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Commentary: The anti-antibiotics argument

Industry pumps a lot of time and resources into pushing back against activists who insist producers must stop using sub-therapeutic antibiotics. But is the strategy on target?

Let’s see? What would make a good topic for a column aimed at generating controversy? Assuming, of course, that controversy “sells.”

Which it does, by the way.

I’d argue that few issues would fit that model better than antibiotics.


Commentary: Seasonal solicitations

From Black Friday to Christmas Eve, every charity and cause in existence is all about “piece on Earth” — a piece of your paycheck, that is. But not all appeals are to be quickly dismissed.

As December passes the halfway mark, the pressure ramps up dramatically, exponentially even, as the days tick down toward Christmas.

The mailbox is stuffed full like no other time of the year. The inbox is loaded with dozens of holiday messages — not just in the morning, but throughout the day. All day. Every day.


Feedlot margins in the red

Santa Claus won’t come for another week but cattle feeders received an early lump of coal as feedlot margins fell to negative $32.76 per head the week ending December 13, according to the latest Sterling Profit Tracker. This is the second-straight week of huge losses for cattle feeders, with feedlot margins dropping nearly $78 since early in the month. What’s more, since this time last month, feedlot margins have taken a $263.99 per head swing from the $231.23 per head profit at this time last month.

Ag Policy

U.S., Cuba plan restored relations after 50 years of hostility

The United States plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba more than 50 years after they were severed, a major policy shift after decades of hostile ties with the communist-ruled island, President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.


Credit line necessary for year-end business

With grain farms facing the lowest prices they have seen in several years, many farms will need to utilize their operating line of credit to close out 2014.


Wheat continued rising Wednesday morning, while livestock fell again

Corn futures stabilized Wednesday morning. Despite current concerns about the global economic & political situation, corn futures are pretty stable. News that China is lifting its ban on Syngenta’s Viptera GMO corn is probably providing persistent support, since their ban greatly diminished U.S. corn & DDG exports early this year. The weekly EIA report looked supportive of ethanol industry demand. March corn futures inched 0.5 cent lower to $4.055/bushel late Wednesday morning, while July lost 0.5 to $4.205.


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