Capital Press | Nation/World http://www.capitalpress.com Capital Press Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:45:05 -0500 en http://EOR-CPwebvarnish.newscyclecloud.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/staticimage/images/rss-logo.jpg Capital Press | Nation/World http://www.capitalpress.com National wool and sheep report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/national-wool-and-sheep-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/national-wool-and-sheep-report#Comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:00:40 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170229983 Wool prices in cents per pound and foreign currency per kilogram, sheep prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals on per head basis as indicated.

NATIONAL WOOL REVIEW

(USDA Market News)

Greeley, Colo.

Feb. 17

Domestic wool trading on a clean basis was at a standstill this week. There were no confirmed trades reported. Domestic wool trading on a greasy basis was at a standstill this week. There were no confirmed trades reported.

Domestic wool tags

No. 1 $.60-.70

No. 2 $.50-.60

No. 3 $.40-.50

NATIONAL SHEEP SUMMARY

(USDA Market News)

San Angelo, Texas

Feb. 17

Compared to Feb. 10: Compared to last week slaughter lambs were mostly steady to $10 higher. Slaughter ewes and feeder lambs were not well tested.

At San Angelo, Texas, 2,459 head sold. No sales in Equity Electronic Auction. In direct trading slaughter ewes were not tested; no comparison on feeder lambs. 3,200 head of negotiated sales of slaughter lambs were steady to $1 lower. 11,800 head of formula sales had no trend due to confidentiality.

3,427 lamb carcasses sold with 65 lbs. down no trend due to confidentiality; 65-85 lbs. $5.29-5.30 lower and 85 lbs. up no trend due to confidentiality.

SLAUGHTER LAMBS Choice and Prime 2-3:

San Angelo: shorn and wooled 110-145 lbs. $126-146, few $154.

SLAUGHTER LAMBS Choice and Prime 1:

San Angelo: 40-60 lbs. $238-260; 60-70 lbs. $230-246; 70-80 lbs. $220-230, few $242-246; 80-90 lbs. $196-210, few $230; 90-110 lbs. $170-194, few $214-226.

DIRECT TRADING (Lambs with 3-4 percent shrink or equivalent):

3,200 Slaughter Lambs shorn and wooled 128-175 lbs. $123.75-164 (wtd avg $141.13).

SLAUGHTER EWES:

San Angelo: Good 2-3 (fleshy) no test; Utility and Good 1-3 (medium flesh) $97-108; Utility 1-2 (thin) $92; Cull and Utility 1-2 (very thin) $62-67; Cull 1 (extremely thin) $58.

FEEDER LAMBS Medium and Large 1-2:

San Angelo: No test.

REPLACEMENT EWES Medium and Large 1-2:

San Angelo: mixed age hair ewes 90-140 lbs. $100-121 cwt.

NATIONAL WEEKLY LAMB CARCASS Choice and Prime 1-4:

Weight Wtd. avg.

45 lbs. and down 487.88

45-55 lbs. Price not reported

due to confidentiality

55-65 lbs. Price not reported

due to confidentiality

65-75 lbs. $284.89

75-85 lbs. $273.69

85 lbs. and up Price not reported

due to confidentiality

Sheep and lamb slaughter under federal inspection for the week to date totaled 37,000 compared with 39,000 last week and 37,000 last year.

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Selected Western hay prices http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/selected-western-hay-prices http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/selected-western-hay-prices#Comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:56:39 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170229984 Hay prices are dollars per ton or dollars per bale when sold to retail outlets. Basis is current delivery FOB barn or stack, or delivered customer as indicated.

Grade guidelines used in this report have the following relationship to Relative Feed Value (RFV), Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF), TDN (Total Digestible Nutrients), or Crude Protein (CP) test numbers:

Grade RFV ADF TDN CP

Supreme 185+ <27 55.9+ 22+

Premium 170-185 27-29 54.5-55.9 20-22

Good 150-170 29-32 52.5-54.5 18-20

Fair 130-150 32-35 50.5-52.5 16-18

Utility <130 36+ <50.5 <16

WASHINGTON-OREGON HAY

(Columbia Basin)

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Feb. 17

This week FOB Last week Last year

5,620 1,265 784

Compared to Feb. 10: Export and Domestic Alfalfa steady to firm in a light test. Trade slow to moderate with good demand. Retail/Feedstore hay steady.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Mid Square Premium 1000 $135-145

Good/Prem. 900 $95

Good 1150 $85-105

Fair 400 $80

Utility/Fair 900 $95

Timothy Grass Mid Square Utility/Fair 100 $150

Timothy Grass Small Square Good/Prem. 120 $200

Bluegrass Straw Mid Square Fair 400 $45

Wheat Straw Mid Square Fair 650 $45-60

OREGON AREA HAY

(USDA Market News)

Portland, Ore.

Feb. 17

This week FOB Last week Last year

3,900 3,728 7,189

Compared to Feb. 10: Prices trended generally steady in a limited test compared to week ago prices. Most demand lies with the retail/stable hay. According to some producers, horse owners prefer lower sugar, higher protein hay.

Tons Price

CROOK, DESCHUTES, JEFFERSON, WASCO COUNTIES

Alfalfa Large Square Premium 200 $125-130

Small Square Premium 1 $240

Good/Prem. 45 $225

Orchard Grass Small Square Premium 4 $240

Good/Prem. 45 $225

Meadow Grass Small Square Premium 50 $200-210

Oat Small Square Good/Prem. 25 $160

Wheat Large Square Good 60 $80

EASTERN OREGON

Alfalfa Large Square Good 285 $100

Utility 150 $55

Alfalfa/Orchard Mix Small Square Good/Prem. 25 $165

Orchard Grass Large Square Utility 300 $45

HARNEY COUNTY

Alfalfa Large Square Good 250 $140

KLAMATH BASIN

Mixed Grass Small Square Good 75 $130

LAKE COUNTY

Alfalfa Large Square Supreme 175 $180

Premium 400 $165

1000 $160

Fair 100 $100

Small Square Premium 90 $180-185

30 $185

Oat Large Square Good 90 $80

Triticale Large Square Good 400 $100

Fair/Good 100 $70

IDAHO HAY

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Feb. 17

This week FOB Last week Last year

3,275 8,100 3,700

Compared to Feb. 10: Feeder Alfalfa $30-40 higher. Wheat straw steady. Severe winter weather has increased demand for hay as most producers feeding larger amounts/day than usual. Trade moderate with very good demand esp. for wheat straw.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Mid Square Premium 475 $195

Good 1000 $140

Fair 350 $110-130

Wheat Straw Mid Square Good 1450 $85

CALIFORNIA HAY

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Feb. 17

This week FOB Last week Last year

5,866 2,030 10,990

Compared to Feb. 10: All classes traded steady with moderate demand. According the U.S. Drought Monitor, storms continued to drop heavy precipitation over parts of California, leading to widespread improvements of the multi-year drought in the state, although some pockets have missed out on the precipitation and water restrictions remain due to low reservoir levels. A few large–scale improvements were made in central and southern California.

Drought conditions improved in Monterey and eastern Santa Clara counties. Western Monterey and most of Santa Clara County are now drought free. Improvements were also made across the San Joaquin Valley, with snowpack well above 100 percent in the Sierras. Reservoirs are being replenished across most regions.

At the foot of the Sequoia National Forest, Lake Isabella’s water level increased 20 percent. Farther south, drought conditions broadly improved across San Bernardino and southern Inyo counties. However, Death Valley remains in moderate drought as the area has received just 35 percent of its normal precipitation for the water year to-date. All hay is reported FOB the stack or barn unless otherwise noted. Regions are defined at bottom of report.

Tons Price

REGION 1: NORTHERN INTERMOUNTAIN

Includes the counties of Siskiyou, Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, and Plumas.

Alfalfa Premium 75 $320

Fair/Good 25 $110

Orchard Grass Premium 25 $300

Wheat Good 25 $110

REGION 2: SACRAMENTO VALLEY

Includes the counties of Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Colusa, Sutter, Yuba, Sierra, Nevada, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Solano, Sacramento.

Alfalfa Premium 50 $220

REGION 3: NORTHERN SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

Includes the counties of San Joaquin, Calaveras, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Mono, Merced and Mariposa.

Alfalfa Supreme 250 $240-245

Premium 200 $200

150 $225

Fair 125 $145-155

Wheat Good 75 $115

Forage Mix-Two Way Good 150 $160

Fair 125 $112

REGION 4: CENTRAL SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

Includes the counties of Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Inyo.

No new sales confirmed.

REGION 5: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Includes the counties of Kern, Northeast Los Angeles, and Western San Bernardino.

Alfalfa Supreme 308 $200

Alfalfa/Barley Mix Premium 100 $210.50

REGION 6: SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA

Includes the counties of Eastern San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial.

Alfalfa Premium 3055 $180-190

425 $175

Good 100 $175

203 $155

Sudan Good 400 $50

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West Coast grain price reports http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/west-coast-grain-price-reports http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/west-coast-grain-price-reports#Comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:28:04 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170229985 Grains are stated in dollars per bushel or hundredweight (cwt.) except feed grains traded in dollars per ton. National grain report bids are for rail delivery unless truck indicated.

PORTLAND GRAIN

(USDA Market News)

Portland

Feb. 17

PACIFIC NORTHWEST MARKET SUMMARY

Cash wheat bids for February delivery ended the reporting week on Thursday, Feb. 16, were mixed compared to Feb. 10 noon bids for February delivery.

March wheat futures ended the reporting week on Thursday, Feb. 16, mixed as follows compared to the Feb. 10 closes: Chicago wheat futures were 4.25 cents higher at $4.4775, Kansas City wheat futures were 6.75 cents higher at $4.58 and Minneapolis wheat futures trended 18.25 cents lower at $5.5025. Chicago March corn futures trended 4 cents higher at $3.7350 and March soybean futures closed 6.75 cents lower at $10.4375.

Bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains or barges during February for ordinary protein trended 1.50 to 2.75 cents higher compared to week ago prices for the same delivery period at $4.8275-4.85. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

White club wheat premiums were zero to 15 cents per bushel over soft white wheat bids this week compared to zero to 18 cents per bushel over soft white wheat bids last week.

One year ago bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat any protein for February delivery by unit trains and barges to Portland were not available and bids for White Club Wheat were also not available. Forward month bids for soft white wheat ordinary protein were as follows: March $4.6675-4.85, April $4.6625-4.85, May $4.6625-4.82 and August New Crop $4.67-4.8350.

One year ago, forward month bids for soft white wheat for any protein were as follows: March $5.15-5.2425, April $5.15-5.29, May and August New Crop not available.

Bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein during February trended mixed, from 5.75 cents lower to 4.25 cents higher compared to week ago price for the same delivery period at $4.8275-4.9275. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

White club wheat premiums for guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein soft white wheat this week were zero to 10 cents per bushel over soft white wheat bids this week and last week.

One year ago bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein for February delivery by unit trains and barges to Portland were $5.98-6.1925 and bids for White Club Wheat were $6.0425-6.1925.

Forward month bids for soft white wheat guaranteed 10.5 percent proteins were as follows: March $4.6975-4.85, April and May $4.6625-4.8125 and August New Crop $4.8350-4.85.

One year ago, forward month bids for soft white wheat for any protein were as follows: March $6.9425-6.0425, April and May $5.99-6.09 and August New Crop $5.4325-5.4825.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein U.S. 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for February delivery were mixed, from 3.25 cents lower to 6.75 cents per bushel higher compared to Feb. 10 noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Bids were as follows: February $5.38-5.73, March $5.48-5.73, April $5.51-5.61 and May $5.51-5.56.

Bids for non-guaranteed 14.0 percent protein U.S. 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for Portland delivery during February were 12.25 to 18.25 cents per bushel lower than Feb. 10 noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Bids for non-guaranteed 14 percent protein were as follows: February and March $6.6525-6.9125, April $6.61-6.91 and May $6.56-6.86.

COARSE FEEDING GRAINS

Bids for U.S. 2 Yellow Corn delivered full coast Pacific Northwest - BN shuttle trains for February delivery trended 14 to 21 cents higher from $4.8850-4.9850. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Forward month corn bids were as follows: March $4.6850-4.8850, April $4.61-4.63, May $4.59-4.61, June and July $4.6275. Bids for U.S. 1 Yellow Soybeans delivered full coast Pacific Northwest - BNSF shuttle trains for February delivery trended mixed, from 3.75 cents lower to 3.25 cents higher from $11.2175-11.4375. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Forward month soybean bids were as follows: March $11.0875-11.1875, April $11.1675, October $11.20 and November $11.14-11.18. Bids for U.S. 2 Heavy White Oats for February delivery trended steady at 3.2650 per bushel.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST EXPORT NEWS

There were 39 grain vessels in Columbia River ports on Thursday, Feb.16, with six docked compared to 38 last week with seven docked. There were no new confirmed export sales this week from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) of the USDA.

CALIFORNIA GRAINS

(USDA Market News)

Portland

Feb. 16

Prices in dollars per cwt., bulk Inc.= including; Nom.= nominal; Ltd.= limited; Ind.= indicated; NYE=Not fully estimated.

GRAIN DELIVERED

Mode Destination Price per cwt.

BARLEY – U.S. No. 2 (46-lbs. per bushel)

FOB Kern County NA

Rail Los Angeles NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties NA

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa $9.35

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock $9.50

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties NA

Glenn County NA

CORN-U.S. No. 2 Yellow

FOB Turlock-Tulare $8.94

Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno $7.75

Rail Single Car Units via BNSF

Chino Valley-Los Angeles $8.87

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock $9.24

Los Angeles-Chino Valley NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties $9.24

Glenn County $8.45

SORGHUM-U.S. No. 2 Yellow

Rail Los Angeles-Chino Valley

via BNSF Single $8.60

OATS-U.S. No. 2 White

Truck Petaluma NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

WHEAT-U.S. No. 2 or better-Hard Red Winter

(Domestic Values for Flour Milling)

Los Angeles 12 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 13 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 14 percent Protein NA

Truck/Rail Los Angeles 11-12 percent Protein

Los Angeles 12 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 13 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 14 percent Protein NA

FOB Tulare-Kern-Merced NA

WHEAT-U.S. Durum Wheat

Truck Kern County $11.50

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties NA

WHEAT-Any Class for Feed

FOB Tulare NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties $9.40

Kern County NA

Truck/Rail Los Angeles-Chino Valley NA

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock $8.75

King-Tulare-Fresno Counties NA

Fresno NA

Merced County NA

Colusa County NA

Kern County NA

Prices paid to California farmers, seven-day reporting period ending Feb. 9:

BARLEY, U.S. No. 2, 48 lbs. per bushel

Petaluma $9.35 Spot Del Locally

YELLOW CORN, U.S. No. 2 or better

Glenn $8.45 Spot Del Locally

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California shell egg price report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/california-shell-egg-price-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/california-shell-egg-price-report#Comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:15:44 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170229987 Shell egg marketer’s benchmark price for negotiated egg sales of USDA Grade AA and Grade AA in cartons, cents per dozen. This price does not reflect discounts or other contract terms.

DAILY CALIFORNIA SHELL EGGS

(USDA Market News)

Des Moines, Iowa

Feb. 17

Benchmark prices are steady. Asking prices for next week are 5 cents lower for Jumbo, 7 cents lower for Extra Large, 5 cents lower for Large and 18 cents lower for Medium and Small. The undertone is steady. Retail demand is light to moderate. Distributive demand is moderate to fairly good. Offerings are light to moderate. Supplies are moderate. Market activity is slow to moderate.

Small benchmark price 94 cents.

Size Range Size Range

Jumbo 149 Extra large 132

Large 124 Medium 114

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Prices to retailers, sales to volume buyers, USDA Grade AA and Grade AA, white eggs in cartons, delivered store door.

Size Range Size Range

Jumbo 123-135 Extra large 123-127

Large 109-118 Medium 95-106

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Western fluid milk and cream review http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/western-fluid-milk-and-cream-review http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/western-fluid-milk-and-cream-review#Comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 13:08:36 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170229988 FLUID MILK AND CREAM REVIEW – WEST

(USDA Market News)

Madison, Wis.

Feb. 17

California is experiencing some scattered showers that kept the production of farm milk at a steady level.

Northern California is still experiencing rain, whereas Southern California has some sun and winds to help it dry out. Dairy industries in California expect to have more water for livestock throughout the year because of the rain received over the last few weeks.

Milk quality has slightly decreased due to muddy conditions in some dairy farms. There is enough milk for manufacturing needs. The demand for Class 1 is up this week.

According to CDFA, March 2017 Class 1 prices in California are $18.62 in the north and $18.89 in the south. The statewide average Class 1 price based on production is $18.63. This price is up $0.48 from the previous month, and $3.23 higher than a year ago.

Milk yields are increasing in the state of Arizona, reaching high volumes. Manufacturers are receiving heavy milk intakes, resulting in dryers running at full capacity. They are looking for out-of-state manufacturers to take the supplies they cannot process. Some plant managers do not have enough capacity to dry their milk. Therefore, they are turning their milk into liquid condensed buttermilk and sending it to processors in California to dry it.

Milk is also clearing into Class III and Class IV. Many dairy industry leaders are expecting milk production to peak by the end of March.

The sales into Classes I and III are higher, whereas the sales into Class II are lower. Class IV sales are flat.

Pacific Northwest milk intakes are in good balance with processing needs. Although the region has had some heavy snows and localized flooding, milk production is following seasonal patterns.

Bottling demand is steady. Manufacturers are taking good volumes of available milk. Milk handlers say they are getting inquiries from manufacturers in neighboring states that are looking for extra loads of milk. Moving the milk has proven more difficult due to heavy snows along some routes.

Milk pooled on Pacific Northwest Order 124 totaled 604.0 million pounds in January 2017. Class I utilization accounted for about 27.9 percent of producer milk. The uniform price was $17.03, up $0.66 from last month and $2.88 above one year ago.

In the mountain states of Idaho, Colorado and Utah, dairymen are still contending with the lingering effects of recent cold, wet weather. Mud and flooding have challenged dairy farmers with maintaining cow cleanliness and milk quality. Milk production has been suppressed somewhat. Processors report milk supplies are adequate for most processing needs, but some processors are looking outside the region for available loads of milk.

According to the DMN National Retail Report-Dairy for the week of Feb. 10-16, the national weighted average advertised price for one gallon of milk is $2.85, up 17 cents from last week and 52 cents higher from a year ago. The weighted average regional price in the Southwest is $2.38, with a price range of $1.99-2.99. The weighted average regional price in the Northwest is $2.56, with a price range of $1.89-3.49.

In the West, condensed skim supplies are abundant with some intakes moving into cheese plants. However, most of these condensed skim volumes are clearing into balancing plants’ dryers.

The market is flooded with cream in the West. However, some cream cheese makers are starting to pull some cream ahead of the spring holidays’ needs. Most manufacturers are churning their cream into butter, but could not process all cream. As a result, the remaining supplies are clearing to other regions at lower prices. Cream demand is weak this week. Multiples are slightly higher, ranging .98-1.20.

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National feeder and stocker cattle report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/national-feeder-and-stocker-cattle-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/national-feeder-and-stocker-cattle-report#Comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:58:07 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170229989 Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair Oregon head as indicated.

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Feb. 17

This week Last week Last year

318,200 273,200 291,800

Compared to Jan. 27: Steer and heifer calves sold steady to $5 higher. Feeder steers and heifers traded mostly steady to $5 lower, with some instances $1-2 higher on 600-700 lb. weights.

Southeastern calves traded steady to $3 higher and feeder cattle were steady to $3 lower. Demand remains very good for light weight calves, and moderate to good for feeders. The spring-like weather is creating a lot of interest for grass calves, with buyers continuing to be very aggressive for longtime weaned calves suitable for summer grazing programs as their availability is declining.

