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by WLJ
2005 January 24
The chief of the country’s third largest beef processor told cow/calf and seedstock cattle producers recently it is very unlikely Japan will reopen its borders to U.S. beef during the first half of 2005, and that most of the Pacific Rim could keep U.S. beef out for the rest of the year. “Japan is gaming against us very well....and the protein dynamics over there are changing to where U.S. beef isn’t needed like it was before (pre-BSE),” said John Simons, CEO and president of Swift & Company, in comments during the Jan. 13 Red Meat Club banquet and meeting held in
by WLJ
2005 January 24
A federal court ruled in favor of the Klamath Water Uses Association Jan. 14, dismissing a case brought by the Yurok Tribe to usurp the water rights of Klamath farmers. The case challenged the Bureau of Reclamation’s management of water in the Klamath River. The tribe claimed the government’s management of the Klamath Project violated fishing rights in the 2002 filing and resulted in a die-off of salmon on the lower Klamath River. Oakland, CA, Federal Judge Saundra Armstrong agreed with motions put forth by the Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) and the federal government that there was no evidence linking
by WLJ
2005 January 24
Shoot, shovel and shut-up Letter to the Editor, On Jan. 11, Canada announced another case of BSE in a beef cow that was born after the 1997 feed ban. I was not surprised by this finding, as our USDA has said that there could be up to 11 animals found before Canada would surpass the “minimum risk” category. However, I was greatly surprised when my uncle from Alberta gave me a call this morning. He stated that the Premier has instigated the “Shoot, shovel and shut-up” policy. Basically he has told the farmers and ranchers that if they have any animal that may
by WLJ
2005 January 24
The much-anticipated USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) final rule for allowing Canadian live cattle, sheep and related meat product imports into the U.S. was released on Dec. 29 and published in the Jan. 4 Federal Register. The rule creates requirements for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) minimal risk regions, and specifically designates Canada as the first country classified as such a region. Other countries that want to qualify may submit requests to the USDA for the designation. Regions classified as minimal risk have had documented cases of BSE, but have regulatory measures in place that make the introduction of BSE into
by WLJ
2005 January 24
Alberta Premier Ralph Klein suggested earlier this month that Canada seriously look into a mass cull of older and other BSE-suspect cows in an effort to restore international confidence in Canadian beef. No formal request has been made, however, Klein’s suggestion has been taken into account by several groups, which are widely divided on the question. Klein last week specified that he was suggesting a “cull” and not mass slaughter. “I haven't suggested a mass slaughter. I haven't used that word,” Klein said. “I am saying that there is a need for a cull, but how that cull is achieved is entirely
by WLJ
2005 January 24
— R-CALF invitation snubbed. The nation’s two largest cattle producer organizations will not align themselves with each other to legally challenge final regulatory rules governing Canadian cattle and beef entering the U.S., despite apparently narrowing their differences on the matter. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, Leo McDonnell, president of R-CALF USA, sent a letter to Jan Lyons, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), inviting NCBA and its affiliates to publicly support R-CALF’s pending lawsuit against that import rule. “During the past few days I have reviewed reports and statements issued by you and your organization suggesting that NCBA may be reconsidering its
by WLJ
2005 January 24
— Holds promise as livestock feed. Dirt, sun and rain or irrigation are all the basic requirements a producer needs to grow a new variety of oats that is said to have dramatically higher yields, be high in crude protein and have more digestibility than other oat varieties. This year will be the first year the new “delayed heading” variety, called EverLeaf 126, will be marketed in the U.S. But, preliminary testing has shown better quality, tonnage and higher forage yields than typical oat varieties. Delayed heading enables a wider harvesting window, according to researchers. “So if it is raining, or a producer
by WLJ
2005 January 24
Charlie Bell Former president and CEO of McDonald’s Corp. Charlie Bell died Monday, Jan. 17, after battling colo-rectal cancer. Bell died in his hometown of Sydney, Australia, at the age of 44. Bell was elected McDonald's president and CEO by the board of directors in April 2004, following the death of Jim Cantalupo. Bell previously served as president and COO, and was responsible for the company's more than 30,000 restaurants in 119 countries, during which time he also became a director of the company. Before his promotion to president and COO in December 2002, Bell served as president of McDonald’s Europe, and
by WLJ
2005 January 24
— Feeders gain on spring prospects, corn decline. — Calves stronger on grazing outlook. Optimism that last week’s fed cattle prices would be stronger than the previous week’s level of $92-93 live, $145 dressed still hadn’t come to fruition as of Thursday. Fed trade was almost nonexistent last week with packer bids and cattle feeders asking prices being spread up to $6 apart. Analysts said they were expecting fairly active Friday afternoon trade, and that it would probably be at mostly steady money, if not a little softer than two weeks ago. Through mid-afternoon Thursday, only light trade had been reported in
by WLJ
2005 January 24
— OCM not expected to appeal. The judge charged with deciding whether a privately funded and administered voluntary cattle checkoff program is legal refused to hear the case and tossed it out last week. The organization behind the program said they were disappointed with the decision but also indicated it would not appeal. The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) filed the case in U.S. District Court, Lincoln, NE, asking that USDA’s order to cease the group’s voluntary program be overturned and that cattle producers be allowed to voluntarily set aside money to the “self help” promotional program. OCM was asking the court
by WLJ
2005 January 24
