Drovers https://www.drovers.com/rss.xml en Future of Beef Revisited: Consumer Issues and Demand https://www.drovers.com/article/future-beef-revisited-consumer-issues-and-demand Future of Beef Revisited: Consumer Issues and Demand Wyatt Bechtel Fri, 06/22/2018 - 15:27

After four decades of engaging consumers and integrating producers, I still ponder.

The sensitivity between consumers and beef producers is increasing, but the sensitivity may not always be on the same tracks. Consumers register their opinion at the checkout counter through product selection and validate their expressed opinions by how they shop and how much they pay.

With the expansion of the internet, the opportunity for consumer validation, along with the expression of any disappointment with a meal, or a particular product or service, never has been greater. The internet expands the ability to monitor consumers, allowing businesses to stock what and when a product is most likely to sell.

Is the situation the same for cattle producers and the cattle they sell? No. So perhaps the balance between consumers and producers has yet to be determined.

How this reality connects to the producer who is selling the cows and calves is probably a loose fit, yet consumer thoughts need to be integrated with production expansion or contraction. After all, that is what drives the business.

In 2006, I reviewed an article by Helen Jensen (“Consumer Issues and Demand” published by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in the online Choices publication, http://www.choicesmagazine.org, Volume 21, No. 3, 2006). She noted several very real impacts for small and middle-sized operations that loom in the future in regard to the consumer and demand.

Have these impacts changed in the last 12 years? Did these impacts actually become drivers for who survived the production process?

The drivers identified in 2006 probably still are present. The first driver is increased income levels, with dual-income families and related lifestyles. Income is not guaranteed, and families continue to budget the dollars they have.

As income declines, spending will shrink, but more importantly, the related lifestyle will not, at least willingly. I guess people really don’t want to give up something they once had.

The second driver is a healthy lifestyle. No doubt that obesity and the associated health costs continue to surface as a major concern. As a result, the caloric content of purchased food now is displayed widely. Do caloric numbers change food purchases? Maybe, or maybe not.

The basic farm and ranch products, when served without processed side dishes, have very acceptable caloric content. Will consumers respond?

A quick lunch today of basic farm and ranch products with 300 to 500 calories could be purchased easily. A side of dip and chips could add almost another 1,000 calories, and that was before the potential visit to the automatic soft drink dispenser.

What drives this? If one drops the side dish and drinks water, calories were not an issue.

Consumers and agricultural producers certainly should be on the same page for the second issue. Yes, some progress has been made with increased visibility of caloric numbers, but consumers still need to change some well-engrained eating habits.

The third issue identified by Jensen was a slowdown in population growth. The North American population is aging and more ethnically diverse because of increased immigration. Immigration always is a news topic, but the impact on beef production is probably left to the demand and supply curves.

The final issue is a noticeable change in how markets distribute and sell food. Within the last decade, the walk through an aggressive grocery hub certainly has taken on a new look. Farm and ranch products need floor space, counter space and freezer space. Every cow-calf producer needs to ask, “How does my annual production make its way to the food counter?”

Ask the store as well. Let the business know the floor space is appreciated.

Currently, the production discussion is more likely to occur in the harvesting segment of the industry. Unfortunately, beef producers continue to take a back seat in product recognition.

How is this going to play out in terms of beef production? Jensen narrowed the points to three. The first is, “Food safety will continue to be a paramount consumer expectation.” That’s absolutely true and will remain true. Globalization will drive world health. The beef producer will not be an exception. Sorry, but true.

The second point is: “As North American incomes continue to increase, consumers will choose products on the basis of varied attributes, including taste, variety and convenience.” However, consumers still remain cost conscious, creating an opportunity for the cost-savvy producer within any food center.

Jensen’s final point is: “Continued concentration of large-scale processing, food distribution and retailing may reduce consumer choice in markets.” This challenges individual producer initiatives because the scale of production must compete with the large-scale process of food production.

May you find all your ear tags.

