Current Cattle Market Daily Headlines for February 22, 2021

by | Feb 22, 2021 | 0 comments

South Dakota legislature approves COOL resolution

  • Last week, Senate Concurrent Resolution 604, “A resolution to Support Trade Negotiations to Remove Barriers to Country of Origin Labeling” passed unanimously in both chambers of the 96th South Dakota Legislature.
  • According to James Halverson, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association Executive Director, MCOOL has been, and will continue to be one of the association’s top priorities. People have the right to know where their food comes from and right now that isn’t happening, he said.
  • State Senator Gary Cammack of District 29 led the way on this issue and was the prime sponsor of the resolution.
    • “I appreciate Senator Cammack’s leadership on this important issue and thank all of the sponsors. Once again, I’m happy to deliver this message to the President,” stated U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD).
      • Senator Rounds went on to say that he supports MCOOL, especially with what we’re seeing in the cattle market today. He feels that consumers have the right to know where their food comes from. It’s imperative that we continue pushing this issue.


USCA calls for the halt of Namibian beef imports

  • United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) is calling for the immediate halt of beef imports from Namibia after numerous reports of recent Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks in the country.
  • The country of Namibia is split into a north and south region by a Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF).
    • The fence was built in the mid-1960s, covers more than 550 miles and is passable at 9 permanent checkpoints.
      • North of the VCF is the FMD-infected zone where the most recent outbreaks have occurred.
      • South of the VCF is considered to be an FMD free zone without vaccination.
    • African Buffalo populations that live in Namibia’s region are known to be persistent carriers of FMD.
      • There have been documented cases of wildlife crossing into Namibia through the Zambezi River at shallow points. This has raised concern that diseased buffalo may be able to move into and out of the country as they wish, and easily come in contact with domestic cattle herds.
    • Additionally, Namibia’s elephant population often causes damage to the VCF, which allows other wildlife to travel freely between the country’s Northern and Southern regions.
    • According to USCA President Brooke Miller, FMD is one of the gravest, most serious threats to the health of our domestic cattle herd. An FMD outbreak in the U.S. has the potential to result in $14 billion in losses, including losses from domestic cattle producers, consumers and international trade relations.
      • Furthermore, an outbreak would cause beef prices to soar in the grocery store because of the disrupted food supply chain.
    • Miller feels that the U.S. continues to recklessly pursue trading relations with countries that have known FMD outbreaks.
    • USCA requests that this be a prominent topic in upcoming House and Senate Agriculture Committee hearings.


Tyson, Washington ranch agree to move cattle amidst court dispute

  • Last week, Tyson Fresh Meats and Easterday Ranches reached a court-approved agreement that will allow for the transfer of 52,000 head of cattle that are left in one of Easterday’s feedlots while the companies work through a legal battle in federal bankruptcy court.
  • This agreement comes a month after Tyson sued Easterday alleging that the agricultural operation falsified records stating it had fed more than 200,000 non-existent cattle for years, which ended up costing Tyson more than $225 million.
    • Then at the beginning of February, Easterday Ranches and Farms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • The remaining 52,000 head of cattle will be fed out in one of Easterday’s feedlots and will then be delivered to Tyson’s Pasco plant, according to court documents.
  • No formal process for the sale of Easterday Ranches has yet to be established in the bankruptcy proceedings.


February cattle on feed report

  • Cattle on feed as of February 1, 2021 totaled 12.1 million head, one percent above February 1, 2020.
    • This is the second highest February 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.
  • Placements in feedlots during January totaled 2.02 million head, three percent above 2020. Net placements were 1.96 million head.
  • Marketings of fed cattle during January totaled 1.82 million head, six percent below 2020.


Boxed beef prices

  • Choice boxed beef: $239.23 (+0.38)
  • Select boxed beef: $227.90 (+0.43)


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From the Holcomb Tyson fire to COVID-19;
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