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Articles from 2014 In December


Little change seen in fast food portions between 1996, 2013

Two new reports from researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University in Boston, Mass., show little change in fast food portion sizes and product formulation between 1996 and 2013.

Led by Alice H. Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at HNRCA, the researchers analyzed the calorie, sodium, saturated fat and trans fat content of popular menu items served at three national fast-food chains between 1996 and 2013.

They found that average calories, sodium and saturated fat stayed relatively constant, albeit at high levels. The exception was a consistent decline in the trans fat of french fries. The studies were published Dec. 31 in Preventing Chronic Disease, a journal of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

"There is a perception that restaurants have significantly expanded their portion sizes over the years, but the fast food we assessed does not appear to be part of that trend," said Lichtenstein, who is also the Stanley N. Gershoff professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. "Our analysis indicates relative consistency in the quantities of calories, saturated fat and sodium. However, the variability among chains is considerable and the levels are high for most of the individual menu items assessed, particularly for items frequently sold together as a meal, pushing the limits of what we should be eating to maintain a healthy weight and sodium intake.

"For example, among the three chains, calories in a large cheeseburger meal, with fries and a regular cola beverage, ranged from 1,144 to 1,757 over the years and among restaurants, representing 57-88% of the approximately 2,000 calories most people should eat per day," Lichtenstein added. "That does not leave much wiggle room for the rest of the day."

According to the authors' 2013 data, calorie content of the cheeseburger meal among the three chains represented 65-80% of a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet and sodium content represented 63-91% of the recommendation.

Lichtenstein and colleagues focused on the four most popular menu items: fries, cheeseburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and regular cola, looking for trends in portion size and nutrient content over an 18 year period. They examined 27 items including small, medium and large fries and cola beverages, a grilled chicken sandwich and 2 oz. and 4 oz. cheeseburgers. The authors used a public database and the internet to access archived nutrition data.

They found only small fluctuations in calorie content and the amount of saturated fat and sodium. The notable exception was fries, which decreased first in saturated fat in 2001 and then trans fat, likely due to changes to the frying fat.

"The decline in trans fat we saw between 2005 and 2009 appears to be related to legislative efforts," Lichtenstein said. "The success of New York City's trans fat ban and others like it, suggest it is worth pursuing these types of approaches because they make the default option the healthier option. Of course, it is important to note that the healthier option in terms of fat does not translate into lower calories or less salt."

The authors also note nutrient content varied among similar items from different chains. For example, an order of small fries could differ by as much as 110 calories and 320 mg of sodium from chain to chain.

"For this reason, our findings strongly suggest that public health efforts promoting reduction of calories and over-consumed nutrients need to shift from emphasizing small, medium and large portion sizes, to additional factors such as actual number of calories and the nutrient content of the items, as is increasingly becoming available at point of purchase," Lichtenstein said. "A 100 calorie difference per day can mean about a 10 lb. weight change per year."

President signs propane bill

President Barack Obama recently signed H.R. 5705, the "Propane Education and Research Enhancement Act of 2014," into law.  This piece of legislation modifies the functions of the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) and the data that the Department of Commerce (DOC) is to use in developing its annual propane price analysis.

“This bill is a significant win for both propane consumers and the industry,” explained Richard Roldan, National Propane Gas Association’s (NPGA) president and chief executive officer. “Last winter, during the hardest winter our nation has faced in more than 25 years, the propane industry could not educate consumers on the steps necessary to prepare their propane-heated homes for the winter.”

Allowing the industry to use its own funds to reach our customers only makes sense, he added.

Under the Propane Education and Research Act of 1996, the DOC must calculate annually the price for "consumer grade propane" and compare it with an index of prices of specified competing fuels.  If the price of propane exceeds a certain threshold, the industry is restricted from conducting most educational outreach activities.  In 2009, due to a misinterpretation of the law by the DOC, the restriction was triggered and all educational outreach ceased.

While the law requires DOC to recalculate the price comparison every six months, it has only been completed three times in the last five years.  H.R. 5705 specifies Congressional intent that DOC must use data reflecting all propane sectors, not just residential.

Roldan continued, “This law is a perfect example of what Congress can accomplish when they work together.  With bi-partisan support, this bill passed unanimously in the House and Senate and consumers are the ultimate beneficiary.”

Evolution of H9N2 virus yields insight into deadly H7N9 flu

An international research team has shown how changes in an influenza virus that has plagued poultry farms in China for decades helped create the novel avian H7N9 influenza A virus that has sickened more than 375 people since 2013.

