Friday, October 22, 2021

Thursday October 21 Ag News

Farm Exports Boost Rural Mainstreet Economy: 8 of 10 Bankers Report Farmers in Solid Cash Position

For the 11th straight month, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) remained above growth neutral, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.         

Overall: The region’s overall reading for October rose to 66.1 from September’s healthy 62.5. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.

“Solid grain prices, the Federal Reserve’s record-low interest rates, and growing exports have underpinned the Rural Mainstreet Economy. USDA data show that 2021 year-to-date agriculture exports are more than 25.4% above that for the same period in 2020. This has been an important factor supporting the Rural Mainstreet economy,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.  

Farming and ranching:
The region’s farmland price index slid to a very strong 81.5 from September’s record high 85.2. October’s reading represented the 14th straight month that the index has moved above growth neutral.   

The October farm equipment-sales index slipped to a strong 64.8 from 66.0 in September. Readings over the last several months represent the strongest consistent growth since 2012.

Bank CEOs indicated that congestion at domestic transportation hubs represented the greatest supply chain disruption for farmers.

Below are the state reports:

Nebraska: The Nebraska RMI for October rose to 66.8 from September’s 65.3. The state’s farmland-price index climbed to 87.3 from last month’s 86.2. Nebraska’s new-hiring index improved to 70.6 from 67.7 in September. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that compared to its pre-covid-19 level, Nebraska’s Rural Mainstreet has lost 11,700, or 4.2% of its nonfarm employment (non-seasonally adjusted).     

Iowa: The October RMI for Iowa improved slightly to 65.4 from 65.3 in September. Iowa’s farmland-price index dropped to 81.9 from September’s 87.1. Iowa’s new-hiring index for October expanded to 70.2 from 68.6 in September. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that compared to its pre-covid-19 level, Iowa’s Rural Mainstreet has lost 8,000, or 1.2% of its nonfarm employment (non-seasonally adjusted).     

The survey represents an early snapshot of the economy of rural agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of the nation. The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) is a unique index covering 10 regional states, focusing on approximately 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300. It gives the most current real-time analysis of the rural economy. Goss and Bill McQuillan, former chairman of the Independent Community Banks of America, created the monthly economic survey in 2005 and launched in January 2006.

Webinar to cover managing business relationships with family members

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability will host a webinar offering strategies for meaningful and productive family and business relationships at noon on Oct. 28.

Communication important for all businesses. This is especially true when your employees and coworkers are family members. The webinar will help farmers, ranchers and agribusiness professionals who work with producers to learn more about managing family and business relationships with conflict resolution and productive communication.

The webinar will be presented by Ashlee Westerhold, an extension area economist at the University of Idaho.

It is the first in a monthly series of webinars designed to benefit applicants in the Nebraska Land Link program, which works to match farmers or ranchers seeking land with landowners who are looking to find successors. Prospective landowners and land seekers can apply to the program for free at Applications are then matched with compatible counterparts so that a mutually beneficial partnership can be forged over the course of a transition plan, with facilitation by Nebraska Extension professionals.

To register for the webinar, visit the Center for Agricultural Profitability’s website at

Smith Introduces Bill to Establish Cattle Contract Library  

 This week, Congressmen Adrian Smith (R-NE), Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced the Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation aims to provide more transparency in the market by creating a library for cattle contracts within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agriculture Marketing Service Department.

“I am glad to introduce the bipartisan Cattle Contract Library Act today to provide support for Nebraska’s cattle industry,” said Smith. “Establishing a library for cattle contracts, similar to the pork contract library already in effect, will enhance transparency and leverage opportunities for the small producers who are critical to feeding the nation.”

Industry leaders representing cattle country issued statements in support of the Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021:

"Cattle markets are complex. There is no single silver bullet solution to address the many challenges present within the fed cattle marketing arena at this point,” said William H. Rhea, III – President, Nebraska Cattlemen. “We appreciate the support of Representative Smith and others towards additional transparency in the fed cattle market, but we cannot stop here.”

