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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Monthly Archives: December 2011

At this point there is no reason to believe that the drought is over going into 2012. However, unexpected and welcome moisture in late 2011 reminds us that it could be. Derrell S. Peel, OSU Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist notes it is just as important to plan ahead for drought recovery as it is to plan ahead for managing through a drought. That is especially true given the unique current market conditions of the cattle industry with respect to both short run and long run factors.

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The latest cattle on feed report will likely be viewed as moderately bearish by markets when they open on Monday. This is largely due to more cattle placed on feed than the market expected and consequently a larger feedlot inventory. However, it is important to note that while producers continue to place more cattle on feed, the growth is driven by placement of very light cattle, feeders less than 600 pounds. This implies that feedlots will need more time than usual to get these animals to market weight and despite the larger inventory, the number of market ready cattle is likely at or below year ago levels.

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Consumers’ interest in agriculture and personal respect for farmers is high, even in countries where less than two percent of the population works in agriculture, according to the BASF Farm Perspectives Study, which surveyed 1,800 farmers and 6,000 consumers in Brazil, India, the United States, Germany, Spain and France. Yet farmers and consumers also agree that farmers’ reputations remain low.

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Latest WASDE: http://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde/latest.pdf

Highlights:

  • U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected 50 million bushels higher with reduced prospects      for exports this month.
  • U.S. feed grain ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected slightly higher with a small decrease in      domestic corn use and a small increase in oats imports.
  • Total U.S. oilseed production for 2011/12 is projected at 91.0 million tons, down slightly due to a small reduction in cottonseed.

China is reportedly buying its own corn from farmers in three provinces to boost state reserves.  Brazil’s soybean harvest is starting early, enabling producers there to cut into U.S. export prospects.

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The MeatingPlace reports that the Nebraska Attorney General’s Supplemental Environmental Project Fund is allocating $100,000 to a new coalition of agricultural organizations formed in light of an animal rights group’s increased efforts in that state.

We Support Agriculture was launched by five groups — Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Poultry Industries, Nebraska Pork Producers and the Nebraska State Dairy Association — in September to fight advances by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) directed at the agriculture industry.

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The industry needs a widespread response from cattle producers across the United States to ensure a strong production sector voice in the results and strategy of the checkoff-funded National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA). To assure full opportunity for producers to participate the survey will remain open until Feb. 6, 2012.

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This week Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services placed its long-term sovereign ratings on 15 members of the European  Economic and Monetary Union (EMU or eurozone) on CreditWatch with negative implications. 

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