Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Meat and Biofuels Unsustainable, U.N. Says
Jan 27, 2014
A new report from the United Nations says we're using the available land improperly. If we hope to feed the 9.2 billion people that are expected to inhabit Earth by the year 2050, we'll need to eliminate biofuels and drastically cut our consumption of meat. Ouch! Those are two ideas that won't play well in middle America. Specifically, the U.N. thinks too much land is used to produce meat and consumption should be reduced by 60%. Additionally, they say the food and fuel markets should be "decoupled," which means we shouldn't be growing crops for biofuels when the land could be used to feed people. The U.N. says "we need to become more efficient in the ways we produce, supply and consume our land-based products."
Cattle Markets: Another Record Week
Cash fed cattle traded an astonishing $5 to $6 per cwt. higher last week, likely pushing average feedyard profits past the $200 per head mark. Packers are making money, too. How long can this bull run last? That's the question on everyone's mind this week after a slightly bearish Cattle on Feed report issued Friday. Feedyards are likely trying to pull cattle forward this week hoping to cash in on record-high prices. Packers may have benefitted last week from retailers needing to restock meat cases, but most expect this week to find lower boxed beef prices.
California Ranchers Cope with Drought
California's drought has reached historic proportions and ranchers are forced to sell their cattle. January is usually a slow time for auction markets on California's Central Coast, but receipts are up sharply this year as the dry conditions and high feed prices have left ranchers with no alternative. Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency for the state nearly two weeks ago and asked residents to voluntarily commit to a 20% water reduction.
Monsanto's New "Super Veggies"
Even some of the most ardent anti-GMO diehards admit there's a "gaping lack of evidence" genetically modified foods are dangerous to your health. Still, they've managed to convince a large segment of consumers they should be worried. So, what do you do if your one of the largest suppliers of GMO technology? Develop non-GMO alternatives, of course. Monsanto has used crossbreeding to develop lettuce, peppers, broccoli and onions that will soon be in a store near you. Ironically, Monsanto's experience and knowledge gained from developing chemical and pest resistance corn and soybeans helped researchers develop the new "super veggies."