CME when the news came about.
Opinion
Jan 18, 2013
Beef sales for 2013 have started off with a big thud; consumer demand is fading in the shadow of less expensive pork and poultry. Competing with those meats in the grocery store will be a big challenge for the beef industry this year. Most market watchers were looking for the beef cutout values to get much closer to $2 by now.
Opinion
Jan 11, 2013
I can feel it coming. That word sustainability is coming around again and from what I can see, it may be getting more political, driving food policy in the U.S. Last week, I stumbled upon an article from an Israeli university that was promoted by Israel’s green party.
Opinion
Jan 4, 2013
are currently very nice premiums for feeder cattle and live cattle on the futures markets. August feeders are at $163.50 and the February live cattle contract is at $133.70, with April at $137.10. The futures markets are offering good hedges and producers ought to take a look at locking down CROW.
Opinion
Dec 28, 2012
The so called fiscal cliff is set to occur early this week and it doesn’t appear that our leaders in Washington, D.C., are too concerned about the issue. There was a little noise made last Thursday. But it’s becoming apparent that we’ll take that ride over the cliff and it is probably CROW.
Opinion
Dec 21, 2012
We’re just about to close out another year and beef production is only 388 million pounds short of last year’s beef production numbers. Ironically, we did it processing 1.2 million fewer cattle passing through packing plants. Carcass weights were much larger than normal.
Opinion
Dec 14, 2012
The fiscal cliff is getting closer and closer and in my humble opinion, this government is going to run off the edge with smiles on their faces. This president isn’t concerned about raising more revenue as much as he is sticking high income earners with a knife.
Opinion
Dec 7, 2012
While there is no shortage of water in the Columbia Basin, this country wouldn’t be much if it wasn’t for the massive irrigation projects associated with the Columbia River and the network of dams that service the area with hydroelectric power and water.
Opinion
Nov 23, 2012
It sure seems that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has missed the entire point in granting the livestock and food industries a waiver regarding the government’s production mandates for ethanol outlined in the Renewable Fuels Standard’s legislation.
Opinion
Nov 16, 2012
The election is over, thank God! Each general election seems to be a more enduring process every time. Or perhaps I pay too much attention to them? But, Obama won another four years and, like it or not, we will have to adjust and learn to tolerate.
Opinion
Nov 9, 2012
One of the emails on my computer Wednesday after the election read, “Obama wins, Financials Dive.” The DOW index dropped 303 points the day after the election. I took it as a confirmation that investors have little confidence in the president’s fiscal policies.
Opinion
Oct 19, 2012
Snow is starting to fly and winter is just around the corner. By now, most of you all should have your winter feed secured so you can keep that valuable cow herd intact. It’s going to be tough if you haven’t got your plan figured out.
Opinion
Oct 5, 2012
In the latest Beef Quality Audit that the Beef Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) produced, they learned that we haven’t done a good job communicating beef production methods. The audit said we need to be more transparent to our customers so they have complete confidence in beef products.
Opinion
Sep 28, 2012
I heard today on the radio that 25 percent of the young people in this country are not eligible for the armed services. Twenty-five percent wouldn’t pass basic boot camp because they are physically unable, according to the report. We sure are hearing a lot about obesity these days in the news and it seems the meddlers.
Opinion
Sep 21, 2012
It seems that responsible news reporting is becoming a thing of the past. You expect to see bias news junk on the web in various blogs, but the large national news organizations like NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and FOX news have a responsibility to get the story right, simply because they consid.
Opinion
Sep 14, 2012
There’s that word again, sustainable, which has a different meaning to everyone. The Sustainable Beef Resource Center (SBRC) just released its interpretation of sustainable, which seems more like a justification for beef industry growth promotants to enhance.
Opinion
Sep 7, 2012
Japan banned U.S. beef products just after our first BSE case back in 2003. They took until 2005 to start importing beef from cattle under 21 months.
Opinion
Aug 31, 2012
After cogitating over the last cattle on feed report, something seemed a little odd. We’re in the middle of a widespread drought, pastures are scrubbed clean, and you would think there would be some early weaning going on with calves going into grow lots or feedlots.
Opinion
Aug 24, 2012
The latest Cattle on Feed report showed that cattle placed into feedlots was 10 percent lower than a year ago, but it’s a little misleading since there were a lot of cattle placed last year because of the drought in the southern plains.
Opinion
Aug 17, 2012
Who involved in agriculture, and of sound mind, would get involved with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)? The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM)—that’s who. Two weeks ago, OCM, teaming up with HSUS, filed suit in Kansas district court against USDA.
Opinion
Aug 10, 2012
beef industry’s report card came out during the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s midyear meeting a couple weeks ago. It shows that most beef producers have done a pretty good job improving the product over the past 20 years when the first National Beef Quality Audit CROW.
Opinion
Aug 3, 2012
Cattle markets have declined a bit over the past few weeks but they are still relatively strong. Yearlings at 750 pounds are still selling for $150/cwt. And light calves are still selling around $200 or more. The big question is, what are you going to feed them?.
Opinion
Jul 27, 2012
Corn went over $8 a bushel last week, and soy beans were around $17 a bushel. These are new record level prices for these commodities. This situation makes one wonder where the grain markets will end up when it’s time to harvest. I don’t see moisture conditions getting.
Opinion
Jul 20, 2012
Last week, the markets pulled a fast one that I’m still having a hard time figuring out. Corn moved up the limit, feeder cattle moved up the limit, and fed cattle moved up near the allowable trading limit. When corn goes this high, feeder cattle just aren’t supposed to go limit up.
