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Livestock News

by WLJ
2007 December 20
Trade was slow getting started last week, despite expectations that short-bought packers would come out early to fill demand. As of last Thursday, however, there was only light trade reported in Nebraska and western Iowa at $98 live and $154-156 dressed, although there was not enough volume to call a trend for the week. Offers remained at the $100 mark for live cattle. In the beef, feedlots were asking $158-160 for their show lists. Most analysts were expecting cattle to trade steady to $1 lower than the prior week at $97-98 live and $155-157 dressed basis. The USDA’s monthly cattle
by WLJ
2007 December 20
In an event that is likely to be repeated in the coming months as recovered wolf populations are removed from the Endangered Species List, three animal rights groups sued the federal government last week. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Help Our Wolves Live, and the Animal Protection Institute filed a federal suit last week to halt the process which would remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. Ironically, the suit was filed just days after the results of the spring wolf survey in Minnesota which showed the state has 3,020
by WLJ
2007 December 20
After conducting a detailed investigation into the deaths of 50 to 60 cattle at a former dairy in Addy, WA, state investigators have found no serious animal diseases or toxic contamination of the animals’ feed that could have caused the fatalities. “During this investigation, we have found no threat to the health of people or other animals,” said Washington State Veterinarian Leonard Eldridge. “We have not been able to identify a common cause of death of these animals. Frankly, we may never know specifically what killed the animals that died before the start of this investigation.” When Washington State Department of
by WLJ
2007 December 20
With animal welfare becoming a hot topic in the livestock industry, producers will need to be more aware of how animals are handled both on and off the farm. It is important to adhere to sound livestock handling practices when transporting livestock. There are many reasons to properly handle livestock, ranging from simple economics to animal welfare issues. “These animals are the pride and joy of producers and their livelihood,” said Anne Burkholder, feedlot owner and chairman of the Animal Health and Nutrition Committee at the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association. “It’s really a big deal when producers put something of that much
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Whole-family decision making On a recent trip to Arizona, my wife and I were faced with some major financial decisions. Tires were showing bulges and the transmission in our van was wearing out. These are those unplanned experiences we all go through once in awhile. There were several times I started to fall back on my old decision making ways, that is: a don’t fix it until it’s broke mentality. However, we have started to make whole-family decisions now based upon a quality-of-life statement, “we want to relax and enjoy life.” Easier to say than do. Now with this new family creed
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The Rocky Mountains provide the backdrop for the annual meeting and 40th anniversary celebration of the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF). The meeting will be held June 6-9 in Fort Collins, CO. It will focus on the future of genetic evaluation and improvement, with a variety of presenters from around the country. The meeting will take place at the Hilton Fort Collins. To register and for program details, go to www.beefimprovement.org under the conventions tab. Pre-registration is due May 15. For information, contact Willie Altenburg, 970/568-7792, willie@rmi.net or Mark Enns at 970/491-2722, Mark.Enns@Colostate.edu. “The BIF meeting is a great opportunity for cattlemen from
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Humans and animals alike look forward to spring. With fresh green grass, the bawling of young calves, and the promise of summer, don’t forget that it is also time to administer annual vaccinations to the equine members of your operation. “Spring is really the time of year that horse owners should do all of their wellness and preventative exams,” said Dr. Karen Unger, DVM, at Littleton Large Animal Clinic in Colorado. The horse has an excellent immune system. However, when faced with new pathogens, the horse’s body has no immunity without a proper vaccination program. Routine vaccinations should be a part of
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Fed cattle marketings disappoint. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) issued the March cattle on feed report April 20 and the result was a mixed bag for the cattle business. The report was considered mostly neutral for the market, however it contained some interesting bits of information for market watchers. Although total on feed numbers were down, placements were up and marketings were down, indicating that feedlots may be falling behind in their marketings heading into the critical summer period. According to NASS, the number of cattle on feed totaled 11.6 million head as of April 1, 2007. The number
by WLJ
2007 December 20
This last weekend, a good portion of the western livestock marketing system assembled in Oklahoma City, OK, to pay homage to one of their own, Ellington Peek, owner of Shasta Livestock Auction and the major owner of Western Video Auction company. Peek was bestowed the Chester A. Reynolds Award which is handed out every year by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum. The Chester A. Reynolds Award goes to a living person, group or institution who has made an outstanding contribution to perpetuate the ideals, history and heritage of the American West, whether by a remarkable
by WLJ
2007 December 20
When feed prices double, cattle producers think twice as hard about management options. Common responses include cutting expenses, increasing efficiency, and finding ways to get paid more for the saleable product, calves or carcasses. “We’ve really come into a different paradigm with predictions of $4 (per bushel) versus $2 corn,” says Mark McCully, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB). “We’ve also come into a different paradigm when we look to a $20 Choice/Select spread, versus a $6 spread.” That widening spread refers to the difference in boxed-beef cutout value per cwt. between USDA Choice and Select grade. The price spread between Choice and
by WLJ
2007 December 20