“For far too long, farmers and ranchers have operated under uncertainty in the beef markets, forced to accept rock bottom payments while the cost of beef goes up at the grocery store,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “The Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021 would provide critical information regarding how cattle are contracted and sold. We appreciate Congressman Dusty Johnson for working to provide tools to America’s farmers and ranchers as they ensure healthy, affordable beef is on dinner tables across the country.”

“Greater competition, price discovery, and transparency are desperately needed in cattle markets,” said Rob Larew, President of National Farmers Union (NFU). “NFU thanks Representative Johnson for introducing a bill that will direct USDA to establish a contract library for the cattle industry. This is an important tool that will help producers negotiate more favorable terms for their cattle. Instituting this new policy will be a helpful step in bringing greater fairness and competition to cattle markets.”

The Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021 is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Nebraska Cattlemen, National Farmers Union, and the Livestock Marketing Association.


The University of Nebraska–Lincoln will celebrate a new biography of former U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Agriculture Clayton Yeutter with a Nov. 4 book launch. The event will take place at Sheldon Museum of Art, 12th and R streets in Lincoln, and be livestreamed.

“Rhymes with Fighter: Clayton Yeutter, American Statesman,” by Joseph Weber, associate professor of journalism at Nebraska, celebrates the life and career of Yeutter, who grew up in Eustis, Nebraska, attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and embarked on a career in which he worked with four U.S. presidents and helped shape international trade policy. “Rhymes with Fighter” will be published in December by the University of Nebraska Press.

Yeutter was instrumental in the negotiation of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement (which led to the North American Free Trade Agreement) and the creation of the World Trade Organization. A lawyer with a doctorate in agricultural economics, Yeutter also led the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, now called the CME Group. The family farm roots he held close led him to another top job — as President George H. W. Bush’s secretary of agriculture.

“My friend Clayton Yeutter was a giant for Nebraska and our nation, and his legacy of service is strong on campus,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “I am thrilled that so many more people can get to know him and his life’s impact through his new biography published by our university’s press.”

Yeutter’s intellectual firepower, paired with an engaging personality and a beaming smile, helped him make friends and find common ground with leaders and trade officials worldwide. “Rhymes with Fighter” details Yeutter’s life from a rural Nebraska childhood in the Great Depression to a Washington career that spanned four presidencies.

Yeutter died in 2017, but his passion for trade continues through the university’s Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance. The institute prepares students for leadership roles in international trade and finance, supports interdisciplinary research related to trade and increases public understanding of these issues. The Yeutter Institute was instrumental in the publication of the book, Weber said.

“A book can live for a long time, and as long as there are outfits like the Yeutter Institute that teach about people like him, folks will remember people like him for a long time,” he said.

The Nov. 4 launch will begin at 3 p.m. and will feature live remarks by Green, Weber, Yeutter Institute Director Jill O’Donnell and Cristena Bach Yeutter, a member of the Yeutter Institute Advisory Council and Yeutter’s wife of 21 years. Additionally, Yeutter Institute Advisory Council members and trade leaders Darci Vetter and Warren Maruyama will join virtually.

Books will be available for sale and signing by the author at the event. Parking will be at the Que Place Garage, 1111 Q St., or the Larson Building and Garage, 1317 Q St. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. More information and a link to RSVP are available at A livestream will be available at the site on the day of the event.


Friday, October 22, 2021
1:00-2:30 pm

Second Floor Conference Room
Wallace State Office Building
502 E 9th St
Des Moines, IA 50309

Discussion items:
    Review supply chain framework
    Review challenges and strengths
    Potential task force recommendations

Virtual registration link:

The Soyfoods Council and Iowa Restaurant Association Present Four Award Winning Iowa Chefs’ Takes on Mori Nu Soft Silken Tofu Dressings

The Soyfoods Council  and The Iowa Restaurant Association challenged four Iowa chefs to create consumer-friendly recipes using soy. Each made an original salad dressing, featuring Mori-Nu soft silken tofu as the base. The recipes are featured in a series of YouTube videos where viewers are invited into the chefs’ kitchens to see how the dressing are made, as well as to hear about the flavor profiles and health considerations.  

