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by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 8, 2005 The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service released two important cattle supply-related reports on July 22. The July 1 cattle inventory report and the July 1 cattle-on-feed report help give some indication of cattle and beef supplies for the next six months. The July 1 cattle report confirmed the expected increase in the U.S. cattle inventory. All cattle and calves totaled 104.5 million head, which is 900,000 head, and slightly less than 1 percent more, than in 2004. This is the first time the July report has shown an increase in cattle numbers since 1995, which was the previous cyclical
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Animal health officials in the United Kingdom(UK) have discovered two related cases of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the country. The first, announced Aug. 3, was discovered on a farm outside Wanborough, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of London. The second, discovered early last week, was found within the initial two-mile-radius protection zone set up around the farm where the first group of infected cattle was found, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said during a press conference last week. Farmers in that country expressed outrage over the possibility of a link between a nearby lab which produces vaccines for
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Good trade volume broke out early last week at mostly lower prices after a sharp sell-off on the futures market early in the week. According to reports, trade as of last Thursday was light to moderate in the southern tier and light in Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa, with light to moderate demand from packer buyers after Texas feedlots came to the table last Tuesday to accept lower money. Prices in Texas were mostly steady to $1 lower from $90-91.50 live basis. Sales in Kansas were mostly $1.50 lower at $91 live and dressed sales sold $2.50-3 lower from $142.50-143. The
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The recent hot, humid weather is bringing out odors at some North Dakota cattle feedlots. “Feedlots do not need to smell,” says Karl Hoppe, area Extension Service livestock specialist at North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) Carrington Research Extension Center. “Feedlots may have a slight odor, but they do not have to have an overwhelming odor.” Proper feedlot design and management are the keys to keeping smells to a minimum, he adds. One of those management tools is pen stocking density. “Don’t overcrowd the pens,” advises Ron Wiederholt, NDSU’s nutrient management specialist at the Carrington center. “This may not be easy
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Since banning U.S. beef after the discovery of bone material in a shipment last month, South Korean officials now appear to be ready to allow shipments again—but only if the U.S. can meet its demands. While a formal ban was not implemented, officials in South Korea halted quarantine inspections of beef products imported from the U.S. after finding vertebral material in the shipment, which will keep hundreds of tons of beef from reaching stores in that country. Officials in South Korea indicate that until USDA can confirm that the proper safeguards are in place and that the shipment from Cargill
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Recent labor figures confirm what farmers and ranchers have known for decades. The availability of labor, particularly in the form of hired hands, is becoming more difficult to find. Recently released information from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) showed a drop in the number of laborers in agricultural production since last year. According to NASS figures, there are approximately 710,000 workers in agricultural production. That number is 40,000 fewer than last year and 175,000 less than just five years ago. According to NASS, there was a 15 percent increase in crop production and a 17 percent increase in livestock-related
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Issues concerning criminal tax evasion For people in the farming and livestock industries, the main worry in an IRS audit is the hobby loss rule and whether certain farm losses will be allowed as tax deductions. For some people, however, in all walks of life, a greater concern exists: the possibility of being indicted for tax evasion. Under Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code, it is a federal crime for anyone to willfully attempt to evade or defeat the payment of federal income taxes. By “attempt,” the statute means that the individual knew or should have known that he had
by WLJ
2007 December 20
There is a way to beat high nitrogen fertilizer costs for pastures when it comes to putting pounds on calves. This is according to a four-year study comparing different pasture management systems with cows and calves by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Based on average daily gain of calves, the study found that adding a cool-season clover to a warm-season perennial grass was more profitable than applying high amounts of nitrogen. “Adding a cool-season clover to a warm-season perennial grass was more profitable than the high- and no-input systems because the clover extended the grazing season, had higher nutritive value,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Most horse owners know that their equine companions are at great risk for contracting West Nile Virus (WNV), but a newly reported case of WNV in Montana has some suggesting there are new species being placed at increased risk for the disease. The pervasiveness of the disease and its ability to spread to new host species is well documented, and this year is no different. In fact, the first-ever moose to test positive for WNV was recently discovered in Ravalli County, MT, after a mother and two calves wandered near a town where one calf collapsed due to illness. According
2007 December 20
