U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack as Biden’s ag secretary

Pandemic leaves USDA 'a lot of work to do'

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters — The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Tom Vilsack to head the Department of Agriculture, returning the former Iowa governor to the job he held under ex-President Barack Obama. The 100-member Senate approved Vilsack 92-7. He needed a simple majority in the Democratic-controlled chamber to be confirmed. As secretary of the sprawling department, Vilsack […] Read more

Olymel shipping backlogged hogs to U.S.

Company-owned hogs to go south after COVID closes Red Deer plant

Reading Time: 2 minutes Winnipeg | Reuters — Olymel said Friday it was shipping pigs to the United States to help clear a backlog of hogs after it had to temporarily close its Red Deer, Alta. slaughter plant because of a coronavirus outbreak. Olymel shut the plant on Wednesday and declared force majeure — unforeseeable circumstances that prevent contract […] Read more

U.S. livestock: CME hogs touch contract high for fourth straight day

Live cattle up, feeder cattle retreat

Reading Time: < 1 minute Chicago | Reuters — U.S. lean hog futures extended their rally on Friday, setting a contract high for the fourth consecutive day on strong demand, while live cattle futures topped a one-year high. Traders predicted Chinese buyers will continue to snap up U.S. pork after the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday reported export sales […] Read more

U.S. livestock: CME hogs touch contract high for third day

Cattle futures up with beef exports

Reading Time: < 1 minute Chicago | Reuters — U.S. lean hog futures climbed on Thursday, setting a contract high for the third consecutive day on firm Chinese demand, traders said. Weekly U.S. pork export sales to China, the world’s top pork consumer, reached a three-month high of 17,873 tonnes in the week ended Jan. 28, according to the U.S. […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Hogs set contract high on strong demand, lighter weights

CME cattle futures close lower

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — U.S. lean hog futures on Wednesday reached a contract high for the second consecutive day on strong demand and a decline in farm animal weights, analysts said. Average hog weights have declined as processors have cleared a backlog of hogs on farms that began last spring when COVID-19 outbreaks temporarily shut […] Read more


U.S. livestock: CME lean hog futures hit contract high

Cattle futures up on domestic, export demand for beef

Reading Time: < 1 minute Chicago | Reuters — U.S. lean hog futures surged to a contract high on strong demand and technical buying on Tuesday, while cattle futures also advanced, analysts said. Chicago Mercantile Exchange April lean hog futures settled up 2.575 cents at 78.075 cents/lb. (all figures US$). The contract traded up to 78.225 cents, topping a previous […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Profit-taking hits live cattle futures

CME April hogs also down off Friday's high

Reading Time: < 1 minute Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle futures weakened on Monday on profit-taking and as the market pulled back from a one-year high reached last week, traders said. Strong demand for beef has supported cattle futures recently, and beef prices continue to rise. Choice cuts advanced $1.82, to $235.77/cwt, and select cuts climbed $2.98, to […] Read more

U.S. pork packer Smithfield offers ultra-cold vaccine storage

COVID-19 vaccines need storage at -20 C, -70 C

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, said on Thursday it had offered to help U.S. health officials distribute COVID-19 vaccines and store them in ultra-cold freezers that are in high demand to support a public vaccination campaign. U.S. states, cities and hospitals are scrambling to buy freezers that can safely […] Read more


Tyson suspends staff as suit alleges managers set up COVID pool

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — Tyson Foods said Thursday it suspended employees without pay and hired former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder to conduct an investigation in response to a wrongful death lawsuit that alleges managers at an Iowa pork plant took bets on how many employees would catch COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Cattle futures sag as COVID surge threatens meat demand

Demand uncertainty also weighs on hogs

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — U.S. livestock futures slumped on Friday as soaring coronavirus cases raised expectations for lockdowns on commerce that will hurt demand for meat from restaurants, hotels and other venues, analysts said. Cities and states across the country have moved to re-impose restrictions to tame new spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. Additional […] Read more