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by WLJ
2007 December 20
However, Brazil has made some progress on improving sanitation procedures and the natural barriers to infection from dangerous diseases such as mad cow, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, due to the fact cows are mainly grass-fed here, allowing exporters to open new markets. “With other major exporters hobbled by disease, importers will rely on us more and more for supplies despite the animal-health issues,” said Jose Vicente Ferraz, meat sector analyst. Brazil’s meat exports are expected to jump 15% to approximately $7 billion in 2005 and may take over from soy as the main agricultural export in the next couple of years–no
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The change in subsidy rules is contributing to a drastic reduction in the number of cattle in the country, as producers ship them to market to stem per head losses. A London Daily Telegraph report cited feeder losses of $80-100 (U.S. dollars) per head, mirroring conditions in the US market. Already this year, the British government is reporting a decrease of more than 100,000 calves produced, a decrease of 4 percent from last year. Overall herd numbers in England have been reduced to 10.5 million animals, a decline of more than 1.5 million animals in the past ten years. British producers,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 29, 2005 Just when you think all the ballyhoo about the Canadian border is over, someone has to go and push the “fools button”. The calamity of errors over the Canadian import rule and BSE testing continue; this time it was the Canadian Food Safety Agency that messed up. You would think that with the sensitivity toward BSE and trade with Canada that the agencies would go out of their way to insure accuracy of import and testing standards. Last week, it was discovered that a heiferette over 30 months old went through a processing plant in Wisconsin. Then, to top
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Field peas are a cool season legume crop grown across the Northern U.S. and Canada. Presently, Canada, at more than 127 million bushels per year, is the world’s leading producer of peas and lentils. However, U.S. producers are increasing production rapidly as peas gain popularity in rotation programs. According to Vern Anderson, a researcher at North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) Carrington Research Extension Center, U.S. growers are expected to harvest more than 32 million bushels of dried peas this year. In addition to an increase in production which allows for wider distribution, peas are also a very economical feed source. Current prices
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) Aug. 18 announced that two Mexican cattle companies are among the front businesses for Mexican drug-trafficking cartels. Cattle sold to Texas ranchers by these suspect companies after Aug. 19 could be seized as evidence of a money laundering scheme, agency officials said. Cattle already purchased and owned before the suspect Mexican companies were identified are not going to be impacted by the announcement, Treasury officials said. The department also plans to inform cattle associations and other groups of the action taken against the Mexican companies, officials said. The Treasury also will provide other information, such as
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The three judge panel unanimously supported a district court decision, ordering the plaintiffs — five individuals and one corporation — to pay Tyson Fresh Meats more than $70,000 in expenses related to the trial held last year in Montgomery, Alabama. Last week the appeals court affirmed Judge Lyle Strom’s decision to reverse a jury verdict against Tyson Fresh Meats, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. They found Tyson did not violate the law through its supply agreements with independent cattle producers and has legitimate business reasons for entering into such agreements. In the subsequent ruling on trial costs, the appeals
by WLJ
2007 December 20
“We’ve completed the dairy herd testing and have passed the halfway point for testing purebred and seed stock herds. More than 750 of these have been tested since late April when herds were randomly selected for the disease surveillance. We plan to complete the remainder of the testing of the randomly selected herds before the end of the year. Volunteers still are welcome to have their purebred or seed stock herds tested,” said Dr. Dee Ellis, who heads up field operations for the Texas Animal Health Commission, the state’s livestock and poultry regulatory agency. “Accredited private veterinarians who are TB-certified conduct
by WLJ
2007 December 20
September 3, 2007 Colorado State Fair punishes 4-H youth On the eve of the livestock sale at the Colorado State Fair being held in Pueblo this week, several youngsters who had qualified for the sale were told they would not be able to sell their animals because they had not complied with the state fair rule requiring enrollment in the premises registration component of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Two of the families involved had submitted the premises identification number for their county fairgrounds. Both families say they received permission from state fair officials to do so for the 2007 fair.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The U.S. House of Representatives is tentatively scheduled to vote Sept. 7, on a bill that would completely eliminate horse slaughtering in the U.S. Rep. John Sweeney’s, R-NY, House Bill 503, “The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act,” would mean an immediate and permanent ban on the “shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling or donation” of horses in interstate commerce for slaughter for human consumption. Reportedly, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-IL, made a deal with Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-KY, to bring this bill out of the Energy and Commerce Committee and straight to the House floor for an immediate
by WLJ
2007 December 20
September 4, 2006 Again, fed cattle markets were slow to develop last week. Packers were reluctant buyers looking into the Labor Day weekend, the last big grilling holiday for summer. Labor Day is a pivotal point for market direction and strong meat sales are often required for the market to advance into positive territory during the following weeks. Packers are at break-even levels and will be trying to get some positive margin back into the picture. Packers were bidding $86 for cattle and feeders were looking for $90 as of last Thursday. The boxed beef markets were significantly softer last week,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
