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Fed Cattle Exchange holds first online sale

Superior Livestock Auction's Fed Cattle Exchange held its first live feeder cattle auction Wednesday. The online sale featured around 2,000 head of feeder cattle consigned from across the country. The goal of the sale was to increase the frequency, transparency and depth of the negotiated trade.

Ed Greiman, chairman of National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn.’s Cattle Marketing & International Trade Committee, said the first sale was a success.

"The good news of the sale is that they sold about 1,600 head of cattle," Greiman noted. "The better news is that a lot of people were watching, and that's what we wanted. This is all about price discovery and showing people that there is a cash market out there and there is cash trade. It's adding to the fundamentals, and that's what we wanted."

Grieman said this is the first of what are planned to be weekly sales, and he expects the auctions to continue to grow with interest from feeders and packer buyers.

"What a lot of people need to understand is that this sale is not about selling cattle for more money; it's about giving us another avenue to sell cattle," Greiman said. "If we need more price discovery and the industry needs to see what fat cattle are bringing, this is one of the solutions. The best part of it is that this is a solution that was come up with by the (producers who) are selling the cattle."

Feedyards that want to offer cattle for sale may sign up for a license with FedCattleExchange.com at no cost to the feedyard.

Once the feedyard is approved as a user, cattle can be listed on the site at any time. The feedyard can choose the sale date for the cattle on any available dates offered by the exchange. The offering feedyard must have the show list entered each week by not later than Thursday at 3:00 pm (CT) in order to offer cattle for sale on the weekly auction.

A fee of $1.00 per head for use of the exchange platform will be charged to the listing feedyard by 10:00 a.m. (CT) each Friday in the form of an ACH transaction initiated by the exchange. The Fed Cattle Exchange reserves the right to cancel the sale of listed cattle if the license fee is not received by the published deadline.

Potential buyers wishing to procure cattle on an auction day must first register for a user account with the exchange, which will provide registrants with a user agreement and a privacy policy.

The exchange will also require an incumbency certificate from the buyer that will provide evidence of authority to buy. User agreements will be active through Dec. 31, 2017, but will automatically renew for a two- year period unless terminated in writing. The exchange or the user may terminate the agreement at any time with written notice.

Show lists will be made available on the Fed Cattle Exchange website at 8:00 am (CT) on each Friday, and buyers will be notified by electronic communication of the availability of the show lists. Buyers wanting to visually inspect cattle or ask questions about a listing may contact the listing feedyard at any time before the scheduled auction to obtain additional information.

The exchange will generate a seller and buyer trade confirmation at the conclusion of each regional sale that will be automatically sent to each listing feedyard and each buyer via email. If there are any discrepancies on the seller or buyer trade confirmations, the listing feedyard and the buyer must be in contact with each other as soon as possible after the conclusion of the sale. Both sellers and buyers must reply by email to the exchange by the end of the business on sale day with an acceptance of the confirmations.

The live sale and more information can be found at www.FedCattleExchange.com.

ADM completes sale of Brazil ethanol plants

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) announced May 25 that it has completed the sale of its sugarcane ethanol operations in Limeira do Oeste in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

“ADM's Corn business is delivering on its strategy of diversifying our portfolio and expanding our global footprint while addressing underperforming businesses,” said Chris Cuddy, president of ADM's corn processing business unit. “Last November, we completed our purchase of former Eaststarch assets in Europe. Earlier this year, we announced the purchase of a sweetener facility in Morocco, and now, we've completed the sale of our sugarcane ethanol operations in Brazil, which we determined were unlikely to meet our long-term returns objectives. We are continuing to take strategic action to drive results and deliver healthy returns for our shareholders.”

ADM is one of the largest agribusiness companies in Brazil. With about 3,300 employees, the company processes soybeans in five facilities and sunflower at another and markets the bottled oil brands Concordia, Corcovado and Vitaliv.

The company also operates the largest biodiesel plant in Brazil and more than 40 elevators across the country.

ADM is a joint owner of an export terminal in Barcarena and has a concession to operate a terminal at the Port of Santos in Brazil. The company is also building a soy protein production complex in the country next to its existing soybean plant in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul.

ADM is one of the world's largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, with more than 32,300 employees serving customers in more than 160 countries. Its global value chain includes 428 crop procurement locations, 280 ingredient manufacturing facilities, 39 innovation centers and a premier crop transportation network, making products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses.

Ag groups push for normalized trade with Cuba

With a signing ceremony Thursday, the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC) and Cuba’s Grupo Empresarial Agricola (GEA) formalized an agreement between the two nations' farm and food industries to re-establish the Cuban marketplace for U.S. food and agricultural products. As part of the agreement, both USACC and GEA will meet regularly to ensure that the relationship between both industries is mutually productive and beneficial.

