Ruiz Food Products, Inc. Recalls Beef and Poultry Products due to Possible Salmonella and Listeria Monocytogenes … – USDA.gov (press release)

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2018 – Ruiz Food Products, Inc., a Denison, Texas, establishment, is recalling approximately 2,490,593 pounds of ready-to-eat meat and poultry taquitos that may be adulterated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ready-to-eat meat and poultry taquitos were produced from July 1 through Oct. 10, 2018. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF only)]

  • 4.5-lbs. cardboard cases containing 24-count Go-Go Taquitos “Beef Taco & Cheese Taquitos” with a case code 86183 printed on the label.
  • 4.5-lbs. cardboard cases containing 24-count Go-Go Taquitos “Buffalo Style Cooked Glazed Chicken Taquitos” with a case code 86006 printed on the label.
  • 4.5-lbs. cardboard cases containing 24-count Go-Go Taquitos “Chipotle Chicken Wrapped in A Battered Flour Tortilla” with a case code 86019 printed on the label.

The products subject to recall bear establishment numbers “17523A or P-17523A” and “45694 or P-45694” in the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to distributors nationwide.            

The problem was discovered on October 16, 2018 when Ruiz Food products, Inc. received notification that the diced onions used in the production of their beef and cheese taquitos was being recalled by their supplier due to Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella concerns.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider. 

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Media with questions regarding the recall can contact Pat Summers, Media Relations, at (559) 285-1100.  Consumers may contact the Ruiz Food Products, Inc. Consumer Hotline at 1-800-772-6474.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

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Beef Recalled From Major Retailers – KCWY 13 Where News Comes First

Many popular grocery chains may have sold beef contaminated with E-Coli.

Members of the United States Department of Agriculture say some of the 66 tons of ground beef recalled last week may been sold nationwide at stores including target, Safeway, and Sam’s Club.

Cargill Meat solutions re-called more than 132,000 pounds of ground beef September 19th because of possible contamination.

Officials are concerned some shoppers may have purchased the beef products and put them in their freezer.

Consumers who have bought ground beef from these store chains are urged to not eat them.

The USDA said that not all stores necessarily received the contaminated beef, and there may be additional retailers that received the product.

At least on person had died and another 17 have gotten sick according to the USDA and Centers for Disease Control staffs.

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Phantom Gourmet Taste Test: Beef Jerky – CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Phantom recently purchased four bags of beef jerky at a local supermarket.  The chewy contenders were Ball Park, Jack Link’s, Krave, and Oberto.  See if you can guess which protein packed participant ended up at the top of the food chain.

jacklinks Phantom Gourmet Taste Test: Beef Jerky

Jack Link’s Original Beef Jerky (WBZ-TV)

Jack Link’s finished in last place. Their original beef jerky claims to be slow cooked and hardwood smoked, and there certainly is plenty of smoky aroma wafting out of the bag. These randomly shaped pieces of dried meat feature a deep red color and a decent amount of chewiness. Unfortunately, they are so incredibly salty, Phantom needed an entire glass of water after every bite.

oberto Phantom Gourmet Taste Test: Beef Jerky

Oberto Original Beef Jerky (WBZ-TV)

Next up is Oberto. Phantom has never really associated beef jerky with basketball or snowboarding, but apparently the people who designed this brand’s packaging do. Setting that aside, these “all natural” jerky pieces sport a gnarled and twisted texture that looks dry and unappealing. They do score with a decent flavor, offering a nice balance of smoky and sweet with a kick of heat. On the downside, this stuff is so ridiculously chewy, Phantom’s jaw got a seriously unwelcome workout.

ballpark Phantom Gourmet Taste Test: Beef Jerky

Ball Park Original Beef Jerky (WBZ-TV)

The runner-up is Ball Park. Best known for its hot dogs, this brand comes to the plate with a “flame grilled” jerky packed with sweet and savory notes reminiscent of Chinese boneless spareribs.  The beef is cut extra thick but isn’t too tough on the teeth.  Overall, this is a Ball Park Phantom would be happy to visit again.

krave Phantom Gourmet Taste Test: Beef Jerky

Krave Sea Salt Original Beef Jerky (WBZ-TV)

At the top of the food chain is Krave. From the moment he ripped open the resealable bag, phantom knew he was in for a treat. These big pieces of thinly sliced meat are pleasantly tender, and as far as jerky goes, kind of moist. The flavors are well balanced, with notes of honey, sea salt, and soy sauce. Plus, the ingredient list doesn’t have anything on there you won’t recognize. That’s why Krave sea salt original beef jerky is at the top of the food chain.

