Cattle organizations working on market solutions
- Seventeen state cattle organizations have stepped up to the plate and written the leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees concerning negotiated cash trade sales.
- The organizations are standing with legislation that would give the U.S. agriculture secretary authority to set regional minimum negotiated cash trade sales for cattle across the U.S.
- All seventeen state organizations are affiliates of the NCBA, which is ironic because NCBA sent a letter calling for a voluntary program to achieve higher negotiated cash trade last week.
- The seventeen state organizations include; Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
- The state organizations are supporting Senator Fischer and Hartzler’s bills to require the USDA to set regional mandatory negotiated cash trade levels across the different regions.
- These bills would also require meatpackers to report the number of cattle scheduled for slaughter delivery each day for the next fourteen days (this requirement already exists in the pork industry.)
- Additionally, packers would be required to release a maintained library of marketing contracts between packers and producers to the USDA.
- If packers fail to meat minimums on negotiated cash trade, they could face penalties up to $10,000 for each violation.
- In the letter, the state organizations made it clear that their members are not asking for any type of market manipulation or guaranteed profit. Instead, they are asking for the information to be made available so producers can make informed and education decisions that will best benefit their operation.
- According to Mike Deering, executive director of Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, the cattle industry cannot wait to see if the NCBA’s 75% trigger is triggered to have a plan in place. He feels there is no need to wait for a solution since Fischer and Hartzler already have legislation that fits the solution.
Tyson Foods workers to replace some federal inspectors at U.S. beef plant
- Tyson Foods has reported that it plans to replace more than a dozen federal inspectors at their plant in Holcomb, KS in January after receiving a U.S. government waiver.
- Other companies in the chicken and pork industries have made similar changes.
- The company believes these changes will improve food safety and efficiency, but some activists are concerned that this may result in less oversight.
- Tyson submitted their request for a waiver in March of 2019 and the USDA granted the waiver in March 2020.
- The waiver will allow Tyson workers to inspect cattle carcasses for blood clots, bruises or signs of disease in place of government inspectors.
- Tyson is now hiring 15 individuals per shift to the check carcasses.
- The USDA will drop from seventeen to nine inspectors per shift. According to the USDA, highly trained government employees who do more complex work like monitoring animal welfare or meat testing will increase from two to seven per shift.
- Eventually, Tyson would like to use cameras and computer imaging to evaluate carcasses.
NCBA postpones the cattle industry convention and NCBA trade show
- The NCBA has postponed its annual convention and trade show from February 3-5, 2021, to August 10-12, 2021. The event will still be hosted at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN.
- According to NCBA CEO, Colin Woodall, the restrictions on the number of people who can gather at an event in Nashville and the travel restriction facing trade show exhibitors due to Covid-19, made it impossible for the organization to host their annual world-class event that attendees and exhibitors expected this winter.
Boxed beef prices
- Choice boxed beef: $206.70 (-1.13)
- Select boxed beef: $188.67 (+0.18)