Two settle animal mistreatment charges

Two Wisconsin dairy farm employees seen on an undercover video have entered “no contest” pleas to animal mistreatment and disorderly conduct charges. Mercy for Animals released a video last December showing the two defendants and others mistreating cows at Weise Brothers Dairy Farm near Greenleaf, Wisconsin. The video was shot by a Mercy for Animals person posing as an employee of the farm.

Lucia Martinez of Wrightstown was found guilty of two ordinance violations for the mistreatment of animals and disorderly conduct. She was ordered to pay $1,292 in fines and court costs. Abelardo Jaimes of Menasha was found guilty of one ordinance violation and disorderly conduct and fined $709. Jaimes is still employed at the farm, Martinez was fired when Weise Brothers became aware of the video.

Two other employees facing charges in the case are due in court in May 5th and 6th.


Vermont passes GMO labeling bill

On a 114 to 30 vote, the Vermont House of Representatives concurred with the State Senate on Wednesday passing a GMO labeling bill. The measure now goes to the Governor Peter Shumlin. Supporters say the Governor will sign it.

Once signed, food companies would have until July of 2016 to include something on the label if the product may contain genetically modified ingredients. Milk and meat products are exempt. The state’s attorney general will write the specific rules.

The bill also sets up an $8 million fund to implement the rules and defend them if necessary. Many anticipate legal challenges to the measure. Backers of the bill such as State Senator David Zuckerman say they can defend the legislation.  Zuckerman contends it does not question the safety of genetically modified ingredients, it just makes the information available to consumers.  He also contends the impact on interstate commerce would be minimal because there is no need to separate products, just put a label on anything which may contain genetically modified ingredients.  And he says that could be done with just a sticker if they like.

This would make Vermont the first state to require GMO labeling, Maine and Connecticut passed labeling laws last year but both are withholding implementation until other states pass similar legislation with the hope of sharing the expense of any litigation.

AUDIO:Zuckerman talks about the challenges 2:38 mp3


Lean hogs end with triple digit gains

There was limited activity in the cash cattle trade on Wednesday afternoon with just a few preliminary bids noted in parts of Nebraska at 232.00 to 233.00, and Kansas and Texas at 142.00. Asking prices are around 148.00 in the South and 238.00 plus in the North. Significant trade volume may not develop until Thursday or Friday. The kill totaled 115,000 head, even with last week, but 9,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef was up 1.43 at 232.64, and select was 1.05 higher at 220.67.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 15 to 52 points higher. There was narrowly mixed trade for much of the session as traders exited the soon to expire April market and move into the June and August futures contracts. The April was able to sustain price levels above the 143.00 per hundredweight threshold. Higher boxed beef values were supportive to the summer contracts. April settled .22 higher at 143.92, and June was up .12 at 135.10.

Feeder cattle ended the session 17 to 32 points higher. The moderate gains held across the feeder cattle complex despite the firming tone of the corn markets and the lack of strong buyer interest in the live cattle market. Traders continue to look for additional direction from outside markets and potential additional insight into the upcoming cattle on feed report due for release Friday. May settled .27 higher at 178.62 and August was up .17 at 182.45.

Continue reading “Lean hogs end with triple digit gains” »

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 23, 2014

May corn closed at $5.03 and 1/2, up 7 and 1/4 cents
May soybeans closed at $14.68 and 1/2, down 11 and 1/4 cents
May soybean meal closed at $478.10, down $1.70
May soybean oil closed at 42.50, down 24 points
May wheat closed at $6.76 and 1/2, up 3 and 1/2 cents
Apr. live cattle closed at $143.92, up 22 cents
Jun. lean hogs closed at $126.25, up $3.00
Jun. crude oil closed at $101.44, down 31 cents
Jul. cotton closed at 92.64, down 61 points
May Class III milk closed at $22.41, up 12 cents
Jun. gold closed at $1,284.60, up $3.50
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,501.65, down 12.72 points

On feed report should show increased placements

UDSA’s cattle on feed report Friday is expected to show an increase in placements.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, on average, analysts see March placements up 1.7% on the year thanks to better profit margins and cheaper feed costs.

Marketings are expected to be down 3.4% from a year ago, while the total number of cattle on feed could be up around a half a percent.

The report is out Friday at 3 PM Eastern/2 PM Central.

Applications open for Certified Livestock Producer program

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the Certified Livestock Producer Program.

