11 DEC

Will corn and soybean prices return to pre-drought levels?

March 2013 corn futures dropped below $5.50 in early May 2012 and were drifting lower when U.S. drought conditions turned prices higher starting in mid-June.  The price of that contract peaked in early August, just short of the $8.50 mark.  March 2013 soybean futures dropped below $11.50 in December 2011before South American drought conditions and then U.S. drought conditions sent that contract above $17.25 by mid-September 2012.  Corn prices have declined by more than $1.00 since the late summer peak, while soybean prices have declined by more than $3.00.  The general expectation has been that prices of both commodities would return to pre-drought levels as early as 2013 as consumption adjusted to the lower supplies and as production rebounded in both South America and the U.S.  Read More

11 DEC

USDA announces turkey products purchase

Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Edward Avalos has announced USDA’s intent to purchase up to $35 million of turkey products for federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks. The turkey industry consists of vertically integrated companies that produce, process, and market turkeys and turkey products. Producers have been profitable with current whole turkey prices but may be close to break even or below in the fourth quarter if feed prices remain equal to current December futures prices. However, producers who primarily produce turkey parts and processed products find costs of production above selling price for their products.

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11 DEC

Valadao gets plum assignment

Congressman-elect David Valadao will be seated in January on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, marking the latest milestone in his rapid rise to political prominence. "It gives me a lot of opportunities to make a difference for my constituents," said Valadao. "I’m really looking forward to that." Valadao, a Hanford dairy farmer whose single term in the state Assembly term officially ended Monday with the swearing in of new legislators, is one of only two freshman Republican representatives named to the committee out of six new members approved. The other freshman is Congressman-elect David Joyce, R-Ohio. It’s unusual for freshmen to get appointed to such a powerful committee. It often happens because they come from precarious districts that their party wants to retain.  Read More

11 DEC

High food inflation consequence of drought

Food inflation in most categories significantly outpaced the overall Consumer Price Index of 2.2 percent reported in November, the US Department of Agriculture said in its Nov. 23 Economic Research Service Food Price Outlook. It was not clear how much of that inflation – ranging from 4.5 percent to 6 percent for most meats, poultry, fats and oils – was an after-effect of the 2012 drought. But Bill Lapp, president of Advanced Economic Solutions in Omaha, said he believes the 2012 corn crop sustained a $25 billion toll from the drought – about 3 percent to 4 percent of the entire food economy – that must ultimately be paid by producers and retailers and is likely to affect food prices well into the 2013 crop year.  Read More

11 DEC

US poultry industry praises Senate passage of Russia trade bill

The Senate today overwhelmingly passed the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal Act of 2012, which rescinds outdated legislation that is a roadblock to the United States taking full advantage of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).  The bipartisan vote of 92 to 4 came on the heels of the House of Representatives passage in November, and would establish permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia if it is signed by the president. The National Chicken Council (NCC), National Turkey Federation (NTF) and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) commended the Senate for their rapid attention on passing this legislation and urged the president to sign the bill into law.  Read More

11 DEC

Group sues FDA over food animal antibiotics data

The government watchdog group the Government Accountability Project (GAP) announced it has sued the FDA for withholding agency data regarding the sale of antibiotics for use in food animals. Drug companies are required to report basic information about antibiotic sales to the FDA under the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA). Such information includes how much of each drug is sold; whether the drugs are formulated for use in feed, water, or by injection; and the animals for which each drug is approved.  Read More

04 DEC

There’s still time to vote for California’s Tim Nilsen in USFRA “Faces of Farming & Ranching” search

Tim Nilsen

Tim Nilsen of Wilton, CA, is one of the nine finalists selected by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance’s (USFRA) "Face of Farming and Ranching" national spokesperson search. Nilsen is an active member of the California Poultry Federation.

More than one hundred farmers and ranchers from across the country responded to the call to find real "faces" to share their stories on a national stage and further the dialogue on how food is produced in America today. Entries spanned the corners of the country and included various types of food grown and raised, but all shared one common theme: Farmers and ranchers sharing their passion for producing food and continuously improving what they do.

Tim Nilsen is owner and operator of Nilsen Farms, contract turkey grower in California. Voting ends December 15, 2012. Click here to cast your vote for Tim!

04 DEC

Russia probes mass bird flu deaths for danger to humans

Russian health officials are investigating the potential danger to humans from a strain of flu that killed hundreds of wild ducks in the southern Krasnodar region, a key route for migration. Preliminary lab tests showed the birds died of a strain that belongs to the H5 sub-group of an A-type bird flu, according to the country’s food and safety watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor. "We have registered the outbreak in coastal lakes, in wild nature," Rosselkhoznadzor spokesman Alexei Alekseenko said by phone from Moscow today. "There is no threat to public livestock and private poultry farms yet."  Read More
04 DEC

AAA calls for suspension of E15 gasoline sales

Leading road travel group AAA called on the U.S. government to suspend the sale of gasoline with a higher blend of ethanol fuel, the latest opposition against increasing the use of biofuels in transport. A lack of public awareness about the risks of using 15 percent ethanol, known as E15, in older cars could cause problems for motorists, according to an AAA study published Friday. The current standard is 10 percent, or E10.
Governors of four poultry-raising states this year asked EPA for relief from the mandate, saying the corn crop is too small to use 40 percent of it making biofuels. Foodmakers, automakers and oil refiners also opposed it in court, though they lost.
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27 NOV

2011 Economic Analysis of Animal Agriculture

The national report for the 2011 Economic Analysis of Animal Agriculture, conducted by Agralytica Consulting, can be found by clicking here. The report was funded by the United Soybean Board’s Domestic Marketing Committee and provides an updated and complete state-by-state database on animal agriculture economics and the implications for soybean meal demand at the state and national levels.