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Livestock News

by WLJ
2007 December 20
The July 1 cattle on feed report released by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) provided fuel to the cattle markets last week as inventory numbers across the board showed the much anticipated drop in supply ahead is coming. The number of cattle on feed in the U.S. numbered 10.7 million head at the start of July. The inventory was 1 percent below July 1, 2006, but 3 percent above July 1, 2005. The inventory included 6.74 million steers and steer calves, down 5 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 63 percent of the total inventory. Heifers
by WLJ
2007 December 20
As a part of its enormous 2007 Farm Bill proposal, the House Ag committee passed a modified mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law two weeks ago after a late night session. The revised program put forward by the committee creates a labeling program similar to that required by the school lunch program. According to the COOL language in the bill, it provides for three categories of labeling. One that indicates the product was born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S.; one that indicates product was not exclusively born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S.; and one that includes products
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The American Hereford Association (AHA) and Hereford World (HW) is proud to announce Andee Marston, Manhattan, KS, has joined the Hereford team. Marston will join the AHA/HW staff in August as the southeast region field representative. In this position, Marston will attend Hereford sales and events as well as assist breeders with marketing and genetic selection. He will also assist in educating members and commercial producers about AHA programs and other beef industry opportunities. He will serve as the communication link between AHA and breeders in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. “We are extremely
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recently completed their 2007 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, CO. While the more than 800 members in attendance split their time between committee meetings on various subjects, NCBA representatives in Washington, D.C., were busy on Capitol Hill keeping NCBA members and leadership in Denver informed of the most up-to-date developments on the 2007 Farm Bill. Discussion in committee about important legislation such as country-of-origin labeling (COOL) was fairly productive, according to NCBA President John Queen. “We seem to have reached a compromise on the (COOL) portion of the Farm Bill that addresses cattlemen’s
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recently completed their 2007 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, CO. While the more than 800 members in attendance split their time between committee meetings on various subjects, NCBA representatives in Washington, D.C., were busy on Capitol Hill keeping NCBA members and leadership in Denver informed of the most up-to-date developments on the 2007 Farm Bill. Discussion in committee about important legislation such as country-of-origin labeling (COOL) was fairly productive, according to NCBA President John Queen. “We seem to have reached a compromise on the (COOL) portion of the Farm Bill that addresses cattlemen’s
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The members of the 2007 National Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) Selection Committee announced the winners of this year’s regional awards at last week’s mid-year meeting of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). The winners hail from diverse family cattle operations from across the U.S. The six regional winners have made extensive efforts to work closely with their local communities and government agencies, including the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), to implement conservation programs that benefit everyone. They have seen the value in utilizing conservation programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) on their operations. “We are
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres eligible for emergency haying and grazing in Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oregon and Tennessee have been expanded to include land in an area radiating 210 miles out from all counties previously approved for emergency haying and grazing, USDA announced last week. “We are closely monitoring the drought and providing assistance when we can,” said USDA Secretary Mike Johanns. “Emergency haying and grazing is a helpful tool for livestock owners and I’m pleased to make it available to more farmers and ranchers.” CRP is a voluntary program that offers annual rental payments and cost-share assistance
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 1, 2005 The cattle business is considered mature in many respects, but maturity does not imply an absence of change. The Dickinson Research Extension Center (DREC) recently invited several individuals in to review and discuss the current state of animal waste systems. In particular, the DREC needs to address the situation, not only from a research perspective, but also from the pure management view. Research centers also are production units that need to follow the rules of play. Federal and state governments, or a local governing board, generally set these rules. What was interesting about the discussion, and perhaps very indicative of
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 1, 2005 Once a cow is pregnant, the role of genetic selection is finished. Now it’s up to nature and management to determine if the calf will live up to its potential. Cow nutrition and weather play leading roles in the months before calving, but gestation is a fixed term. Given the breeding date, you can look up when the calf is due. After it hits the ground, however, management can vary the milestones. You can take your time, balancing use of resources with the need for sales revenue and beef quality. A century ago, if you didn’t like the
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 1, 2005 I t came and went without a lot of fanfare—I’m referring to R-CALF’s mid-year meeting in Reno, NV. I suppose they had a lot to talk about at the meeting, but the perplexing part of this episode is that it was kept pretty quiet. Here at WLJ, we didn’t run anything about the upcoming meeting because we had no clue about it, and, trust me, we pay attention to what R-CALF is up to. Their quest to slam the USDA over its handling of the Canadian border situation may not be over after all. The Ninth Circuit Court of
