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Articles from 2009 In November

Agriculture Futures Trade Mixed On The CBOT

Agriculture futures were mixed Monday on the Chicago Board of Trade, writes the Associated Press.

Wheat for March delivery surged 19 cents to $5.8875 a bushel, while March corn rose 4 cents to $4.175 a bushel and oats for March delivery fell 1 cent to $2.675 a bushel. January soybeans climbed 7.5 cents to $10.605 a bushel.

Meanwhile, beef futures advanced and pork futures traded lower on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

February live cattle added 0.15 cent to 85.72 cents a pound; January feeder cattle rose 0.45 cent to 92.95 cents a pound; December lean hogs lost 0.42 cent to 58.6 cents a pound; and February pork bellies shed 0.7 cent to 86.05 cents a pound.

To read the entire article, link here.

Agriprocessors Bankruptcy Comes Back to Bite Some Cattle Producers

Some Iowa cattle producers that sold livestock to the now-defunct Agriprocessors meatpacking operation in Postville have received an unexpected and unwanted piece of holiday mail from the federal bankruptcy court.

Court officials, in an effort to ensure that none of the company’s accounts payable received preferential treatment, have informed Iowa producers that they have 10 days from the date of the letter to repay 80% what the company paid them in the time period before it declared bankruptcy. If the letter is ignored or no answer provided, the court will move to recoup 100 percent of the Agriprocessors payments.

Tom Shipley, director of issues management and policy implementation for the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, said that his organization has been in contact with roughly eight producers who received the letter, and that the government demands have ranged from $50,000 to $600,000.

“We simply don’t know exactly how many producers or sale barns might have received this letter, but we do want all who did receive it to contact our offices,” Shipley said by telephone Monday.

Attorneys for the ICA have been in contact with the U.S. bankruptcy court and believe they have worked out an extension from the existing Dec. 3 due date to Dec. 15.

To read the entire article, link here.

Thinking Globally, Marketing Beef Around the World

basse-2.jpgAccording to global estimates, there are 6.8 billion people living around the globe, and for farmers and ranchers, that’s a lot of mouths to feed. The question is, how do American food producers get their share of the global market? That was the topic of discussion at the Feeding Quality Forums, held Nov. 10 in South Sioux City, Neb., and Nov. 12 in Garden City, Kan. The featured speaker at these two events was Dan Basse, president of the Chicago-based AgResource Company, who also spoke at this event in 2007. The event was sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), Feedlot magazine and Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LLC.

In his keynote message, Basse urged beef producers to think globally to better market their high quality products to the world. With more than 150 cattle feeders and industry professionals in attendance, Basse presented a global outlook to consider. For an overview of his presentation, listen to my interview with Basse about the future of beef marketing and reaching out to our global consumers.

As 2009 closes on beef producers and economists make predictions for 2010, it will be the ranchers that look to the future and plan for it that will survive in the upcoming years. Keeping in mind export market opportunities and better risk management practices, beef will soon have a stronger hold on the center of the dinner plate, in the United States and around the world. After listening to Dan's thoughts, what is your opinion in how we can better market our beef around the world? What efforts can producers make to expand our market share and reach new consumers? Leave your suggestions in the comments box. I look forward to hearing from you.

BEEF Daily Quick Fact: While fat intake from meat is declining, fat intake from other sources is increasing. Hidden fats that are in the bread and vegetable groups contribute more fat to American diets than do red meats and processed meats. (Source: Myths and Facts About Beef)

Favorable Feeding Conditions Favor Beef Quality

Cattle feeding conditions vary by location. One yard might be knee-deep in snow, while the other is dealing with piles of mud. Record high temperatures might cause heat stress in one area while cattle in another region are enduring torrential rainfall.

Even with all that variability, one fact rings true: Better conditions mean better beef quality.

“Animals that are able to devote more of their dietary intake to gain will have better carcass quality,” says Joe Young, vice president of AgSpan.

In a research review, Larry Corah and Mark McCully of Certified Angus Beef LCC (CAB) point to several factors that have caused quality grade to rebound 7.5 percentage points in just two years, following a 30-year decline.

“In general, feeding conditions for cattle the past two years have been very good,” the authors say, noting data from Elanco's Benchmark Performance Program, managed by Agspan. Hundreds of feedlots report performance, carcass and health information to the database, which now numbers more than 100 million points of data.

To read the entire article, link here.

Cattle on Feed Numbers Up

Colorado: The number of cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Colorado feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or larger was estimated at 1,040,000 head as of Nov. 1. The latest inventory was up 8% from Oct. 1 and up 8% from the 960,000 on feed on Nov. 1, 2008. Cattle feeders with 1,000 head or larger capacity marketed an estimated 160,000 head of fed cattle during October 2009. This was 3% above September 2009 marketings of 155,000 head and 7% above a year ago. An estimated 245,000 cattle and calves were placed on feed during October, even with a year ago but down 6% from the September 2009 placements of 260,000. Of the number placed in October, 20 percent weighed less than 600 pounds, 18% weighed from 600 to 699 pounds, 24% weighed from 700 to 799 pounds, and 37% weighed 800 pounds and greater. Other disappearance for October, at 5,000 head, was unchanged from October 2008 and September 2009

South Dakota: South Dakota's 1,000-plus capacity feedlots reported 205,000 cattle on feed for the slaughter market on Nov. 1, according to the South Dakota office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. This is up 5,000 head from a year earlier and up 10,000 head from a month earlier.