Rice leaders were on Capitol Hill visiting with members of Congress and participating in the White House briefing on "Business Opportunities in Cuba." Louisiana rice farmers and USA Rice members Eric Unkel and Jeffrey Sylvester met with Sens. Bill Cassidy (R., La.) and David Vitter (R., La.) and Rep. John Fleming (R., La.).

The general request was for support of existing legislation that would lift the regulations blocking U.S. financial institutions from providing credit to Cuban buyers of agricultural commodities, such as rice. They pointed to an economic analysis — put together by USACC and Engage Cuba and approved by the U.S. Department Agriculture — that outlines the potential market in Cuba for rice and soybeans, Louisiana's top agricultural exports. Reps. Ralph Abraham and Charles Boustany of Louisiana have already publicly supported legislation and other efforts to open the Cuban market for agriculture.

The afternoon was allotted to the White House Business Council's briefing on Cuba, with representatives from the Agriculture, State, Treasury and Commerce departments sitting on the two Administration panels. The audience of more than 160 participants from all sectors and from all over the U.S. engaged in a question-and-answer process. At least one panelist indicated Cuba's strong desire to purchase U.S.-grown rice and the need for congressional action to remove the financing barriers that prevent agricultural exports.

Unkel, president of the Louisiana Rice Council, noted that "it's a rare feeling to leave Washington optimistically" but said after meeting with Cassidy and getting Vitter's "commitment to co-sponsor the legislation that would allow U.S. financing to Cuba for ag commodities, I'm feeling pretty good."

Sylvester, president of the Evangeline Parish Rice Growers Assn., added, "Hearing questions and comments coming from other industries was helpful to me because we're so focused on the impacts to and by the rice industry that we forget about all of the other businesses that would benefit from normalized trade with Cuba. There was an overwhelming excitement in the room, and the Administration representatives seemed like they really want to be helpful in making business with Cuba a reality."

American Soybean Assn. vice president Ron Moore is in Havana, Cuba, with USACC to interact with Cuban farmers during the week.

“Our Cuban partners represent a great deal of promise for the American soybean industry,” Moore said. “The agreement that USACC is signing on to this morning is something that will help to ensure both American producers and Cuban buyers have what they need as our relationship continues to grow together.”

The soybean group supports policy to normalize relations with Cuba, including full removal of the embargo.

“So much has changed since the era in which the Cuban embargo was put in place,” Moore said. “Since 1961, our countries have evolved, our industries have expanded and our economies have matured. Cubans have an increasing opportunity to develop their economy, and Americans have an equally promising opportunity to help meet that demand. That’s why we’re here: to meet a burgeoning demand for meat protein, for cooking oil and for the array of other products that American producers can provide.”

California ag faces further economic losses as drought persists

Despite nearly normal rainfall and snowpack during the 2015-16 rainy season, California farmers and agribusinesses could face up to $1.5 billion in losses due to persistent drought conditions, according to a new report from CoBank. The drought’s lingering effects will lead to another round of water restrictions for producers for the remainder of the growing year and beyond.

While northern California saw the most precipitation during the rainy season, much of the state is still blanketed by severe drought, especially in the central and southern regions. Government agencies in the state will again need to enforce water restrictions, allocating less than 60% of the state’s contracted water supplies. These restrictions will result in a 5-7% loss in net cash income for farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses across the state, according to the report.

“Although California’s cities, rural communities and farmland are less parched today than they were a year ago, water remains in short supply,” said Leonard Sahling, vice president with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. “While, for some areas, water allocations will be more than double last year’s amounts, growers will still fallow up to 350,000 acres this year.”

In addition to fallowing land, growers have several other options to offset water restrictions and drought effects, including increasing their use of groundwater stores, purchasing additional water from senior rights holders, increasing the use of crop insurance to mitigate risk and lost income and shifting their crop mix in favor of crops that require less water.

“Some sectors will feel the effects of these water restrictions more so than others,” Sahling said. “Crops that yield the highest returns on investment, like permanent plantings of tree crops and vines, should be impacted the least. At the same time, we expect a large reduction in acreage for field crops that require significant amounts of water, including corn, wheat, cotton and alfalfa.”

For cattle and dairy farms, the biggest drought-related risk stems from potentially higher feed costs. “Fallowing decisions will affect the price and availability of locally grown feed ingredients,” Sahling said. “However, grain and feed prices have declined across the nation, mitigating this risk.”

Despite a projected reduction in farm income, Sahling said California’s agriculture sector remains strong enough to manage through another year of drought.

“Looking beyond this year, the outlook for California agriculture will depend on how much moisture the state receives, continued availability of groundwater and future regulations that impact access to surface and groundwater,” Sahling said.

CoBank is a $118 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 75,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.

CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colo., CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.