The recent drought is only the last on a relatively long list of natural calamities that impact agricultural producers. Currently, not only do those involved have little to no moisture, but nature’s wrath and fire are literally burning what remains. The tragedy is exponentially confounded when what stored forage remains is burned. The response is critical, but the correct or even the most appropriate answer generally is not well-known. The bottom line quickly becomes survival, financial
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Last week, USDA came out with their first in-field corn reports for the season, which was expected at around 10.8 million bushels. Estimates this summer have ranged between 10.4 and 11.2 billion bushels. Generally, crop estimates go all over the map until some of the corn counters get out in the field and do actual surveys, which USDA just did. The benchmark survey I like to reference is the Sid Love-Joe Kroph corn tour sponsored by economist
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The new branded beef product is called Greg Norman Australian Prime. Basically, the brand specializes in grain-fed Wagyu beef. The signature product, called Greg Norman Signature Wagyu, consists of beef derived from Wagyu-based cattle, which translates into “Japanese cow,” fed for 350 days. In addition, the brand will also market Greg Norman Premium, also grain-fed, but for 120 days. To appeal to golf courses, the Greg Norman Australian Prime will also market Greg Norman 100 percent Australian Beef Patties and Hot Dogs.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Gerald Brice (GB) Barry Gerald Brice (GB) Barry passed away in his home July 31, 2006. Barry was born Sept. 13, 1923, in Kansas City, MO, to Gerald Francis and Alice Schaub Barry. GB enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp in April 1942. He was honorably discharged in May 1946 after he proudly served his country in the consolidation of the Solomon Islands, the New Guinea Operation and defense and capture of Guadalcanal.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
“Ranchers in Owyhee County were faced with conditions created by the Wilderness Study Areas and Owhyee Canyonlands which made it impossible to make changes or improvements to their grazing allotments. Decisions by Federal Judge B. Lynn Winmill and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) weren’t helping either,” said Fred Grant, co-chair of the Owyhee Initiative. “Ranchers here knew the writing was on the wall and saw an opportunity to help get range management decisions that were based on sound range science instead of politics.”
by WLJ
2007 December 20
After the long awaited announcement was made by Japanese officials to resume trade, many beef packing facilities scurried to get their product back in the Japanese marketplace, which was once the largest U.S. export market. In fact, prior to the ban, Japan was a $1.4 billion market for the U.S. beef business. Although the trade resumption is, undoubtedly, good news for the beef industry across the board, many industry leaders say the process will be a long one and ultimately entails trust building. “The Japanese consumer likely has
by WLJ
2007 December 20
In late July, Geri Lyn went to Hawaii to attend the American Veterinarian Medical Association convention and I tagged along. It had been quite a few years since I had been there in the Navy. After the convention was over, I wanted to go to the USS Arizona National Monument. The last time I was there was 1967 when I was getting out of the Navy and, at that time, there was no visitor center. We were told to be there early in the morning to get tickets
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 15, 2005 The telephone rang yesterday morning. “Can I have some of those electronic identification tags?” the voice on the telephone asked. The call was like many already received and more will come. “What are you going to use them for?” I asked. “I need to put them in the calves when I sell so they will be age and source verified,” the voice on the telephone responded. I could feel a headache coming on. I couldn’t help but moan for a non-mutable industry, an industry filled with old cowboy mentality that spends extraordinary amounts of energy resisting change. A common point of discussion
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 15, 2005 The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has been concerned about membership for quite some time. But it appears they were very concerned about that during their last meeting in Denver, at least that was what much of the talk was about and a few special meetings were set to address it. In a membership forum, members from the various state associations all had the chance to tell the leadership their concerns and how to correct them. The past few months, rival association R-CALF has been touting a membership of 18,000 and stating they are the fastest growing cattlemen’s association.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 15, 2005 One of the main hurdles that many taxpayers face in an audit with the IRS is showing an effort to change methods of operation or procedures that could result in an improved profit picture. Often taxpayers in the livestock or other farming industries will fail to document legitimate changes they have made to enhance operations, and this can be a problem, among others, in withstanding IRS scrutiny. If you are audited, you will be expected to show how you keep records in connection with the day-to-day business of your activity. Today IRS enforcement has stepped up the level of
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Initial testing at two British farms thought to be potentially infected with foot- and-mouth disease (FMD) resulted in negative results, according to officials in the U.K. last Wednesday. They followed up the announcement saying that the risk of the virus spreading beyond the initial outbreak was now “very low.” Britain’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds, said further tests were planned to confirm that animals on the farm and at a nearby theme park petting zoo were not infected with FMD. Concern spread last Tuesday and the British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) set up two mile perimeter