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Friday, February 21,2014

Chipotle continues to confuse fantasy and reality

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
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.

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Monday, February 17,2014

Packers cutting production rate to stem margin losses

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
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.

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Monday, February 17,2014

Water wars continue over Klamath wells

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
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.

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Friday, February 14,2014

Ag reports coming, participation needed

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
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.

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Friday, February 14,2014

Australian cattle dying mysterious deaths

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
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.

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Friday, February 14,2014

Beef production up, others falter

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report held few surprises. The biggest movers, however, were the increased export estimates for corn and the increased production of beef being offset by decreases in pork.

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Monday, February 10,2014

National Beef Brawley plant to close in April

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
On the last day of January, National Beef—the fourth ranked beef packer in the U.S. in 2010— reported it will be closing its beef processing plant in Brawley, CA, in early April.

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Monday, February 10,2014

Cash prices decline

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Cash priced continue to settle lower, making the second week this year where the cash fed cattle market did not set a new high record. Compared to the prior week which saw live prices at $144-146 and dressed prices at $230-232, the meager number of sales which had been recorded by last Thursday had declined to $139-141 live and $225 dressed.

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Monday, February 10,2014

Smallest cattle herd since 1951; smallest cow herd since 1941

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The now-annual Cattle Inventory report was released on the last day of January. The verdict is a slightly bullish, hopeful one. Beef replacement heifers were up, and even if they weren’t up as high as had been hoped, there are several details that inspire optimism for the future.

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Monday, February 3,2014

Will U.S. beef rise to export opportunities?

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
steady pace throughout the last few decades. As of the most recent WASDE report, export of commodity crops around the world was 15.2 percent of total global production. In 1984, that number was 14.8 percent, in 1994 it was 14.2 percent, and in 2004 it was 14.

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