How food became a weapon in America’s culture war

As the conversation around food got bigger in the ’90s, the stakes also got higher. Mounting evidence that the American way of eating was causing serious health problems spurred talk of reform. Rather than engage with reformers, however, the right simply broadened its culture war around food, politicizing the debate in ways that had significant consequences, not only for public health but, eventually, for the nation’s response to climate change.(No paywall)

Another Missouri community fights the CAFO-expansion trend

Residents of tiny Lone Jack, MO, are fighting a proposal by a local ranch to expand its feedlot from around 600 cows to nearly 7,000. It is the latest in a series of communities pushing back against a national trend toward concentrated animal agriculture. (No paywall)

JBS to sell world’s largest cattle-feeding operation to investment group

Meatpacking giant JBS has agreed to sell Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, the world’s largest feedlot operation, to New York-based Pinnacle Asset Management. Five Rivers feeds 900,000 head in multiple states.

JBS to sell U.S. cattle feedlots with million-head capacity

JBS, the world’s largest meat processor, will sell its Five Rivers Cattle Feeding operation as part of a global divestiture plan intended to generate $1.8 billion. Five Rivers operates feedlots in six western states with a combined capacity of 980,000 head and manages a 75,000-head feedlot in Alberta.

Cargill sells feedlots, will rely on others to raise cattle

One of the world's largest food processors, privately owned Cargill announced sale of its two remaining feedlots, holding 155,000 head of cattle, to ethanol maker Green Plains. The transaction will make Green Plains the fourth-largest cattle feeder in the nation with a feedlot capacity of 255,000 head, said Drovers Cattle Network.

Beef prices take a breather

After two years of dramatic increases, the grocery store price of beef is stabilizing, says the Food Price Outlook.

‘The trouble with Iowa’

Leading into the Feb. 1 precinct caucuses that begin the presidential nomination process, Harper's says in a cover story that "it seems to defy reason" that Iowa, a farm state with a population of 3 million, "should play such an out-sized role. But Iowa is not over. In fact, it may be more relevant than ever."

Wind carries antibiotics and bacteria from feedlots

Researchers at Texas Tech "found evidence of antibiotics, feedlot-derived bacteria and DNA sequences that encode for antibiotic resistance" in air samples taken near cattle feedlots in the southern High Plains, says Feedstuffs.

Inventory of cattle in U.S. feedlots makes rare upturn

There were 10.6 million head of cattle in U.S. feedlots being fattened for slaughter on Nov 1, up slightly from this point a year ago, says USDA. Feedstuffs says it is the first time since August 2012 the monthly tally was higher than the year-earlier figure.

Fewer cattle being fattened for slaughter

The number of feedlot cattle in the country, at 9.8 million head, is down 1 percent from last Sept 1, said USDA's Cattle on Feed report. The monthly report says 1.72 million head were put on feed during August, the lowest number for the month since 1996, Marketings during the month also were the lowest since 1996.

Fewer cattle in feedlots, says USDA

Cattle feeders are fattening 9.8 million head for slaughter, says USDA in its monthly Cattle on Feed report, 2 percent fewer than last Aug 1 and down from the July 1 figure of 10.1 million head.

Everyone wants to give EQIP a haircut

Congress is on track to trim the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, a cost-share program to reduce runoff from fields and feedlots, by as much as 16 percent from its authorized level of $1.6 billion. The FY15 USDA spending bills pending in the House and Senate each would cut the program; the House by $209 million and the Senate by $250 million.