Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Tuesday May 28 Ag News

Scout Emerging Corn for Insects; Don’t Assume Protection
Justin McMechan - NE Extension Crop Protection and Cropping Systems Specialist

As corn begins to emerge, be alert to the potential for damage from early season insects such as cutworms, wireworms, white grubs, or other insects.

Wireworms and white grubs are most often associated with fields that have been in pasture or CRP where the grasses were allowed to grow for more than one year. It is rare to see these problems in continuous corn, but exceptions happen. Since wireworms and white grubs feed underground and cutworms feed on or below the soil surface, scout for plant damage and then dig in soil around the plant to identify the insect causing the damage. A variety of other insects are sporadic early season pests of corn.


Cutworms and other insects may hinder emerging corn plants this spring, even if seed was treated with insecticide or Bt corn hybrids were used. High populations of insects can overwhelm the protection method, regardless of whether it was an insecticide applied at planting (liquid, granular, or seed treatment) or a Bt corn hybrid.

In some cases products are not labeled for the full spectrum of Nebraska insects. For example, Bt corn hybrids expressing the Cry 1F and VIP3A Bt proteins list control of black cutworm on the label, but only VIP3A lists control of another soil cutworm (dingy cutworm) species. See the Handy Bt Trait Table for a list of which hybrids express which Bt proteins.

Cutworms can cause serious damage to corn in the first couple weeks after emergence so it is important to scout fields early for damage. Several species of cutworms attack corn. The severity and the area affected will vary greatly, depending on species involved, previous crop history, and weather conditions.

The black cutworm does not overwinter in Nebraska, and infestations depend on moths moving up in spring winds from the south. They are most commonly found in the eastern one-fourth of the state. We have been capturing black cutworm moths in pheromone traps in several counties in eastern Nebraska. Fields with winter annual weeds or abundant crop residue are more attractive to the egg-laying black cutworm moths in the spring. Special attention should be placed on fields where a cover crop has been planted. Black cutworms moths are attracted to the dense cover crop vegetation to lay eggs.

After hatching, cutworm larvae may begin feeding on the cover crop and later move to a cash crop when the cover crop is terminated. In 2016, Dunbar et al. captured significantly higher numbers of black cutworm moths in rye cover crop plots from late April through early May. A couple of weeks later corn plants were assessed for cutworm damage, but no significant cutworm damage was observed. Such observations reinforce the need to scout fields even when adults have been observed. True armyworm has a similar behavior to black cutworm in that it targets areas of dense vegetation for egg laying. Significant populations of true armyworm adults were observed in early May in eastern Nebraska. Unlike black cutworm, true armyworm feeds at the edges of the leaves.

Several other cutworm species (dingy, claybacked, army, and Sandhills cutworms) overwinter as partly grown caterpillars (Figure 1) and can be found more widely in Nebraska. Remember that early detection of a problem is essential because most cutting occurs within seven days of plant emergence.

Treatment. Generally, a postemergence "rescue" treatment should be considered if cutting is observed on 3-5% or more of plants and the worms are one inch or less in length. Rescue treatments are effective in controlling soil cutworms.

Insecticides containing pyrethroids or chlorpyrifos will give satisfactory control as postemergence sprays. If soil is dry or crusted, rotary hoeing immediately before or after a chlorpyrifos application may enhance control. Products containing pyrethroids should not be incorporated.


Wireworms are the larvae of click beetles. The adult beetles prefer to lay eggs in grass and the larvae can remain in that stage for up to six years, depending on the species. Wireworms are our earliest corn pests each season, as they can feed on the seed before germination, causing reduced plant emergence. Later feeding may kill or stunt small emerged plants.

All wireworm feeding is done underground. Wireworms are white, yellow, orange, or brown with hard shells. They tend to be more numerous in fields that have been in grass or pasture or fields that have had grassy weed problems. In 2018, greater numbers of click beetles, the adult stage of wireworm, were observed in cover crop plots relative to the no cover crop treatment. Wireworms prefer cooler soil temperatures under 70°F, so fields that were planted early or have heavy surface residue may be at higher risk than tilled fields.

