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by WLJ
2007 December 20
The next step in the ongoing saga regarding the legal challenge of live cattle and beef trade with Canada was finally made public late last week as attorneys for R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America filed for an en banc appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. If accepted by the court, the request would result in the entire Ninth Circuit ruling on the case, instead of the previous three-judge panel. In mid-July, a three-judge appellate panel allowed the U.S. to resume imports of live Canadian cattle and additional beef products. That ruling overturned a U.S. District Court decision that put in
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Of particular focus was reallowing the use of most of the small intestine in the manufacturing of sausage. USDA followed suit by amending its BSE rules to allow bovine small intestine to be harvested after the potentially infectious portion of the tract has been removed. The rule prohibits the use of bovine specified risk materials (SRMs), which are materials most likely to carry the agent responsible for spreading bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). SRMs include the brain and spinal cord and other parts in the central nervous system. The original IFR included the entire small intestine as an SRM, meaning that it couldn’t
by WLJ
2007 December 20
— Calf, yearling market widely varied. Fed cattle trade last week was just starting to get charged up before press time Thursday, at prices $1 stronger live, $2-3 higher dressed. Volumes, however, were very slight as packers were trying to control the market from being much more than steady with the previous week. In addition, volumes were hampered somewhat because of Labor Day. As of Thursday afternoon, 10-12,000 head had traded hands in Nebraska at $128-130 dressed, some $82 live. The same prices were paid on limited volumes of cattle in both Iowa and Colorado, also. Southern Plains trade still hadn’t started
by WLJ
2007 December 20
A livestock marketing study, commissioned by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), has revealed that producers and livestock processors both use a wide variety of marketing strategies when it comes to selling and procuring cattle, respectively. The number of cattle traded via forward contracts and marketing grids has jumped in previous years, according to the study, due to the changes in both the market infrastructure and the kind of beef products that are being demanded by consumers. Researchers with RTI International, who conducted the study, said there are still other avenues also being utilized. The report also indicated that there
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Producers across many beef and dairy states have experienced an increase in the number of reports of fraud and theft in recent years. Good prices for cow/calf producers and mounting losses for feedlots may be one reason for an increase in these deceptive and costly cases. In Nebraska, recent cases have pushed the issue to the forefront. Earlier this month, a feedlot owner in Rock County, NE pled guilty to unlawfully selling cattle that belonged to another producer. The owner of the feedlot illegally pocketed the proceed check, a total of more than $76,000. Steve Stanec, executive director of Nebraska Brand
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The U.S. imported a record 123,875 tons of beef and veal during June, 8.8% higher than May and 8.3% higher than June 2004. Official figures show that imports of fresh, chilled beef came to 41,371 tons, virtually unchanged from the previous month but up by 9.2% over the same month last year. Imports of frozen beef were 75,639 tons, which was 12.8% above the previous month and 10% above June 2004. During June, beef imports from Canada came to 38,099 tons, unchanged from May. U.S. imports of beef from Canada during the first half of 2005 were 15.9% higher than a
by WLJ
2007 December 20
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, the ports most responsible for shipping the largest portion of U.S. grain to export markets were immediately shut down. However, sources last week indicated that many of those facilities are back open and shipping about 60% of pre-storm levels. Much of the grain shipped out of those ports is corn. Corn prices during the last week of August and first week of September declined significantly, however, a rebound effect was noticed during the later half of last week. Cash corn prices last Wednesday and Thursday hovered around $2.20 per bushel, compared to $2.05-2.10 the
by WLJ
2007 December 20
With time about to expire on USDA’s current mandatory price reporting program for livestock and meat, two U.S. senators last week introduced a bill that would extend the legislation for another year without any significant changes. The extension will give Congress time to research permanent changes to the program next year, congressional staffers said. Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, and Tom Harkin, D-IA, last Wednesday introduced legislation to extend the Livestock Price Reporting Act (LPRA) for one year. LPRA requires packers, processors and importers to provide price, contracting, supply and demand information to USDA for the purpose of compiling composite market transaction
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Sheep numbers generally have been declining since 1942, but the decline in the previous five years has been due to drought conditions in many western sheep-producing states. Improved moisture conditions in several sheep-producing states in 2004 and continued improvement in many western U.S. states in 2005 has allowed producers to consider flock rebuilding. Record high lamb prices, along with the extension of the ewe lamb retention program, also helped fuel interest in keeping replacement ewe lambs. The number of breeding ewes a year and older, at 3.79 million head, is 1.2% higher than a year ago. Replacement lambs, at 680,000 head, increased 9.7%
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The court, as is usually the case, did not release any specific reasons for not reconsidering its decision in Kelo v. New London. However, Justice John Paul Stevens, who was part of the ruling majority, recently defended the ruling as being legally correct because the high court has “always allowed local policy makers wide latitude in determining how best to achieve legitimate public goals.” However, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was part of the four-judge minority, said the ruling was wrong and that all private property is in jeopardy of being taken over by companies who only want to make a
