LIVESTOCK-Live cattle end mixed, feeders firm as corn rally pauses – Successful Farming

By Julie Ingwersen

CHICAGO, Jan 7 (Reuters) – U.S. cattle futures closed
narrowly mixed on Thursday with the spot February contract
drifting lower in range-bound trade, awaiting direction from
cash markets, while back months firmed on optimism about the
U.S. economy, traders said.

Feeder cattle futures rose as prices for corn, the main feed
grain for cattle, retreated from this week’s six-year highs.

“Grains were taking a breather, and that gave feeder cattle
an opportunity to rally,” said Dan Norcini, an independent
livestock trader.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) February live cattle
futures settled down 0.025 cent at 115.975 cents per
pound, staying inside of Wednesday’s trading range, while back
months closed higher.

CME March feeder cattle ended up 1 cent at 137.575
cents per pound.

Deferred contract months in the cattle and hog markets
posted the biggest gains on Thursday, buoyed by fresh highs on
Wall Street and expectations a Democrat-controlled Congress will
deliver more stimulus spending to help the U.S. economy recover
from a pandemic-induced downturn.

“That is all money flowing in from index funds,” Norcini
said, “in anticipation of improving beef and pork demand as the
year progresses, as the vaccines become more widespread and the
lockdowns become more a thing of the past.”

Front-month hog futures were pressured by ample hog supplies
and lackluster cash markets as meat packers work through
backlogs caused by holiday shutdowns. CME February lean hogs
ended down 0.650 cent at 69.125 cents per pound, at a
premium to the CME’s lean hog index at 62.42 cents.

“It’s going to be hard to move February hogs higher if the
cash isn’t moving higher as well,” Norcini said.

Tyson Foods Inc said it resumed slaughtering hogs at
a plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, three weeks after idling the
facility because of a mechanical malfunction.

However, as in the cattle market, deferred hog futures found
support from speculators investing in commodities as a hedge
against inflation.

“There is a growing sense that the commodity sector as a
whole is going to do very well in 2021,” Norcini said. “So
people are buying out in those further-out months, positioning
for that.”

(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen
Editing by Chris Reese)

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It's not the sheep and cattle that cause problems: Don Mackay on his years in agriculture – Farm Weekly

BACK IN THE DAY: Don Mackay walks the Rangers Valley feedlot.

BACK IN THE DAY: Don Mackay walks the Rangers Valley feedlot.

WHEN a young Don Mackay turned up for his first day on the job in the stock and station agency business, his boss told him managing people was the most important skill he’d ever acquire.

And the first thing he had to learn was he’d never please everyone.

Close to 50 years later, with experience in some of agriculture’s most significant leadership positions under this belt, Mr Mackay couldn’t agree more.

“It’s definitely not the sheep and cattle who cause you problems,” he laughs.

Mr Mackay has just stepped down as chair of the Red Meat Advisory Council, having steered the industry through some of its most tumultuous and controversial times: drought, floods, bushfires, attempts to restructure, agriculture ministers coming and going, fake meat, the growth of sustainability and animal welfare demands and, of course, COVID-19.

Accepting that you’ll never win every client, nor will you be able to bring every person on board as you carve out change and leverage progress, has been key to the way he has operated.

Essentially, one must have a thick skin but also a willingness to explain how outcomes were reached and, above all, a desire to press on.

“Leadership is about broadly assessing the situation, talking to a lot of people to understand where sentiment is going, being well read – all these things allow you to put forward the best strategic direction for the industry,” Mr Mackay says.

“It will never satisfy everybody but if can articulate how you’ve got there, you may at least have broad acceptance.”

Fraternising with the enemy

It’s advice that could serve the beef and sheepmeat business well right now around issues concerning the environment and welfare, Mr Mackay agrees.

“Simply saying someone else’s position is wrong or stupid won’t cut the mustard,” he says.

‘Farmers have a view about how to manage the land and believe they are doing it well – and typically they are – but some people have a different perspective.

“We have to understand that perspective. That means talking to people who might be considered the enemy.