Treatment. There is no rescue treatment for wireworms, so the main decision at this time is whether there is sufficient stand reduction to warrant replanting. The use of seed treatments like Cruiser and Poncho has greatly reduced the incidence of wireworm damage. These products are excellent early season stand protectors.

White Grubs

White grubs are the larvae of May (or June) or Japanese beetles. They prefer to feed on grasses and most commonly damage corn in eastern Nebraska. There are two basic types of grubs.

Annual grubs complete their development in one year. Both masked chafers and Japanese beetles have similar life cycles. They do most of their feeding in the late summer and fall and are not considered serious pests of spring-planted field crops.

Three-year grubs, however, can damage corn severely in the last two years of their larval stage. The larvae overwinter deep in the soil. As the soil warms they begin feeding on plant roots. Damage to corn may not occur until the corn is in the 2- to 6-leaf stage. This is difficult because up to the time of feeding, the stand may look fine. Often three-year grub damage is near shelter belts where the adults may congregate to feed and mate.

To identify white grubs examine the pattern of spines on the underside of the last abdominal segment. Three-year grubs have two rows of parallel spines in a line; annual white grubs have spines scattered randomly.

Treatment. Like wireworms, there is no rescue treatment for white grubs. Again, high risk areas need to be treated at planting. Products for white grub control are similar to wireworm control.

If wireworm or white grub damage is serious enough to warrant replanting, use planting time treatments, although the odds of damage diminish with the warming of the soil.

For More Information ...

On insecticide products and rates, see the Insect Management section of the 2019 Guide for Weed, Disease and Insect Management in Nebraska (EC 130).

On managing cutworms, see the UNL Extension NebGuide Corn Cutworms (G1153)

What to do with Cows that have Lost Calves

Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems Specialist

Due to the recent severe weather, many cow-calf producers have a significant number of first-calf heifers or cows that have lost calves this spring. The following are things to evaluate and think through in making decisions regarding what to do with these cows. Options with cows that have lost calves:
 1.    Keep and expose cows to rebreeding for spring calving in 2020.
 2.    Put weight on and sell as cull cows later this spring or summer.
 3.    Sell cows immediately and replace immediately with a cow-calf pair or wait to replace in the fall with a bred heifer/cow.

Factors to consider when evaluating options:

1. Age and potential productivity of cows that have lost calves.

Evaluating the value of a cow today based on her expected future production potential minus her remaining production costs is referred to as net present value. Develop a partial budget for the estimated cost to retain a cow that has lost a calf from now until she will next wean a calf. How many calves can she be expected to wean based on her current age? Young cows (ages 2-5) have a greater potential to have the life expectancy needed to cover the costs of holding and rebreeding them. Older cows with dental deterioration have less remaining production potential and it may be best to sell them immediately or in the late spring or summer, prior to historical seasonal cull cow market declines in the fall.

2. Cost and availability of summer pasture as well as fall and winter feed.

For many cow-calf producers, summer pasture is in short supply. All available grass or harvested feed may be needed for cows that have calves. If an abundance of pasture is available, will it be fully utilized with producing cows or replacement heifers? If pastures will not be fully stocked, then retaining cows that lost calves for weight gain or rebreeding may be a good use of this resource.

3. Current cattle cycle and projected cattle prices.

Cattle numbers have been growing since 2014 and are expected to peak in 2019 or 2020 and then hold steady or begin trending down. This larger supply of calves will be one of the factors that will influence calf prices for the next few years. Will current projected calf prices be adequate to cover costs of holding non-productive cows? Cows retained this summer for breeding are essentially replacement animals. They won't be providing any income from calf production till the fall of 2020. Does this added cost fit into your herd management plans and the number of productive cows you want to have in the herd for the next several years?

4. Bio-Security Risk of bringing in bred cows or cow-calf pairs.

Bringing in outside cattle into a herd brings with it bio-security risks. Use care when purchasing bred cows or cow-calf pairs and then integrating these new purchases into the herd. Young calves can be especially susceptible to disease risks.