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The agricultural sector contributed a record $125.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2004. Net farm income, which is the return earned by farm operations, was a record $82.5 billion. A survey conducted by USDA indicated unique results among recent years in that both livestock and crop industries generated record levels of value of production and receipts in the same year. As a result, total receipts were a record $241.2 billion, which was $24.6 billion more than the previous record of $216.6 billion in 2003. Total 2004 production expenses, at $209.8 billion, rose more than 5% compared with 2003. Producers spent
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Female Sale August 13, Galt, CA 51 lots $2,246 Auctioneer: Max Olvera Sale Manager: James A. Danekas The number of females offered at this sale was up from last year and likewise for the average which is an indication of the strong demand for quality Angus genetics. The offering attracted a large crowd to Cattlemen’s Livestock Market to appraise the offering from several California Angus breeders. They included Circle AK Angus, Galt, CA, L&N Angus, Lodi, CA, Oak Ridge Angus, Calistoga, CA, NIX Angus, Minden, NV, Vintage Angus, Modesto, CA, H.A.V.E. Angus, Wilton, CA, Chase Classic Angus, Torrance, CA and Cal Poly Foundation, Pomona, CA.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
On Aug. 1, federal judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and federal grazing permittees, saying the agency had ignored its own rules concerning sensitive species and ordered all cattle off the Jarbidge Resource Area (JRA) land by Sept. 9. Winmill also pushed for an environmental assessment of 800,000 acres of the nearly 1.7 million acre resource area. Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided against listing sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act despite the fact that the bird is still considered sensitive. Judge Winmill indicated that BLM, in its own studies,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
USDA last week allocated over $170 million in emergency assistance available to agricultural producers suffering from Hurricane Katrina. In addition, USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is implementing immediate changes to its Marketing Assistance Loan Program. "We are doing everything we can to help our Gulf Coast producers recover from the affects of Hurricane Katrina," said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. "This assistance is an important component of USDA's efforts and our commitment to help farmers and ranchers rebuild their operations.” USDA is providing more than $20 million in Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funds to help producers repair damage to their lands. ECP participants
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” were anything but that this summer. Well, maybe a little crazy. Summertime for the field man used to mean more days at home and a little more relaxed schedule; but this summer, as in the past few, it has been business as usual. Of course, there is always the Commercial Cattle Issue to sell, but it seems there has been more than the usual number of sales and other events to use up those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” The big sales during the summer are the video sales. This summer I helped out
by WLJ
2007 December 20
September 13, 2004 Record Stockman Publisher Emeritus Harry E. Green, 81, of Lakewood, CO, died Sept. 5 of cancer and heart disease. Editor and Publisher Dan Green said, "Dad was tough and a real fighter, not giving in to the ravages of his diseases. He maintained an active interest in his beloved Record Stockman and livestock industry, his family, and Colorado sports teams, right up to the end."
by WLJ
2007 December 20
If my husband asks me to help him load a lame cow, I know he’s at the end of the LCLO (Lame Cow Loading Options) flow chart. The process of loading an injured bovine includes bluffing, acting quickly, and troubleshooting with “flow chart” alternatives. All that’s needed is getting her into the trailer just enough to shut the door, but nine times out of 10, injured livestock are on the fight when lame. They aren’t known for being team players, often refusing to cooperate when it comes to getting detained. That’s why being crafty and having several strategies is advantageous.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Farm labor crisis How does the old saying go? If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain, or something like that? It appears that some U.S. produce growers are tired and frustrated with trying to work with the government and the migrant worker corps. Many farmers have decided to move some of their operations to Mexico. Last week in many large daily newspapers, there was a story about a lettuce grower, Steve Scaroni, who built a $50 million produce business in California. Mr. Scaroni leased 2,000 acres in Mexico and is loving it. There’s
by WLJ
2007 December 20
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) increased its projections for the 2007 corn crop to levels which, if realized, would be a record harvest and the second largest average yield in history. According to the Sept. 12 NASS projections, this year’s corn crop will reach 13.308 billion bushels, 2 percent larger than the August estimate and 26 percent above year ago levels. Before the report, analysts had been predicting an average harvest ranging from 12.767 billion to 13.416 billion bushels, with an average of 13.128 billion bushels. NASS estimated the yield at 155.8 bushels per acre, up three bushels per
by DTN
2007 December 20
Working to heighten public awareness on the Bush administration’s efforts to improve the safety of imports, two cabinet secretaries toured a small meat plant on Sept. 12 to talk about the importance of high business standards. Cracks in import safety have become a national focus this year with recalls ranging from pet foods to children’s toys. It has led to a political and consumer backlash that will place more demands on businesses and government officials to ensure foreign products are safe. The demands, however, are stressing the inspection system as the global economy and more trade deals open up U.S. ports