A shipment of U.S. beef arrived last Monday in South Korea for the first time since three consecutive attempts to move beef into the country were rejected last year for containing bone fragments. A 6.4 metric ton shipment from Arkansas City, KS-based Creekstone Farms will undergo inspections, including X-rays. The inspection procedures will be conducted by inspectors at Incheon International Airport. An official at the government-run National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service said the inspection would require between 5-18 days, according to Korean news reports. Following U.S. protests over South Korea’s rejection of beef, the country said it would still
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Ahead of a meeting last week between President George Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the two countries are moving closer to increase beef trade. After completing a successful audit of U.S. plants, Japan has agreed to discontinue inspections of entire U.S. beef shipments, the two governments said last Tuesday. In an effort to expand trade, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns announced his approval of Japan’s request to conduct additional audits of U.S. beef processing plants, a move he characterized as “an important first step in efforts to expand U.S. beef trade,” in Japan. “I have approved Japan’s request to conduct
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Just the other day we heard a speaker say we all have the freedom to choose, but not the freedom from the consequences. In my pasture management mind, I thought how true in references to pasture rotation. We can choose any time to rotate pastures, but what about the consequences of this decision? From my viewpoint, most people tend to move their animals too late, especially during early springtime when the grass is just starting to grow and/or when the forage is growing fastest. This thing about consequences means to let our minds and planning ability be able to see, or at
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Cattle producers know that pharmaceuticals are used as an aid to assist in health management, growth enhancement, and overall animal well-being. However, there’s another reason that they are important. A new study has shown that pharmaceuticals have a significant impact on an operation’s bottom line. Cattle production is the largest agriculture sector in the U.S., with over 980,000 farms that have cattle, and there are cattle in all 50 states. Cattle producers understand that it is imperative to implement practices that ensure efficiency, quality, and striving to meet consumer demands for safe, wholesome, and affordable products. Pharmaceutical technologies such as parasite
by WLJ
2007 December 20
There is quite a legacy that was built by a man who committed much of his life to improving beef demand and serving beef producers’ best interests. For those of you who have had the opportunity to work with Monte Reese, chief operating officer (COO) of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), you should consider yourself lucky, for he is widely viewed as one of the most respected individuals in the beef industry. Reese is planning to retire at the end of April to spend more time with his family. However, the industry has little to worry about as his place
by WLJ
2007 December 20
New officers were elected March 26 during the closing session of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s (TSCRA) 130th annual convention in Fort Worth, TX. Jon Means of Van Horn, TX, was elected president; G. Dave Scott, Richmond, TX, first vice president; and Joe J. Parker Jr., Byers, TX, second vice president and secretary. Longtime TSCRA Director Louis M. Pearce Jr. of Houston was elevated from honorary director to honorary vice president status. New honorary directors are C. H. “Terry” McCall of Comanche, TX, and Scott Petty Jr. of San Antonio, TX. New directors are John L. Cantrell of Cresson, TX; Beth Knolle
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The currently tight fed cattle supply continued to be supportive of the market last week with feedlots holding out until late in the week to trade cattle. As of last Thursday, there was some mostly steady light trade reported in Texas and Kansas at $96 live basis and in the Corn Belt at $154 dressed. Volume, however, was reportedly light and no trend was readily apparent. Most market analysts, however, expected trade to remain steady with the prior week when cattle traded at $96 live in the south and northern Plains live sales traded at $95-96.50 with dressed sales at
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The only bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) testing laboratory in the Pacific Northwest will remain open for another six months, but officials insist it isn’t because of increased fears of the chronic brain-wasting disease in the region. The USDA contract for testing at Washington State University’s (WSU) College of Veterinary Medicine expired March 1 as part of the agency’s efforts to scale back monitoring for BSE. USDA has extended the contract through Sept. 30, with the option for further extensions, WSU officials said. “Reports circulated in the media a few months ago that stated the WSU laboratory was shutting down,” said
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Lowline cattle—Matching calving ease with value on the rail It takes time to put a picture puzzle together. The picture is there, but the challenge is finding the right pieces. This process may be difficult, but also exciting. The beef business, from a producer’s standpoint, is very much like the picture puzzle. Select what picture you want and start finding the pieces. As breeding seasons nears, the time is now to solve a new puzzle. Calving time must come first in solving the puzzle, but it doesn’t take a lot of records to remember calving difficulty. Calves must arrive with ease, which is a
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) last Wednesday confirmed the tenth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a mature dairy cow from the Fraser Valley of western British Columbia. CFIA officials said the preliminary investigation found that the animal was 66 months of age and was most likely infected with the disease within the first year of life. “There was a cow that was sick for a short period of time. It wasn’t getting better so it was destroyed late last week,” Dr. George Luterbach, CFIA’s senior veterinarian said. CFIA officials are working to identify and test herd mates


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