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Consumers have more opportunities to express their opinion about the food they buy and eat.
Image Credit
Wyatt Bechtel
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 20:27:00 +0000 Wyatt Bechtel 12328 at https://www.drovers.com https://www.drovers.com/article/future-beef-revisited-consumer-issues-and-demand#comments
18 Months of Continual Cattle on Feed Increases https://www.drovers.com/article/18-months-continual-cattle-feed-increases 18 Months of Continual Cattle on Feed Increases Wyatt Bechtel Fri, 06/22/2018 - 15:01

For the 18th month straight the Cattle on Feed report has shown monthly year-over-year inventory increase with an additional 457,000 head of cattle in feedlots since last June. The 4% increase helped the latest June 1 inventory reach the highest levels recorded since the USDA began reporting the series in 1996.

There were 11,553,000 cattle reported in feedlots at the start of June which was a 5,000 head drop since May.

Arizona and California led the pack for percentage increases in placements from last year by state with 21% and 19% more cattle respectively. Colorado and Oklahoma saw the biggest drops in percentage of cattle on feed inventory with 9% and 5% fewer cattle respectively.

Overall the top five cattle on feed inventories were as follows:

  1. Texas 2,730,000 head
  2. Nebraska 2,530,000 head
  3. Kansas 2,320,000 head
  4. Colorado 950,000 head
  5. Iowa 720,000 head

Placements for May were relatively stagnant year-over-year with only a 5,000 head increase from May 2017. For May 2018, there were 2,124,000 cattle placed.

Placements were led by the following weight classes of cattle:

  1. 800-899 lb. at 524,000 head
  2. 700-799 lb. at 480,000 head
  3. Less than 600 lb. at 445,000 head
  4. 600-699 lb. at 340,000 head
  5. 900-999 lb. at 235,000 head
  6. 1,000 lb. or greater at 100,000 head

Fed cattle marketings rose by 5% with 2,056,000 cattle going to packers this May.

The full June 2018 Cattle on Feed report can be read here.

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The June Cattle on Feed reached its highest recorded inventory since the series started in 1996 and continues 18 months of increasing inventories.
Image Credit
Wyatt Bechtel
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 20:01:09 +0000 Wyatt Bechtel 12369 at https://www.drovers.com https://www.drovers.com/article/18-months-continual-cattle-feed-increases#comments
High Temps, Sunlight Heighten Risk of Blue-green Algae in Farm Ponds https://www.drovers.com/article/high-temps-sunlight-heighten-risk-blue-green-algae-farm-ponds High Temps, Sunlight Heighten Risk of Blue-green Algae in Farm Ponds Wyatt Bechtel Fri, 06/22/2018 - 12:31

The looming hot, summer weather and potential for lots of sunlight may bring with it a cause for concern among livestock producers.

Those conditions, combined with the often stagnant nature of farm ponds, heightens the risk of toxic levels of blue-green algae in producers’ watering sources, says Kansas State University beef veterinarian A.J. Tarpoff.

“It surely can be a devastating condition,” Tarpoff said. “There are very specific species (of bacteria) that whenever they flourish in a pond, they release these toxins that are lethal to all animals.”

Blue-green algae, actually, is not an algae at all, he added, but rather a cyanobacteria, or bacteria that lives off the sun. It can be toxic to livestock, dogs and people. “These are pretty nasty organisms,” Tarpoff noted.

Blooms of cyanobacteria can build up in a pond and form into distinct blooms of bacteria, often looking like paint sliming around in the water. Tarpoff said the paint-like texture of cyanobacteria is what differentiates it from non-harmful moss in a pond.

The harmful cyanobacteria can look green or dark green, but can turn more to a bluish tint, thus leading to its more common name as blue-green algae.

“It can go from blue to green to almost a reddish brown or gray,” Tarpoff said. “We can have all of those color variations but just remember that it looks a lot like paint mixing with water. That’s what it looks like floating around.”

Cyanobacteria can release two types of toxins: neurotoxins, which affect an animals’ nervous system; and hepatotoxins, which affect the liver function of cattle. Both toxins can cause death, which sometimes is the first signal to producers that they have a problem with their watering source, according to Tarpoff.

