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by WLJ
2005 February 28
President George Bush renominated a friend of the livestock industry, William G. Myers III, to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel. With new information made public last week regarding Myers and his practices while serving as the Interior Department Solicitor, it is hoped that his nomination will not be filibustered by the Senate this time. Myers was first nominated by President Bush on May 15, 2003, and was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 1, 2004. His nomination was filibustered by Senate Democrats. Although Myers received 53 votes for confirmation from the Senate, which is a
by WLJ
2005 February 28
Under an obscure provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian cattle producers are asking the U.S. government to pay more than $300 million to cover losses they incurred when the border was closed to Canadian beef after BSE was confirmed in Alberta during May 2003. At the beginning of February, approximately 500 Canadian producers, mostly of them from Alberta, had filed 121 claims under NAFTA seeking at least $325 million in compensation from the U.S. for the May 2003 decision to halt imports of Canadian beef and cattle. While the pending reopening of the border would limit future claims, it would
by WLJ
2005 February 28
John Floyd Franz Born in Watertown, SD, John Franz was raised on a farm in Frankfort, SD. At 17, he enlisted in the Navy and served during WWII on the USS Pensacola and was awarded the Purple Heart. Upon his return he met June Wiggins, and they were married for 51 years. He began Franz Furniture Business in Tacoma, WA, and upon retirement moved to Yelm, WA, to raise cattle and horses on his 280-acre ranch. He died Feb. 11 on his ranch while doing what he loved, putting his horses away for the night. He was active in Yelm Moose, Eagles,
by WLJ
2005 February 28
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced last Thursday he has given the order for a risk analysis to be done on Canadian cattle 30 months of age and older, the first step in increasing Canada's beef access to the U.S. market. USDA is scheduled to lift its ban on cattle younger than 30 months and expand the types of beef allowed in from those younger animals on March 7. Johanns, speaking at USDA's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, declined to predict how long it will take to open the U.S. border to older Canadian cattle, but he has previously said it may take
by WLJ
2005 February 28
— Placements below, marketings above estimates. — Reactions still mixed. USDA’s Feb. 1 Cattle-on-Feed Report, released Friday, Feb. 18, was better than pre-report estimates as January placements were below most forecasts and marketings were larger than expectations. However, analysts’ reactions to the report still ranged from slightly bullish to bearish, particularly for the summer fed market. Pessimists referred to the fact that Feb. 1 on-feed figures showed larger feedlot populations than a year ago. “The best way to put it is that the report shouldn’t result in any major downturn in the cattle markets the next couple of weeks. However, the data still
by WLJ
2005 February 28
Canada Farm Direct concluded that its first beef slaughter and processing expansion should occur in Saskatchewan after meeting with cattle producers and evaluating the future of the Western Canadian beef industry. “Cow-Calf production and the feelot industry will continue to grow in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba. To reach full potential, substantial additional slaughter capacity is needed,” said Dale Mather of Canada Farm Direct in a prepared statement. “We are studying the feasibility of a new facility to complement the other interests we will have in Saskatchewan.” After concluding its current share offer, Canada Farm Direct will acquire one of Western Canada’s largest
by WLJ
2005 February 28
I have promoted, sold, and advertised smooth wire electric fencing as the latest and greatest inexpensive tool to control livestock and improve your pasture management for more than 20 years. The other day, I found myself working hard to come up with a long list of all the things that can go wrong with this kind of a fence. Talk about role reversal! I had just returned from Oklahoma after testifying in a lawsuit as a fencing expert in a trial-by- jury lawsuit involving a escaped black cow causing a serious semi-truck accident. The trial, which lasted six days, had me
by WLJ
2005 February 28
ARS wants to improve the stability and profitability of forage production. Two research units in the central Great Plain states of Oklahoma and Nebraska demonstrate the agency's commitment to that purpose. The mission of the ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory in El Reno, OK, is to enhance forage and livestock production and develop management strategies that incorporate climate risk, promote sustainability, and conserve the productivity of grazinglands resources on the Great Plains. Managing intensive grazing systems for forage-finishing of livestock and dairy production requires increased efficiency in nutrient use. William A. Phillips, an animal nutritionist in El Reno, found that kenaf, a crop usually
by WLJ
2005 February 28
It was as if a collective sigh of relief could be heard from grocers, meat processors and distributors across the U.S. last week as they prepare to say good riddance to February, a typically slow sales period, and look forward to improved business activity in March. For the month, as of the close of business last Wednesday, the Choice beef composite value dropped $4.46 per cwt, or 3.1 percent. The pork composite price declined $5.95, or 8.1 percent, while prices for boneless/skinless chicken breasts, a barometer for sales activity in the chicken category, fell about 25 cents per pound, or nearly
by WLJ
2005 February 28
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice raised the issue of Japan lifting completely a ban on imports of U.S. beef during a meeting on Saturday, Feb. 19, with her Japanese counterpart. Rice met with Nobutaka Machimura for bilateral talks. The Japanese understood U.S. concerns and were trying to accelerate procedures "and made a commitment the issue would be resolved," said a State Department official, on the condition of anonymity. Hatushisa Takashima, the Japanese foreign ministry spokesman, said beef imports came up in the talks and that Japan would make an effort to meet U.S. requests. Japan imposed a ban on U.S. beef imports
by WLJ
2005 February 28
Stored wet grain will deteriorate rapidly as temperatures rise this spring, according to North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang. Corn at 24 percent moisture has an allowable storage time of about 130 days at 30 degrees, but only 40 days at 40 degrees and 15 days at 50 degrees. Therefore, 24 percent moisture corn needs to be dried using a high-temperature dryer before the grain warms, Hellevang said. The galvanized steel of a grain bin acts as a solar collector, so the grain near the south side and top of the bin will be heated to temperatures that
by WLJ
2005 February 28
Russia’s livestock output declined further this past January amid falling profitability, the latest report by the Federal State Statistics Service showed. The sector's output was down as the number of cattle and pigs continued to fall, the service said. The number of pigs was down 7.1 percent on the year to 16 million as of Feb. 1, while the number of cattle was down 5.8 percent on the year to 24.9 million. Meat production was up 3.1 percent on the year to approximately 500,000 tons in live weight, but 54.7 percent less than in December 2004, when slaughter levels are seasonally high.
