Friday, October 25, 2019

Friday October 25 Cattle on Feed Report + Ag News


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.27 million cattle on feed on October 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was down 7 percent from last year. Placements during September totaled 530,000 head, up 2 percent from 2018. Fed cattle marketings for the month of September totaled 410,000 head, unchanged from last year. Other disappearance during September totaled 10,000 head, unchanged from last year.


Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 640,000 head on October 1, 2019, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was up 2 percent from September 1, 2019, but down 7 percent from October 1, 2018. Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head had 480,000 head on feed, unchanged from last month but down 8 percent from last year. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in all Iowa feedlots totaled 1,120,000 head, up 1 percent from last month but down 7 percent from last year.

Placements of cattle and calves in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during September totaled 82,000 head, up 15 percent from August but down 8 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head placed 85,000 head, up 67 percent from August and up 63 percent from last year. Placements for all feedlots in Iowa totaled 167,000 head, up 37 percent from August and up 18 percent from last year.

Marketings of fed cattle from Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during September totaled 70,000 head, up 1 percent from August but down 7 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head marketed 80,000 head, up 4 percent from August and up 60 percent from last year. Marketings for all feedlots in Iowa were 150,000 head, up 3 percent from August and up 20 percent from last year. Other disappearance from all feedlots in Iowa totaled 7,000 head.

United States Cattle on Feed Down 1 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.3 million head on October 1, 2019. The inventory was 1 percent below October 1, 2018 (the average trade estimate was a 1.3% decrease).  The inventory included 6.87 million steers and steer calves, down 3 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 61 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.41 million head, up 2 percent from 2018.

By State:            1,000 hd  -  % Oct 1 '18)

Colorado ......:         990          101              
Iowa .............:        640           93               
Kansas ..........:      2,380          100             
Nebraska ......:      2,270           93              
Texas ............:      2,780          105           

Placements in feedlots during September totaled 2.09 million head, 2 percent above 2018 (the average trade estimate was a 0.8% increase). Net placements were 2.03 million head. During September, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 420,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 355,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 460,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 475,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 273,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 110,000 head.

By State        (1,000 hd   -   % Sept '18)

Colorado ......:      240           102           
Iowa .............:       82             92             
Kansas ..........:      435            98             
Nebraska ......:      530           102            
Texas ............:      455           115            

Marketings of fed cattle during September totaled 1.74 million head, 1 percent above 2018 (the average trade estimate was a 1.2% increase).

By State         (1,000 hd   -   % Sept '18)

Colorado ......:      175           117          
Iowa .............:       70            93              
Kansas ..........:      385           103           
Nebraska ......:      410           100            
Texas ............:      390            96          

Nebraska Corn Board Hosts Trade Team from Taiwan

From Oct. 21-25, a delegation of seven Taiwanese customers was in the U.S. to better understand the American corn industry. As part of its visit, the team was in Nebraska from Oct. 23-24 and was able to see several different aspects of the state’s corn value chain.

“We know that 95% of the world’s population lives outside of the U.S.,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “We also know that we grow a lot more corn than we can use. We need to ensure we have reliable trading partners to ensure markets for our corn and corn-related products.”

The Taiwanese delegation represented a variety of customers and industry leaders, including livestock producers, feed millers, corn traders and government officials. The group began their visit in Illinois and toured a grain loading facility, corn farms and a local elevator. Once in Nebraska, the trade team visited Farmers Cooperative in Firth, Nerud Farms in Dorchester, Flint Hills Resources in Fairmont, and met with Gavilon in Lincoln. The team completed their week in Washington by visiting grain export terminals to see how corn and corn-related products are shipped outside of the U.S.

“We know we produce quality ag products in Nebraska,” said Dan Nerud, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and farmer from Dorchester. “We can grow and produce all of the quality products in the world, but if we don’t have anyone to buy our commodities, it doesn’t matter. Therefore, trade matters. We always need to be working on enhancing relationships with our friends around the globe.”

The Taiwanese visit was the third trade mission the Nebraska Corn Board has hosted since September. The state’s top two corn customers, Mexico and Japan, were in Nebraska earlier this fall. Each trade team was hosted through collaborations with the U.S. Grains Council.


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

               How much did the spring and summer's weather affect the feed value of your hay?  You don’t know?  Then forage test.

               Nearly every bushel of corn has similar nutrient concentration, but with hay it varies considerably.  Why does this happen?  Well, there are many causes.  For example, leafiness of the hay, or maturity of the plant when your hay was cut, or even how you handled the hay during raking and baling all can affect its feed value.