Ingredient market prices, 5/25/16

The following prices, which include delivery, were obtained May 25 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

508.00

33.00

Boston

447.00

65.00

Buffalo

449.00

33.00

Chicago

372.00

24.00

Delmarva

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

518.00

33.00

Ft. Worth

403.00

-

Kansas City

400.00

35.00

Los Angeles

432.00

22.00

Memphis

N/A

-

Minneapolis

392.00

32.60

Okeechobee

508.00

33.00

Portland

439.45

23.40

San Francisco

432.00

20.00

Twin Falls

467.00

40.00

Soybean meal

 

 

(low-protein)

 

 

Atlanta

498.00

33.00

Boston

442.00

64.00

Buffalo

445.00

33.00

Chicago

361.00

27.00

Delmarva

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

508.00

33.00

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Kansas City

400.00

35.00

Los Angeles

407.00

19.00

Memphis

N/A

-

Minneapolis

N/A

-

Okeechobee

498.00

33.00

Portland

N/A

-

San Francisco

407.00

19.00

Soybean hulls

 

 

Atlanta

155.00

-

Buffalo*

160.00

-

Chicago

105.00

-

Fayetteville, NC

175.00

-

Ft. Worth*

140.00

-

Los Angeles

150.00

5.00

Minneapolis

100.00

-5.00

Okeechobee

155.00

-

San Francisco

150.00

5.00

Twin Falls

505.00

46.00

* unpelleted

Whole cottonseed

 

 

Atlanta

270.00

-

Buffalo

320.00

-25.00

Chicago

285.00

-

Delmarva

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

270.00

-

Ft. Worth

290.00

15.00

Los Angeles

348.00

14.00

Lubbock

260.00

20.00

Memphis

265.00

2.00

Okeechobee

287.00

-

Portland

350.00

2.50

San Francisco

348.00

14.00

Twin Falls

365.00

-

Cottonseed meal

 

 

Atlanta

260.00

-

Chicago

259.00

5.00

Delmarva

260.00

-

Fayetteville NC

260.00

-

Ft. Worth

285.00

20.00

Kansas City

290.00

5.00

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Lubbock

255.00

25.00

Memphis

255.00

10.00

Okeechobee

270.00

-

San Francisco

305.00

9.00

Cottonseed hulls

 

 

Atlanta

200.00

-

Chicago

280.00

-

Fayetteville NC

200.00

-

Ft. Worth

165.00

10.00

Okeechobee

237.00

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Lubbock

130.00

15.00

San Francisco

273.00

3.00

Canola meal

 

 

Buffalo

385.00

33.00

Minneapolis

352.20

34.50

Los Angeles

345.00

10.00

Montreal

336.00

52.00

Portland

344.45

14.90

San Francisco

345.00

10.00

Twin Falls

378.00

36.00

Vancouver

295.00

45.00

Sunflower seed meal

 

 

Fargo

160.00

10.00

Minneapolis

180.00

10.00

Linseed  meal

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Chicago

345.00

60.00

Fargo

330.00

20.00

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

336.00

-10.00

Kansas City

278.00

18.00

Minneapolis

355.00

45.00

Safflower meal

 

 

Los Angeles

N/A

-

San Francisco

143.00

-

ANIMAL BYPRODUCTS

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Meat and bone meal

 

 

(ruminant)

 

 

Buffalo

N/A

-

Chicago

330.00

-

Delmarva

395.00

-10.00

Fayetteville NC

370.00

-

Ft. Worth

330.00

-

Kansas City

310.00

-

Los Angeles

365.00

-

Memphis

360.00

-

Minneapolis

310.00

-5.00

Portland

340.00

20.00

San Francisco

365.00

-

Meat and bone meal

 

 

(porcine)

 

 

Fayetteville NC

420.00

-

Los Angeles

409.60

-

Memphis

410.00

-

Minneapolis

345.00

-10.00

Flash-dried blood meal

 

 

(ruminant)

 

 

Fayetteville NC

800.00

-

Los Angeles

800.00

-25.00

Memphis

775.00

-

Minneapolis

725.00

-25.00

Flash-dried blood meal

 

 

(porcine)

 

 

Fayetteville NC

850.00

-

Memphis

825.00

-

Minneapolis

750.00

-25.00

Poultry byproduct meal

 

 

(feed grade)

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

315.00

-

Ft. Worth

280.00

30.00

Kansas City

N/A

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Memphis

315.00

-

Poultry byproduct meal

 

 

(pet food grade)

 

 

Memphis

525.00

-

Fayetteville NC

525.00

-

Hydrolized feather meal

 

 

Atlanta

320.00

-

Delmarva

305.00

-

Fayetteville NC

320.00

-

Ft. Worth

305.00

-10.00

Kansas City

350.00

10.00

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Memphis

320.00

-

Minneapolis

350.00

-25.00

Menhaden fish meal

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Buffalo

N/A

-

Chicago

1480.00

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Kansas City

N/A

-

Memphis

N/A

-

Minneapolis

1525.00

-

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

29.00

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Los Angeles

29.13

-0.13

San Francisco

27.50

1.00

Yellow grease

 

