DairyCast Industry

How Do Flying Cows Help Rebuild A Beef Industry?


Price Cattle Ranch's and Global Beef's live beef exports from North Dakota to Kazakhstan is a great example about how cattle industries can be rebuilt.

When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 and Kazakhstan became an independent country, infrastructure collapsed, the economy foundered for a few years, and food supplies dwindled. "They had 38 million head of cattle in 1994, and they're down to 2 million now," [Dan] Price explains. "They killed and ate 'em all."

The government of Kazakhstan is spending $50 million to rebuild its cattle industry by flying in 2,000 pregnant heifers and 20 bulls via a series of chartered 747s. It is expected this seed herd will help Kazakhstan get back to a point where they can be come a net exporter of beef.

100 Questions That Can Change Agriculture


Many organizations are stating that by 2050 there will be 9 billion people on Earth and that agriculture must change to be able to produce enough food for this growing population.

Despite a significant growth in food production over the past half-century, one of the most important challenges facing society today is how to feed an expected population of some nine billion by the middle of the 20th century.

The top 100 questions of importance to the future of global agriculture is the result of research and focused conversations about the global issues, agriculture, and being able to meet the food needs of the world.

The aim is to use sound scientific evidence to inform decision making and guide policy makers in the future direction of agricultural research priorities and policy support. If addressed, we anticipate that these questions will have a significant impact on global agricultural practices worldwide, while improving the synergy between agricultural policy, practice and research. This research forms part of the UK Government's Foresight Global Food and Farming Futures project.

Consumers Are Swayed by Animal Welfare Issues

Marketing to consumers must be factored into any animal agriculture policy and legislative fronts. The public exposure animal rights and animal welfare debates create also impact purchasing decisions by consumers.

Fighting ballot initiatives regarding the care and housing of farm/food animals might actually be poorly advised, according to a recent study by economists at Oklahoma State University. The analysis evaluated demand for eggs in selected California markets before and following the vote on the farm animal housing initiative -- Proposition 2, or "Prop 2" -- in 2008 in which California voters adopted Prop 2 by 66% of the vote.

Animal ag producers must understand the consumer market space and strategically think about how to approach ballot initiatives and new regulations.

"If this attention leads to undesirable consumer shifts in purchasing behaviors, industry stakeholders need to be cautious in developing strategies in response to ballot initiatives similar to Prop 2 in the future"

advises Glynn Tonsor, an agricultural economist at Kansas State University.

Antibiotics, Animal Ag, and People.


The Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) webinar on Antibiotics in Animals and People presents a series of reviews and research on the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.

“A broad prohibition on use of antibiotics to prevent disease has, in some cases, increased the amount used for disease treatment and has not minimized total antibiotic use,” [Jim] Pettigrew said. “This can be detrimental to animal welfare and to efficiency of resource use.”

Jim Pettigrew, University of Illinois professor of animal sciences, is a member of the FASS Science Policy Committee and served as the lead coordinator for the recently approved FASS policy statement on antibiotics.

FASS developed the following policy statement as part of their efforts to engage the public and provide guidance to animal agriculture professionals.

The Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) strongly supports the judicious use of antibiotics in food animal care consistent with the health and welfare of the animals, with preserving the value of antibiotics in protecting human and animal health, and with efficient use of the earth’s resources in food production

Consumer Food Trendspotting


The Institute of Food Technologists combines new information from the U.S. Census with consumer purchasing habits and retail rends to provide a detailed report on the American Family's eating habits.

Families with children comprise an influential segment of the U.S. population, and understanding their cooking patterns, health concerns, and dining out preferences is critical to effectively targeting them.

Of note are the two charts depicting U.S. household types by age of householder (image) and % of mothers making a strong effort to limit their child’s consumption of specific substances (image).

Dr. Steve Meyer - How Will Ethanol and Corn Interact?

 

Dr. Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, provides an in-depth pork industry economic update, from the Swine Forecast 2011 webinar, December 1, 2010.

 

Key factors for 2011: Ethanol and biofuels policy; Grains and costs of production; Policy decisions; Macro-economic situation – esp. $US; Last month’s elections

Agriculture Answering the Call of Smartphones


More and more farmers, growers, and producers will pickup a smartphone as they trade in their old phones. How would a grower use a smartphone application, or 'app' as they are called? Immediate uses include general information tools, like weather, news, or finance. Many of the smartphones ship with these types of applications pre-installed. Other uses include specialized seed and soil calculators, ag news, and subscription ag management tools.

What Dairy Products Do U.S. Households Demand?


The USDA Economic Research Service published its report An Analysis of U.S. Household Dairy Demand, providing an assessment of the effects of food prices and consumer incomes on agricultural food demand. This deeply analytical report offers usable market research information for the dairy food producers and those dairy operations that market their own products.

Consumers’ purchases of bulk ice cream, refrigerated and frozen yogurts, reduced-fat milk, canned milk, natural cheese, and cottage cheese are sensitive to changes in overall dairy expenditures. Strong substitution relationships are found among bulk ice cream, reduced-fat milk, and natural cheese and other products in the demand system.

What is the Economic Outlook for Farms and Ranches?


The Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M University and the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri recently published their Representative Farms Economic Outlook for December 2010. This baseline report offers an assessment of farms, crops and their financial outlook.

Feed grain producers across the nation should increase the financial strength of their operators over the next five years, helped by strong commodity prices. Farms that have been in marginal or poor financial position in the last several years because of lower grain prices should recover and climb into stronger financial positions.

Some highlights include:

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