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Articles from 2020 In October

This Week in Agribusiness, October 31, 2020

Part 1

Chad Colby checks in with grower, Jabob Wade about data from his field trials in 2020.

Max tours rural America facilities and agriculture entrepreneurs KSI and Landoll Inc.

Joe Camp, Commstock Investments joins Mike to talk markets.

Part 2

Joe Camp is back with more about wheat markets, grain exports, COVID and meat demand.

Chad Colby gives an update on the new Apple iPhone 12.

Part 3

Rita Frazer, RFD Radio Network and Tom Brand, NAFB joins Max to talk virtual FFA convention and connecting during this time.

Part 4

Denny Uphoff and Jim Brown from Beason, Illinois joins Max to talk about corn and soybean field trials.

Greg Soulje is in to share is weekly weather forecast.

Part 5

Greg is back with an extended weather outlook.

Part 6

Max’s Tractor Shed showcases a 2016 Fendt 740.

Mark Stock shares what's coming up on the auction block for Big Iron Auctions.

The FFA Chapter Tribute goes to Tupelo FFA, Tupelo, Oklahoma.

Orion adds a word (virtual) to the list that he shared last week Samuelson Sez.

Part 7

Mike shares the Case IH tiller demonstration from Farm Progress Virtual Experience.

Marketing lesson learned in silence

vectorbomb-ThinkstockPhotos artwork of cowboy riding market
Watch each Friday for Doug Ferguson's Market Intel blog on Beef Producer and BEEF magazine.

When I feed cattle in the mornings and evenings I like to listen to the local radio station. They do a fantastic job on getting the word out about what’s going on in our local area. They still did that this week but all the noise about what is going on around the world was overbearing. I am sure you all heard it too.

I finally had to just turn it off, and decided to unplug this week. In was then that two things hit me in the silence. First was what I wasn’t hearing in the news: I didn’t hear anything about flu. Usually about this time of year we will be hearing about the flu trend. I got on the CDC website and what I found shocked me. Last week there were 1,763% more people tested for flu than the same time a year ago. Why isn’t that being reported and why such a sharp increase? Maybe it’s because last year they found 9% of those tested had a strain of the flu. But this year only .3% of those tested had a strain of flu.

I am sure you all have heard about skyrocketing cases of COVID-19. How can we have such a huge spike in one virus, yet the other seasonal virus that usually shows up around now is actually too slow to trend right now?

This brought several points to mind for me. One is that people like me, who are backgrounders and stocker operators, deal with herd immunity for a living. Those of us who have had a PI (persistently infected BVD) calf would handle this thing differently. Second, in my experience it’s been rare to have one virus spike without seeing other bugs pop up as well. Third and most important, a ton of money is spent all the time in order to direct your attention and your thinking. This applies to politics, economics, education, market news and even your checkoff dollars.

We need to unplug from time to time and think about what it is we are hearing, or not hearing. We need to pay attention to exactly what it is we are looking at. We need to learn how to think and draw our own conclusions.

Self-directed thinking

In order to draw our own conclusions we have to do our own research and use factual resources. When that applies to marketing we need to know for certain our information is correct. I have sat through auctions only to turn around later and look at the sale barn’s website and noticed their market report was wrong. They add a little extra to the sale prices, sometimes as much as a whole dime. Another one will only report on the best tickets. I trust USDA market reports, but lately I have noticed the local USDA reports are being done by someone different and he doesn’t include much for footnotes. He isn’t reporting if the cattle were unweaned, fleshy, or replacement-quality heifers.

It’s my opinion that people should take their job seriously, and do a good job of it without an agenda or just halfway doing it. That is not reality, however, so we need to dig into things ourselves and find accurate information in order to make sound decisions. At the end of the day accountability falls on our own shoulders.

Changeable markets

Last week there was not enough appreciation value in breeding an open heifer to cover the expense of running her for a year. This week the bred heifer was the ticket that moved up in value the most. The least-cost producers can certainly capture some value on breeding open replacements now. The 3- to 4-year-old pairs were the top of the cow bell curve. Pairs brought $400-600 more than the same age bred cow. People are placing a lot of value on such a small calf. Depreciation seems to be pretty steady at $100 per year of age until around the age of 7. There is takes a sharp dive, then it drops to weigh-up value for short solids.

