July pork exports trend lower; beef exports largest of 2012

July U.S. pork exports totaled 164,720 metric tons, down nearly 3 percent from a year ago while beef exports dipped moderately in volume, achieving their largest monthly total of 2012. FULL STORY »

Profit Tracker: Pork producer losses mount

Pork producer margins are headed in the wrong direction; meanwhile packers are gaining ground. Losses for farrow-to-finish producers more than doubled in a week, according to Sterling Marketing, Vale, Ore. For the week ending Sept. 7, producers lost an average $29.01 per head. FULL STORY »

WTO has no standing to stop COOL, lawsuit says

A lawsuit filed in Denver last week claims the World Trade Organization has no authority to stop country-of-origin labeling provisions implemented by the United States. Plaintiffs include The Made in the USA Foundation and the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF). FULL STORY »

CAST: Animal health and food safety are linked Play video

The health of the animals within the food animal production system impacts many aspects of the system far removed from the animals, according to the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). Policymakers and consumers carefully need to consider their recommendations on how livestock should be raised because animal health is closely linked to public health, FULL STORY »

Profit Tracker: Producer margins turn red

Although profitability has been tightening on a weekly basis, driven by the drought-induced grain price rally, pork producer margins have dropped into the red. According to Sterling Marketing, farrow-to-finish margins averaged a negative $13.25 on the week ending Aug. 31. That compares to the previous week at a profit of $4.48 per head. FULL STORY »

Spanish language PQA Plus and TQA certification, Sept 7

Pork producers in and around Minnesota may want to take note of a Spanish language certification trainings for Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) and Transport Quality Assurance (TQA). FULL STORY »

Hot dog chain wants gestation-stall-free pork

Wienerschnitzel, the world’s largest hot dog chain, is the latest quick-serve food company that has committed to phasing out gestation-sow stalls from its supply chain. The Galardi Group, Irvine, Calif., which is the franchisor of Wienerschnitzel, has set 2022 as the stall-free deadline. FULL STORY »

Ag exports set to rebound next year

2013 should be a record year for U.S. agricultural exports, including significant growth in beef exports, according to USDA projections. Last week’s trade outlook report from USDA indicates U.S. 2012 ag exports, while strong, will fall somewhat short of those during 2011. Next year though, strengthening global economies will help fuel export growth for most U.S. agricultural products. FULL STORY »

HSUS investments raise the bar on the gestation-stall ban

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has expanded its reach in an effort to pressure action toward the elimination of gestation-sow stalls. The animal activist group purchased stock in four leading investment firms -- JP Morgan, BlackRock, Ameriprise and Prudential. FULL STORY »

Jolley: Talking gestation crates with Matt Prescott of the HSUS

Prescott joined Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) three years ago after a stint as shareholder-campaign manager and head of corporate affairs at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). FULL STORY »

Harris Teeter to ban gestation stalls

Harris Teeter Supermarkets has announced that it will ask its pork suppliers to phase out gestation-sow stalls. While company officials did not provide a deadline, they did point to Smithfield Foods’ plan to eliminate gestation stalls by 2017. FULL STORY »

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