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Livestock News

by WLJ
2007 December 20
The first major changes to food inspection in a decade will change how USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) allocates its inspection staff. In the future, federal inspectors will target plants with a higher anticipated possibility of contamination by E. coli or other foodborne pathogens. Plants with a history of problems or violations of food safety regulations will receive more frequent visits. Other low-risk plants will see federal inspectors less frequently if the new rules are put into effect. “We’re just putting resources where the risk is greatest, and those plants that demonstrate excellent control will get less of our
by WLJ
2007 December 20
“We found several hundred head of cattle that had ID tags that could not be read,” said Willard Wolf, vice president of CPOW, livestock dealer, and cattle producer. “There were cattle that had bar codes and unreadable tags. There were cattle identified with methods that were not compatible with U.S. identification methods.” To enter the U.S., cattle must be individually identified and accompanied by a health certificate signed by a licensed Canadian veterinarian stating where the cattle came from, that they’re under 30 months of age, healthy, and that they’re eligible for export to the U.S. It must also include accurate
2007 December 20
A review of a good sale catalog The procedure for buying bulls should be fairly methodical. While the process can be as encompassing as one wants, we can not forget that the genes are what is needed for herd improvement. The number of sale catalogs received can be overwhelming, but the future return on the time investment of reviewing catalog information is critical. Looks can be deceiving, so that is why homework is necessary. A good catalog starts out with a friendly welcome and factual information about the sale. This information is fairly common, but certainly is needed. Of critical importance is a
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Grassroots support This week I have to apologize to Leo McDonnell, founder of R-CALF USA for spelling his name wrong. I’ve known him for 20 some years and should know better. Aside from spelling Leo’s name wrong, there does appear to be some serious issues facing this organization. At first, I wasn’t inclined to address the situation. But as things begin to unfold, it is becoming clear that R-CALF membership needs to be aware of how this board of directors wants to do business. From my perspective, R-CALF’s leadership problem is a board created problem and it doesn’t seem fair that
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Farm Fresh Meats, Inc., headquartered in Maricopa, AZ, along with CEO and owner Roland E. Farabee, pled guilty on Feb. 14 to defrauding the government’s bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) surveillance program. The corporation admitted to stealing $390,000 in government funds, mail fraud, and wire fraud in a federal court in Phoenix, AZ. According to the information, on June 7, 2004, Farabee, on behalf of Farm Fresh Meats, signed an agreement with USDA agreeing to collect obex samples from the brain stem of cattle within the Targeted Cattle Population (cattle over 30 months of age, non-ambulatory cattle, cattle exhibiting signs of central
by WLJ
2007 December 20
HSUS announced last week that it will launch an initiative drive in Colorado similar to the “hogwash” Proposition 204 which passed in Arizona last November. In HSUS’s announcement, Wayne Pacelle said Prop 204 was a starting point and the Colorado effort would be inclusive of other species and other production practices. Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB) Executive Vice President Troy Bredenkamp, one of several state agriculture groups preparing to fight any HSUS sponsored ballot initiative which might arise, said they are focusing on preventing a measure similar to the Prop 204 from passing in the state. “We expect they will go
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Montana livestock owners received some good news last week as the House voted in favor of creating and establishing a board to manage and issue compensation to ranchers who lose livestock to wolves. The House voted 79-21 in favor of H.B. 364 which was introduced by Rep. Bruce Malcolm, R- Emigrant. The Houses preliminary approval of the bill proposes to create a board titled the Livestock Loss Reduction and Mitigation Board that would help to manage state wolf compensation. The funding proposed was for $1 million but the House Appropriations Committee cut it to $50,000. The proposal took on life over
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The cash feedlot trade was again slow to develop last week, however there were been a few deals reported at mid-week in Colorado on a few thousand head at $90.50 and in Nebraska’s dressed market for $146. The rest of cattle feeding country was quiet last Thursday with feeders offering prices at $94-$95 live basis in the south, and $93-$94 live or $148 dressed in the north. Packer bids were at $89 in the south and $90 live, and $144 dressed in the north. The last established market was Friday, Feb. 23, when Texas Panhandle live sales traded at $91.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Springtime pasture scouting Now is the time to get a jump on planning your 2007 pasture rotation schedule. I suggest you build a simple spreadsheet with 365 days across the top of a pre-divided blank spreadsheet and list all of your pastures down the left hand side. Tape paper together as needed. You will be able to view the bigger picture for one entire year. Name all your pastures by something that uniquely identifies them, instead of using just numbers or letters. This makes each pasture more intimate and helps improve communications. For example, a client of mine and I had fun naming
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The only laboratory testing for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the Pacific Northwest was closed March 1, three years after a Canadian dairy cow, imported to Washington’s Yakima Valley, tested positive for the chronic brain-wasting disease. The Washington State University (WSU) lab was opened as a part of USDA’s enhanced surveillance program which increased BSE testing of slaughter cattle to determine the disease’s prevalence in the U.S. After determining the cases of the disease in the U.S. are extremely rare, USDA recently scaled back BSE testing by more than 90 percent, to around 4,000 tests annually. The announcement is the