Opinion
Jul 13, 2012
Last week we prayed for rain and it seemed to work pretty well here in Colorado with a couple inches of the golden material hitting the ground. It also was a godsend for the fires in the area. So far this has to be the most destructive fire season we’ve ever seen in Colorado.
Opinion
Jul 6, 2012
Time to pray for rain, just don’t pray too hard. We certainly don’t want it all at once. Recent weather patterns have been very disturbing. It’s hard to make any kind of feed without water and we’re past the point where we’re going to make any summer pasture that is worth much.
Opinion
Jun 29, 2012
I’m sure I don’t need to tell most of you about it, because most of you all can feel it, but this dry weather is really becoming a problem. Last year, the dry weather was limited to mostly the south and southwest. We had some hot weather in the Midwest, but it wasn’t the CROW.
Opinion
Jun 15, 2012
The first big video sales are getting underway; Superior Livestock Auction held their first two-day sale in Des Moines, IA, last week and it was a good one. Buying feeder cattle this summer is going to take nerves of steel. It appears the heavy cattle will be selling for big money.
Opinion
Jun 1, 2012
I have felt a little out of the loop the past few weeks, not keeping up with cattle markets and issues. A few weeks ago, I had to have major back surgery which took me out of the game for a while. It’s been difficult to stay up with the markets, but I figured it’s time to make some kind of appearance.
Opinion
May 4, 2012
We’re just about to the point where we’re going to have full contact politics. This race for presidency is going to be interesting, to say the least. It really does get down to an ideology and voting for the man who possesses the same ideals you do. And the way I see it, it’s a simple choice who our next president should be.
Opinion
Apr 27, 2012
Any time you see the futures markets trade limit down, on all contracts, inside of an hour, you know something went wrong, very wrong. It doesn’t happen all that much but did last Tuesday morning when traders got news that a cow was found in California with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and then the panic sell was on.
Opinion
Apr 20, 2012
The boxed beef cutout value had a nice rally last week, up about $7, and it brought fed cattle values up a little bit with it. Still, the weak aspect of the market is slaughter level. The industry needs to start processing cattle in the mid 600,000-head range and get this summer demand going.
Opinion
Apr 13, 2012
The news of lean finely textured beef (LFTB) did have some influence on beef markets and the attitude of consumers. However, beef trade had been lackluster prior to that episode. Many market watchers have been waiting for grilling season to get underway, hoping that the seasonal trend would light up the beef markets.
Opinion
Mar 30, 2012
This episode with Beef Products Inc. (BPI) is a real tragedy. Last week, BPI shut down three of their four plants and temporarily laid of 650 people at those plants. It’s amazing that an elite segment of the general media was willing to throw them under the bus, espe- CROW.
Opinion
Mar 23, 2012
They’re back! The celebrity foodies have selected Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) as their next target. It’s remarkable how fame can provide credibility to folks who have no idea what they are talking about. They do their damage and then they simply walk away.
Opinion
Mar 16, 2012
It’s still a little early to talk about the weather, but my latest travels through the Intermountain West suggest we could see a dry spring. We went to bull sales in Wyoming and Montana last week and the dry weather was on everyone’s mind, although they didn’t want to talk about it, think.
Opinion
Mar 9, 2012
You love them when they’re long and then you hate them when they short the market. Big money funds can swing a lot of dollars around in commodities futures trading, and with live cattle and feeder cattle contracts that typically have low trading volume, it makes it that much CROW.
Opinion
Mar 2, 2012
It’s remarkable that fed cattle are flirting with a $130 market and it’s not enough for cattle feeders to be profitable. Market analysts are projecting that fed cattle will find a top value somewhere around $137 and it should come sometime in the next 60 days.
Opinion
Feb 24, 2012
Last week’s fed cattle trade reports hinted at a shortage of cattle and had discussion of cattle feeders not backing up market ready cattle, which some analysts say is creating a marketing problem. When packers pay $5-6 more for cattle, they simply need the cattle, so the idea that we have too many CROW.
Opinion
Feb 17, 2012
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) said their primary issue this year was going to be a strong attempt to eliminate estate taxes. Last week, President Obama revealed his budget proposal of $3.8 trillion for next year. Unfortunately, many of his tax and spending CROW.
Opinion
Feb 10, 2012
Since the middle of December, feeder cattle prices have shot straight up. Last week, August feeders were trading over $160. Can we really believe they could go much higher while fed cattle are languishing at $125? This market is simply amazing. Last week, National Cattlemen’s Beef CROW.
Opinion
Feb 3, 2012
Last week’s annual cattle inventory report showed that cattle numbers were much lower than expected, down 2.1 percent from last year. The drought in the southwest can perhaps take sole responsibility for most of the decline, with Texas eliminating 660,000 cows and CROW.
Opinion
Jan 27, 2012
It looks like cattle markets are going to start the winter spring rally, at least that’s what many market watchers are assuming. Feeder cattle just seem to get higher and higher and fed cattle are starting to rally a bit after the Christmas slump.
Opinion
Jan 13, 2012
It seems that when McDonald’s restaurants speak, everybody listens. McDonald’s is a big target for food activists but a huge customer of agriculture. They do seem a bit sensitive over some of the food issues, like humane treatment, accusations that their food stuffs are over pro- CROW.
Opinion
Jan 6, 2012
This arrangement would have allowed the stock show to grow and be better than ever. And perhaps bring in a host of other livestock events. The new grounds would be easy to use and out of the way of the major traffic lanes on I-25 and I-70. In addition, there are plenty of hotels in the proposed area and it would be a good fit.
Opinion
Dec 30, 2011
Coming into a new year is always filled with optimism for a better year for many reasons. When it comes to Ag commodities, it would be hard to think of prices getting any higher.