The feeder auctions were all over the board. Some were steady, some lower or higher, and some were mixed with some weights lower and other weights higher. Sounds like the news broadcasts, a mess. Unlike the news, which doesn’t make any sense to me, the markets still do.

The value of gain (VOG) was still good enough to allow for some profitable feeder-to-feeder trades. The backgrounders are still making money. But they need to be careful not to put too much weight on because the cliff is back once again around 900 pounds. This week there was also a significant rollback between steers and heifers.

This week unweaned cattle were $4-14 back, lightweight feeder bulls were $20 back, big feeder bulls were half the price of similar weight steers. Put another way an eight-weight feeder bull is worth as much as a weaned four-weight steer. Southern markets were undervalued compared to plains markets.

The fat-feeder relationship changed again this week, making it very difficult to profitably replace fats in the plains.

Just in case anyone is wondering what the second thing that hit me in the news-free silence was, I learned something about myself. What do you think will benefit and serve me better, the racket on the news or a higher level of self awareness?

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Beef Producer or Farm Progress.

Farm Progress America, October 30, 2020

Max Armstrong offers a look at a report from Metafarms and SMS looked at sow, nursery, finish and wean-to-finish operations that shows increasing efficiency in the swine industry. The report shows that farms are getting greater performance out of their operations. The report offers operations the chance to benchmark their own performance.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: Darcy Maulsby/Getty Images News

SCI And NCBA celebrating finalized gray wolf rule

US Fish and Wildlife Service gray wolf sitting in grass

Safari Club International (SCI) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) issued a joint statement in support of the finalization of the rule to return management and conservation of gray wolves to states following 40 years of federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA):
“Today we celebrate a conservation victory and a demonstration of a key facet of the Endangered Species Act: returning a species to state management after recovery efforts have succeeded. Nearly 40 years after they were first protected under the Act, gray wolves have recovered and will now return to state management, where populations will be managed according to robust state management plans. Conservationists, including hunters and ranchers, should celebrate this welcome news. Thank you to Secretary Bernhardt and Director Skipwith for being guided by science when applying the law.”
Safari Club International strongly supports the USFWS performing its duty to remove a species from the Endangered Species Act list when it no longer satisfies the listing criteria. The delisting of the gray wolf is a highpoint of nearly two decades worth of legal and advocacy work for Safari Club International. In total, SCI’s staff has spent more time and resources working on wolves than any other species over the last two decades. State wildlife management authorities will now be able to appropriately manage wolves in balance with other species, and SCI members will be able to participate in sustainable wolf hunting programs.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has advocated for the delisting of the gray wolf for decades, after solid science-based evidence showed that the species has long since recovered. This decision from the Interior Department means producers do not have to live in fear from wolf attacks on their animals or face uncertainty when trying to prove depredation occurred in order to receive partial compensation. The decision also means that states and stakeholders will have more tools at their disposal to ensure communities, operations, and wildlife can exist in better balance.  

How would a Democrat-controlled White House and legislature affect ag?

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After nearly four years of a Trump Administration, we know its record and approaches. But what would a Biden/Harris win mean and what would the Democrats favor if they gain more power in Congress?

How much government to have in agriculture is a battle waged for decades. Some of the things the Democrats have discussed would affect agriculture as a business, some affect consumers and some would affect agriculture directly.


Taxation is a big issue as it affects economic growth, as Trump and Congress demonstrated with the tax reform in 2017. Biden’s position has been that the Trump tax cuts hurt the economy by reducing federal tax collections. Actually, tax receipts grew by only 2.2% in the two years before the cuts and 5.3% in the two years after the cuts. 

As for corporate tax collections, in the two year before the cuts, corporate tax collections dropped 25.4% but grew 11.4% after the cuts. During the same time periods, business investment grew 4.7% before and 11.9% after. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5.9% in the two years previous and 9.7% after. And median household income advanced 6.8% in 2019 alone. All this data is from Ernie Goss, professor of regional economics at Creighton University.

Early in the campaign, Biden said he wanted to raise corporate taxes again but not to the previous 35% level. Harris wanted to roll back the cuts to the old level.

