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Grazing the Net

RSS By: Greg Henderson and Friends, Beef Today

Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining. 

Day 2: Will the Horses be Fed?

Oct 02, 2013

One of the more intriguing stories from the government shutdown involves busloads of World War II veterans, many in wheelchairs, whose long-planned trips to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington encountered barricades and closed gates.

Those obstacles didn’t stop the vets on Tuesday, however, as they broke past guards to view their memorial. We’re not worried about the World War II vets – they showed us 70 years ago in Europe and the Pacific they’re quite capable of taking care of themselves. We are, however, concerned about a few of the other programs that have fallen by the wayside as 800,000 government workers were placed on furlough this week. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration says the agency’s nutrition information and promotion programs are in limbo. "FDA will be unable to support the majority of its food safety, nutrition, and cosmetics activities," the agency states in its funding contingency plan. Ditto for the employees who keep our food supply safe. "FDA will also have to cease safety activities such as routine establishment inspections, some compliance and enforcement activities ... and the majority of the laboratory research necessary to inform public health decision-making."

Rest assured, however, the horses will be fed. According to the Bureau of Land Management's contingency plan, the agency will continue to manage wild horse and burro holding facilities. Unfortunately, they will not be up for adoption during the shutdown.


USDA’s Market News a Victim of Shutdown

American farmers, ranchers and commodities traders are left in the dark this week as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s statistical reports are shuttered. Meat inspections are considered essential services and will continue. USDA may be forced to delay the release of its monthly crop estimates.

Livestock producers will miss many critical weekly reports, including results from cattle auctions and other vital livestock and meat price reports. One barometer essential for cattle producers is the weekly feeder cattle index, which will not be available. CME Group officials are responsible for providing an interim solution. During the shutdown, livestock producers will still be able to trade futures and options, but the lack of cash market information makes it difficult to pick the right time to offset such positions. Farm Futures has the details.

The CME Group sent a letter warning their customers that settlement prices based on cash prices could be affected by the government shutdown.


Kentucky is No Place for Wolves

The first endangered grey wolf to wander into Kentucky in 150 years didn’t survive long. A hunter, said to have mistaken the wolf for a coyote, shot and killed the wolf back in March. Department of Agriculture officials believe the wolf was well-traveled, however, as the nearest known population of the species is in northern Michigan, about 600 miles away.


Taking Meat Eating to the Extreme

We like our steaks medium-rare, but cooking is a must. That’s why we’re a little grossed out by this guy Derek Nance and his carnivorous version of the Palaeolithic diet. For the past five years he’s eaten only raw meat. And if that’s not strange enough, Derek’s girlfriend is "a vegetarian for compassionate reasons." A couple that gets along despite their differences, did you take note of that Congress?

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