Even though the price of butter jumped more than 26% in October compared to a year ago, analysts say they expect consumers will spend the extra money on the item when they do their holiday baking and cooking, boosting sales. Click here to read the full article.
The biggest challenge for U.S. potato grower-shippers in 2023 might be stretching their volume to last through the season. USDA estimates harvested acreage for 2022 at 902,200 acres. That’s down from 935,700 in 2021, which itself was a tight year. “Growers are doing their best to manage expectations and hold onto their pile of spuds to make them last,” said Ross Johnson, vice president of retail for the Eagle, Idaho-based Idaho Potato Commission. Click here to read the full article.
HPAI returns to Iowa, Alabama
Iowa officials are confirming a positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County. The outbreak impacting 40,700 birds comes a month after Iowa’s last outbreak involving commercial layer chickens in Wright County.
Among the hardest hit states, Iowa’s poultry industry has lost more than 15.5 million birds to HPAI this year. There’s also been a spate of HPAI infections among commercial turkey producers in South Dakota.
All told, HPAI has been confirmed in 670 commercial and backyard flocks in 47 states in 2022, affecting 52.87 million birds, according to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS.) The agency on Tuesday added Alabama to the list of states with HPAI confirmed at a backyard producer. The infection in Lawrence County affected 460 birds. The virus previously was confirmed in wild birds in the state, specifically in black vultures in November and an American wigeon in February. Meanwhile, HPAI is prompting APHIS to restrict the importing of poultry, eggs and other avian products from countries including Ecuador and 11 prefectures in Japan.
Consumers in the U.S. spent 23% more at restaurants during the Black Friday Weekend in late November compared to 2021, and the spend spike beat out spend on fashion and electronics which saw increases of 14% and 2%, respectively. Click here for the full article.
The Senate on Thursday passed legislation to avert a rail shutdown following a grave warning from President Joe Biden about the economic danger posed by a strike. Click here to read the full article.
Retail food inflation is slowing, but USDA reports farm prices for fruits and vegetables still running hot
Retail food inflation slowed in October but is still running up double digits compared with a year ago, a new USDA Food Price report says. The agency also said farm-level prices for fresh fruits and vegetables are running even hotter. Click here to read the full article.
At the Oklahoma City location of the Cajun-style seafood chain Hook & Reel, the decor is unsurprisingly nautical. Thick braids of rope are coiled decoratively around pillars, and a plastic shark hangs from the ceiling, baring its teeth in a wide, leering smile. Seafood comes to tables piled on platters or nested in fry baskets. Click here to read the full article.
Weekly beef cow slaughter has been higher year-over-year for 70 consecutive weeks. In that period, on only four occasions has the year-over-year increase been less than 3%. The latest weekly data shows that beef cow slaughter was up 2.7% year-over- year, just the second week this year in which the rate was up less than 3%. It’s too early to be sure but beef cow slaughter may be slowing down.
Grade Does Matter
As the calendar transitions to winter, seasonal shifts in the cattle and beef industry will begin to appear with reduced slaughter, moderating weights, improvement in grade and slower beef demand following winter holiday buying.
Throughout most of the year, slaughter has outpaced expectations with both fed and non-fed slaughter on pace to finish above last year and total cattle slaughter expected to be the highest since 2010. Weights will likely average at all-time highs for fed cattle for the year. While weights do tend to increase over time, the last few years saw especially large increases with challenges surrounding packing capacity, so with improved harvest capacity and elevated grain prices, continued increases in weights has been somewhat of a surprise.
Hurricane Nicole spares Florida citrus
Florida citrus growers got off easy following Hurricane Nicole, which hit the Sunshine State on Nov. 10, compared to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in late September. “There was some fruit on the ground as a result of the hurricane, but by and large, it sounds like we have, based on the early estimates, avoided the kind of disastrous impact that Ian had,” said Matt Joyner, executive vice president and CEO of Orlando-based Florida Citrus Mutual. The storms left some standing water, but he said Nicole was “mild compared to Ian.” Click here to read the full article.
Spending time with family and friends at Thanksgiving remains important for many Americans and this year the cost of the meal is also top of mind. Farm Bureau’s 37th annual survey provides a snapshot of the average cost of this year’s classic Thanksgiving feast for 10, which is $64.05 or less than $6.50 per person. This is a $10.74 or 20% increase from last year’s average of $53.31. Click here to read the full article.
Just as U.S. consumers begin planning their food needs for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, lettuce growers in the desert of southwest Arizona and southern California are harvesting lettuce a little early to capture record high lettuce prices. The USDA reports that box prices on Nov. 7 ranged from just over $50 for Salinas-Watsonville romaine, to over $90 for iceberg from the same area. San Joaquin Valley iceberg sold for $82.55 to $91.50 per box. I’ve heard rumors of $95 lettuce. Click here to read more.
The US Department of Agriculture in its preliminary baseline projections as of October forecast US farmers will plant more wheat and corn in 2023 but fewer acres to soybeans. The projections for eight major crops included higher planted area for wheat, corn, sorghum, oats and rice from 2022 but lower area for soybeans, barley and upland cotton. Click here to read the full article.
Record-low water levels are causing major shipping jams just as the US needs to export this year’s harvest
The Mississippi River — the immense, quiet highway that courses down the middle of America, moving critical food, wood, coal and steel supplies to global markets — is shrinking from drought, forcing traffic to a crawl at the worst possible time. Click here to read the full article.