by WLJ
2007 December 20
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is facing problems with its antiquated computer system which is used to issue payments to U.S. producers. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns told the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee last week that the system has broken down and will need a cash infusion soon to get it repaired. He told members of the subcommittee that he would personally seek funding in the near future. Johanns said the system loses information and goes dark in some parts of the country on some occasions. He told Congress that FSA officials first started to notice the problem when they tried
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Western states may have to look at the possibility of developing new water usage plans in an effort to preserve water resources provided by the shrinking Colorado River. Over 25 million Americans in seven states rely on the Colorado River as a water source. The same river supplies water for several million acres of western crop and ranch land. A study conducted by the Committee on the Scientific Bases of Colorado River Water Basin Management was chaired by Dr. Ernest T. Smerdon, University of Arizona emeritus professor of Civil Engineering and professor of Hydrology. The committee was charged with looking at science
by WLJ
2007 December 20
A panel of experts at the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE as it is commonly known, will recommend that the U.S. and Canada receive a “controlled” risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) rating when the 167 member countries vote on ratings in May. The controlled is the second of three possible ratings given to nations. The best, a rating of “negligible,” is given to countries with no known cases and at the least risk for the disease. The controlled rating is reserved for countries which have reported at least one case of BSE, but have taken measures to
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Charles Stenholm, a lobbyist for the industry, said the plants intend to appeal to the Supreme Court, but he said they also would approach the issue politically. Friday was the last day to submit legislation for the regular session in Austin. “This is a very emotional issue,” Stenholm said. “But when they (horses) are unwanted, something has got to happen to them. You have to euthanize them one way or the other, or you have to turn them loose.” The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a primary supporter of the push to end horse slaughter in the U.S., condemned
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The original horse and burro adoption program granted Bureau of Land Management (BLM) the chance to move captive wild horses out of holding facilities into private ownership, however, it prevented the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses. That provision was eliminated by an amendment put forward by former Sen. Conrad Burns, R-MT. The 2005 amendment, which opened the door for sales of wild horses for slaughter or commercial purposes, allowed the sale of wild horse which were more than 10 years old or had been through the wild horses and burro adoption three times without finding a suitable home.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The BioPRYN test, which stands for Pregnant Ruminant Yes/No, was developed by Dr. Garth Sasser who is also co-founder of BioTracking, the Moscow, ID-based company which provides the testing services. “For years, producers have been frustrated by the somewhat cumbersome nature of other pregnancy-detection methods,” said Sasser. “We are pleased to bring industries a new option that meets all of the criteria that producers want: it is fast, accurate, inexpensive, safe for the embryo and increases income, and can detect pregnancy very early in gestation.” The test evaluates blood samples for the presence of a protein called pregnancy specific protein B
by WLJ
2007 December 20
One of the new hats that we have to wear is understanding, and then profiting from, the way information will be used in the new supply chain. Data collection has long been part of the culture of ranch managers for the purpose of one of several ends. First, we collect financial data (usually at the end of the year) for the purpose of passing that data to the tax accountant. That data usually has very little use in making decisions. In fact, according to the old joke, we don’t even analyze the data from the tax report to determine how
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Roundup Ready alfalfa, which is manufactured by Monsanto Co., has been marketed for more than a year and already, there are an estimated 200,000 acres planted in the U.S. The court’s ruling allows the continued harvest of that crop which is already established, however, it places limits on the future planting of the GM alfalfa seeds. The seeds cannot be sold after March 12 and the crop cannot be planted after March 30 until the court issues a final ruling. The court will hear oral arguments on April 27 and issue a final ruling thereafter. The seed is one of
by WLJ
2007 December 20
If a producer chooses to implement an estrus synchronization program, whether it be for breeding heifers or utilizing artificial insemination (AI) technology, he needs to also consider that there are many factors that determine the success of such a program. It’s like a great big puzzle and all of the pieces have to fit together before the program can be successful. One of the most important pieces of the puzzle is nutrition. Breeding success, whether the practice is simply natural cover or a labor intensive embryo transfer and/or AI situation, begins with nutrition. Nutrition and cow body condition score (BCS) are
by WLJ
2007 December 20
There was only very light fed cattle trade last week as of press time. In the northern tier fed cattle market, there were a few thousand head traded at $160 dressed basis, which was about $5 higher than the prior week’s sharply higher weighted average. However, in the remainder of cattle feeding regions, ask and offer prices were still well apart. Fed cattle in the southern tier were expected to trade in a range of $100-101, as much as $1-2 higher, although it appeared likely that packers would wait until last Friday to replenish what were thought to be relatively


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