The research appears in the current online early edition of the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The results underscore the need for continued surveillance of flu viruses circulating on poultry farms and identified changes in the H9N2 virus that could serve as an early warning sign of emerging flu viruses with the potential to trigger a pandemic and global health emergency, an announcement from the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital said.

The work focused on the H9N2 chicken virus, which causes egg production to drop and leaves chickens vulnerable to deadly co-infections. Scientists at St. Jude's and the China Agricultural University in Beijing led the study.

Researchers used whole genome sequencing to track the evolution of the H9N2 chicken virus between 1994 and 2013. The analysis involved thousands of viral sequences and showed that the genetic diversity of H9N2 viruses fell sharply in 2009. From 2010 through 2013, an H9N2 virus emerged as the predominant subtype due to its genetic makeup that allowed it to flourish despite widespread vaccination of chickens against H9N2 viruses.

Evidence in this study suggests the eruptions set the stage for the emergence of the H7N9 avian virus that has caused two outbreaks in humans since 2013, with 115 confirmed deaths. The H9N2 infected chickens likely served as the mixing vessel where H9N2 and other avian flu viruses from migratory birds and domestic ducks swapped genes, the researchers noted. The resulting H7N9 virus included six genes from the H9N2 virus.

"Sequencing the viral genome allowed us to track how H9N2 evolved across time and geography to contribute to the H7N9 virus that emerged as a threat to human health in 2013," said Dr. Robert Webster, a member of the St. Jude department of infectious diseases. He and Dr. Jinhua Liu of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the China Agricultural University, are co-corresponding authors.

"The insights gained from this collaboration suggest that tracking genetic diversity of H9N2 on poultry farms could provide an early warning of emerging viruses with the potential to spark a pandemic," Webster said.

The analysis also provided insight into the creation of the H9N2 virus that emerged as the predominant subtype in 2010. Factors included widespread use of poultry vaccines and the natural tendency of flu to mutate, mix and swap genes.

NRCS extends CSP comment period

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is extending the public comment period on the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) interim rule. Public comments will be accepted through January 20, 2015.

“This extension will provide stakeholders with additional time to comment on the CSP interim rule,” Chief Jason Weller said. “At nearly 70 million acres, CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program.  Input through the public comment process will help NRCS finalize a CSP rule that works for participants and continues to deliver greater conservation benefits for our Nation.”

Official notice of the change can be found in the Federal Register. Electronic comments must be submitted through regulations.gov.  Comments also can be hand carried or mailed to Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. NRCS-2014-0008, Regulatory and Agency Policy Team, Strategic Planning and Accountability, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Building 1-1112D, Beltsville, Md. 20705.

NRCS administers CSP, which helps participants improve their conservation performance. Through CSP, producers install conservation enhancements to make positive changes in soil, water, and air quality; water quantity; plant and animal resources; and energy conservation. Nearly 70 million acres have been enrolled in the program since its launch in 2009.

MF Global ordered to pay $1.2B

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has obtained a federal court consent order against MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) requiring it to pay $1.212 billion in restitution or such amount as necessary to ensure that claims of customers of its subsidiary, MF Global Inc. (MFGI), are paid in full.

The CFTC previously filed and settled charges against MFGI for misuse of customer funds and related supervisory failures in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations. MFGI was required to pay $1.212 billion in restitution to its customers, as well as a $100 million penalty. MFGH’s restitution obligation is joint and several with MFGI’s restitution obligation, pursuant to which a substantial portion of the restitution obligation has already been paid.

The consent order, entered on December 23, 2014, by Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, also imposes a $100 million civil monetary penalty on MFGH, to be paid after claims of customers and certain other creditors entitled to priority under bankruptcy law have been fully paid.

The consent order arises out of the CFTC’s amended complaint, filed on December 6, 2013, charging MFGH and the other defendants with unlawful use of customer funds. In the consent order, MFGH admits to the allegations pertaining to its liability based on the acts and omissions of its agents as set forth in the consent Order and the amended Complaint.

The CFTC’s amended complaint charged that MFGH controlled MFGI’s operations and was responsible for MFGI’s unlawful use of customer segregated funds during the last week of October 2011. In addition to the misuse of customer funds, the amended complaint alleged that MFGH is responsible for MFGI’s (i) failure to notify the CFTC immediately when it knew or should have known of the deficiencies in its customer accounts, (ii) filing of false statements in reports with the CFTC that failed to show the deficits in the customer accounts, and (iii) use of customer funds for impermissible investments in securities that were not considered readily marketable or highly liquid, in violation of CFTC regulations.

