FarmPolicy

July 22, 2014

Rep. McGovern Discusses Hunger Issues on House Floor- Tuesday

Categories: Farm Bill

House Agriculture Committee Member Jim McGovern (D., Mass.) spoke on the House floor today about hunger issues in the United States.

According to his webpage, “Starting on February 5th, Congressman McGovern began a series of speeches focused on the importance of ‘End Hunger Now.’”

-kg

Ag Economy; Biofuels; Farm Bill; Budget; and, Immigration

Agricultural Economy- Trade Issues

Purdue University Agricultural Economist Chris Hurt noted yesterday at the farmdoc daily blog (“Where Have All the Beef Cows Gone?”) that, “Cattle numbers are down again, to their lowest level since 1952, according to USDA’s recent inventory count. Beef cow numbers are at their lowest level since 1962 as the devastating impacts of the 2012 drought continues the longer-term decline. Beef cow numbers were down three percent in 2012 and 11 percent since 2007. The drivers have been high feed and forage prices, persistent drought in the Southern Plains, and of course the widespread Midwestern drought of 2012.”

Dr. Hurt added that, “What will it take to turn the herd decline around? The answeris more rain, more crop production, and more pasture and forage production. Larger crop and forage production would increase availability and lower prices of these critical feedstuffs. Given the small size of the calf crop, this would bolster calf prices. A second condition beef producers would like to see before expanding is some assurance that feed prices will have an overall moderation in coming years, not just a one year decrease.”

After additional analysis, yesterday’s farmdoc update pointed out that, “If crop and forage production returns to near normal, the cattle industry is poised for multiple years of favorable returns and expansion. However, everyone watching the ‘Drought Monitor’ knows that much of the country has not yet returned to normal weather conditions. Beef cattle producers will be poised to expand when weather conditions improve. Unfortunately for the beef industry, both poultry and pork producers are waiting at the start line as well. Those industries can expand production much more quickly and will extract market share from beef during the period from late 2013 to 2016.”

(more…)