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by WLJ
2007 December 20
week. Feeders didn’t have to play the hold out game with packers as they came to the table relatively quick, moving fed prices up $2-3 to $87 live and $136 to $137 dressed. Over 150,000 head traded on Wednesday. All signals were go in the markets—lower cost feed, stronger futures markets, stronger boxed beef markets, strong slaughter—nearly every indicator suggested an improved market. Futures markets were much higher with the October live cattle reaching $86.38 and the February contract was a dime short of $90. Feeder cattle just keep getting stronger with September at $115.37, a contract high. Ann Barnhardt, an independent analyst
by WLJ
2007 December 20
— Legislation proposed in Arizona. While most of the country was focused on the devastation Hurricane Katrina created, an Arizona animal rights group, Arizonans for Humane Farms, was busy filing proposed legislation in Arizona courts which would make many confinement farming practices illegal. The Humane Society of the U.S. and the Farm Sanctuary were also behind the proposal. The legislation will be known as the Humane Treatment of Farm Animals Act. If put into effect, it will have profound implications on most hog and dairy calf raising operations in the state. Specifically, the act states “a person shall not tether or confine
by WLJ
2007 December 20
—Researchers able to predict gains in lambs. USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are well on their way to developing a tool which livestock producers will find very useful in making every day grazing decisions. The scientists working at the Grazing lands Research Laboratory in El Reno, OK, have developed a hand-held meter which is able to instantly analyze the nutrient value of standing forage. The tool utilizes “spectral reflectance” which bounces a beam of infrared light off of standing grasses. The wavelengths of light which are reflected back to the instrument provide data which can be interpreted with a great deal
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The FSC has been slowly working on the issue in order to insure that the beef they import from the U.S. is BSE free. Last week, the panel met for the sixth time, and panel head Yasuhiro Yoshikawa said, “I hope that we can have a discussion based on the draft report at the next subcommittee meeting.” The U.S. beef industry has been frustrated with Japan’s continuing requests for more information. USDA sources have said the Japanese have all the science there is and they have the last epidemiology report on the lone BSE infected U.S. cow. U.S. congressmen have also voiced
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Colorado veterinarian Jim Kennedy, who is responsible for Colorado’s voluntary BVD control program, estimates that losses may run as high as $24 or more per head depending on market conditions for herds infected with BVD. BVD virus spreads from animal to animal within a herd. When BVD infects a pregnant cow at between 80 and 150 days gestation, it passes through the placenta to the fetus. Because the fetus’s immune system isn’t developed enough to recognize the virus as an infection, it harbors the virus rather than fight it. By the time the immune system matures, the virus has become a
by WLJ
2007 December 20
On Sept.12, USDA released the month’s revised harvest estimate. The revision tied a record for the largest upward Aug. to Sept. revision. Market analysts had generally been leaning toward a downward revision in the harvest estimate, feeling that a long, dry summer would take its toll on the national harvest. Many experts were surprised when USDA bumped its initial estimate, of 139.2 bushels per acre, up 4 bushels per acre to an average harvest estimate of 143.2 bushels per acre. Earlier in the summer, analysts were bearish on corn harvest prospects, stating that prolonged drought across the eastern corn belt would
by WLJ
2007 December 20
As of Sept.12, there had been a total of 309 premises quarantined in seven states during the 2005 disease tracking season. In the report, APHIS noted Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Utah and Wyoming continue to have premises quarantined with a total of 357 bovine and equine cases confirmed in 35 separate counties. Both Texas and Arizona, which have had premises under quarantine this year, have had those quarantines lifted and currently have no positive cases of the disease. The disease has a rapid incubation, generally two to eight days, followed by symptoms of blister-like lesions in the mouth, dental pad, tongue,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Ranchers can take advantage of late-season alfalfa growth this fall and winter, but without pulling the hay equipment into the field. Producers in southern areas may still have an opportunity to graze before a frost, while in northern areas, ranchers should begin preparations to work alfalfa into their winter grazing schemes. Depending on timing and weather, producers are many times left with a last cutting that may not justify the expense of putting the hay up, but have a hard time leaving the season’s last growth standing in the field. “For ranchers in the south still looking to take advantage of
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Sheep producers in 16 Montana counties are not allowed to move their sheep within or beyond their county lines until Oct. 10 because of a recent bluetongue outbreak. “Test results on Tuesday (Sept. 18) confirmed bluetongue in sheep from Musselshell County, and we’ve gotten reports of sick sheep and preliminary test results from several additional counties, so I’ve chosen to expand the hold order to also include Big Horn, Carter, Carbon, Custer, Fallon, Fergus, Garfield, Golden Valley, Petroleum, Powder River, Prairie, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure and Yellowstone counties,” said state veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski. Bluetongue had already been confirmed in whitetail deer
by WLJ
2007 December 20
No worries It was no surprise that USDA was going to approve cow trade with Canada. We’ve anticipated the final rule for two years. Starting as early as Nov. 19, beef from cattle of any age with specified risk material removed, live cows born after March 1, 1999, which must be permanently identified and age verified, blood and blood products collected under certain conditions, casings and parts of the small intestine will be eligible for import to the U.S. USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service said they are expanding the list of allowable imports from countries presenting minimal risk of introducing
