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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.