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31st Annual UT Beef Day & Tailgating Treasures – GlobeNewswire (press release)

Murfreesboro, Sept. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —
The 31st Annual UT Beef Day will take place on September 8th when the Vols take on Eastern Tennessee State University. The celebration will include a radio interview with Jennifer Houston, the 2019 incoming President of National Cattlmen’s Beef Association from Sweetwater, Tenn. during the “Kick-Off Call In Show”, free sirloin beef samples from Texas Roadhouse before the game, and a giveaway for a $100 gift card to Food City and Texas Roadhouse on the Tennessee Beef Council Facebook page.

“The much-anticipated Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner ‘SweepSteaks’ will kick off on September 9th at Food City stores. Fans who purchase fresh beef from participating Food City stores and use their Food City ValuCard will automatically be registered to win tickets to the Tennessee – Alabama game. So, buy beef and buy it often to increase your chances to win tickets to the big game!”, says Valerie Bass, Executive Director of the Tennessee Beef Industry Council. “Our state beef council is proud to be part of a new initiative with the Athletics Department and the UT Medical Center Pat Summitt Clinic. It’s a disease that hits home for us as Coach Summitt’s father, Richard Head, was a cattle producer and rancher in Cheatham County.  I believe it’s important that we all do our part in this fight”.

As football season kicks off, fans are ready to prepare tailgating favorites and find new crowd-pleasing recipes like sliders, chili, and quesadillas. You can score big points with your crew by beefing up the menu with new tailgate treasures like Nacho Beef Dip, Buffalo-Style Beef Bites or Maple Bacon Beer Burgers from BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.  

“Beef supplies 10 essential vitamins and minerals, including protein, zinc, iron, and B vitamins. But the best part is it tastes great!”, says Registered Dietitian, Karman Meyer with the Tennessee Beef Industry Council.

If you’ll be attending the UT vs. ETSU game on September 9th, be sure to stop by the Tennessee Beef Industry Council booth on your way in to Neyland Stadium to play for great beef prizes and see the friendly folks at Texas Roadhouse for a sirloin steak sample. Happy tailgating season to all! 

Karman Meyer
Tennessee Beef Industry Council
6158965811
kmeyer@tnbeef.org

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Corn silage, not balage, better option for beef producers – Herald-Whig

Posted: Aug. 26, 2018 12:01 am

Farmers are looking to drought-stressed corn for silage and balage to stretch limited hay supplies.

But University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist Gene Schmitz said chopped corn silage offers beef producers better options than balage.

Silage allows better control of the amount of high-energy feed for wintering cattle, Schmitz said. Balage offers less flexibility and control of portion size.

“From a diet perspective, we generally limit corn silage for beef cows to somewhere between 20 to 60 percent of diet dry matter, depending upon the stage of production, body condition and energy content of the silage,” he said.

This prevents cattle from getting too fat and avoids unnecessary feeding costs.

“It’s almost impossible to limit-freed a bale of corn silage unless it is tub-ground and mixed with grass hay and/or other feed ingredients,” Schmitz said. “I think it is important to understand this limitation, especially if the silage is carrying some nitrate with it.”

Schmitz said the best silage is finely chopped and tightly packed to get rid of excess oxygen. Cover immediately to protect against the elements, which cause spoilage and nutrient loss. Chop corn when it is still green. Moisture levels must be high enough, generally 60 to 70 percent, for corn to ferment properly, but it should not be too high or it will become prone to seepage and bacteria.

Put silage on the ground, and pack from all sides to feed, he said. Avoid putting silage in a hay “bunker” made out of round bales. It is difficult to rid the silage of oxygen in uncovered bunkers made of bales. Using bale bunkers leads to inadequate packing, shifting of bales during packing and possible tractor rollovers.