“The reality is they represent a view held by a number of people – maybe not the majority – but if you simply ignore them the terrific things the industry has done may not be getting told.”

Mr Mackay said engaging across the political divide, and the public perception divide, would be key to drawing along the big middle ground. That means an industry like red meat then has the support of governments, and the support of society, to keep on the job.

EXPLAINING WAYS: Don Mackay as guest speaker at a Queensland Rural Press Club gathering.

EXPLAINING WAYS: Don Mackay as guest speaker at a Queensland Rural Press Club gathering.

Understandably, producers have concerns about the industry as a whole exposing itself to those who seek to put them out of business, Mr Mackay says.

“Our industry has worn the fallout of governments ignoring the facts and the science in favour of popular opinion,” he says.

“But we can’t presume we’ll continue to have the general support of the quiet, moderate majority without continuously engaging.”

That means understanding the extreme positions.

“Live-ex is just one example but one of the classic examples. It’s such an easy target. It’s so easy for someone sipping a coffee in Melbourne to say ‘I don’t support live-ex’.

“That is something we have to deal with.

“We have to perform well first and then educate others that is what we’re doing.”

Involved

Having grown up on a central NSW sheep, cattle and farming property, Mr Mackay started as a Elders trainee stock and station agent in 1974, working his way through a series of regional management roles, onto national livestock development manager and finally general manager of Elders NSW.

A move to Queensland to take up the reins as chief executive officer of Australian Agriculture Company in 1999, which was owned at the time by Elders, saw him oversee the company as it was relisted and then run it for close to a decade.

The substantial growth of the company during his tenure as managing director and the introduction of Wagyu genetics were significant highlights.

Managing director at Rangers Valley in northern NSW filled in most of the next decade and Mr Mackay continued in director roles at several rural companies, acting as chairman of four at one stage.

He has also held agriculture peak industry council roles and undertaken some consultancy work.

“If you’re a part of an industry, you should put back,” he says simply.

“You can’t sit on the sidelines and complain.”

Adoption

Mr Mackay has been calling out extension and adoption as a missing link in the chain since he first took up the RMAC job so seeing the big forward strides now being made in this area is satisfying.

However, there is still far more to be done, he says.

“There is a general lack of benchmarking across the production sector so people understand how they perform against their peers and how they can improve,” he says.

“The gap left from the removal of extension services by state governments has not been filled by private consultants in livestock in the way it has in other ag industries.

“Cotton and grains react quickly to R&D. The minute there’s a new crop variety or management technique it’s introduced. Not so in livestock.”

Improving adoption, along with rebuilding the herd and flock to guarantee consistent supply – and keep the processing sector ticking – will be the big challenges over the next year, Mr Mackay believes.

On the opportunity side, growing global demand for a high quality product means Australian beef and sheepmeat has an optimistic future, and the diversity of its markets would serve it well.

The story It’s not the sheep and cattle that cause problems: Don Mackay on his years in agriculture first appeared on Farm Online.

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Will cattle get high on hemp by-product feed? – moosejawtoday.com

Researchers at Kansas State University have a project to explore use of hemp as a cattle feed.

While the last U.S. Farm Bill legalized hemp production in the U.S.A., approval from the Federal Drug Administration on levels of hemp concentration would be required before it can be fed to animals.

Feeding hemp products to cattle is still prohibited due to the potential for accumulation of cannaboid residues in meat and milk, said Han Coetzee of the KSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Hemp use to date involves oil, seed, fibre and medicines. By-products from these could be fed animals and the cellulose content in the plants would be good for cattle.

Questions arise about the safety of hemp as an animal feed because of THC intoxication and possible presence of other cannaboids.

The research has found that some cannaboids are more readily absorbed in the rumen than others and will now study tissue and milk depletion profiles after feeding experiments.

Follow-up experiments will examine the effect of feeding hemp on animal behaviour and immune function.

The study is funded by a $200,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Ron Walter can be reached at ronjoy@sasktel.net 

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Cattle on feed – AG INFORMATION NETWORK OF THE WEST – AGInfo Ag Information Network Of The West

Cattle on feed


David Sparks Ph.D.