Opinion
Dec 16, 2011
ThUnited Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a report suggesting that meat consumption is expected to increase 73 percent by 2050, just 38 years away. I guess we better get busy building our cow herds; if those numbers are right, we’ve.
Opinion
Dec 9, 2011
It looks like we may have popped the holiday beef bubble this last week. Cattle markets were roaring hot two weeks ago when fed cattle traded as high as $128 live and $208 dressed. Now, the buying interest is about $3-5 lower for last week. Cattle feeders certainly had to do well on those transactions.
Opinion
Dec 2, 2011
There are lots of options in today’s meat-consuming world and Whole Foods has worked hard to provide unique meat products for their customers. The store is very proud of their products, but not everyone can afford to shop there. They have just over 300 stores nationwide and have obviously done their demographic homework.
Opinion
Nov 25, 2011
The cattle industry has been wasting a lot of time, cash and political resources on several industry issues that are just unnecessary. I would hate to think just how many resources have been spent by the various Ag associations battling over the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers.
Opinion
Nov 18, 2011
The beef cutout has been awful strong for quite some time and these markets just seem to get a little higher all the time. Who would have ever thought that the cattle industry would be selling fed steers and heifers for $125 and having a hard time making it work?.
Opinion
Nov 11, 2011
GIPSA will still have to craft rules regarding the definitions of unfair practices, undue preference and unlawful discrimination to satisfy the farm bill language. This will come at a later date. If that portion of the farm bill language isn’t satisfied, US- DA could be open to lawsuits from activist groups.
Opinion
Nov 4, 2011
This Choice/Select spread has been an interesting market segment to watch the past few weeks. For quite some time, the value difference between Choice and Select cattle wasn’t much of an issue, it seemed like $2-5was the norm, with an occasional spike over $10.
Opinion
Oct 24, 2011
EPA was contemplating doubling the standards for dust and particulate matter in ambient air under the Clean Air Act. If they pushed forward with their new standards for dust levels, it would have been problematic for nearly everyone connected to agriculture and anyone who kicked up some dust driving down a dirt road.
Opinion
Oct 14, 2011
Along with the great sales, it finally rained through much of the state, with many areas receiving several inches of much needed moisture. The country started to show some signs of life and was starting to get a hint of green just over the few days I was there.
Opinion
Oct 7, 2011
One thing that opponents of the bills perhaps don't understand is that all three of those countries already trade with the U.S. on a mostly tariff free basis. While we've been waiting for Obama to get his political house in order, many of our competitors have been hatching their own free trade agreements with these countries.
Opinion
Sep 30, 2011
Looking through the very first issue, I noticed an interesting comment on the first page. Jon Knorpp, president of Southwest State Bank, said, "Meat has long been one of our most substantial food products, yet until recent years, little concerted...
Opinion
Sep 16, 2011
Congress typically pays little attention to agriculture but appears to all of a sudden be concerned over agriculture production after they reviewed USDA's World Agriculture Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE). The House Ag Sub-committee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry held a hearing to discuss CROW.
Opinion
Sep 9, 2011
Labor Day also signals the end of the summer and is the last big back yard grilling weekend. Reports suggest that beef sales over the holiday weekend were lighter than many market analysts had hoped. However, post Labor Day cattle markets appear to be stronger.
Opinion
Sep 2, 2011
It's time somebody gets a handle on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and reins in this outfit. This is one of those government agencies that started with good intentions and has done a good service for the most part. However, over the past few years, CROW.
Opinion
Aug 19, 2011
Many cattlemen in the southern Plains and south have been forced to sell deep into their cow herds, knowing that restocking in the future will come at a much higher price level. Many have scoured the country for pasture, trying to keep their valuable cow herds intact regardless of trucking costs.
Opinion
Aug 12, 2011
Any proposed National Animal Identification System has been a contentious issue in the past. Now it looks as if it is going to be a condition of trade soon. Last week, USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service kicked out its proposed rule for Animal Disease Traceability, or what some might call mandatory animal identification. This time the
Opinion
Aug 5, 2011
With the former CBB leadership gone, it appears that all the drama is gone with them, which has changed the complexion of the entire episode. However, I would be certain that some activist cattlemen’s groups will continue to fan the flame in an effort to harm NCBA’s policy efforts.