5. Selling Cull Cows and Purchasing Cow-calf Pairs.

Selling a cow that has lost her calf and buying back a cow-calf pair is an option that many producers will consider. Besides the bio-security risk, evaluating this option financially involves comparing the value of a cull cow today, against the price of a cow-calf pair and the expected value of a weaned calf in the fall. Then take into account the additional cost of carrying a cow-calf pair through the summer and early fall versus a dry cow. Assuming the cow brought into the herd was of equal future productive value as the cow culled from the herd, this would give you the net cost of the exchange. Doing this allows a person to compare what would be the estimated cost/value of the bred cow in the fall that came from the purchased cow-calf pair versus retaining and breeding the cow that is currently part of the herd and lost her calf.

6. Cost of Production.

Knowing cost of production will be important when evaluating replacement options. Costs for overheads related to labor and equipment in caring for cattle don't change very much based on the number of cows that are in the herd. If overhead costs remain the same while productive cow numbers drop, the overhead costs per cow will increase. Carefully evaluate the impact of having fewer productive cows in the herd and the impact of that on overhead costs per cow.

7. Cash flow and financial needs.

The need to meet financial obligations and service debt may require that any cows without calves be sold. Visit with your ag lender about what may be best for the overall financial needs of the operation when evaluating what to do with cows that have lost calves.

Deciding what to do with cows that have lost their calves is a decision which needs to be thought through in order to effectively evaluate what options may be best. Several factors can influence the best choice to make in your situation. Whether keeping the cows and rebreeding them or selling them now as cull cows, careful considerations of cost and benefits is key to figuring out the best option.

Bill Luckey of Columbus Appointed to National Pork Board

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of five members to the National Pork Board. Bill Luckey of Columbus, Nebraska was among those selected and will serve a three-year term.

Other appointed members are: Russell A. Nugent III, Lowell, Ark.; Gene Noem, Ames, Iowa; Alicia Pedemonti, Hopkinton, N.H.; and Michael P. Skahill, Williamsburg, Va.

The National Pork Board is composed of 15 pork producers nominated by the National Pork Producers Delegate Body, which is made up of 132 producer and importer members.

Bill Luckey owns a wean-to-finish operation in Columbus, Nebraska where he also holds partial ownership of a sow farm. Bill is responsible for the daily care of 740 nursery pigs and 1,400 finisher pigs. In addition, his family operates a 2,000 head custom contract finisher. They market 10,000 pigs annually. Bill also raises corn, soybeans and cattle on 700 acres.

Bill is currently serving on the board of directors for the Swine Health Information Center. He has also been active on numerous National Pork Board committees and currently serves as chairman of the International Marketing Committee. In addition, has given over 50 speeches as an Operation Main Street 2.0 speaker. Previously, Bill served on the National Pork Producers Council board of directors from 2008-2014 and on the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) board of directors from 2001-2007 where he was president from 2006-2007. NPPA President, Tim Chancellor offered his congratulations stating, “It gives me great pleasure to extend my warmest congratulations to Bill on his appointment to the National Pork Board. I am confident that Bill will continue his unwavering dedication to the pork industry.”

The program was created and is administered under the authority of the  Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1985. It became effective September 5, 1986, when the  Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order  was implemented. Assessments began Nov. 1, 1986.

Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

More information about the board is available on the AMS  National Pork Board  page and on the National Pork Board website,  http://www.pork.org.

NC/NSDA Host a May 29 webinar on "no-match letters"

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that beginning in spring 2019, it would begin reissuing Employer Correction Request Notices, commonly referred to as "no-match letters." The SSA had previously issued no-match letters but discontinued the practice in 2012. Since the announcement, an estimated 570,000 employers nationwide have received no-match letters and more are likely on the way. 

No-match letters will be sent to employers who submitted wage and tax statements (Form W-2) for employees that contain name and Social Security Numbers that do not match SSA records. Reasons for these discrepancies can be innocuous, like marital name changes and typos on forms, but they can also indicate immigration status. These notices have the potential to expose employers to increased liability during I-9 audits and must be corrected within 60 days of receipt. 

If you received a letter or are worried about potential employment liability, please consider participating in this webinar. Topics will include background on no-match letters and potential legal risks for employers; guidance and a timeframe for responding; and how to take proactive steps to reduce your risk of receiving future no-match letters. 