More information is available in “Corn Silage,” a MU Extension publication available online at extension.missouri.edu/g4590.

?Food study

A new feasibility study and economic assessment will look at the extent Missouri agribusinesses will benefit from a focused effort to expand food, beverage and forest product processing capabilities.

The Missouri Agricultural Foundation, in collaboration with the college of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri, has received funding from the Missouri Value-Added Grant Program to look at the status of food, beverage and forest product manufacturing in the state.

The project, called the Show-Me-State Food, Beverage and Forest Product Manufacturing Initiative, has been championed by the foundation, an independent group that works in partnership with the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Study findings will be used to grow existing businesses in the state or attract multiple facilities to Missouri, CAFNR Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert said. Through the support of this initiative and the involvement of Missouri stakeholders, the goal is to expand the economic impact of Missouri agriculture and agribusiness to $175 billion by 2030.

“To help Missouri agriculture achieve greater economic impact, we all know our commodities must be transformed, instate, to products that consumers desire,” Daubert said. “Food, beverage and forest product manufacturing can diversify and bring increased value to basic commodity production that occurs throughout rural Missouri.”

The study will be done by TEConomy Partners LLC, and a final report is expected in December.

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Margarita Beef with Orange Salsa – Fox11online.com

by Wisconsin Beef Council.

margarita beef with orange salsa

Ingredients:

1 beef Top Round Steak, 1 inch thick (about 1-3/4 pounds)

Marinade:

2/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted

1/2 cup tequila

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Orange Salsa:

2 oranges, peeled, diced

1 small red onion, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Directions:

Combine marinade ingredients in medium bowl. Place beef steak and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally.

To make Orange Salsa: Combine all salsa ingredients in non-metallic bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Remove steak; discard marinade. Pat steak dry with paper towel. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 10 to 11 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 10 to 11 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Do not overcook. Carve into thin slices. Serve with orange salsa.Ingredients

1 beef Top Round Steak, 1 inch thick (about 1-3/4 pounds)

Marinade:

2/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted

1/2 cup tequila

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Orange Salsa:

2 oranges, peeled, diced

1 small red onion, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Directions:

Combine marinade ingredients in medium bowl. Place beef steak and marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally.

To make Orange Salsa: Combine all salsa ingredients in non-metallic bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Remove steak; discard marinade. Pat steak dry with paper towel. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 10 to 11 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 10 to 11 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Do not overcook. Carve into thin slices. Serve with orange salsa.

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New Lincoln food truck rolls out with beef as the star in creative, craveable fare – Lincoln Journal Star

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Lincoln Journal Star

New Lincoln food truck rolls out with beef as the star in creative, craveable fare
Lincoln Journal Star
His burgers, however, have been a staple and are already making their mark, he said. The patties are made from ground beef that includes prime cuts for higher fat content, which ultimately means a messy burger bursting with juices and savory umami flavor.

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Canelo says not knowing beef risks 'my mistake' – ESPN

SAN DIEGO — Canelo Alvarez said it was “my mistake” for not knowing more about the risks of eating meat in his native Mexico, which he asserts caused two positive tests for clenbuterol and the cancellation of his May 5 rematch with Gennady Golovkin.

Speaking to ESPN in advance of the rescheduled Sept. 15 megafight, Alvarez denied using any drugs to enhance his performance but said it was his responsibility to better educate himself on the dangers of eating meat in Mexico, where farmers often include the substance in cattle feed because it helps reduce fat and increase lean muscle mass.

“I don’t want to get anyone else involved. This was my mistake for not reading up on the risks, not researching more, more on the subject, on what’s going on with the beef in Mexico,” Alvarez said.

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“But I didn’t do anything intentionally. I didn’t do anything to try to enhance my performance. I would never do anything like that. It was a mistake and nothing more, not educating myself about this problem in Mexico. It was my mistake, and I won’t repeat it.”

To that end, Alvarez said he has stopped eating beef entirely, even when he is not in Mexico.

“After all this happened, I’ve been really careful,” Alvarez said. “I mean, too careful. I think we’ve gone to the extreme — to the extreme of not eating beef.