“These soy salad dressing videos demonstrate how easy it is to incorporate this product into your diet while also showing off some of the talented chefs from around the state.” said Linda Funk, Executive Director of The Soyfoods Council. “The health benefits of soy are endless, and we’re hopeful that through this series we will be able to inspire consumers to feel confident and excited to get creative with soy in their own kitchens.”

Participating Chefs
    Chef Aaron Holt, Sysco Iowa & Doolittle Farms, Ankeny
    Chef Lorena Alomia, Delicias by Lorena, Des Moines
    Chef Chad Vanderploegh, Iowa Events Center, Des Moines
    Chef Matt Drennan, Flemings Prime Steakhouse, West Des Moines

“Chefs are always looking for new ways to delight patrons with their creativity,” said Jessica Dunker, President and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “Soft-silken tofu is a double win- it has a great texture and format to capture flavors and fantastic health benefits.”

Videos will be posted every week on both the social media pages of the Iowa Restaurant Association and The Soyfoods Council and as well as on both companies YouTube pages.


The release of Friday's Oct. 1 USDA Cattle on Feed report will be closely watched again. The market volatility that followed the September report is adding even more fuel to the fire and heightening anticipation for the upcoming numbers.

Analyst expectations for total cattle on feed on Oct. 1 is 99.3% of a year ago. This would account for a total on-feed number (feedyards of 1,000 head or greater) of 11.63 million head. Although this estimate would be slightly below pandemic-year levels, it would still be the second-highest October on-feed number since the data set was established, outpaced only by 2020. Traditionally, cattle on feed numbers peak in the December report, adding concern that further increases will be seen in the future.

Cattle placements are projected at 101.4% of year-ago levels, which would not be out of line with seasonal trends, but this too could spark additional market shifts if actual placement levels are significantly different than expectations.

Marketing levels of cattle during September are expected at 97.2% of year-ago levels. Marketings will likely take a back seat to placements and on-feed numbers following the report but should not be totally overlooked, as this will help indicate the overall ability to move cattle through the system heading into the fourth quarter of 2021.

Any significant deviations from pre-report estimates, especially in on-feed or placement categories, are likely to spark moderate trade shifts early next week. Current estimates have already been partially accounted for in cattle futures prices through the week.

Record Low Veal and Lamb and Mutton Production in September

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.58 billion pounds in September, down 3 percent from the 4.71 billion pounds produced in September 2020.

Beef production, at 2.30 billion pounds, was 2 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.79 million head, down 1 percent from September 2020. The average live weight was down 14 pounds from the previous year, at 1,365 pounds.

Veal production totaled 4.4 million pounds, 10 percent below September a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 34,100 head, up 5 percent from September 2020. The average live weight was down 37 pounds from last year, at 224 pounds.

Pork production totaled 2.27 billion pounds, down 3 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 10.8 million head, down 2 percent from September 2020. The average live weight was down 2 pounds from the previous year, at 283 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 10.7 million pounds, was down 2 percent from September 2020. Sheep slaughter totaled 184,200 head, slightly below last year. The average live weight was 116 pounds, down 2 pounds from September a year ago.

Red Meat Production - By State - Sept '21

                           (million lbs - % Sept '20)

Nebraska .........:     653.7             94       
Iowa ................:     729.2             98       
Kansas .............:     505.9            100       

January to September 2021 commercial red meat production was 41.5 billion pounds, up 1 percent from 2020. Accumulated beef production was up 4 percent from last year, veal was down 20 percent, pork was down 1 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 2 percent.

Cattle Group Applauds Sens. Hoeven and Luján for Cosponsoring  M-COOL Bill for Beef

Yesterday, Senators John Hoeven (R-N. Dak.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N. Mex.) joined Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Rounds, (R-S.D.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in cosponsoring the “American Beef Labeling Act of 2021” (S.2716), that reinstates mandatory country-of-origin labeling (M-COOL) for beef.

Originally passed in the 2002 Farm Bill and amended in the 2008 Farm Bill, the current M-COOL law requires consumers be informed of the country-of-origin of fresh fruits and raw vegetables, fish, shellfish, lamb, chicken, goat meat, venison, peanuts, pecans, ginseng, and macadamia nuts.