               This year, weather conditions have made things more complicated.  This spring's floods and cool, wet weather caused many folks to delay first cutting or got rain-damaged hay.  Leaf diseases, mature plants, and other factors made much alfalfa lower in quality.  During summer we had periods of hot and very humid weather that often caused plants to burn off their easily digested nutrients at night, leaving us with hay that looks really good but is high in fiber and low in energy.

               Grass hay might be even more difficult to predict.  Some fields had fewer seedheads than normal.  This might give higher quality hay, but if harvest was delayed in hopes of increasing yield or if the heat affected grass quality like it affects alfalfa, grass hay quality might actually be lower.  And when growth is stimulated by extra rain, plants use many nutrients for increased tonnage instead of quality.

               And I haven’t even mentioned all the different forages used on prevented planting acres.  Different species harvested late in the year; who knows what the protein and TDN levels are like.

               So you see, this year, just like always, forage testing is important.  It is the only way that you can find out for sure ahead of time what the feed value is of your hay.

               So gather samples now for testing, before feeding your animals and before it's too late.

2019 Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership Summit

Members of the cattle industry are invited to attend the annual Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership Summit on Dec. 5 and 6 at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. The lineup will tackle diverse topics such as Fake Meat, foreign animal diseases, and how to protect our industry against legal attacks. In addition to a large tradeshow on Thursday, attendees will dive deep into issues affecting Iowa’s cattle industry.

Thursday, Dec. 5

Andy Curliss, CEO of North Carolina Pork Council will headline the event starting at 11:00.

With his presentation titled “Up close and personal: How unfair attacks hurt us all” Andy will take attendees through his experience dealing with nuisance lawsuits in North Carolina and give input on how to protect your livelihood.

More than two dozen nuisance lawsuits in North Carolina have been filed against Murphy Brown LLC, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. Jurors have ruled against the pork company in all five cases that have made it through the court system. More than $550 million in penalties have been awarded to defendants.

Although the individual farmers are not the ones being sued, they are being affected all the same. Curliss will share the story of Joey Carter, a hog farmer who not only met the requirements of the law in North Carolina, he exceeded them. But members of a nearby housing development, which was built after the hog barns, took part in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed by the same lawyers who are well-known for filling class-action lawsuits regarding asbestos, eventually led to the depopulation of Carter’s barns.

Breakout Sessions:

The afternoon session starting at 1:30 p.m. brings in the education component. This year we are offering two simultaneous sessions.

Fake Meat: The Industry Responds - Danielle Beck, NCBA, will share the strategies used by the Check off and Policy teams at NCBA as they advocate for beef as the number one protein on consumers’ minds and plates.

Danielle Beck joined the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in June of 2016. As Senior Director of Government Affairs, she is the lead lobbyist on all issues pertaining to tax, credit, appropriations, nutrition, food safety, labeling, and research.

Halt! Impact an FMD Could Have on Your Cattle Business - With African Swine Fever (ASF) threatening the world’s hog operations, now is a good time to consider what would happen if a similar disease were to affect Iowa’s cattle industry.

The session will be led by Dr. Andrew Hennefent, the Iowa Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Management Coordinator, and Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle from the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University. Together, they will lead attendees through a mock “stand-still order.” In the case of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the state, movement (transportation) of all susceptible livestock would be halted for a minimum of 72 hours. When movement resumes, it would be on a permit-only basis for those in areas where the disease is present. Attendees will be asked to think through a variety of scenarios on their farm and learn what will be required in order to receive a movement permit.

Policy Committee Meetings:

Following the speakers, ICA’s policy committee meetings will be held. These meetings are open to all members. Attendees will review expiring policies, hear updates on hot topics in the industry, and debate new policies.

Throughout the year, ICA staff and leaders compile input on a variety of topics affecting the cattle industry. From transportation to taxes and everything in between, the issues cattlemen are dealing with need constant attention. ICA’s Policy Committee meetings are the culmination of the policy development process, where our position on issues is solidified, guiding ICA staff and leaders’ advocacy work throughout the next year. Policies developed in these meetings are ratified during the ICA Annual Meeting the following day.

In preparation for the policy committee meetings, ICA’s Feedlot Council, Cow-Calf Council, and various task forces will meet to gather information. Topics expected to be discussed this year include Iowa’s Green and Gold Tag Preconditioned programs, traceability, and cattle marketing. Attendees will hear a summary of ICA’s October Cattle Marketing Listening Sessions, and work on related policy to carry forward to the NCBA Convention in early 2020.

Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation Banquet and Fundraiser Auction:

Thursday’s events will cap off with the traditional Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation Banquet. A fundraiser auction will accompany presentations honoring Iowa’s outstanding cattlemen and women, both young and old. Cattle industry supporters are encouraged to support the Foundation through the auction, in person or online. Again this year, auction items will be posted online at

Friday, Dec. 6

Friday morning will begin with a breakfast specifically for ICA board members and county board members. Following breakfast, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association will hold its annual meeting, followed by the Iowa Beef Industry Council.

Registration Information:  Early Registration Ends Nov. 20
Three registrations are being offered this year:
Member Full Registration- $75
Non-Member Full Registration- $90
Foundation Banquet- $50 (banquet meal only)

Hotel rooms can be reserved at using group code 12042019IOW or by calling 515-957-3000. Rooms must be booked by November 20 to receive the discounted rate.

Iowa continues to lead in agriculture,but still faces market challenges

Iowa continues to remain a powerhouse in United States agriculture according to the 2019 Iowa Agricultural Statistics, a 112-page comprehensive analysis by the Iowa office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and released by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). Last year, Iowa farmers averaged 196 bushels per acre of corn compared to the U.S. average of 176 and raised 57 bushels of soybeans, compared to the U.S. average of 51.6.

Iowa’s farmers continue to be the leaders of pork production, raising 31 percent of the nation’s hogs, and is also ranked fourth in cattle on feed (cattle expected to become select, choice or prime beef). Because of its strong livestock sector, Iowa continues to increase its processing of red meat products including beef, pork and mutton. Processing plants in Iowa produced 7.70 billion pounds of red meat in 2018, an increase of 471 million pounds from the previous year.

“The 2019 Iowa Ag stats speak to how important agriculture is to the state,” says Director of the NASS Upper Midwest Regional Office Greg Thessen. “It’s one of our major industries, and it’s not just corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle. There are other niche farms and small farms that sell at farmers markets.”

These stats can also give people an overall view of the “health” of the state’s farm economy, Thessen says. “It gives people an idea of the amount of money it takes to be a farmer. Farmers have a lot of money invested into their operations which in turn affects their local community.” Beyond that, agribusinesses and other expanding businesses in Iowa use county agricultural data to decide where their business can thrive based on the local farm economy, he says.

However, Iowa grain farmers continue to work within narrow—and sometimes negative—margins as corn and soybeans cost more to produce than the price a farmer receives for them. Soybean “ending stocks”— or, soybeans that are leftover after being fed to livestock, used for seed, crushed for soybean oil and exported to other countries— continue to compound from year to year. The carryover of soybeans from the 2016-17 crop marketing year brought 2018 soybean ending stocks to 438 million bushels. This glut further depresses soybean prices and shows an urgent need for negotiations with China—the top recipient of U.S. soybeans.

"Iowa farmers are building from the conditions shaped by last year and some further market challenges they’ve faced this year,” says Dr. Sam Funk, IFBF director of agriculture analytics and research. “It is important to consider where we have been and market conditions. How relatively current markets handle the productive capacity of Iowa agriculture provides indicators of supply and demand conditions moving forward.”

Pork Checkoff Video Series Provides High-Tech View of Today’s Pig Farming

A new cutting-edge video series from the National Pork Board  creates opportunities for farmers and others involved in pork production to share with consumers a firsthand view inside today’s modern farms. The virtual reality (VR) videos enable viewers to virtually tour gestation, farrowing, nursery and finishing barns. The video series show how pig farmers and their teams use the latest technology and tools to provide a safe, secure and healthy environment for pigs following the We Care ethical principles. 

NPB YouTube Channel:

“The new videos let viewers step into a barn, take a guided tour and look around through a virtual reality platform in much the same way as if they were actually inside a barn,” said David Newman, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer representing Arkansas. “We think this platform will go a long way toward sharing our We Care story with consumers and the lengths farmers go to in order to provide a safe, sustainable and nutritious product.”

Pork Checkoff leaders will showcase the videos and highlight the nutritional benefits of pork at the 2019 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) held Oct. 26-29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“The videos will help us share the story of today’s pig farming and demonstrate that what we do – day in and day out – is based on the utmost concern for human health, nutrition and sustainability,” said Adria Huseth, RDN, LD, CPT, and manager of nutrition communication and research for the Pork Checkoff. “The videos will showcase our industry to key audiences, including health and nutrition professionals from around the world.”

The Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo is the world’s largest gathering of food and nutrition experts, with more than 10,000 registered dietitians, nutrition science researchers, policy makers, health care providers and industry leaders in attendance. At FNCE, they will discuss and act on issues of high importance to the health and well-being of American food consumers. 