 

Buffalo

N/A

-

Chicago

28.00

-

Delmarva

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

25.00

-

Ft. Worth

28.00

-1.00

Kansas City

27.25

-

Los Angeles

28.13

-0.13

Memphis

25.00

-

Minneapolis

26.50

-

San Francisco

26.50

1.00

Choice white grease

 

 

Chicago

31.00

-

Minneapolis

29.00

-

Bleachable fancy tallow

 

 

Buffalo

N/A

-

Chicago

32.00

-

Ft. Worth

31.00

-2.00

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Minneapolis

31.00

-2.00

San Francisco

N/A

-

Vegetable-animal blend

 

 

Ft. Worth

29.00

-0.50

Los Angeles

27.13

1.13

Minneapolis

26.50

-

San Francisco

27.13

1.13

Poultry grease

 

 

(feed grade)

 

 

Delmarva

27.50

-

Fayetteville NC

27.00

-

Memphis

27.00

-

Poultry grease

 

 

(pet food grade)

 

 

Memphis

34.00

-

Fayetteville NC

34.00

-

GLUTEN, HOMINY

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Corn gluten meal

 

 

Buffalo

579.00

-

Chicago

510.00

30.00

Kansas City

530.00

20.00

Los Angeles

580.00

40.00

Corn gluten feed

 

 

Buffalo

166.00

-

Chicago

105.00

10.00

Fayetteville NC

115.00

-

Kansas City

145.00

10.00

Okeechobee

135.00

-

Twin Falls

188.00

-

Wahpeton

N/A

-

Hominy feed

 

 

Atlanta

150.00

-

Boston

160.00

14.00

Buffalo

181.00

-1.00

Chicago

98.00

3.00

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Kansas City

90.00

-5.00

Los Angeles

166.00

-

Okeechobee

N/A

-

San Francisco

166.00

-

Twin Falls

189.00

4.00

BREWERS, DISTILLERS

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Brewers dried grains

 

 

Chicago

N/A

-

Kansas City

N/A

-

Malt Sprouts

 

 

Chicago

120.00

-

Milwaukee

95.00

-

Winona, Minn

95.00

-

Distillers dried grains

 

 

Atlanta

215.00

15.00

Boston

210.00

45.00

Buffalo

165.00

-

Chicago

150.00

10.00

Fayetteville NC

215.00

15.00

Kansas City

120.00

-

Los Angeles

214.00

7.00

Minneapolis

140.00

5.00

Okeechobee

225.00

15.00

Portland

223.00

26.50

San Francisco

214.00

7.00

Twin Falls

218.00

3.00

Brewers yeast

 

 

(dollars per pound, sacked)

 

 

Chicago

0.75

-

Milwaukee

0.75

-

Minneapolis

0.75

-

ALFALFA

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Dehydrated pellets

 

 

(17% protein)

 

 

Central Nebraska

245.00

-

Buffalo

N/A

-

Chicago

340.00

-

Kansas City

260.00

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Minneapolis

245.00

-

Toledo

325.00

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

Suncured pellets

 

 

(15% protein)

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

190.00

-

Kansas City

193.00

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Portland

195.00

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

WHEAT MILLFEEDS

Shorts

 

 

Chicago

110.00

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Los Angeles

139.00

-

Millrun

 

 

Los Angeles

130.00

-

Portland

145.00

-

San Francisco

150.00

-

Twin Falls

130.00

15.00

Bran

 

 

Buffalo

128.00

7.00

Chicago

115.00

-

Los Angeles

134.00

-

Minneapolis

N/A

-

Middlings

 

 

Buffalo

98.00

7.00

Chicago

95.00

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

115.00

15.00

Kansas City

55.00

-5.00

Los Angeles

137.00

-

Memphis

122.00

14.00

Minneapolis

65.00

5.00

Okeechobee

N/A

-

DAIRY BYPRODUCTS

(dollars per hundredweight)

 

 

Dried skim milk

 

 

Ft. Worth

79.50

1.50

Minneapolis

79.50

1.50

Dried buttermilk

 

 

Ft. Worth

71.25

-2.25

Minneapolis

71.25

-2.25

Whole whey

 

 

Chicago

21.25

-0.25

Ft. Worth

23.75

-

Kansas City

53.00

-

Minneapolis

23.75

-

Whey protein concentrate

 

 

Ft. Worth

64.00

0.88

Milwaukee

64.00

0.88

Lactose

 

 

Ft. Worth

25.75

-

Minneapolis

25.75

-

OATS, RICE PRODUCTS

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Rolled oats

 