Placements during October totaled 65,000 head, down 5,000 head from last year but up 13,000 head from September 2009.

Marketings of fed cattle during October totaled 54,000 head, up 11,000 head from last year and up 13,000 head from September 2009.

To read the entire market report, link here.

New USDA Rules Could Benefit Minn., Dakotas Livestock Farmers

Farmers in Minnesota and the Dakotas could benefit from new USDA rules allowing them to market their livestock as natural.

The rules say if farmers document that animals are not given growth hormones or antibiotics, they can be sold as USDA certified natural meat. North Dakota State University Marketing Specialist Tim Petry said the natural label should help farmers get a premium price.

"But it has not been consistent from one sale and market to another, so I know that's frustrating for producers because sometimes there are premiums and sometimes there are not," Petry said. "So it isn't just doing what USDA said and then hauling them to a market and saying they're natural and expecting a premium."

Petry said farmers need to do extra work to find a buyer willing to pay a consistent premium for natural products.

Petry estimates 30 to 40% of beef raised in Minnesota and the Dakotas already meets USDA criteria for a natural label, but he said less than 10% actually has the natural label.

To read the entire article, link here.

Cattle Prices to "Ride the Recovery" Upward

"Ride the recovery" may be the theme for the cattle industry in coming months. That, of course, is the economic recovery that is thought to be underway. A host of economic indicators suggest that the recession has ended and the economy has more positive signs than negative. This is true for the U.S. and the world economy.

Unfortunately the beef industry also rode the recession downward. So far this year, through the month of September, beef production has been down by five percent but finished cattle prices have been almost $11 lower than in the same period last year. Nebraska finished steers averaged $93.60 per live hundredweight in the January to September period in 2008. This year those values dropped to $82.75. Steer calf values have also been about $11 per hundredweight lower and feeder cattle about $9 lower.

Beef and cattle prices move downward with recession and upward with recovery. They are generally more directly impacted by changes in economic prospects than pork or poultry markets. The indicators of recovery are beginning to become more numerous in such data as the rise in the average length of work week, rising building permits, falling numbers of new claims for unemployment, and of course the rising stock market. The recovery is expected to be slow by historic standards with unemployment remaining high into 2010. However, the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator and not the one to use as the measure of recovery.

To read the entire article, link here.

Happy Thanksgiving From BEEF Daily

fall-2008-187.jpg I thought I would send out a quick note wishing all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours. Today we are counting our many blessings in life and giving thanks with friends and family across the country. Like so many of you, today will be spent with family telling stories and jokes, eating stuffing, turkey and pumpkin pie (although when I'm a big kid, I'm going to serve beef at my Thanksgiving meal).

Today, I’m thankful for my family, especially my supportive parents and fun-loving little sisters. I’m thankful for my cattle and my family’s seedstock business. I’m thankful for my good health. I’m thankful for the opportunities in agriculture that I have to look forward to as my career progresses. I’m thankful for the roof over my head, the food I eat and the bed where I rest. I’m thankful for God’s many gifts, especially for all of the people that I share my life with. I'm also thankful for my passions in agriculture and the beef cattle industry, and I’m thankful to be surrounded by people like you that feel the same way I do, and I’m blessed to have you in my life. Farmers and ranchers care, and for that, I'm thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving from BEEF Daily! Here is a poem to celebrate this day:

More Than A Day

As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,

It brings up some facts, quite profound.

We may think that we're poor,

Feel like bums, insecure,

But in truth, our riches astound.

We have friends and family we love;

We have guidance from heaven above.

We have so much more

Than they sell in a store,

We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.

So add up your blessings, I say;

Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.

Enjoy what you've got;

Realize it's a lot,

And you'll make all your cares go away.

By Karl Fuchs


American Angus Association® Honors Angus Breeders

Each year, the American Angus Association® honors selected individuals who have made significant contributions to the Angus breed. This year the Association Board of Directors selected six Angus breeders for induction into its Angus Heritage Foundation for their dedication toward the advancement of the Angus breed.

The 2009 inductees included: Dwight D. Eisenhower, formerly of Gettysburg, Pa.; Oliver Hansen, Durant, Iowa; Paul and Lynn Hill, Bidwell, Ohio; and Bill and Priscilla Wilson, Cloverdale, Ind.

The inductees and/or their families were recognized during the Annual Banquet, Nov. 16 during Angus events in Louisville, Ky. Each received a framed certificate, and all names will be engraved on a plaque at the Association’s Saint Joseph, Mo., headquarters.

Brief biographies of the inductees follow.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Most Americans will remember Dwight David Eisenhower as the five-star general and 34th president of the United States who served as one of the 20th century’s most important leaders. But the American Angus Association also remembers the former Kansas farm boy for his contributions to the Angus breed.