Producers are also interested in buying good, high quality replacement heifers to improve their herds. In Valentine, Neb., several loads of 6 and 7 weight yearling heifers sold at a premium from $935-1125 per head.

On the other hand, all of the excitement from last week dwindled for the feeder market as order buyers were cautious and reluctant to pay more for cattle as profit potential looks lower in the live cattle futures for the summer months.

Feedlot operators have been profitable and are simply trying to play it safe by penciling out current feeders to fit the lower months ahead. Over the weekend, parts of the southern plains and Midwest saw unseasonably warm weather with some locations seeing record breaking temperatures.

The unusual warmth has winter wheat growing again and field work spotted in areas where it’s not common for this time of year. The mild weather is expected to continue through next week.

Particular areas remain abnormally dry, with some chances of moisture in the forecast for the coming weekend for the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma, which would provide relief. With spring approaching fast, farmers and ranchers are hoping to see much needed moisture in the coming months for planting and grazing cattle.

Feedlot trade finally occurred Feb. 17 on moderate demand in the southern plains. Compared to Feb. 10, live sales were steady at $120, with a few early sales reported $1 lower in Kansas at $119. Trade and demand was moderate in Nebraska, with live sales trading steady to $1 higher as compared to last week at $120. Dressed sales sold steady at $190.

Colorado live sales were steady to 50 cents higher at $120-120.50. A few early live sales in Iowa traded $1-2 higher at $119-120, while dressed sales were steady at $190.

In the Fed Cattle Exchange 1,556 head were sold, out of 4,800 offered on Feb 15. Most of the cattle sold were in the southern plains with prices reported from $118.50-119.25. Pen conditions continue to be poor in the northern plains as temperatures remain warmer than usual, creating muddy conditions. Choice boxed beef closed at $190.49, up $2.86 and Select at $189.24, up $3.59 from the Feb. 10 close. Auction volume included 63 percent weighing over 600 lbs. and 42 percent heifers.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

257,000 213,700 207,800

WASHINGTON 2,300. 74 pct over 600 lbs. 41 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 550-600 lbs. $145.38; 600-650 lbs. $129.65; 650-700 lbs. $131.56; 700-750 lbs. $122.02; 750-800 lbs. $117.99. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 450-500 lbs. $133.22; 500-550 lbs. $137.02; 550-600 lbs. $128.98; 600-650 lbs. $124.81; 650-700 lbs. $118.92; 700-750 lbs. $113.49; 750-800 lbs. $109.36.

DIRECT

This week Last week Last year

35,200 56,100 61,500

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) There were no direct sales reported.

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 1,700. 100 pct over 600 lbs. 16 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1 Current FOB Price 700 lbs. $134 value added Washington. Large 1 900 lbs. $127 value added Washington. Current Delivered Price 700-800 lbs. $129.50-130 Idaho; 800-900 lbs. $123-125 Idaho. Future Delivery Delivered Price Medium and Large 1 850 lbs. $121-121.50 for March Idaho. Heifers: Medium and Large 1 Current Delivered Price 750 lbs. $120 Idaho; 800-850 lbs. $120 Idaho. Future Delivery Delivered Price 800 lbs. $115 for March Idaho.

NATIONAL SLAUGHTER CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Oklahoma City, Okla.

Feb. 17

Slaughter cattle trading mostly steady. Limited trade on a dressed basis in Nebraska also steady. Demand is good from both sides of the fence. Cattle feeders finally in the black and continue to pull cattle on a timely basis if not early. Demand for beef remains strong, thus encouraging packers to buy. Warmer than normal weather has to help by sending some outside to grill.

Boxed Beef prices as of Feb. 17 averaged $189.86, up $3.22 from Feb. 10. The Choice/Select spread is $1.25. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Feb. 17 totaled about 52,100 head. The previous week’s total head count was 90,372 head.

Midwest Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers: $120 Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers $190.

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers mostly $120, few early $119.

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows and bulls steady to $3 higher, Colorado mostly steady. Cutter Cow Carcass Cut-Out Value Feb. 17 was $164.71 down $.65 from Feb. 10.

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Feb. 17

This week Last week Last year

1,650 2,650 1,850

Compared to Feb. 10: Feeder cattle steady to weak. Trade slow with light to moderate demand. Best demand remains for all natural value added supplies. The feeder supply included 84 percent steers and 16 percent heifers. Near 100 percent of the supply weighed over 600 lbs. Prices are FOB weighing point with a 1-4 percent shrink or equivalent and with a 5-12 cent slide on calves and a 3-8 cent slide on yearlings. Delivered prices include freight, commissions and other expenses. Current sales are up to 14 days delivery.

Feeder Steers: Medium and Large 1: Current FOB Price: 700 lbs. $134 value added Washington. Large 1: 900 lbs. $127 value added Washington. Current Delivered Price: 700-800 lbs. $129.50-130 Idaho; 800-900 lbs. $123-125 Idaho. Future Delivery Delivered Price: Medium and Large 1: 850 lbs. $121-121.50 for March Idaho.

Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1: Current Delivered Price: 750 lbs. $120 Idaho; 800-850 lbs. $120 Idaho. Future Delivery Delivered Price: 800 lbs. $115 for March Idaho.

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Selected Western livestock auctions http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/selected-western-livestock-auctions http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170220/selected-western-livestock-auctions#Comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:45:01 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170229990 Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.

California

SHASTA

(Shasta Livestock Auction)

Cottonwood, Calif.

Feb. 17

Current week Last week

708 924

Compared to Feb. 10: Slaughter cows $3-5 higher, especially fleshy cows. Feeder cattle in smaller bunches with exception of some 5-weight heifers. Top groups of steers under 600 lbs. higher, heifers $5-10 lower. Off lots and singles $20-40 below top.

$5 higher. Off lots and singles $20-40 below top.

Slaughter cows: High yielding $64-73; Med yielding $53-63; Low yielding $40-50.

Feeder steers: 450-500 lbs. $140-162; 500-550 lbs. $135-155; 550-600 lbs. $135-154; 600-650 lbs. $115-139; 700-750 lbs. $127.75; 750-800 lbs. $120-123.75; 800-900 lbs. $110-121; 900-1,000 lbs. $110-115.

Feeder heifers: 400-450 lbs. $121-131; 450-500 lbs. $122-132; 500-550 lbs. $116-134; 550-600 lbs. $115-121.50; 600-650 lbs. $115-121.50.

Calvy cows: Smaller bunches, full mouth $1,000-1,250. Broken mouth $900-1,035.

Pairs: Few bunches of various age and quality $1,100-1,775.

TURLOCK

(Turlock Livestock Auction Yard)

Turlock, Calif.

Feb. 14

Total receipts: 957 head.

Feeder volume normal for this time of year with smaller lots. Market seems to be steady with very light test. Weigh cows and bulls 1-2 cents better than a week ago. Many thanks to all our customers for your quality consignments throughout the year and a big thanks to all the buyers for your continued support.

No. 2 medium and large frame steers: 300-400 lbs. $100-135; 400-500 lbs. $100-130; 500-600 lbs. $100-120; 600-700 lbs. $95-118; 700-800 lbs. $90-117; 800-900 lbs. $75-115.

No. 2 medium and large frame heifers: 300-400 lbs. $90-134; 400-500 lbs. $85-135; 500-600 lbs. $80-127; 600-700 lbs. $80-123; 700-800 lbs. $75-120; 800-900 lbs. $75-104.

No. 1 Holstein steers: 400-500 lbs. $60-78; 500-600 lbs. $60-76; 600-700 lbs. $60-75; 700-800 lbs. $60-74; 800-900 lbs. $60-74.

Holstein barren heifers: $60-78.

Weigh beef cows: High yielding $59-72; Med yielding $51-58; Low yielding $40-50.

Weigh dairy cows: High yielding $54-62; Med yielding $45-53; Low yielding $35-44.

Weigh bulls: High yielding $70-82; Med yielding $64-69; Low yielding $58-63.

Washington

EVERSON

(Everson Livestock Market)

Everson, Wash.

Feb. 11

Total receipts: 175.

Heifers (hd.): 900-1000 lbs. $770-850; 1000-1100 lbs. $910.

Steers (cwt.): 300-400 $128; 400-500 lbs. $60-139; 500-600 lbs. $64-143; 600-700 lbs. $66-136; 800-900 lbs. $96; 1100-1300 $119;

Bulls (cwt.): 500-600 $118; 600-700 lbs. $110; 700-800 lbs. $126; 800-900 lbs. $52; 1000-1100 lbs. $137; 2000-2500 lbs. $65.

Slaughter cows: 44-$61.50. Heifers (cwt.): 300-400 lbs. $72-116; 400-500 lbs. $93-116; 500-600 lbs. $80-126; 600-700 lbs. $56-116; 800-900 lbs. $96; 1100-1300 lbs. $92.

Bred Cows: (hd.) 1100-1300 lbs. $775-$850; 1300-1500 lbs. $1225.

Pairs (hd.): 1300-1500 lbs. $1375; 1500-2000 lbs. $1475-$1500.

TOPPENISH

(Toppenish Livestock Auction)

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Feb. 17

2,100 810 2,500

Compared to Feb. 10 at the same market: Not enough stocker or feeder cattle last week for accurate market trends. Trade active with good demand. Slaughter cows $2-4 higher, due in part to a niche market for non-branded non ear-tagged cows. Slaughter bulls steady. Trade active with very good demand. Slaughter cows 56 percent, slaughter bulls 1 percent, and feeders 43 percent of the supply.

The feeder supply included 58 percent steers and 42 percent heifers. Near 75 percent of the run weighed over 600 lbs. Replacement Cows: Pre-tested for pregnancy, and age.

Feeder Steers Medium and Large 1-2: 400-500 lbs. $144-146; 500-600 lbs. $143.50-150; 500-600 lbs. $165, Thin Fleshed; 600-700 lbs. $130-139; 600-700 lbs. $120-126, Full 700-800 lbs. $116.50-125. Medium and Large 2-3: 600-700 lbs. $122.50. Large 1: 800-900 lbs. $112-125; 800-900 lbs. $105, Full; 900-1000 lbs. $110. Small and Medium 1-2: 300-400 lbs. $141.

