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by WLJ
2014 February 7
Accounting for only 2 percent of the national budget, this bill seems to garner as much conversation as any agreement passed through Congress from a year-to-year basis. The proposed spending limit is down from the previous spending level by $16.
by WLJ
2014 February 7
Interesting to see your article on fracking (“Fracking controversy heats up with well water contamination,” pg. 5, Jan. 13, issue 15). Although it has been going on longer in the West, the Marcellus area, where I live and produce feeder calves, is by far most active now.
2014 January 31
2014 Farm Bill was, for the most part, completed last week and it appears that there was something in it for everyone, except for the meat business. After a huge legislative effort from major groups representing the cattle and meat industry, they were ignored at the end of the day.
2014 January 31
Catching fish does not always require the use of live bait. In fact, the use of lures of many types and sizes has led to the many storefronts filled with fishing gear. If one is keen on enjoying fly fishing, the artificial fly would more than likely be named and cherished.
2014 January 31
Supporters and opponents of country of origin labeling (COOL) have been deeply divided ever since the idea of COOL emerged in the late 1990s. That divide continues to play out not just in the country but in the corridors of Congress.
by WLJ
2014 January 24
As we enter 2014 in earnest and prepare for our annual cattle industry convention, I have spent some time contemplating the challenges and successes that we encountered in the beef industry during the last year, both from my perspective as a cattle producer and as the vice chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB).
2014 January 24
After living through the summer of 2012, a farmer in my area might be tempted to plant longer season corn. That year it warmed up early, was a hot dry summer that stretched well into fall. The 117-day varieties out-performed the 112-day ones that are common in central Nebraska.
2014 January 24
It was another wild record-setting week in the cattle and beef markets. The boxed beef cutout values moved over $240 on Choice product and $237 on Select trade volume was called moderate. Packers had to come to terms with paying as much as $150 for live fed cattle in the north and $239 for dressed CROW.
2014 January 17
After months of reduced feedlot placements, the decline in fed cattle production and beef supplies is finally coming home to roost. Live cattle prices reached a new all-time high last week with the bulk of fed steers trading at $140 to $141, and some cleanup trade as high as $145 live.
2014 January 17
Given the recent cold wave across the country, walking across cold snow is notable. There are several types of snow. The fashionable snowflake is poetic, so we smile at the beauty, shape and the mild weather required to gently layer the land. Soon to follow is Jack Frost, those beautiful ice crystals on a cool but not cold morning.
2014 January 17
In recent years the IRS has ruled that a written business plan is important evidence which tends to prove that you are operating in a businesslike manner. The Tax Court has said that in hobby loss cases you should have “some type of plan” for the venture.
2014 January 10
Buying bulls is like making soup. You put in a bit of this and a bit of that and in the end, you have good soup. Likewise, a piece of this and a piece of that and you assemble a good bull. Unlike the soup you make from scratch, the bull already is made, but you have to find him.
2014 January 10
There’s that word again— “sustainability”—and now McDonald’s is using it. I think I know how most ranchers define sustainability— the ability to make a profit from one year to the next. And if you look around, there are lots of ranches in this country with long productive histories.
2014 January 10
The U.S. cattle feeding industry has depended for years on Mexican feeder cattle to help fill its pens. Annual imports have averaged about one million head, although they have fluctuated dramatically at times, in large part due to drought. That’s why 2011 and 2012 saw more than 1.
2014 January 4
When I was young and just starting out in agriculture with a few purebred horned Hereford cows, I paid very close attention to the cows, but did not concern myself at all about the health of my soils. Soils were just something that my cows walked on. Little did I know… Now roll the calendar ahead 50 years—a half century— and wow, I am a slow learner.
2014 January 4
It’s going to be an interesting year for the beef import/ export business. USDA has forecasted that beef production will be down somewhere around 6 percent to 7 percent this year and that our beef exports will be down 6 percent. Beef production for 2013 finished out at.
by WLJ
2014 January 4
Angus breeder Keith Russell of Johnstown, CO, has been a mentor and a friend to hundreds of us through the years. During Colorado floods, the Little Thompson River came through at 25 feet above flood stage. Keith lost all of his winter feed and most of his equipment, with severe damage to fences, buildings and his home.
2013 December 27
The year 2013 will be one to remember for cow/calf producers. We had a recovering drought and calf prices had a record long rally starting in May and reached new highs right on to the end of the year. Who would have ever thought that 450-pound steer calves would bring over $1,000 a CROW.
2013 December 27
Having had to break into the office door because the lock was frozen shut reminded me that not all things work well in the cold. Those who have experienced cold firsthand do not need to be reminded. For others who can skirt the harshness of winter, in this case early winter, one only needs to take a short walk to be reminded.


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