Kimmi Devaney, ISDA livestock program manager says the program recognizes outstanding livestock producers for their farm management practices.  “That includes following environmental regulations to taking good care of our animals,” she says.  “It also means having a sound biosecurity plan and being a good neighbor to the community.”

The Certified Livestock Producer Program provides training and other resources to help Hoosier livestock producers.  “Most farmers do the right thing, take care of their animals, and follow environmental regulations,” she says.  “This just fine tunes everything a little more, especially as far as biosecurity.  Farmers also have to have an emergency plan.  With the emergency planning section they have it verified with their local fire department.”

Applications are due May 30.  Indiana livestock producers interested in participating in the program should contact ISDA Livestock Program Manager Kimmi Devaney at

To apply, please send applications to ISDA C/O Certified Livestock Producer Program, One North Capitol, Suite 600, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

A little less meat last year

Total red meat production in the United States in 2013 was over 49 billion pounds, slightly less than in 2012.

Beef production was down 1 percent at nearly 26 billion pounds. Cattle slaughter was down 1 percent at 32.5 million head while the average live weight was up 12 pounds at 1,314 pounds. Half of all the cattle slaughtered were steers, 28 percent were heifers, 10 percent were dairy cows, 10 percent were other cows and less than 2 percent were bulls.

Dairy cow slaughter in 2013 totaled 3.1 million head, 23,000 more than in 2012.

Veal production totaled 118 million pounds last year down 6 percent from 2012. Calf numbers were 1 percent lower at 762,000 head and the average live weight was 250 pounds, down 10 pounds from the previous year

Pork production in 2013 was just over 23 billion pounds, slightly less than in 2012. More than 112 million hogs went to commercial slaughter, down 1 percent from 2012 while the average live weight was a pound heavier at 276 pounds. 97 percent of the hogs slaughtered were barrows and gilts.

Lamb and mutton production was up slightly last year at 161 million pounds. Slaughter numbers were up 6 percent to more than 2 million head while the average live weight was down 8 pounds at 135 pounds.

Almost half of the commercial red meat production in the U.S. came from Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas.

There were 831 plants slaughtering under federal inspection as of January 1, 2014, five more than a year earlier. 55 percent of the cattle slaughter was in 13 plants, 57 percent of the hogs went through 12 plants.

Read the full NASS annual report here:


BOAH rolls out new online pre-permitting

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health is making permitting cattle and/or swine coming into Indiana easier with its new online pre-entry form.  Pre-entry permits and a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection are required for all cattle and swine brought into the state of Indiana, even for exhibitions.

Information may now be submitted via BOAH’s website.  After the form is completed, the user will be issued on-screen instructions for nothing the import permit number.  That number must then appear on the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.

Animals moving directly to a slaughter facility or approved livestock market are exempt, as are animals passing through the state without off-loading.

A link to the website can be found HERE.

Cattle and hog futures end the day higher

Feedlot business was at a complete standstill on Tuesday afternoon with even token bids hard to find. Some showlists are priced around 148.00 in the South and 238.00 plus in the North. Significant trade volume will probably be delayed until Thursday or Friday. The cattle kill was estimated by USDA at 116,000 head 2,000 below last week and 6,000 short of last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate to fairly good demand and light offerings. Choice beef was 2.15 higher at 231.21, and select was up 1.55 at 219.60.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 25 to 82 points higher as firming support developed through the complex with buyers concentrating on summer contracts and the expectation of stronger beef demand. The aggressive gains in in the morning boxed beef values helped to sustain the initial buyer activity through the entire cattle complex. April settled .25 higher at 143.70, and June was up .42 at 134.97,

Feeder cattle ended the session 25 to 92 points higher as buyers returned to the complex following the building support in nearby and deferred live cattle futures. May settled .25 higher at 178.35, and August was up .37 at 182.27.

Continue reading “Cattle and hog futures end the day higher” »

Pork stocks much smaller than expected

USDA’s monthly cold storage report shows much stronger than expected pork demand during March.

At the end of the month, pork supplies totaled 575.223 million pounds, down 12% on the month and 11% on the year, and well below the average pre-report guess of 629.8 million pounds. Beef came out at 404.754 million pounds, 1% less than a month ago and 21% below a year ago, pretty much matching what analysts were expecting. Total red meat supplies were 1.011 billion pounds, down 8% on the month and 14% less than this time last year.

Chicken was reported at 588.173 million pounds, a 6% year to year decrease, and turkey came out at 335.898 million pounds, down 16% on the year, with total poultry at 925.853 million pounds, 10% lower than a year ago.