He added that producers who suspect blue-green algae in their ponds should get the water tested immediately, which involves capturing about 500 milliliters of water in a sealed container, refrigerating that sample, and shipping it with an ice pack to a testing facility.

The K-State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Manhattan conducts reliable testing for cyanobacteria. The lab can be reached online at http://www.ksvdl.org or toll-free at 866-512-5650.Tarpoff noted that sending multiple samples from the pond is one way to make sure you get a reliable picture of the pond.

If a producer suspects that a pond contains dangerous levels of cyanobacteria, it’s important to keep livestock and people out of the area. Cyanobacteria is known to form on the downwind side of the pond, so one good practice is to fence off that side of the pond.

Producers may be able to use the available water in a suspect pond by piping water from less harmful areas of the pond. Blue-green algae blooms are not known to collect in the middle of water sources, Tarpoff said.

“What’s important if you’re going to do an upgrade like that is the water inlet,” Tarpoff said. “We want the water inlet to be in a lower-risk area of the pond, which means it is submerged and in the middle of the pond.”

Other watering options for producers might be digging a well or hauling water all summer. Tarpoff noted, though, that both of those options could be cost-prohibitive.

During hot stretches such as those in Kansas the past few weeks – and which are forecast for the near future – it’s especially important to be aware of cyanobacteria and to monitor ponds daily.

“These blooms can pop up pretty quickly,” Tarpoff said. “The number of cyanobacteria can double in less than 24 hours. If you think you have an at-risk pond, then start to sample right away, send those off to the lab and try to get a realistic expectation of whether it’s at risk or not.”

Related link: https://www.bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/MF3065.pdf

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Submitted by COMPOSITE HACKS on Fri, 06/22/2018 - 19:58

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🏅COMPOSITE HACKS is the Answers to your prayers. We Can help you recover the password of your email, Facebook or any other accounts, Facebook Hack, Phone Hack (Which enables you to monitor your kids/wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend, by gaining access to everything they are doing on their phone without their notice), You Wanna Hack A Website or Database? You wanna Clear your Criminal Records?? Our Team accepts all types of hacking orders and delivers assured results to alleviate your agonies and anxieties. Our main areas of expertise include but is never confined to:

✅Website hacking 💻,
✅Facebook and social media hacking📲
✅Database hacking, & Blog Cleaning⌨️
✅Phone and Gadget Hacking📲
✅ CREDIT CARD Loading 💳 💳 ( Strictly USA & UK Credit Cards Only)
✅ PayPal Loading & Money Flipping 💰
✅Clearing Of Criminal Records❌
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✅ and many More✅

🏅We have a trained team of seasoned professionals under various skillsets when it comes to online hacking services. Our company in fact houses a separate group of specialists who are productively focussed and established authorities in different platforms. They hail from a proven track record and have cracked even the toughest of barriers to intrude and capture or recapture all relevant data needed by our Clients. 📲💻

🏅 COMPOSITE HACKS understands your requirements to hire a professional hacker and can perceive what actually threatens you and risk your business⚔️, relationships or even life👌🏽. We are 100% trusted professional hacking Organization and keep your deal entirely confidential💯. We are aware of the hazards involved. Our team under no circumstances disclose information to any third party❌❌. The core values adhered by our firm is based on trust and faith. Our expert hacking online Organization supports you on time and reply to any query related to the unique services we offer
Time also depends on what exactly you want to hack and how serious you are. Enough time with social engineering is required for hacking. So if you want to bind us in a short time, then just DONT contact us because we can't hack within 10-15minutes, *sorry*.
I have seen FAKE HACKERS claiming they can hack in 10min , but there is no REAL HACKER who can say this (AVOID THEM) 💯

💰PAYMENT: PLEASE, Think Of how much you’ll be paying for your job and don't waste time offering Unreasonable Amounts because we will give you your Job Invoice Based on what you want to hack and the hack tools we are going to use.
We accept various secure payment methods that maintains your anonymity.