The CFTC’s litigation continues against the remaining defendants, former chief executive officer Jon Corzine and another MF Global executive Edith O’Brien.

The CFTC said it appreciated the assistance of the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of Illinois, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom.

The consent order recognizes the cooperation of MFGH and requires MFGH’s continued cooperation with the CFTC.

BIVI to invest in Iowa facilities

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI) announced Dec. 24 more than $110 million of capital investments in its facilities in Ft. Dodge and Ames, Iowa, over the next four years.

BIVI is a world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing an extensive line of quality biological and pharmaceutical products for its core segments: cattle, swine, horses and pets. BIVI acts as a center of competence in biological research, development and manufacturing for worldwide animal health business.

"BIVI has been a great Iowa partner," Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said. "During a recent investment mission in Europe, we had the opportunity to talk with BIVI about expanding its presence in Iowa, and today, that comes to fruition. These investments in Ames and Ft. Dodge will position BIVI for future growth in our state."

Economic development financial assistance packages from the Iowa Economic Development Authority as well as local entities helped secure both expansions. The financial assistance packages include tax credits from the High Quality Jobs program for a combined qualifying investment of nearly $98 million.

"These investments in our Ft. Dodge and Ames locations support and fuel the research, development and manufacturing of solutions that prevent and treat global animal health challenges," said Albrecht Kissel, BIVI president and chief executive officer. "We are grateful for the support we received from the state of Iowa, the city of Ames and city of Ft. Dodge for these activities."

In Ft. Dodge, BIVI is planning to expand capacity and modernize operations. These plans include: enhancements to its freeze drying capacity with the addition of a new line and a separate high speed fill and freeze dry suite; improvements to the performance of aging systems, equipment and other plant assets to increase the facility's overall competitiveness, and the construction of a new Veterinary Research Center (VRC).

BIVI has also announced a strategic investment for its operations in Ames. Following BIVI's acquisition of NOBL Laboratories Ames operation in 1999, its research efforts in Ames grew with successful collaboration from Iowa State University. This expansion project includes a new build-to-suit 52,088 sq. ft. building facility on the Iowa State Research Park. The larger facility will allow the company to expand efforts in all five target species (swine, equine, cattle, companion animals and poultry), continue to research other diseases with an unmet therapeutic need for larger livestock and enhance privacy and security, the announcement said.

Online tool evaluates odor reduction options

A team of Iowa State University extension and outreach specialists have developed an online tool to help livestock and poultry producers compare odor mitigation techniques that could be useful on their farms.

The Air Management Practices Assessment Tool (AMPAT) is web-based and available at no charge at www.agronext.iastate.edu/ampat.

"The website was developed to help livestock and poultry producers identify practices to reduce odors and emissions of gases and dust on their farms caused by animal production. The database lists options to be used from three core sources of odor and emissions in their operations — animal housing, manure storage and handling and land application," said Angie Rieck-Hinz, an Iowa State extension field agronomist and member of the project team.

Other members of the team include Jay Harmon, Steven Hoff and Dan Andersen, professors of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State.

Producers can select a specific mitigation practice and learn more about its effectiveness and relative cost. Rieck-Hinz said producers can use AMPAT in conjunction with the National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (http://naqsat.tamu.edu) to identify opportunities to make changes, find best practices for improving air quality and evaluate their effectiveness.

To evaluate practices on AMPAT, the producer can select from one of the three core odor source areas. Each category provides access to resources that are specific to a particular pollutant, the announcement explained. Once a pollutant is selected, a variety of resources are listed. This list includes a research-based publication on the recommended practice, pros and cons of using the recommended practice and a short video. Additional information and related links also are provided.

"Our goal was to develop a tool that is easy to use and provides relevant and useful information for livestock producers across the state," Harmon said. "AMPAT helps producers see which technologies have the highest impact. The scorecard is color-coded for quick reference."

The AMPAT website shows a colored-coded listing of technologies to address pollutants. A green color indicates the selected technology has a high impact on that particular pollutant; yellow and red indicate medium and low impact, respectively. No color indicates there is insufficient data available to classify the effectiveness, the announcement said.

