Nebraska legislature lifts packer ownership ban

Nebraska lawmakers have approved lifting the ban on meatpackers owning hogs in the state. The bill passed on a vote of 34 to 14. Nebraska was the only state that still prohibited meatpackers from owning hogs. The ban had been in effect since 1998. Supporters of keeping the ban in place argued that it was… Read more »

Meat Matters campaign conveys virtues

The Animal Ag Alliance has an answer to the so-called Meatless Monday campaign with its new Meat Matters campaign. “You might be familiar with the Meatless Monday’s movement. It’s backed by a lot of activist groups and really they want to reduce the amount of meat and poultry on our plates and they want to… Read more »

CattleFax foresees stable corn prices in 2016

Cattle marketing advisory firm Cattle Fax predicts spot corn futures prices will average $3.75 per bushel in 2016, virtually the same as last year. Speaking at the recent CattleFax outlook session in San Diego, analyst Chad Spearman said a major production issue this summer could alter that prediction. But in the short-term, Spearman expects the… Read more »

Fate of Nebraska’s packer ownership ban to be decided

A final vote on LB176, a bill lifting Nebraska’s ban on packer ownership of hogs, is slated for tomorrow (Friday) in the Nebraska Unicameral. Nebraska Farmers Union is leading the fight to defeat the measure, saying it would reduce competition in the marketplace and threaten family farms. Another one of their arguments, says Farmers Union… Read more »

Ceremonial signing of TPP

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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and trade ministers from the 11 other countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership have signed the deal at a ceremony in New Zealand. But, the TPP agreement needs ratification in each country to go forward and it’s unlikely that will happen in the U.S. before the November elections. Froman says… Read more »

Wisconsin farmer mentorship program coaches beginning graziers

Farmer mentorship programs are connecting seasoned farmers with new farmers getting started in the business. Robert Bauer with the Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council tells Brownfield their mentorship program helps new grass-based livestock farmers find land, and receive financial and farm coaching. “We’re building on those existing mentorship programs by bringing in the… Read more »

China and U.S. beef: Will 2016 be the year?

The president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation says he’s hopeful that 2016 is the year that China finally resumes purchases of U.S. beef. Phil Seng says if that happens, “it would be a huge step forward”. But he says the Chinese still have some lingering concerns about traceability in the U.S. beef production… Read more »

Buyers’ market for ag equipment

An industry professional says now is the time for farmers to buy equipment if they need to update. Rick Vacha, regional sales manager for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers ag division, tells Brownfield farmers should see the best price advantage on new equipment and higher horsepower tractors.  “I do think a lot of these prices are going… Read more »

TPP passage is a top priority for NCBA

The outgoing president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) says the future direction of his ranch depends on passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).   Wyoming cattle rancher Philip Ellis tells Brownfield passage of TPP in 2016 is the top priority for his organization—and important to him, personally, as well.  “I’ve been saying all… Read more »

NCBA elects new officers

A Kansas cattle producer is the new president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Tracy Brunner of Ramona, Kansas takes the leadership reins from Philip Ellis of Wyoming. Craig Uden (you-den) of Elwood, Nebraska is the new president-elect and Kevin Kester of Parkfield, California the new vice-president of NCBA. Steve Hanson of Elsie, Nebraska… Read more »