Current Cattle Markets Daily Headlines January 20, 2021

by | Jan 20, 2021 | 0 comments

Bans on GMO corn, glyphosate in Mexico would shrink food supplies, industry says

  • On December 31st, a decree was passed in Mexico to ban the use of genetically modified corn (GMO) over the next three years.
    • Industry officials are now warning that this move has the potential to upend the country’s food supply, including its thriving livestock sector.
  • The same decree also aims to ban the herbicide glyphosate, which is used in Mexico by thousands of small and large farms to boost crop yields.
    • Since late 2019, Mexico’s environment ministry has stopped all permit approvals for glyphosate imports.
  • Mexico has never allowed seeds containing GMOs to be planted, but the country does import millions of metric tons of GMO corn for its livestock sector and for other industrial uses.
    • The decree does not state how the country will replace the supplies if GMO corn is not imported.
  • USDA has referred to Mexico’s policy as “increasingly uncertain” under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
  • Those supporting the decree argue that GMO seeds can contaminate native corn strains.
    • These supporters have also pointed to research that shows glyphosate causing cancer and elevating insect mortality.
  • Mexico imported roughly 18 million metric tons of mostly GMO corn last season, which equated to about 40 percent of national consumption.
    • Mexico is the biggest foreign market for U.S. yellow corn, which is almost all genetically modified.


USDA unveils $2.3 billion in new Covid-19 aid, mostly for livestock farmers

  • Last Friday, USDA announced that it would pay an additional $2.3 billion in Covid-19 aid to farmers.
  • Approximately 87 percent of these funds are reserved for farmers who raise pigs and poultry under contracts with food companies like Smithfield Foods and Tyson Foods.
    • Contract farmers were hit hard by the pandemic when they were forced to cut back on production due to the virus shutting down slaughterhouses, according to USDA.
      • “The impacts of slowdowns and shutdowns at processing facilities in late spring and early summer are still being felt in the poultry and swine industries,” the USDA said.
    • Contract farmers were not eligible for Covid-19 aid through the previous USDA relief programs.
    • Contract farmers are able to receive payments if they produced hogs or poultry under a contract for the last two years and had lower revenue in 2020 compared to 2019.
    • USDA will also double payments to non-contract hog farmers from its first round of 2020 Covid-19 relief.
      • These farmers will receive an extra $17/hd. for pigs owned from April 16 to May 14, 2020.


Nebraska bill would help local processors, consumers with options

  • Nebraska Senator Tom Brandt introduced a bill last week that is meant to help local meat processors expand capacity and offer consumers more options.
    • The bill would create an assistance program to expand processing facilities and help widen market access for smaller producers.
      • Additionally, it would let Nebraska consumers buy individual packages of meat directly from producers or processors.
    • According to Brandt, the herd share program was successfully implemented in Wyoming in response to the effects of Covid-19 for the benefit of producers and consumers.
      • This legislation would give Nebraska consumers the chance to buy high-quality Nebraska meat, which would be extremely beneficial during times when grocery store shelves end up empty, stated Brandt.
    • Industry groups representing large-scale producers are cautious of Brandt’s legislation. They worry that food safety could be compromised since consumers would have the ability to buy shares of animals processed at sites without a federal inspector present.


Boxed beef prices

  • Choice boxed beef: $217.49 (+2.45)
  • Select boxed beef: $206.44 (+0.60)


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