"For example, if a producer was concerned about a potential odor problem from animal housing, he would scan down the list under the 'odor' column at the top. From the list, he would find that 'Siting,' 'Scrubbers,' 'Urine/Feces Segregation' and 'Biofilters' have green bars, meaning they have high impact on odors. With that information, the producer could then investigate options for implementing those technologies and evaluate their selection based on relative cost or investigate all four options for their farm," Harmon explained.

"It's not uncommon for a producer to identify best practices and implement them in their operation," he said. "They want to be good neighbors and this tool helps them to achieve that goal."

Stabilizing food prices in November

 

From October to November, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained unchanged and now stands at 3.2% higher than November 2013, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS).

Overall, prices for food purchased in grocery store dropped 0.2% in November from the previous month however still 3.4% above a year ago.  On the other hand, the food-away-from-home CPI climbed 0.4% in November and is up 2.9% from last November.

Meanwhile, the ERS adjusted its food price forecasts to reflect the feed, grain and crop outlook.  Food prices, food-at-home and food-away-from-home at the end of 2014 are predicted to increase 2.25-3.25% over 2013 levels with meat prices registering the largest gain.   

Looking ahead to 2015, the ERS forecasts supermarket prices to stabilize and drop slightly lower than average food price inflation, increasing only 2.0-3.0%. Nevertheless, meats prices will still remain higher in the short-term due to the effects of the Texas/Oklahoma drought and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) and as farmers' decisions on calving and herd sizes based on current conditions are felt down the line due to the 6- to 18-month production process.

Changes to Food Category CPI Forecasts

Carving deeper into the individual food categories, pork prices dropped again in November, down 2.1% from the previous month.  Still, pork prices for the year are up 9.9% from 2013. With signs of the pork industry expanding, the 2015 pork prices are projected by the ERS to increase only 4.5-5.5% next year, compared to 8.35-9.25% this year.

Poultry prices in November only rose 0.7% from October and up 2.5% year-over-year, as production in the last half of the year increased.  The ERS is now predicting poultry prices to increase 1.5% to 2.5% in 2014 and up 2.5-3.5% next year.

As for Egg, prices are now 6.2% higher than November 2013 level and increased 2.8% last month.  The monthly increase was a result in greater number of eggs being broken and increase of egg exports. For 2014, the ERS expects egg prices to have a yearly increase of 7-8% but only advance 1-2% next year.

Beef and veal prices showed the largest year-over-year increase, climbing 18.1% from November 2013. Most retail beef prices, on average, are also at record highs, even after adjusting for inflation, stated the ERS. Prices are forecasted to remain high as the U.S. cattle inventory recovers from its historical lows. Therefore, the ERS predicts beef and veal prices will increase 11-12% this year and 4.5-5.5% the following year.

In contrast, dairy products actually declined 0.2% from October to November and prices are now 5% above November 2013 levels. Global dairy prices have now fallen below domestic prices which has hinder U.S. dairy exports.  Still, dairy producers are benefitting from affordable feed prices. As it stands, the ERS projects dairy prices to climb 3-4% in 2014 but only increase 2.5-3.5% next year.

Producer Price Index (PPI) for Food

The ERS also measures the average change in prices paid to domestic producers for their output or Producer Price Index (PPI), which is more volatile than CPI.

From October to November, crude foods and feeds posted a monthly increase of 1.1% and this category from February to April experienced the largest monthly increase since 1980, which boosted prices to the current highs. In addition, intermediate foods and feeds fell 0.5% in November, and finished consumer foods declined 0.3%.

As the U.S. cattle inventory remains low, inflation rates for farm-level cattle and wholesale beef have remained high in 2014.

Cattle prices in November climbed 3.3% pushing the year-over-year gain 30.1% over this time last year. For the year, wholesale beef prices rose 28.6% from 2013. Farm level cattle prices are expected to increase, overall, 21.5-22.5% in 2014 and 17.5-18.5% in 2014, stated ERS.

As wholesale pork prices decrease 8.9% in November, the prices are only up 9.3% from November 2013. ERS predicts that wholesale pork prices will increase 20-21% this year and 4-5% next year.

Increased egg exports have assisted farm-level egg prices to 2.7% over last year’s level.  At the end of 2014, the ERS estimates farm-level egg prices to increase 13.5-14.5%.

