TDA Market Recap, May 29, 2012

For the week ending May 26, feeder cattle prices at the Texas auctions covered by USDA Market News were mostly steady to $6 higher per hundredweight (cwt), with a few to $10 higher and some steady to $3 lower on heifer calves. The Texas direct feeder cattle trade was $2 to $5 higher, with the largest increases noted on cattle weighing 800 pounds or more. The Oklahoma City auction was mostly $2 to $6 higher. Fed cattle cash prices declined by more than $2 per cwt due to weaker packer demand ahead of a workweek shortened by the Memorial Day holiday. Read more…

Egg Standards Bill Introduced in Senate

Senator Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and a bipartisan group of seven other senators, introduced a bill late last week to set federal housing standards for egg-laying hens, again sparking protest from both pork and beef producers, as well as other animal rights activists who are now calling it the “rotten egg bill.” The measure, which mirrors a bill recently introduced in the House, is based on a landmark deal struck between the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and United Egg Producers. Read more…

Farm bill savings would be $23.6 billion, CBO says

New cost estimates Friday from the Congressional Budget Office predict that the Senate farm bill will save an estimated $23.6 billion over the next 10-years, about three-quarters of which would come from a net reduction in subsidies for major commodities. Read more…

Weigh every option before considering restocking beef herds

Restocking may be an option that many ranchers are considering, but rainfall and other factors will weigh heavily into the decision-making process, according to Dr. Jason Johnson, an AgriLife Extension economist from Stephenville. Read more…

USDA announces results for CRP general sign-up

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on May 25 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will accept 3.9 million acres offered under the 43rd Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up. During the extended five-week signup, the USDA received nearly 48,000 offers on more than 4.5 million acres of land, demonstrating the CRP’s continuing leadership as one of our nation’s most successful voluntary efforts to conserve land and improve our soil, water, air and wildlife habitat resources. The USDA has now enrolled nearly 12 million acres in the CRP since 2009. Currently, there are more than 29.6 million acres enrolled on more than 736,000 contracts. Read more…

Is your air freshener killing you?

Beware: turns out your well-intentioned efforts to de-funk the room could be hurting your ticker, according to a new study in Environmental Health Perspectives. Women who use air fresheners as little as once a week experience reduced heart rate variability–something linked to heart attack and high blood pressure. Find out more at the following link, provided by TSCRA Insurance Services, Inc. While you’re at their resources page, check out all the other helpful information they’ve gathered for you. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: Heritability in Heifers; Plan for Drought Before it Happens

In the May 28 Cow-Calf Corner newsletter, Dr. Glenn Selk talks heritability, that portion of the difference in the performance of cattle that is due to genetics. The remainder of the differences are presumed to be due to variables in the environment such as management, pastures and weather. Derrell Peel also discusses planning for a drought before it happens. Read more…