Opinion
Jul 29, 2011
It has been a mixed bag in the cattle markets this past week. Superior Livestock Auction’s big Video Royale Sale in Winnemucca, NV, produced some excellent prices for all classes of cattle. Five- to six-weight calves for fall delivery were trading well into the $150-plus range and yearlings for immediate
Opinion
Jul 21, 2011
When it comes to foreign trade, agriculture is the bright spot, and the only business segment that has positive trade balance is agriculture. There is no question that there is a hungry world out there and they are becoming wealthier and eating better. Last year, agriculture had a
Opinion
Jul 14, 2011
Just when you think Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association leadership have ironed out their concerns, something happens and everyone’s back to bickering. The checkoff has always been a political issue in the cattle business. Ironically, some of the cattle industry’s own internal activist groups were created to
Opinion
Jul 1, 2011
Boy, it really makes you wonder just how these guys in government think. This country owes more that $14 trillion and we are running a $1.6 trillion budget deficit, but Congress is squabbling over a few free trade agreements (FTAs) that would create more than $20 billion in commerce between
Opinion
Jun 24, 2011
There is more volatility in the commodity markets. Two weeks ago, cattle markets were on a roll, gaining several dollars going into Father’s Day weekend with cash fed cattle trading at $108-109. Then the June 1 Cattle on Feed report came out and, the following Monday morning, the markets took off. It was starting to look like the
Opinion
Jun 16, 2011
The big summer video sales are around the corner and they are usually the market setters. Cattle markets have been in a decline over the past six to eight weeks, but appear to have stabilized for now. Cash fed cattle seemed to have drawn a line at $104, but that is far from what unhedged feeders will require to
Opinion
Jun 9, 2011
In just a few weeks, the summer beef industry conference will be held in Orlando, FL. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Federation of State Beef Councils, state cattlemen’s associations and just about anyone else connected to the beef industry will meet to set policy and
Opinion
Jun 3, 2011
There have been quite a few political issues on the front burner lately that have a huge effect on the cattle and beef industry. The political winds appear to be shifting, and a pro-business environment seems to be slowly developing. It seems that lawmakers are at least acting serious
Opinion
May 27, 2011
The fed cattle markets have been ugly the past month, down $19 in seven weeks. Many market analysts were expecting a decline going into the summer and forecast a typical seasonal decline around 15 percent by July. This average decline would have placed the market in the neighborhood of $105 from
Opinion
May 20, 2011
There has been a lot of talk about the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO, making a move over the past few weeks. The idea of the 105-year-old livestock show moving to a new location has been in the works for the past 10 years and it appears there is some real traction behind the effort. At the NWSS annual board
Opinion
May 13, 2011
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is an interesting organization. It seems that cattle people either love them, hate them, don’t trust them, or don’t care about them. I suppose that every trade group could be viewed this way because no one can agree on everything. Last week, I was following up on a story
Opinion
May 6, 2011
It has been interesting watching all the debate about the issues concerning the beef checkoff and the turf war between National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board over the past several months. The debate essentially revolves around NCBA handling most of the money and
Opinion
Apr 28, 2011
Cattle markets were a bit softer last week, but recovered somewhat by the week’s end. We’ve all been wondering when this market would get a bit softer and it looks like we’re starting to see it. We’re approaching the high-demand summer grilling season and slaughter rates should start to pick up and keep the larger cattle inventory moving, barring any
Opinion
Apr 15, 2011
The bull sales have been awfully good this spring and there is a great deal of optimism in the cow/calf sector of this business. All classes of breeding stock are trading 30 percent higher than a year ago. Many of the bull sales are producing $500 to $800 more per bull than a year ago. Some outfits have seen their bull sale average
Opinion
Apr 7, 2011
Boxed beef may have peaked for a while at $191 two weeks ago; packers lost $5.60 per head on an average buy of $121.29 for last week’s purchases of cattle. Typically, we would see beef production slow down in response to a negative cut out value. However, packers processed an additional 8,000 head last
Opinion
Mar 31, 2011
It’s a perfect world when prices and production go up at the same time and that’s what we’re seeing in the cattle and meat business right now. Year-to-date beef production is up 1.1 percent from a year ago and prices are up some 30 percent. Unfortunately, we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul in this situation because we certainly won’t have enough
Opinion
Mar 25, 2011
It’s starting to appear that some ranches are thinking about expanding their herds. If individual production sales are any indication of herd expansion, then it’s starting to happen. Our team of field men have been busy attending the sales and most of the road talk isn’t about what someone’s bulls averaged or the
Opinion
Mar 11, 2011
Fed cattle markets have .been trading for over $1 for 13 weeks. Cash fed cattle traded between $117-119 live and $190 in northern Plains dressed trade last week. It’s hard to imagine this market trading much higher, but all the signals point to a higher market this fall. Trading cattle at this level looks
Opinion
Mar 3, 2011
The ethanol business has been a burr under the saddle of livestock producers ever since the government made the decision to pursue biofuels. The corn markets have been good for the farming business, but not livestock feeding. It’s an interesting relationship since many folks raise both. The current spending
Opinion
Feb 25, 2011
Fed cattle markets remain extremely good. I’ve lost track of how many weeks fed cattle have traded for over $100. The market has been so good that it has a lot of folks perplexed. The cash market traded at $109-$110 two weeks ago and was expected to trade a couple dollars higher last
Opinion
Feb 18, 2011
Looking ahead, we have August feeder cattle futures showing us $133.45 last Thursday, a new contract high. Fall cattle prices are as strong as ever and it forces me to ask the question: How many ranchers will sell in the fall on the cash market? I still contend that there are more reasons for the market to go down
Opinion
Feb 11, 2011
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and the Federation of State Beef Councils held their annual meetings in Denver, CO, in early February. There was a good crowd despite sub-zero temperatures. For the most part, everyone was in good spirits due to the current cattle markets, but caution was the word
Opinion
Feb 3, 2011
The 70th Annual Red Bluff Bull Sale was an amazing event this year and reflected the pace of cattle markets. This sale made history, setting a record for all-breed range bull sales in the West. Demand for bulls was extremely good; buyers jumped right in to get the bulls they needed. This was a truly remarkable event and, by far,
Opinion
Jan 28, 2011
Cattle markets are as good as they have ever been and optimism is high. Futures markets are wild and have taken prices to almost unbelievable levels. August fed cattle are trading at $113 and feeder cattle at $128. Cattle feeders are apparently getting concerned about future supplies of feeder cattle and seem to think
Opinion
Jan 21, 2011
It appears that Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Federation of State Beef Councils (Federation) have made peace over the recent round of financial discrepancies between the organizations and their contractors.
