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Basis is the difference in the price of a commodity in a particular cash market and the underlying futures market. As such, basis varies across geographic areas according to local supply and demand factors. Lower supply or higher demand for a commodity in a local cash market relative to the overall price level represented by the futures market is reflected in higher (i.e., stronger, or more positive) basis values. Conversely, higher supply or lower demand results in lower (i.e., weaker, or more negative) basis values. The past several weeks have resulted in favorable basis changes for cattle feeders, despite price levels generally becoming less favorable.

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In the monthly report of World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) reduced the forecast of U.S. planted and harvested acreage of corn and rice. Forecasts for the other major crops were not changed from the forecasts in the March Prospective Plantings report.

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U.S. beef exports slowed slightly in April when compared to the all-time record highs of the previous month, but still performed well above last year’s pace. April beef exports totaled 103,213 metric tons valued at $429.7 million – increases of 25 percent and 38 percent, respectively, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

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Temple Grandin will be the keynote speaker at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, sponsored by Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Aug. 1-3 in College Station, Texas.

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myplate_regFirst Lady Michelle Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin today unveiled the federal government's new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices.

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