Don Close with Rabo Agrifinance Talks Current Cattle Inventory Numbers


Oklahoma Farm Report

10 Feb 2020


Are the latest cattle inventory numbers from the USDA square with 2019 figures? In today’s Beef Buzz we discuss that issue with Don Close, Rabo AgriFinance senior analyst for food and agribusiness.


There are probably more cattle and calves on our nation’s farms and ranches than the latest USDA figures would indicate, Close said.


He noted that throughout 2019, USDA’s week-to-week numbers would indicate we had radically stopped cow herd expansion.


“I think the USDA over estimated our cow herds in both 2017 and 2018 and inflated that anticipated view of cattle outside of feed yards,” said Close. “We are still unraveling those numbers and will eventually get back to equilibrium.”


Close said the big unknown for 2020 will be the drought prospects in the southwest this summer.


“This will be a huge indication of just how much of a reduction we see in the cow numbers,” said Close.


Is the current estimate of 31 million head of cattle make sense for the industry right now?


Close said to fit in with the 9-year cattle cycle, he would expect to see even more cow herd liquidation than the USDA numbers would indicate.


“I think what this confirms is that we’ve stopped expanding and started contraction. It will probably take us through 2020 of liquidating cows and that puts us in a good spot for 2021 and 2022 to started rebuilding again.”


Close said with 31 million head base to start the process, this bodes well for profitability going into the next cycle.


Couple this with strong domestic and global demand...


more, including audio [7:00 min.]











































Permit for Fulton County hog farm still being vetted


By Joyce F. Nowell, Herald-Mail Media (MD)

Feb 10, 2020


MCCONNELLSBURG, Pa. — State permit approval for a massive hog farm proposed in Fulton County still is under review after an October public hearing.


Bivouac Hog Farm on 224 acres at 15197 Great Cove Road, about six miles south of McConnellsburg in Ayr Township, first was proposed in 2014 by Country View Family Farms, which operates other hog facilities in the region.


A water-quality-management permit now being considered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is for a reboot of the proposed project, planned as a birthing facility for sows and piglets.


The original plan was put on hold in the fall of 2015, when the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board granted a stay of the permit application.


"DEP has not rendered a decision on the permit," John Repetz, community relations coordinator for DEP's south central office, wrote recently in an email. "Permit applications are under review and public comments are being considered."


The public comments came during an Oct. 30, 2019, hearing in McConnellsburg. The session drew about 50 people, with 13 offering testimony. Several speakers were out-of-town activists.


Six local people spoke against the application, while three were in favor of granting the approval. DEP also accepted written comments and planned to produce a public-response document before making its permit decision.


DEP cited technical comments to the developer in early October that needed to be answered before the review could continue. In December, CFC Fulton Properties LLC submitted a revised engineer's report to DEP...