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by WLJ
2008 July 18
Corn prices drop as conditions improve —Weather likely to continue as market driver. The corn market fell sharply last week after USDA trimmed its supply and demand estimate and crop reports showed better than expected conditions across areas which had been hit hard by heavy rains in June. Favorable weather conditions for the start of the Corn Belt pollination period ahead added to the selling pressure in the market last week. At mid-week, corn prices were down below the $6.50 per bushel level on the spot month September contract, while December stood at $6.67 per bushel on the December 2008 contract. The downward
by WLJ
2008 July 18
GIPSA cites JBS/Swift USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) announced two weeks ago that it had cited Greeley, CO-based JBS/Swift and Company with violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA). According to a release from GIPSA, the company "inaccurately weighed hot carcasses for the purposes of payment to livestock sellers; used a dynamic monorail weighing system which was not accurate; reported inaccurate hot carcass weights to livestock sellers and paid livestock sellers on those inaccurate hot carcass weights; failed to pay the full purchase price for the livestock purchased within the time period required by the Packers and Stockyards
by WLJ
2008 July 18
Truck weight laws leave farmers in the lurch Farmers and ranchers hauling their own goods to market across relatively short distances should not be held to regulations intended for commercial long-haul drivers, according to Mike Spradling, president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. During a recent hearing before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, the Sand Springs, OK, cattle and pecan producer testified on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) regarding the negative impact existing truck weight laws and regulations have on farmers and ranchers. "Current weight limits imposed by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient
by WLJ
2008 July 18
Tuberculosis may have migrated from humans to cattle Tuberculosis (TB) may call to mind Old West consumptives and early 20th-century sanatoriums, yet according to the World Health Organization, the disease took the lives of more than 1.5 million people worldwide in 2006. In the U.S. alone, thousands of new cases are reported annually, making TB an enduring menace. The need to better understand this disease is becoming critical, note researchers at Arizona State University, especially with the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains and increasing globalization spurring pathogen migration. Among those trying to decipher the origins and trajectory of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria responsible
by WLJ
2008 July 11
Thousands of valuable corn acres under water in June were a heart-breaking sight, not just for the farmers involved, but also for livestock producers who depend on corn. For many cattle producers in the West, especially in central-coastal California, the irony was that at the same time, they faced burnt-up pastures and fires all around them. Mother Nature has conspired to make this year even tougher to keep herds together and make money at any level in the cattle business. As the WLJ reported last week, flooding has devastated thousands of ranch operations in the Midwest. Families have been displaced from
by WLJ
2008 July 11
USDA Secretary Ed Schafer announced recently that he is releasing Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for livestock grazing in counties recently designated as Presidential Disaster Areas because of flooding. The release permits grazing only in counties designated as primary and contiguous disaster areas and only because of flooding. "We have a crisis situation in the Midwest and other parts of the country that calls for drastic action," said Schafer. "Major flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries came at one of the worst times for agriculture. Flood waters inundated thousands of acres that cannot be salvaged for production this growing
by WLJ
2008 July 11
It appears that USDA flubbed another administrative procedure. Roughly six weeks ago, USDA announced they would allow grazing and haying of some 24 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) ground after nesting season, which started July 1 in some areas. The program was intended to help cattlemen caught in the middle of ultra-high feed costs. Many cattlemen have been forced to pay over $150 a ton for hay and in some cases, even more. The opportunity to utilize CRP acres was highly anticipated by many cattlemen and would have added 18 million tons of forage to national supplies. Apparently, USDA forgot
by WLJ
2008 July 11
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has hired J. Burton Eller Jr. to manage the association’s legislative and regulatory office in Washington, D.C., a return for the senior executive of the former National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA). Burton will report to CEO Terry Stokes, who served an additional role as interim head of the D.C. office during the search for a new senior vice president of government affairs. "I have seen firsthand the challenges facing cattlemen in Washington, D.C.," Stokes said. "My goal was to find someone who could step into this role without missing a beat and am confident Burton is
by WLJ
2008 July 11
People often measure value by their expectations. The bargain bin toolsets are OK for folks with occasional need, but your own shop bench is lined with Snap-On and Craftsman. After all, they have to stand up to a lot of heavy use. You might buy a set of dishes at the "dollar store" because they’ll last long enough for your teenager to get through college, but your cupboards are stocked with those from a brand-name department store. The bottom line is, you’re willing to pay more for an item if you know it’s worth it. Even a routine Saturday night out on the town
by WLJ
2008 July 11
New system for battling E. coli A high-pressure-water wash designed to remove organic matter from live cattle has been developed by scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Testing on about 50 percent of U.S. feedlot-raised beef cattle reduced the incidence of pathogenic E. coli in ground beef samples by about 43 percent, according to ARS. Developed by scientists at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, NE, the technology was developed by a research team that included a number of microbiologists and food technologists. Most intervention efforts in the past had focused on eliminating the pathogenic bacteria from