Holstein Steers Large 2-3: 1100-1200 lbs. $68.

Feeder Heifers Medium and Large 1-2: 400-500 lbs. $133.50-140; 500-600 lbs. $129-138; 500-600 lbs. $125, Full; 600-700 lbs. $118-128; 700-800 lbs. $107.50-115. Large 1: 800-900 lbs. $101. Large 2-3: 900-1000 lbs. $79; 1200-1300 lbs. $71.75. Small and Medium 2-3: 400-500 lbs. $100; 500-600 lbs. $116.

Slaughter Cows: Boners 80-85 percent lean 1200-1900 lbs. $59-64; Lean 85-90 percent lean 1300-1800 lbs. $58-63; Lean Light 90 percent lean 900-1400 lbs. $47-53.

Slaughter Bulls: Yield Grade 1-2 few 1600-2400 lbs. $73-74.

Bred Heifers (Per Head): Medium and Large 1-2: Few 943 lbs. $1225 6-9 mos.

Idaho

CALDWELL

(Treasure Valley Livestock)

Jan. 20

Steers (wt.): 400-500 lbs. $79; 500-600 lbs. $71; 600-700 lbs. $62.25; 700-800 lbs. $65.25; 800 lbs. $67.25.

Steers (hd.): 100-200 lbs. $180; 300-400 lbs. $300; 400-500 lbs. $285; 500-600 lbs. $300.

Heifers (hd.): 500-600 lbs. $200.

Bull Calf (wt.): 400-500 lbs. $300.

Cows (wt.): 1200-1300 lbs. $30; 1300-1400 lbs. $38.50; 1400-1500 lbs. $47.75; 1500-1600 lbs. $49; 1600-1700 lbs. $35.75; 1700-1800 lbs. $46.50; 1800-1900 lbs. $55; 1900-2000 lbs. $52.50.

Oregon

LEBANON

(Lebanon Auction Yard)

Feb. 9

Total Receipts: 228.

Top conventional cow $67.50, Top 10 avg. $64.86, avg. all $48.72.

Top conventional bull: $88.

Top organic cow: $85; avg all $65.39.

Feeder steers: 400-500 lbs. $121-$128; 500-600 lbs. $112-$124; 600-700 lbs. $114-$122.

Feeder Heifers: 400-500 lbs. $112-$124; 500-600 lbs. $110-$122.50.

Bred cows: $200-$680 per head.

Cow/calf pairs: $675-$1175 per pair.

MADRAS

(Central Oregon Livestock Auction)

Feb. 6

Total head count: 220.

Baby calves: NA.

Steers: 400-500 lbs. $137-147; 500-600 lbs. $135-153; 600-700 lbs. $127-136.50; 700-800 lbs. $118-127; 800-900 lbs. $112.50-117.

Bulls: High yield. $80-87; Mostly $75-80; Thinner $75-80.

Pairs: Full Mouth Vacc: $1250-1400.

Heifers: 400-500 lbs. $130-142; 500-600 lbs. $121-134; 600-700 lbs. $116-128; 700-800 lbs. $105-155; 850-1000 lbs. $100-105.

Heiferettes: NA.

Cows: High-yield $57; fleshy cows $55; medium-yield $50; low-yield $50.

VALE

(Producers Livestock Market)

Feb. 15

Total receipts: 1762 head.

Comments: A good test on the overall market, $1-2 higher on some weight classes. $1-2 lower on others.

Steer calves: 300-400 lbs. $149-176; 400-500 lbs. $134-164; 500-600 lbs. $126-149.

Heifer calves: 300-400 lbs. $113-130; 400-500 lbs. $16-140; 500-600 lbs. $113-130.

Yearling steers: 600-700 lbs. $114-130; 700-800 lbs. $115-123; 800-900 lbs. $112-121; 900-1000 lbs. $102-110.

Yearling heifers: 600-700 lbs. $106-123.50; 700-800 lbs. $102-116; 800-900 lbs. $96-112.

Light Holstein steers, 600 lbs. and under: NA. Light Holstein steers, 700 lbs. and over: NA.

Stock cows: $900-1300 young; $625-950 BM.

Pairs, young: 1300-1500.

Butcher cows: $48-58.

Thin shelly cows: $32-47.

Butcher bulls: $52-71.

WOODBURN

(Woodburn Livestock Auction)

Feb. 13

Total receipts: 775.

Top 10 slaughter cows $62.71; top 50 slaughter cows $58.28; top 100 slaughter cows $55.06

Top certified organic cattle: $74.

All certified organic cattle average price: $67.

Top beef steers: 200-300 lbs. $100-130; 300-400 lbs. $120-134; 400-500 lbs. $120-131; 500-600 lbs. $116-130.50; 600-700 lbs. $110-125.50; 700-800 lbs. $95-105; 800-900 lbs. $90-105.

Top beef heifers: 400-500 lbs. $120-134; 500-600 lbs. $120-132.50; 600-700 lbs. $100-115.

Cow/calf pairs: 825-1025. Bred cows: $800-1000. Day-old beef cross calves: $137.50-155. Day-old dairy calves: $2-50.

Hogs: Block hogs $70-78; feeder pigs $37.50-170 per head; sows $4-40.

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On frozen fields, North Korean farmers prep for battle ahead http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170220/on-frozen-fields-north-korean-farmers-prep-for-battle-ahead http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170220/on-frozen-fields-north-korean-farmers-prep-for-battle-ahead#Comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:47:47 -0500 ERIC TALMADGE http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170229997 PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Plug your noses and ready your “Juche fertilizer.” It’s time to prep the frozen fields in North Korea.

North Korea relies on its farmers to squeeze absolutely all they can out of every harvest. It’s a tall order in a country with 25 million mouths to feed that is mostly mountains, hamstrung by international trade sanctions and, beyond a handful of showcase cooperatives, hard-pressed to modernize its agricultural sector.

Without doubt, life as a farmer in North Korea is harsh. But there are some signs of change in how North Korea is treating its fields and its farmers.

In typically propagandist fashion, the North’s state media are already reporting that workers inspired by leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s address are heroically churning out “117 percent” of their production quotas of what they call “Juche fertilizer.”

A grain of salt is certainly in order. What exactly the patriotic-sounding Juche fertilizer is isn’t all that clear, though it’s likely a mix of largely organic components augmented with some chemicals. Because of the general lack of livestock, human feces are a key ingredient. Juche refers to the North’s longstanding but mostly aspirational policy of self-reliance.

The battle in the fields, however, has certainly begun.

With the ground still frozen as the North waits out its notoriously cold winters, farmers, joined by workers and students mobilized from the cities, are in the process of transporting truckloads of pungent fertilizer to fields across the country for the planting season ahead.

Kim Song Ryong, head technician at the Migok Cooperative Farm in Sariwon, south of Pyongyang, said it takes about 20 to 25 days to distribute the compost. In March, it will be spread over the fields in an even layer and then ploughed in below the surface.

“Our respected supreme leader comrade Kim Jong Un instructed us that agriculture is the main approach to building a strong economy and country,” he said in an interview with AP Television News. “To get the best harvest with scientific farming, all our farmers and workers are out in the fields to improve the quality of the soil.”

In the past, the country’s over-reliance on scientific magic bullets has had tragic results.

Overuse of chemical fertilizers that began in the 1950s devastated the natural microbiotic soil environment and fueled a cycle in which its fields grew increasingly dependent on ever-more-artificial fertilization. In the 1990s, the fall of the Soviet Union and Pyongyang’s other communist benefactors disrupted the supply of that fertilizer — which, coupled with other factors, led to widespread famine.

But Pyongyang appears to have learned some lessons since.

According to Randall Ireson, a private consultant and former nongovernmental program director in the North, farmers have shifted their emphasis since about 2000 to adding compost and organic fertilizers to rebuild the organic content in the soil and revivify microorganisms.

“What I’ve seen and heard of is the use of effective rapid aerobic composting of plant residue and, where available, animal and human manure, with the composted material further augmented with some chemical fertilizer,” he said. “The addition of chemical fertilizer to the mix makes it “non-organic” by a strict definition, but the other aspects are generally sound and sustainable, if managed correctly.”

Ireson noted that the depressed economy, lack of foreign exchange and weak industrial sector combine to make the acquisition of foreign chemical fertilizer difficult. But he said the push in the North for composting, while poorly designed at first, has gradually improved so that farms have started to produce fertilizer using local, low-energy methods.

“Buying more would be the easy, if not environmentally or economically sustainable, way to boost farm production,” Ireson said. “Lacking that resource, the push has been to find local resources, which I think is quite appropriate.”

More importantly, policy revisions under Kim Jong Un have since 2012 given farmers more incentive to produce above the state quota and to take more of a personal stake in field outcomes. Though details are scant, farmers can sell excess produce for a profit and smaller, essentially family-sized, work units have been established to make the rewards more direct.

Outside experts generally agree the changes are a step in the right direction — China and Vietnam had success with similar agricultural reforms.

But they also quickly warn it remains unclear how widely and fully implemented the revisions have been.

“It’s always hard to know what the ag situation really is,” said Ireson. “There’s a tendency to concentrate on technical aspects of farming (in the North), but the farmers are pretty clever and know how to do things. The main constraint is limited resources and, at least until recently, little personal incentive to produce beyond the quota.”

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Unilever shares slide after Kraft Heinz withdraws $143B bid http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20170220/unilever-shares-slide-after-kraft-heinz-withdraws-143b-bid http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20170220/unilever-shares-slide-after-kraft-heinz-withdraws-143b-bid#Comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:41:03 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170229998 NEW YORK (AP) — Shares in Unilever, the owner of brands like Hellman’s, Lipton, and Knorr, are down sharply after rival Kraft Heinz withdrew a $143 billion takeover offer.

The companies said Sunday in a joint press release that Kraft Heinz has “amicably” abandoned the offer.