From another perspective, Lawrence B. Lindsey, a former Federal Reserve governor and White House advisor in 2001-2002, pointed out how different economic policies affect unemployment and growth. In December 2016, the Fed predicted unemployment of 4.5% for 2017 and 4.5% for 2018, evidently figuring that further reductions were impossible. Instead, 2017 ended with 4.1% unemployment, 3.9% in 2018 and dropped to 3.5% in 2019, the lowest in decades. (“The Trump Boom Is Real,” Wall Street Journal, 10/26/20).

As for economic growth, the Fed estimate hit low for all three Trump years: 0.7 GDP points too low for 2017; 0.5 for 2018; and 0.4 for 2019. During the Obama years, the Fed overestimated growth in 2009 for 2011, estimating too high by 2.6 points, predicted 1.7 points too high in 2010 for 2011 and 2.5 points high in 2012. The Fed’s models overestimated the potency of fiscal and monetary stimulus and underestimated the benefits of reducing the cost of capital and deregulation, Lindsey said.

As for capital gains, the Democrats in general want to increase them again. Since they tax investment and stocks, they contend that lower rates benefit the “wealthy.” However, small businesses, including agriculture, plus pension, stock and insurance funds benefiting many middle- and lower-income Americans get caught up in that net, too.

Experts have projected a Biden/Harris administration would need over $5 trillion in new spending over 10 years. Biden has made it plain that he wouldn’t raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 per year and he said he wanted to raise the top income tax rates to 39.5%. However, it would seem unlikely to raise the billions he said he wants to spend by only taxing upper income people.

Economist Kevin Hassett, who did the work before he joined the Trump Administration, said his research showed that cutting corporate taxes would raise wages for workers. That’s largely because lower corporate taxes incentivize growth and expansion, which require more workers, which puts upward pressure on wages. The tax cuts proved him right, as the GNP grew and workers’ wages improved more than they had in decades. Hassett was former chairman of the Council of Advisers and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Then there’s climate change

Climate change is one of those areas affecting everyone, with agriculture being especially targeted. Kamala Harris made it plain in a 2019 CNN climate change town hall in California that she thought Americans should reduce red meat consumption, that the food pyramid should  be changed and that certain eating behaviors should be changed to reduce impact on the environment (Kamala Harris Urges Americans to Reduce Red Meat…, Newsweek, 09/04/19). So, she opposed red meat for climate and dietary reasons.

Other Democrats favor federal antitrust laws or merger moratoriums, in opposition to what they term “industrial” agriculture. Many favor parts of New Jersey Senator Corey Booker’s Farm System Reform Act that would phase out “industrial agriculture” in a couple decades.

The Democrats in general have opposed the Trump Administration’s rollback of environmental regulations and it’s reasonable to assume that a Biden administration would certainly re-institute many of the Obama-era regulations on water (WOTUS), land use, grazing, energy and mining development, pipelines, etc. Regulation on antibiotic use and other technology would likely come under possible restrictions. ESA reforms that are in the works would almost certainly be killed off. Biden has said he favors a carbon tax, which would increase operating costs and cut income from energy development for farmers and ranchers. Trump has also been working to relax the CAFE standards, whereas Democrats favor increasing the mileage requirements, raising the cost of trucks.

Healthcare, other issues

Biden has favored additional incremental steps, adding to the Affordable Care Act program with a public option offered. The program claims to have provided healthcare insurance to 20 million citizens. But something like 160 million Americans have private health insurance already that would likely be eliminated under a government, single payer program. The last Census said 92% of Americans had health insurance, 68% having private health insurance.

Certainly cattle industry people feel some things need to be done to cut the cost of healthcare. But Congress hasn’t even been able to do obvious things, like letting insurance companies sell across state lines.

Agriculture needs more legal labor, regardless of the country. When it comes to illegal immigration, Harris has said she favors making entering the country illegally a civil offense rather than a criminal one. She also opposes any more funding for a wall.

Some of the lifting of government burdens on agriculture has come from less expansive interpretations of statutes by federal courts and the Supreme Court.

Election Day is next Tuesday. We encourage you to fulfill your civic duty.

Dittmer is a longtime beef industry commentator and executive vice president of the Agribusiness Freedom Foundation. The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

Prime beef continues to surge

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At the end of September, Industry At A Glance highlighted the ongoing solid premium for Prime in the wholesale market.  That surge was surprising, given the sharp slowdown in food service volume in the past six months due to COVID. The column noted, “…the premium for Prime has been defying gravity – the moving average now stands above $30 and has been positively diverging from other categories in recent weeks.”  

