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by WLJ
2005 March 14
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced March 4 that the number two man at the department will be leaving. “Deputy Secretary James Moseley has informed me that he is resigning as Deputy Secretary effective today. He has served American agriculture well throughout an extensive and diverse career and I wish him well in his future endeavors,” Johanns said in a statement. Moseley was asked to join USDA by Ann Veneman and, since her resignation speculation has been running high on Moseley’s future. In January, Moseley said he planned to stay on through the transition, but “my future is uncertain.” During that interview,
by WLJ
2005 March 14
Paul L. Good Paul Good, 89, a renowned livestock auctioneer died March 6. From Van Wert, OH, Good was born Feb. 23, 1916, to George Lewis and Dora Leota Haines Good. He married his highschool sweetheart Alice Marie Poling in 1938; she died May 7, 1989. Good graduated from Ohio State where he was a member of the Collegiate Livestock Judging Team and Meats Team, and started as an auctioneer in seventh grade during a school pageant depicting the Jamestown slave auction. Colonel Good is best known for his robust and quick-witted selling of Angus cattle, presiding over some of the most notable
by WLJ
2005 March 14
With “tax day” fast approaching, the agriculture industry is optimistic that Congress will consider a permanent repeal of the estate tax soon after April 15. The House bill (H.R. 8) and Senate bill (S. 420) are identical versions of the bill introduced in the 109th Congress, which, if passed, would permanently repeal this tax and do away with the sunset clause in current law. So far, the House bill has over 100 cosponsors and the Senate bill has seven. H.R. 8 is numbered lower than 10, showing that this legislation is a leadership bill, which means the House leadership is placing
by WLJ
2005 March 14
— Other southern states prepping fields. — Northern harvest still incomplete. Planting of the 2005 corn crop officially became active in Texas last week, about a week to 10 days behind “normal.” However, some sources said while abnormally wet weather slowed seeding in the South, it could result in abnormally high average yields across that part of the country. USDA commodity reporters, grain market analysts and agronomists alike said the extremely wet weather in the southern third of the U.S. will improve corn yields and the overall corn harvest in that area. “Even if moisture is below normal, subsoil conditions are so good right
by WLJ
2005 March 14
A House “companion” bill to prevent the U.S. from lifting its ban on Canadian live cattle isn't expected to move quickly to a floor vote like its counterpart did in the Senate earlier this month, according to congressional aides and government officials. Alise Kowalski, spokeswoman for House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R- VA, said last Tuesday the bill will likely remain idle in the committee until after a legal suit being herd in federal court on the U.S. ban has been resolved. And that suits USDA, which is adamantly opposed to the bill. USDA sought to begin allowing in Canadian cattle
by WLJ
2005 March 14
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds hopes people across the nation and around the world will soon walk into grocery stores and choose to pay more for steaks that carry his state's seal of approval. When they take those steaks home, they can visit an Internet site and use codes on the labels to find out where the meat came from, even the ranch where a calf was born. Electronic records will track the critters from birth, through feedlots and to meatpacking plants. "We believe consumers will step forward and they will be paying premium prices for this premium product," Rounds said Tuesday. A
by WLJ
2005 March 14
Two U.S. senators were scheduled to meet Japan’s envoy separately last Friday and the following Monday to directly press Japan to lift the 15-month-long import ban on U.S. beef. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-CO, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Charles Grassley, R-IA, were scheduled to meet Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Ryozo Kato. Allard initiated a joint letter of 20 bipartisan senators sent last month to Kato, threatening to pursue retaliatory economic actions if Japan fails to quickly resume beef imports. On March 4, 59 members of the House of Representatives submitted a resolution urging the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to “immediately”
by WLJ
2005 March 14
The Canadian border situation played a role in advancing cattle trade last week, with both fed and feeder cattle markets turning sharply higher last week. Fed cattle moved up $3-4 live, to $94, and dressed cattle were $6-8 higher, hitting $150 in the Northern Plains. Nebraska feeders moved 64,000 head on Wednesday. Southern Plains feeders were slower to trade and started trading Thursday afternoon at $92-93.50 and moved 90,000 head. Feeders were pricing cattle at $94-95. There was a great deal of anticipation that the Canadian border would be open to cattle trade on March 7, packers were clearly waiting for a fresh
by WLJ
2005 March 14
— Temporary stay against imported beef not being filed. A hearing in the ongoing litigation over whether Canadian cattle and beef should be allowed to enter the U.S. has not yet been scheduled, however, the plaintiff organization has reiterated that Canadian beef currently entering the U.S. is on its list of products to ban. Reports that R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF) was going to file a separate temporary injunction request against boneless boxed beef from Canada, however, were incorrect. Shae Dodson, director of communications for R-CALF, said the group would wait to argue its overall case against USDA’s final import rule instead
by WLJ
2005 March 14
Both the spring sale season and the weather are in full bloom in the Pacific Northwest. The bull sales have all remained very strong with large crowds and strong demand in spite of the very unseasonably warm weather that has dominated the last few weeks. Many ranchers are becoming concerned about irrigation water and stock water, and at present it would seem their concerns are justified. The line between dry and wet seems to be about the Oregon state line with California. North of the line it is very dry. Some producers I have spoken to are talking about dust pneumonia
by WLJ
2005 March 14