Wholesale Choice boxed beef prices for the week ending Jan. 15 hit a seven-month high after posting the strongest weekly rally since early April 2004. USDA reported the Choice beef carcass composite value on Thursday at $154.38 per cwt, which was the highest it has been since the middle of June. Choice prices Friday dipped to 153.93, but for the week the category gained $10.75, or 7.5 percent, which was the largest since the week-ended April 9, 2004. Bob Wilson, analyst with HedgersEdge.com, said the composite average for choice beef that week gained $17.39. That week’s top was still nearly $10 below
by WLJ
2005 January 24
An attempt to increase business in Chicago Mercantile Exchange electronic livestock futures may be having the opposite effect. To begin the year, the CME instituted a lead market maker program for electronic livestock futures to increase on-screen liquidity and volume. So far, electronic live cattle futures have put up the best volume numbers, with 418 contracts traded last Thursday. But, many traditional CME cattle pit traders who fill orders by open outcry are not happy with one feature of the new program. As an incentive to attract CME e-livestock lead market makers, an approved LMM is allowed to match a pre-existing
by WLJ
2005 January 24
Argentina's 2005 beef exports will hit at least $1.3 billion, Agriculture Secretary Miguel Campos said last Wednesday. This would put beef exports up about $300 million from 2004, Campos said, noting that Argentina is currently shipping beef to 85 countries. Beef sales have been on the rise since 2003, when they totaled 379,366 tons, or $694 million, according to Argentina’s animal and food health agency, also known as Senasa. “Beef exports are rising and they will continue to rise," Campos said. "Production is up and it will continue to rise to meet demand.” Last Tuesday the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) declared northern
by WLJ
2005 January 17
A few days after Canada announced its latest case of (BSE) Canadian Chief Veterinary Officer Brian Evans visited the U.S. starting last Wednesday in an effort to convince Congress and government officials that Canadian cattle and beef are safe. Canada reported two new cases of BSE in less than two weeks—Jan. 2 and Jan. 11—and shortly after USDA unveiled a new rule that is scheduled to lift the U.S. ban on Canadian cattle by March 7. Several U.S. lawmakers reacted to both new Canadian cases by demanding the USDA withdraw the new rule, but Evans told reporters Thursday his message is: "The
by WLJ
2005 January 17
— Significant downturn unlikely also. Cheaper-than-normal feed corn prices are expected to remain in place through at least the first half of the year, as 2004 production and end-of-year stocks were both higher than previously forecasted. Several market analysts, however, didn’t think prices would drop much more either as corn exports and domestic ethanol demand this year are expected to eclipse 2004 levels. According to USDA’s latest crop production forecast, the 2004 corn harvest is expected to total 11.81 billion bushels, 50 million bushels more than was projected in November and 1.7 billion bushels more than the previous record harvest of 2003.
by WLJ
2005 January 17
A hunter in Michigan was diagnosed with a rare human case of bovine tuberculosis after he cut his hand while gutting an infected deer, state health officials said. He is the first living person diagnosed with the strain of bovine tuberculosis that has been found in some northern Michigan deer and cattle in recent years, said T. J. Bucholz, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Community Health. The disease, which is difficult for humans to get but highly contagious in animals, has saddled farmers with costly testing requirements and limits to how they market their cattle in neighboring states. Officials would not
by WLJ
2005 January 14
Findings from an Internet survey indicate future farm success will involve farmers and ranchers and their cooperatives knowing how to effectively manage the Internet for marketing. That was the sentiment registered by 86 percent of individuals responding to an on-line survey conducted by National Farmers Union, a general farm organization representing more than a quarter of a million farm families nationwide and headquartered in metro Denver. “The purpose of this survey was to find out from farmers, ranchers and rural citizens ways they may be using the Internet and its relevance to their farm business and local cooperatives,” said Jeff Moser,
by WLJ
2005 January 14
Between February and March, Argentina's National Agriculture Health and Quality Service, known as Senasa, will vaccinate cattle with a formula that includes an antigen to protect against virus C, a variant of the highly infectious and fast-spreading disease. The formula also will include antigens against viruses A and O, La Nacion reported. The effort will be carried out in Formosa and Salta, northern provinces bordering Bolivia and Paraguay, with the aim to avert another outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in its herd of 50 million to 55 million cattle from cutting beef exports because of sanitation requirements in foreign markets. “We
by WLJ
2005 January 14
Lone Star reports earnings Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc. reported fourth quarter earnings were up for all its restaurants except for Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon which ended the fourth quarter down 1.7 percent. Positive fourth quarter earnings include Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 3.1 percent, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, 17 percent, and Texas Land & Cattle Steak House, 7.9 percent. Year ending results were up for all its restaurants—Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon, 0.6 percent, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 5.6 percent, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, 23.2 percent and Texas Land & Cattle Steak House, 9.9 percent. Company earnings were up
2005 January 14
The discussion remains heated on animal identification. As the winter picks up and the meeting season clicks along, a very common request is for more information on what is new in the world of cattle electronic identification. The Dickinson Research Extension Center is deep in the throws of the animal identification issue. The DREC actively was placing electronic IDs (EIDs) in calves this past fall. Currently, the tracing process is getting started and the total results are still in the future. Numerically, the center physically tagged 3,323 calves and 944 cows at 28 different work sites for an average of 152 cattle