“We are grateful for the ongoing bipartisan support for this important legislation as evidenced by Senator Hoeven and Senator Luján’s recent co-sponsorship of the M-COOL bill,” said R-CALF USA Bill Bullard who added, “Beef simply should not be excluded from the law that currently requires many other food items to be labeled as to their origin.”

While the original law included both muscle cuts and ground beef and pork, Congress removed beef and pork products from the M-COOL law in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, in response to an adverse ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The M-COOL legislation specifically directs the U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Agriculture to determine the means of reinstating beef in the current M-COOL law in a manner that complies with WTO rules. If such means are not implemented within 12 months of the legislation’s enactment, the legislation will take effect on the 1-year anniversary date.

“We believe this common-sense legislation that informs consumers as to the origins of the beef they purchase is vitally important to American consumers, farmers and ranchers, and workers and we look forward to its eventual passage by Congress,” Bullard concluded.


Study Highlights Advantages Of U.S. Corn Compared To Other Origins

Following the release of the initial results of the corn nutritional value study, the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Senior Director of Global Strategies Kurt Shultz and Dr. Alvaro Garcia, a livestock nutritionist with Dellait, sat down with Feedstuffs 365 to discuss the performance of U.S. corn against that of different origins, like Brazil and Argentina.

There are numerous advantages to buying U.S. corn – the higher levels of available starch for animal digestibility, lower levels of mycotoxins and larger kernel size, to name a few. A new study confirms that the origin of corn used by feed millers worldwide has an impact on the financial performance of their feed industries and, ultimately, growth of their livestock.

“When you talk to feed industry professionals around the world about U.S. corn versus other origins, they always talk in a broad sense about the physical characteristics of the grain. They typically mention corn grades, BCFM levels and corn color. Starch values, mycotoxin or protein, are important but secondary factors. Rarely do they ever mention ‘animal performance,'" Shultz said.

"U.S. corn is typically described as ‘dusty’ or fragile, but no one ever discusses how the different origins perform in animal feeds. Hence the reason for the study, to drill down and explore the fundamental performance of different origin corn as a source of starch or energy in livestock rations. Not only are we looking at the level of starch, but whether it's available to the animal in the digestion process."

Past studies have found that U.S. corn contains more starch than that of other origins, however, research has not shown whether that difference should affect the price per metric ton. This study examined the performance of the different origins (United States, Argentinian and Brazilian) corn. Samples were taken from the warehouses of customers in Mexico, Colombia, Japan, Vietnam and Taiwan and the United States.

The research was inspired by another sector that heavily relies on corn, the industrial corn processing sector. The ability of U.S. corn to outperform crops of different origins has already been seen in the industrial setting when producing such products as corn starch or corn syrup.

“We’ve seen that U.S. corn yields three or four percent higher levels of starch in a large industrial corn plant, and that can translate into millions of dollars of additional profit if those plants are using only U.S.-origin grain,” Shultz said. “So, the theory was that the same starch should be available for the animals also, which led to the research we’re doing in the animal sector.”

Dr. Garcia discussed some of the initial findings, including that U.S. corn contains more floury starch compared to Brazilian and Argentinian crops, which makes it more available for digestion by livestock but can also make U.S. corn more fragile. In comparison, Brazilian and Argentinian corn contains less floury starch, which makes it more difficult for animals to digest in their feed. Additionally, U.S. corn was very low in mycotoxins, while that of Argentina and Brazil was relatively higher.

“We need to look at the corn itself. If you have the possibility of analysis, that would be great, but if you don’t, always look for larger kernels. The larger the kernel, the more starch there will be in the total kernel. One thing we did see in these results was that Argentina and Brazil had more fiber in the corn, so that also diluted the energy,” Garcia said.

“Another key concern about U.S. corn is the higher levels of broken kernels and foreign material (BCFM), however, our analysis shows that BCFM is only broken corn and has 96-98 percent the value of U.S. corn, so BCFM is not a negative in terms of feeding value. It may pose challenges in handling the grain, but there are storage and handling techniques to address this.”

To close out the interview, Shultz spoke on the future of the research that had been conducted.

