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 »

Hog slaughter surges to year’s highest level

High feed prices brought on by the 2012 drought have pushed hog slaughter to its highest level so far this year as U.S. pork producers search for ways to reduce their skyrocketing feed bills. Pork producers are looking at a loss of between $20 to $30 per head for the next six months, according to an industry analyst. FULL STORY »

Culling expands as feed costs cut hog margins

Criteria for herd culling may need to be expanded to new levels as record-level feed prices cut into pork producer margins. Facing $8 per bushel corn and soybean meal around $550 per ton, one Iowa producer scrutinizes his stock more closely and doesn’t keep problem pigs around that won’t make it to his primary market. FULL STORY »

Profit Tracker: Producer margins drop, packers gain

Further erosion of market hog prices dropped pork producer margins by more than $10 per head on the week ending Aug. 24. Meanwhile, packers gained ground. FULL STORY »

Hog prices decline on increased slaughter, pork supply

Hog slaughter totaled 8.57 million head for July, up 5 percent from July 2011, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Livestock Slaughter report released Friday. Pork production for July totaled 1.72 billion pounds. FULL STORY »

Campbell Soup commits to a gestation-stall ban

The Campbell Soup Company, which includes Pepperidge Farms, is now on the list of companies that want their pork suppliers to end the use of gestation-sow stalls. It has set a final deadline of 2022, but hopes to have a gestation-stall-free pork supply by 2017. FULL STORY »

USDA issues final rule on wholesale pork reporting

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the final rule implementing mandatory wholesale pork price reporting, The rule outlines what information packers will be required to submit to AMS, how the information should be submitted and other requirements. FULL STORY »

ARAMARK sets 2017 deadline for gestation stalls

The Philadelphia-based ARAMARK joins other foodservice companies in the movement to eliminate gestation-sow stalls from its U.S. pork supply channels. The company made the announcement through a news release from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). FULL STORY »

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