Farmers Ask for Extension in Applying for Covid Relief -- Market Talk

12:13 ET - In the wake of bitter cold temperatures descending on farmlands across the country, the American Farm Bureau is asking the federal government to extend the deadline for applying for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which would supply farmers $13B in aid. "The current deadline is this Friday, February 26, but recent severe weather and the suspension of CFAP payments led to challenges and confusion surrounding the application process," says Farm Bureau president Zippy Duvall in a letter addressed to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. (, @kirkmaltais)


More Meatpacking Workers Taking Vaccine, JBS Says -- Market Talk

1345 ET - As Covid-19 vaccines roll out to meatpacking plants, top US beef processor JBS USA says about three-quarters of its employees are expressing interest or signing up prior to the vaccine being distributed. Meatpacking workers have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, with thousands sickened and more than 100 killed, according to union estimates. But many have been hesitant when surveyed about vaccination, with as many as half of workers at some meat companies saying they won't immediately take it. JBS this month was able to use all the vaccines allotted to its Beardstown, Ill. pork plant, a spokesman said, and to boost participation at its Greeley, Colo. beef-processing operations, JBS plans to shut down that plant on March 5 and 6. (; @jacobbunge)


Elanco 4Q Sales Rise on Bayer Animal Health Purchase

Elanco Animal Health Inc. beat Wall Street's expectations in the last quarter as its sales rose following its purchase of Bayer Animal Health.

The pet and livestock drugmaker said Wednesday that its net loss was $322.8 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $9.5 million a year ago. It booked a per-share loss of 66 cents, compared with a loss of 3 cents last year.

Adjusted earnings were 12 cents a share, topping analysts' forecast of 10 cents a share, according to FactSet.




Instacart Adds to Board Ahead of Expected IPO -- Market Talk

12:05 ET - Instacart bolsters its board with a pair of tech veterans as expectations continue to build for a blockbuster initial public offering this year. Fidji Simo, head of Facebook's mobile app, and Barry McCarthy, who served stints as chief financial officer of Spotify and Netflix, join as directors of the grocery-delivery service, just weeks after Instacart brought in Goldman Sachs banker Nick Giovanni to serve as chief financial officer. Reuters in November reported Instacart had tapped Goldman to lead an IPO that come early this year and value the company at around $30B. Rival DoorDash saw its shares surge 86% in their trading debut after an IPO in December, pushing that company's valuation above $70B. (


Land O'Lakes Reports Higher Net Earnings for 2020

Land O'Lakes Inc. reported higher net earnings for 2020.

The agribusiness and food company, which is a farmer-owned cooperative, reported net sales of $13.9 billion and net earnings of $266 million for the year ending Dec. 31, compared with net sales of $13.9 billion and net earnings of $207 million in 2019.


Supermarkets Are Pressured to Raise Hazard Pay -- Update

Grocery chains are coming under pressure to boost hourly employees' pay again, as municipalities push continued aid for frontline workers nearly a year into the Covid-19 pandemic.

Seattle, Long Beach, Calif., and other cities have passed new rules requiring supermarkets to provide employees temporary bonus pay. Los Angeles approved the mandate on Wednesday and more cities are considering similar measures designed to help employees who have to show up for work in public-facing jobs like cashiers or baggers and risk exposure to the coronavirus.




Lean Hog Futures Extend Climb -- Market Talk

1522 ET - Lean hog futures on the CME closed up 3.5%, to 89.425 cents per pound. That makes it three days in a row that hog futures have risen -- climbing 5.7% in that period. Pork carcass cutouts rose by nearly $3 per hundredweight through midday today, putting that price at $95.31 per cwt -- up 5% over the past five days. Hog futures have been rising amid indications of stronger demand from consumers. Meanwhile, live cattle futures rose 0.8% to $1.22225 per pound. (; @kirkmaltais)



Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Feb 24 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
Feb 24       +$ 23.52            +$ 60.77 
Feb 23       +$ 28.17            +$ 62.13 
Feb 22       +$ 34.03            +$ 61.48 
* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production. 
A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of production of the animals. 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
          For Today              Choice  116.3 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select  113.5 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Wednesday rose 46 cents per hundred pounds, to $240.75, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices fell 74 cents per hundred pounds, to $229.79. The total load count was 129. Wholesale pork prices fell 63 cents, to $90.67 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 24, 2021 17:45 ET (22:45 GMT)

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