In November, farm-level milk prices fell 7.5% however still 8.3% higher year-over-year. ERS now estimates that farm-level milk prices will increase 20.75-21.75% for 2014 but only increase 0-1% percent in 2015 while wholesale dairy prices are expected to increase 10-11% this year and 1-2% next year.

Although farm-level soybean prices have declined in recent months, they increased 6.9% from October to November and are now 22.5% below the November 2013 level. Contributing to these lower soybean prices are the current record-high oilseed production levels. Wholesale fats and oils prices fell 5.8% below November 2013 levels. ERS now predicts farm-level soybean prices to fall 10-11% in 2014 and drop 3-4% in 2015. Wholesale fats and oils are now expected to decrease 6-5% in 2014 and increase 1-2% in 2015.

Ingredient market prices, 12/29/14

Ingredient market prices, 12/29/14

The following prices, which include delivery, were obtained Dec. 22 from feed and grain vendors in the U.S. and Canada. The prices represent current trading values but are not guaranteed. Second column shows the amount of change since the previous week. Prices of certain products can vary depending on the processing method used. N-Nominal. N/A-Price not available.

OILSEED PRODUCTS

 

 

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Soybean meal

 

 

(high-protein)

 

 

Atlanta

540.00

10.00

Boston

N/A

-

Buffalo

500.00

-14.00

Chicago

428.00

-1.00

Delmarva

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

550.00

10.00

Ft. Worth

464.00

5.00

Kansas City

410.00

5.00

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Memphis

N/A

-

Minneapolis

398.50

5.60

Okeechobee

570.00

10.00

Portland

477.30

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

Twin Falls

490.00

-

Soybean meal

 

 

(low-protein)

 

 

Atlanta

530.00

10.00

Boston

N/A

-

Buffalo

496.00

-14.00

Chicago

416.00

-1.00

Delmarva

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

540.00

10.00

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Kansas City

410.00

5.00

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Memphis

N/A

-

Minneapolis

N/A

-

Okeechobee

560.00

10.00

Portland

N/A

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

Soybean hulls

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Buffalo*

200.00

-

Chicago

135.00

-

Fayetteville, NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth*

185.00

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Minneapolis

130.00

-

Okeechobee

N/A

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

Twin Falls

205.00

-

* unpelleted

 

 

Whole cottonseed

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Buffalo

295.00

15.00

Chicago

298.00

5.00

Delmarva

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

270.00

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Lubbock

260.00

-

Memphis

275.00

10.00

Okeechobee

N/A

-

Portland

375.00

-

San Francisco

385.00

-

Twin Falls

375.00

-

Cottonseed meal

 

 

Atlanta

320.00

-

Chicago

368.00

-

Delmarva

320.00

-

Fayetteville NC

320.00

-

Ft. Worth

385.00

-

Kansas City

365.00

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Lubbock

360.00

-

Memphis

320.00

-

Okeechobee

354.00

-

San Francisco

376.00

-

Cottonseed hulls

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Chicago

190.00

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

250.00

-

Okeechobee

N/A

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Lubbock

220.00

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

Canola meal

 

 

Buffalo

418.00

1.00

Minneapolis

333.00

-

Los Angeles

410.00

-

Montreal

N

-

Portland

345.80

-

San Francisco

410.00

-

Twin Falls

385.00

-

Vancouver

296.00

-

Sunflower seed meal

 

 

Fargo

250.00

-

Minneapolis

250.00

-

Linseed  meal

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Chicago

315.00

-

Fargo

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Kansas City

360.00

15.00

Minneapolis

290.00

-

Safflower meal

 

 

Los Angeles

N/A

-

San Francisco

220.00

-

ANIMAL BYPRODUCTS

 

 

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Meat and bone meal

 

 

(ruminant)

 

 

Buffalo

N/A

-

Chicago

440.00

-

Delmarva

520.00

5.00

Fayetteville NC

480.00

-

Ft. Worth

420.00

-

Kansas City

435.00

5.00

Los Angeles

385.00

-

Memphis

470.00

-

Minneapolis

390.00

-

Portland

413.50

-

San Francisco

385.00

-

Meat and bone meal

 

 

(porcine)

 

 

Fayetteville NC

530.00

-

Los Angeles

430.40

-

Memphis

520.00

-

Minneapolis

465.00

5.00

Flash-dried blood meal

 

 

(ruminant)

 

 

Fayetteville NC

1450.00

-

Los Angeles

1425.00

-

Memphis

1400.00

-

Minneapolis

1350.00

-

Flash-dried blood meal

 