🏅COMPOSITE HACKS is available for customer care 24/7, all day and night. We understand that your request might be urgent, so we have a separate team of allocated hackers who interact with our Clients round the clock⏰. You are with the right people so just get started.💯✅

📲 CONTACT:
E-mail: compositehacks@gmail.com
Hire a Hacker!
Want faster service? Contact us!
CompositeHacks©️LLC 2018. All Rights Reserved ®️

★We Treat Every Request With Utmost Confidentiality★ 🙌🏽h

Image Caption
Livestock producers are urged to routinely monitor ponds and other watering sources during the hot summer months to guard against the formation of blue-green algae.
Image Credit
Farm Journal
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 17:31:00 +0000 Wyatt Bechtel 12367 at https://www.drovers.com https://www.drovers.com/article/high-temps-sunlight-heighten-risk-blue-green-algae-farm-ponds#comments
Drought Cuts Pasture Growth; Farmers Face Culling Cow Herds https://www.drovers.com/article/drought-cuts-pasture-growth-farmers-face-culling-cow-herds Drought Cuts Pasture Growth; Farmers Face Culling Cow Herds Wyatt Bechtel Fri, 06/22/2018 - 11:18

In dry weather with short pastures, Missouri cow-herd owners face tough culling decisions. One way to match cows' needs to available grass is to sell cows.

Give careful thought to which grass eaters go first, says Eric Bailey, University of Missouri Extension beef nutritionist. Under drought stress, identifying those cows becomes urgent.

The first cut is simple, Bailey says. Even the best herds have poor performers that need to be culled. Sell cows not pregnant or nursing. There is no feed for freeloaders when forage is short.

"Next, cull lactating cows with bad disposition, bad eyes, bad feet or bad udders," Bailey says. "Now's time to remove cows with blemishes or poor-doing calves."

"Everyone has a cull list," he adds. "But they hesitate to act if a cow has a calf." Some culling helps even in good years. Culling poor cows improves herd averages.

The goal: Keep best genetics in the herd as long as feasible. Finally, lack of feed or water forces a move, Bailey says.

Downsizing goes beyond simply getting rid of bad cows.

Early weaning and selling calves can cut feed demand. That provides needed cash but can hurt annual income.

Another strategy calls for splitting a herd into young and old females. Sell one of the groups. Two- to 4-year-olds may have superior genetics, but older cows show success in the farm's management.

Overall, culling depends on forage outlook for summer, fall and winter feeding.

Level of destocking can differ from farm to farm in the same neighborhood. Rainfall patterns vary greatly. At the recent spring sales of Show-Me-Select heifers, farmers frequently told how they received rain while farms a few miles away had none.

Bailey points out that in typical years, two-thirds of forage yield comes in spring growth. One-third comes in fall growth. That's when winter stockpiling should happen.

Missouri producers with cool-season grass always deal with summer slumps.

Bailey cautions: Even if rains return, forage yields in 2018 will likely be below normal. Farmers already see low yields following harsh winter and spring grazing seasons.

Most producers already face hay shortages. Many have no reserves. Also, hay growth this year falls well below normal.

A big long-term problem will be winter feed, Bailey says.

Many farms face severe destocking. "Initially consider a 25 percent cut," he says. "If normal rains don't return, consider another 25 percent later."

Selling calves early in spite of revenue loss may take care of downsizing needs.

A 50 percent cut ahead of fall forage growth may allow stockpiling pastures for winter grazing. That cuts feed buying but depends on a return of rainfall.

The main advice is to plan downsizing, Bailey says. Management improvements, such as shorter breeding seasons, not year-round calving, can benefit.

For optimists, drought-induced culls can be beneficial. It forces decisions and management.

To clarify thinking, Bailey offers a final thought: "Producers who last longest in cow-calf businesses are not those who make the most money in good years. They are those who lose the least in bad years."

MU Extension regional agronomy and livestock specialists can help plan.