Opinion
Jan 7, 2011
Its becoming very apparent that the livestock business is going to have to learn to live with $5 corn. Many already have because corn prices dropping back below $3 just isnt going to happen. The cattle industry has developed itself around cheap corn for the past 50 years. The corn rally in 2008 made you think a bit, but it seemed
Opinion
Dec 31, 2010
Most market analysts are expecting 2011 to be a good year for the cattle industry. The USDA forecast is calling for a 2 percent reduction in beef output next year which should shore up the supply side of the market. The supply side of live cattle markets is in a positive situation for the year ahead and for
Opinion
Dec 23, 2010
Cattle markets have gone wild over the past couple weeks, with nice advances in last week’s markets for all classes of cattle. It appears that the managed money funds are back in the game and pushing both fed and feeder cattle contracts to new highs. Even though the cattle are the highest they have ever
Opinion
Dec 17, 2010
The USDA Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration’s congressional mandate to make changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act appeared to hit a big stalling point last week. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced last week that the agency will perform
Opinion
Dec 10, 2010
Cattle markets have been a nice surprise the past few weeks. Market advances have exceeded what most analysts were expecting. Maintaining fed prices in the $1 per pound area for an extended period of time is remarkable. Cattle supplies remain low in North America and you have to wonder if we’ll see
Opinion
Nov 19, 2010
I’m constantly amazed at how we do business in the livestock industry. Millions of dollars trade hands in the country on a word and a hand-shake. There has seldom been a problem and, if there was, it was dealt with and we moved on. There’s been a lot of talk about Eastern Livestock Company’s recent
Opinion
Nov 12, 2010
Somewhere along the trail, this situation with Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s proposed changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act went from an economic issue to a social issue. One thing for certain is you can’t have a good social policy in this country without a
Opinion
Nov 5, 2010
It was a good week in some parts of the country after Tuesdays events. On Wednesday morning, after the tally was made, it appeared that hope and change took on a whole new meaning. This was the largest voter turnout for any midterm election in history, which shows us just how disappointed the country is about the current state of our government.
Opinion
Oct 22, 2010
There are quite a few regulatory issues affecting agriculture that have been promoted by the Obama administration. Most of the real damage is coming from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Just the clean water and clean air issues alone pose a great threat to the profitability of agriculture.
Opinion
Oct 8, 2010
The proposed rule changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act have sure gained a lot of attention from members of the House and Senate. Last week, several lawmakers wrote USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to conduct a thorough economic analysis of the proposed rule changes, which seems like a reasonable request.
Opinion
Oct 1, 2010
China pointed out to the WTO panel that their cooked poultry has met international health standards and they have been shipping product to Japan and Europe. Those two markets are perhaps the two most critical, health-conscious markets in the world, and the U.
Opinion
Sep 24, 2010
The Cattle on Feed report showed that cattle feeders were fairly aggressive on their purchases for August, with placements up 7.4 percent over last year.
Opinion
Sep 17, 2010
Cattle markets remain good after Labor Day, but last week, things became a bit unsettled after a good rally in the corn market. Feeder cattle have lost a few dollars, but yearling trade at $110 with $5 corn isn’t all that bad. But it makes you think a little harder about the direction of the markets
Opinion
Sep 10, 2010
It seems like it's time to become a political activist. There are a bunch of issues that Congress and the Obama administration need to take seriously this year before real damage is done. The first issue that comes to mind is the death tax. In just four short months, the tax code reverts back to the old one where tax rates increase to 55 percent for estates valued in excess of $1 million. As many of you know, this tax plan can blow up the family farm or ranch. As a matter of fact, any business that is long on
Opinion
Aug 20, 2010
The U.S. Justice Department and USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration will hold their next competition workshop this Friday, Aug. 27, in Fort Collins, CO. These workshops were scheduled last year for the government to learn more about livestock
Opinion
Aug 13, 2010
Natural resources use is big business, and the distribution of resources like natural gas is really big business. By now, a lot of you have learned about El Paso Corporation’s plans for the $3 billion Ruby Pipeline running from southwest Wyoming across northern Utah and Nevada and into
Opinion
Aug 6, 2010
The beef checkoff is possibly the most contentious issue ever involving the cattle business. This self-help program has created more heartache among folks trying to do something positive for the industry than I have ever seen. It appears that everyone wants to love the checkoff to death
Opinion
Jul 23, 2010
1. he U.S. livestock industry has been a bit uneasy over the proposed competition rules that USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) proposed several weeks ago. Many livestock groups have had their attorneys pouring over the proposals to figure
Opinion
Jul 16, 2010
It was a good week for feeder cattle markets. The big videos produced large volumes of yearlings, heavy yearlings that sold between $102 and $110. Calves for fall delivery were also strong and steady. The six-weight cattle were trading in the $115 range while the five weights were in the
Opinion
Jul 9, 2010
JBS packing announced last week that they intend on buying the largest cattle feeding company in the Southwest, McElhaney Cattle Company in Welton, AZ. This acquisition would add 130,000 head to JBS’ feeding capacity for a total of 968,000-head one-time
Opinion
Jul 2, 2010
The successful, but divisive, beef checkoff must live through another tormenting period of time. The program, structure and how it operates are again being challenged by several ag groups. The recent challenge is a product of the governance changes that NCBA had proposed, changes intended to
Opinion
Jun 25, 2010
USDA released new amendments to the 1921 Packers and Stockyards Act. Those new rules were mandated by the 2008 Farm Bill. Congress’ wish was to provide basic protections for livestock and poultry producers. However, USDA may have overinterpreted Congress’ intent on this one.
Opinion
Jun 18, 2010
New research from Stanford University suggests that production agriculture has slowed down the pace of global warming. This bit of news should have the grow-local and organic-food wonks and the environmental global warming, anti-agriculture crowd wondering what just happened.
