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Kraig Westerbeek Named President, Smithfield Hog Production

Smithfield Foods has named Kraig Westerbeek as president of its hog production operations effective Feb. 29, reporting to President and Chief Executive Officer Shane Smith.

“Kraig has been an extremely valuable asset to Smithfield Foods throughout his career,” said Shane Smith, chief executive officer for Smithfield. “His extensive experience in our hog production division has helped keep Smithfield on the forefront of our industry, and I look forward to his continued leadership.”

Westerbeek brings more than 30 years of industry experience to his new role...

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Feb 21 8:57 AM, Urner Barry



CDFA Issues New Proposition 12 Guidance Document on Certificates

The California Department of Agriculture's (CDFA) Animal Care Program has issued a new guidance document to aid stakeholders in distinguishing between the various certificates issued for Proposition 12 compliance.

Proposition 12 (2018) went fully into effect on January 1, 2024. The law prohibits the sale of shell eggs, liquid eggs, whole pork meat, or whole veal meat in California from animals that fail to comply with specific standards for freedom of movement, cage-free design, and specified minimum floor space. 

The Supreme Court upheld Proposition 12...

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Feb 12 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


REPORTER: Gauging Beef and Pork Supplies in 2024

This article was originally featured in the WINTER 2024 Edition of Urner Barry’s Reporter magazine. 

2023 was a year characterized by extreme financial losses for the nation’s hog producers.

The average return to farrow to finish operations in the first half of the year was minus $34.64 per head, based on research from Iowa State University (ISU). Producers experienced a brief period of profitability over the summer but faced losses once again by the fourth quarter.

The steep losses gripping the hog industry have prompted herd liquidation efforts since...

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Jan 8 2:30 PM, Urner Barry


Major U.S. Winter Storm May Hinder Livestock Movement

Livestock producers and road crews are preparing for a major winter storm that will impact a significant portion of the country this week. 

The Plains and Midwest, where the bulk of the nation's cattle and hog-producing regions are located, could experience heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions through Tuesday. Meanwhile, damaging winds and severe thunderstorms are expected for the deep South through the Northeast today into tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). 

Whiteout conditions due to heavy snowfall combined with severe wind gusts could...

 

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Jan 8 9:27 AM, UB Newswires


CME Grain Futures Pressured by Improved Moisture in Brazil

CME soybean futures began the new year at multi-month lows, pressured by improved moisture in Brazil and extended forecasts for additional rainfall. 

The March soybeans contract slipped to the lowest level since June 30 and ended with a 24 ½ cents decline at $12.73 per bushel. 

Brazil is the world’s leading producer of soybeans, followed by the United States and Argentina. The planting season in Brazil occurs from October through December, with harvest taking place in March through May...

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Jan 3 7:51 AM, UB Newswires


Smithfield Foods to Terminate Grower Contracts With 26 Farms in Utah

In a press release issued Tuesday, Smithfield Foods announced it will terminate contracts with 26 hog farms in Utah amid challenging market conditions. 

The contract terminations will eliminate Smithfield positions that support contract farm relationships, said the company. The number of Smithfield positions eliminated may be up to one-third of the 210 currently employed in its Utah hog production operations. The company will offer relocation opportunities for the affected employees.  

Smithfield Foods is one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies and employs nearly 60,000 people in seven countries...

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Dec 6 6:55 AM, UB Newswires


North 49 Foods Opens New Sow Processing Plant in Moose Jaw

A new pork processing facility in Canada has come online, marking the first time for such an occasion in over a decade. 

North 49 Foods, a division of Thunder Creek Pork, officially opened its federally inspected sow slaughter and processing facility in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in late October. 

The 120,000-square-foot facility was retrofitted from the former JBS/XL Foods beef plant, which was acquired by Donald's Fine Foods in 2019.

Donald's Fine Foods already operates a hog slaughter plant in Moose Jaw that was opened in 2011...

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Nov 10 6:51 AM, UB Newswires


Nepal Added to USDA List of Regions Affected by African Swine Fever

In a notice issued earlier this week, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) indicated that they have added the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal to the APHIS list of regions considered to be affected by African swine fever (ASF). 

“We have taken this action because of the confirmation of ASF in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal,” said the government agency. The first outbreak of ASF in Nepal was reported by the World Organisation of Animal Health in May 2022...

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Oct 27 7:06 AM, UB Newswires


Supply Concerns Maintain Pressure on CME Lean Hog Futures

Lean hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) extended Friday’s steep declines on Monday, pressured by concerns about larger-than-anticipated supplies outlined in USDA’s quarterly data.

The government's latest hogs and pigs report, released Thursday, indicated the number of swine on U.S. farms as of September 1 at 74.319 million head, 0.3% above a year ago. This outpaced expectations for a 0.7% decline in the nation's herd, based on Urner Barry's survey of analysts. 

