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by WLJ
2006 June 26
The long awaited announcement that trade with Japan would resume came last week after days of negotiations between officials from USDA and the Japanese Agriculture Ministry. Under the terms of the agreement, Japan will arrive in the U.S. on June 24 to inspect packing plants for 30 days before trade begins in mid to late July.   Trade is expected to begin on or around July 22 and Japan has agreed to allow only boneless beef from cattle 20 months of age or younger. All specified risk materials must be removed from any cattle exported
by WLJ
2006 June 26
Recent legislation being proposed in both the House and the Senate may significantly change livestock feeding practices if passed. Proponents of the legislation claim human health, as well as the animal’s well being, is being jeopardized when antibiotics are added routinely to livestock feed to stimulate growth and aid in offsetting range or feedlot conditions. More specifically, healthcare professionals are claiming the unnecessary antibiotic feeding is causing some people to become resistant to some medications, limiting their ability to fight off life-threatening infectious diseases.   “Physicians, nurses and now infectious disease professionals are all
by WLJ
2006 June 26
The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) hosted their annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship last week at the Escalon Livestock Market in Escalon, CA. The winner, described as a “jack of all trades,” was Dave Macedo of Tulare, CA.   Macedo, 44, a long-time auctioneer and owner of the Tulare Sales Yard, Inc., actually went to college to be a dentist but turned auctioneer and politician instead. He is the former mayor of Tulare and is currently a city councilman. John McBride, director of information for LMA, said Macedo’s role in politics complements his ability to be
by WLJ
2006 June 26
The Agriculture Small Business Enhancement Act of 2006 (SBEA), if passed by Congress, will allow producers greater access to markets in other states. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, will allow processors and producers whose meat products meet state level inspection standards to be exported across state lines.   The Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1967 and the Poultry Products Inspection Act of 1968 both require processors to comply with or exceed federal inspection procedures, yet those products are not eligible to be shipped between states, a fact Conrad said limits competition and
by WLJ
2006 June 26
A report released by two environmental groups accuses ranchers, the banking industry and the government of confounding efforts to change public lands grazing policy. The report, titled Mortgaging Our Natural Heritage, was released by Santa Fe, NM-based Forest Guardians and the Sagebrush Sea Campaign, June 15. The report, generated with information gained through the Freedom of Information Act, blamed the loan process and banking industry for the groups’ inability to get public land grazing regulations changed at the federal level.   Maggie Beal of the Public Lands Council said the report was a simple repackaging
by WLJ
2006 June 26
West Nile Virus has once again started to plague many western states. According to the Centers for Disease Control, active cases of the disease have been detected in mosquitoes and birds in California, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota and Wyoming, and nine other Midwest and East Coast states. In Texas, Mississippi and Colorado, the disease has already been transmitted to humans.   A spring and early summer which has dumped above normal amounts of precipitation in some West Coast states has contributed to the problem by offering mosquitoes more breeding grounds than in past years.   In Utah,
2006 June 19
There is nothing more serious in the cattle business than buying a bull. Much time is spent evaluating available information, such as performance data and pedigree, to assure that the right bull is brought home. Not everyone will use the right information (a personal bias), but when the gavel strikes the podium, the bull has a new owner and home. The process essentially has bonded the bull to the new operation. There is always the need to look over the fence as the bull settles into the new surroundings.
