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Livestock News

by WLJ
2008 August 29
Beef advertising ‘goes green’ for Democratic National Convention Last week’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) saw thousands of visitors flood into Denver, CO, to witness what was described by members of the Democratic party as being a ‘historic convention.’ As the party which touts itself as being ‘green’ and environmentally-friendly, attention in Denver turned to making the DNC an environmentally-conscious event. With that in mind, the Colorado Beef Council (CBC) capitalized on the week of the DNC as an excellent opportunity to showcase the environmentally-friendly side of beef production. Negative press about beef impact’s on one’s health abounds, but the beef industry is
by WLJ
2008 August 29
ICE wants to work with meat packers Addressing the meat industry on the thorny issue of illegal immigration and the difficulty for employers of securing a legitimate workforce, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Julie Myers said the agency and industry need to partner to ensure compliance with the related laws. Though she acknowledged that effective immigration law is lacking in the U.S., Myers said companies are best to approach ICE and demonstrate the intent to cooperate and legalize their labor forces prior to potential enforcement actions. Thus far in fiscal 2008, ICE has issued
by WLJ
2008 August 29
Grazing wheat likely offers profits this winter With grain and harvested forage prices likely to stay quite high throughout the next few months, producers looking for profitable opportunities should take a good look at grazing winter wheat, say experts. Though the costs of grazing cattle are higher than in recent years due to elevated wheat prices, feeder cattle prices have kept in step and may still offer attractive profit margins to good managers. Derrell Peel, ag marketing specialist with Oklahoma State University, said that uncertainty abounds in both the wheat and cattle markets. This makes it difficult to predict how good the
by WLJ
2008 August 29
New test can detect SRM contamination Scientists at Iowa State University and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service have announced the development of a new, instant test which can detect the presence of brain and spinal cord in beef products. They said last week during their announcement that the new test is a significant advance in the effort to prevent the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) through contamination of meat with specified risk materials (SRMs) thought to carry the brain wasting disease. The removal and disposal of SRMs is one most important steps in USDA’s efforts to prevent the spread of BSE in
by WLJ
2008 August 29
44 Farms and Ankony Farms merge Angus cattle operations 44 Farms and Ankony Farms announced the merger of their Angus cattle operations. The new combined Angus cattle program represents a total of 166 years in agricultural production in the U.S. and creates an inventory of over 3,000 registered Angus cattle. The merger provides grassroots purebred Angus operations from the Pacific Coast in Terrebonne, OR, to the Atlantic coast in Clarkesville, GA, to a home in the heartland of America in the Sandhills of North Platte, NE, to the rich river bottom land of 44 Farms deep in the heart of Texas. It is
by WLJ
2008 August 29
Grazing workshop offers classroom and hands-on opportunities Livestock and wildlife producers, land managers, and others interested in learning about managing and optimizing their grazing lands are invited to attend a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) workshop in Cresson, TX, on Sept. 10, 2008, at the Bear Creek Ranch. The "My Piece of Texas" grazing workshops are a series that will teach attendees how to estimate forage production, determine grazeable acres, set proper stocking rates, and other grazing management principles. This workshop is one of five in the grazing workshop series. There is a $25 registration fee which
by DTN
2008 August 29
Russia may pull out of trade deals Amid fraying trade relations between Moscow and Washington, Russia said it would slash U.S. import quotas for chicken and pork, both big export products to the region from the U.S, reported the Wall Street Journal. After U.S. officials said Russia’s war with Georgia had cast doubt on Russia’s bid to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO), Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last Monday called for pulling out of trade deals that Russia had signed when it was expecting quick admission into the trade body. Then Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said last Wednesday that Moscow plans to
by WLJ
2008 August 29
Hay prices steady despite critical feed use program USDA’s recently issued announcement that they would be releasing more than 24 million acres of land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for haying and grazing came at the right time for many ranchers who were desperately searching for forage. However, a court challenge issued to USDA by the National Wildlife Federation halted the critical feed use program based on the grounds that USDA had not conducted proper environmental analysis on the acreage it was releasing for haying and grazing. "Ultimately, there were two categories of acreages which were allowed to proceed with the critical
by DTN
2008 August 29
Food —Argument shifting from bushels to acres Heavy rains flooded Midwestern cornfields in June, raising questions about what a severely crippled corn crop would mean to the ethanol industry. But improved seed hybrids and ideal weather may be turning the food-versus-fuel debate on its head. An August USDA production forecast of a 12.3-billion-bushel corn crop in the face of seemingly catastrophic corn losses in some parts of the Corn Belt has left ethanol supporters scratching their heads. "It was surprisingly high," said Rick Tolman, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). "Every year we have better germplasm traits that make that plant less
by WLJ
2008 August 29
Beef Checkoff revamps, revitalizes and relaunches BSE Web site Oftentimes, information is outdated by the time it reaches the mailbox. In an effort to provide the latest facts about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, commonly called "mad cow disease"), the Beef Checkoff-funded Web site BSEInfo.org recently was overhauled to include new and updated content and an easy-to-search Web structure. Although the U.S. hasn’t had a case of BSE since 2006, this disease remains important to the beef industry and the scientific community and frequently receives media attention. "The latest update to BSEInfo.org reflects the industry’s commitment to providing the most current, scientifically valid
