The Cost of Increased Regulation to Producers and Consumers - Dr. André Williamson, Agralytica Senior Consultant, from the Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit, Real Farmers Real Food, Celebrating Tradition and Technology, May 2-3, Arlington, VA, USA.
Video: Beef Production and Improving Feed Efficiency - Why should anyone care about feed efficiency and how is that important in the feedlot? Dr. Rod Hill, University of Idaho Department, suggests that in today's new era of higher feed costs, gains in efficiency are a must in cow-calf production processes [video].
Agriculture Markets How are commodities and markets important to agriculture? What are some of the information sources to use? What are some of the issues in the markets today? This AgChat conversation, with the help of guest of Farm Futures Arlan Suderman (@ArlanFF101), looks into these questions.
Dr. Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, provided an update on the state of the meat and poultry markets. His main take away is that the demand continued to struggle late 2011.
The bad news is that these "annual" numbers for 2011 have been getting worse and worse as the year has progressed.
Steve reminds us that the indexes only describe how demand is changing, not why a change is occurring. He believes consumer incomes and spending was the major negative force in the domestic market in 2011.
Charts below from Paragon Economics, using USDA data.
Terry Feldheim of the Farm Credit Service of America highlights the support underpinning land prices at these levels.
What is sustainable ag lending? That really comes down to a concept what is sustainable at given prices. We look at farmers and ranchers, asking if they can cash flow $4.50 corn? If he can cash flow that, he has a much higher probably of sustaining the volatility that comes at us.
The operations that will get loans must have strong working capital positions and actions in play to reduce any debts as quickly as possible.
There are a series of campaigns aimed at securing larger government support for smaller farms. Smaller operators believe US agriculture policies do not favor small, independent farmers.
"I think funding is one of the biggest struggles I have encountered," said [Alex] Bryan. "To get funding to play in the game, to purchase equipment or to build infrastructure that follows guidelines that may be more appropriate for a large-scale producer, may be prohibitive to the small producer. We're following a lot of the same regulations."
Rules through the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) are seen as a way to help smaller farms be on a level playing field with larger operations.