“This is one year’s worth of data. We are already continuing this and have strong support by our corn sector members who see the opportunity to really drill down and see the advantages of buying corn from the United States,” Shultz said. “In the long-term we hope to show that U.S. corn provides advantages in terms of high available starch, energy savings in milling costs and pellet durability and, ultimately, improved animal performance and feed mill profitability over other origins.”

NASDA to host 30th annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord October 25-27

NASDA CEO Ted McKinney

For the last three decades, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) has collaborated at the Tri-National Agricultural Accord for policies that ensure the prosperity of agriculture, now and in the future.
Really, that’s the work we at NASDA do all year. At the Accord, we specifically focus on the international market opportunities and challenges to agricultural trade.
The 30th Accord will be held October 25-27 in Arlington, Virginia. This long-standing commitment between senior state and provincial agriculture officials of Canada, Mexico and the United States is the primary opportunity for state agriculture departments to iron out the details on agricultural trade with our largest trading partners.
So, what will the topics of discussion be? It ranges every year, but scheduled topics include:
    Strengthening North American agricultural trade through education
    Combatting the threat of African Swine Fever
    Opportunities for improving climate resiliency through agricultural trade
    The importance of cyber security within the food supply chain
    Sharing perspectives on the United Nations Food System Summit.
In addition, with the recently-entered United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), there are significant opportunities for expanded trade in agricultural products throughout the North American market. But these trade agreements require constant vigilance to secure these potential benefits.
This is what makes the Accord so vital. It provides an opportunity for NASDA to sit at the center of trade discussions and ensure the interests of farmers and ranchers across the country are represented and secured. NASDA members are able to amplify the concerns of American agriculture to ensure farmers, ranchers, food companies and rural residents receive the full benefits of international trade.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack to Travel to Brussels, Belgium; UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will travel to Europe from November 2-7, 2021. From November 2-3, Secretary Vilsack will be in Brussels, Belgium to engage with European Union policymakers, farm interests, media, and others to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to cooperation with Europe to foster more sustainable, climate-smart agricultural production systems.
From November 4-6, Secretary Vilsack will participate in the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), supporting President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to combat climate change and create good-paying jobs and economic growth in the United States. Vilsack will participate in meetings and events to showcase the United States’ leadership on climate action and underscore the importance of putting agriculture, forestry and rural communities at the center of global solutions to the climate crisis.
“Climate change is happening, and it threatens to disrupt our food systems, worsen food insecurity and negatively impact the livelihoods of our agricultural producers. But at the same time, many of our farmers, ranchers and forest landowners are paving the way and demonstrating the benefits of climate-smart agricultural practices,” Vilsack said. “Now is the time for global action to address climate change. Together we can continue to lead the way with investments in science, research and climate-smart solutions that improve the profitability and resilience of producers, and improve forest health, while creating new income opportunities and building wealth that stays in rural communities.”

National Corn Growers Association Forges new Partnership with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is proud to announce their partnership—funded by NCGA’s Production Technology Access Action Team (PTAAT)—with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. This new collaboration will focus on increasing pollinator and wildlife habitat in corn-producing states. Initially, the partnership will focus on corn producers in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, with room for expansion down the road.

“Pollinator health is a leading sustainability issue in 21st-century agriculture,” said Ohio grower and PTAAT Vice Chair Patty Mann. “As public interest in pollinator health continues to increase, stakeholders in this discussion – our members and producers nationwide – have a critical role to play for implementation. By partnering with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, NCGA can assist growers with profitability and sustainability measures on their farms for win-win scenarios.”

Pollinators are essential to the health of upland bird habitat and supporting the broader ecosystem across corn-growing areas, which in turn, also supports the long-term prosperity of corn growers. When pollinator habitat is made a priority, farmers often also see soil and water improvements in developed areas of their property.

“NCGA looks forward to building this partnership to support long-term pollinator health,” said Mann.

Pollinating insects are an essential component in global food production. Approximately one-third of all food and beverage products need pollination, yet many species of native pollinators and domesticated honeybees are in decline. Habitat that provides a diverse mixture of native flowering plants of different colors, shapes and sizes is what’s needed to support the life cycle of many pollinator species.