That’s even more surprising given the production trends. That is, the fed steer/heifer mix has been producing more Prime product than ever – hovering around an astounding 10.5% of total production. This week’s graph provides a long-run view of quality grade trends dating back to 2000.   

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Within that illustration, several key trends are important for the beef industry:

  • Coming out of the low water mark for beef demand in 1998, the beef industry struggled to raise the percentage of Choice and Prime within the slaughter mix for another 10 years.  
  • However, that all changed in 2008 – the percentage of cattle grading Choice began to surge – undoubtedly, one of the most important components contributing to beef’s surprising strength in the middle of the financial crisis.  
  • Meanwhile, production of Prime product began to significantly grow in 2015.  
  • During the past several years, the percentage of Choice within the slaughter mix has seemingly plateaued, but the percentage of Prime has nearly doubled over the past three years.  

And it’s the final aspect that’s really enabled the beef industry to maintain some continuity through COVID-19 – and also allowed many consumers to experience the very top end of beef quality they may not have had opportunity to enjoy otherwise.  

Whatever the outcome, it’s clear the beef industry has made great strides in terms of quality grade and that’s paid great dividends through the most challenging times. Ultimately, the self-reinforcing loop of higher premiums and more volume underscore the importance that a consumer-oriented focus is the ultimate path to success.

Nevil Speer is based in Bowling Green, Ky. and serves as director of industry relations for Where Food Comes From (WFCF). The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of WFCF or its shareholders. He can be reached at [email protected]The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

The silver lining of COVID-19 for beef producers

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As beef producers, understanding the marketplace for beef means learning about the consumers of our product. “It’s good that you as a producer know what is on these folks’ minds when they think about the meat industry,” said Danette Amstein, principal of Midan Marketing, during a virtual educational session hosted by the American Hereford Association.

In their quest to be a conduit between the consumer and the meat industry, Midan Marketing has continued to survey consumers throughout 2020, following the trends surfacing due to COVID-19 and benchmarking them against longer-term trends and preferences of beef consumers.

“A silver lining of the pandemic is that consumers are eating more meat,” reported Amstein. “Due to the pandemic, consumers have become even more conscious of quality and health claims associated with food, and despite 82% of them being concerned about the economy, they are trying to keep themselves healthy due to COVID.”

More and more consumers, 62% of them, have found themselves trying new recipes, cooking, and preparing meals as their options for eating out were limited or shuttered. Google searches have spiked as people ask questions like, How do I grill a steak? or How do I cook a roast?

The great news for the beef industry is when consumers did dine out in 2020, they were choosing meat. Eighty-five percent of consumers indicated they were regularly eating a meat dish when dining out and if eating out for dinner, they indicated beef was their popular choice. As an industry, “the goal needs to focus on keeping meat a relevant option.”

In her message, Amstein shared the best way to keep meat on a consumer’s plate is to speak directly to their needs. Meat consumption choices vary across the generations with baby boomers spending a lot on meat, but the industry will also want to keep a close eye on consumers in the Gen Z and Gen Alpha (those under 10 years old) generations because they will control the future of meat consumption. “Each generation is more racially and ethnically diverse than any generation before them,” which also influences their food choices.

Midan’s consumer surveys have shown both Millennial and Gen Z’s are focused on the environment and animal care, as well as the nutrition of the animal plus their own nutrition. In fact, Millennial moms represent $200 billion in spending power and 86% of them are willing to pay more for a product that offers full transparency.

A new term surfacing across today’s consumers is ethically sourced. “More consumers are talking about ethically sourced in the past 12 months,” she said, “as they are interested in knowing more about the values that guided the decisions of beef production practices.”

“COVID-19 has been rocket-fuel for online grocery shopping, but especially shopping for meat,” explained Amstein. With their concern for eating healthy over the past seven months, consumers wanted to keep meat in their diet but they didn’t want to go into the grocery store to purchase it.

Online purchase of grocery items is not unique, but not to the scale seen during COVID and online meat purchases were rare. The challenge this presents the meat industry is “we want to be sure we are representing our product extremely well online.”

