Farm Talk

Ag News from Around the Country

May 1, 2012

Beef futures markets bounce back after BSE reports

Parsons, Kansas — While the live cattle futures market has rebounded somewhat from losses on Tuesday (April 24) amid reports of a case of BSE in a California dairy cow, traders are being cautious as they wait to see how consumers react, Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt said.

Rumors of an animal with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly called mad cow disease, started circulating throughout the markets Tuesday before the U.S. Department of Agriculture made an official announcement of the discovery. On uncertainty over just what the information would be and concern of potential loss in consumer confidence in beef, futures prices fell by the one-day limit of $3 per hundredweight by Tuesday's closing bell.

But by the close of trading Thursday (April 26), the futures markets had recovered about 25 percent to 50 percent on nearby contracts, Hurt said.

"USDA has generally tried not to supply new information when the futures market is trading, but rather supply that before the day's opening or after the day's close," he said.

That policy allows USDA officials to make sure they have all the necessary information before making an official public announcement. When the market got wind that an announcement was coming, however, traders made decisions based on worst-case scenarios.

Not only does Hurt expect little decline in domestic beef demand, he also doesn't expect much of a shift from the country's top three export buyers: Mexico, Japan and Canada.

But two of the three largest food retailers in South Korea, the United States' fourth-largest export buyer, pulled U.S. beef from their shelves the day following the announcement. One has since resumed sales, while the other has not.

"Retailers there really have behaved very logically," Hurt said. "They are being cautious. They want to make sure they are providing their consumers with a safe product."

Although futures markets have recovered somewhat, Hurt said he expects traders to remain cautious in the coming days as they closely monitor consumer behavior and any new information from the USDA.

"They simply want to make sure that 'another shoe is not going to fall,'" Hurt said. "The ultimate impact on market prices will be determined by how consumers in the U.S. and foreign countries respond."

This is the fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the United States; the first was in 2003. The latest case has been referred to as "atypical," meaning it was caused by a genetic mutation in the infected animal and not from contaminated feed.

The infected animal was found through the USDA's surveillance program and never presented a risk to the food supply or human health. BSE is not transmitted through milk.

Countries worldwide initially had zero-tolerance policies regarding the disorder, but as more scientific information became available showing little risk to human health, tolerance levels have been accepted.

Text Only
Ag News from Around the Country
  • MANURE34.jpg Manure Expo aids nutrient management

    Valuing manure and the environment was the platform for the 2014 Manure Expo held at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Mo.
    The two-day exposition pulled together the resources of over 70 vendors from the U.S. and Canada along with the expertise of Extension professionals from Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ark-ansas, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Okla. farmer’s lost phone turns up at Japan grain mill

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma farmer Kevin Whitney thought his iPhone was lost for good when it fell into a grain elevator last year. Eight months later, his phone was returned unscathed after a trip to Japan.

    July 15, 2014

  • Combustible grain dust prevention workshop, July 31

    Kansas State University will offer a combustible grain dust prevention workshop teaching advanced mitigation methods on July 31, 2014 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

    July 8, 2014

  • House discusses new federal schemes to soak up water authority

    Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee on water and power held an oversight hearing entitled “New Federal Schemes to Soak Up Water Authority: Impacts on States, Water Users, Recreation, and Jobs.”

    July 1, 2014

  • USDA to ‘cure’ feral hogs

    A preservative used to cure bacon is being tested as poison for feral hogs.

    June 24, 2014

  • Cargill to move sows to group housing by 2015

    Cargill, one of the largest pork producers in the U.S., is continuing its commitment of moving to group housing for its sows that produce hogs for pork.

    June 17, 2014

  • Bethany-Schifferdecker.jpg Girard FFA member elected state VP

    Bethany Schifferdecker from the Girard FFA chapter was elected to serve as the 2014-2015 state FFA vice-president at the 86th Kansas FFA Convention May 28-30 on the Kansas State University campus.

    June 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • thorpe_dairy.jpg Couple goes ‘Kiwi’ for grassfed dairy

    Not many people would move nearly 8,000 miles away to work on a dairy farm.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • NOAA Seasonal Drought Outlook

    As of May 13, 2014, drought covered approximately 38 percent of the contiguous 48 states, according to the U. S. Drought Monitor.

    May 28, 2014

  • Cattlemen offer up to $10,000 reward for cattle theft case

    A local rancher and member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association recently had 27 head of cattle stolen.  The cattle were taken from the Robson Ranch near Claremore, Okla.

    May 21, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content