by WLJ
2008 July 11
The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) honored Kniebel Farms & Cattle Co. with its Commercial Producer of the Year Award during the organization’s 40th annual meeting. Kniebel Farms & Cattle Co. is owned and managed by Kevin and Mary Ann, Chuck and Kim, and Charles and Mona Kniebel and families. The year 2008 marks the 130th anniversary of the diversified family operation based in White City, KS. The farm has grown from a single homestead to encompass 7,000 acres of Flint Hills grass and farmland. The current operation consists of 500 spring-calving cows and 60 fall-calving cows. The family utilizes a three-breed
by WLJ
2008 July 11
Ranchers have hay days whenever they run into each other during busy summer months. Local gatherings are the perfect opportunity for them to catch up. Their conversations revolve around haying in the summertime and generally get started with comparing the most recent rain amounts on hay crops. That leads to admitting whether or not hay got rained on before or after it was cut, and how long it took to dry before it was ready to bale. Once rainfall amounts are covered, they discuss each other’s haying equipment at length. What kind of baler each guy uses, the problems associated with them,
by WLJ
2008 July 11
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced last Wednesday that it will remove protections for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse in Wyoming, but leave them in place for populations in Colorado. Rapid development along Colorado’s Front Range is to blame for the animal’s decline, according to the USFWS decision. The move will allow USFWS officials to release the protected acreage in Wyoming which had been set aside for federal protections, although just across the border in Colorado where the mouse apparently remains threatened, will be protected. The announcement drew immediate criticism from those impacted in Colorado, including attorney Kent Holsinger,
by WLJ
2008 July 11
BLM plan to euthanize wild horses draws fire A proposal to curb the growth of wild horse populations in the West was unveiled recently at a briefing of the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board in Reno, NV. The plan calls for the euthanization of excess or unadoptable horses which have begun overcrowding western rangelands. The suggestion of permanent removal of excess horses has drawn fire from a number of animal rights and horse rescue groups that insist there are other effective means of population control. As is its charge under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the Bureau of
by WLJ
2008 July 11
Some earlier than expected trade broke out in the Corn Belt last week with cattle trading $1-2 lower than the previous week at $157-159 dressed and $99 live basis last Thursday. Volume in the Corn Belt was light and no trade had occurred in the south, so the trend wasn’t in place at mid-day last Thursday. Analysts were calling for the majority of trade to be in the $100-101 range, down $1 from the previous week when trade got finalized. There was some widespread volatility in the futures markets that reached into the cattle contracts and caused mixed trade despite a
by WLJ
2008 July 11
A tuberculosis (TB) outbreak has resulted in the quarantine of 16,000 cattle in Fresno County in the central part of California, the nation’s largest milk-producing region. California and USDA officials quarantined three different dairy herds, with one TB-positive cow being found in each. TB is a highly contagious respiratory disease which can be transmitted from livestock to humans through the air, or through consumption of the unpasteurized milk from an infected cow. As a result of the initial discovery in late June, USDA downgraded California’s TB status and the recent quarantine has already begun to affect interstate shipping regulations while putting
by WLJ
2008 July 11
—USDA’s failure to meet environmental regs means ground might not be available this year. USDA’s efforts to lessen high feed prices met with a roadblock last week in the form of a temporary restraining order (TRO) granted by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. A coalition of conservation groups led by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) filed suit against USDA and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to halt the opening of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage to haying and grazing this year after the primary nesting season ends. USDA announced in May that certain CRP ground would be opened for
by WLJ
2008 July 11
Resumption of new beef shipments bound for South Korea was set to resume as early as last Thursday, according to USDA, which has finished creating specific regulations for U.S. exports to that country. Beef from cattle slaughtered after 5 a.m. EDT on Thursday was expected to be eligible for export, with USDA officials working to brief U.S. beef industry representatives. Last Wednesday, USDA published new regulations which ensure all U.S. beef heading to South Korea will comply with the under-30-month rule requested in the renegotiations of the original April 18 trade pact. Weeks of sometimes violent demonstrations and major governmental shakeups were
by WLJ
2008 July 11
The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) honored TC Ranch with its Seedstock Producer of the Year Award July 3 during the group’s annual meeting in Calgary. TC Ranch, located in the Republican Valley of south-central Nebraska, is owned and managed by Vance and Connie Uden and son Dru. Considered one of the most progressive beef cattle seedstock operations in the U.S., TC Ranch is a family purebred Angus operation that has been in business for 58 years. The ranch is home to 700 registered Angus cows and 8,000 acres of native grass and irrigated farmland devoted to corn, soybeans, alfalfa and hay.
by WLJ
2008 July 11
Porter Alexander Willis, 85, life-long rancher and horseman, passed away July 3, 2008, at Doctor’s Medical Center in Modesto, CA. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Averyel Mae Brown Willis, five married children, Porter Lynn, Alan, Marilee Euhus, Rob and Dean, 14 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, and brother-in-law Shine Tuttle, as well as a large extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and close friends. He and Averyel visited frequently, traveling to six different states each year. Among the large ranches he managed were the Cammatta Ranch, Creston, CA, the Swan Lake Ranch, Klamath Falls, OR, Columbia River


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