Strong week for pork exports

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  The USDA reports wheat export sales for the week ending July 23rd were above pre-report estimates, while soybeans and corn were within expectations. Physical shipments were below what’s needed to meet USDA projections for the current marketing year. Wheat came out at 699,400 tons (25.7 million bushels), up 39% from the week ending July… Read more »

Grassley: Canada ‘intellectually dishonest’ over COOL

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Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley isn’t buying Canada’s objection to establishing a voluntary country of origin labeling (COOL) program in the U.S. “It seems to me they’re being intellectually dishonest,” Grassley says. “When we do exactly what they’re doing, why wouldn’t that satisfy them?” Canada has its own voluntary labeling program for food products. But Canadian… Read more »

Construction begins on new pork processing facility

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The first new pork processing plant in years broke ground in Michigan last week. The Michigan Pork Producers Council says it’s the first time a state of the art pork processing facility of its size has been built since the 1990s. Executive Vice President Sam Hines believes the Coldwater plant near the Michigan/Indiana/Ohio boarder will… Read more »

A big week for TPP negotiators

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The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement could take a big step forward this week as top trade negotiators from the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries meet on the Hawaiian island of Maui. By most accounts, TPP negotiators have narrowed their focus to a number of key issues and are under pressure to… Read more »

Cattle on feed and inventory up 2%

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  The USDA’s cattle on feed numbers show some herd expansion and the improvement of pasture conditions around major feeding states. The number of cattle and calves on feedlots larger than 1,000 head, bound for slaughter, as of July 1st, 2015 was 10.236 million head, 2% above the July 1st, 2014 figure. The biggest year… Read more »

House passes GMO labeling act

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The House passed H.R. 1599; the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. On a 275-150 vote; 230 Republicans and 45 Democrats voted “yes”: 12 Republicans and 138 Democrats voted “no”.  The bill establishes a national standard allowing food companies to label a product “non-GMO” if they so-choose. It does not require labeling if a product… Read more »

AI vaccine looks promising

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U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee Wednesday scientists have developed a vaccine that is 100 percent effective against avian influenza in chickens. Testing is currently underway to determine its effectiveness on turkeys. USDA says the vaccine seed strain was developed by the Ag Department’s Southeast Poultry Research Lab. It targets the… Read more »

Beef, pork supplies up sharply on year

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  The USDA reports beef, pork, and poultry supplies in cold storage on June 30th, 2015 were larger than year ago levels. Pork and beef supplies were also above pre-report estimates. Pork came out at 632.209 million pounds, 18% more than this time last year. Market ready hog numbers have been higher than expected and… Read more »

Pork production expected to surpass beef

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A big shift is predicted to take place in the U.S. red meat industry. For the first time in 75 years, the industry is expected to produce more PORK than BEEF in the second quarter.  The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has released its forecast for commercial beef in 2015 to be 23-point-8 Billion pounds… Read more »

U.S. corn, soybean condition ratings hold

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  There are still areas of concern around the country and there’s a long way to go until harvest, but better weather in some growing areas has helped corn and soybean development rates get closer to normal and, nationally, crop condition ratings were unchanged. As of Sunday, 55% of U.S. corn is silking, compared to… Read more »