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Fri, 22 Jun 2018 16:18:00 +0000 Wyatt Bechtel 12365 at https://www.drovers.com https://www.drovers.com/article/drought-cuts-pasture-growth-farmers-face-culling-cow-herds#comments
First Cutting in Alfalfa: Why Cutting Management is Important? https://www.drovers.com/article/first-cutting-alfalfa-why-cutting-management-important First Cutting in Alfalfa: Why Cutting Management is Important? Wyatt Bechtel Fri, 06/22/2018 - 10:08

First cutting is the most important and critical of the alfalfa growing season. A late start of this growing season will determine multiple things during this year’s production. It is important to know that the success of the entire production will be based in determining a proper date to cut for highest yield and quality. As rule of thumb, forage quality varies with the environment and cutting management. If you are forced to delay the first cutting due to environmental conditions (rain or even drought), keep in mind that this could have negative consequences with a slower regrowth and perhaps a reduction in future yield production.

First cutting tends to have low quality if it is cut late during the growing season. Generally, during pre-bloom or bud stage the stems are highly digestible with high quality forage. Second and third cuttings still very important for production, however if there is a need to wait to harvest beyond the bud stage then the more the quality would suffer because of lower proportion of leaf and stem ratio. Below are some guidelines in plant height and harvest maturity in alfalfa. Producers should take this into consideration for future management and cutting strategies.

Table 1. Plant height and harvest maturity in alfalfa.

Cutting Schedule Plant Height (inches) Maturity Stage
First Cutting 32 Late vegetative to early bud
Second Cutting 23 Late bud to early flower
Third Cutting 19 Early to late flower
Fourth Cutting 16 Late flower

Source: Professor Marisol Berti; North Dakota State University for Midwest Forage Association (Forage Focus; May 2018).

Summary

Each growing season brings new challenges. It is important to plan ahead and be ready to make the best decisions. Oftentimes, compromising forage quality to avoid plant stress is one way to harvest a little later than expected. It all varies depending on climate and other factors such as: stand health, age of the stand, history of winter injury and winter kill, previous cutting management, soil tests, insect and disease problems.

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Alfalfa hay in windrows.
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Fri, 22 Jun 2018 15:08:07 +0000 Wyatt Bechtel 12364 at https://www.drovers.com https://www.drovers.com/article/first-cutting-alfalfa-why-cutting-management-important#comments
Dan Murphy: When Good News is a Downer https://www.drovers.com/article/dan-murphy-when-good-news-downer Dan Murphy: When Good News is a Downer JoAnn Alumbaugh Fri, 06/22/2018 - 10:00

A recent news story referencing red meat provides good news and bad news.

First, the good news.

As reported in Newsweek.com (among other major media outlets), a recent research study conducted at Purdue University concluded that “red meat can have a place in a healthy diet when consumed in moderation.”

While positive, that phrasing mirrors some of the more blatant dietary hedging employed by food companies to justify the consumption of decidedly less-than healthy foods.

Every heard this one before? “[Name brand] cereal can be a healthy part of a diet plan that may assist weight loss. Include [name brand] cereal into your weight-loss plan as part of a healthy diet and exercise program.”

That statement is promoted by Livestrong.com, the cancer support and wellness foundation originally founded by disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. The statement shows up on Google, Bing, Wikipedia and other online search engines and parrots almost verbatim as the nutrition industry’s standard apologia for virtually every branded food product, no matter how unhealthy it might be.

In this case, the cereal Livestrong identifies as part of a “healthy diet and exercise plan” is Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, which provides 97% of its total calories from sugar and simple carbohydrates, the kind that dieticians caution can trigger insulin desensitivity, which causes excess glucose to be stored as body fat, which causes obesity, which is what a “healthy diet and exercise program” is supposed to ameliorate.

Against that background, a study touting moderate amounts of red meat having “a place in a healthy diet” isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

And ironically, the Purdue University study was conducted with obese subjects to see if their biometrics (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) would improve on a diet that included the aforementioned “moderate amounts of red meat.”

At least the headline on Newsweek.com’s story (“Is red meat a health food? New study says it’s okay in moderation”) was a welcome respite from the onslaught of reports about red meat causing cancer, diabetes and/or early death.

But even a cursory read of the details reveals that there’s a lot not to like.