The webinar is open to current dues-paying members of either Nebraska Cattlemen or the Nebraska State Dairy Association. 

Date and Time: 12:00 pm CST on May 29, 2019. The webinar will be recorded for viewing after its completion for those that can't participate live.

Featured Speakers:
    David Zaritzky Brown, Brown Immigration Law PC, LLO
    Torrey J. Gerdes, Baylor Evnen, LLP
    Susan M. Foster, Baylor Evnen, LLP

How to Register:
All participants must register in advance by clicking here... https://zoom.us/meeting/register/6fd977f514bb7a6a7c24e00bf0acd2b8. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please send your questions to nomatchwebinar@gmail.com in advance of the webinar. This will help ensure that all questions are answered and the appropriate information is made available.

Nebraska Ethanol Board Welcomes New Administrator

The Nebraska Ethanol Board (“NEB” or “the Board”) is pleased to announce that Roger Berry began working at the Board today and will assume the position as NEB’s Administrator following the next board meeting this Friday, May 31.

Berry is from Nebraska, farmed in the state and has served in senior positions in agricultural organizations. Most recently, he spent over three years as Director of Market Development at the Nebraska Corn Board. In that role, Berry worked with NEB staff to carry out ethanol promotion events, spoke about ethanol markets and policy at industry conferences and was involved in industry ethanol policy discussions.

“I commend the NEB members on their choice in Roger Berry to serve as Administrator following my departure,” said current NEB Administrator Sarah Caswell. “Roger is the right person to lead the work of the board at this crucial time for Nebraska’s ethanol industry. He knows the importance of ethanol as a value-added agriculture market, especially during these times of trade uncertainty and an ongoing downturn in the farm economy. His farming background and deep experience and knowledge of the industry will enable him—from day one—to effectively direct the work of the NEB and its staff to carry out the mission of the NEB to the benefit of Nebraska’s ethanol industry stakeholders, including farmers, ethanol producers, consumers and the state’s economy.”

“We thank Sarah for her great work on behalf of the board,” said Nebraska Ethanol Board Chairperson Jan tenBensel. “Her guidance and forethought on industry issues is commendable, and we appreciate all she’s done. This will allow for a seamless transition to Roger, who is a familiar face who is well-known and well-respected in the ag community. He has notable, established relationships with commodity and trade groups both locally and nationally. Roger will be another great asset to the agency.”

ACE welcomes Governor Ricketts to 32nd annual conference

During Renewable Fuels Month in the Cornhusker State, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) announces it will host Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts as the keynote speaker during its 32nd annual ACE conference. Governor Ricketts will kick off the general session on Wednesday, August 15, welcoming attendees and providing an update on how Nebraska is advancing ethanol in the marketplace. The organization’s upcoming event takes place August 14-16 at the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District.

“For decades, ethanol has been an amazing success story, helping grow Nebraska and communities all across the heartland,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “We look forward to hosting the 32nd annual conference of the American Coalition for Ethanol in Omaha this year.”

“We’re thrilled Governor Ricketts can join us again as we gather together to discuss pressing industry issues,” said Brian Jennings, ACE CEO. “The governor is a great advocate, and we look forward to hearing an update on Nebraska’s E30 demonstration program, as well as his perspective on a number of trade and policy issues impacting the industry.”

The 2019 ACE conference general session will follow Governor Ricketts’ welcome with an update from ACE leadership. Jennings will be joined by Ron Lamberty, ACE Senior Vice President, and Duane Kristensen, ACE Board President representing Chief Ethanol Fuels’ two Nebraska plants in Hastings and Lexington, in discussing the past year’s successes and challenges and highlighting upcoming opportunities for ACE members.

More agenda details will be available soon. For more information about the event, please contact Shannon Gustafson at sgustafson@ethanol.org and visit ethanol.org/events/conference to register. There are several conference sponsorship opportunities available. The 2019 Sponsorship and Advertising Guide also offers bundled advertising opportunities in ACE’s Ethanol Today magazine for event sponsors. Contact Chuck Beck at cbeck@ethanol.org to find out how you can maximize your reach while minimizing the expense.

Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Efforts Connect Utah Boy and Virginia Bridge to Help Cedar County

It all started with six-year-old Kai Baldwin of Vernal, Utah. He saw a news story about the flooding in Nebraska and could not hold back the tears. “How will they get home and save their animals without a bridge?” he asked his mom. “We have to send them our money!”

Touched by her son’s desire to help, Kai’s mom, Kristin Forbis, researched a reputable source where a donation could be sent, and the pair invited friends and family to empty their pockets and add their change to Kai’s piggy bank donation of $3.21. The donations would be sent to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund, knowing that 100 percent of it would be used to help farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.

“I let him set his own goal, and Kai decided a new bridge would cost $60,” said Forbis. “Kai walked our neighborhood gathering change and was ecstatic as he counted every nickel and penny.” Forbis also posted the fundraiser on her Facebook page, Kai raised $285.28. The check was sent to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund along with Kai’s ‘Dear Nebraska, I’m sorry you got flooded…’ card and all his hope that a bridge could now be fixed.

Enter Jesse Wise of Culpeper, Virginia, a farmer who raises hay on 200 acres near Culpeper and feeds it to his cow/calf pairs. He also owns Wise Services and Recycling, a scrap metal recycling business. Recently, a customer had Wise scrap a functional temporary bridge, and Wise thought he would find a home for the bridge somewhere in Nebraska.

“I knew people were hauling hay to Nebraska; I didn’t have enough hay to share, but I wanted to help. So, I wondered if Nebraska could use the bridge we scrapped. Believe me, I had a lot of dead silence on the phone as I tried to find the bridge a home,” Wise laughed. “It’s not every day you get a call saying; ‘I have a bridge for you, can you use it?’” he said.

After getting nowhere, Wise called staff members from the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, which manages the Nebraska Disaster Relief Fund. The Foundation began working with Cedar County Commissioner Craig Bartels who lives near Belden, Nebraska.

“There is a good chance that at least two bridges, if not more, will need to be replaced in Cedar County,” said Bartels. “We have several miles of road in Cedar County that is completely washed out and in need of repair. With all the rain that continues to fall, and all the mud, it is hard to fix those well-traveled roads, and now the less traveled ones are in need of repair too.”

Two months after floods devastated Nebraska causing billions of dollars of damage, road crews are working hard to repair 3,300 miles of roads that were closed due to flood damage. According to the Nebraska Department of Transportation website, it is estimated that 27 state bridges were washed out or damaged. The number of county bridges damaged is still unknown.

It costs a lot to load a bridge and transport it across the country, but Wise put the pieces together. The cost to get the bridge to Nebraska is being split by Wise Services and Recycling, who donated the bridge; Neff Crane Rental, who donated their crane time to load the bridge onto a truck; and Read Transportation, who transported the bridge from Culpeper to Coleridge. “We thank them for their generosity and support of our rural community needs,” Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president said.

Talk of bridges had died down in the weeks leading up to the day Kai received a Thank You card in the mail from the Nebraska Farm Bureau with a note attached to call for updates. “I was told that just days after receiving Kai’s donation the Nebraska Farm Bureau staff received a call that Mr. Wise of Virginia had a bridge to donate. They immediately thought of Kai and after a few seconds of silence said to me, ‘It’s Kai’s bridge!’ and that left me just speechless,” Forbis said.

As for Kai, he hasn’t seemed surprised with the announcement of the bridge donation, as if a hard-working stranger across the country donating a bridge is the most natural thing he’s ever heard. Maybe that’s because six-year-old Kai Baldwin of Vernal, Utah and Jesse Wise of Culpeper, Virginia have something very rare in common. A kind heart and the desire to help in whatever way they can.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund continues to seek financial donations to meet the growing aid requests. To donate, apply for aid, or access other disaster assistance resources, visit www.nefb.org/disaster.

Ban on Dicambia Use Dismissed by Arkansas Supreme Court

The Arkansas Supreme Court has dismissed the state's appeal of a judge's decision to block the enforcement of a 2018 herbicide ban, saying the case is moot now that new restrictions are in effect.

