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by WLJ
2006 August 14
— Yet another shot at a repeal down the drain. The Senate voted late Thursday, Aug. 3, to yet again refuse a repeal of the estate tax, commonly known as the death tax. The most recent rejection was H.R. 5970, a bill that would not only significantly cut the estate tax , but also increase the federal minimum wage. The bill would have essentially increased minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 and by 2015, increased
by WLJ
2006 August 14
Congress passed legislation last week which will greatly enhance the benefits for ranchers who enter into a conservation easement on their property so long as the easement will keep the ranch in production agriculture. According to California Rangeland Trust, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (HR 4) includes provisions that will allow ranchers who donate land for conservation purposes to receive an increased deduction, while ensuring that those lands will remain in agricultural production. The adjusted deduction for conservation easement donations ensures
by WLJ
2006 August 14
— Fed cattle $5-6 higher live and $6-7 higher dressed. — Feeder cattle follow feds higher. Packers stepped up to the plate early last week and paid sharply higher prices for cattle in both the north and south Plains. Trading occurred late Wednesday afternoon at $86 live basis in the south, $5-6 higher than the previous week. In the northern Plains, packers paid $136 live, $6-7 higher than the prior week. Volume was reportedly good with feedlots in Texas, Kansas and Nebraska each trading
by WLJ
2006 August 14
The hay market across the country remains very strong with prices at their highest point in recent years. In fact, in some areas hurt by heat, drought and a lack of production, prices are through the roof, according to brokers. Dryland alfalfa and most grass hay production is significantly below normal in much of the Great Plains and with a lack of carryover from 2005 and crop failures in states like Texas and Oklahoma, the competition for hay is causing some producers
by WLJ
2006 August 7
— USDA halts rule-making process. USDA has rescinded a proposal which would have allowed imports of Canadian cattle over 30 months of age, saying there won’t be a ruling on the case until it has completed its investigation into the most recent case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The most recent case, announced last month, was found in an animal just 50 months old. That animal had been born nearly four years after Canada’s ruminant animal feed ban was enacted.
by WLJ
2006 July 31
When it comes to the humane treatment of animals, I don’t think there is a stockman alive that would blatantly harm their stock. Some animals need a bit more convincing than others, but that goes for people as well What to do with an animal that has lived its useful life? Our general Christian values force us to treat every person and every animal with respect, and in many cases, terminating an animal is the most respectful option available.
by WLJ
2006 July 31
— Stockdogs fill valuable roles on ranches across the globe. For centuries, stockdogs have served not only as companions to ranchers herding cattle or sheep on the desolate range where an echo travels without interruption for miles, but also as irreplaceable ranch hands. The skill, the know-how and the passion of the four-legged creatures corralling stock in the middle of the range is a fascinating partnership. The vast range provides no assistance—no fence to guide the animals, no high-tech facilities—just the rancher on horseback and the dog, working side
by WLJ
2006 July 31
— Potential energy corridors spider across the land, but will landowners be affected? Innovative ways to effectively and economically transmit energy across the West are stirring controversy among landowners. A map was recently released, showing energy transmission routes, or corridors, across the West. Although economics is at the forefront of the decision making, and the possible establishment of a more secure and stable energy infrastructure for the U.S., the issue with landowners and ranchers is the claim that they have yet to be involved in the planning and preliminary
by WLJ
2006 July 31
The news of Japan didn’t move the market last week and as of Thursday afternoon, trade was still at a halt, despite rumors of packers being short for the week in the north. Previous week trade occurred in the south Plains at $79-79.50. Live sales in the northern Plains traded at $80- 80.50 live basis with dressed sales at $126-127, mostly $126. Brent Snyder, market analyst for Texas Cattle Feeders Association, said the market this week was difficult to call.
by WLJ
2006 July 31
— Drought continues to push cattle to feedlots early. — Analysts say feedlots are slipping behind in marketing efforts. The July 1, cattle on feed report contained a surprise in the form of a much higher than anticipated placement number. After the unexpected drop in placements during May, it appears the placement rate has evened out and drought has continued to pushed a large number of lightweight calves into feedlots early this year.
