And up we go (again)! Packers took the steer by the proverbial horns last week in the cash markets. They were apparently undaunted by their $100-perhead losses as they bid up the price of cash cattle to $150-152 live and $240-242 dressed mid-week.
A recent undercover animal rights video at a hog barn sought to deal a blow to the pork industry. What it did was underscore the dire situation faced by hog farmers as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) cuts a swath of destruction through populations of North American piglets.
The most recent Cattle on Feed report was called bearish for the markets as onfeed populations and placements were higher than expected, and marketings were lower than expected. The most surprising of the numbers was placements, which far outstripped industry expectations.
All was quiet on the beef front last week. The same could not be said for the world of pork, however, as the Humane Society of the U.S. fired shots over the bow of the pork industry. Look for more information on that unfolding story in this week’s Beef Bits and next week’s issue of WLJ.
Last Wednesday, President Barack Obama signed the “Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses” executive order. Among other things, the order aims to cut down processing and approval times for small businesses seeking to export American-made products or services abroad.
In its most recent media stunt, the company has created an internet “comedy show” that blurs the line between advertising and entertainment, reminiscent of when soap operas actually tried to sell soap and entire Saturday morning cartoon series were tailored around selling lines of toys to kids.
While the cash trade last week seemed indecisive—at first sending signals that the market would be steady to lower, then later suggesting it would be steady to higher—the big questions focused on what packers would be doing.
The ongoing issues of the Klamath Basin water wars have run head on with the increasing drought the West Coast is experiencing. In the face of less water and conflicts over water rights, official efforts to shut down private wells have surfaced.
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has announced two important data-keeping moves. On the one hand, the Prospective Plantings report is on the horizon and needs producer participation, and on the other hand, it has announced that some of the previously sequesterended agricultural reports will be reinstated.
Cattle are dying in Australia’s southeastern state of New South Wales of unknown causes. The disease—called “3D Syndrome” after its three visible symptoms of drooling, diarrhea and death—has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of otherwise healthy cattle with calves being the hardest hit.