Wednesday’s Ag News Roundup

There are more Mexican cattle coming into the U.S. this year. That’s according to the Livestock Marketing Information Center, which says, through the first eleven months of this year, there has been a 25 percent year-over-year increase in imports of Mexican cattle from last year. The increase in cattle coming north across the border is attributed to two likely factors: the growth of the Mexican cattle herd and the relative strength of U.S. cattle prices. LMIC projects that, for all of 2017, imports of Mexican cattle will be about 1.16 million head, the largest total since 2012.

In other cattle news, USDA has announced it is updating the voluntary U.S. standards for grades of carcass beef. USDA quality grades already provide information to purchasers about meat’s tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. This update to the standards adds options to establish the maturity of animals. Being able to certify the age of an animal at time of slaughter can be important when it comes to exporting beef to countries whose beef trade include age limits, such as the 30 months or younger rule for shipments to China.

As we’ve been reporting, our dry conditions are increasingly a concern for winter wheat. Moore County Extension Agent Marcel Fischbacher says he’s seeing signs of wheat struggling is his county. But he reminds us that early December is too early to count out wheat:

So, don’t get too pessimistic just yet. But we do need rain. For example: The last day in which Amarillo received at least one-tenth of an inch of rain was Oct. 6, precisely two months ago today.

USDA has some questions for you ag producers:

It’s been about two-and-a-half months since word began circulating of a settlement in the making with regard to what is commonly called “the Syngenta litigation.”  That’s a phrase that refers to the legal battle that began when farmers sued the seed company, claiming that corn prices were forced down when China blocked imports of U.S. corn in 2013 after rejecting an unapproved shipment of GMO grain. So where do things stand with regard to the settlement? Texas A&M AgriLife Extension ag law specialist Tiffany Lashmet told me, there are still a lot of steps to be taken before anyone collects any proceeds:

So, from we just heard, still a ways to go. We’ll keep you updated.


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