Meat consumers continue to put a growing emphasis on animal welfare, sustainability, and transparency, all trends established with the millennial generation. The focus on sustainability further escalated this summer, when in August, “Walmart announced they want their beef supply in Walmart stores and Sam’s Club stores to be completely sustainable by 2025,” said Amstein. What this means and looks like is yet to be determined as the industry continues to grapple with a uniform definition of sustainability.

However, one aspect Amstein is sure of is the importance of telling the story of how beef is produced. That’s an essential step to build consumer’s trust. For example, 66% of beef eaters are aware of third-party verification and they are willing to pay more for it because they feel better about the transparency associated with verification. 

“Trust is our make or break,” said Amstein. “Be proactive to tell our story.”

If you are not doing it, start telling your story. If you are sharing your story, do it more often or find someone who can help tell your story, she encouraged producers.

Social media is one outlet that allows producers to talk directly to consumers, but any chance you as a producer have to tell your story, explain your animal welfare, sustainability, and other production practices is pivotal to building consumers’ confidence in beef.

B. Lynn Gordon is a freelance writer from Sioux Falls, S.D. The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

Winter care of bulls

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Bulls need as much care and attention through winter as your cow herd to make sure they stay healthy and will be ready for the next breeding season.

“Don’t forget to vaccinate them,” says John Kastelic, DVM, PhD, professor of cattle reproductive health, University of Calgary. Deworming may also be helpful, depending on the situation. 

 “If bulls are confined, feed them in a bunk rather than on the ground, to break the fecal-oral transmission of disease. If bulls are on pasture and fed hay or pellets, feed on clean ground,” he says. They need adequate diet during cold weather to maintain body temperature and not lose weight. They need a chance to regain body condition if they’ve lost weight. 

Make sure feed is free of mold or toxic material. “Sometimes we have issues with ergot on cereal grains. This can cause vasoconstriction and diminished circulation to the extremities. They can lose ear tips and suffer from gangrene. Certain molds can be harmful and some have estrogen-like properties which interfere with semen quality.”

Clean, unfrozen water is important, with minimal fecal contamination. “It’s best to have some kind of point water source like a stock trough, rather than drinking from a dugout or stream,” he says. To keep them out of a water source, it can be fenced off and the water piped to a trough, or delivered via nose-pump or some other system to keep it clean and prevent freezing.

Bulls should always have access to a salt/mineral mix, since mineral deficiencies can lead to health issues. Check with your herd health veterinarian or nutritionist to know what type of mineral supplement might be needed to balance the diet and make up for deficiencies in the feed. You may need to test your feeds to know what minerals will be needed.

Keep it clean

A clean, healthy environment is important. “Good management simply means doing a lot of things well—paying attention to all the small but important details such as vaccinations, parasite control, etc. It’s just basic good husbandry,” he says.

Lice can be an issue in winter, especially if bulls were not deloused, or if delousing was done too early in the fall. In either case, they may start rubbing out their hair before spring. In this situation, they should be treated for lice (or treated again). You don’t want them rubbing their hair off in cold weather and losing that insulating hair coat.

Prevent frostbite

“To prevent [scrotal] frostbite, bulls need adequate dietary energy, and a good windbreak like trees, a coulee, or a manmade windbreak with about 20% porosity (which works better than a solid barrier that the wind goes up and over). Bedding is also important, so bulls are not lying on frozen ground or in a snowdrift, or sleeping in a wet, filthy environment.” Bulls that are covered in frozen mud and manure lose much of the insulating quality of their hair coat.

“A little frostbite won’t be detrimental, especially if it’s just on the bottom part of the scrotum. This will generally heal. The bull might have temporary reduction in sperm quality, but unless you are fall calving and breeding cows during winter, it usually won’t be a problem,” he says.

“If frostbite covers a larger area, like up the back side of the scrotum or halfway up the scrotum, this may create adhesions and the bull can’t raise and lower his testicles. If you are checking a bull and push the testes upward and the scrotum puckers up, this indicates there are some adhesions--with a relatively poor prognosis for recovery.”

Give ‘em room

Travis Olson, Ole Farms, Athabasca, Alberta, has had a lot of experience with bulls. This ranch has 1,100 registered Angus and 300 commercial cows. 

“When taking care of bulls in general, especially older bulls, I give them lots of room. I prefer to keep and feed them in large pastures away from the cows and make sure they have good bedding in several areas. I don’t want them bedding in just one location because some bulls don’t get along.  If I have 60 mature bulls out in one pasture I make sure they have bedding in at least two or three locations,” he says.

