Possible Beef Expansion & No Fruit Damage

Possible Beef Expansion & No Fruit Damage

Possible Beef Expansion & No Fruit Damage plus Food Forethought. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

Beef prices have been going higher and higher and cattle supplies have gotten ever tighter. But a possible expansion is on the horizon according to two new USDA cattle reports. USDA Economist, Shayle Shagam.

SHAGAM: All of the signals in both of these reports just point towards continued tight supplies of fed cattle moving forward.

He says there may be some good news ahead as the number of heifers and heifer calves in feedlots is down.

SHAGAM: And as a proportion of the total number of animals on feed on July first, the number of heifers on feed was 5.5% of total animals on feed compared to 36.4% a year ago. So producers are holding back heifers.

The 2014 fire season has been devastating areas around the northwest but with a very few exceptions, the wildfires and the accompanying smoke have not hurt the tree fruit crop. Most of the cherries have been picked along with apricots and now peaches and pears are next with apples to follow. Since most orchards are irrigated the fires have not had much impact unless the fire gets to other structures or bin piles around an orchard. The smoke does not appear to have hurt the fruit in any way either.

Now with today's Food Forethought, here's Lacy Gray.

Over the last several weeks animal rights activists have taken credit for numerous acts of vandalism on mobile slaughter truck fuel systems in Oregon and Washington state. ALF, otherwise known as the Animal Liberation Front, has claimed that the attacks are being done as "an act of solidarity with the pigs and cows that are slated to be killed by these companies, and with all the victims of animal agriculture". Thankfully, while the vandalism has caused major inconveniences and financial setbacks for the companies, no persons were caused bodily harm. The FBI and the Department of Homeland security are involved in the investigations of these attacks thanks to the Animal Enterprise Protection Act. Have the attacks stopped business? No, but what they have done is put all those who make a living by raising and processing animals on high alert. In this day and age it can no longer be assumed that one is immune to acts of violence and vandalism done by extremists groups just because one happens to live in a rural community. It really is a "small world" after all, and terrorists with small minds are making it feel more constricted all the time.

Thanks Lacy. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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