Prior to the report, the December contract advanced to $76.10 per cwt, a one-week high...

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Oct 3 7:00 AM, UB Newswires


Record Breaking Heat Across Central U.S. Poses Risks to Livestock, Crops

The extreme heat impacting a large portion of the country this week has posed significant challenges for producers and their livestock. 

Highs into the upper 90s and low 100s are forecast for a broad region between the Midwest and central Gulf Coast today, according to the National Weather Service. Coupled with high humidity levels, heat indices could approach 120 degrees in some regions. While it's not unusual for August to experience heat, the current temperatures have shattered records. 

Over 110 million people across 20 states are currently under heat... 

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Aug 24 8:15 AM, UB Newswires


Hog Report Expected to Show 0.7% Decrease in Total Herd vs Year Prior

The USDA’s quarterly hogs and pigs report, scheduled for release Thursday afternoon, is expected to show a decrease in the U.S. swine herd versus June 2022. 

Analysts on average predict the all hogs and pigs number as of June 1 to be down 0.7% from a year ago.

The average of the estimates for all hogs and pigs would project 72.016 million head, compared with 72.524 million a year ago.

The survey showed on average the number of females kept for breeding at 0.7% below a year ago...

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Jun 26 8:01 AM, UB Newswires


Cattle Complex Slips at Midweek While Hogs Rally on Firmer Cash

The cattle complex on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange tumbled at midweek, sending August live cattle sliding to a nearly two-week floor. Feeder futures led the declines, with losses for the August through November contracts ranging from $4.05 to $4.55 per cwt despite weaker corn prices at the closing bell for livestock futures.

Grain futures are up sharply so far Thursday as traders monitor dry conditions in the nation's major crop-producing regions. Corn futures are up by about 9 to 10 cents and soybeans are showing...

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Jun 15 7:42 AM, UB Newswires


NAMI Hosts Prop 12 Webinar With California Department of Food and Agriculture

On Monday, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) along with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) hosted a webinar exploring enforcement, documentation, and transition ahead of Proposition 12, which is set to go into effect July 1.

Speakers included Dr. Elizabeth Cox, who currently leads the Animal Care Program for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Dr. Anette Jones, Director of the Animal Health and Food Safety Services at CDFA.

Proposition 12 is a California law first approved by California voters...

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Jun 13 7:52 AM, UB Newswires


Live Cattle and Feeder Futures Snap Streak of Higher Closes

After scoring fresh contract highs again at midweek, live cattle futures finished sharply lower Wednesday, snapping their nine-day streak of firmer closes. 

The June live cattle contract closed 82.5 cents lower at $179.00 per cwt but remains overbought. The deferred contracts formed outside bearish reversals. 

Feeder futures also scored new highs yesterday before nosediving, sending most actively traded August to a nearly one-week floor. The front-month finished $4.15 lower at $239.10 per cwt while September was down $4.25 to $242.275 per cwt...

 

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Jun 8 7:17 AM, UB Newswires


Lean Hog Futures Boosted by Deeply Oversold Signals 

Following steep declines to fresh contract lows in recent sessions, lean hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) closed sharply higher on Tuesday.

The June through August contracts locked in limit gains at the close and reversed Friday's declines, aided in part by deeply oversold signals. June closed at $80.825 while most-actively traded July settled at $79.525.

Hog futures may have been due for a technical correction after being overdone to the downside, said livestock dealers and market managers.

On the year so far, the nearby hog contract...

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May 31 10:12 AM, UB Newswires


Stock Futures Inch Higher as Talks on Nation's Debt Ceiling Continue

U.S. stocks are posting modest gains in early trading action Friday as talks on the nation's debt ceiling continue. The Dow Jone Industrial Average was last 0.2% higher while the S&P 500 was also up by 0.2%. The Nasdaq-100 was 0.05% higher as of this writing.  

Through Thursday’s close, the Dow has gained 0.7% while the S&P 500 has added 1.5%. The Nasdaq-100 has advanced by 3.3% on the week so far on optimism that the U.S. could avoid defaulting on its debt ceiling.

“An actual breach of the U.S. debt ceiling would likely cause severe damage to the U.S. economy,” said the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) in a blog released earlier this month...

 

Full Story »
May 19 8:02 AM, UB Newswires


Broad Losses at Midweek Sent Lean Hog Futures and Grain Complex Tumbling 

Lean hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) tumbled at midweek, sending some months to new contract lows. Yesterday’s sell-off followed a recent firming trend in hog futures after the Supreme Court’s backing of Proposition 12 last week. 

The June lean hog futures contract formed an outside bearish reversal Wednesday and closed $2.325 lower at $84.875 per cwt. The August contract slipped to a fresh contract low and settled $3.025 lower at $84.85 per cwt.

The cash hog market and wholesale pork...

Full Story »
May 18 8:05 AM, UB Newswires







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