According to the Associated Press, justices dismissed the appeal of a Clay County judge's order prohibiting the state from enforcing its dicamba ban against a group of farmers in that county. The court in 2018 had halted the judge's order while they took up the appeal.

The 2018 ban was issued after the board received nearly 1,000 complaints the previous summer that the herbicide drifted onto neighboring crops and caused damage. That ban had prohibited dicamba's use from April 16 through Oct. 31.

The board in February approved a new ban that allowed dicamba's use through May 25.

Bacon is Back - And Capturing a Growing Share of the Pork Cutout

Michael Nepveux - AFBF Economist

Nowadays it seems like bacon is on everything as consumers go hog wild for the most popular part of the pig.  Well beyond a burger topping, bacon is being paired with  everything from steak to popcorn. You’ll even find it in a glass of “bacon washed” whiskey. Spurred by this growing popularity and the price volatility that comes with it, on May 13 CME Group announced it had begun to publish a new Fresh Bacon Index to provide those across the bacon supply chain with a transparent weekly price to understand the market dynamics of bacon that is sold in the cash market.

The new index reflects the value of one load of 40,000 pounds of fresh, derind pork bellies in cents per pound. It uses a combination of negotiated and formula transactions from USDA reported data to establish a weekly bacon price each Monday. The USDA publishes prices for fresh, derind bellies on a weekly basis (LM_PK610 and LM_PK620). To calculate the index price, the number of pounds is multiplied by the price in each weight category in these USDA reports, and then summed to determine the total weekly value. This weekly value is then divided by the sum of the weights from each category, with the result being a weekly weighted average of fresh, derind bellies quoted in cents per pound.

This new index focuses on fresh pork bellies, an important distinction. CME Group used to have a successful contract that was a physically delivered contract for frozen bellies, but it slowly went out of favor as the market moved away from frozen to a fresh belly market and was delisted in 2011. Lean-hog futures are traded in Chicago, but pork-belly pricing is limited to physical markets. It should be clarified that this new bacon index is not a futures contract, it is a reference price for fresh pork bellies used to make bacon.

Pork Belly Volatility

One reason cited by CME Group in developing this index is increasing volatility of pork belly values in recent years. Pork bellies are the most volatile of all the pork primal cuts, with volatility increasing greatly since 2011. For most of the first decade of the 2000s, pork belly prices hovered largely in the $60-$100/cwt range, but that substantially changed in the new decade with pork belly price swings reaching as low as $63/cwt and as high as $215/cwt. The coefficient of variation, a measure of variability of the data in relation to the mean of the population, was reasonably steady throughout the earlier timeframe but began to spike dramatically beginning in 2011.

Pork Cutout

The Pork Carcass Cutout is an estimate of the value of a 53-54% lean, 205 lb. hog carcass using wholesale prices that are paid for sub-primal pork cuts. A composite value is derived each day for each of the pork primals. Those composite values are then used to represent a single composite value of the pork carcass. There are six primals for the pork carcass that are used to calculate the cutout: loin, butt, picnic, rib, ham and belly. The cutout is a series of mathematical calculations through which current pork subprimal prices and typical industry yields are used to calculate primal values. The calculated primal values are factored against their typical yield from the carcass and combined into the final cutout value. As a result of the calculated nature of the cutout, various primal values can significantly impact the final value of the cutout.

Changes in the Pork Cutout

The degree to which various subprimal and primal cuts contribute to the cutout changes over time.  The overall value of the cutout has increased by $5.71 relative to the three-year average, with the change being mostly driven by the belly and ham primals. The loin primal, another important cut that contributes a large share to the overall value of the cutout, actually declined relative to the three-year average. It should be mentioned that volatility plays a large role here. In the matter of a month, the value of the pork belly has fallen by almost $40, a drop of approximately 25%. This results in the pork belly’s contribution to the overall value of the cutout falling from 30% to 25%.

One interesting development is the consistent two-decade decline of the share of the loin primal, which has dropped from about 35% to less than 25%. Hams have been trending sideways throughout the time period, neither gaining nor losing share of the cutout. In contrast to loins, pork bellies have been steadily gaining share of the cutout. At the same time, increasing volatility has meant wide swings in the share of the cutout that bellies account for.

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