 

(porcine)

 

 

Fayetteville NC

1500.00

-

Memphis

1475.00

-

Minneapolis

1425.00

-25.00

Poultry byproduct meal

 

 

(feed grade)

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

450.00

-

Ft. Worth

375.00

-

Kansas City

N/A

-

Los Angeles

519.00

-

Memphis

450.00

-

Poultry byproduct meal

 

 

(pet food grade)

 

 

Memphis

700.00

-

Fayetteville NC

700.00

-

Hydrolized feather meal

 

 

Atlanta

560.00

-

Delmarva

620.00

-

Fayetteville NC

580.00

-

Ft. Worth

630.00

-

Kansas City

705.00

-25.00

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Memphis

560.00

-

Minneapolis

675.00

-

Menhaden fish meal

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Buffalo

N/A

-

Chicago

1625.00

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Kansas City

N/A

-

Memphis

1850.00

-

Minneapolis

N/A

-

Twin Falls

N/A

-

Blended tuna meal

 

 

Los Angeles

N/A

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

Anchovy  meal

 

 

Los Angeles

N/A

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

ANIMAL FAT, GREASE

 

 

(cents per pound)

 

 

Prime Tallow

 

 

Chicago

28.50

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Los Angeles

28.00

-

San Francisco

25.75

-

Yellow grease

 

 

Buffalo

N/A

-

Chicago

28.00

-

Delmarva

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

30.00

-

Ft. Worth

26.00

-1.00

Kansas City

35.00

-

Los Angeles

27.00

-

Memphis

30.00

-

Minneapolis

26.00

-0.75

San Francisco

24.75

-

Choice white grease

 

 

Chicago

31.00

-

Minneapolis

27.00

-0.50

Bleachable fancy tallow

 

 

Buffalo

N/A

-

Chicago

32.00

-

Ft. Worth

30.00

-1.00

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Minneapolis

32.00

-1.00

San Francisco

N/A

-

Vegetable-animal blend

 

 

Ft. Worth

27.50

-0.50

Los Angeles

25.38

-

Minneapolis

26.00

-0.50

San Francisco

25.38

-

Poultry grease

 

 

(feed grade)

 

 

Delmarva

25.00

-

Fayetteville NC

28.00

-

Memphis

28.00

-

Poultry grease

 

 

(pet food grade)

 

 

Memphis

34.00

-

Fayetteville NC

34.00

-

GLUTEN, HOMINY

 

 

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Corn gluten meal

 

 

Buffalo

703.00

-

Chicago

643.00

-

Kansas City

720.00

5.00

Los Angeles

710.00

-

Corn gluten feed

 

 

Buffalo

183.00

5.00

Chicago

160.00

-

Fayetteville NC

200.00

15.00

Kansas City

210.00

-

Okeechobee

220.00

15.00

Twin Falls

245.00

-

Wahpeton

N/A

-

Hominy feed

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Boston

N/A

-

Buffalo

169.00

5.00

Chicago

103.00

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Kansas City

110.00

5.00

Los Angeles

184.00

-

Okeechobee

N/A

-

San Francisco

184.00

-

Twin Falls

198.00

-

BREWERS, DISTILLERS

 

 

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Brewers dried grains

 

 

Chicago

N/A

-

Kansas City

N/A

-

Malt Sprouts

 

 

Chicago

170.00

-

Milwaukee

175.00

-

Winona, Minn

175.00

-

Distillers dried grains

 

 

Atlanta

240.00

10.00

Boston

N/A

-

Buffalo

230.00

35.00

Chicago

175.00

7.00

Fayetteville NC

240.00

10.00

Kansas City

140.00

-

Los Angeles

248.00

-

Minneapolis

175.00

20.00

Okeechobee

250.00

10.00

Portland

232.00

-

San Francisco

248.00

-

Twin Falls

255.00

-

Brewers yeast

 

 

(dollars per pound, sacked)

 

 

Chicago

0.75

-

Milwaukee

0.75

-

Minneapolis

0.75

-

ALFALFA

 

 

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Dehydrated pellets

 

 

(17% protein)

 

 

Alfalfa Center

275.00

-

Buffalo

375.00

-

Chicago

355.00

-

Kansas City

300.00

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Minneapolis

265.00

-

Toledo

385.00

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

Suncured pellets

 

 

(15% protein)

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

245.00

-

Kansas City

260.00

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Portland

305.00

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

WHEAT MILLFEEDS

 

