Vilsack: U.S. agriculture industry must prepare defenses against ransomware attacks

Agribusiness

Vilsack: U.S. agriculture industry must prepare defenses against ransomware attacks

The USDA is working with law enforcement over ransomware attacks. With attacks not going away soon, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says agriculture must be prepared. With JBS paying $11 million in ransom and Colonial Pipeline paying $4 million, there are calls for international leaders to crack down. However, Vilsack says agriculture must be ready as the USDA prepares to coordinate with legal investigations.

“The first order of business, I think, is to make sure that everyone in the food industry and food business understands the steps that they need to take to harden their systems; a set of standards or a set of guidance or requirements for hardened systems, and we’re going to convene food groups to essentially make sure they understand and appreciate precisely what is required,” said Vilsack.

USDA considering tougher organic livestock rules

The USDA is also considering tougher organic livestock rules. The Biden administration will relook at the Trump administration’s interpretation of the Organic Foods Production Act, which did not authorize the agriculture department to regulate practices subject under the 2017 organic rule. Vilsack has directed the National Organic Program to begin rulemaking to wrap up a proposed rule by the start of 2022 where they will get public comment.

A look at the markets

Analyst Jamey Kohake says the markets started out mixed:

“We were sharply lower starting off overnight and the day session as well but kind of cutting losses back the last hour or so. The weakness coming from the rain over the weekend, there’s several pockets that did get close to an inch, but there were several pockets that got virtually nothing and there’s another path with moisture moving this Thursday and kind of got the market shook up off of that. Kind of a similar trade in beans, just a few areas got some decent moisture, most areas did not and still kind of fighting the trade finished off mid to late last week and then here today. But the key is going to be to hold that $13 mark here this week. Over to the meat sector, we’re 50-60 cents lower across the board in feeders and fats. Not a whole lot of volatility. We’re kind of waiting to see cutouts if they stabilize or not. Still looking to see if they trend on lower, looking for cash to be steady this week, but seasonally turning into a bearish time period and are seeing a lot of hedge pressure come into the market. Starting to sell rallies a little bit more aggressive here short term. Over to the hogs, anywhere for a buck to two bucks lower this morning. Expecting cutouts of cash to be lower and just still seeing long liquidation by fund money here starting over a week ago.”

Colfax auction results

The Colfax sheep and goat auction on Saturday saw a sale of 590 head of sheep. Feeder lambs fetched the day’s high average price of $2.56 per pound, while fed lambs averaged $2.45 per pound. There were 117 head of goats at the auction, which saw a high average price ranging from $180 to $580 per head.

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