September 4, 2006 The Northern Montana Angus Association welcomes you to the Big Sky Country of Northern Montana for three fun filled days where you will tour some of Montana’s finest Angus Herd operations. This annual event of combined association and membership activities will kick off on September 20, 2006 with a golf scramble tournament that will start at 9:30 am and is being hosted by Universal Semen Sales of Great Falls, MT. Tour Registration will begin at 2:00 pm at this year’s headquarters, the Best Western Heritage Inn in Great Fall, MT. Other Wednesday activities will include a social with meal
by WLJ
2007 December 20
September 5, 2005 So much of the discussion today in the beef business concerns itself with the application of an eartag followed by the systematic ability to track the movement of the animal. To avoid confusion, other uses of the tag are deliberately not discussed or simply ignored. Eartags are the seeds of numbers that evolve into data. Data trends are what managers look for. In fact, there are large organizations that do nothing but manage data. Hidden within the depths of most data sets is an answer to a question. The answer may not be very profound; however, day-to-day operations of most
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials added that no suspect ruminant feed sources were found and indicated that a ban against all animal by-products in ruminant feeds would probably be announced either in late October or early November. According to John Clifford, chief veterinary officer for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, testing and surveillance of animals, both within and outside the “index herd,” showed there to be no other associated cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). “We depopulated and tested 67 animals of interest from the farm where the infected animal originated,” said Clifford. “All of the these animals tested
by WLJ
2007 December 20
September 5, 2005 It is absolutely amazing the punishment mother nature can dish out. This last hurricane, Katrina, wiped out an entire socio-economic system and it certainly won’t stop there. The economic system in that region has come to a screeching halt and it has been suggested that it will have a negative impact on the entire U.S. economy to the tune of one-and-a-half percent. Much of that impact is to be felt through higher oil and gas prices. The energy industry has become a very complicated business and the effects this one storm has had, in just a few days, on
by WLJ
2007 December 20
— Energy prices curtail restaurant demand. Early optimism for a steady to $1 stronger fed cattle market was eroded last week when trade occurred Thursday at prices mostly $2-3 lower dressed, $1 lower live. Packing plants were starting to see profitable margins decrease and projections for late summer and fall beef demand decline as rising energy prices start to take a toll on consumer demand. By Thursday, Nebraska cattle feeders had traded approximately 55,000 head at $127-128 dressed, while Kansas feedlots had traded 30,000 head at mostly $81-81.50 live. Texas cattle feeders were still holding out for $82 at press time, however,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
September 5, 2005 The other day, I struck gold when I went to my local Costco store. That’s where I buy most of my beef because Costco sells only USDA Choice beef at the best everyday prices I’ve come across. I was scanning “in-the-bag” items in the meat case when I spotted whole strip loins (about 10-11 pounds per bag) at only $5.15 per pound. Then I turned the bag over and saw the words “USDA Prime” printed on the original packer bag. It seemed to be the only Prime bag in the case so I quickly put it in my cart.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
“This move is absolutely a last straw; no one wins when it comes to trade sanctions, but we want Japan to recognize a science-based approach to their regulations,” said Mike Fitzgerald, vice president of communications for NC. In a letter sent to U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, NC urged additional government efforts to open the border to U.S. beef products. The letter was also sent to President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns, Nebraska representatives Lee Terry and Tom Osbourne, Nebraska senators Chuck Hagel and Ben Nelson, as well as National Cattlemen’s
by WLJ
2007 December 20
During an Aug. 30 press conference, Johanns, under enormous pressure from producer groups and government officials, announced “guiding principles” for the development of a public/private partnership which will create a privatized animal movement database as part of USDA’s efforts to initiate a multi-species ID program. “We are eager to work closely with industry as they develop and maintain databases that contain animal movement information. After hearing the confidentiality concerns of producers, we envision a system that allows these databases to feed a single, privately held animal tracking repository that we can access,” said Johanns. During his briefing, Johanns announced USDA will
by WLJ
2007 December 20
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported Aug. 28 that 239 premises in seven western states have been quarantined since the first case was confirmed April 27. A total of 295 horses have been confirmed as infected with the disease, with another 76 head of cattle testing positive. The number of those animals that are currently still infected with the disease is 199 horses and 60 cattle. According to APHIS, 148 of the infected premises are still under quarantine. Seventy-two of those premises are on a 21-day countdown to be removed from quarantine. This year’s outbreak of VS is
by WLJ
2007 December 20
September 11, 2006 Wyoming food safety month Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal has proclaimed September Food Safety Month. He recognized that the U.S. has the safest, most abundant food supply in the world and that cooperation is the key to ensuring that continues. Food Safety Education Month is a national initiative in which the restaurant and food industries, government, higher education and consumer organizations work together to enhance and recognize food safety, from the farm to the table. The key components of this initiative are public education and food safety training for state and local health departments, restaurants, supermarkets and food service operations. Grant


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