“United States beef is different. I can eat it without any risk because there’s more control here. But I’m trying to get used to not eating beef. Because most of the time I’m in Mexico, and I’ve stopped eating beef.”

Alvarez has always contended that he tested positive for trace amounts of clenbuterol in random urine tests conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, on Feb. 17 and Feb. 20 because he consumed a small amount that was present in the meat he ate, as opposed to taking larger doses of the substance as part of a doping program. Larger doses would be more likely to remain in his hair follicles for months after he stopped taking the substance.

According to Dopeology.org, which extensively covers doping in professional cycling, “Clenbuterol, like many other substances, accumulates in very small amounts in hair follicles. If an athlete has taken the substance over a period of time in the past, his/her hair test might return a positive for a period of six months or longer. Conversely, if the clenbuterol resulted from a single incident, in which the subject had eaten meat for example, a hair test would almost certainly be negative.”

Alvarez submitted to hair follicle testing at the request of the Nevada State Athletic Commission on March 29. The results document, which was provided to ESPN, was returned on April 20 with a single note in the section reserved for analysis details: “Hair sample tested for clenbuterol. Clenbuterol was not detected.”

“The samples are there. It isn’t just coming from me. It isn’t coming from the commission or from VADA. The samples speak for themselves,” Alvarez said. “The samples they took don’t lie. I think that’s the most important aspect — that’s the truth. It’s not me talking. The samples speak for themselves.”

Alvarez said his mistake was in not spending enough time or energy researching the dangers of meat, contaminated with clenbuterol in Mexico, despite numerous other instances of athletes testing positive for the substance after consuming meat in Mexico.

In June 2011, five Mexico soccer national team players were suspended from the CONCACAF Gold Cup after testing positive. The players were later exonerated by WADA due to meat contamination. In October 2011, FIFA revealed that more than half of the players who participated in the U-17 World Cup held in Mexico tested positive for clenbuterol while stationed in six Mexican cities ranging from the northeast to the central part of the country. In November 2011, WADA issued an official warning for athletes travelling and competing in Mexico to be mindful of beef consumption following the FIFA tests.

The following year, however, boxer Erik Morales tested positive prior to his scheduled fight with Danny Garcia at the Barclays Center. In April 2016, boxer Francisco Vargas tested positive prior to his scheduled June 4 bout.

Clenbuterol has been found in drug tests within 24-36 hours of the subject eating contaminated meat. Alvarez gave six instances of meals in which he ate beef within that time frame before his two positive tests.

Asked why he and his team weren’t more careful about eating meat in Mexico so close to a huge fight, despite the long history of issues, Alvarez called it “irresponsible on my part.”

“I read some headlines about it, but I didn’t really dig any deeper. I didn’t read enough about it. And I think that’s my mistake, not having read further into it, not being aware of what was happening. But I think, whether or not my team should have said something or warned me about this, I was just leading my normal life like I usually do, and nothing like this had ever happened,” Alvarez said.

“After all this happened, I’ve been really careful. I mean, too careful. I think we’ve gone to the extreme — to the extreme of not eating beef.”

Canelo Alvarez

“Since 2011 I’ve been doing this. Unfortunately, it happened now, it happened before this fight. But, and I know some other boxers who have tested positive for clenbuterol, but I didn’t really research what was happening. I think that was irresponsible on my part, not looking up more information on the subject, on why it had happened, what they had tested positive for. That was my responsibility in the end.

“But it was never intentional. I didn’t even know about it, and to be honest I don’t need illegal substances to help me in a fight. No. All the training I do and the discipline I have, those are what help me in a fight. I’ve never needed anything throughout my life, and I won’t ever need anything because I’m clean, I’m an honest person, and I love what I do, I respect what I do. I’d never do anything like that because boxing is my life, and I don’t want to give boxing a bad reputation. It’s something I love. I wouldn’t want my kids to see that, to have that image of their dad. Of course not. I would never do anything like that. Being clean is more important than anything else.”

In April, Alvarez was suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for failing two drug tests, the lightest punishment typically given for this kind of infraction. Alvarez’s suspension will be lifted on Aug. 17, six months after Feb. 17, the date of his first positive drug test.