Shares in Unilever slumped 6.5 percent on Monday to 41.91 euros in Amsterdam, one of the places they’re listed. They’d jumped 14 percent on Friday.

The deal would have combined Kraft Heinz products such as Oscar Mayer, Jell-O and Velveeta with Unilever’s stable of brands, which include food as well as other consumer goods like Dove soap and Vaseline. The merged company would have rivaled Nestle as the world’s biggest packaged food maker by sales.

Analysts say Kraft Heinz, co-headquartered in Chicago and Pittsburgh, is still in the market for acquisitions. The fact that it bid for all of Unilever and not just its food business indicates that Kraft Heinz is potentially open to acquiring other packaged consumer goods, one analyst said.

Unilever, which has a head office in London and multiple stock listings, rejected the offer on Friday, but despite that, Kraft Heinz said at the time that it was still interested in the deal.

Such acquisitions might not lead to big changes that customers would notice on supermarket shelves, but shifting tastes are partly driving deal-making in the food industry.

Part of the challenge is the proliferation of smaller food makers marketing products that seem more wholesome, which makes it harder for the established companies to drive up sales simply by selling more of well-known products or by raising prices, as they have in the past.

“That obviously has its limits,” said David Garfield, head of the consumer products unit at consulting firm AlixPartners, said last week.

Instead, major packaged food companies are being forced to dig deeper to find cost efficiencies or tap into new markets, Garfield said. That can include mergers that result in consolidated manufacturing systems, or that give companies access to distribution networks in regions of the world where they don’t have a big presence.

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Food company incorporates crickets into products http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20170218/food-company-incorporates-crickets-into-products http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20170218/food-company-incorporates-crickets-into-products#Comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 09:02:54 -0500 BARBARA SODERLINOmaha World-Herald http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219900 LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Most food companies hope to keep bugs out of their products.

A Nebraska business is trying to figure out just how many insects it can put in.

Crickets, ground to a powder, are a key ingredient in new pasta and rice products being developed by Bugeater Foods, a startup working from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The goal is to get as much buggy nutrition into the pasta as possible while still making a product that looks and tastes good and cooks properly.

The better it tastes, the better the chance of getting consumers to overcome their aversion to eating insects, which are high in protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals, but also, for many people, high in the ick factor.

Along with expanding the supply chain of crickets raised for human and livestock consumption, overcoming people’s aversion to eating bugs is the biggest hurdle for the nascent insect protein industry.

Using insects in staple foods like rice and noodles is a new direction for Bugeater, which launched in January 2015. Taking its name from the pre-Cornhuskers, 1890s Nebraska football team, the company started out with a focus on a protein shake product called Jump.

It sells the cricket-based shake powder online and also distributed samples through a 2015 partnership with Lincoln vitamin and supplement seller Bulu Box. Recently, it secured distribution through Hy-Vee supermarkets and said Jump is now available at some of the Iowa retailer’s stores.

But last fall, it got a big boost with a government small-business grant to pursue a different path.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded Bugeater $100,000 to find new ways to turn insects into safe, healthful staple food products that taste good. If things go well in this first phase, during which it’s testing a rice-shaped pasta along with ramen and macaroni noodles, Bugeater hopes to secure a phase-two grant worth an additional $600,000. The money would cover the cost of developing and manufacturing a commercial-ready product.

The USDA grant is Bugeater’s first six-figure investment. Chief Executive Officer Kelly Sturek called it a turning point for the small company, with a team of three. Julianne Kopf is the food scientist, and Alec Wiese handles marketing and branding. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development partially matched the grant with an additional $65,000.

That money comes on top of smaller early investments. Participation in the Lincoln accelerator program NMotion brought a $20,000 investment in exchange for some equity in the company, and the team members, who met as students at UNL, themselves invested a total of about $10,000, mostly from winnings in business plan competitions.

In test space at UNL’s Food Innovation Center, Sturek and Kopf try different formulations of cricket powder in their pasta dough. They try different cooking oils, and rice and wheat flour. The result is something that looks and tastes much like whole-grain pasta — with a bit of nutty flavor.

“You might just think that this is a whole-grain noodle, and not that you’re looking at insect particles,” Kopf said.

They’ll set up taste-test trials this spring, and send their products to chefs for feedback.

Why bugs? Bugeater and its competitors say their product is more sustainable than other animal proteins.

While it says more research is needed, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said raising insects produces fewer greenhouse gases and takes less water and space. Insects efficiently convert feed to protein and can be a key part of the answer to the question of how to feed the world’s growing population, the organization said.

It’s hard to quantify the size of the edible insect industry, said Robert Nathan Allen, a member of the board of the North American Edible Insect Coalition, which formed in 2016 to represent the industry. Allen is also a founder of the Austin, Texas, nonprofit Little Herd, which advocates for the practice of eating insects.

Insects could also be used to feed livestock, Allen said. And for farmers facing low commodity prices, an insect farming operation could be a profitable addition to a traditional farm, he said.

Allen said the industry’s primary goal is public education about eating insects. He envisions a campaign along the lines of the dairy industry’s “Got Milk?” promotion, although expensive advertising is out of reach.

But he said the number of farms raising insects for human consumption is growing, with about a dozen today. Also growing is the number of commercial food products available online and on grocery shelves. It’s not just novelty scorpion lollipops anymore. Consumers can snack on Chirps, chips made with cricket flour, or Exo protein bars, which advertise: “Clean animal protein. None of the concerns.”

Big investors and food manufacturers have taken notice, Allen said. Arielle Zuckerberg — Facebook founder Mark’s sister — was among investors last year in a California cricket farm, Tiny Farms. And PepsiCo. Chief Executive Indra Nooyi said at a conference last year that insect protein will become more popular.

“They’re realizing that there’s potential here,” said Allen, while acknowledging that eating bugs is still a strange idea for western consumers.

Leon Higley, a UNL insect ecologist who is not involved with Bugeater, said insects and their larvae have long been a source of protein in human diets, and still are in southeast Asia and some other places.

“It isn’t much different from eating lobster or king crab — it’s 100 percent a matter of perception,” he said.

If you think you’d never eat an insect, Higley said, you’re wrong — they’re impossible to keep out of the food supply, with bits and pieces already in the things you eat. He said there are few health risks; some people with a crustacean allergy react to insects. But they are largely healthful and safe to eat, he said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no special rules for edible insects, a spokesman told industry publication Food Navigator-USA last year. The FDA said insects sold for food must be raised specially for human consumption and must be free from pathogens, and must be packaged and transported in compliance with good food-handling practices.

The FDA didn’t answer questions from The World-Herald about its rules.

Bugeater Foods said it sends both its cricket powder ingredient and its final product to an independent lab to be tested for pathogens.

There is “not a chance” that eating insects will become mainstream in the United States, Higley said, but he sees market niches for it, and the appeal to consumers who believe raising vertebrate animals for meat is inhumane.

Allen, the edible insect promoter, argues that the investments in these businesses show it’s not a passing fad.

“If Americans don’t want to eat it, that’s fine. There are billions of other people around the world who are going to eat it,” he said. And U.S. companies may want a piece of the market.

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Portland daily grain report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170217/portland-daily-grain-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170217/portland-daily-grain-report#Comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:01:47 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219894 Portland, Ore., Friday, Feb. 17, 2017

USDA Market News

All Bids in dollars per bushel. Bids are limited and not fully established in early trading.

Bids for grains delivered to Portland, Oregon in dollars per bushel.

In early trading March futures trended one to five cents per bushel lower compared to Thursday’s closes.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains and barges for February delivery for ordinary protein were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as steady to lower compared to Thursday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Bids for guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein were not available in early trading as most exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for February delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as mixed compared to Thursday’s noon bids. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for 14 percent protein US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for February delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as lower compared to Thursday’s noon bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle trains during February were not well tested in early trading but bids were indicated as mixed compared to Thursday’s noon bids. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for US 1 Yellow Soybeans delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle trains during February were not well tested in early trading, but bids were indicated as lower compared to Thursday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

All wheat bids in dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White Wheat - delivered by Unit Trains and Barges

Ordinary protein

Feb 4.7775-4.8500

Mar 4.6175-4.8500

Apr 4.6150-4.8500

May 4.6150-4.8200

Aug NC 4.6700-4.7875

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Feb NA

Mar 4.6475-4.8500

Apr 4.6150-4.8000

May 4.6150-4.8000

Aug NC 4.6875-4.8500

US 1 White Club Wheat - delivered by Unit Trains and Barges

Ordinary protein

Feb 4.9275-5.0000

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Feb NA

US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat - (Exporter bids-falling numbers of 300 or

better)

Ordinary protein 4.5800-4.8200

11 pct protein 5.1700-5.4200

11.5 pct protein

Feb 5.4700-5.7200

Mar 5.4700-5.7200

Apr 5.5000-5.6000

May 5.5000-5.5500

Aug NC NA

12 pct protein 5.6200-5.8700

13 pct protein 5.9200-6.1700

US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat (with a minimum of 300 falling numbers, a maximum

of 0.5 part per million vomitoxin, and a maximum of one percent total damage)

13 pct protein 6.0625-6.1125

14 pct protein

Feb 6.6225-6.8825

Mar 6.6225-6.8825

Apr 6.6025-6.9025

May 6.5525-6.8525

Aug NC NA

15 pct protein 6.9025-7.2825

16 pct protein 7.1825-7.6825

US 2 Yellow Corn

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Feb 4.8525-5.1525

Mar 4.8025-5.0025

Apr 4.5750-4.6250

May 4.5550-4.5750

Jun 4.5950

Jul 4.5950

US 1 Yellow Soybeans

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Feb 11.1050-11.3250

Mar 10.9750-11.0750

Apr 11.0525

Oct 11.0700-11.1300

Nov 11.0700-11.1100

US 2 Heavy White Oats 3.2650

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Jan 2017

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 4.6300

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 4.3400

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 5.2400

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 6.8100

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

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Memo: Administration weighed using National Guard for immigration roundup http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170217/memo-national-guard-may-be-used-for-immigration-roundup http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170217/memo-national-guard-may-be-used-for-immigration-roundup#Comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 09:19:19 -0500 GARANCE BURKE http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219897 The Trump administration considered a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

Staffers in the Department of Homeland Security said the proposal had been discussed as recently as Friday.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Four states that border on Mexico were included in the proposal — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four — Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Friday the document was “not a White House document.”

