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by WLJ
2007 July 20
4, 2005 Austria discovers second BSE case A second confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Austria appears to be an isolated case as all other cattle at the affected farm tested negative for the deadly brain-wasting disorder. Austria’s health and agriculture ministers said an 11-year-old cow from
by WLJ
2007 July 20
4, 2005 In addition to confirming the presence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow first tested for the disease last November, USDA on June 24 also announced plans to change its testing protocol for the disease. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said two different confirmatory tests
by WLJ
2007 July 20
4, 2005 — Animal born and raised on Texas ranch. Officials with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) last Wednesday confirmed that a cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was U.S. born and raised. It is the first domestic case of the disease confirmed in
by WLJ
2007 July 20
4, 2005 The Cattlemen’s Competitive Market Project (CCMP) last week officially launched a “public awareness” campaign concerning mandatory country-of-origin labeling (mCOOL), including the unveiling of a new USDA RAISED BEEF logo. CCMP is a consortium of various state, regional and national livestock organizations who have been in favor
by WLJ
2007 July 20
4, 2005 — Supreme Court: economic development is public use. — Farms, ranches could be impacted. Private property groups, including farming and ranching organizations, were dismayed and upset with a recent Supreme Court decision allowing local governments to “take” private businesses, homes and/or
2007 July 16
Back to the fungus Reviewing the cow/calf priority list (“Priorities First: Identifying Management Priorities in the Commercial Cow-calf Business”) that was summarized and authored by Tom Field, Ph.D., Fort Collins, CO, it is very obvious that the highest priorities for cow/calf producers are directly related to the purpose of the cow. That purpose, to annually produce a calf that will convert roughage from ruminant forage to nonruminant feed, is a very important part of the food chain. Whether food for other animals or food for humans, the conversion of forage by ruminants to protein for use in nonruminant diets certainly is important.
by WLJ
2007 July 16
The spare parts department It’s called demand pull and the beef system could fit right into the model. Consider the oil filter in your truck. About every couple of thousand miles you are supposed to change the oil filter to maintain maximum performance and efficiency. When that time rolls around, it is customary to run to the auto parts store and begin the search for the filter that fits your truck. They provide small computerized screens now to help us find our way through the maze of all the available filters so that we ultimately find the one filter that we
by WLJ
2007 July 16
Market conditions align Lower, lower. I never thought I would say that and like it, but the corn market is in the midst of its mid-summer fire sale and we are below $3.35 on the July contract. This last week was a big week in livestock marketing. Between the two major video auction companies, Western Video Market and Superior Livestock Auction, we’re planning on selling over a half-million head, which is a record. Superior had over 340,000 head listed in their catalog which was about an inch-and-a-quarter thick. The futures markets aligned to give these sales the best opportunity. Fed cattle
by WLJ
2007 July 16
There’s no reason the cattle-feeding industry in Texas cannot remain strong and viable if it incorporates distillers grains into rations, said a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher. “Our concern has been, ‘Will there be enough feed?’” said Dr. Jim MacDonald, Experiment Station beef cattle nutritionist. “Assuming all the distillers grains are available for livestock feed, clearly there will be.” But, MacDonald said, the ratio of corn being fed vs. distillers grains could go from 11-to-1 today, to 3-to-1 nationally in the next 10 years. “So we’d better figure out how to feed distillers grains,” he said. Relatively few distillers grains
by WLJ
2007 July 16
Lunch begins at 11:30 at the River Bend Ranch Headquarters, located east of Limon, CO, off I-70 at Exit 354 then .75 miles west. The program will conclude around 3:30 p.m. Joe and Cindy Frasier, Frasier Farms—River Bend Ranch are inviting beef producers, educators, industry representatives and others to their ranch near Limon, CO, for a tour on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, beginning with a lunch at 11:30. Lunch is sponsored by Red Angus Association of America (RAAA). During the tour, participants will get a first-hand look at how River Bend Ranch uses a Synchronized Artificial Insemination Breeding Program in their summer
by WLJ
2007 July 16
—Fed market rebound and lower corn provide added boost to strong video auction prices paid for yearlings. Fed cattle trade this week got an early start as short-bought packers slowed production speed and started off with bids steady with the prior week. Feedlots, on the other hand, held firm, looking for higher prices for available fed cattle, which are reported to be in very current condition. It appeared last week like cattle are also being pulled forward to fill packer demand. Nebraska live trade started Tuesday at $142 with live trade in a range of $89-90 although volume was reportedly light
by WLJ
2007 July 16
