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by WLJ
2007 December 20
June 6, 2005 It was just a coincidence that news of the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of the beef checkoff came as Japan and South Korea move closer to a resumption of beef trade with the U.S. It will probably be several months before that trade begins. But
by WLJ
2007 December 20
A U.S. appeals court will hear arguments next month in the latest bid by R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America to once again halt imports of Canadian cattle under 30 months of age. The case, pursued for years by R-CALF, will get another hearing July 13 in Portland, OR, in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. R-CALF initially received a preliminary injunction on March 2, 2005, in the case filed in Montana. Federal District Court prevented cattle imports of any age for several months.  However, the case was sent to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for review as part of an
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Even more perplexing Boy, you think you get a problem worked out, and everyone is on the same page as to how to handle it, and then someone pushes the fool’s button. In this case, we’re talking about South Korea accepting U.S. boneless beef products. It seemed that things were going along just fine. Korea was starting to figure out that a little bone shard shouldn’t stop any shipments of beef and it seemed as if everybody was ready to get along. Last week’s episode was so bizarre that the South Korean government thinks it’s intentional. “This can only be
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Fed cattle trade was active last Wednesday and Thursday in the northern Plains on moderate demand from packer buyers who were still moving heavy numbers of cattle through plants, despite slipping margins and rumor of cutbacks. Lackluster beef movement has kept beef cutout levels on the defensive for the past several weeks and last Thursday was no exception. During morning trade, Choice boxed beef slipped more than $2, to $150.51, and Select fell nearly $1, to $144.05. However, at those levels, there was some sign of renewed buying interest and 363 loads of fabricated cuts and grind were moved early
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Montana’s ongoing brucellosis investigation My colleagues and I in the Montana Department of Livestock, along with other officials in both state and federal agencies, are now engaged in one of the most intensive disease investigations in recent Montana history. The tremendous help and cooperation we’ve been receiving from ranch families around the state, and from others involved in Montana’s livestock industries, has been critically important and is most appreciated. Brucellosis was detected in Montana cattle on May 18, threatening our state’s brucellosis-free status. While brucellosis poses only a minute risk to human health, the economic costs could severely curtail Montana’s
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Hay prices could reach record high levels this year, according to brokers across the West. A shortage of available carryover hay stocks, combined with high demand and record-high fuel prices, are all factors in prices which could reach as high as $250 per ton in some areas later this year. That compares with current prices which are averaging $100-150 per ton in most areas. Last year’s average price per ton was in a range of $150-175, according to USDA figures. Hay growers, many of whom are in the process of the first cutting this year, report that fertilizer, seed and
by WLJ
2007 December 20
President George W. Bush announced last week that he plans to nominate Jim Caswell to head the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM). If confirmed, he would succeed Kathleen Clarke as BLM director. Clark resigned from the post in February. Jim Hughes has served as acting director since then. Caswell is currently the administrator for the Office of Species Conservation for the state of Idaho where he won the state legislature’s approval for two highly contentious issues: the state’s wolf management plan and a Yellowstone grizzly management plan. He previously served as forest supervisor for Clearwater National Forest
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Swift sale might enhance competition for fed cattle Not since Britain’s Vestey family in the last century has anyone attempted to put together the kind of global beef empire that Brazil’s Batista family (operating as JBS) is now doing. Only Cargill, with beef operations in four countries, has got a global business that might match it. Its business though is mostly based in North America, whereas JBS will be No. 1 processor in Latin America, No. 3 in North America, and No. 1 in Australia. I, like others, had reported that JBS was a final bidder for Swift and
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Exporter’s mistake will be costly for the industry. South Korea halted imports of U.S. beef last week after California based Am-Mex, an exporter more familiar with Mexican shipments, sent a load of beef meant for U.S. domestic use to the finicky Asian nation. The beef, from Tyson and Cargill, was clearly labeled “For domestic use only,” however, the inexperienced company and two USDA inspectors processed and signed off on the shipment, despite the fact that it contained beef ribs which are banned under current trade protocols. As a result, South Korea’s Agriculture Ministry has said it will not issue quarantine certificates
