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by WLJ
2007 December 20
The key to building a good electric fence Simple, Simple, Simple. Simple is the best way to build a good electric fence. Just the other day I was with a fencing crew made up of several different ranchers and government folks. They were bound and determined to over-build a pasture cross fence using several strands of high tensile smooth wire (12.5 gage, class III galvanizing). The design they had in mind was a somewhat modified conventional barbed wire standards; herein lies a serious problem. There was also another problem; it seems that I was the only one who was aware of the
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The Beef Improvement Federation honored Pelton Simmental/Red Angus with the 2007 Seedstock Producer of the Year Award June 7 during the organization’s 39th annual meeting in Fort Collins, CO. The ranch is owned by the Lynn and Gary Pelton families and managed by Lynn Pelton. Pelton Simmental/Red Angus is a family-owned and operated seedstock business located near Burdett, KS. Gary and Donna Pelton and their sons, Jason, Aaron and Burke, and Lynn and Sue Pelton and their daughter, Shanna, and son, Dustin, began a partnership in 1976 which later was incorporated into a diversified farm and ranch operation. The Pelton business
by WLJ
2007 December 20
June 20, 2005 The market broke last week. We were expecting it to become softer, but the most recent news on the ongoing BSE situation reared its ugly head again—and for no real good reason. The USDA held their BSE roundtable meeting recently in Minneapolis, MN,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
June 20, 2005 Dear Pete: I just finished reading Steve Kay’s last article in the (June 6) Journal where he says the beef checkoff should be $2 or $3 a head. I heartily agree. In fact, when someone comes up to me and says, “What do you
by WLJ
2007 December 20
June 20, 2005 Don’t monitor pastures after problems, monitor before they occur. This statement makes a lot of sense to me. However, most land monitoring is conducted after problems have occurred. Monitoring land health conditions has been a passion of mine for a long
2007 December 20
impetuous. In the world of beef, it is important to evaluate and ask if our priorities are in the right order. This is true in all businesses and beef is no exception. However, setting priorities is only part of the equation. The next step is to make sure one sets aside enough time to reflect on how to effectively accomplish life among the noted priorities. The facts are very straight forward for all of us. We need to realize that few of us really have adequate resources or unlimited opportunities. However, one common denominator all producers have is time. We all are given
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Congressman Zack Space, D-OH, was expected to introduce legislation last week that would allow meat processed at a state facility meeting federal inspection requirements to be shipped across state lines. This will dramatically reduce the distance producers will have to travel to sell their products, dramatically expand the market, and generally reduce costs. “Requiring federal inspection for interstate sale has created an unnecessary burden on our farm producers,” Space said. “State facilities use federal guidelines as a baseline standard, and many facilities exceed those requirements.” “During my Farm Tour earlier this year, the number one request from livestock producers I spoke with
by WLJ
2007 December 20
If you cull strictly on disposition score, she’s gone. But her calf was 40 pounds heavier than any other in the herd and she hasn’t actually hurt anybody yet. Still, to paraphrase a credit card commercial, not having to rebuild your corral or worry about injury every time ol’ “Twister 245” goes through: priceless. Research in Iowa and Colorado during the last decade has begun to justify culling for disposition as more than a convenience trait when you consider the strong temperament link between cow and calf. Thousands of steers fed in Iowa during the 1990s, and scored from mild to
by WLJ
2007 December 20
A Canadian court ruling last week will allow a multibillion-dollar class-action lawsuit to go forward. The case revolves around the Canadian government’s handling of that country’s BSE outbreak. The lawsuit, filed in 2005 on behalf of 20,000 Quebec cattle producers, alleges that the government’s mismanagement of BSE led to billions of dollars in losses for the country’s cattle industry and jeopardized public safety. Separate class-action suits have been filed co-operatively in courts in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Also named in the lawsuit is a Canadian subsidiary of Ridley Inc., an Australian-based feed manufacturer. The company is accused of selling feed which contained
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Time to COOL off Do you suppose that the preceding board of directors at R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America would have continued to take their Canadian border case back to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals? Is this the issue that broke these guys up? Regardless of the speculation about the board decisions, it’s a fact that they are back in court and after USDA. If I recall correctly, this will be the third time that the 9th Circuit has heard this case, with the prior two appeals not being successful. You’ve got to admit R-CALF is persistent, but taking this
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) weekly crop report last week showed that the dry conditions in the southeast are expanding outward, stretching into the eastern portion of the Corn Belt. That’s bad news for producers who are counting on a bumper crop of corn this year to drive their feed costs lower. However, despite the current conditions, weather forecasts favorable for crop development cut into corn prices on the Chicago Board of Trade. Last Tuesday, corn traded limit lower on contracts through September 2008. December new crop corn dropped 20 cents to end the session at $4.03 per
