Wall Street to Rural Routes

Published on: 16:21PM Aug 27, 2014

Looks like the hedge-fund types are now investing in property lined with hedge-rows. According to The New York Times investors are moving their finances into farmland and some of these stockholders are coming from hedge funds. Currently hedge funds now have $14 billion tied up in agriculture property. One particular real estate investment trust, American Farmland Company, has purchased 11,000 acres from 16 farms for a price of $131 million. But this pales in comparison to what Alaska’s state pension fund invested in 2013 for farmland: $485.9 million!

Do Svidaniya, Mother Russia

No more South Dakota beef genetics for you, Russia. An October trade mission trip to Russia put together by South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) and South Dakota Beef Breeds Council has been cancelled. "Unfortunately, after two successful trade missions in 2012 and 2013 led by the SDDA, a return mission this fall will not happen," said Ty Eschenbaum, SDDA ag development representative.

Russia's already invested a lot of money into building up its own beef industry with a lot of those genetics coming from the U.S. Beef packer Miratorg has received government support to create a breeding operation of 110,000 Angus-based cows that should help meet 20% of Russia's beef demand.



More Hot Water for BLM

While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was able come out looking a lot better than Cliven Bundy after their much publicized feud, the government organization hasn’t been able to stay out of the headlines entirely. The BLM is once again forcing ranchers to take their cattle off of grazing allotments in central Nevada. This time it's because of drought, but that has fired up a group of grazers called the Cowboy Express who plan to ride across the country to D.C.

Meanwhile, wild horse activist are claiming that the BLM takes favor to cattle.

To make things worse those activists might be right. The BLM had to release a statement about the deaths of 57 horses moved from a Kansas pasture to a corral in Scott City, Kan., and the euthanizing of 13 more mares.

Profit Tracker: Losing Steam

Profitability for both cattle and hog producers has been losing steam for the past month, but things could be a lot worse.

Cattle feeders recorded average profits of $162.67 per head last week, down more than $35 from the previous week, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. The margins represent a $222 per head improvement over the average losses of $59 recorded last year at this time.