In 1950, anticipating his retirement from the Army, Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, purchased a 189-acre farm on the outskirts of Gettysburg, Pa. However, his presidency delayed retirement until 1961 when he and Mamie finally made their home on the farm. There, he spent the next 15 years as a successful farmer and Angus breeder, helping to bring notoriety to the breed.

Located adjacent to the Gettysburg Battlefield, the farm served the President as a weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders. With its peaceful setting and view of South Mountain, it was a much-needed respite from Washington.

President Eisenhower maintained a show herd of black Angus cattle on his Gettysburg farm, which later became a National Park.

The President entered cattle in livestock shows across the country, winning grand championships at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show, blue ribbons at the International Livestock Competition in Chicago, and numerous other awards. While President, his cattle were entered into competitions under the names of his partners in order to maintain fairness.

By the 1960s, the Eisenhower herd numbered 100 cows with calves. Today, a herd of 40-50 Angus still graze the pastures of the President’s farm, and the cattle ribbons are displayed on the walls of the show barn.

Oliver Hansen

Oliver Hansen grew up as a youth in Dixon, Iowa, helping with the Laudmere Angus herd his father, William Hansen, established in 1931.

After graduating from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal science, Oliver enlisted in military service in 1942 and served until 1946 when he was discharged as a 1st Lieutenant.

That same year he began employment with Liberty Trust & Savings Bank in Durant, Iowa, where he later became president. He currently serves as chairman of the board of directors.

He also serves as chairman and president of Liberty Bancorporation in Durant, and serves in leadership roles for other Iowa banks. He’s been an active member of several banking associations, and through them, has worked extensively to promote agriculture.

He has served as the state of Iowa’s superintendent of banking and as the state’s chairman of the agricultural promotion board.

Despite his successful banking career and busy schedule, Oliver always maintained a passion in the Angus industry.

He served as the president, secretary and sale manager for the Eastern Iowa Angus Association from 1947 to 1961, and has worked throughout his Angus career to support junior Angus members. He also helped initiate a Tri-County Livestock Judging Contest, now in its 45th year, for 4-H, FFA and interested youth.

Among his many other achievements, Oliver was inducted into Iowa State University’s Agricultural Council Hall of Fame and received the 2007 Lyle Haring Memorial Award from the Iowa State Fair.

Today, the Hansens have 700 acres with 90 registered Angus cows, corn, beans and alfalfa. Current partners in the operation are Todd and Bonnie Duckett, now in their seventeenth year on the farm.

Paul and Lynn Hill

The Angus industry — its people and the cattle — have been a way of life for Paul and Lynn Hill since their marriage 37 years ago. Their two daughters, Sarah and Neenah, also have been active life-long members. Sarah served as Miss American Angus in 1992 and was on the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) Board in 1993-1995.

Formed in the early 1990s, Champion Hill has enjoyed much success in the showring. The operation has been named Premier Breeder at many livestock shows, including six out of the last 10 years at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS).

In 1987, Paul became a founding father of the Atlantic National Angus Show. For the last 22 years he has served in a fundraiser role, and has spent the past seven years as chairman.

Champion Hill was selected as a Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Seedstock Producer of the Year in 2009, and herd genetics have been chosen by commercial and seedstock herds nationwide as well as all major artificial insemination (AI) studs.

Paul served two terms on the American Angus Association Board of Directors, and served as Association President in 2007-2008.

He was also instrumental in helping the Angus Foundation reach a new level while serving as chairman for four years. Paul says he is honored to have served with many talented Association staff and breed leaders on the American Angus Association Board of Directors.

Bill and Priscilla Wilson

Bill and Priscilla Wilson, Wilson Cattle Co., Cloverdale, Ind., grew up in the Illinois countryside involved in 4-H, FFA and raising purebred cattle.

A graduate from the University of Illinois with a degree in animal science, Bill accepted a position in 1969 as manager of the Stark and Wetzel Angus herd headquartered at a farm near Cloverdale, Ind., where his family continues to reside. Through more than two decades and changes in ownership, Bill managed the herd, becoming general manager and vice president for Premier Angus from 1974 to 1991.

In 1991, Bill and Priscilla bought the farm and began their own operation, Wilson Cattle Co. Today, the operation has approximately 300 cows, continues to host annual production sales and has been home to several notable Angus animals, including Pine Drive Big Sky, which became a leading bull in number of registered progeny, and N Bar Primrose 2424, the dam of EXT.

Bill has made significant contributions in the Angus showring, having exhibited and judged at numerous state and national shows.

The Wilsons also are co-owners of the Profitmaker Bull Test Center in Ogallala, Neb., which tests and markets more than 800 bulls per year to commercial cattlemen throughout the nation.

Both Bill and Priscilla have served in leadership roles for the Indiana Angus Association, and have supported the National and Indiana Junior Angus Associations. Priscilla served as president of the Indiana Angus Auxiliary, was active on several Auxiliary committees and has donated her artwork to several Angus fundraisers.

Bill was elected to serve on the American Angus Association Board of Directors from 1990-1997, serving as president in 1997. He was inducted into the Purdue University Livestock Breeders Hall of Fame in 2000.