January 21, 2020

Ag Economy; Trade; Biotech; Farm Bill; Budget; and, Biofuels

Agricultural Economy

Kelsey Gee reported in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal that, “The U.S. cattle herd expanded in 2014 for the first time in eight years, offering hope to consumers that beef prices could start to subside after soaring to a series of records.

“The nation’s cattle supply increased 1% in the year through Jan. 1 to 89.8 million head [related graph], according to data released Friday by the U.S. Agriculture Department, reversing a steady decline fueled by prolonged drought in the southern U.S. Great Plains and industry consolidation that encouraged many ranchers to thin herds.

“The USDA report indicated U.S. cattle ranchers retained more breeding animals than analysts had expected to produce new calves, rather than sending cows or heifers to be fattened for beef. Analysts had projected the nation’s herd would drop by 0.1%, according to a Wall Street Journal survey.”