by WLJ
2006 June 19
Agri-Food Canada has been working to put a newly enhanced feed ban in effect for several years. The new regulations would eliminate the inclusion of all specified risk materials in all animal feed, not just cattle feed. However, last week, Agri-Food Canada said the agency would postpone any rule-making decisions until the U.S. publishes a similar change to its feed ban. Canadian officials said the delay was made at the request of the Canadian beef industry which hopes to harmonize its regulations to those of the U.S. in order to be more competitive. Cattle
by WLJ
2006 June 19
— Exchange contracts ignore lower cash to rally sharply. Fed cattle trade last week began in the northern tier and western Corn belt on Wednesday at prices sharply lower than the previous week. Cattle trade in Nebraska and Colorado moved good volume, with more than 100,000 head trading hands at $3 lower than the prior week at $125 dressed and $78-78.75 live, $2-3 lower than the prior week. In the southern Plains, bids and offers were still far apart and as of Thursday, cattle in the south had not
by WLJ
2006 June 19
It seems the U.S. beef producer is stuck between a rock and a hard spot these days, not too different from the old Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons I recall from my youth. You remember the ones; Coyote would strap himself to an Acme rocket or some other contraption and fling himself after the Roadrunner in another futile attempt to catch him. In the end, Wile E. Coyote would end up “pancaked” on a mountain or run over by a truck. Meanwhile, the roadrunner, unscathed, would run by, cast a sideways glance at
by WLJ
2006 June 19
The central U.S. saw an expansion of the drought last week into much of the Great Plains as far north as South Dakota. With the exception of the far west, states such as California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and most of Utah and Montana, the drought worsened for most producers. Large numbers of cull cows are flooding the marketplace in the southern Plains as producers work to provide enough grass for the core of their herds. In states such as Colorado, cattle
by WLJ
2006 June 19
Flies annoying the herd, buzzing around their ears and causing irritation isn’t the greatest concern. The pesky fly is also known to transmit an array of diseases, as well as stunt growth in calves. The time is now to prevent these tiny beasts from dominating control and wreaking havoc on cattle and, most critically, calves. As temperatures rise, so does the volume of the face swarming intruders. “These flies start becoming a problem about late May,” said Ron Lemenager, Purdue University Extension beef
by WLJ
2006 June 19
With much of the West facing drought conditions, hay and forage production has been severely limited. In areas where hay production is good, growers are taking advantage of good yields and expecting near record prices for their crop. Western states In Washington, Idaho and Montana, the first and second cuttings of alfalfa were just getting underway last week, although wet weather was hampering efforts to complete fieldwork. Producers in Washington’s Columbia Basin had their second cutting rained on,
by WLJ
2006 June 19
Years ago, I helped a rancher greatly improve his profit by designing a planned grazing system where we split two large pastures into 36 sub-divisions. One of the 36 pastures was named Cut Bank. There was a large head cut located at the beginning portion of a small coulee where natural water movement continued to cut the clay soil back each year. At the upper end of this area there was a four foot straight drop-off in the shape of a horseshoe. I
by WLJ
2006 June 19
Often in the headlines is the continuous urban sprawl, consisting of farm and ranch property being developed for houses to meet a growing demand for the open, more rural lifestyle that the city neglects. A much quieter affair that has been taking place for generations is the buying of actual ranches for the mere sake of having one for the recreational aspect. A majority of such wealthy-sought ranches exist in the rugged environs of the West, due to the enhanced view and recreation the mountains bring.
by WLJ
2006 June 19
Nebraska Like several other Plains states officials, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman spent much of last week touring drought afflicted portions of his state. The tour was one of several steps state officials in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and others were taking to begin the process of opening the door for disaster relief in the form of federal assistance and money. During the tour, Heineman said the dry conditions plaguing the state were serious and he immediately requested disaster declarations for eight counties in Nebraska.
by WLJ
2006 June 19
— There is value to the buyer and seller by implementing a good health management program. Commercial cattlemen operating terminal-based programs vying to reap profits from feedlots will benefit when the feedlot benefits. Cattle that have a better chance of being stamped Choice earn the feedlot greater profits, thus cattlemen able to produce such cattle will be paid premiums. Although there are many factors dictating Quality Grade, it is much more than simply genetics. A lot depends on health management, limiting commingling, and following reputable health protocols.
by WLJ
2006 June 19
The U.S. has been engaging in Asian trade negotiations for nearly three years and the tension is rising with little progress or signs of border openings any time soon. The two countries again in the spotlight are South Korea and Japan. South Korea, who had planned on trade resumption June 7, backed out of the deal citing further concerns after visiting U.S. facilities. Japan, who has been demanding stricter regulations on U.S. processing plants, has been juggling the issue of resuming trade without being able to reach an agreement. Estimated dates of possible resumption
by WLJ
2006 May 22
  What about Mexico? Dear Pete: First to congratulate you on taking over the Cattlemen’s Tour from your Dad and Barbara. It is a great program and the trip to Africa I took with them was fantastic. Pete, the amount of print on the Japan Beef Ban is overwhelming. You can not open an Internet site or a trade journal without it being the presiding factor. However,
by WLJ
2005 September 5
— Charred area nearly double 10-year average A light snow pack over the winter was followed by a wet spring. Those conditions contributed to a good grass and brush crop which carried fire very well, said Ken Frederick, spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, ID. Despite the fact that the total acreage burned this season is nearly double the 10-year average, Frederick characterized the 2005 fire season as “near normal,” saying most fires have been burning in isolated regions. Wildfire danger was reported by the NIFC as critical in most of Washington and Oregon and parts of Nevada