The Lower the Better
For example: The story makes the following rather remarkable statement: “The average American is on track to eat more than 222 pounds of meat before the end of 2018 — nearly 200 pounds more than the American Heart Association’s yearly consumption recommendation.”

I had to read that twice to make sure it wasn’t a typo, because that means people are supposed to consume only 22 pounds of red meat a year. That is accurate, and here’s how AHA arrives at that startling conclusion.

The group recommends that “People limit lean meat, skinless chicken and non-fried fish to 5½ ounces per day, total.” That means a limit of approximately 125 pounds of meat, poultry and fish a year, a little more than 2 pounds a week. Apparently, only 22 of those 125 pounds a year should consist of beef and pork, the remainder being non-fried fish and poultry.

That limit is understandable, given AHA’s pathological fat phobia. The group regards saturated fat the way the rest of us regard those strands of seaweed that can wrap around your legs when you’re swimming in an outdoor lake: While it won’t kill you on the spot, it’s gross to look at, unpleasant to come in contact with and to be avoided if at all possible.

Think I’m exaggerating? Not only does AHA insist that people eat no more than one ounce of red meat a day (on average), here’s its advice on selecting and preparing that single ounce of beef or pork: “Choose lean cuts of meat. Trim off as much fat as you can before cooking, pour off the melted fat after cooking [and] use healthier cooking methods — bake, broil, stew and grill.”

In other words, pretend that saturated fat is radioactive waste, and you’ll behave accordingly.

To return to the Purdue University study, which by the way was funded by beef and pork checkoff programs, the conclusion that “even in slightly greater quantities, lean, unprocessed cuts of red meat can aid in weight loss and heart disease prevention when incorporated into a diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains” isn’t exactly news worth shouting from the roof tops either.

And in an echo of AHA’s kill-the-vampire-with-a-wooden-stake approach to saturated fat, the Purdue subjects were confined to eating “small amounts of low-fat cuts of beef and pork tenderloin, along with skinless, white-meat chicken and turkey.”

In terms of its import, the study’s conclusion being trumpeted by the media isn’t much different from any other claims that some less-than-healthy food product “may assist weight loss as part of a healthy diet and exercise program.”

I mean, drinking a fifth of Scotch every night can also assist in weight loss — as long as it’s part of an otherwise healthy program of diet and exercise.

On balance, the Purdue study is way better than the slew of totally negative studies attributing seriously negative consequences to eating red meat.

But it’s hard to get too jacked up about eating a single ounce of meat a day.

As part of a program of healthy nutrition, regular exercise and a big ol’ bowl of Frosted Flakes, of course.

Editor’s Note: The opinions in this commentary are those of Dan Murphy, a veteran journalist and commentator.

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A new study from Purdue is "somewhat positive" on the consumption of red meat.
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Fri, 22 Jun 2018 15:00:00 +0000 JoAnn Alumbaugh 12352 at https://www.drovers.com https://www.drovers.com/article/dan-murphy-when-good-news-downer#comments
Erin Fitzgerald Will Lead U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance as CEO https://www.drovers.com/article/erin-fitzgerald-will-lead-us-farmers-ranchers-alliance-ceo Erin Fitzgerald Will Lead U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance as CEO JoAnn Alumbaugh Fri, 06/22/2018 - 07:00

Erin Fitzgerald has been named the new CEO of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, according to a recent news release. Fitzgerald formerly served as senior vice president of global sustainability for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, a part of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), the release said. The Center is a forum for the dairy community to address the needs and expectations of consumers.

Erin Fitzgerald

"The USFRA Board of Directors is pleased to hire Erin Fitzgerald as our new CEO," said Chip Bowling, USFRA Vice Chair and Chair of the CEO Search Committee, in the release. "With an outstanding number of qualified candidates for the CEO position, Erin was the obvious choice to lead our organization through the next chapter of its history, and it was a unanimous decision by the board."

In her former position, Fitzgerald “enhanced dairy's contributions to a more sustainable food system by advancing the intersection of nutrition, health, hunger, food waste and impact,” the release said.