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Consumers tell us that tenderness and taste are two of the most important attributes when they are evaluating their beef eating experience. They want tender beef and are willing to pay for it. That was the message Dr. Keith Belk, professor at Colorado State University’s Center for Red Meat Quality and Safety, delivered to agricultural editors and other participants at a Sensory Evaluation Briefing and Wet Lab held at Iowa State University. The training session was hosted by Elanco Animal Health as part of its continuing effort to educate beef producers on the importance of tenderness of the beef they
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The marketing of cull cows this year could require some strategic planning in order to maximize return. In previous years, feeding cull cows through the winter and into spring made good sense, particularly for producers who had inexpensive feed available. Premium white fat cows, sold in the first quarter of the year, have traditionally commanded a premium at the auction market. This year, however, cull prices are slipping and could be further impacted as continued drought in the southeast adds to cull numbers and feeding cost increase, making wintering costs prohibitive. The combination of factors could lead to an increase
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Members of the U.S. Senate are preparing to introduce an extension for the 2002 Farm Bill which is set to expire at the end of the month. Last week, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-IA, told reporters that the Senate was prepared to pass one month extensions until the new measure is passed, which could be sometime in December he said. Harkin said during a teleconference that the Senate Ag Committe would hold a mark-up session for the bill sometime during the week of Oct. 8 to consider amendments to the bill. Although Harkin said he intends to complete
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Sheep producers in 16 Montana counties are not allowed to move their sheep within or beyond their county lines until Oct. 10 because of a recent bluetongue outbreak. “Test results on Tuesday (Sept. 18) confirmed bluetongue in sheep from Musselshell County, and we’ve gotten reports of sick sheep and preliminary test results from several additional counties, so I’ve chosen to expand the hold order to also include Big Horn, Carter, Carbon, Custer, Fallon, Fergus, Garfield, Golden Valley, Petroleum, Powder River, Prairie, Rosebud, Stillwater, Treasure and Yellowstone counties,” said state veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski. Bluetongue had already been confirmed in whitetail deer
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Livestock market owners in some areas are finding limited demand for cattle with age and source verification, which has limited premiums for cattle sold outside of special age- and source-verified sales. Part of the problem rests in the limited acceptance among producers, and some with buyers who aren’t willing to pay added costs for the cattle. According to Dan Harris, Holton, KS, livestock market operator and chairman of Livestock Marketing Association’s Government and Industry Affairs Committee, one of the biggest issues surrounding animal identification and any potential age and source verification is the cost to market owners. “My biggest concern is
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Livestock auction markets in the middle and eastern U.S. play a special role that many ranchers in the western U.S. are not accustomed to—that of the collector. The large majority of producers in the Midwest and the east are small, with average herd sizes ranging from a few head to maybe 50 head, not the few hundred or thousand head cow herds that many western producers are familiar with. Because of the high number of producers but relatively small herds, auction markets in these areas serve as collection points and places of price discovery. Without auction markets to serve as a
by WLJ
2007 December 20
After very light live cattle trade a week earlier, beef packers cut plant operating hours again last week to reduce total harvest significantly in their efforts to boost the sagging cutout values. However, the move appeared to have little effect and at mid-week, lower wholesale prices spurred heavy trade, allowing packers to move 482 loads of Choice and Select fab cuts and 134 loads of trim and grinds out of cold storage and into the hands of retailers. Most of the decline in cutout values came on middle meats, with rib roasts and boneless ribeyes leading the way lower, although
by WLJ
2007 December 20
With volatile feed costs that have reached record highs in recent months, feed yards want calves this fall that will perform from day one without added worry of sickness. That means buyers will be willing to pay more for healthy cattle, says Dr. Joe Dedrickson, director of the Merial Large Animal Veterinary Professional Services. “Feed yards can’t afford sick cattle this fall,” he explains. “The stress of weaning and shipping can lead to bovine respiratory disease (BRD), and with profit margins tight, any setback due to BRD can be devastating to the bottom line. Prevention is key.” Treatment costs alone for BRD
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Sale Calendar is a service to our advertisers. There is a minimum advertising requirement to be eligible to be listed in the sale calendar. Contact your fieldman for more information, or to have your date added to the Sale Calendar. We will only run auction sale dates or private treaty start dates. We do not run consignor sale dates. ALL BREEDS Sept. 30 – Visalia Livestock Market, Bull Sale, Visalia, CA Oct. 5 – Tri County All Breeds Bull Sale, Templeton, CA Oct. 7 – Cal Poly Bull Test Sale, San Luis Obispo, CA Oct. 20 – Western Stockman’s Famoso All Breeds Female & Bull
by WLJ
2007 December 20
BLACK GOLD BULL SALE Sept. 13, Colusa, CA 75 Fall yrlng Angus bulls $3,361 21 Spring yrlng Angus bulls 3,640 15 Spring yrlng Charolais bulls 2,773 Auctioneers: Rick Machado and John Rodgers Sale Manager: Matt Macfarlane Marketing For over a decade, this sale has either kicked off the fall marketing season on the West Coast or it has been one of the very early sales. This year, it was one of the very early sales and the results of this sale are eagerly awaited by the industry. Once again, this sale will be viewed as a market maker sale as it again set the pace for the