“There is no effort to do what is potentially suggested,” he said. Spicer called the AP report “100 percent not true, adding that there was “no effort at all to utilize the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants.”

A DHS official described the document as a very early draft that was not seriously considered and never brought to the secretary for approval.

The AP had sought comment from the White House beginning Thursday and DHS earlier Friday and had not received a response from either.

Governors in the 11 states would have had a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, which bears the name of U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.

While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the U.S.-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.

The memo was addressed to the then-acting heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It would have served as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Donald Trump signed Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders.

Also dated Jan. 25, the draft memo says participating troops would be authorized “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.” It describes how the troops would be activated under a revived state-federal partnership program, and states that personnel would be authorized to conduct searches and identify and arrest any unauthorized immigrants.

If implemented, the impact could have been significant. Nearly one-half of the 11.1 million people residing in the U.S. without authorization live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data.

Use of National Guard troops would greatly increase the number of immigrants targeted in one of Trump’s executive orders last month, which expanded the definition of who could be considered a criminal and therefore a potential target for deportation. That order also allows immigration agents to prioritize removing anyone who has “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

Under current rules, even if the proposal had been implemented, there would not be immediate mass deportations. Those with existing deportation orders could be sent back to their countries of origin without additional court proceedings. But deportation orders generally would be needed for most other unauthorized immigrants.

The troops would not be nationalized, remaining under state control.

Spokespeople for the governors of nine of the states either declined to comment or said it was premature to discuss whether they would participate. Representatives for Texas and Arkansas did not immediately respond to the AP.

The proposal would have extended the federal-local partnership program that President Barack Obama’s administration began scaling back in 2012 to address complaints that it promoted racial profiling.

The 287(g) program, which Trump included in his immigration executive order, gives local police, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers the authority to assist in the detection of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally as a regular part of their law enforcement duties on the streets and in jails.

The draft memo also mentions other items included in Trump’s executive order, including the hiring of an additional 5,000 border agents, which needs financing from Congress, and his campaign promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The signed order contained no mention of the possible use of state National Guard troops.

According to the draft memo, the militarization effort was to be proactive, specifically empowering Guard troops to solely carry out immigration enforcement, not as an add-on the way local law enforcement is used in the program.

Allowing Guard troops to operate inside non-border states also would go far beyond past deployments.

In addition to responding to natural or man-made disasters or for military protection of the population or critical infrastructure, state Guard forces have been used to assist with immigration-related tasks on the U.S.-Mexico border, including the construction of fences.

In the mid-2000s, President George W. Bush twice deployed Guard troops on the border to focus on non-law enforcement duties to help augment the Border Patrol as it bolstered its ranks. And in 2010, then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced a border security plan that included Guard reconnaissance, aerial patrolling and military exercises.

In July 2014, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to the border when the surge of migrant children fleeing violence in Central America overwhelmed U.S. officials responsible for their care. The Guard troops’ stated role on the border at the time was to provide extra sets of eyes but not make arrests.

Bush initiated the federal 287(g) program — named for a section of a 1996 immigration law — to allow specially trained local law enforcement officials to participate in immigration enforcement on the streets and check whether people held in local jails were in the country illegally. ICE trained and certified roughly 1,600 officers to carry out those checks from 2006 to 2015.

The memo describes the program as a “highly successful force multiplier” that identified more than 402,000 “removable aliens.”

But federal watchdogs were critical of how DHS ran the program, saying it was poorly supervised and provided insufficient training to officers, including on civil rights law. Obama phased out all the arrest power agreements in 2013 to instead focus on deporting recent border crossers and immigrants in the country illegally who posed a safety or national security threat.

Trump’s immigration strategy emerges as detentions at the nation’s southern border are down significantly from levels seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Last year, the arrest tally was the fifth-lowest since 1972. Deportations of people living in the U.S. illegally also increased under the Obama administration, though Republicans criticized Obama for setting prosecution guidelines that spared some groups from the threat of deportation, including those brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Last week, ICE officers arrested more than 680 people around the country in what Kelly said were routine, targeted operations; advocates called the actions stepped-up enforcement under Trump.

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Kraft still hungry for Unilever after rejected offer http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20170217/kraft-still-hungry-for-unilever-after-rejected-offer http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20170217/kraft-still-hungry-for-unilever-after-rejected-offer#Comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 08:56:09 -0500 CANDICE CHOIand MICHELLE CHAPMAN http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219902 NEW YORK (AP) — Kraft Heinz is attempting to buy Unilever in a $143 billion deal that would create a global food leader that sells products including cheese, lunch meats, spreads and snacks.

U.S. food giant Kraft Heinz Co. says its offer to buy Europe’s Unilever was rejected, but it’s still pursuing the deal.

The maker of Oscar Mayer meats, Jell-O pudding and Velveeta cheese said, though, there’s no certainty that it will make another offer for Unilever, which owns brands including Hellmann’s, Lipton and Knorr. Unilever said Kraft’s offer is too low, and that it sees no reason to continue talks with Kraft.

The shares of both companies surged to new highs early in trading.

The deals underway in the packaged food industry are a symptom of the strains being felt by its major players. Companies like Kraft Heinz, two century-old companies that became one in 2015, are trying to fatten profits even as sales growth weakens.

Last year Mondelez, which makes Oreo and Chips Ahoy, retreated from its attempt to take over Hershey.

The tie-up between Kraft and Heinz was engineered by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, which has a history of taking over companies and aggressively cutting costs.

Executives pitched the deal as the path to enormous savings because the companies would be able to utilize the same manufacturing and distribution networks.

Bernardo Hees, the CEO of Kraft Heinz and a 3G partner, has made job cuts and is pursuing other savings, some of them granular. In a memo sent to employees in the summer of 2015, Hees reminded them to print on both sides of the paper, reuse office supplies like binders and to turn off computers before leaving the office to cut down on energy costs.

The company also stopped stocking the corporate office with free Kraft snacks.

Coca-Cola Co., General Mills Inc., Kellogg Co. and PepsiCo Inc., under pressure from Wall Street, have all slashed costs and are trying to find products that suit the fickle and shifting preferences of customers.

They’ve done that through an array of acquisitions of smaller, faster growing brands. Campbell Soup is trying to shed its canned-food image. It bought juice and bagged carrots maker Bolthouse. General Mills now owns Annie’s, Hormel owns Applegate meats and Justin’s nut butters, and Dr. Pepper recently bought Bai Brands, a maker of drinks sold as rich in antioxidants. But megadeals are harder to pull off.

Shares of Kraft Heinz rose 8 percent Friday. Unilever PLC jumped almost 12 percent.

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Maryland lawmakers seek to protect bee colonies from bears http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170216/maryland-lawmakers-seek-to-protect-bee-colonies-from-bears http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170216/maryland-lawmakers-seek-to-protect-bee-colonies-from-bears#Comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 09:30:37 -0500 JACK CHAVEZ News Service http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219911 ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — House lawmakers and Western Maryland beekeepers are seeking protection for apiarists who use deadly force to protect their bee colonies from black bears. Currently, using deadly force against black bears in defense of livestock is legal, but the Maryland Department of Natural Resources does not recognize bees as such, instead classifying them as just insects.

The bill, sponsored by Delegate Mike McKay, R-Allegany and Washington, would officially recognize bees as animals.

“Currently by law, if you are defending your property, your livestock, you can shoot at a bear to save the livestock,” McKay told the University of Maryland’s Capital News Service.

McKay explained that since bees are classified as insects, instead of animals, there is no legal protection for anyone who harms a bear in defense of a bee colony.

Bears can do a considerable amount of damage to hives within a bee colony, which “are about the size of an end table,” McKay said, and cost from $300 to $500.

According to the Department of Natural Resources website, “it is illegal for an individual to kill a bear unless it is attacking livestock or it threatens your life.”

If someone harms or kills a black bear in the defense of a bee colony, they are subject to the same penalties as if it were any other case of endangerment: maximums of $1,500 and six months imprisonment for the first offense, $2,000 and one year imprisonment for the second.

McKay is quick to point out that what he wants is not that bees be considered livestock, necessarily, but that bees and bee colonies be granted the same protection as other farm animals.

The DNR recommends using electric fences, and even helps cover some installation and maintenance costs, according to its website, but the soil in Western Maryland makes electric fences a “hit or miss” measure, McKay said.

“The soil is not very deep, therefore the moisture does not stay in the soil as long during the summer months,” McKay said.

There is a lot of shale in the ground in Western Maryland, as opposed to other areas of the state, which is not conducive to holding an electric current, proponents of the bill said. This is especially a problem in the hot summer months when moisture evaporates even quicker.

Once an electric fence has been compromised, a black bear will continue hitting a colony over and over until nothing edible remains, Western Maryland beekeeper Ben Cooper told the House Environment and Transportation Committee on Wednesday.

“Beekeepers appreciate the fact that (the state’s Department of Natural Resources) is willing to help in reimbursements for bear damage, it only happens when there is available funding,” Cooper said.

Cooper added that the reimbursements that do come their way are often only a fraction of the total losses.

“This will give beekeepers the same exemption as other value-added producers of livestock,” he said.

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Missouri will appeal California egg law ruling http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170216/missouri-will-appeal-california-egg-law-ruling http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170216/missouri-will-appeal-california-egg-law-ruling#Comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 09:26:57 -0500 SUMMER BALLENTINE http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219912 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court a ruling over a California law that prohibits the sale of eggs from chickens that are not raised in accordance with strict space requirements, the Republican told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Hawley said the law will cost Missouri jobs because of increased farming costs, drive up food costs and hurt the state’s hospitality and restaurant industries because of pricier food.

“The Supreme Court has been clear that states have the right to protect their citizens against out-of-state regulations that would burden those citizens,” Hawley said. “This would burden all Missourians.”

