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Livestock Industry Opinions

2009 April 17
Cows cant do math, but their owners should at least do some counting. From financial balance sheets to stocking rates, a precise inventory is a must. Beyond that, you need cows that are worth owning. Cows that matter, that count because of what they can profitably produce.
2009 April 10
Cattle markets are moving a little better; fed cattle trade was up to $85 last week and feeder cattle are a bit stronger. Grass fever should be adding a few bucks to the calf market soon, if it isnt already in some areas. With the summer high-demand grilling season around the corner, it will be interesting how consumers respond to beef prices.
by WLJ
2009 April 10
For the sixth consecutive year, Oregons farmers and ranchers have experienced positive sales growth, grossing an estimated $4.9 billion in 2008the largest total in the states history, according to a new report just released by Oregon State University.
2009 April 10
The pass is open is an expression that is used by residents and travelers in mountainous areas. This year, the saying, the interstate is open would ring a bell, especially given all the changes in travel agendas in the past three to four months.
2009 April 3
What has the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) done for you lately? As much as they possibly can, would be the answer. With cattle prices trading on the low end of the modern trading spectrum, it's assuring to know that CBB is still keeping beef in front of consumers.
2009 April 3
It's always nice to honor people in our industry who have achieved above the ordinary and that have made a difference in the industry. And it's even better when these honors come along and you know the recipients. Such is the case as I write this column.
2009 March 27
There is only one way to phrase the nature of the congressional aggression over the AIG bonus situation last week: ?out of control.? The House of Representatives voted to pass a targeted tax on AIG employees who received bonuses. But it didn?t appear that the Senate wanted anything to do with the issue.
2009 March 20
I have been traveling to bull sales the past few weeks and it is stunning how well the breeding bull market is going. Most operators are selling a lot of volume at good prices. I think having a $75-80 slaughter bull market last summer helped these bull sales in a big way.
2009 March 6
It?sabsurd that Congress is dealing with a bill to ban the slaughter of horses in the U.S. Honestly, who are we to regulate what the rest of the world eats and desires, just because they are pets to some people and they can?t stand the thought of...
2009 February 27
Right now, its hard not to be overwhelmed by our governments actions. Last week was about the budget deficit; the week prior was about the housing and bank bailout.
2009 February 20
Cattle futures took a beating the day after Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced he was going to ask the packing industry to voluntarily tighten up the regulations on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).
2009 February 13
I suppose big problems require big solutions, at least that?s what the political world seems to think. Seven hundred eighty-nine billion dollars for an economic stimulus bill that is built on a hope and a prayer is pretty amazing. This piece of wisdom passed in less than a week without any real debate.
2009 February 6
CBB assigned a subcommittee the responsibility of coming up with a plan to streamline the organization and come up with a strategy for passing a new referendum which would increase the assessment to $2 and allow it to be increased later to $3. The task force asked nearly all producer groups to make comment on better ways for CBB to function.
by WLJ
2009 February 6
Participating in the uppertieredmarkets requires information-driven decisions. When considering different strategies in todays rapidly changing industry, it is important to look at economic indicators of other sectors of the beef industry.
2009 January 30
Perhaps I spoke too soon regarding Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL). The Obama administration decided to suspend any final rulemaking decisions and implementation of rules that have not been implemented.
2009 January 23
Cattle processing has been a bit short of expectations so far this year. Two weeks ago, packers processed only 608,000 head and last week, it looked like it would be somewhere around 620,000 head. The reduced production is almost always an effort to raise boxed beef values and improve margins and it generally works.
2009 January 23
These are penny-pinching times. Thermostats and consumer spending are down. People are traveling less and doing without frills. Cattlemen often embrace this conservative spirit, even in the good years. We know that the cattle cycle turns, and favorable prices can only last so long.
2009 January 23
Last week, the report card on bull S48 was to keep him for the 2009 breeding season. This periodic review is used on all bulls at the time of purchase and periodically throughout a bulls life. The first evaluation of older bulls is for soundness, because putting resources into a bull that has limited breeding capacity is impractical.
2009 January 16
Last week, the final rule was published for mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL); the deed is done and packers are required to label product. Proponents of COOL won the war. Price differentials have been discovered with Canadian and Mexican cattle.
by WLJ
2009 January 9
The holidays are over and 2009 lies ahead. Everywhere you look, prognosticators are predicting what the new year will hold for the world. The two predictions I can make for this year are that no prediction will be completely correct, and that the road ahead is likely to be volatile and unpredictable for the agriculture industry.

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