U.S. beef exports have been tracking close to year-ago levels for much of the summer, even as shipments to top markets such as Mexico Canada and South Korea have been lower than a year ago. Based on U.S. weekly beef export data, shipments to Mexico for the period May-August were down 10% from the same period a year ago while shipments to Canada during the same reference period were down 11%. Canada and Mexico remain two of the top markets for U.S. beef although they represent a much smaller share of total exports than what they once did (see chart)....More
On average, Americans throw away about 1,400 calories/day of food. When you consider that the standard diet consists of 2,000 calories daily, that's a lot of food hitting the trash can. Brad Morgan, meats scientists with Pfizer Animal Health, says agriculture is challenged with producing 100% more food by the year 2050 to feed an expected worldwide population of 9 billion people....More
An R-CALF lawsuit against the World Trade Organization isn't expected to be as involved or expensive as its failed Canadian dumping action lawsuit, and any victory largely would be symbolic. With hundreds of billions of dollars in trade at stake, the U.S. isn't about to withdraw from the WTO. Nor would there be an iota of political support to do so....More
USMEF says recent regulatory changes in Taiwan regarding the use of ractopamine in imported and domestic beef will definitely help reverse the downward trend in U.S. beef exports to Taiwan. But even with a loyal customer base and strong consumer demand for U.S. beef, restoring the market to its peak level won't be easy....More
Organic food is a $26-billion business in the U.S. The organic stamp on grocery goods oftentimes doubles the cost, but despite a slow economy, the organic industry grew by more than 8% in 2010. The demand for knowing your food and where it comes from has amplified our conversations about agriculture to a whole new level....More
Beef packers have spent years finding ways to add value to a carcass. Given the volume of cattle they handle, an extra 1¢/lb. can add up to millions of new dollars captured. Producers have also focused on adding value to calves and fed cattle. Yet there’s still more to be captured, according to the 2011 National Beef Quality Audit....More
As part of its Feedlot 2011 survey, USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) looked at the adoption rates and use of Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) principles. The survey shows that cattle feeders have a healthy buy-in with BQA. However, more needs to be done to bring more operations into the fold....More
The 2011 National Beef Quality Audit identified food safety as one of the industry’s greatest challenges. It’s also one of the industry’s greatest success stories. It’s the same with product consistency. But foodservice giant Sysco says the industry must work together more closely to make even more improvement....More
People in the food business call it “share of stomach”—how competitive they are in capturing a percentage of the consumer’s stomach and therefore, the dollars spent on food. Retailers have been steadily losing stomach share as the American culture has changed and the dining room lights have dimmed. Here’s how they’re fighting back....More
I’ve been closely following as the World Trade Organization (WTO) considered the appeal case of the U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) law brought on by Canada and Mexico. In late June, WTO issued its final decision, affirming the legitimacy of COOL as a tool to inform consumers about where their meat comes from. However, WTO also ruled that the law is unfair in bringing extra challenges for Canadian and Mexican beef and pork producers, saying it makes products that don’t originate from the U.S. look less favorable in the meat case....More
“I spent the last month traveling the globe and learning many surprising things about the world food supply. Here in the U.S., we often complain about the price of food or even sometimes the quality, but after my recent travels, I won’t be complaining anytime soon,” says Karoline Rose, an Angus breeder from Three Forks, MT, who is studying animal science at Montana State University....More
Should foods containing genetically modified ingredients be specially labeled as such? The American Medical Association (AMA) doesn’t think so, according to a policy statement adopted at its annual meeting in Chicago....More
Farmers and ranchers have an online resource for safety and health-related information.
The site, www.extension.org/farm_safety_and_health, is through eXtension, a national consortium of 74 land-grant universities that provides online access to research-based information and education....More
Consider the term “biosecurity” and what do you think of? People running around in hazmat suits conducting chemical warfare on some dreaded disease?
In its most extreme, that is biosecurity. The reality, however, is that implementing a biosecurity plan for your ranch isn’t difficult....More
This issue is important to U.S. beef producers because it’s important to every American. Higher-priced energy leads to higher-priced goods and services. That not only raises production costs, but suppresses demand for a lot of goods and services, not the least of which is beef....More
With today’s consumers far removed from first-hand knowledge of the production process, they are increasingly being swayed to the belief that modern agriculture is somehow bad for consumers and/or producers. Thus, the industry must not only develop a more comprehensive strategy to defend valid production practices, but be proactive rather than reactive in the process....More
Though most other states have rejected lean finely textured beef (LFTB), Nebraska and Iowa will continue to serve it in school lunches during the next school year because it's safe, lean and less expensive, state officials say....More
Flipping through two popular women’s magazines recently, I was disturbed to find articles featuring animal agriculture. In the May editions of SELF and Redbook, livestock producers were blamed for creating superbugs, breeding disease and causing antibiotic resistance....More
Domestic beef demand has surprised analysts, including myself,” says Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State University agricultural economist. And there have been plenty of reasons for concern.
• Choice wholesale beef prices declined more than $20/cwt. from the end of February to the middle of April – lower almost every day during that span....More