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Monday, September 22,2014

Fed cattle drift lower with packer losses

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Cash fed trade was slow to develop last week as packers were trying to mitigate recently very red margins and everyone was collectively holding their breath for the Friday release of the Cattle on Feed report. Even by Thursday, bids were limited to $155-156 live in the Southern Plains and $242-244 dressed in the Corn Belt.

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Monday, September 22,2014

Ag tops list for most fatal injuries on the job

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Overall, the report found the rate of fatal workplace injuries declined, but “cattle ranching and farming,” which includes both dairy and beef operations, represented over a third of all agricultural (crop and animal production) occupational fatalities, and the massive majority of all fatalities within the animal production category.

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Friday, September 19,2014

$15.7 Million for conservation, soil health

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Last week, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller announced the details of this year’s Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) award winners. This year sees 47 awardees being granted $15.7 million in grants, with over half of the projects focused on the theme of soil health.

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Monday, September 15,2014

Land lawsuit: mineral rights over property rights

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
In this line of work, lawsuits over land and property rights are nothing new. But with each new lawsuit there comes the potential to set precedent that could affect everyone. In mid-August, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of oil and gas company Entek GRB in its appeal of an earlier case against Stull Ranches in Colorado. Stull owned the surface rights to the area in question, while Entek owned the mineral rights under much of Stull’s ranch and adjoining surface parcels. The decision has recently been appealed.

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Monday, September 15,2014

CA groundwater bills could harm; not help

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Three bills sit on California Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. They were passed by the state’s assembly and await the governor’s signature. With three strokes of a pen, Gov. Brown could drastically reshape the water landscape of the parched Golden State, overturning over 100 years of water law tradition.

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Monday, September 15,2014

Futures decline in late trade

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The cash fed trade last week was slow, but this was not surprising. Analysts expected packers to hold off buying cattle until the release of the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WAS- DE) on Thursday, and that seemed to work out for them, though not because of WASDE.

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Friday, September 12,2014

Land lawsuit: mineral rights over property rights

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
In mid-August, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of oil and gas company Entek GRB in its appeal of an earlier case against Stull Ranches in Colorado. Stull owned the surface rights to the area in question, while Entek owned the mineral rights under much of Stull’s ranch and adjoining surface parcels.

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Monday, September 8,2014

Trend reverses, markets go up

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Very light trade developed Wednesday at $158-160 live in Minnesota and $250 dressed in Nebraska and Iowa, but at levels too low to set the week’s trend. Still, the early trade at $3-5 higher live and $5-8 higher dressed caught the market’s attention. Live futures closed strong on Wednesday and followed suit on Thursday.

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Monday, September 8,2014

Tyson, Hillshire Farms merger goes forward

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Back in mid-July, Tyson issued an Offer to Purchase Hillshire Farms for $63 per share in cash, with the acquisition totaling $8.5 billion. The offer was extended several times and eventually came under Department of Justice (DOJ) scrutiny for potential antitrust concerns.

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Friday, September 5,2014

Spotted frog listed as threatened in WA, OR, CA

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The frog was once native to much of the Pacific Northwest, but is now found in restricted areas in northern California, Oregon, and Washington in the U.S. as well as British Colombia in Canada. According to the USFWS’ final rule, it currently occupies 10-24 percent of its historical range.

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