The California attorney general’s office didn’t immediately respond to an AP request for comment Wednesday.

At issue is a 2008 ballot initiative approved by California voters that required egg-laying hens in the state to spend most of their day with enough space to allow them to lie down, stand up, turn around and fully extend their limbs. California legislators expanded the law in 2010 to ban the sale of eggs from any hens that were not raised in compliance with the standard.

Missouri and five other states — Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky and Iowa — sued in response. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November ruled that the states failed to show how the law would affect them and not just individual egg farmers.

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Portland daily grain report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170216/portland-daily-grain-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20170216/portland-daily-grain-report#Comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 09:24:20 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219913 Portland, Ore., Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017

USDA Market News

All Bids in dollars per bushel. Bids are limited and not fully

established in early trading.

Bids for grains delivered to Portland, Oregon in dollars per bushel.

In early trading March futures trended mixed, from seven cents lower to five cents per bushel higher compared to Wednesday’s closes, with the decline in Minneapolis dark northern spring wheat and the greatest advance in Chicago soft red wheat.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains and barges for February delivery for ordinary protein were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as steady compared to Wednesday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Bids for guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein were not available in early trading as most exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for February delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as higher compared to Wednesday’s noon bids. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for 14 percent protein US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for February delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as lower compared to Wednesday’s noon bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle trains during February were not well tested in early trading but bids were indicated as higher compared to Wednesday’s noon bids. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for US 1 Yellow Soybeans delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle trains during February were not well tested in early trading, but bids were indicated as lower compared to Wednesday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

All wheat bids in dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White Wheat - delivered by Unit Trains and Barges

Ordinary protein

Feb 4.8500-4.9475

Mar 4.8175-4.9475

Apr 4.7800-4.9300

May 4.7800-4.9300

Aug NC 4.6700-4.9250

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Feb NA

Mar 4.8175-4.9475

Apr 4.7800-4.9300

May 4.7800-4.9300

Aug NC 4.8500-4.9250

US 1 White Club Wheat - delivered by Unit Trains and Barges

Ordinary protein

Feb 5.0000-5.0975

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Feb NA

US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat - (Exporter bids-falling numbers of 300 or

better)

Ordinary protein 4.7200-4.9600

11 pct protein 5.3100-5.5600

11.5 pct protein

Feb 5.6100-5.8600

Mar 5.6100-5.8600

Apr 5.6350-5.7350

May 5.6350-5.6850

Aug NC NA

12 pct protein 5.7600-6.0100

13 pct protein 6.0600-6.3100

US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat (with a minimum of 300 falling numbers, a maximum

of 0.5 part per million vomitoxin, and a maximum of one percent total damage)

13 pct protein 6.1800-6.2500

14 pct protein

Feb 6.7600-6.9800

Mar 6.7600-6.9800

Apr 6.7050-7.0050

May 6.6550-6.9550

Aug NC NA

15 pct protein 7.0400-7.3800

16 pct protein 7.3200-7.7800

US 2 Yellow Corn

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BNSF

Feb 4.9300-5.0300

Mar 4.7300-4.9300

Apr 4.6525-4.6725

May 4.6325-4.6525

Jun 4.6700

Jul 4.6700

US 1 Yellow Soybeans

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BNSF

Feb 11.3625-11.5825

Mar 11.2325-11.3325

Apr 11.3100

Oct 11.2725

Nov 11.2125-11.2525

US 2 Heavy White Oats 3.2650

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Jan 2017

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 4.6300

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 4.3400

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 5.2400

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 6.8100

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

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Mediation helps financially struggling farmers in Minnesota http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20170216/mediation-helps-financially-struggling-farmers-in-minnesota http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20170216/mediation-helps-financially-struggling-farmers-in-minnesota#Comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 08:24:52 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219916 ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Low commodity prices are causing financial pain on Minnesota farms, but bankruptcies are rare thanks in part to a state mediation program.

The farmer-lender program requires lenders to offer struggling farmers the chance to renegotiate debt terms with the help of a mediator before repossessing any property, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

The program has helped farmers like Jessica and Chad Hofschulte. Their southeast Minnesota farm had a poor crop in 2011, after a fertilizer company they paid didn’t deliver its services.

“We lost about $60,000,” Jessica Hofschulte said. “Couldn’t meet our obligations.”

The Hofschultes accepted mediation when the bank threatened to foreclose. It gave them time to find a new bank, get a federal loan guarantee and make a plan to keep farming.

The program began during the 1980s, when low crop prices, high interest rates and plunging land values sent thousands of farmers into financial collapse.

A phone call from Carl Pohlad, one of the Minnesota’s best known bankers, put the idea of a mediation program in motion, said Jim Nichols, state agriculture commissioner under then-Gov. Rudy Perpich.

Nichols said Pohlad told the governor that bankers weren’t able to loan the struggling farmers any more money because they hadn’t even paid their debts. Minnesota and other states enacted mediation laws to ease the pressure on farmers and bankers, and to give them time.

First Minnesota Bank executive Scott Wakefield, who has been involved in several mediations, said he supports the program. He said it bothers some bankers who contend it delays settlements unnecessarily.

Wakefield said he believes making loans is about more than making a profit. He said it’s also about keeping his local economy strong.

“It’s all up to the attitude,” Wakefield said. “Are you there for the almighty dollar? Are you thinking more about community, and keeping somebody in business?”

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State offers 3,000-acre lease in Horse Heaven Hills http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20170215/state-offers-3000-acre-lease-in-horse-heaven-hills http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20170215/state-offers-3000-acre-lease-in-horse-heaven-hills#Comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 09:53:15 -0500 Dan Wheat http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219923 PATERSON, Wash. — The state Department of Natural Resources is seeking bidders to lease approximately 3,000 acres of agricultural land in Horse Heaven Hills between Paterson and Prosser.

The offering is unique for its size, atypical lease structure and the availability of 3.9 acre-feet of non-interruptible Columbia River water per acre, according to a DNR news release. Bids are due April 6.

The site is within 27 miles of processing facilities and distribution centers in Prosser and within 40 miles of such facilities in the Tri-Cities.

The lease offering is unusual in that DNR is looking for the winning bidder to construct a system to deliver the water to the land. To that end, the agency will allow proposals with rental terms designed to reimburse the winning bidder’s investment, such as a long-term lease of up to 35 years and reduced rates.

DNR is looking for the applicant’s ability to perfect the agency’s water rights, financial capabilities, plus environmental considerations such as use for organic crops or preservation of shrub-steppe as wildlife habitat.

“We know this is not a typical agricultural land lease, but we also know that access to prime irrigated farmland is valuable. We want applicants to be creative and propose what can work for them, and us,” says DNR Southeast Region Manager Todd Welker. “We’ve done a lot of work upfront. We think this approach will preserve a valuable water right, generate revenue for public beneficiaries and pencil out for someone.”

To reduce risk, the agency has negotiated agreements and rights of way for the water supply system. It’s also providing water pipeline and pump station engineering drawings, electrical drawings and a project cost estimate of $11 million.

DNR is pitching the land as suitable for row crops, apples, mint, blueberries and wine grapes. It is within the Horse Heaven Hills American Viticultural Area. Upon full development and perfection of the water right, a minimum of 250 acres of orchard, vineyard or berries is expected, DNR says.

Some of the land has grown dryland wheat, and that could be continued until the water system is developed, said Carrie McCausland, DNR spokeswoman. DNR has owned it a long time and leased it in smaller segments and now wants to develop the water right before it expires in a couple of years, she said.

More information, including overhead drone footage, documents, parcel temperature data and email updates about the lease offering are available at www.Paterson2017.com.  

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Tyson Foods announces new leadership team http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20170215/tyson-foods-announces-new-leadership-team http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20170215/tyson-foods-announces-new-leadership-team#Comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:58:11 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219928 SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas-based Tyson Foods is shaking up its top leadership team.

The Springdale-based meat company announced Tuesday that long-time executives Donnie King, Sara Lilygren and Gary Cooper will be leaving the company. King is president of North American operations, Lilygren is executive vice president for corporate affairs and Cooper is the company’s chief information officer.

Tyson says the departures will occur “over a period of months” to ease the transition. The company announced a new, 10-member leadership team that will report to new Tyson President and CEO Tom Hayes, who took over on Dec. 31.

Tyson is one of the world’s largest food companies and its brands include Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and Sara Lee. The company has about 114,000 employees worldwide.

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First lady says she&#x2019;ll keep predecessor&#x2019;s produce garden http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170215/first-lady-says-shell-keep-predecessors-produce-garden http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170215/first-lady-says-shell-keep-predecessors-produce-garden#Comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:56:54 -0500 DARLENE SUPERVILLE http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219929 Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama’s garden stays.

First lady Melania Trump says through a spokeswoman that she is committed to preserving gardens at the White House, including the bountiful one planted by her immediate predecessor.

“As a mother and as the first lady of this country, Mrs. Trump is committed to the preservation and continuation of the White House gardens, specifically First Lady’s Kitchen Garden and the Rose Garden,” Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a senior adviser to the current first lady, said in a statement. The first lady and President Donald Trump have a 10-year-old son, Barron.

Mrs. Obama planted the garden on the South Lawn in 2009 as one of her first big projects and as the foundation for her signature initiative, “Let’s Move.” She sought through the program to reduce childhood obesity by emphasizing good eating habits and exercise. Several times a year during her tenure as first lady, Mrs. Obama ventured down to the garden to help with plantings and harvests.

The garden produced hundreds of pounds of fruit and vegetables yearly. Some of it was used to feed the Obama family, as well as guests attending White House events, such as state dinners. Some of the sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, lettuces, herbs and other crops were given to neighborhood food kitchens.

Mrs. Obama said at the eighth and final planting last spring that the garden had exceeded expectations by sparking a national conversation about people’s eating habits and stoking renewed interest in community gardening. She referred to the 2,800-square-foot plot as “my baby” and expressed hope for its continued presence at the White House.

“Hopefully, there will be other administrations who come in and they take up this project and continue to make this a part of the White House tradition,” Mrs. Obama said last April.

