This month’s USDA cattle on feed report defied projections for a bullish result. Pre-report estimates placed the cattle on feed on May 1 at 100.5 percent of last year’s numbers, placements at 88.5 percent, and marketings at 98.5 percent. Actual reported numbers for cattle on feed and placements were below estimates, and marketings exceeded expectations.
The report also showed most issues modern food production practices face from consumers stem from a lack of knowledge rather than active negative opinions. This suggests ample room for improvement in communication between consumers and those involved with food production.
The face of human hunger sparks strong emotions. Often they are negative— sometimes despair at the state of our fellow man, other times rage strong enough to topple governments—but at the recent G8 Summit on African food security, there was only enthusiasm and passion.
If the political TV ads are any indication, it’s mudslinging time! That period of the political season where the media’s favorites square off against one another and start wooing voters. Though it’s still early, this season’s contenders are Democrat incumbent President Barak Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The customer funds— roughly $1.6 billion—which “vaporized” in the oft-cited “chaos” of the dying days of MF Global have been found. The announcement was made Tuesday, April 24 and the investigation into the money’s whereabouts was called closed.
On May 14, IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE) launches its new grain commodity futures with a 22-hour trading day. This competitive move has put agcommodities giant Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group (CME) on the defensive. The USDA and market analysts have been hardpressed to foresee the market impacts and warn of potential trade disruptions.
The Beef Checkoff Program is interested in how best to market beef to the next generation. Their recent study of “Millennials” —the generation born between 1980 and 2000 —found that this up-andcoming consumer group values new experiences but lacks key knowledge about beef.
It has not been a good few months for beef’s public relations efforts. Outcry over lean fine textured beef (LFTB) and concern over bovine spongiform encephalopathy—sensationally called “pink slime” and “mad cow disease” respectively—have had unfortunate effects on domestic beef demand.
The discovery of the fourth case of bovine BSE in the U.S. April 24 has had muted reactions at home. In other areas, however, there has been greater reaction. Indonesia has halted imports of U.S. beef and South Korea and Taiwan have upped inspections of U.S.
According to the HSUS press release, the new advisory group was created “[t]o advance more humane practices on farms and ranches and to promote food producers who share that goal. …” The announcement of CAC’s creation came during a meeting of the Colorado Legislative Animal Welfare caucus chaired by Rep.