Source: Drovers CattleNetwork…
Commercial cow slaughter has run at historically low levels so far this year, partly due to short supplies but also indicating ranchers intend to stabilize or expand their herds. The situation remains volatile though, and with drought appearing to be expanding in the West and Southwest, weather conditions will help determine the direction of herd numbers, according to the April Livestock, Poultry and Dairy Outlook report from USDA. Read more…
Source: AgriLife Today
Sub-freezing temperatures on the morning of April 15 put large acreages of Texas wheat at risk for freeze injury, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Temperatures were not as low in the Panhandle and Rolling Plains — mostly in the mid-20s — and wheat there was not as likely to have been injured as in the Central and West Central regions. Read more…
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that starting Tuesday, April 15, eligible farmers and ranchers can sign up for disaster assistance programs restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation, eligible producers can enroll in one of four programs administered by the Farm Service Agency. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014. Read more…
In an April 11 statement, Health Canada’s Veterinary Drugs Directorate (VDD) said it is now moving forward, in collaboration with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), to remove growth promotion/production claims of medically important antimicrobial drugs from food animal production. VDD and CAHI will also work on developing option to strengthen the veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food animals. Read more…
Source: Farm Futures
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, commenting on the new definition of what constitutes a water of the US, says, “To be clear: our proposal does not add to or expand the scope of waters historically protected under the Clean Water Act.” However, accepting the government’s definition of ‘tributary’ would vastly expand its regulatory power. Read more…
Using mesquite biomass for electricity generation may become economically feasible if ecological and agricultural factors are considered, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research paper being published in the BioEnergy Research journal. The study estimated the long-term economic feasibility of mesquite biomass in electricity production under five different harvest scenarios. They examined variations in rates of standing biomass accumulation and tree density re-establishment after harvest using an above-ground-only or whole-plant harvest option. Read more…
Source: Texas Animal Health Commission
On March 26, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) sent out an announcement stating that the USDA was experiencing a nationwide shortage of tuberculin, the product used for tuberculosis testing. The TAHC has stated that that the shortage of tuberculin has now been resolved and the Texas State-Federal Lab is once again fully stocked with tuberculin.
Source: The Associated Press
The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners — and relief isn’t likely anytime soon. A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987. Read more…
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced April 11 the availability of more than $19 million in grants to help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of agricultural producers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).
“USDA is committed to the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers because they represent the future of agriculture and are the backbone of our rural economy. As the average age of farmers continues to rise, we have no time to lose in getting more new farmers and ranchers established.” said Vilsack. “Reauthorizing and expanding the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program is one of the many resources the 2014 Farm Bill gave us to build America’s agricultural future. Through this program, we can build a diverse next generation of farmers and ranchers.”
BFRDP is an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help farmers, ranchers and managers of non-industrial private forest land – specifically those aiming to start farming and those who have been farming or ranching for 10 or fewer years. It is managed by the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NIFA will competitively award grants to organizations conducting programs Read more…
Source: Farm Futures
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s attempts to reassure producers that your regulator foe really is your friend creates a conundrum. Read more…
Source: Drovers CattleNetwork
The USDA has proclaimed April as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. Here are some tips to prevent the spread of noxious weeds and bugs to your area and other regions of the country. Read more…
Source: The Cow/Calf Corner newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
April 14, 2014
Pressure builds on cattle prices
by Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist
With boxed beef prices down sharply from the second rollercoaster high of the year, fed cattle prices may have peaked seasonally. Fed prices are currently holding mostly steady near $150/cwt. but will likely decrease into May as fed cattle marketings increase seasonally. Cattle slaughter typically increases from April through May to seasonal peaks in June. Fed cattle prices typically decrease from April peaks to summer lows in July. Average price change from current market levels would suggest that fed prices could drop to around $140/cwt. by July. Given some bunching of placements in the past couple of months, it would not be surprising to see fed prices drop into the mid $130s, at least briefly, for a summer low. Beef demand, as expressed by wholesale and retail beef prices, will be key through this seasonal supply increase.
Feeder cattle prices have been holding strong as well but are showing signs of weakening from the current peaks. Several factors may contribute to weaker feeder prices in the coming weeks. Persistent drought Read more…
Source: Laura Mushrush, Assistant Editor, Drovers CattleNetwork
U.S. beef export shipments slightly increased by one percent from the previous week to 12,400 metric tons.
The total moved the 4-week average down four percent for the second consecutive week and decreased the 27-week average to 13,265 MT.
Japan continues to be the primary destination, taking in 3,700 MT. Other notable shipment totals include Hong Kong (2,500 MT), Mexico (2,100 MT), South Korea (1,800 MT), and Canada (800 MT). Read more…
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated six counties in Texas as primary natural disaster areas due to the recent drought.
Those counties are:
Crockett Menard Schleicher Irion
“Our hearts go out to those Texas farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We’re also telling Texas producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”
Farmers and ranchers in the following contiguous counties in Texas also qualify for natural disaster assistance. Those counties are:
Concho Glasscock Mason Sterling
Upton Crane Kimble Midland
Terrell Val Verde Edwards McCulloch
Pecos Tom Green
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on April 9, 2014, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans Read more…
The United States appears willing to accept a big cut in Japanese tariffs on beef imports rather than insist on scrapping the levy, the Nikkei business daily said on Friday, as the two countries seek a trade deal seen as vital to a broader regional pact. Read more…
The same storm system that brought good rains to the southeast also caught portions of Arkansas, east Texas, and Louisiana.
Outside of these areas, the remainder of the region was mostly dry.
Although dry, temperatures remained at or below normal, with departures from normal of 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit through portions of west Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
Improvements were made to the D0 in northern Louisiana, removing all of the abnormal dryness this week.
In southern Arkansas, D0 was also improved.
The rains in east Texas allowed for the improvement of some of the D0 and D1 areas, pushing them to the west, while some D2 was also improved to D1. Similar improvements were made to the D0 and D1 areas in southeast Oklahoma.
The Big Bend area of Texas did receive some precipitation, which allowed for improvements to the D1 there.
The intensity of the drought conditions in the Texas panhandle, Oklahoma panhandle, and southwest Oklahoma worsened this week. D4 was expanded in both Texas and Oklahoma while D2 and D3 were pushed farther to the east in Oklahoma.
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Viewers in Tyler and Beaumont recently learned beef isn’t just for dinner anymore. Through Texas Beef Council’s (TBC) monthly television cooking segments, consumers are given ideas for incorporating beef into a healthy, filling breakfast. The beefy sweet potato hash recipe was demonstrated using leftover pot roast to make a nutritious breakfast that can be enjoyed on the go. Lean beef is an excellent source of protein and is packed with other nutrients that will power you up for the day. The recipe speaks to the checkoff’s target audience of the older millennial parent — born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s — by providing a quick and easy option for the most important meal of the day. Viewers learned that research has shown that eating 25-30g of protein in the morning will help lower caloric intake throughout the day and will prevent snacking. Throughout the year cooking segments appear on leading television stations in 10 Texas markets. Content from the segments are also utilized online in efforts to extend the checkoff’s reach.
Japan is considering slashing tariffs on U.S. beef imports to less than 10 percent from the current 38.5 percent in negotiations aimed at laying the ground for a broad Pacific trade pact, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday. The proposed cut would be much deeper than one negotiated with Australia, which on Monday agreed to a trade deal with Tokyo including a halving of the levy on frozen beef to 19.5 percent. Read more…
Source: DTN Progressive Farmer
A group of U.S. senators Wednesday told President Barack Obama that his administration has not followed the proper channel in developing the proposed Clean Water Act rule. Read more…