Opinion
Jun 11, 2010
Ethanol mandates have been a contentious issue over the past few years the and the run up in corn values in 2008 was very destructive to animal agriculture. It’s never been a secret that the majority of U.S. corn production has been sold as livestock feed, and when the federal
Opinion
Jun 4, 2010
Do you ever wonder how the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) would do in China? Perhaps not so well, considering there are dogs on the menu in many restaurants. HSUS has been getting a lot of press lately and I’m sure it's press they would prefer
Opinion
May 21, 2010
It’s good to see someone attempt to trim the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory wings regarding their haphazard determination that carbon dioxide (CO2) is an air pollutant. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, and Blanche Lincoln, D-AR, have proposed a Resolution of Disapproval
Opinion
May 7, 2010
Cattle feeders have been selling fed cattle between $98 and $102 for nearly four weeks in a row and the cash market is still leading the way. If you look at the deferred futures and consider current fed and non-fed cattle supplies, this market appears to have some sustainability. This may be a different
Opinion
Apr 30, 2010
Futures markets have been kind to the beef business over the past few months. Sometimes I don’t think we would have had this kind of price discovery without the futures markets, but then again, cash did lead the futures market around for a few weeks. Feeder cattle markets were also pushed into very high
Opinion
Apr 23, 2010
Retail meat markets are starting to respond with higher prices at the meat case. The recent rally in the cattle markets looks like it will stick around for awhile. The boxed beef cutout appears to have found its comfort level in the mid- to upper-$160 range for the Choice product last week and has been trading steady there.
Opinion
Apr 16, 2010
I hate to say it, but what goes up usually comes down. The stock market has been on a roll in recent weeks and the Dow has passed that magical 11,000 mark, hopefully providing fuel for improved consumer attitudes and increased discretionary spending. On the other hand
Opinion
Apr 9, 2010
The cash fed cattle market advanced to over $1 this last week, and the futures went up to $99.45. This positive basis should keep cattle moving. This is about as good as it gets. Reports are that feeders are clearing $150-$200 a head on current cattle. While the recent market
Opinion
Apr 2, 2010
The cattle markets had a nice rally last week after throwing a head fake the prior week. August feeders ran up to $114.07 and cash sales from Superior's last video sale are supporting these futures markets to some degree; the feeder cattle index is still about $108.
Opinion
Mar 19, 2010
Two years ago, futures markets started to take off about this time of year. Grain, cattle and hog contracts took off like a rocket. Thoughts were that fed cattle would be in short supply and demand was pretty good. But, it just didn’t seem to make sense; the fundamentals
Opinion
Mar 12, 2010
The past few weeks, there has been encouraging news about the assault on animal agriculture. The operators of Barnum and Baily Circus filed a racketeering suit claiming the Humane Society of the United States paid $190,000 to a witness to embellish his testimony
Opinion
Mar 5, 2010
Lead, follow, or get out of the way is apparently how the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) feels about climate change. Several months ago, EPA announced that carbon dioxide was a public endangerment and, as a result, the agency was required to manage the issue
Opinion
Feb 19, 2010
Cattle markets have been robust over the past few weeks; fed cattle should get close to $89-90 this week which is good news for many cattle feeders. However, I am sure they don’t like paying over $1 for feeder cattle again. Some of the cattle they placed from October through December should be making
Opinion
Feb 12, 2010
USDA announced last week that they were altering their plans for the very unpopular National Animal Identification System (NAIS). When USDA held a series of producer input meetings last year, they certainly got an earful of negative responses. Therefore, USDA has decided to stop pursuing
Opinion
Feb 5, 2010
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Federation of State Beef Councils voted to make the transition to what was promoted as a more nimble, responsive organization by limiting the size of their board of directors. A governance task force
Opinion
Jan 29, 2010
The business of humanity doesn’t seem like it should be a business at all. But the Humane Society of the United States ( HSUS) has done just that, made it a business. HSUS has been a creative bunch when it comes to bending the public’s perception of agriculture. Last week, there were several announcements that
Opinion
Jan 15, 2010
It would appear that the meat industry is in for some substantial growth in the years to come. Last week, the International Livestock Congress took place in Denver, CO, during the National Western Stock Show. Richard Brown, meat market analyst for international consulting firm GIRA, said that worldwide meat
Opinion
Jan 8, 2010
The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) incident of eight years ago was starting to look like just a bad dream, but it seems to keep coming back even though the U.S. has only two domestic cases recorded. It is such a small issue anymore for the U.S., it’s surprising that anyone would want to make an issue over it at all. However, that’s not the case
Opinion
Dec 31, 2009
Beef markets have been frightfully stagnant this past year and that has weighed heavily on live cattle prices. The last big rally we had in beef sales was about 16 months ago when the export market exploded with the opening of the South Korean market and the Russians were very short on meat. Cutout values ran up to the $1.70 level and cleared
Opinion
Dec 24, 2009
We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is looking forward to an even better New Year. During 2009, the cattle industry faced many challenges. We had fed cattle prices that didn’t support a profitable feeding sector and they experienced perhaps their worst year on record. Forecasters are calling for a better 2010 for cattle feeders which will
Opinion
Dec 18, 2009
Thirteen years ago, the National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA) changed their organization after a tumultuous battle and a lot of damage to create the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). This period was also known as the "Merger." In January, NCBA will hold their meeting again in San Antonio, TX, and attempt to change their organization again, more than likely with
Opinion
Dec 11, 2009
It’s becoming clear as a bell that the Obama administration is carrying out a full frontal attack on the American economy and society. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is perhaps his most profound tool to inflict this damage. EPA announced last week that they would initiate
Opinion
Dec 4, 2009
Food safety is a two-way street. Food processors and the public both have to take some responsibility for the safety of the food products they consume. Pathogen-free food is about as unrealistic as the government eliminating their total deficit spending. Apparently, some in Washington, D.C., don’t think consumers
Opinion
Nov 30, 2009
In a couple weeks, the world will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the idea of changing the world as we know it. The politics of climate change are heating up and the fear factor is being multiplied by the proponents of climate change and greenhouse gas abatement. From what I can tell, if we don’t do something about
Opinion
Nov 13, 2009
It appears to me that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is getting to the point where they can choose industries that will be winners and losers in this economy. EPA has recently changed their thinking on coarse particulate matter and reduced acceptable levels by 90 percent compared to
Opinion
Nov 10, 2009
Sustainability is a word we’ve been hearing a lot about lately and, most of the time, it’s made in reference #to organic agriculture. Sustainability (is defined) as the ability to continue or carry on. There% is also? a *definition in the dictionary that says "to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life." There are no references made to—environment or organic agriculture. Ironically, organic agriculture= is using the word to- describe the difference between organic and conventional agriculture.
