AgDay Daily Recap - April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012 08:30 AM

APRIL 16, 2012

According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, February pork export volume was 9% above last year. The value of those exports jumped up 31% to reach 1.9 billion dollars. This marks the first time the value of U.S. pork exports reached the 1 billion dollar mark in just two months. Asia is key for exports. Japan remains the big buyer of U.S. pork, up 17% in value. Exports to China were 39% higher in volume. And in Korea, pork exports are up 11% even though the Free Trade Agreement did not take effect until mid-March. Farm Director Al Pell discussed the 2012 pork outlook with ag economist Chris Hurt...and he says much of the improving picture for pork producers is based on exports.

While the volume of February beef exports was down 3% in February, the value remained strong with double digit gains from last year. Beef export values reached 409 million dollars, which was up 10% from 2011. Mexico was the leader in purchasing beef from the U.S. with a 13% again in beef export value. The export volume to Mexico, however, was down 6%.

Not only does the value of beef exports remain strong, but so does the price consumers are paying for meat. John Grimes of Ohio State University Extensions says as supplies remain tight and input prices continue to climb, so does the price at the meat counter. He said the biggest concern for the beef industry right now should be not pricing themselves out of the market, which could cause consumers to push back. He says although this hasn't happened yet, it could in the future.

Meanwhile, Derrell Peel of Oklahoma State University says gas prices are giving consumers less disposable income, which could create limitations on what they're willing to pay for meat. Peel says another factor that will continue drive up the price of meat is grocery stores eliminating beef containing LFTB from their shelves.

With rising input costs on the farm, producers are looking for ways to get more income out of their farming operation. One way is to add value to a by-product and that is what one couple is doing with their poultry houses in western Kentucky.
At the W.P. Ranch in Marshall County the hall family is turning chicken manure into a composted soil amendment and hopefully more farm income. Jeff Franklin has details in this report provided by the University of Kentucky.

Greg Milkovich

You've probably heard the saying 'you are what you eat'. Some think that may apply to relationships, as well. In this report provided by Ohio State University, Clark Powell shows us the link between an unhealthy diet to an unhealthy relationship. Chronic stress has been linked to health issues from heat disease to cancer. Ohio State plans to continue their research on the impact of diets on the health of relationships. Are you tired of paying more every time you travel to the grocery store? Food and Your Family is next.

We've been talking about increasing food prices for months. In the latest report, the consumer price index rose again last month, but only by 0.3%. Is this a sign of the slowing of rising food costs? In this report provided by USDA, Bob Ellison says while food prices are continuing to climb, the rise isn't as fast as what consumers saw last year.

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