 

Shorts

 

 

Chicago

150.00

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Los Angeles

186.00

-

Millrun

 

 

Los Angeles

177.00

-

Portland

185.00

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

Twin Falls

165.00

-

Bran

 

 

Buffalo

217.00

15.00

Chicago

140.00

-

Los Angeles

181.00

-

Minneapolis

N/A

-

Middlings

 

 

Buffalo

187.00

15.00

Chicago

130.00

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

200.00

-10.00

Kansas City

135.00

-

Los Angeles

184.00

-

Memphis

205.00

-

Minneapolis

165.00

25.00

Okeechobee

N/A

-

DAIRY BYPRODUCTS

 

 

(dollars per hundredweight)

 

 

Dried skim milk

 

 

Ft. Worth

116.00

-

Minneapolis

116.00

-

Dried buttermilk

 

 

Ft. Worth

101.38

-

Minneapolis

101.38

-

Whole whey

 

 

Chicago

57.00

-0.50

Ft. Worth

57.00

-

Kansas City

57.75

-

Minneapolis

57.00

-

Whey protein concentrate

 

 

Ft. Worth

122.38

-

Milwaukee

122.38

-0.75

Lactose

 

 

Ft. Worth

39.00

-

Minneapolis

39.00

-

OATS, RICE PRODUCTS

 

 

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Rolled oats

 

 

Chicago

520.00

-

Kansas City

500.00

-

Minneapolis

507.00

-

Crimped oats

 

 

Chicago

430.00

-

Kansas City

360.00

-

Minneapolis

432.00

-

Pulverized oats

 

 

Chicago

150.00

-

Minneapolis

138.00

-

Reground oat feed

 

 

Chicago

87.00

-

Kansas City

65.00

-

Minneapolis

72.00

-

Oats

 

 

(dollars per bushel)

 

 

Buffalo

3.85

-

Minneapolis

3.53

-

Portland*

270.00

-

(*per ton)

 

 

Rice bran

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

180.00

-5.00

Freeport

N/A

-

Kansas City

148.00

-

Memphis

N/A

-

San Francisco

176.00

-

Stuttgart, Ark.

N/A

-

Rice millfeeds

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

110.00

-5.00

Freeport

N/A

-

Kansas City

110.00

-

Memphis

N/A

-

Stuttgart, Ark.

N/A

-

Rice hulls

 

 

Ft. Worth

75.00

-

Kansas City

75.00

-

DRIED PULP

 

 

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Citrus pulp pellets

 

 

Atlanta

210.00

-

Fayetteville NC

220.00

-

Okeechobee

190.00

-

Los Angeles*

N/A

-

*(sold wet)

 

 

Beet pulp pellets

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Boise

N/A

-

Chicago

220.00

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Kansas City

480.00

-

Minneapolis

160.00

-

Portland

255.00

-

Saginaw

175.00

-

Beet pulp shreds

 

 

Mpls (sacked)

340.00

-

Los Angeles*

N/A

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

Twin Falls

N/A

-

*bulk, wet

 

 

GRAINS

 

 

Barley feed

 

 

Kansas City (bu.)

4.70

-

Los Angeles (cwt)

10.20

-

Portland (ton)

197.50

-

San Francisco (cwt)

10.20

-

Feed wheat

 

 

Atlanta (bu.)

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC (bu.)

N/A

-

Kansas City (bu)

5.80

0.27

Los Angeles (cwt)

12.75

-

San Francisco (cwt)

12.75

-

Corn

 

 

(dollars per bushel)

 

 

Atlanta

6.32

-

Boston

N/A

-

Buffalo (per ton)

170.00

-

Chicago

4.12

0.07

Delmarva

4.49

0.04

Fayetteville NC

6.32

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Kansas City

3.90

0.07

Los Angeles*

10.32

-

San Fran (rail)*

10.32

-

San Fran (truck)*

N/A

-

Memphis

4.21

-

Minneapolis

3.30

-

Okeechobee

6.32

1.19

Portland (per ton)

199.13

-

(*per cwt)

 

 

Milo

 

 

(dollars per bushel)

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Kansas City

4.12

-0.04

Los Angeles*

11.87

-

Memphis

4.86

-

*(per cwt.)

