Tyson Foods, one of the four big meat processors that’s been the target of critics in the White House and Capitol Hill, says it’s beef business is softening as cost-conscious consumers turn to other meats. 

Tyson executives also said in their quarterly earnings call Monday that their operating margin on beef is coming down. 

Tyson’s chief financial officer, Stewart Glendinning, said the company paid $480 million for cattle in the latest quarter, but that there’s still plenty of cattle on the market because of drought conditions that are forcing producers to reduce their herds. 

Tyson’s operating margin was just over 10% in the latest quarter, about half what it was in the same quarter of 2021, but that’s still strong. Going forward, “we expect to see beef margins return closer to an expected long-term 5% to 7% average,” he said. 

By the way: Tyson’s stock fell more than 8% on weaker-than-expected earnings overall. 

Ag commodities flowing from Odesa terminals

Ships laden with farm goods are flowing out of Odesa terminals just as hoped for under the under the deal struck more than a week ago by Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations. Four vessels carrying corn and other ag commodities arrived Monday evening in Istanbul for inspection by the Joint Coordination Center before departing again, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry.

One vessel that left the Port of Pivdennyi in Odesa Monday morning is heading to Italy,” according to the Ukrainian consulting firm APK Inform. Another that left the Port of Chornomorsk is destined for the Netherlands.

“Currently, our goal is to increase transshipment in ports,” said Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. “Within two weeks, we plan to reach a transshipment volume of 3-5 vessels per day."

FAO makes fertilizer donations a priority in Ethiopia

Farmers in Tigray – the northern Ethiopian state beset my military strife – are in desperate need for fertilizer and the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization says its responding as fast as it can.

The FAO, with a new injection of cash from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, just procured another 12,000 metric tons of fertilizer for the region, bringing the total that will be available for distribution to 31,000 tons. The FAO goal is 60,000 tons for the 380,000 farmers that need the input. Just 7,000 tons has been distributed so far.

“There is a small window of opportunity to prevent severe hunger by delivering critical agricultural inputs and enable farmers to produce sufficient amount of food for the population thus averting a potential increase in humanitarian needs,” said Rein Paulsen, director of FAO’s Office of Emergencies and Resilience. 

CFTC wants nominations for Ag Advisory Committee

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Behnam is calling for nominations for the Agricultural Advisory Committee as well as suggestions for topics the panel should address.

“Sustained drought conditions in the U.S. and current conflicts abroad threaten to impact not just American farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses, but all Americans,” Behnman said in a statement released Monday. “The Commission looks to the AAC to understand the views of the agricultural community and provide recommendations to help ensure the derivatives markets continue to perform their fundamental functions of price discovery and risk management.

Summit Carbon begins revealing easements in Iowa

Summit Carbon Solutions says it has secured 40% of the nearly 700 miles of pipeline needed in Iowa for a carbon capture and sequestration project through voluntary easements, a number a lawyer for landowners in Iowa and other states called “shockingly low.”

Summit spokesperson Courtney Ryan, however, said, “We have new landowners signing voluntary easements with us each day, so we are right on track.”

 SCS began filing maps and parcel information Monday on where easements are located, as required by an order issued by the Iowa Utilities Board last month.

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 Sierra Club and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement oppose use of eminent domain for the project, which they say Summit is preparing for.

 Ryan, however, said “Summit Carbon Solutions isn’t asking to use eminent domain currently. This filing is part of the permitting process to let the IUB know which landowners on the route have not signed voluntary easements yet. This is just informational more than anything.”

Parties in Snake River Dam case extend stay in litigation

The temporary agreement to stay litigation in a case that could decide the future of the lower Snake River dams has been extended.

The Biden administration has brokered an agreement with State of Oregon, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, and a coalition of plaintiffs led by the National Wildlife Federation to extend talks.

The stay will now be in place until Aug. 31.