 

Chicago

430.00

-

Kansas City

330.00

-

Minneapolis

554.00

-

Crimped oats

 

 

Chicago

390.00

-

Kansas City

270.00

5.00

Minneapolis

411.00

-

Pulverized oats

 

 

Chicago

120.00

-

Minneapolis

138.00

-

Reground oat feed

 

 

Chicago

60.00

-

Kansas City

40.00

-

Minneapolis

72.00

-

Oats

 

 

(dollars per bushel)

 

 

Buffalo

2.90

-

Minneapolis

2.49

-

Portland*

250.00

-

(*per ton)

Rice bran

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

120.00

-

Freeport

N/A

-

Kansas City

150.00

-

Memphis

N/A

-

San Francisco

104.00

-2.00

Stuttgart, Ark.

N/A

-

Rice millfeeds

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

82.00

-

Freeport

N/A

-

Kansas City

110.00

-

Memphis

N/A

-

Stuttgart, Ark.

N/A

-

Rice hulls

 

 

Ft. Worth

55.00

-

Kansas City

70.00

-

DRIED PULP

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Citrus pulp pellets

 

 

Atlanta

185.00

-

Fayetteville NC

195.00

-

Okeechobee

160.00

-

Los Angeles*

N/A

-

*(sold wet)

Beet pulp pellets

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Boise

N/A

-

Chicago

160.00

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Kansas City

430.00

-

Minneapolis

130.00

-

Portland

168.00

-4.00

Saginaw

150.00

-

Beet pulp shreds

 

 

Mpls (sacked)

340.00

-

Los Angeles*

120.00

-

San Francisco

N/A

-

Twin Falls

N/A

-

*bulk, wet

GRAINS

Barley feed

 

 

Kansas City (bu.)

4.00

0.15

Los Angeles (cwt)

9.53

0.03

Portland (ton)

180.00

-

San Francisco (cwt)

9.53

0.03

Feed wheat

 

 

Atlanta (bu.)

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC (bu.)

N/A

-

Kansas City (bu)

5.19

0.03

Los Angeles (cwt)

N/A

-

San Francisco (cwt)

N/A

-

Corn

 

 

(dollars per bushel)

 

 

Atlanta

5.75

0.17

Boston

4.20

0.15

Buffalo (per ton)

165.00

2.00

Chicago

4.04

0.10

Delmarva

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

5.75

0.17

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Kansas City

4.00

0.04

Los Angeles*

9.42

0.02

San Fran (rail)*

9.42

0.02

San Fran (truck)*

N/A

-

Memphis

3.95

-

Minneapolis

3.47

-

Okeechobee

5.98

0.17

Portland (per ton)

176.88

-

(*per cwt)

Milo

 

 

(dollars per bushel)

 

 

Atlanta

N/A

-

Fayetteville NC

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Kansas City

3.50

0.06

Los Angeles*

9.26

0.08

Memphis

N/A

-

*(per cwt.)

Ground grain screenings

 

 

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Ft.  Worth

454.00

-

Kansas City

50.00

-

OTHER

(dollars per ton)

 

 

Almond hulls

 

 

Los Angeles

98.00

-

San Francisco

80.00

-

Bakery feed

 

 

Atlanta

175.00

-

Buffalo

159.00

-

Fayetteville NC

180.00

-

Memphis

170.00

-

Minneapolis

180.00

5.00

Feed urea

 

 

Buffalo

N/A

-

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Minneapolis

N/A

-

Salt

 

 

Kansas City

58.00

-

Los Angeles

50.00

-

Cane molasses

 

 

Ft. Worth

N/A

-

Houston

140.00

-

Kansas City

175.00

-2.50

Los Angeles

N/A

-

Memphis

N/A

-

Minneapolis

185.00

2.50

New Orleans

140.00

-2.50

San Francisco

N/A

-

What goes around comes around

No, I am not referencing Waylon Jennings’ 1979 recording, nor the more recent version by Justin Timberlake.

I am referencing the interpretation of What Goes Around Comes Around as being eventually the person or persons that created a law, a rule or a policy may eventually suffer the consequences of their actions.

The U.S. Senate, in 2008, passed a Farm Bill that Senator Thad Cochran, from the great catfish farming state of Mississippi and facing an uphill battle for re-election, decorated with an amendment moving catfish inspection from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) at the US Department of Agriculture.

The 2014 Farm Bill reconfirmed Congress’s desire to see that the inspection location moved to the building on America’s Mall that housed the USDA. And this time they placed time limits for the move as the feeling was that FSIS really did not want this role in food safety.

Or more likely, food politics.

You see, Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand and China can grow catfish and ship them here and still sell the product for less than the Mississippi farmers can.

To try and level the playing field a little bit, much to the dismay of the exporters of catfish and the World Trade Organization (WTO), catfish inspection was moved to the USDA.