by WLJ
2006 July 31
Transportation costs continue to skyrocket, not only for those shipping cattle across the country, but also for the general consumer. With no relief in sight, cattlemen may limit shipping cattle, and consumers are already spending less for food in an effort to cut costs. The average retail price for regular gasoline in the U.S. increased by nearly two cents last week and the trend is expected to continue. The average price for a gallon of gas was $2.99 as of last Monday,
by WLJ
2006 July 31
The recent heat wave that has scorched the West is doing more damage than burning up crops and drying out stock ponds. In California last Wednesday, after almost two weeks of triple-digit temperatures, there was yet another severe weather warning, predicting temperatures between 105-115 degrees in areas of San Joaquin County, Fresno County and parts of Tulare County. Cattle across the state are being affected by the heat and San Joaquin County estimates 120 dairy cattle are dying every day. “We don’t know
by WLJ
2006 July 31
Cattle producers across the U.S. were shocked to discover U.S. soldiers serving overseas may not be eating U.S. beef. Instead, whether to save money or for convenience, our troops are eating beef from other undisclosed sources. Lloyd B. Knight, executive vice president for Idaho Cattlemen Association (ICA) said, “One of our folks, Cevin Jones, brought the resolution to us—that troops in Iraq aren’t getting U.S. beef, that instead, the troops are getting beef or beef substitutes from the Middle East, and the Pfizer
by WLJ
2006 July 31
— Another attempt at trade resumption energizes cattlemen. Japanese officials announced last Thursday they were satisfied with inspections of U.S. packing plants and were set to resume beef imports from animals under 20 months of age. The agreement requires all specified risk materials to be removed from beef shipped overseas. The announcement came after a month long tour of the 35 plants approved by USDA for export to Japan. Inspectors found no problems at 20 of the plants
by WLJ
2006 July 31
Earl Adam Smith, of Antelope, OR, died Saturday, July 22. He was 88. A grave side service was held July 27, at Juniper Haven Cemetery. Smith was born March 26, 1918, in Mayville, OR, to Earl and Gladys Smith. He graduated from Condon High School and attended Oregon State University. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a staff sergeant during World War II. He married Ann Anderson on Aug. 30, 1946, in Vancouver, WA. A cattle rancher, Smith was appointed by three governors to the state Board of Agriculture, and he
by WLJ
2006 July 31
The Doha round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting has ended in a stalemate after trade officials from the U.S., European Union, India, Japan, Brazil and Australia were unable to reach an agreement on a package of concessions. European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson was quick to point a finger at the U.S., saying negotiators had refused to produce any new proposals for slashing farm subsidies. U.S. Trade Representative Susan
by WLJ
2006 July 24
I’d have to say at this point, the Canadian beef industry has a bit of explaining to do. They have certainly had their problems with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) lately. I hate to say it, but I’ve gathered a bit of concern over the past few BSE cases they’ve experienced. A couple of weeks ago, they found their seventh case of the brain wasting disease in a 50-month- old cow. That cow would have had her first calf after the border was
by WLJ
2006 July 24
Blistering heat across much of the Plains and Corn Belt the last two weeks hasn’t stressed the corn crop as much as anticipated and crop conditions remain good, according to last week’s USDA crop condition report. The result of the crop report was a sell off in corn and soybeans last week as the market corrected from higher prices brought on by bearish expectations. Despite minimal change in the corn crop condition as reported by USDA, there remains concern that hot, dry
by WLJ
2006 July 24
On July 14, Creekstone Farms filed for summary judgment in its suit against USDA in an effort to gain the right to test all of its harvested cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Now, USDA will be given until Aug. 25 to file its reply to the request for summary judgment. Russell Frye, Creekstone’s attorney, said during a press conference that the suit claims the law was not intended to prevent the
by WLJ
2006 July 24
Fed cattle trade was slow to start and the standoff was apparent with packers offering $78 against feeder offers of $83-84 live, and $130 dressed. There was some limited trade at $81-81.50 and $126-128 dressed, but not enough volume to call the market. Boxed beef cutouts have been in a tailspin the past two weeks and wholesale buying interest emerged only when prices fell to a more attractive level of $144 on Choice products. Packer margins fell into negative territory for the


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