Otherwise some of them take a beating from other bulls. “The older bull might be dominant during the breeding season, but maybe he doesn’t have the energy or desire in the winter to put up with an aggressive young three-year-old that’s trying to come up through the pecking order. The older bull might be able to beat the younger bull, but he just doesn’t want to get into a scrap.”

Rather than constantly fighting to settle the pecking order over something trivial, an older bull might go off by himself in a corner of the pasture with no bedding. “You might notice issues with scrotal frostbite on these bulls because they don’t have the advantage of bedding and a windbreak.  So make sure you have bedding and a good windbreak in at least two locations so that if an older bull is being pestered and doesn’t want anything to do with that situation, he has somewhere else to go. This is why I give them lots of room,” says Olson.

His yearling and two-year-old bulls are in a separate paddock and not with the mature bulls. As long as all the bulls have adequate feed for maintenance--and extra nutrition for the younger bulls that need to regain lost weight and keep growing—winter bull management is fairly simple.

Smith Thomas is a rancher and freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

Recent fed cattle cash trade matches voluntary trigger levels

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Negotiated cash fed cattle trade volume for the last quarter was in line with levels adopted in the recently released price discovery framework from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

A voluntary Framework to Achieve Robust Price Discovery in thr Fed Cattle Market outlines a path to ensure minimum levels of weekly cash trade, on a voluntary basis. It relies on what is termed robust cash trade volume for each of four regions, utilizing price discovery research from Stephen Koontz, agricultural economist at Colorado State University.

Those specific robust volume levels of trade by region are: Texas, Oklahoma and News Mexico (13,000 head); Kansas (21,000 head); Colorado and Nebraska (36,000 head); Iowa and Minnesota (16,000 head).

What follows is based on the author’s understanding of the framework, USDA data review and calculations.

In order to comply with the framework, at least 75% of the above robust trade levels must be achieved in each region, no fewer than 75% of the weeks in each quarter.

These 75% levels for each region are: Texas, Oklahoma and News Mexico (9,750 head); Kansas (15,750 head); Colorado and Nebraska (27,000 head); Iowa and Minnesota (12,000 head).

With that in mind, consider the last quarter of July through September. There were 14 weeks. Had the framework been in place, regional trade compliance would have needed to occur for at least 10 of those weeks.

Thumb through Weekly Direct Steer and Heifer Slaughter Cattle Summary reports from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS) and compare negotiated cash volume for each week, in each region, to the 75% levels described above. Texas and Oklahoma, as well as Kansas, fell short of the 75% minimum level two weeks. Cash trade volume in Iowa and Minnesota was shy of the mark three weeks.

So, had the framework been in place, no triggers (more later) would have tripped during the last quarter, based on the trade volume portion of the framework.

Keep in mind the framework also outlines minimum levels of weekly regional participation from the four major packers. As mentioned in Report tackles fed cattle cash volume and packer participation, there is currently insufficient data published under Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) to measure such participation.

“NCBA is currently involved in conversations with USDA-AMS to determine what packer participation information can be shared under the current LMR statutes and USDA’s rules of confidentiality,” according to the framework report.

The subgroup intends to implement the framework Jan. 1, 2021.

Keeping it voluntary

The framework defines eight minor triggers, based on achieving threshold-level negotiated trade volume and threshold-level packer participation.

To avoid tripping a minor trigger, each region must:

  • Weekly trade 75% or more of its robust price discovery threshold via negotiated means, no less than 75% of the reporting weeks, and;
  • Weekly fulfill its packer participation obligations (to be determined as outlined above) no less than 75% of the reporting weeks.


In any given quarter, the tripping of three or more minor triggers equals a major trigger.

“In the event that a major trigger is tripped during any two out of four rolling quarters, the subgroup shall recommend NCBA pursue legislative or regulatory measures to compel adequate negotiated trade for robust price discovery,” according to the report.

Farm Progress America, October 29, 2020

Max Armstrong looks at the rise of probiotics in human and livestock diets. Max shares the story of one company's work to boost production of probiotics. ADM has announced it will be expanding production with the opening of a new state-of-the-art probiotics plant in Valencia, Spain. Max offers a look at that move by the company.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Image: ardiezt/iStock/Getty Images Plus