Put very simply, this meant that all catfish would have to be processed and inspected domestically in a manner equivalent to that done in the U.S. for meat products, and in the U.S. all meat products must have daily inspection during slaughter and processing.

It also meant all catfish would have to enter this country through a port of entry where FSIS inspectors were present and the product would receive the same due diligence of inspection for signs of contamination, thawing and testing for pathogens and residues such as antibiotics.

While the FDA had the authority, less than 1% of imported fish got any testing or inspection at all.

What Senator Cochran and his catfish growing constituents evidently did not understand was that the same rules would apply for domestically raised catfish.

OOPS.

So now the Senate has passed a Bill nullifying the Rule that was finally published in the Federal Register on November 25, 2015, and went into effect April 15, 2016.

The House still has to pass its version and the President will have to add his signature to make the final kill step.

I really have no idea how much time and money was invested over the last 8 years in working on the details of what really was a catfish, what testing needed done, what the food safety risks were that this action was supposed to resolve and how much energy and money was invested in the WTO’s concerns.

I have seen numbers ranging from $20 million to $35 million. Needless to say it was a lot.

I talked with Al Almanza a little bit about this off the record and will only say that he made over a dozen trips to China while serving as the FSIS Administrator and the Acting Undersecretary for Food Safety at the USDA to try and resolve issues about China exporting cooked chicken meat and raw catfish.

And when the Undersecretary travels, a rather large contingency usually accompanies him or her.

And then there would also be trips to the other Asian countries wanting to continue to do business with us.

It all adds up.

It appears to me that not only did Congress waste our tax dollars that were intended to be spent on food safety; they also wasted the time of many FSIS employees, time that could have been spent on real, proven threats to food safety.  

Back to that 2008 Farm Bill that picked on catfish only.

If one species was going to FSIS for stated food safety reasons, why not all fish?

And while they were at it, why did they leave Bison inspection at the FDA?

A big old buffalo looks a lot more like a cow to me than a catfish with whiskers.

Eight years in the making to get a rule up and running, and six weeks after implementation we watch as the folks on the Hill neuter it.

What goes around has come around and the Mississippi farmers are thinking they should have been more careful about what they asked for as Congress is turning their catfish into just more pork.

What's really killing jobs in rural America?

Why did Mason City decide to turn down two thousand new jobs? We all know the tremendous public pressure against the project applied by Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) but who are they and what drives them? Certainly turning down a tremendous new tax base and all that new employment can’t mean ‘community improvement.’ Most rural American towns needs all the help they can get.

Digging into CCI’s financial backing turns up big bucks from some major corporate donors but that doesn’t seem to be the ‘killer app’ that made them attack Prestage Farms new plant proposal. No company on this list seems to be anti-ag:

Foundation

Home state

Corporate origin

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Michigan

General Motors Corporation

Rockefeller Family Fund, Rockefeller Brothers Fund 

New York

Standard Oil

Belvedere Fund

District of Columbia 

Standard Oil

McKnight Foundation

Minnesota

3M

Ford Foundation

Michigan

Ford Motor Company

Educational Foundation of America

Connecticut

Prentice-Hall Publishing

Some background on CCI
CCI was formed in 1975 in Waterloo, Iowa by a small group of ministers who felt the state needed an organization to fight for social justice issues. CCI focused on urban, neighborhood-level organizing and aimed their efforts at ending predatory lending, misuse of public funds, slum landlords, and the practice of redlining.

The farm crisis of the 1980s caused CCI to shift their attention to rural issues. CCI members began by working to renegotiate farm mortgages, and trying to help family farmers gain access to easier credit. Insisting that agriculture was becoming controlled by corporate interests, they soon began attacking the ill-defined but certainly evil-minded growth of factory farms and took offense at the mandatory pork checkoff. They were also befriended by Robert Kennedy.

The Waterkeeper Alliance
Could the hands that sunk Prestage Farms in Mason City be Robert Kennedy’s Waterkeeper Alliance? Several years ago, Iowa CCI board member Garry Klicker declared that “Waterkeepers is one group I not only am happy to support, but have joined as well. Robert Kennedy’s strong statements are exactly on target.”

Those strong statements are definitely anti ‘big ag’ and anti-pork. Fifteen years ago, Kennedy told the Los Angeles Times, that his organization “will march across this country and we will bring these kind of lawsuits against every single pork factory in America if we have to … Whatever it takes to win.”

A year later, The Des Moines Register reported that a breathless, hair-on-fire Kennedy outrageously called pork farmers “a greater threat to the United States and U.S. democracy than Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.” His firm but insanely misguided belief is “the best thing would be if this [pork] industry did leave the country.”