Opinion
Nov 2, 2009
Have you been thinking about all the proposed legislation pending in Washington? You've got healthcare reform, climate change legislation and clean water legislation that will give the federal government authority over all water.
Opinion
Oct 23, 2009
Cattle markets have improved a bit over the past two weeks and some segments of the beef industry are moving along very well. The fall bull sales around the country have been stronger than many of us expected and
Opinion
Sep 29, 2009
The big summer video sales are just about over and the yearling cattle fared pretty well up until the last few weeks. There were some good calf sales, but for most cow/calf operators, it was disappointing in relation to last year's prices. Now we're.
Opinion
Sep 18, 2009
The new chair of the Senate Ag Committee, Blanche Lincoln, D-AR, looks like she might be a pretty reasonable person for agriculture. It will be interesting to see if she follows along with the plans of the former Senate Ag chairman, Tom Harkin, D-IA, and his sometimes wild ag agenda.
Opinion
Sep 11, 2009
I’m sure at some point in time you’ve said the phrase “there ought to be a law.” Could be about anything, but sometimes you get so angry with something that you just blurt it out. I’m sure that after TIME published their diatribe against agriculture a few weeks ago, many in agriculture thought there ought to be a law about disguising opinions or fiction as news
Opinion
Sep 4, 2009
The first time I spoke with Wesley Batista at JBS headquarters in Greeley, CO, he told me that they were contrarians and opportunistic. When everyone wants out of a business, they want in. His family showed those cards again last week, making a bid to buy Pilgrim’s Pride poultry
Opinion
Aug 28, 2009
The magazines cover had a package of ground beef on it with a warning label about conventionally-raised meat being hazardous to your health.
Opinion
Aug 21, 2009
The market for yearling feeder cattle has stayed quite strong this summer and has appeared to trade without much of a freight basis. For example, 850-pound steers in Nevada are trading at or near the same price as they are in eastern Wyoming.
Opinion
Aug 14, 2009
The Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is all of a sudden getting reacquainted with the cattle industry and has been very aggressive checking up on auction markets and cattle dealers. For many years, you could go on their Web.
Opinion
Jul 31, 2009
JBS has been on a tear, growing their global red meat operation. Five years ago, this global powerhouse didnt exist; JBS was just another beef processor in Brazil. In three short years, they have invested over $3 billion in just the U.S. beef industry alone, purchasing Swift, Smithfield Beef and Five Rivers Cattle Feeding.
Opinion
Jul 24, 2009
If you listen to USDA rant about cap and trade, you would think the program will be a big cash machine for agriculture. Last Wednesday, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, along with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) boss Lisa Jackson, testified in a Senate Ag Committee hearing that cap and trade will be good for farmers in the near term and in the long term.
Opinion
Jul 17, 2009
Just think about it, our new, very young presidential administration, with the aid of a House of Representatives that has burned out nearly all their brain cells and a Senate that can do pretty much whatever the leadership wants, is wreaking havoc on the American economy.
Opinion
Jul 7, 2009
Boy, talk about market volatility. The corn acreage report came out last Tuesday. USDA said there were 2 million more acres planted than they originally thought and bam, July corn dropped 30 cents to $3.47. The same day, live cattle dropped $2.10. But the good news, for many of our readers,
Opinion
Jun 29, 2009
As far as I can tell the debate over global warming was never finished. There still seems to be disagreement over whether or not its even a problem, but Congress is working on major legislation hoping to do something about it. For every scientist that endorses the concept of climate change there is one that disputes it.
Opinion
Jun 26, 2009
As far as I can tell the debate over global warming was never finished. There still seems to be disagreement over whether or not it’s even a problem. But, Congress is working on major legislation hoping to do something about it. For every scientist that endorses the concept of climate change there is one that disputes it. The evidence used to justify climate change is equal to a nanosecond of geologic time.
Opinion
Jun 19, 2009
There is a lot of legislation concerning agriculture circulating in Washington, D.C. I dont think I have ever seen so many issues that would have a direct effect on agriculture being worked on at one time: The Clean Water Restoration Act, which just passed out of the Senate committe on
Opinion
Jun 12, 2009
Last week, the USDA supply demand report for grains suggested that the ethanol industry is estimated to consume another billion bushels, creating more pressure on the market and creating more pressure for cattle prices as well. In a report released last week by the Food Manufacturer Association and the National Turkey Federation, Implications for U.
Opinion
Jun 5, 2009
This past week was a real lesson in the volatility of our cattle markets. Feeder cattle contracts took a beating, with the August contract taking nearly a $4 hit while chasing live cattle contracts down to new lows. I suppose there were some expectations that the mar.
