March 14, 2016


Monday Memo


Cattle Market Notes 
Dr. Brian Williams​
Week ending March 11, 2016

Cash Cattle:
Cash traded fed cattle finished the week steady to higher. The five-area fed steer price ended the week averaging $136.00 for live sales, and $218.09 for dressed; respectively, unchanged and up $6.09. Total volume sold was up 3,000 head from a week ago and up 12,000 head from last year.
Feeder steer cattle and calves were mostly lower across the U.S. this week. Oklahoma City feeder cattle were $3.00 to $4.00 lower for lightweights and $1.00 lower for heavier cattle. In Mississippi auctions, lighter weight feeders weighing 450-500 pounds were down $2.50 from a week ago, averaging $192.50, while heavy steers were averaging $142.50, down $2.50 from last week.

Live cattle futures and feeder futures higher this week. April live cattle were up $3.35 on the week and $13.90 lower than a year ago at $139.78, while August live cattle were up $1.28 from last week and down $19.90 from a year ago. Feeder cattle were also mixed this week with April futures up $4.73 from last Friday and down $48.18 from a year ago at $162.80 while August futures are up $4.28 on the week. Nearby corn futures are up $0.06 from a week ago while September futures are up $0.04.

Wholesale boxed beef prices are up compared to a week ago. Choice boxes averaged $222.96, up $3.74 from a week ago and $23.63 lower than a year ago. Select boxes ended the week with an average of $214.18, up $1.91 from last week. The choice-select spread widened from $6.95 a week ago to $8.78 this week.

Try a

St. Patrick's Day Favorite


Total Recipe Time: 2-3/4 to 3-3/4 hours
Makes 6 to 8 servings

15 - BEEF 101, Starkville
15 - Lowndes CCA
17 -  Pontotoc CCA
17 - Lee CCA
26 - Ag Museum Easter Egg Hunt
26 - MS Agribition Sale,     
31- Holmes CCA

1 - Cool-season Forage Tour, Starkville 


March 22 - Prairie
March 23 - Flora
March 24 - Laurel
April 2, 2016
Groesbeck, Texas

Cargill To Cut Antibiotic Use In Cattle By 20 Percent

Cargill Inc [CARG.UL], a top U.S. meat processor, is trimming the use of antibiotics in its cattle supply amid concerns among some doctors and consumers about risks to humans from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The company on Feb. 26 started eliminating 20 percent of antibiotics deemed important for human medicine and farm animals from its four feed yards in Texas, Kansas and Colorado, according to the company. It is making the same reductions at four feed yards operated by Friona Industries, which supplies Cargill with cattle.
The changes affect about 1.2 million cattle annually, which represents about 18 percent of the cattle Cargill processes, according to the company.
Cargill considered "customer and consumer desires to help ensure the long-term medical effectiveness of antibiotics for both people and animals,” said John Keating, president of Cargill’s beef business.
Public health advocates, along with some lawmakers and scientists, have criticized the long-standing practice of using antibiotics in livestock. They argue that it is fueling the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 
Some agribusinesses have defended the practice as necessary to help keep cattle, pigs and chickens healthy and to increase production of meat for U.S. consumers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013 released voluntary guidelines for drug makers and agricultural companies to phase out antibiotic use as a growth enhancer in livestock. The agency said antibiotics could still be used to treat illnesses in animals raised for meat, but should otherwise be pared back by December 2016 under a program to keep them out of the human food supply.
In its four feed lots, Cargill does not use antibiotics for growth promotion that are considered to be medically important for human health, a spokesman said.
The changes come as Cargill has pared back parts of its businesses amid a rout in commodities markets.
Last year, the privately held trader streamlined its executive team to speed up decision-making and launched a restructuring that included job cuts. The company in the past year also sold its U.S. pork business and said it will close its London shipping office.
Last month, Cargill said it will stop selling fertilizer, seeds and crop chemicals to farmers in Central and Eastern Europe.
World Supply and Demand Estimates
The United States Department of Agriculture’s World Supply and Demand Estimates were released on Wednesday morning (March 9, 2016). Beef production for 2015 was unchanged from last month’s estimate at 23.69 billion pounds. Looking ahead to 2016, beef production is expected to be up 850 million pounds from last year at 24.54 billion pounds. Per capita consumption for 2016 was unchanged at 54.3 pounds per person. On the crop balance sheet, corn ending stocks for the 2015/16 crop were unchanged from a month ago at 1.837 billion bushels.
2016 Mississippi Beef Agribition
On Saturday, March 26, the Mississippi Beef Agribition will host its 19th Annual Sale at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona. 
This year, over 150 open and bred, commercial females  will be offered. Also selling will be Angus, Simmental, Gelbvieh, & Ultrablack bulls. Sale begins at 12:30 p.m. 
Don't miss the trade show featuring vendors offering tractors, animal health supplies, livestock equipment, and much more.  
There will also be a BQA Training on Friday, March 25th for producers. Please register early so that plans can be made for the meal on Friday night.
​For more information follow this link:

Why The USDA Suspension Of The Midyear Cattle Report Is Troubling
Last Friday, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced it is suspending its midyear Cattle report, scheduled to be released July 22. Here’s what NASS says in its news release announcing the suspension:
“Before deciding to suspend these reports, we reviewed our estimating programs against mission- and user-based criteria as well as the amount of time remaining in the fiscal year to meet our budget and program requirements while maintaining the strongest data in service to U.S. agriculture. The decision to suspend this report was not made lightly, but was necessary, given our available fiscal and program resources. We will continue to review our federal agricultural statistical programs using the same criteria to ensure we provide timely, accurate and useful statistics.”
In addition to suspending the July report, NASS is also suspending its Canadian Cattle report scheduled for August 23. That report is done in conjunction with Statistics Canada and assuming that the Canadian agency continues to collect those numbers, that’s less of a concern because the Canadian information will still be available.
But the suspension of the July Cattle report is of great concern. Was it suspended for budgetary reasons? Staffing reasons? Bureaucratic reasons? Political reasons? It’s hard to tell. Further, is this a one-year suspension or will it be permanent?
For more from Beef Magazine click here.
Support MCA Programs
Purchase your ticket to win a Dixie National champion steer donated to MCA by Southern AgCredit. Drawing will be held on April 13, 2016.
The steer will be custom packed for your convenience.
Marshall County Bull Soundness Exam
The Marshall County Cattlemen's Association will host a Bull Soundness Exam on March 19 at the Marshall County Fairgrounds in Holly Springs. The cost is $30 for MCCA members and $40 for non-MCCA members. 
This is a great program that Marshall County Cattlemen's has offered as a service to its members for several years. 
For more information click here.
BQA Training Scheduled
The Mississippi Beef Quality Assurance (MS-BQA) Program identifies areas in beef production where defects in quality occur. The MS-BQA Program is a cooperative effort between beef producers, veterinarians, nutritionists, and professionals from the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, MSU Extension Service, and MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, who believe that cattle managed under BQA guidelines will be less likely to contain a violative residue, injection-site tissue damage, or foreign metal such as broken needles.
Several face to face BQA trainings are scheduled  throughout the state. These meetings are being hosted in partnership with local sale barns. A certification fee of $15 is required and includes manual, vaccine cooler, and bumper sticker. Certifications begin at 6:30.
March 25, 2016- Lee County Agricenter, Verona
March 29, 2016- Adams County Extension Office, Natchez
April 14, 2016-Glenwild Stockyard, Grenada
April 21, 2016- Hinds County, Raymond
MCA Online!
You can pay your MCA dues online. MCA is looking out for cattle producers in Mississippi. MCA monitors the legislative and regulatory activity in Jackson and Washington, D.C. We're working every day to influence producer legislation in a manner that benefits cattle producers. Click here to learn more.
Allied Industry Members

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