A month before Trump won the Nov. 8 election, Mrs. Obama dedicated an expanded and improved garden with hopes of cementing it as her legacy.

The additions include a wooden arbor for an entrance, wider bluestone walkways, wooden tables and benches. An inscribed stone at the entrance says: “White House Kitchen Garden, established in 2009 by First Lady Michelle Obama with the hope of growing a healthier nation for our children.”

She also announced $2.5 million in private donations to maintain and preserve the garden.

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Official sides with Georgia over Florida in water lawsuit http://www.capitalpress.com/Water/20170215/official-sides-with-georgia-over-florida-in-water-lawsuit http://www.capitalpress.com/Water/20170215/official-sides-with-georgia-over-florida-in-water-lawsuit#Comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:23:52 -0500 KATHLEEN FOODY http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219934 ATLANTA (AP) — A judicial official sided with Georgia in a decades-long dispute over water rights with Florida on Tuesday, recommending that the U.S. Supreme Court refuse Florida’s high-stakes request to cap water use by its neighboring state.

The dispute focuses on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, covering nearly 20,000 square miles in western Georgia, eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Chattahoochee and Flint rivers meet at the Georgia-Florida border to form the Apalachicola, which flows into the bay and the Gulf of Mexico beyond.

The recommendation from Special Master Ralph Lancaster, who was appointed by the court to oversee Florida’s suit against Georgia, isn’t a final decision. The court’s review of Lancaster’s report and responses from each state could take months. The states’ battle over water use dates back to 1990, and includes drawn-out negotiations and several lawsuits.

The initial decision was a big blow for Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who had decided to take Florida’s case directly to the U.S. Supreme Court and announced the lawsuit in the town of Apalachicola with great fanfare. Jackie Schutz, a spokeswoman for Scott, said the governor’s office was reviewing the report by the special master but did not offer any comments beyond that.

In the past few weeks Scott has been forced to defend the lawsuit because the state’s legal fees in the complicated case have been rapidly mounting. The state has spent more than $41 million in the past 18 months alone, an amount that Republicans in charge of the Florida House say is too much.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he was “incredibly pleased” by Lancaster’s conclusion.

“Georgia remains committed to the conservation efforts that make us amicable stewards of our water,” he said in a statement. “We are encouraged by this outcome which puts us closer to finding a resolution to a decades-long dispute over the use and management of the waters of the basin.”

Others hailed Lancaster’s recommendation as a victory for Georgia following months of worry that the outcome would hurt industries that contribute millions to the state’s economy. The Georgia Agribusiness Council called it “great news” for the state’s agriculture industry, while the Metro Atlanta Chamber thanked Deal and others “for vigorously and successfully defending the state’s water rights.”

Florida’s 2013 lawsuit sought a cap on Georgia’s water use, blaming farmers and booming metro Atlanta for low river flows that harmed the environment and fisheries dependent on fresh water entering the area. Alabama isn’t directly involved in the case but supported Florida in court filings.

Georgia, though, warned that a cap would damage the state’s economy and argued that Florida didn’t prove its use of water caused low river flows. The state’s attorneys also said there was little proof that capping Georgia’s use would substantially help Floridians.

Lancaster agreed, writing that Florida provided “no evidence” that a cap would help the state outside of drought periods and that any benefits “are likely rare and unpredictable.” He also questioned Florida’s decision not to include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages dams that affect the river basin, in its lawsuit.

“Without the ability to bind the Corps, I am not persuaded that the court can assure Florida the relief it seeks,” Lancaster wrote.

Lancaster repeatedly urged the states’ attorneys to settle during the case, to no avail.

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Nebraska prairie dog management law in crosshairs http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170215/nebraska-prairie-dog-management-law-in-crosshairs http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170215/nebraska-prairie-dog-management-law-in-crosshairs#Comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:21:35 -0500 GRANT SCHULTE http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219935 LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s longest-serving lawmaker is once again trying to repeal a law that could allow county officials to kill black-tailed prairie dogs on private property if a neighbor complains.

Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha said the 2012 law violates property rights by allowing the government to trespass on private land without a warrant or other due process safeguards.

“If there is indeed a democracy, if there is such thing as ownership of property and private property rights, those things need to be respected,” Chambers said Tuesday in testimony to the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee.

Black-tailed prairie dogs are native to western Nebraska and considered an important species to maintain the region’s ecological balance, but some ranchers view them as pests because they tear up valuable grassland.

Only Sheridan County in northwest Nebraska has made use of the law, requiring written notification that gives landowners 60 days to manage the prairie dog colonies. Landowners who fail to comply could face a fine of up to $1,500, and if they make no effort to contain the spread, the county can send an agent to clear out the prairie dogs at the owner’s expense.

County officials have said they were previously unable to help several ranch owners whose neighbors allowed prairie dogs to flourish and migrate onto other properties.

Sheridan County Commissioner Jack Andersen said the law helps local officials deal with landowners who don’t manage their property and repealing it “would be a giant step backward” for the county.

Anderson said his county has never had to resort to sending an agent onto private property uninvited, but argued that it gave the county power to address the problem with landowners.

Nebraska Farmers Union president John Hansen said the law is one of the most egregious violations of property rights his group has ever seen.

“This particular law is atrocious,” he said. “It does not respect any of the basic laws of due process.”

Lawmakers came close to repealing the law in 2015 at Chambers’ urging, but rural senators used parliamentary rules to kill it.

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Colorado approves hemp-animal feed study http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170215/colorado-approves-hemp-animal-feed-study http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170215/colorado-approves-hemp-animal-feed-study#Comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:20:10 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219936 DENVER (AP) — Colorado livestock could be eating hemp under a bill that passed the state Senate Tuesday.

The state Senate voted 34-0 in favor of bill directing the Colorado Department of Agriculture to study the feasibility of allowing farmers to use hemp in animal feed. Currently the practice is forbidden.

Hemp is a non-intoxicating cousin of marijuana. The federal government started allowing farmers to grow hemp under limited circumstances in 2014.

The Washington state Legislature passed a similar bill in 2015.

However, agriculture authorities in that state concluded just last month that hemp is not yet safe to use in poultry feed, saying there isn’t sufficient research on whether marijuana’s intoxicant, THC, could pass to the birds.

Colorado has about 300 hemp growers.

The hemp measure now moves to the House.

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Armyworm invasion threatens southern Africa&#x2019;s crops http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170215/armyworm-invasion-threatens-southern-africas-crops http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20170215/armyworm-invasion-threatens-southern-africas-crops#Comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:18:57 -0500 FARAI MUTSAKA http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219937 HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — An invasion of armyworms is stripping southern Africa of key food crops and could spread to other parts of the continent, experts warned Tuesday at an emergency meeting of 16 African nations.

South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia are among the countries where the fall armyworm has invaded fields of maize, a staple crop throughout the region.

The fall armyworm is a new threat in southern Africa. It is mostly associated with the Americas, where it has been since 1957, said David Phiri, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization coordinator for the region.

The pest is devastating to crops and so far impossible to eradicate.

“They have not managed to control it because it keeps evolving,” Phiri said. “But we have to find a plan for managing it.”

Food insecurity will worsen without a solution, he said. “What is of particular concern is that the pest has affected countries that are the main producers of maize.”

South Africa’s agriculture ministry early this month said little was known about how the armyworms arrived or what their long-term effects will be. “It may become a migratory pest similarly to the African armyworm and may migrate in large numbers from one area to another, causing great damage.”

Affected crops also include sorghum, soybeans, groundnuts and potatoes, the ministry said.

The region already has been struggling with what the United Nations has called its worst drought in more than three decades.

Zimbabwe, once prosperous and an exporter of maize, already has been battling food shortages for years. Over 4 million people, or a third of the population, are in dire need of assistance, according to the World Food Program.

Ringson Chitsiko, the permanent secretary in Zimbabwe’s ministry of agriculture, said the government has begun distributing pesticides and providing information to farmers.

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Illinois lawmakers propose biotechnology tax credits http://www.capitalpress.com/Profit/20170214/illinois-lawmakers-propose-biotechnology-tax-credits http://www.capitalpress.com/Profit/20170214/illinois-lawmakers-propose-biotechnology-tax-credits#Comments Tue, 14 Feb 2017 09:05:59 -0500 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017170219954 DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Two Illinois lawmakers have proposed a plan to offer tax credits to biotechnology businesses in hopes of boosting agricultural jobs in central Illinois.

The legislation, introduced by Republican state Sen. Chapin Rose of Mahomet and Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, would provide incentives to produce and sell new renewable products made from biomass and other renewable sources, the Herald & Review reported.

Manar said the state is strategically poised to lead the development of new renewable products.

“We have leading biotechnology companies, large and small, that are leading research and development efforts on these innovative products, and we have critical mass in infrastructure to produce and transport these renewables around the world,” Manar said.

Rose said there’s potential for Decatur to be at the center of a new $20 billion biotechnology industry. He said the intent is to utilize Decatur’s production and shipping capacity through the Midwest Inland Port along with the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Lab in Urbana.

“The potential for jobs is here,” Rose said. “We have something no one else has to offer. This bill will help us capitalize on this and bring these jobs to Central Illinois.”

The proposed legislation would provide a state tax credit to Illinois companies that produce and sell new manufactured products made from bio-based molecules of biomass feedstocks. Those products, including renewable chemicals and food additives, represent the next generation of advanced biofuels.

“These new bio-based products offer great potential to the Illinois economy across the entire state,” said Warren Ribley, president and CEO of Biotechnology Innovation Organization, which is among the organizations leading the efforts in Illinois. “We need to lead now by leveraging our tremendous assets or forever be playing catch-up.”

The plan’s chances in the state Legislature are uncertain.

Illinois’ corporate tax incentive program has been under scrutiny recently with critics calling it too expensive and favorable to large businesses. Last month Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed an extension of the program through April but has called for replacing the program, known as EDGE, or Economic Development for a Growing Economy.

Rauner’s spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said Monday that the bill is “under review.”

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