"American farmers and ranchers have an incredible legacy and will define the sustainable food systems of the future - I am grateful for the privilege to continue to work for the farmers across the United States who are committed to stewardship and inspire a sustainable future," Fitzgerald said in the news release. "By creating a shared dialogue, from our farms to our consumers, we have a tremendous opportunity to advance the food systems of our future."

The USFRA has been in operation for eight years. Since its launch in October 2010, the organization states it has held more than 30 Food Dialogues, conducted research into consumer perceptions of agriculture, and produced the award-winning film FARMLAND.

Fitzgerald will begin full time employment with USFRA on July 16, 2018.

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Fri, 22 Jun 2018 12:00:00 +0000 JoAnn Alumbaugh 12356 at https://www.drovers.com https://www.drovers.com/article/erin-fitzgerald-will-lead-us-farmers-ranchers-alliance-ceo#comments
Mixed Signals—What’s With This Cattle Market? https://www.drovers.com/article/mixed-signals-whats-cattle-market Mixed Signals—What’s With This Cattle Market? Sara Brown Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:05

Additional cattle are continuing to come to feedyards, but fortunately there’s been several market factors at play to help offset beef supplies, at least for now.

“This market has stayed very current,” says Craig VanDyke, analyst with Top Third Ag Marketing, told Clinton Griffiths on AgDay.

Demand has been fantastic both domestically and foreign, he adds. April beef exports were 16% higher than 2017. (Read more coverage about beef exports here and here.)

“Right now we’re looking at export demand 2018 versus 2017 about 10% higher,” VanDyke says. “While we were coming into a potentially very scary period of just where this cattle market would head, which is no stranger to volatility, you know we’ve done a lot of things to help offset that. “

The next step will be seeing how packers respond, as they have fantastic margins right now and are processing as much beef as possible.

But will this counter-seasonal strength mean come back to hit us later this summer?

“If this continues the way we expect it to, August and October could be some problem months,” he says. Holes or expansions tend to move a bit faster than we all expect.”

Click above to hear VanDyke’s analysis on how recent trade issues are affecting prices.

 

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Cattle Markets
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Click above to here Top Third's Craig VanDyke talk what's making the cattle market take this stop-and-go pattern.
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AgDay
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 23:05:46 +0000 Sara Brown 12362 at https://www.drovers.com https://www.drovers.com/article/mixed-signals-whats-cattle-market#comments
Recall Placed on E. Coli Contaminated Ground Beef from Texas Processor https://www.drovers.com/article/recall-placed-e-coli-contaminated-ground-beef-texas-processor Recall Placed on E. Coli Contaminated Ground Beef from Texas Processor Wyatt Bechtel Thu, 06/21/2018 - 17:22

A ground beef recall has been issued for a natural beef product originating from Texas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced on June 20 that approximately 489 pounds of frozen raw, ground beef was contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O103. The product originated from Texas Natural Meats, in Lott, Texas, and was processed on Aug. 8, 2017. 

The product information and labeling for the frozen beef reads as follows:

  • 1.00-lb. bags of “Green Field Farms Rogers Texas Ground Beef.”  The bags display the “PRODUCTION DATE 08.08.2017” and also display the “EXPIRATION DATE 08.08.2020.”  The bags are labeled “COOK USE ONLY” with the instruction “DO NOT refreeze after defrosting.” 

Product was shipped to a retailer and was subsequently sold at a farmer’s market in Roger, Texas. The ground beef bears the establishment number “EST. 34449” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The contaminated beef was discovered on June 19 by FSIS during routine inspection activities.

People who consume STEC contaminated food can be ill for 2-8 days and develop diarrhea and vomiting. The illness can last longer in some cases and be more severe.

While the product is nearly a year old, FSIS has concerns that there may still be frozen beef in consumers’ freezers. FSIS advises people to throw out any contaminated product from the recall.

Officials with FSIS also implore people to safely handle raw meat products and to only eat ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F. Food thermometers should also be used to verify the internal temperature of the meat has reached a high enough level to kill any harmful bacterial like E. coli.

