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2011 April 22
A wet spring can be a mixed blessing. While it gives crops and forage a head start, it can also pave the way for a silent killer—anthrax. Anthrax spores can lie dormant in the soil for years, causing no problems for the animals that graze there. It can lie in wait for 70 years or more, impervious to heat and
2011 April 22
In a double win for ranching and recreation interests, Congress last week passed a budget measure that included a rider removing the majority of gray wolves within the Northern Rocky Mountain region from the endangered species list, as well as a second provision which stripped the controversial Wild Lands policy of funding until
by WLJ
2011 April 15
According to USDA’s April World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate, corn stocks will fall to very low levels and may not rebound to levels which will ease prices, even with a record crop this year. Although total corn usage numbers were left unchanged in the April report, market analysts are cautioning
2011 April 15
One of the Idaho Legislature’s final actions before adjourning an 88-day session in Boise on April 7 was to enact a wolf emergency bill that would authorize Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter to recruit law enforcement officers to help reduce the number of controversial predators in the state. Idaho livestock ranchers, big game hunters and outfitters have complained
2011 April 15
On Monday, April 11, the Swenson Fire, having burned six days in Stonewall, Knox and King counties in north-central Texas, was contained. The previous day, the Texas Forest Service stated, was the single worst day in documented Texas history for wildfires. The first four months of 2011 in Texas have seen hundreds of fires in the state that’s
by WLJ
2011 April 7
Corn prices continued their upward spiral last week as concerns grow about a shrinking carryover supply of grain. The USDA’s March 1 grain stocks report, issued March 24, showed that the agency continues to predict large increases in corn usage. Rising prices have yet to reach a level which indicates
by WLJ
2011 April 7
The U.S. Free Trade Agreement with Colombia was finalized last week with some final details resolved between the two nations. The FTA is expected to add approximately $2.5 billion to the U.S. economy, supporting thousands of jobs in the process, according to the White House, which announced the deal
2011 April 7
With all the back and forth on the endangered status of wolves, it’s no wonder that some ranchers may be scratching their heads over what steps they need to take if they suffer depredation from wolves. In Montana, the situation isn’t made any easier by the fact that there are two separate recognized wolf
2011 March 31
Circumstances have changed yet again for roughly 15 ranchers who graze their cattle on Oregon’s Malheur National Forest (MNF), this time for the better. In an order issued on March 16, U.S. District Court Judge Ancer Haggerty modified the injunction he imposed at the end of 2010, a change that will allow most
2011 March 31
In this modern age where most everything seems to be bought and sold, good old-fashioned neighboring remains one of the cornerstones of ranching culture. This spring, thousands of brandings will be attended by neighboring ranchers and cowboys who will gladly put in a hard day’s work for no more pay than a hamburger
by WLJ
2011 March 31
USDA said last Thursday that farms intend to plant an estimated 92.18 million acres of corn this year, up slightly from analysts’ pre-report expectations, 5 percent above 2010, and the second-largest acreage number since 1944, behind only the 2007 crop year. However, despite the increase, it was still being viewed as bullish for
2011 March 25
In his forward to the 1943 edition of his book "Home Veterinarian’s Handbook," E. T. Baker, DVM, states: "An emergency has been defined as ‘a sudden condition requiring immediate action.’" His book listed over 700 subjects on what might ail a farm animal, including equine eye injuries. Baker definitely considered
by WLJ
2011 March 25
USDA’s March 1 Cattle on Feed report showed feedlot inventories continue to run above prior-year levels. According to the report, inventory numbers, at 11.4 million head, are 5 percent above March 1, 2010, slightly lower than the average pre-report estimates of analysts. The numbers continue to trend
2011 March 18
The Department of Interior has stubbornly dug in its heels over challenges to its contentious Wild Lands Order which directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to protect lands having the "characteristics" of wilderness without the consent of Congress. Indeed, two weeks ago, Bob Abbey, director of BLM, ran a guest editorial
2011 March 18
When you attend any gathering of ranchers, you may notice that bald and gray seem to be the trendy hairstyles. A new program in South Dakota, called beefSD, is hoping to add some younger hairstyles to these gatherings by helping less experienced ranchers get their feet in the gate of the ranching
by WLJ
2011 March 11
The U.S. and Mexico appear to have reached an agreement to lift a series of retaliatory tariffs slapped on U.S. agricultural goods as a result of a dispute over cross-border trucking. In a joint press conference last week, President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon said they had agreed in
2011 March 11
Most ranch owners roll out of bed each morning with the intention of doing what’s right: for the cows, for the calves, and for the land they graze on. Obviously, it literally pays to be a good land steward; good grazing practices mean healthier range, taller grass, and higher weaning weights. But for most of us, doing what’s right
by WLJ
2011 March 11
The push to eliminate subsidies to the ethanol industry took a big step forward last week as a bi-partisan bill was introduced in the Senate by influential members. The bill, introduced last Wednesday by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-OK, and Ben Cardin, D-MD, would end controversial support for ethanol plants. The two senators
by WLJ
2011 March 3
The short supply of corn available to users has pushed prices sharply higher this year and there are few indications that demand has been rationed yet. The 2010/2011 marketing year crop was reported almost a billion bushels short of early season projections, leaving ending stocks at a projected 5 percent of


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