Commentary: An exercise in futility

Once again, the notion that microbial testing is the pathway to ultimate food safety has reared its misguided head—courtesy of an activist senator who just can’t seem to grasp the facts. FULL STORY »

WASDE: 2011 beef production higher but weights lower due to heat stress

The 2011 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is raised reflecting higher beef production, but lower pork production. Continued large cow slaughter is expected to boost beef production. FULL STORY »

Tyson Foods worker sues union for threats and intimidation

A meat processing worker has filed federal charges against a local union and Tyson Foods, Inc. officials after union officials illegally threatened to retaliate against him for exercising his rights. FULL STORY »

Strong demand makes for strong pork, beef packer margins

In the past, record-high livestock prices such as we have seen this year usually meant that packers lost money by the boatload — but not so in 2011. Packer margins in both the beef and pork sectors have been exceptionally good for much of the year and have, on occasion, neared all-time record levels. FULL STORY »

MU FAPRI updates agricultural baseline ahead of congressional Farm Bill debates

Tight crop supplies and record farm prices dominate a midyear baseline update from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri. FULL STORY »

Heavy placements of cattle on feed portend future beef production

The USDA's latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry outlook reports that during the first half of 2011, net placements were 2 percent above placements for the first half of 2010 as drought has pushed cattle off pastures in many parts of the country, and most of these feeder cattle have gone into feedlots. FULL STORY »

Drought weighing in on cow slaughter

July 1 beef cow inventories have been declining since reaching a cyclical peak of 36.1 million cows on July 1, 1995. Since July 1995, there have only been 2 years in which beef-cow inventories increased (143,000 head from 2004 to 2005 and 28,000 head from 2005 to 2006) from prior-year inventories. FULL STORY »

FSIS to replace Fast Screen Test

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a notice (44-11) to inspection program personnel (IPP) notifying them that on September, 11, 2011, it will replace the Fast Antimicrobial Screen Test (FAST) with the Kidney Inhibition Swab (KIS) Test for swine carcasses at slaughter establishments that slaughter both swine and cattle and where the KIS test is already in use for cattle FULL STORY »

Cattle Outlook: USDA forecasting drop in 2012 beef production

The August supply and demand report lowered USDA’s forecast of the 2011 corn crop by 556 million bushels and raised their corn price estimate to between $6.20 and $7.20 per bushel. They are predicting that for the first time ever, feed will not be the primary use for the U.S. corn crop. FULL STORY »

National Beef is recalling over 60,000 pounds of ground beef

National Beef Packing Co. LLC, a Dodge City, Kan., establishment, is recalling approximately 60,424 pounds of ground beef products that may be adulterated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced on Friday. FULL STORY »

Cattle Outlook: Calf crop predicted down for 16th year

USDA's July cattle inventory report said the midyear cattle inventory was down 1.1% compared to July 1, 2010 and predicted the 2011 calf crop would total 35.5 million head, down 0.5% from last year, down for the 16th consecutive year, and the smallest calf crop since 1950. FULL STORY »

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