Opinion
May 29, 2009
Its time to start thinking about the summer cattle markets, or perhaps what to do this summer about the fall market, when most everyone delivers cattle. The big video sales are gearing up and well see what the first high-profile sale produces. These video sales seem to represent a peek into the fall calf and yearling markets.
Opinion
May 22, 2009
Washington, D.C., is a busy place and the volume of legislation going through there is overwhelming. Too much for my liking. The irony is that most of it is overwhelmingly stupid. It’s no secret that we live in a global economy; that’s just the way it is. Passing free trade agreements is
Opinion
May 8, 2009
Twenty-five years ago when the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) only attracted about 60 folks, Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) were the hot topic of the time. Two weeks ago, BIF held their annual meeting and gathered more than 450 people. This time, the major topics of concern were DNA and genome mapping.
Opinion
May 1, 2009
The report was produced by the ususal universities with a cast that most everyone in the cattle and beef industry is familiar with. The report was funded by USDA. The report suggests that if beef producers do not adopt a full traceability system with at least a 90 percent compliance rate, we could lose $13.
Opinion
Apr 17, 2009
Last week, the boxed beef cutout rallied around $10 from the previous week based on lower processing numbers. Cattle sold at $86 two weeks ago and moved up to $89- 90 on the cash market last week, which should put some profit back in the picture for both cattle feeders and packers.
Opinion
Apr 10, 2009
Cattle markets are moving a little better; fed cattle trade was up to $85 last week and feeder cattle are a bit stronger. Grass fever should be adding a few bucks to the calf market soon, if it isnt already in some areas. With the summer high-demand grilling season around the corner, it will be interesting how consumers respond to beef prices.
Opinion
Apr 3, 2009
What has the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) done for you lately? As much as they possibly can, would be the answer. With cattle prices trading on the low end of the modern trading spectrum, it's assuring to know that CBB is still keeping beef in front of consumers.
Opinion
Mar 27, 2009
There is only one way to phrase the nature of the congressional aggression over the AIG bonus situation last week: ?out of control.? The House of Representatives voted to pass a targeted tax on AIG employees who received bonuses. But it didn?t appear that the Senate wanted anything to do with the issue.
Opinion
Mar 20, 2009
I have been traveling to bull sales the past few weeks and it is stunning how well the breeding bull market is going. Most operators are selling a lot of volume at good prices. I think having a $75-80 slaughter bull market last summer helped these bull sales in a big way.
Opinion
Mar 6, 2009
It?sabsurd that Congress is dealing with a bill to ban the slaughter of horses in the U.S. Honestly, who are we to regulate what the rest of the world eats and desires, just because they are pets to some people and they can?t stand the thought of...
Opinion
Feb 27, 2009
Right now, its hard not to be overwhelmed by our governments actions. Last week was about the budget deficit; the week prior was about the housing and bank bailout.
Opinion
Feb 20, 2009
Cattle futures took a beating the day after Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced he was going to ask the packing industry to voluntarily tighten up the regulations on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).
Opinion
Feb 13, 2009
I suppose big problems require big solutions, at least that?s what the political world seems to think. Seven hundred eighty-nine billion dollars for an economic stimulus bill that is built on a hope and a prayer is pretty amazing. This piece of wisdom passed in less than a week without any real debate.
Opinion
Feb 6, 2009
CBB assigned a subcommittee the responsibility of coming up with a plan to streamline the organization and come up with a strategy for passing a new referendum which would increase the assessment to $2 and allow it to be increased later to $3. The task force asked nearly all producer groups to make comment on better ways for CBB to function.
Opinion
Jan 30, 2009
Perhaps I spoke too soon regarding Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL). The Obama administration decided to suspend any final rulemaking decisions and implementation of rules that have not been implemented.
Opinion
Jan 23, 2009
Cattle processing has been a bit short of expectations so far this year. Two weeks ago, packers processed only 608,000 head and last week, it looked like it would be somewhere around 620,000 head. The reduced production is almost always an effort to raise boxed beef values and improve margins and it generally works.
Opinion
Jan 16, 2009
Last week, the final rule was published for mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL); the deed is done and packers are required to label product. Proponents of COOL won the war. Price differentials have been discovered with Canadian and Mexican cattle.
Opinion
Jan 2, 2009
This is generally when we do the top 10 stories of the past year. I thought we might try and change that and look at what could be the top issues for the next year. Its clear that change is in the wind and I would expect the wind to start blowing Jan. 20 when President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in.
Opinion
Dec 31, 2008
For purebred breeders and commercial cattlemen who sold calves early, it has been a pretty good year. Looking ahead is filled with a lot of uncertainty, but one thing about the food business is that there is always a market. I dont know how many purebred breeders have asked me its been a lothow I thought the bull market was going to be this next year.
Opinion
Dec 19, 2008
It was announced last week that the new secretary of Interior will be Sen. Ken Salazar, D-CO. Prior to the announcement, it seemed that he wasnt even a candidate. On the surface, he seems okay for the cattle business, given his background. Salazar, former Colorado attorney general, grew up in the cattle and farming business.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Dec 16, 2008
Packers realized they were offered an easy way of dealing with the new label requirements. As one would expect, packers have taken the path of least resistance and plan to use the catch-all label, Product of Canada, Mexico and USA. Well call it the North American label.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Dec 12, 2008
If you read the major newspapers and watch the television news, you would think the sky is falling. I’m sure that in some people’s minds, it is. I wouldn’t think, however, that the U.S. or many of our foreign customers are going to shift away from a meat-based diet. Beef will continue to sell, albeit not at a price that will support $110 fed cattle like we were all expecting.
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