Certainly Waterkeepers helped shape the initial anti-factory farm mindset of CCI. The politics behind Prestage Farms’ defeat was much more sophisticated, though. It was a study in how generating fear of the unknown and a fondness for a usually mythical past has become the trump card in political movements of all kinds.

It shows in this seriously misinformed statement from Iowa’s CCI web site: If you’ve driven around Iowa, you’ve noticed row after row of long metal buildings. These are factory farms run by giant corporations. Decades ago, these were small family farms.

Today, over 8,000 factory farms dominate our landscape. They pack thousands of hogs, chickens, and their billions of gallons of manure into one small space in order to maximize profit.

What are the players saying?
Ron Prestage, the chief exec at North Carolina's Prestage Farms, said a campaign of misinformation and blatant racism prompted the Mason City Council to reverse course on approving a plant that would have processed as many as 22,000 hogs a day.

"Being a Southerner, I'm used to the fact that people think that racism resides in the South," he told Brownfield Ag News. "It was very apparent among some that racism is alive and well in Mason City and northern Iowa as well."

Mason City Council member Janet Solberg agreed with Prestage. "Racism was a huge factor. There is no doubt in my mind," she said. "Most of my phone calls and emails were 'we don’t want those people in our community.' It played a very large factor in all of this, sad to say. I’m so disappointed in our citizens."

Adam Mason, CCI's state organizing policy director, claimed the arguments against the plant had no basis in racism. They were merely concerns about the environmental impact, Mason City’s ability to handle a sudden influx of new residents and fears about "factory farming."

But racism as an issue? "It just couldn’t be farther from the truth," Mason said, demonstrating his acute inability to hear dog whistles. "None of the folks we were talking to were making racist insinuations."

It doesn’t really matter; the deed was done. In March, the Council had voted unanimously in favor of the project, which was to receive $26 million in state and local incentives. Just two months later, extremist pressure mounted by CCI forced a new tally. The project failed on a 3-3 tie.

Prestage says he will look elsewhere in Iowa for his new plant. CCI promises to fight him wherever he goes, possibly forcing several thousand new jobs to go to a neighboring state.

Livestock & poultry cash market comparisons, 5/25/16

Livestock and meat ($)

May 25

May 18

6 mos. ago

Year ago

Steers, Choice, carcass, 550-700 lb., cwt., Omaha

223.57

227.76

N/A

261.07

Steers, Choice, 1,050-1,200 lb., cwt. Southern Plains

125.00

131.50A

N/A

161.00

Feeder Steers, 600-700 lb., cwt., Oklahoma City

156.75A

164.00A

N/A

N/A

Lean Hogs, Carcass, Iowa-Minn. 167-187 lb.(1)

76.15

76.40

54.06

79.23

Feeder Pigs, 40 lb. National Direct Delivered(2)

64.07

65.34

41.99

67.66

SEW Pigs, 10 lb., National direct delivered (per head)

30.80

36.40

32.61

37.97

Choice Beef, cutout, cwt.

222.72

277.16

203.81

259.25

Pork Loin, 185 lb. 51-52% lean, cutout, cwt.(3)

93.72

92.73

74.04

97.30

Hog Corn Ratio

21.17

21.51

14.47

21.88

Steer Corn Ratio

35.51

37.18

35.67

43.28

Poultry and eggs (cents)

 

 

 

 

Chickens, Grade A, Fresh lb. Chicago

92.27a

88.96a

74.73a

103.03a

Hen Turkeys, Grade A, Frozen, lb., Chicago

117.00Aa

116.00Aa

128.00Aa

111.00Aa

Young Tom Turkeys, Grade A. Frozen lb. Chicago

130.50Aa

130.00Aa

131.00Aa

113.50Aa

Eggs, Grade A, Large, doz., Chicago

45.50

49.50

217.50

203.20

N/A: not available

 

 

 

 

(1) Replaces live hogs; live hogs are 0.755 of quote.
(2) Replaces Sioux Falls, 50-60 lbs. (2/26/07)
(3) National FOB plant, replaces national daily carlot.
Livestock, meat, poultry and egg prices from USDA.

Will summer pricing opportunities materialize for corn, soybeans?

After increasing over the past two to three months, corn and soybean prices have been trading over the past week in a choppy pattern. Prices have incorporated information in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's May 10 “World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates” (WASDE) report that pointed to greater consumption and smaller stocks than expected for both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 marketing years. However, University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good said a number of factors continue to percolate in these markets.

According to Good, one of these factors is the actual size of the 2016 corn and soybean crops in South America and the impact on export demand for U.S. crops. He said weekly export sales of both crops continue to be larger than needed to reach USDA's most recent export projection for the year.