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Tax court case goes against rancher The U.S. Tax Court is a federal court system which hears petitions by taxpayers who wish to contest deficiencies made against them by the IRS. There are about two dozen federal appointed judges, all of them experts in tax law. As the tax law is ambiguous in many areas, especially in the hobby loss area that affects ranchers and farmers, the results of a case may depend on the leanings of the particular judge. Some are more empathetic to the cattle and other ranching industries than others. So to some extent, if you
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Despite four feet of snow on the level and little to no assistance from the federal government, southeast Colorado’s December blizzard victims are at last going to receive some help. The support is from the Operation: Blizzard Benefit fundraiser that was put together by the Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB), Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), Colorado Livestock Association (CLA), Colorado Department of Agriculture, and the Colorado State Fair. “We know that the devastating losses incurred by the agriculture community during the blizzards will be felt for years to come. The funds raised by Operation: Blizzard Benefit will by no means cover each
by WLJ
2007 December 20
June 13, 2005 The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) Draft Strategic Plan, as proposed by the USDA, has three key components: premises registration, individual animal identification and animal tracking. These three key components have only one purpose, which is to assist the Animal and Plant Health
by WLJ
2007 December 20
June 13, 2005 We all have opinions on the issues and communicating those thoughts to government is relatively easy. For instance, debates surrounding the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) have been very free in coming from both sides of the issue. The consumer group Public Citizen, which has
by WLJ
2007 December 20
June 13, 2005 Perhaps the earliest tax case that made a serious impact on the manner of conducting activities in the livestock and horse industry was Bessenyey v. Commissioner Internal Revenue (2nd Circuit; l967). This case was unusual because it was a decision by the Second Circuit Court of
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rules which would have streamlined the management of federal grazing permits suffered a serious set back June 8 in Idaho District Federal Court. A ruling by Judge B. Lynn Winmill found that the proposal set forward by BLM failed to consider elements of the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. In a harshly worded ruling, Winmill rebuked the agency for its attempt to better manage federal multiple use grazing lands.   “Past BLM regulations imposed restrictions on grazing and increased the opportunities for public input to
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Trading and demand was moderate in the northern Plains and western Corn Belt by Wednesday last week. Trade and demand was reported in Kansas late Wednesday and Thursday. Compared to last week, Nebraska live sales traded $1-2.50 lower at $89 and dressed sales $4 lower at $140-141. Colorado live sales were reported $2-2.50 lower at $89 and dressed sales $4-5 lower at $139-140. In Kansas, early live sales last Wednesday traded mostly $2 lower at $89 and dressed sales traded $2-3 lower at $141. Texas trade last Thursday was reported at $90-90.50. Clearance levels were reportedly good, with most analysts
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Trading and demand was moderate in the northern Plains and western Corn Belt by Wednesday last week. Trade and demand was reported in Kansas late Wednesday and Thursday. Compared to last week, Nebraska live sales traded $1-2.50 lower at $89 and dressed sales $4 lower at $140-141. Colorado live sales were reported $2-2.50 lower at $89 and dressed sales $4-5 lower at $139-140. In Kansas, early live sales last Wednesday traded mostly $2 lower at $89 and dressed sales traded $2-3 lower at $141. Texas trade last Thursday was reported at $90-90.50. Clearance levels were reportedly good, with most analysts
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The multitude of speakers at this year’s Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) meeting in Fort Collins, CO, spent time focusing on the past, present and future of the industry.  Among the highlights were presentations covering the past 40 years of meetings, which began in Colorado in 1967. In the decades since that first meeting, the industry has come a long way in some areas. In others however, several speakers pointed out there is still a long way to go. The industry is facing a wave of new technology every year and this year is no exception. Genetic markers and performance testing, long-time topics
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Truth can be inconvenient Rrringggg . . . rrringggg . . . rrringggg . . . “Hello?” “Yes, I was calling to let you know there’s a calf out on the road over here and we think it’s yours.” Don’t you just hate that? Especially at dawn, or worse, dusk? For a minute or two, most of us harbor negative feelings for the caller. Sure, they saved us a whole lot of trouble, but we hate to deal with it right then and admit our fences are that poor, our calves that clever. Say you worked for years to get a few heifers that
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The Beef Improvement Federation honored Broseco Ranch with its Commercial Producer of the Year Award, June 7, during the organization’s 39th annual meeting in Fort Collins, CO. Broseco Ranch is owned by Broventure Co. Inc. and managed by Tom Woodward. At 30 feet of elevation, Broseco Ranch is sandwiched between the Sulphur River and White Oak Creek in northeast Texas. In 1961, Paul Pewitt sold his 45,000-acre spread to Broventure Co. Inc. During the past 46 years, Broventure Co. has operated a commercial cow/calf operation under the banner of Broseco Ranch. The bottomland hardwood timber and a pine farm have been