On the day the U.S. border was supposed to reopen to Canadian cattle, Canadian provincial governments were instead throwing more money at an industry that could be waiting many more months for access to its biggest market. Alberta, the heart of the country's beef industry, announced $37 million to help develop new export markets and other initiatives, while Manitoba said it will put $3 million into expanding slaughter capacity. The federal government may also dip into its rainy-day fund to help cattle farmers, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale suggested, adding the $3 billion contingency reserve can be used for "genuine emergencies.” Manitoba Agriculture Minister
by WLJ
2005 March 7
Beef exports from Australia will peak this fiscal year, before easing in following years as exports from the U.S. and Canada resume and competition increases from South American exporters, the government's Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) forecasted last Tuesday. ABARE, in its quarterly Australian Commodities outlook publication, estimated beef exports this fiscal year at 938,000 metric tons, valued at A$4.23 billion before falling to 925,000 tons valued at A$3.99 billion next fiscal year ending June 30, 2006. Exports will slide gradually to reach 841,000 tons in fiscal 2009-10, it said. Actual exports last fiscal year reached 860,000 tons valued at
by WLJ
2005 March 7
Amalgamated Bank, trustee of a mutual fund owning nearly 89,000 shares of Tyson Foods, filed suit on Feb. 16 against the Springdale-based company charging directors benefitted fiscally at the expense of shareholders. The lawsuit—which was filed in Delaware and seeks class action status—lists the world's largest meat processor and most current and some former members of its board of directors as defendants, including Chairman and CEO John Tyson. One of the charges of the complaint is that the company tied giving stock options to executives and board members to events that the company believed would increase the value of shares, such as
by WLJ
2005 March 7
The Senate formally reopened consideration of President Bush’s nomination of William G. Myers III to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last Tuesday with a hearing that focused on his environmental record. Key senators said the new hearing is unlikely to prevent a recurrence of last year’s filibuster of the nominee. For the second time in two years, Myers faced the Judiciary Committee and questions over his record as the Interior Department’s top lawyer and a lobbyist for mining and cattle interests. According to senators, this second hearing echoed the first, in spite of a 24-page report issued by the Interior
by WLJ
2005 March 7
Safeway posts Q4 turnaround Safeway moved from a $695.9 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2003 to a gain of $202.7 million in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 1, mostly as a result of the strike that crippled its California business in 2003 and significant write-offs involving its Randall's and Dominick's divisions. For the year, sales were flat at $35.8 billion, but profits jumped to $560.2 million, compared with a net loss of $169.8 million in 2003. Sales for the quarter increased three percent, from $11 billion to $11.4 billion. Same-store sales increased 1.5 percent, excluding results from strike-affected stores. Alberta
by WLJ
2005 March 7
A nutrition scientist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, recently found that combining beef tallow and soybeans can improve the health of humans. According to Dr. Tim Carr, the beef fat helps in allowing a vegetable-derived cholesterol-lowering sterol to be added to food without being wasted near as much as normal. The dilemma has been that blood cholesterol-lowering sterols can be extracted from soybeans and added to other foods. However, the extract stuck to manufacturing equipment. However, Carr discovered that the combination of extract and tallow can be made into a powder, making it more applicable as a food additive. He further explained
by WLJ
2005 March 7
An increase in the nation's cattle inventory has signaled a rebuilding phase among beef herds, according to a Texas Cooperative Extension livestock economist. "Beef cows are up one percent nationwide," said Dr. David Anderson, extension economist for livestock and food products marketing. "The highlight is that we've ended the last cycle and we've started a new cycle – a rebuilding phase." The nation's beef cattle inventory is at 33.06 million head, according to recent data released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Heifers, young female cattle, are also being held back from slaughter and retained in herds. "Heifers are up four percent, so
by WLJ
2005 March 7
Smithfield, VA-headquartered pork and beef processor Smithfield Foods Inc. announced that net income for its fiscal 2005 third quarter was $97.5 million—versus income last year of $42.1 million. Sales were $3.1 billion compared with $2.7 billion last year. The substantial increase in earnings is attributable to the continued success of Smithfield’s vertically integrated pork operations, enabling the company to realize improved profitability during this period of increased livestock cost, the company said in a news release. In the quarter, the company’s hog production operations benefitted from a 48 percent increase in live hog market prices year over year. Raising costs remained about
by WLJ
2005 March 7
— Tests to last at least through May. As of the end of February, USDA had tested over 250,000 head of the “most at risk” cattle through the first nine months of its 12-18 month stepped-up surveillance program for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Officials with the agency’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said the minimum requirement of target animals to be tested for the disease should be reached by the end of the second week in March, but that the testing program will continue at its current pace through at least the end of May. As of Feb. 27, 252,501 target
by WLJ
2005 March 7
Approximately one month after USDA experts returned from their investigative mission to Canada in which they sought to determine the effectiveness of that country’s ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban, the agency released an official report of the findings. Overall, USDA found Canada to be in compliance and just as proficient as the U.S. with a similar feed ban. The results answered many of the industry’s questions that arose after two cows from separate herds were discovered to be infected with BSE within the first few weeks of January. “After the two recent BSE finds in Canada, it was important to get a team


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