David Sparks Ph.D.

The latest Cattle on Feed Report shows a decline in placements and an increase in inventory and the data from the Department of Agriculture impacts livestock markets.

The November Cattle on Feed report shows the number of animals on feed as of November 1 is higher than it was this time last year. The report provides monthly estimates of the number of cattle being fed for slaughter. Scott Bennett, American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director, says the number of cattle on feed has largely followed seasonal patterns, but since August has been running above recent years’ levels.

“Most significantly, the report showed a total inventory of 11.97 million head on feed in the United States. With large monthly carryovers to offset a drop in placements, this is the highest November inventory since the series began in 1996,” said Bennett.

Farm Bureau Economists say placements, described as new animals being placed on feed, were lower than expected.

“Placements were 11 percent under those from a year ago and more significant than the 8.9 percent decrease estimated by analysts. While the placements in October of 2019 were record high, we’ve been running ahead of a year ago placements since April and May during the height of the pandemic,” said Bennett

The Farm Bureau says the near-term future will be dictated by how COVID-19 impacts the supply chain.

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Cattle on Feed Report: Higher Inventory, Lower Placements – Farm Bureau News

The latest Cattle on Feed Report shows a decline in placements and an increase in inventory. Micheal Clements shares how the data from the Department of Agriculture impacts livestock markets.

Clements: The November Cattle on Feed report shows the number of animals on feed as of November 1 is higher than it was this time last year. The report provides monthly estimates of the number of cattle being fed for slaughter. Scott Bennett, American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director, says the number of cattle on feed has largely followed seasonal patterns, but since August has been running above recent years’ levels. 

Bennett: Most significantly, the report showed a total inventory of 11.97 million head on feed in the United States. With large monthly carryovers to offset a drop in placements, this is the highest November inventory since the series began in 1996.

Clements: Bennett says placements, described as new animals being placed on feed, were lower than expected.

Bennett: Placements were 11 percent under those from a year ago and more significant than the 8.9 percent decrease estimated by analysts. While the placements in October of 2019 were record high, we’ve been running ahead of year ago placements since April and May during the height of the pandemic.

Clements: Bennett says the near-term future will be dictated by how COVID-19 impacts the supply chain.

Bennett: This report would be considered neutral to bullish. Looking into the future, the big question mark is how much a resurgence of COVID-19 effects packing capacity. While we do not anticipate it to be as challenging as it was this spring, the risks of plant closures still lingers in the air.

Clements: Find a complete analysis on the Market Intel page at fb.org. Micheal Clements, Washington.

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November Cattle on Feed Report Shows Sharp Decline in Placements, Inventory Up – Farm Bureau News

USDA’s latest Cattle on Feed report, released November 20, shows the number of animals on feed as of November 1 is higher than it was this time last year. The report provides monthly estimates of the number of cattle being fed for slaughter. For the report, USDA surveys feedlots of 1,000 head or more, as this represents 85% of all fed cattle. Cattle feeders provide data on inventory, placements, marketings and other disappearance.

November Cattle on Feed Report

This report showed a total inventory of 11.973 million head for the United States on November 1, up from 2019 and from last month. This 1.3% year-over-year increase is slightly below analysts’ expectations of an average increase of 1.8% in feedlot inventories, but still within the expected range. Large monthly carryover inventories helped to offset the drop in placements and pushed cattle on feed up 157,000 head over last year, making this the highest November inventory since the series began in 1996. Typically, November continues the fall buildup of animals after September lows, and it looks as if we are seeing this seasonality play out.  After strong impacts from the pandemic in April and May, the number of cattle on feed has largely followed seasonal patterns, but since August has been running above recent years’ levels.  

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As usual, Texas, Kansas and Nebraska led the way in total fed cattle numbers, accounting for over 7.8 million head, or approximately 65% of the total on-feed inventory in the country. Texas continued to gain year-over-year, adding 1% relative to 2019. Kansas and Nebraska saw moderately greater gains, adding 4% and 2%, respectively.

