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FDA, USDA still at odds regarding livestock gene-editing

January 14, 2021

In public comments earlier this week, the current Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn says he would refuse to sign the memorandum of understanding between the FDA and USDA addressing gene-edited livestock shifting oversight to USDA. The statement again reveals the ongoing turf war between the two agencies and likely continued discussion as […]

The New COVID Relief Bill – What’s in it for USDA?

December 28, 2020

Just in time for Christmas, Congress delivered quite a package this morning by passing new COVID-19 relief legislation.  President Trump is expected to sign the bill soon.  Buried in the 5,593 pages of the legislation is an allocation of nearly $11.2 billion dollars to the USDA.   A large portion of the USDA funds will provide […]

Brazil in “Advanced” Talks with China to Boost Corn Sales as China’s Hog Herd Rebuilds

December 22, 2020

Last week, Bloomberg writers Isis Almeida, Samy Adghirni, and Tatiana Freitas reported that, “Brazil is close to an agreement that would allow the world’s second-largest corn exporter to boost sales of the grain to China, a move that could threaten the U.S.’s dominance, according to people familiar with the matter. “Talks between the governments of Brazil and […]

“Dynamic” Forecast for Feed Grain Trade, and China is the “Primary Driver.”

December 15, 2020

Last week, in its monthly Grain: World Markets and Trade report, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) explained that, “Trade data for 2019/20 (October-September) are largely complete. Many countries imported record volumes of corn, despite initial concerns over a potential slowdown in feed use due to COVID-19. For 2020/21, global trade for major feed grains is forecast to grow significantly from […]

Surging Feed Prices Will Challenge the U.S. Animal Protein Sector’s Recovery

December 11, 2020

The U.S. animal protein sector is expected to face a 12% increase in feed costs in 2021, which will mark the highest year-over-year inflation since 2011. With corn futures above $4 per bushel and soybean meal futures around $350 per ton, cattle feeders, hog producers and chicken producers will pay higher prices for feed than […]

La Nina, A “Supply-Side Wild Card,” Could Impact Markets Into 2021

December 8, 2020

Wall Street Journal writer Lucy Craymer reported late last week that, “La Niña is shaking up agriculture in an already-tumultuous year for commodity markets. “The natural weather phenomenon, known as the cool sister of the better-known El Niño, occurs every few years. It is characterized by cooler-than-normal waters in the Pacific Ocean, causing dry weather in some parts of the […]

Prospects for Swine Feed Costs in 2021

December 7, 2020

Corn and soybean meal prices declined sharply from late January to early August, and then increased significantly in response to deteriorating crop conditions and the potential for strong exports of corn and soybeans during the 20/21 marketing year.   Given the uncertainty related to supply and demand, feed prices are likely to be volatile through at […]

Cow Fertility, Pregnancy Rate Important Economic Numbers

December 1, 2020

Reproduction is the most important economic trait in a beef cow herd. “Selling more calves as it relates to cows exposed and cow input costs is a greater indication of business success than any other production parameter,” says Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist. “Unfortunately, the majority of our […]

Record High U.S. Red Meat Production in October

December 1, 2020

Bloomberg writer Dominic Carey reported earlier this month that, “U.S. red-meat production surged to a record in October, months after the coronavirus disrupted slaughterhouses. “Production reached 5.09 billion pounds, up 8.1% from September and 0.4% from a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed [on November 19th]. That marked the highest since the monthly data started in 1944.” The Bloomberg article stated […]

Farmer Sentiment Pulls Back Post-election

December 1, 2020

U.S. farmers sentiment weakened following the November 2020 elections, as the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer fell 16 points from a month earlier to a reading of 167. Although this month’s reading was nearly equal to the pre-pandemic high set back in February, it was 9 percent lower than the sentiment reading taken just two weeks […]