When it comes to “good deals” our government offers more for others than our own folks. Case in point is now taking place. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is in the process of “certifying” China for shipments of cooked poultry to the U.S. In return, the Chinese are going to let “some” U.S. beef into their country. What a trade—help the big U.S. beef packers and put the screws to our own poultry folks!

At first, as reported in this column a year ago, a deal had been offered by USDA to let U.S. poultry processors ship dressed birds to China. There, they would be cut up and made into table-ready products (chicken nuggets, anyone)—and shipped back to the U.S. Nope, Chinese officials said this was not what they wanted. Their plan, now approved by our own government folks, permits poultry raised in China to be processed and shipped to the U.S. for sale. Is there any end to stupidity and greed of those morons who are turning over our food resources to a country that is known for cutting corners at every opportunity to make a fast buck? What is more revealing is that our $2 a head beef check dollars are being used to promote the deal. The U.S. Meat Export Federation—financed with producer checkoff dollars—calls the chicken-beef tradeoff “good news” for American cattle producers. Say What?

Cattle prices continue to sag—and the bottom may not be in sight. Not only the cattle market but the timber folks are also being hit by lower prices. A recent report from one timber source shows that pine sawlogs, chip and saw and pine pulpwood are in the doldrums. Pine pulpwood in the summer months was $7.84 a ton in East Texas and chip and saw came in at $14.30 a ton. Pine sawtimber averaged $25.52 a ton—all three down 1-2% from earlier this year. Hardwood pulpwood was just over $10 a ton and hardwood sawlogs $31 a ton. Comparing timber sales to cattle sales, at least that timber can stay in the forest waiting for better prices, but that calf when market-ready has to go! Till next time, that’s –30—horace7338@live.com