He has taken offense to numerous suggestions by Golovkin and his team that his career and legacy should be tainted by the positive clenbuterol tests.

“They can say whatever they want,” Alvarez said. “But I think it’s an excuse because he’s going to lose on Sept. 15, and so he’s just clinging onto that idea. I think they need to do some research because clenbuterol isn’t a steroid. It’s not a steroid, and it doesn’t help at all. It doesn’t help performance, doesn’t add muscle, nothing like that. I think they should do some research before talking.

“They’re putting up a lot of excuses because they know he’s going to lose on Sept. 15.”

ESPN’s Dan Rafael contributed to this report.

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Guest Opinion: Stand up for the Beef Checkoff – Tri-State Livestock News

I sincerely believe the Beef Checkoff does a great job promoting beef day in and day out for ALL beef producers and at a reasonable cost with great returns. I wouldn’t stand behind one thing I didn’t believe in or witness first hand doing good things for the beef industry.

I think of the beef checkoff as having our back and defending beef every day because believe it or not there are those that don’t want beef to exist or be for human consumption and they will try anything to make others agree with them and see it their way. It is impossible for us producers to combat this type of campaign and funding by ourselves. The checkoff allows for a unified message to be sent and shared with the truth about the nutrition and benefits of beef. The checkoff also develops fresh, new recipes and different ways to cook and cut beef all to make consumers want to purchase, order and cook it more often. All of which builds demand and keeps us in business. It is so important to be aware of and on top of the new trends and what consumers want in a rapidly changing retail environment. The checkoff does this for us. It collects, interprets and uses this data for their advertising campaigns and recipe concepts. Again, this is not something us as producers can do on our own and especially not every hour of every day.

One of the best parts of the beef checkoff is the producer control and input on how the dollars are spent. The beef checkoff is not controlled by one group or only big producers! All producers can have a say and the opportunity to get involved with their checkoff because the direction starts at the local, state level. Every states’ beef council is set up differently but with the same intent, which is to give local beef producers the opportunity to be involved in their checkoff and discuss and give input as to how they think their beef checkoff dollars are best spent.

I think many of you are aware but RCALF filed a lawsuit against USDA naming the Montana Beef Council in the suit. The case is going to go to court and we hope to get our chance to explain how the beef council operates because there were many non truths given in the lawsuit but for now the Montana Beef Council remains on unstable ground. In the mean time the beef council is in the process of getting consent forms signed by all Montana producers so their $.50 can stay in state and work on programs here. However the most important reason to sign the consent form is to keep the control in the hands of Montana producers. It is important to have that local neighbor, friend, colleague on the board to discuss and make decisions and then talk about it in their coffee shop. If you’re going to pay into something it’s best to understand it and keep up to date with it. This input and discussion is crucial to the success of the checkoff.

Let’s not let a few producers who are unhappy with some of the programs the checkoff funds, and yet refuse to get involved or provide solutions or input to the boards already set up for that very discussion, take away the checkoff that is helping promote beef to many consumers every day! The checkoff has already been upheld by the courts years ago so they are not getting out of paying the checkoff, they are just taking away local producer control and input.

I’m asking you to please sign the consent form and make sure your family members and neighbors do too. It is time we get serious and stand up for the beef checkoff that works so hard on our behalf!!

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Let’s work hard to save the checkoff that allows for local input from producers and gives us control to make the decisions on how our dollars will most efficiently and effectively sell more beef!!

If you have questions, concerns, comments please email me. I’m happy to discuss any questions or issues you may have. kslarson6@gmail.com

The forms are online montanabeefcouncil.org

Thank you,

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Market Highlights: Dog Days of Summer Coming for Beef Prices – Drovers Magazine

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $2 to $3 lower than last week on a live basis. Prices on a live basis were mainly $106 to $108 while dressed prices were mainly $168 to $170.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $106.35 live, down $3.32 from last week and $169.99 dressed, down $6.84 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $118.65 live and $189.95 dressed.

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Since the second week of April, the June live cattle contract has traded in a $10 range from $101 to $111 while the cash market has traded in a $19 range from $106 to $125. During this same time period, the market has moved from a positive $20 basis on live cattle to essentially an even basis this week.