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While total inventories are an important component of the report, other key factors include placements (new animals being placed on feed) and marketings (animals being taken off feed and sold for slaughter). Coming in at 11% under 2019, placements in October fell below the average analyst expectation of an 8.9% decrease. The placement number was at the lower end of the range of expectations, coming in slightly above the minimum forecast of a 12.7% decrease. The relatively wide range of forecasts for placements – approximately 8% — highlights the uncertainty that can exist in forecasting this specific variable, with normal indicators such as feeder cattle imports from Mexico and auction volumes sending mixed signals. A large driver of this pullback in placements is the fact that October 2019 placements were the highest in nearly a decade. Placements have been running ahead of year-ago levels since they recovered after declines in April and May at the height of the pandemic. In October, historically the peak month for placements, placements clocked in at 2.192 million head, bucking normal trends and coming in below September’s placements of 2.227 million head. Marketings came in at 0.1% below last year. This is slightly below analysts’ expectations of 0.2% above year-ago levels, but well within the expected range and not a surprise. The 1.873 million head that were marketed in October is roughly even with 2019 levels even though October 2020 had one less slaughter day for the month.

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Summary

This November Cattle on Feed report is considered relatively neutral to bullish. While an 11% decline in placements is bullish for future supplies of fed cattle, this was widely expected by the industry.  The overall supply of cattle on feed is up moderately over 2019, and the number of animals marketed throughout October is even with a year ago. Looking forward, the big question mark on future reports is the level of resurgence in COVID-19 cases throughout the winter. The packing industry should have gotten better at managing this challenge after the crash course in the spring, but whether or not plants have to be closed is still a risk, albeit hopefully a lower one.

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Identifying the best chickpea crops for cattle feed – Phys.org

cow eat
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

While hummus used to be an exotic spread enjoyed only in the Middle East, it has become a staple in grocery stores throughout the world. Recently, the savory dish has gained popularity amongst a new fan base: herds of cows.

As chickpea production increases around the world, those crops not suitable for human consumption are being recycled into cattle feed as a partial replacement for soybean meal and cereal grains, explained Dr. Peiqiang Yu, a professor with the University of Saskatchewan (USask). “However, until now there was limited information about the nutritional values for this newly developed chickpea as ruminant feed,” he said.

In a recent study, Yu and colleagues showed that the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at USask can effectively image the molecular structure of chickpea seeds to determine which varieties have the highest nutritional value and would best serve as a feed for beef and dairy cattle.

Yu and colleagues studied CDC Cory, a new chickpea cultivated by the Crop Development Center at USask, with seed samples provided by breeder Dr. Bunyamin Tar’an.

Using the Mid-IR beamline, the researchers imaged the distribution of chemical compounds like protein, lipid and carbohydrates in the chickpea tissue in pixel-sized increments. “This information can be used for selecting superior varieties of chickpea,” said Yu, “and for predicting nutritive values.”

He said the CLS beamline offers the particular advantage of being non-destructive. “Unlike the commonly used wet chemistry, this technique preserves the intrinsic microstructure of samples and can detect ultra-structural chemical information within the cellular dimension.”

The significance of the research is that it shows how synchrotron techniques can offer insights into which crops will perform best before they are produced on a mass scale. In this case, the analyses will help to ensure cows can enjoy a hummus that is not only a tasty treat, but also a nutritious one. “Quantifying the inherent molecular structure is vital to understanding the variation in nutrient digestibility and utilization when chickpea is used in animal feed.”

In the future, the team plans to investigate how different chickpea processing techniques like dry heating, moist heating and microwave irradiation affect the internal nutrient components. “This information could be a tremendous benefit to chickpea breeders, growers and processing operations, and to the animal feed and export industries in Canada,” said Yu.


Explore further

Fighting malnutrition with a ‘stronger’ chickpea


More information:
Xin Feng et al. Chemical Imaging of the Microstructure of Chickpea Seed Tissue within a Cellular Dimension Using Synchrotron Infrared Microspectroscopy: A Preliminary Study, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2020). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.0c04446

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Identifying the best chickpea crops for cattle feed (2020, November 13)
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