“Not only is pollinator habitat good for the bees, butterflies and beetles, but it’s also excellent brood-rearing habitat for pheasants, quail and grassland songbirds,” said Chris Kallis, the director of corporate partnerships at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “Pollinator habitat attracts soft-bodied insects that pheasant chicks and other ground-nesting chicks rely on for survival during the first 6-8 weeks of life. Through this new partnership with the NCGA, we can simultaneously support pollinators, pheasant broods and an increased bottom line for corn producers.”

North American Meat Institute Statement on Cattle Contract Library Act

The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute), a trade association for meat and poultry packers and processors of all sizes, today released the following statement regarding the Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021, H.R. 5609, which was marked up and reported out of the House Committee on Agriculture:

“Members of the Meat Institute are still analyzing the bill and how it might affect their operations,” said Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the Meat Institute. “More time is needed to consider how the bill will affect livestock producers, feedlot operators and packers and processors. And due to the limited time allowed to consider the legislation, we ask the House to pause and include packers in the conversation, since the packers would bear the burden of complying with this new government mandate.”

The bill must be approved by the full House and would also need Senate consideration before it could be signed into law.

“The Meat Institute and its members will work with the Congress to address any unintended consequences,” said Potts. “There is already robust price discovery provided by beef packers on a daily basis. We urge members of Congress to slow down and to first do no harm.”

For background on transparency and price discovery in cattle and beef markets:

Congress established and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act (LMR) program to facilitate open, transparent price discovery and provide all market participants, both large and small, with comparable levels of market information for slaughter cattle and beef, and other species. For more on LMR see this resource from USDA.

Under LMR, packers must report to the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) daily the prices they pay to procure cattle, and other information, including slaughter data for cattle harvested during a specified time period and with net prices, actual weights, dressing percentages, percent of beef grading Choice, and price ranges, and then AMS publishes the anonymized data. AMS publishes 24 daily and 20 weekly cattle reports each week. Weekly reports start Monday afternoon and end the next Monday morning. These reports cover time periods, regions, and activities and the data include actual cattle prices.

Further, packers report all original sale beef transactions in both volume and price through the Daily Boxed Beef Report. This data is reported twice daily, at 11:00 a.m. and at 3:00 p.m. Central Time. The morning report covers market activity since 1:30 p.m. of the prior business day until 9:30 a.m. of the current business day. The afternoon report is cumulative, including all market activity in the morning plus all additional transactions between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and is on the USDA DataMart website. The boxed beef report covers both individual beef item sales and beef cutout values and current volumes, both of which are derived from the individual beef item sales data.

Alltech publishes white paper focused on organic trace minerals enhancing mineral bioavailability through chelation

For more than 40 years, Alltech has focused on scientific research to provide solutions and products for the global animal health industry. This focus has continued with the publication of a white paper entitled, “Organic Trace Minerals: Enhancing mineral bioavailability through chelation” by Dr. Richard Murphy, director of research at Alltech. There are many options when it comes to formulating trace minerals in livestock diets, and this paper focuses on organic trace minerals (OTMs) as a more bioavailable mineral source than their inorganic counterparts and other inferior organic products.  

“From a sustainability point of view, we can’t continue to supplement diets with inorganic materials at the current very high inclusion levels without having negative consequences,” said Murphy. “Our research with organic trace minerals is looking at using less to get more for the livestock producer and the environment.”

OTMs can be produced through numerous mechanisms, depending on the trace mineral product being manufactured. The process of complexing or chelating elements, such as copper, iron or zinc, typically involves reacting inorganic mineral salts with a suitable bonding group, such as a peptide or amino acid, after which the mineral becomes part of a biologically stable structure. The higher the stability of an OTM, the greater its bioavailability is likely to be.

The chelation strength between the mineral and bonding group will define OTM stability and, ultimately, play a significant role in influencing bioavailability. Carefully considering the factors necessary for chelation can help producers distinguish between the many products available on the market based on their stability and efficacy. OTMs with high stability are more likely to be effectively absorbed by the animal and reach the target sites required for immunity, growth and reproduction. They are also significantly less likely to react with and inhibit the activity of other feed components, such as vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants.

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