After adjusting the cumulative marketing year export estimate in USDA's "Export Sales" report by census export estimates, new sales of corn need to average only about 7 million bu. per week to reach the annual export projection of 1.725 billion bu. New sales averaged 51.5 million bu. per week for the six weeks ended May 12. After adjusting for "Census of Agriculture" export estimates, export sales of soybeans already exceed the marketing year export projection of 1.74 billion bu. by 36 million bu., Good noted.

A second factor creating uncertainty in the corn and soybean markets is the magnitude of planted acreage in the U.S. Good said USDA's March 31 “Prospective Plantings” report revealed producer intentions to plant 93.601 million acres of corn and 82.236 million acres of soybeans this year. Intentions reflect an increase of 5.6 million acres for corn and a decrease of 414, 000 acres for soybeans compared to the final estimate of planted acreage last year.

“The planted acreage of each crop and the total acreage of both crops always deviates from the planting intentions estimates,” Good noted. “Over the past 20 years, when producers' planting intentions were not directly impacted by farm program provisions, the final estimate of soybean planted acreage has exceeded March intentions in 10 years and was less than intentions in 10 years. For corn, the final estimate exceeded intentions in seven years and was less than intentions in 13 years.”

Total acreage of corn and soybeans exceeded intentions in 10 years and was less than intentions in 10 years, he added. “History, then, does not provide a strong signal for what to expect this year. However, the recent strength in soybean prices relative to corn prices and the slow corn planting pace in the eastern Corn Belt suggest that some intended corn acreage will be switched to soybeans.”

Good said without widespread prevented plantings, total corn and soybean acreage may exceed intentions. “It now appears that soybean acreage will exceed intentions, but the prospects for corn acreage are less clear,” he said.

The greatest uncertainty in both markets is the likely yields, according to Good. At the current stage of the growing season, he noted that there is little indication of how the average U.S. yields may deviate from trend values, which USDA has estimated at 168 bu. for corn and 47.6 bu. for soybeans.

“We continue to believe there is a higher-than-normal risk of yields falling below trend value due to the history of warmer, drier summers following extremely warm winters. That risk may also be elevated by the rapidly fading El Nino event,” Good said.

If this assessment is correct, higher corn and soybean prices can be expected this summer, providing a better opportunity for pricing 2016 production, he explained.

“The risk of waiting for a summer price rally before aggressively pricing the 2016 crops is probably larger for soybeans than for corn for several reasons,” Good said. If a summer price rally does occur, he said crop producers will likely want to aggressively price the 2016 crop. Additionally, Good said history suggests that a weather market would also result in opportunities for pricing 2017 crops and beyond.

Changing climate a corn yield killer

Warmer air temperatures and unpredictable precipitation in the coming decades could dramatically reduce the amount of grain produced in Midwest corn fields and potentially across all corn-growing regions of the world, a new University of Minnesota-led study found.

The study, published this week in the journal PLOS ONE, examined Iowa corn production as a microcosm of how corn yields could be affected worldwide by climate change; using a small state-sized sample allowed the authors to account for regional variables that could affect the accuracy of their predictions, a University of Minnesota announcement said. The authors chose Iowa because of its location and size and its role as a major U.S. corn-producing state.

While researchers previously knew that warmer temperatures reduce yield — the amount of grain a corn plant produces — this study is the first to show how dramatic the effects will be on the world's most important food crop of warmer air and frequent cycles of drought that are followed by heavy rain.

Using updated data and computer models that forecast a variety of scenarios, the researchers found that corn yields likely will fall between 15% and 50% by the middle to the end of this century. The drop will occur at the same time the global population is growing to about 9 billion, leading to an increase of as much as 60% in global food needs.

Other studies have already observed declining corn yields around the globe, but Iowa — and the U.S. Corn Belt in general — has shown sustained high yields because of its ideal soils and climate, said Tracy Twine, a University of Minnesota associate professor in the soil, water and climate department and the paper's lead author.

“The results suggest that Iowa might have reached a peak in corn yields that will decline as temperatures increase unless more heat-tolerant breeds are planted. Modeling studies such as ours really highlight the need for more empirical studies of exactly how corn responds to extreme temperatures and drought," Twine said. "Corn is already amazingly resilient but will need to become even more so to feed our growing population under more extreme weather conditions.”

While past studies have shown similar results in measuring the impact on crop yields of higher air temperatures and erratic precipitation, this project is the first to take into account the complex process by which plants interact with soil moisture.

In one simulation, the researchers projected what would happen to corn yields if corn fields were irrigated to ensure a consistent water supply (few corn fields are actually irrigated in Iowa). Consistent moisture did reduce the effects of warmer air on corn yields. However, the authors noted that, “on the one hand, it is encouraging that yield declines might be halved solely through one climate adaptation: irrigation. On the other hand, this means that even if Iowa corn were to receive all the water it could use, our model simulations still predict a yield decline of 10-20% from present-day yields.”

The research was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A researcher from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Kenya collaborated with the Minnesota researchers on the study.