—Funding for Williamson Act dollars faces veto threat. Williamson Act payments to California counties, which offset tax decreases on agricultural land, could disappear if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger carries out his plan to axe the estimated $40 million in funding during this year’s budget negotiation. His initial budget contained no money for the program, however, after an uproar, the California Legislature added funding for the program to its budget package. However, the program remains in jeopardy; the governor could still use his line-item veto power to remove the funds. The Williamson Act is a program, similar to a conservation easement, which allows California
by WLJ
2007 July 16
— Appeals court will consider merits of group’s attempt to stop Canadian imports. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was to hear oral arguments last Friday in Portland, OR, in litigation against USDA’s decision two years ago to allow imports of Canadian cattle and beef under 30 months of age. The rule was initially published Jan. 5, 2005, and took effect two years ago. The suit is a continuation of R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America’s attempt to prevent USDA from allowing cattle that the group claims have a higher prevalence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from being brought into the
by WLJ
2007 July 16
—Caution and vaccinations encouraged. Two Montana counties—Wheatland and Yellowstone—are now under a 60-day quarantine for rabies, the Montana Department of Livestock announced. The Wheatland County quarantine began on June 20 when a rabid dog was discovered and was renewed when a lamb was found to have rabies on June 26. The Yellowstone County quarantine began on June 27 because of a rabid dog. The quarantine status will remain in effect until the counties go for a full 60-day period without another positive finding for rabies, according to Dr. Jeanne Rankin, acting state veterinarian. Rankin explained that under Montana administrative rules, the quarantine status
by WLJ
2007 July 16
With the debate over Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) as hot as ever, recent cries from consumers are signaling to some in the beef industry that the general public is indeed ready for COOL. While discussion continues within the industry over the enforcement of the law, some experts outside of agriculture are saying that consumers are demanding to know where their food comes from. Consumer organizations are claiming that the public is finally fed up with food safety concerns and that the time to implement change is sooner rather than later. Concerns over chemicals and allergens found in a wide range
by WLJ
2007 July 16
Fires continued to burn in Utah last week during what looks to be the state’s worst fire year ever. Four different fires threatened rangeland and forests throughout the state, having consumed nearly 390,000 acres. The Milford Flat fire, centered around Beaver in south-central Utah, accounts for the vast majority of those acres with nearly 330,000 acres burned. Ranchers in nearly all of Utah were already reeling from a drought which has not only left them with limited grass reserves, but has also affected this year’s hay crop. Claims of hay trading at $150-180 per ton in areas of Utah are not
by WLJ
2007 July 9
Bad legislation This week is an important week for anyone selling feeder cattle or yearlings for fall delivery. Western Video Market and Superior Livestock are both having their largest video sales of the year. The two firms will offer roughly 500,000 head of cattle during the week. We will see all kinds of cattle from every geographic area of the country sell. This is truly a market making event that every cattlemen needs to pay attention to. It is also market competition at its best.   However, if some cattlemen’s groups have their way, an open market of this nature will change for
by WLJ
2007 July 9
Officials from Montana’s Board of Livestock said June 29 that initial testing points to elk as the source of infection in a brucellosis outbreak at a Bridger, MT, ranch this spring.   “Epidemiology is pointing toward interaction with elk (as the source),” Christian Mackay told the Environmental Quality Council, although he pointed out that the results were “not definitive at this point, and it may never be definitive.” A spokesman for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said he could not confirm the possibility, and said researchers were far from reaching any conclusions. “We are still investigating,” said Larry Cooper
by WLJ
2007 July 9
Higher gas prices, dry weather in parts of the U.S., strong consumer demand and higher feed prices are behind a 5 percent increase in Wisconsin retail food prices in the second quarter of the year, according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Market Basket survey. The informal survey of stores in 26 communities shows the total cost of 20 basic grocery items in the second quarter of the year was $50.33, or $2.48 higher compared to the first quarter of 2007. Of the 20 items surveyed, all but two foods increased in average price compared to the first quarter of the
by WLJ
2007 July 9
On June 28, the Senate cast a majority ‘no’ vote on advancing the discussion of an immigration bill which would provide a comprehensive reform of the nation’s immigration policy. The Senate failed to vote for the measure, casting 46 votes in favor compared to the 53 dissenting votes, the majority of which came from Republicans. President Bush considered the measure the capstone of his second term, one which could help expand the Republican base among Hispanic voters and provide a long-term solution to the problems the country faces in dealing with illegal immigration. Leaders among the Republican party in the Senate


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