The market environment has made it difficult to successfully hedge cattle sales to capitalize on strong prices experienced in the spring. There have been a few opportunities to benefit from hedging strategies, but the losses in the cash market have been much larger than the gains in the futures market which means producers would have had to hold some speculative positions to negate the total loss.

BEEF CUTOUT: At midday Friday, the Choice cutout was $217.11 down $0.08 from Thursday and down $3.95 from last Friday. The Select cutout was $199.83 down $0.83 from Thursday and down $4.10 from last Friday. The Choice Select spread was $13.33 compared to $13.18 a week ago.

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The Choice cutout peaked just under $232 in the middle of May and has declined nearly $15 per hundredweight in a matter of six weeks.

The apex in the beef cutout came just prior to the Memorial weekend holiday and was closely followed by Father’s Day which continued supporting the market. Independence Day also tends to support the beef market as a grilling holiday, but the focus on middle meats declines slightly as many consumers focus on hotdogs and hamburgers.

There is some skepticism of beef clearance for Independence Day given that it falls in the middle of the week, but most consumers will likely proceed as usual with normal Fourth of July activities. Looking deeper into the summer months, the dog days of summer will hamper cutout prices as will a strong beef supply.

Following the restocking of meat counters next week, packers will turn their attention to Labor Day which is more than two months down the road. Could Choice beef test the $200 mark? It is more likely than not.
 
OUTLOOK: Summer heat is beginning to put pressure on calf prices while strong cattle on feed numbers are placing pressure on yearling cattle prices. Using Tennessee weekly auction averages, 500 to 600 pound steers traded more than $5 lower than the same week one year ago while 700 to 800 pound steers were $8 lower compared to the same week last year. Considering 500 to 600 pound steer prices, prices in 2018 were higher than 2017 prices from January through April.

In fact, nine of those weeks saw 2018 prices exceed year ago prices by $20 or more which amounts to at least $100 per head. However, since the beginning of May, the tide has turned to lower prices in 2018 compared to 2017.

There are no cow-calf producers that want to hear that prices are likely to continue to decline but lower prices are expected for lightweight calves moving through the summer and fall months.

Considering seasonal price trends from this point moving into October and November and considering the average decline from the price peak in the spring to the fall months for 500 to 600 pound steers, prices will likely bottom out in the $135 to $141 price range which puts prices steady to $5 per hundredweight lower than fall 2017.

This means there will continue to be several profitable cow-calf producers, but it also means there will be several producers who are losing money.

A similar story can be told for 700 to 800 pound steers as 2018 weekly average prices exceeded 2017 prices through the middle of April and then moved lower than year ago prices when compared to the same week in 2017.

The difference in yearling cattle prices and calf prices is yearling cattle prices generally strengthen in the summer, but this may be a difficult task to achieve due to strong cattle on feed numbers. Moving from the end of June into October and November, producers should be prepared for feeder cattle prices to decline 3 to 5 percent.

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ASK ANDREW, TN THINK TANK: A question was asked this week concerning marketing dairy calves and the need for identification in those animals. The answer to this question goes back a few years, but it could be an important reminder to those in the livestock business. In 2013, the Animals Disease Traceability Rule went into effect and it requires livestock moving across state lines to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection. This rule includes cattle, bison, equine, poultry, sheep, goats, swine and captive cervids (deer, elk, etc.) As it relates to cattle, identification is required for sexually intact cattle 18 months of age and older, all female dairy cattle and all dairy males. Cattle not requiring identification include, beef cattle under 18 months of age, cattle going directly to slaughter, and cattle going to a premise where they can be officially identified.

Please send questions and comments to agriff14@utk.edu or send a letter to Andrew P. Griffith, University of Tennessee, 314B Morgan Hall, 2621 Morgan Circle, Knoxville, TN 37996.

FRIDAY’S FUTURES MARKET CLOSING PRICES: Friday’s closing prices were as follows: Live/fed cattle –August $106.73 +3.00; October $110.03 +3.00; December $113.70 +2.38; Feeder cattle –August $151.33 +4.50; September $150.95 +3.58; October $150.08 +2.80; November $149.75 +2.53; July corn closed at $3.50 up $0.05 from Thursday.

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