by WLJ
2008 August 29
Costa Rica, Belize, Qatar and Ghana open to U.S. beef Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer last week reviewed the success from recent openings of U.S. beef markets into Costa Rica, Belize, Qatar and Ghana recognizing international trade standards for U.S. beef and beef products from cattle of all ages. "The opening of these diverse markets demonstrates the global appetite for U.S. beef and the understanding and confidence nations place in America’s science-based international standards for safety," said Schafer. "I think it is important to review this pattern of opened markets for their strategic placement in the world marketplace where surrounding nations and world
by WLJ
2008 August 29
Competing proteins pose renewed concerns for beef —Trade issues could flood the U.S. market with lower-priced pork and poultry, limiting beef gains in the fourth quarter. Fed cattle trade wrapped up early last week at mostly steady money despite weakness in the boxed beef complex and a steady decline in the futures market. In Texas and Kansas, cattle traded at $99 live with good volume moving ahead of the holiday. Corn Belt trade was in a spread of $154-156 dressed, with most trade reported at the top of that range. Beef cutout values last week were moving lower for much of the week
by WLJ
2008 August 29
July feedlot placements fall below expectations The Aug. 1 cattle on feed report looked very supportive of the fed cattle markets well into the fourth quarter. According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), total cattle on feed numbers were down 4.2 percent from August 2007 levels at just 9.87 million head. Declines were noted in most major cattle feeding states, with only Arizona, New Mexico and Nebraska showing year-over-year increases. Cattle on feed numbers in Colorado posted the most significant decline, falling 14 percent from last year. Idaho feedlot numbers were also down sharply, falling 12 percent from 2007. Placement numbers
by WLJ
2008 August 29
USDA bans re-inspection of downer cattle —Proposed rule closes loophole at the request of industry groups. USDA last week released recently requested regulations on the handling and re-inspection of non-ambulatory or "downer" cattle. The regulations detail how Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) personnel will handle animals which go down following the ante-mortem inspection process, long a gray area for inspectors and slaughter facilities alike. Since 2004, non-ambulatory cattle which arrived at slaughter facilities have been banned from being slaughtered for human consumption. However animals that arrived at the plant able to stand and walk on their own and which passed ante-mortem inspection only
by WLJ
2008 August 29
Beef business is truly global The beef business has become truly global. The impact of that is hard for some cattle producers to grasp. There are some on both sides of the border who refuse to accept that we even have an integrated North American business. But they need to know that what is happening on the global market has an impact, positive or negative, on their livelihoods. Brazil and its largest packer, JBS, have taken the global beef business to new levels in the past five years. JBS made its first move into the U.S. industry in July last year when
2008 August 29
Pregnancy check now for better management Trucks have been bringing in hay at $5 a loaded mile, so the hay yard is filling up slowly and expensively. The gates and locks have been spruced up. This year, hay values are pricey. As a result, most ranchers are standing at a fork in the road. Do they buy hay or sell cows? Producers need to review all of the options. The preferred alternative is trying to meet the nutritional needs of the cowherd with hay. Hay prices definitely are forcing the review of other feed options. Purchasing feed based on a dollar cost per pound
by WLJ
2008 August 29
Producer meetings addressing trich, COOL and high input costs The series of issue update meetings for cattle producers, hosted by Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) and University of Nebraska Extension, that began Aug. 18 in Hebron will continue through Nov. 1 at Tecumseh (visit www.nebraskacattlemen.org to see NC’s master calendar). Priority topics addressed at the meetings include trich, Country of Original Labeling (COOL) and dealing with high input costs. Most ranchers are aware that they do not want trichomoniasis, or trich, in their herd. The greatest threat comes from across the fence, neighbor to neighbor. Cattle don’t just get trich; it must be introduced
by WLJ
2008 August 29
AngusSource offers producers an opportunity for COOL With mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) on the horizon, USDA has announced that producers who enroll cattle in AngusSource can use the program to substantiate COOL claims. The COOL law provides for the use of qualified producer affidavits on which packers can rely to initiate the origin claim, according to Jim Riva, chief of USDA’s audit, review and compliance branch. Riva says participation in USDA Quality System Verification Programs that contain a source-verification component can also be used to substantiate COOL claims. AngusSource, a USDA Process Verified Program (PVP) for Angus-sired calves, verifies source, age
by WLJ
2008 August 29
Distillers grains for grazing yearlings Nebraska researchers wanted to know what use these products might have for growing cattle on pasture. They used yearling British-Continental crossbred steers initially weighing about 650 pounds. A treatment group (TRT) had free-choice access to dried distillers grains (DDG) on Sandhill pasture from early June to early August. Controls (CON) were not fed. Consumption of DDG averaged 11 pounds/day. TRT gained 2.8 pounds/day and CON gained 1.9 pounds/day. Forage consumption was estimated to be about 30 percent less by TRT. So, for every CON animal, about 1.4 TRT animals could be run on the same pasture area.
by WLJ
2008 August 26
The dog days of summer are just about over and the last big summer holiday for beef sales—Labor Day—is just about here. Generally, we see an end of summer rally in the beef, and we have to some degree. But with expectations of $105 fed cattle around the corner, it doesn’t appear that the beef cutout values will be supporting this type of fed market. The summer beef markets have been the best ever, and August fed cattle trading in the high-$90s has definitely set a new record price. While cash fed cattle have moved forward, the live cattle futures have


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