by WLJ
2005 February 28
Biotech company SeraCare Life Sciences, Inc. is attempting to patent a blood test for the prions that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and its human variants. A developer and provider of human and animal based diagnostic, therapeutic and research products SeraCare announced Feb. 24 that it has filed patent applications in the United States, the European Union, Japan and Australia for an Immuno-PCR test, a novel blood-based test for infectious prions, the proteins that cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) or new variant CJD (nvCJD), disease in humans. SeraCare believes that the test, co-developed by Dr. Mark Manak, chief scientific officer of BBI Biotech,
by WLJ
2005 February 28
A recent survey indicates that some U.S. consumers are starting to show some hesitancy when it comes to both purchasing and eating beef due to fears that they could contract the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). According to a Harvard School of Public Health survey, 16 percent of Americans have stopped ordering beef at fast food restaurants, 14 percent have stopped browsing the beef section in the grocery store and 27 percent think the human form of BSE has infected someone in the U.S. “Perception is the biggest problem,” said Jim Lamb, a BYU-Idaho Animal Science professor. “There has never
by WLJ
2005 February 28
Developing, breeding and calving out heifers has become a separate but integral part of cattle herd management. But, in many cases, heifer management is still handled in an experimental mode with a lot of uncertainties plaguing individual breeding programs. However, utilizing a fairly new set of reproductive maturity criteria could make it a lot easier for producers to have a successful heifer breeding and calving program. According to Dr. Dave Patterson, cattle reproductive specialist and professor at the University of Missouri, utilizing reproductive tract scores (RTS) to determine sexual maturity and readiness for estrus synchronization could go a long way toward
by WLJ
2005 February 28
Treasure Bull Test Treasure Bull Test has now completed 100 days of their test on 175 Angus bulls consigned by breeders from eight states. Considering the very cold weather the first two weeks of January, the bulls are performing extremely well. The 144 spring Angus bulls on test are gaining 3.08 lbs. per day (with an average weight per day of age of 3.18 lbs. The 371 fall bulls have an ADG of 3.20 and post WDA of 2.80. The test is being conducted at the Broken O Ranch Feedlot, Simms, MT. The top gaining bull at the 100 day mark
by WLJ
2005 February 28
Seed as quickly as possible this spring. That was the best general advice that Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln forage specialist, offered. Anderson also offered some rules and reminders for timing and seeding procedures of forages this spring. Ideally, Anderson said, many of the cool season species should be put in the ground as soon as the ground can be worked and driven on. Giving an actual deadline of when all producers have to have these grasses planted is not feasible since it varies from region to region on how much moisture they are receiving. “Cool season forages should mostly be
by WLJ
2005 February 28
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns last Wednesday announced $9.3 million in Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) funding for locally-sponsored watershed protection projects resulting from recent floods and other natural disasters such as tornadoes, fires, drought and hurricanes. The funding is currently set aside for 12 states hit by natural disasters the past few months. "The Bush Administration remains committed to enhancing the environment," said Johanns. "These emergency funds will help restore critical watersheds while responding to the needs of rural communities." Through EWP, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service provides technical and financial assistance to protect life and property threatened by excessive erosion and
by WLJ
2005 February 28
USDA economists expect 2005 U.S. beef exports to rise, even without a border reopening in Asian countries, USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins said last Thursday. Collins made his remarks while speaking to a gathering at USDA's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum. However, although trade with Mexico and other countries will grow in 2005, it still would be only a quarter of the level in 2003, before nearly all U.S. beef export markets were closed after finding an imported dairy cow in Washington state with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Collins said. In addition to the beef export increases, stronger foreign economies and resumption of more
by WLJ
2005 February 21
USDA cleared a second hurdle in trying to partially regain beef trade with Japan as the ruling political party in the Pacific Rim nation last Wednesday endorsed a proposal designed to verify the age of U.S. cattle eligible to produce beef for export. The move by a panel of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members helps move Tokyo a step closer to easing its 14-month-old import ban on American beef, which has kept U.S. beef from accessing Japan’s beef market. Prior to the LDP’s blessing, a panel of food safety and consumer health experts accepted a U.S.-proposed beef grading method that would accurately


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