“It’s the right platform for showcasing the efforts of everyone involved in pork production to ensure product quality, safety and sustainability,” Huseth said. 

The videos use VR technology to offer a firsthand view inside different types of pig barns. The videos can be viewed on YouTube, Facebook or through a VR headset. “The high-tech platform is a fitting way to illustrate the cutting-edge tools and processes pig farmers use to provide a safe, secure environment for the well-being of every animal on farms across the United States,” said Newman.  

The videos were filmed in partnership with the Minnesota Pork Board and Christensen Farms located in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.


The National Pork Producers Association has come out in support of the Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) proposal to increase flexibility for truckers, including livestock haulers, it wrote in comments submitted this week. The Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers proposal, issued in August, revised rules around the amount of time truckers can drive their loads and when they are required to rest between drives.

"While not perfect, FMCSA's proposed rule is part of a series of welcome steps the agency has taken to adjust policies necessary to help address the challenges faced by livestock haulers," NPPC explained in its comments.

FMCSA's proposal addresses the challenge of adverse weather by expanding not just the driving time, but also the overall on-duty time for drivers to finish their delivery. The proposed rule also allows truckers to split up their 10-hour mandatory rest period into two periods (one being at least 7 hours long) and creates an option for drivers to take an extended break between 30 minutes and 3 hours, which pauses their on-duty clock. This will allow drivers the option of resting when tired, while providing greater flexibility for completing deliveries and maintaining high animal welfare standards.

In its comments, NPPC urged FMCSA to allow other time splits for livestock haulers and eliminate the distinction between on-duty and driving time, among other suggestions.

Deputy Secretary Censky Leads Trade Mission to West Africa

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky will lead a trade mission to West Africa, October 28-31, to help United States exporters unlock new opportunities in a region where strong economic growth is driving demand for imported food and farm products.

“At USDA we are working to sell the bounty of American agriculture. West Africa is a bright spot with a growing middle class that are hungry for our delicious and wholesome agriculture products,” said Deputy Secretary Censky. “Through this trade mission and other efforts, USDA is proud to support President Trump’s Prosper Africa initiative, which is seeking to boost two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa. Prosper Africa brings together the full range of U.S. government resources to connect U.S. and African businesses with new buyers, suppliers, and investment opportunities – a win for the United States and for countries across the African continent.”

Deputy Secretary Censky will be joined by Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, officials from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and representatives from the following companies and organizations:
    AFRO Plus Logistics, Bear, Delaware
    American Premier Meat, Connersville, Indiana
    American Soybean Association/World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, St. Louis, Missouri
    Anna Carter’s The Seed Lady, Los Angeles, California
    Archer Daniels Midland Company, Chicago, Illinois
    Berkeley Capital Group, Inc, New York, New York
    Crown Products, Inc, Metairie, Louisiana
    CTB, Inc., Milford, Indiana
    DAUUS Company, Bloomington, Minnesota
    East West International Group, Inc, Moreland, Ohio
    Fobrose Group, Houston, Texas
    Geotan Enterprises, LLC, Humble, Texas
    Ghantex Holdings Limited, Houston, Texas
    Global Export Marketing Co. Ltd., New York, New York
    Green Plains Inc., Omaha, Nebraska
    Growth Energy, Washington, D.C.
    Hills Harvest, College Park, Maryland
    International Feed Corporation, Excelsior, Minnesota
    I.P.P International, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    JBR International Trade Group, Inc., DuPont, Washington
    Livestock Exporters Association of the USA, Chicago, Illinois
    Marquis Energy, Hennepin, Illinois
    Mariani Packing Company, Vacaville, California
    National Swine Registry, West Lafayette, Indiana
    Neil Jones Food Company, Vancouver, Washington
    North Star Food Trading LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Now International, Bloomingdale, Illinois
    Oakmont & Associates, Addison, Texas
    Perdue Foods, Salisbury, Maryland
    Steel City Global Trading, LLC, Enterprise, Alabama
    St. Louis African Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis, Missouri
    Tam Global Consultants, Portland, Oregon
    Tomex Foods, Inc. Lombard, Illinois
    Triad Fisheries Ltd, Portland, Oregon
    U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc., Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
    U.S. Grains Council, Washington, D.C.
    U.S. Soybean Export Council, Chesterfield, Missouri
    U.S. Wheat Associates, Arlington, Virginia
    United Source One, Belcamp, Maryland
    Virginia Natural Beef Inc., Lexington, Virginia
    Wakava Food and Beverage, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri
    Wygold LLC, Woodland, California

The mission will be based in Accra, Ghana, and will also include buyer delegations from Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Senegal. 

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