Much of Pilger, Neb., was destroyed by a tornado Monday night with two confirmed deaths. The Omaha World-Herald reported the town looked like a war zone.
Officials said four tornadoes hit northeast Nebraska Monday night, an area with many cattle feedyards. More than 300 cattle at a farm just north of Pilger were killed, KMTV reported. The owners of Herman Dinklage Inc. said the storm also destroyed their barn, equipment and house.
Vermont Food Fight
We find it ironic that one of the biggest legal cases involving agriculture this century will take place in one of America's smallest agriculture states. Vermont, where agriculture contributes about 12% to the state's economy, has become ground zero in the GMO labeling fight due to the state's first-in-the-nation law. The brewing legal battle is also shaping up to be a lawyer-feeding sinkhole of cash. For instance, Ben & Jerry's, the famous Vermont ice cream maker, says it will help the state raise cash by changing one of its most popular ice cream flavors to promote donations to the Food Fight Fund. For the month of July, Ben & Jerry's fudge brownie ice cream will be known as "Food Fight! Fudge Brownie." Additionally, the company announced it will donate $1 from every ice cream purchase at its Burlington and Waterbury shops to Vermont's legal fund.
Profit Tracker: Feedyard Margins Steady
Cattle feeding profits continue to roll in this spring as margins remain above $170 per head. Cash negotiated hog prices jumped $5.65 per hundredweight, boosting farrow to finish margins $8 per head. The modest decline in profitability for cattle feeders was due to higher cash costs for feeder cattle against fed cattle marketed last week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Sterling president John Nalivka now estimates annual cow-calf margins will be $3.65 for 2014.
U.S. Beef Prices Set Records
U.S. beef prices are up 74% since 2009 to the highest on record, after a seven-year decline in the herd left the fewest cattle in at least six decades, government data show. Meat costs are rising faster than any other food group, eroding profit margins for retailers.