 

 

Ground grain screenings

 

 

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Ft.  Worth

154.00

-1.00

Kansas City

75.00

-

OTHER

 

 

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Almond hulls

 

 

Los Angeles

185.00

-

San Francisco

158.00

-

Bakery feed

 

 

Atlanta

180.00

-

Buffalo

171.00

-

Fayetteville NC

185.00

-

Memphis

175.00

-

Minneapolis

185.00

-

Feed urea

 

 

Buffalo

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Minneapolis

N/A

-

Salt

 

 

Kansas City

49.00

-

Los Angeles

50.00

-

Cane molasses

 

 

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Houston

150.00

-

Kansas City

270.00

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Memphis

N/A

-

Minneapolis

197.50

-

New Orleans

152.50

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

 

Volume:86 Issue:53

OIG audits FSA disaster payments

OIG audits FSA disaster payments

THE Farm Service Agency's (FSA) Livestock Forage Program (LFP) provides compensation to ranchers who have suffered grazing losses for livestock due to drought or fire.

A recent audit by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found issues associated with the implementation of the program as well as improper payments on 7% of the total payments reviewed.

OIG reviewed 120 producers in Texas and Oklahoma who received a total of about $5.7 million in LFP payments in program years 2010 and 2011. A number of problems were identified.

FSA county officials have to manually determine the amount of acres eligible for LFP and enter this information in the automated LFP application. As a result, FSA county office staff made administrative errors in processing information associated with LFP applications for 78 payments, which resulted in improper payments of $373,135, or 7% of the total payments reviewed.

Of the 155 LFP payments OIG reviewed in Texas and Oklahoma, FSA entered incorrect acreage totals for 34 of them. OIG determined that these errors were the result of county officials having to manually determine the amount of acres eligible for LFP and calculate the total acres to claim for payment. This resulted in improper payments totaling $78,330 ($75,110 in overpayments and $3,220 in underpayments).

Overall, OIG said 85% of the improper payments identified were due to administrative errors in entering and processing information into the LFP payment system.

"OIG believes the administrative errors identified (incorrect acreage totals, irrigated land included in the payment, shares not calculated and issues with the carrying capacity) could be resolved if the forage information section of the application was linked with the data the producer reports and certifies as correct in CARS," the report notes.

CARS is a web-based system used to enter crop information tied to specific acreage on a farm and provides the capability to perform functions such as revise acreage reports, certify acreage report data and summarize acreage.

At present, FSA county officials must manually calculate and identify eligible acreage reported by the producer in CARS and then manually enter that information into the LFP payment system.

Since many of the issues identified were due to administrative errors in the manual calculation and processing of the forage information into the LFP system, linking and automating the data between CARS and the LFP payment system would reduce the amount of administrative errors, OIG explained.

LFP remains a critical safety net for producers, which is evident from the fact that within the first two weeks of the signup, which was instituted following passage of the 2014 farm bill, 33,000 applications were received, and more than 95% of those were LFP requests.

OIG reported that an official from the FSA national office said integrating the LFP payment system with CARS to automatically load LFP data to prevent administrative errors is preferred, but a lack of resources prevented FSA from doing so.

In the audit, OIG determined that FSA has faced a significant reduction in its salaries and expense budget — from $1.57 billion in fiscal 2010 to approximately $1.4 billion in fiscal 2013, a reduction of more than $170 million — which left the agency with fewer resources to perform essential work.

OIG also questioned the monthly feed costs FSA was using to calculate these payments. Although an important step in determining LFP compensation involves calculating a monthly cost based on the amount of pounds of feed necessary to sustain eligible livestock, OIG found that FSA could not support most of its established costs.

FSA generally relied on historical data developed 20-30 years ago to calculate the pounds of feed necessary to feed livestock per day and did not question the data or attempt to document how it arrived at these determinations.

OIG compared Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) daily forage consumption data with the monthly feed cost FSA established. In 2011, OIG found that the FSA and NRCS rates varied on the compensation needed to feed livestock.

OIG found large differences in the monthly feed cost for adult dairy cattle, non-adult beef and dairy cattle, horses and elk (Figure). For example, for an adult dairy cow, FSA pays about $13 more in monthly feed costs than the monthly feed cost based on NRCS data, but for horses, FSA pays $46 less.

FSA responded that it plans to conduct a review of the conversion factors used in determining the feed grain equivalent of the average number of pounds of corn per day necessary to feed the applicable livestock to ensure that the data are reasonable and equitable in determining and documenting monthly feed costs.

OIG audits FSA disaster payments

Volume:86 Issue:53