Moving Your Community Forward

As the state emerges from the most recent recession and continues to experience economic growth, it behooves individual communities to take stock of their own economic situation and follow a path to set their economic future.
One of the most effective methods of a community taking charge if its economic future is by implementing a grass-roots based economic and community development based strategic planning process that utilizes objective baseline socio-economic data to provide the community’s leaders (both elected and non-elected) with a firm foundation from which to analyze internal and external factors that affect a community’s future. … Continue reading

Drugs and Deforestation

What happens when it becomes more costly to conduct narcotics-trafficking operations in Mexico due to a government crackdown?

A new report says that drug smuggling in Central America is rapidly increasing rates of deforestation.
Remote forests in Honduras and Guatemala are being cut down to facilitate landing strips for the transportation of narcotics.
The scientists believe the influx of drug cash encourages ranchers, … Continue reading

2014 Farm Bill: Nearing Completion

Late Monday evening (Jan 27) the conference committee of the U.S. House of Representative and the Senate finalized the Agricultural Act of 2014 putting the new farm bill on its path to approval. The House passed the bill today (Jan 29) by a vote of 251-166.  The Senate may vote tomorrow.  … Continue reading

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Jan 24, 2014

For Livestock Prices and Production Information CLICK HERE.
Cash Cattle:
Cash cattle and beef prices remain on their upward trajection. The five-area fed steer price ended Friday at $148.75 and $238.86, respectively for live and dressed, up $6.36 and $11.59 compared to last Friday. In the Southern Plains, live cattle were about $5 higher at $147 on Wednesday. … Continue reading

January Cattle on Feed Report Recap

The United States Department of Agriculture Released their monthly Cattle on Feed report Friday afternoon (Jan 24).The report revealed that 10.593 million head of cattle were in feedlots with 1,000 head or larger capacity on January 1, 2014, down 5.4% from last year and the lowest January 1st number since the series started in 1996. Analysts were expecting the on feed number to be down 6.0%. … Continue reading

Is beef production as inefficient as some lead us to believe?

A recent article in The Economist takes a look at livestock and meat production from an environmental point of view. One of the conclusions that the article makes is that cattle need to be managed more intensively and feed should be switched to grains rather than grass to improve efficiency:
Among the lessons of the research is that white meat wins out over red for environmental reasons as well as health ones. … Continue reading

The Cheapest Way to Skin a Cat

BBC News reports on a study arguing that pollution targets in the European Union are not strict enough:
A study confirming a link between atmospheric pollution and heart-attack risk strengthens the EU case for tougher clean-air targets, experts say.
Research in the BMJ looking at long-term data for 100,000 people in five European countries found evidence of harm, … Continue reading

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Jan 17, 2014

For Livestock Prices and Production Information CLICK HERE.
Cash Cattle:
The hot streak continues for cattle and beef prices. The five-area fed steer price ended Friday at $142.39 and $227.27, respectively for live and dressed, up $2.91 and $5.79 compared to last Friday. In the Southern Plains, live cattle were about $3 higher at $142 on Wednesday. … Continue reading

MS State Economist Projects Continued Growth

Dr. Darrin Webb, Mississippi State Economist and MSU Agricultural Economics alumnus, presented the 2014 Legislative Economic Briefing on January 14. This briefing provided some welcome highlights to the economic situation for the state. In short, the Mississippi economy is growing, but mainly in terms of jobs (income growth continues to be relatively slow). The Index of Coincident Indicators has risen fairly steadily since January 2012 and the November 2013 index was slightly above its pre-recession levels. … Continue reading

Grain Market Update: January 17, 2014

It has been a slow news week for most commodities following last Friday’s WASDE report. Corn futures have slowly declined over the course of the week after jumping 20 cents in response to last Friday’s WASDE report. Early acreage estimates for the 2014 crop have begun to flow in, with Informa estimating about 93.3 million acres. … Continue reading