by DTN
2007 December 20
That’s 15 percent of the federally controlled water in California, which would make it the largest grant to irrigators since the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was created in 1903, agency officials said. The Westlands Water District, a coalition of giant agribusinesses in the fertile San Joaquin Valley, draws its water from the Central Valley Project, a vast irrigation system that also supplies drinking water to about 1 million households. If drought-like conditions persist in the West, a deal would guarantee the farmers’ irrigation pumps will flow, even if that means some cities in the San Francisco Bay area will get
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), is offering industry affiliates and producers more information on research and development that has been undertaken on behalf of the Canadian beef cattle industry. Several research projects have been completed that provide insight and benefit the industry. Fact sheets have been developed on each project to provide accessible and easy to read information. “The goal of the fact sheets is to provide information on the projects the BCRC is undertaking in order to advance industry knowledge through research and technology development,” says Andrea Brocklebank, research manager for
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Make your plan I don’t know If I have ever seen a market set up so well for feeder cattle and calf sellers. Just about everything in the feeder cattle complex is a no-brainier and you even have a little time to figure out what to do. Feeder cattle futures markets were at an all time high last week with the September showing $117 and some change. Nearly all contacts established new contract highs. Yearling cattle on the video sales are red hot; about the only down side is how much of a truck ride you need to get them
by WLJ
2007 December 20
—Federal land grazing policies contribute to severity of wildfires across the West, say members of Congress. Political leaders in Idaho last week blamed federal land management policies and managers for the wildfires that have charred more than 800,000 acres in the state this year. Following a helicopter tour of some of the state’s hardest hit areas, Idaho’s Republican Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo said much of the reason for the fire was a direct result of cuts in livestock grazing. “They set themselves up over the last two years for the major fire they’ve got now because they wouldn’t let them
by WLJ
2007 December 20
—Vote marks first step in a long process. The House of Representatives passed a new five-year farm bill, July 27, with almost no Republican support in the face of a threat from President Bush that the bill will be vetoed. Because of a controversial plan to tax overseas businesses with U.S. subsidiaries, only 19 Republicans voted for the bill. The plan would use those tax funds to provide most of the funding for a $4 billion increase in funding for the food stamp program and an increase in benefit levels. The bill, in its current form, will extend commodity programs set forward
by WLJ
2007 December 20
News last week that South Korea had shut off beef trade, at least temporarily, presented the market with a potential setback, and perhaps enough reason to stall fed cattle trade. The news of banned materials being found in a shipment from Cargill’s Friona, TX, plant gave traders on the floor at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) reason to cash in their chips last Wednesday, taking profits from over-bought contracts, sending the market lower. Live cattle contracts and feeder contracts had run up impressively over the prior week, so it appeared the sell-off would be likely anyway. Whether it would have
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Montana’s first clinical cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in horses this season have been confirmed in Blaine and Phillips counties, according to Montana acting State Veterinarian Dr. Jeanne Rankin. Neither horse had been vaccinated against WNV. The virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on infected birds. The virus does not appear to spread from horse to horse or from horse to person. Person to person spread, though extremely rare, may occur by means of organ transplants or from infected mothers to their infants through breastfeeding. Horses appear to be affected
by WLJ
2007 December 20
  Unauthorized fragments of bone were discovered in a shipment of beef sent to Korea last week as inspectors searched the order. The mistake couldn’t have come at a worse time for producers in the U.S. who were hoping to see a lift in the stringent measures in place for U.S. beef exports. USDA Secretary Mike Johanns announced the finding last Wednesday. Although he offered few details, Johanns said only that it was his “understanding” that inspectors with the Korean Agriculture Ministry found a vertebral column in a box of U.S. beef. The vertebral column apparently was derived from an animal younger
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Tyson Foods Inc., the world’s largest meat processor, reported a bigger-than-expected profit for its third fiscal quarter last week and raised its profit forecast for the year as it rebounds from last year’s losses. Tyson credited higher average sales prices for chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods, export growth and a cost-cutting program that is ahead of a target of saving $200 million this year. Those factors more than offset higher feed prices for animals, boosted by demand for corn for producing the alternative fuel ethanol. Analysts said chicken, Tyson’s second largest business by sales after beef, drove the quarter’s gains on higher
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Retail grocers around the U.S. continue to book product for back-to-school advertisements and they are doing more to lock in their needs for the Labor Day holiday as well, market analysts and buyers said. Most of those advertisements will focus on the traditional items of more roasts for back to school and grilling products for the holiday, the buyers and analysts said. The only unknown is the actual mix of products that will command the front pages of the newspaper inserts. In the meantime, grocers continue to feature a mix of products with few really attractive prices, marking time through


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