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The Army wants to expand PCMS from 368 square miles to more than 1,000 square miles as the service’s Fort Carson base expands to support desert warfare training. The Musgrave amendment allowed private land owners, including a number of farmers and ranchers in the expansion area, to breathe a little easier. The Army had said it hopes to expand by working with landowners willing to sell, however, there was concern among neighboring landowners, whose property is within the proposed expansion boundaries, that the Army would use its power of eminent domain to seize the land. That concern stems from a
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Beginning in the late 1970s with the introduction of large-scale meatpacking in the area of Garden City, KS, immigration has played a large role in the success of agriculture in the area, much like in many areas of the West which soon became defined by the huge influx of illegal immigrants and the problems surrounding an agricultural economy based, in large part, on their labor. Currently, change is in the wind again. A new immigration bill in Congress threatens the status quo which numerous industries have come to rely on, and has the potential to change the face of the communities
by WLJ
2007 December 20
com, advocates the tax as a tool for reducing meat consumption in the U.S. and reducing the perceived ‘environmental degradation’ that the meat production process causes. An article by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, dated June 11, states that PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk has sent letters to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi asking them to consider extending tax incentives to vegetarians, similar to the tax breaks available for purchasing hybrid cars. PETA’s current proposal, if implemented, would add a 10 cent per pound tax on all meat. The group says this will affect the consumer very little,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
In the past 50 years, the cattle industry has gone from animals that required few inputs to cattle that now require many costly inputs but still underperform. Such is the opinion of Gearld Fry, owner of Bovine Engineering and Consulting and co-founder of the Bakewell Reproductive Center, who has noticed this and has chosen to bypass the normal channels in search of a solution. For several years now, Fry has been traveling to ranches around the world learning about traditional grass fed genetics and teaching ranchers how to bring the once-lost ‘efficient cow’ back to their own herds. What are good
by WLJ
2007 December 20
An active fed cattle trade developed in the northern region at midweek with prices trending $2-$3 lower for live cattle and $4 lower dressed. Nebraska feedlots sold 45,000 head at $86-$87 live and $1.37-$1.38 dressed. Colorado sold fed cattle at $86.50 live and $1.37 dressed, and Iowa feedlots sold 6,000 head at $1.36-$1.38 dressed. Trade in the southern Plains was still at a standstill with feedlots rejecting bids of $87 at midday last Thursday. Analysts were expecting trade in the $89 range when it finally occurred. The rapid decline has some market analysts scratching their heads at the fall. “The
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Trent Stewart didn’t prepare a victory speech for the 2007 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC), saying he felt it would be “almost like bad karma” to do so. He may not have been prepared to speak, but he was ready for the contest. Stewart, of Redmond, OR, was named world champion after competition June 16 at the Springfield, MO, Livestock Marketing Center. The reserve world champion in the 44th annual WLAC was Ty Thompson, Billings, MT, and the runner-up world champion was Tom Frey, Creston, IA. Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) created and conducts the annual contest. Stewart, 32, was sponsored by the market
by WLJ
2007 December 20
USDA announced June 15 that it is re-opening the comment period on the proposed Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations governing beef, lamb and pork. The USDA’s proposed rule, published in the Federal Register June 20, outlines the requirements for the origin labeling of a variety of seafood and agricultural products, including beef, lamb and pork. The law, long promoted by several producer groups and opposed by packers, would require packers and retail outlets to label covered products with specific consumer information including the country of origin. For products born and or raised in separate countries, that information would also
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Packers, for their part, were holding tight to their positive margins, which HedgersEdge.com estimated at $66.90 a head last Thursday. Boxed beef movement slowed considerably last week after buyers had gotten past two of three early summer grilling holidays and with only the July 4th holiday remaining in the near-term, there was a waning demand for beef. Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain at University of Missouri noted last week that a lack of exports and decreasing consumer demand were beginning to drag on the industry and the result was a significant slide in prices for the first five months of
by WLJ
2007 December 20
USDA= s June 1 Cattle-on-Feed report was called mostly bearish to the summer and early fall fed markets, while being friendly to cattle marketed at the end of the year, beginning of 2006. Analysts said that May marketings and volume of A heavy-weight@ placements were not friendly at all, while a significant decline in all other weights of cattle placed