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A beef recall has been announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Thu, 21 Jun 2018 22:22:12 +0000 Wyatt Bechtel 12361 at https://www.drovers.com https://www.drovers.com/article/recall-placed-e-coli-contaminated-ground-beef-texas-processor#comments
Pork Producers, Cattlemen Pleased with House Version of Farm Bill https://www.drovers.com/article/pork-producers-cattlemen-pleased-house-version-farm-bill Pork Producers, Cattlemen Pleased with House Version of Farm Bill JoAnn Alumbaugh Thu, 06/21/2018 - 16:37

National Pork Producers Council leaders and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association were happy with the version of the Farm Bill that was approved by members of the House on Thursday, and NPPC urges quick action by the Senate. The House version contains several provisions important to U.S. pork producers, the organization said in a news release.

“Chief among the important provisions is language establishing and funding a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank,” the release said. Although FMD is not a food safety or human health threat, it would be financially devastating to the U.S. animal livestock industry if an outbreak occurred in this country

FMD is a highly infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, pigs and sheep. It is not a food safety or human health threat. Although it was last detected in the United States in 1929, the disease is endemic in many parts of the world and would be financially devastating to U.S. agriculture if an outbreak were to occur.

“Pork producers are pleased that the House approved its 2018 Farm Bill,” said Jim Heimerl in the NPPC release. He is a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio, and serves as president of NPPC, which has been the leading advocate for an FMD vaccine bank.

According to the International Office of Epizootics, the U.S. has had nine FMD outbreaks since it was first recognized on the northeastern coast in 1870.

“The most devastating outbreak occurred in 1914: It originated from Michigan, but its entry into the Chicago stockyards turned it into an epizootic event. About 3,500 livestock herds were infected across the U.S., totaling over 170,000 cattle, sheep, and swine,” the IOE said. “The eradication came at a cost of US$4.5 million, a huge sum of money in 1914.”

It said the last known case in the U.S. was in 1929.

Cattlemen Also Pleased
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Kevin Kester issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representative's 213-211 vote to approve the farm bill:

"Today’s vote means that American cattlemen and women are one step closer to having the certainty they need to continue running their operations and contributing to rural economies,” Kester said. “We are glad the House-passed bill addresses a number of priorities for producers, including authorization and funding for a national vaccine bank that prioritizes Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) prevention. The bill also strengthens conservation programs and improves USDA’s foreign market development activities. House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway and all those who voted ‘yes’ deserve a great deal of thanks for their support.”

Lots of Legwork
Farm Journal’s PORK reported on the request in an article posted earlier this year.

NPPC asked lawmakers for funding in each year of the next Farm Bill of $250 million – $150 million for the vaccine bank, $70 million for state block grants for disease prevention and $30 million for the network of laboratories that provide disease diagnostic support.

The House version of the five-year agricultural blueprint includes those amounts only for the first year, NPPC said. “For each of the other years, it has $30 million for state block grants and $20 million to be used at the Agriculture secretary’s discretion for the grants, labs and the vaccine bank. While the Senate legislation calls for an FMD vaccine bank, it includes money only for the labs,” NPPC said.

“The United States is not prepared for an FMD outbreak, so we really need to have the full five-year mandatory funding,” said Heimerl in the release. “We hope the Senate heeds our plea. We can’t afford the financial devastation this disease would wreak on farmers and the U.S. economy.”

Other Programs Supported, Too
NPPC reports that the House bill also includes funding for the NPPC-supported Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program, both of which help support exports markets for U.S. goods. It said the programs are consolidated as the International Market Development Program.

Additionally, the measure has money for feral swine eradication, NPPC reports. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are an estimated 5 million feral swine in at least 39 states; the cost of controlling them and the amount of damage they do is about $1.5 billion annually.

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Farm Bill Senate ag committee
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Thu, 21 Jun 2018 21:37:46 +0000 JoAnn Alumbaugh 12360 at https://www.drovers.com https://www.drovers.com/article/pork-producers-cattlemen-pleased-house-version-farm-bill#comments