4 Ways to Drive Profits with LTOs
If you’re like most operators, you’ve reduced your menu to better cope with increased food costs, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages. Adding in unique limited-time offers (LTOs) can help infuse life into pared-down menus. These specials not only create a buzz, but they also provide an opportunity to stimulate traffic and sales.
Over half (54%) of restaurant operators say that LTOs are a central part of their business1, and many (43%) launch an LTO anywhere from every month to every three months.2 Look for ways to improve LTO visibility while boosting profitability with these four tips. Click here to read the full article.
North America’s leading premium dessert company, today closed the acquisition of Dianne’s Fine Desserts, a leading provider of premium frozen thaw-and-serve desserts, from Geneva Glen Capital. The acquisition expands Dessert Holdings’ assortment of products supplied to the foodservice industry. Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed. Founded over 40 years ago, Dianne’s innovative product line includes cheesecakes, layer cakes, pies and tarts, brownies and bars, individual minis and specialty desserts using high quality ingredients and chef inspired craftsmanship. Dianne’s operates two Global Food Safety Initiative-certified manufacturing facilities. Click here to read the full article.
Commercial turkey facilities in Minnesota are getting hammered by highly pathogenic avian influenza, with HPAI confirmed on Thursday at sites in Le Sueur and Stearns counties, according to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
A total of 20,100 birds were affected at the Le Sueur producer, while the facility in Stearns lost 75,000 turkeys, the APHIS tally stated as of Monday. A commercial turkey meat producer in Swift, Minn., lost 33,800 birds after HPAI was confirmed at the site on Tuesday.
HPAI has been confirmed this year in 580 commercial and backyard flocks in 43 states, with 47.86 million birds affected, according to the agency.
The ongoing outbreaks have the U.S. edging closer to the record set in the nation’s deadliest HPAI onslaught in 2015, when 50.5 chickens and turkeys perished.
Inflationary pressures and other global uncertainties are prompting pork companies to carefully manage production in the fourth quarter, according to a new report from Rabobank.
Pork processors have already built inventory to satisfy a modest rebound from the third quarter. Holiday sales of pork products are expected to test the market’s resilience and its ability to absorb premiums, the Rabobank analysis noted. Value-conscious consumers already are seeking out lower-value cuts and trading down from branded to private-label alternatives at retail, adding to further weakness to premium product markets, the report added.
Rabobank analysts also predicted that weaker economic growth expectations will likely impact pork trade volumes in the fourth quarter and into early 2023. With inflation still outpacing wage growth, lower real wages also are expected to negatively impact overall protein consumption in the current quarter and into the first half of 2023, the report said.
This winter will mark the first time in the history of U.S. management that the Bering Sea snow crab fishery will be closed.
While other crab stocks have been declining in the North Pacific for years, the snow crab fishery’s collapse is doubly shocking for the industry. Not only is it one of the larger crab fisheries by volume in Alaska, it has also gone from booming and healthy to overfished and collapsing within five years, with little warning or clear explanation. Fishermen who made investments in permits and boats less than five years ago are now looking at bankruptcy. To read the full article, click here.
Food was the No. 1 wallet priority for male spending at 23% share, according to Piper Sandler’s Fall Taking Stock with Teens survey, while clothing (30%) outranked food (21%) to capture the highest level of female wallet share since 2012.
The survey highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences from 14,500 teens with an average age of 15.8 years. Click here to read the full article.
'Heartbreaking' Hurricane Ian damage to Florida agriculture estimated up to $1.56B
Drawing comparisons to the damage wrought by Hurricane Irma in 2017, Hurricane Ian’s damage to Florida crops and livestock has been estimated by University of Florida economists from $787 million to $1.56 billion.
Vegetables and citrus were hard hit by Hurricane Ian in late September, according to the preliminary analysis, available online.
Despite heavy flooding prohibiting full assessments of some fields, the researchers predicted economic impacts to citrus, vegetables and livestock from Hurricane Ian, which hit southwest Florida Sept. 28. Click here to read the full article.
Get ready to see orange juice prices spike at the grocery store thanks to Hurricane Ian
Enjoying a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice is about to get more expensive.
Central Florida, home to sprawling citrus groves responsible for the vast production of fresh oranges and orange juice across the country, took a hit when Hurricane Ian recently ravaged the state. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it could result in record lows for the orange crop. Click here to read the full article.
Driver turnover at private fleets jumped this year to nearly 23%, a record spike, according to the National Private Truck Council’s annual benchmarking survey of 104 private fleets across the U.S.
Despite a year marked by capacity constraints in many areas, including equipment and component shortages, driver shortages and rising diesel fuel prices, private fleets reported growth. In 2022, the private fleets surveyed in NPTC’s 2022 Benchmarking Survey increased shipments by about 10% from last year and increased volume by about 7%. The value of shipments also rose by 11.5%. Click here to read the full article.
California’s tomato farmers are getting squeezed by water crisis as growing costs continue to rise
Take a summertime drive on Interstate 5 through the heart of the Golden State and it is nearly impossible to miss the truckloads of tomatoes being hauled straight from harvest to production.
This year, however, fewer tomatoes were grown as rising interest rates, inflation and the crushing drought squeezed farmers who saw their margins sliced and diced. While the cost of growing tomatoes continues to rise, it’s ultimately hitting consumers in the wallet as well. Click here to read the full article from CNN.
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