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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 3, 2006
  The World Trade Organization (WTO) is facing a significant hurdle in negotiations that could cause the talks to collapse without any agreement on cuts to agricultural subsidies, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said last week as trade representatives from the organization met in Geneva, Switzerland.   Trade ministers from more than four nations were scheduled to meet in Geneva from June 29 through July 2 in a bid to wrap up an agreement. Negotiating an acceptable preliminary accord is crucial during talks in Geneva in order to meet an end-of-July deadline for governments to submit their
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 3, 2006
  June has been a very busy travel month for me, but the good part is I have been to some absolutely fun places and events. The last week of May, Pete and Rita Crow and Geri Lyn and I had our WLJ Montana Tour and it was a great time. We saw some stunningly beautiful country and some of the great ranches in southwest Montana. It was like old home week for me having grown up in Montana and gone to Montana State University. A lot of the country has changed and if you
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 26, 2006
A massive producer survey is currently in the works to be distributed to 8,000 U.S. cattle producers in order to effectively evaluate checkoff procedures and their validity. The survey, said to be the largest producer based survey ever, is part of the settlement of the lawsuit challenging the checkoff that reached the U.S. Supreme Court but failed. The producer based study is scheduled to begin this fall and conclude by January 2007. The upcoming survey will be checkoff-funded.   Although the latest checkoff-funded survey of beef producer attitudes indicates continued support of the checkoff program, cattlemen
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 26, 2006
Every minute of life is full of the potential to learn and grow. Hours and even days go by without our capturing much of what could be. But sometimes, for a second or, incredibly, a string of days, we are in the flow. A light comes on.   It could be a strobe flash, leaving an incredible new image on the retina. It could be a floodlight that shows us the way. These are the lights that education psychologists call “teachable moments.” Teachers are more likely than students to see the moments as they occur,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 26, 2006
After WLJ’s Montana tour, my wife, Rita, decided we just had to go to Italy to see her family. They live in some pretty nice places like Lake Como, Venice and Rome, so it didn’t take much arm twisting.   Most of her family lives in the northern part of the country in the Lake Como area, Varenna, to be exact, where a couple members of the family run a restaurant and another runs a small grocery store. We got together for supper one evening with all 20 of them. Andrea, one of Rita’s cousin’s husband, runs
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 26, 2006
Demand for natural beef is growing and with that, more producers are adjusting their operations to meet consumers’ wants. The growing trends reported this month by the Natural Food Merchandiser, the journal for the natural and organic industry, reported in their June 2006 issue that total 2005 sales was $25.5 billion, a 10.9 percent growth over 2004. The meat and seafood industry reportedly grew 13.5 percent, the third highest of food commodities behind the beer, wine and snack food categories.   According to the consumer research and consulting firm ACNielsen, natural meat sales, excluding
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 26, 2006
The long awaited announcement that trade with Japan would resume came last week after days of negotiations between officials from USDA and the Japanese Agriculture Ministry. Under the terms of the agreement, Japan will arrive in the U.S. on June 24 to inspect packing plants for 30 days before trade begins in mid to late July.   Trade is expected to begin on or around July 22 and Japan has agreed to allow only boneless beef from cattle 20 months of age or younger. All specified risk materials must be removed from any cattle exported
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 26, 2006
Recent legislation being proposed in both the House and the Senate may significantly change livestock feeding practices if passed. Proponents of the legislation claim human health, as well as the animal’s well being, is being jeopardized when antibiotics are added routinely to livestock feed to stimulate growth and aid in offsetting range or feedlot conditions. More specifically, healthcare professionals are claiming the unnecessary antibiotic feeding is causing some people to become resistant to some medications, limiting their ability to fight off life-threatening infectious diseases.   “Physicians, nurses and now infectious disease professionals are all
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 26, 2006
The Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) hosted their annual World Livestock Auctioneer Championship last week at the Escalon Livestock Market in Escalon, CA. The winner, described as a “jack of all trades,” was Dave Macedo of Tulare, CA.   Macedo, 44, a long-time auctioneer and owner of the Tulare Sales Yard, Inc., actually went to college to be a dentist but turned auctioneer and politician instead. He is the former mayor of Tulare and is currently a city councilman. John McBride, director of information for LMA, said Macedo’s role in politics complements his ability to be
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 26, 2006
The Agriculture Small Business Enhancement Act of 2006 (SBEA), if passed by Congress, will allow producers greater access to markets in other states. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, will allow processors and producers whose meat products meet state level inspection standards to be exported across state lines.   The Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1967 and the Poultry Products Inspection Act of 1968 both require processors to comply with or exceed federal inspection procedures, yet those products are not eligible to be shipped between states, a fact Conrad said limits competition and
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 26, 2006
A report released by two environmental groups accuses ranchers, the banking industry and the government of confounding efforts to change public lands grazing policy. The report, titled Mortgaging Our Natural Heritage, was released by Santa Fe, NM-based Forest Guardians and the Sagebrush Sea Campaign, June 15. The report, generated with information gained through the Freedom of Information Act, blamed the loan process and banking industry for the groups’ inability to get public land grazing regulations changed at the federal level.   Maggie Beal of the Public Lands Council said the report was a simple repackaging
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 26, 2006
West Nile Virus has once again started to plague many western states. According to the Centers for Disease Control, active cases of the disease have been detected in mosquitoes and birds in California, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota and Wyoming, and nine other Midwest and East Coast states. In Texas, Mississippi and Colorado, the disease has already been transmitted to humans.   A spring and early summer which has dumped above normal amounts of precipitation in some West Coast states has contributed to the problem by offering mosquitoes more breeding grounds than in past years.   In Utah,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
Agri-Food Canada has been working to put a newly enhanced feed ban in effect for several years. The new regulations would eliminate the inclusion of all specified risk materials in all animal feed, not just cattle feed. However, last week, Agri-Food Canada said the agency would postpone any rule-making decisions until the U.S. publishes a similar change to its feed ban. Canadian officials said the delay was made at the request of the Canadian beef industry which hopes to harmonize its regulations to those of the U.S. in order to be more competitive. Cattle
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
— Exchange contracts ignore lower cash to rally sharply. Fed cattle trade last week began in the northern tier and western Corn belt on Wednesday at prices sharply lower than the previous week. Cattle trade in Nebraska and Colorado moved good volume, with more than 100,000 head trading hands at $3 lower than the prior week at $125 dressed and $78-78.75 live, $2-3 lower than the prior week. In the southern Plains, bids and offers were still far apart and as of Thursday, cattle in the south had not
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
It seems the U.S. beef producer is stuck between a rock and a hard spot these days, not too different from the old Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons I recall from my youth. You remember the ones; Coyote would strap himself to an Acme rocket or some other contraption and fling himself after the Roadrunner in another futile attempt to catch him. In the end, Wile E. Coyote would end up “pancaked” on a mountain or run over by a truck. Meanwhile, the roadrunner, unscathed, would run by, cast a sideways glance at
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
The central U.S. saw an expansion of the drought last week into much of the Great Plains as far north as South Dakota. With the exception of the far west, states such as California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and most of Utah and Montana, the drought worsened for most producers. Large numbers of cull cows are flooding the marketplace in the southern Plains as producers work to provide enough grass for the core of their herds. In states such as Colorado, cattle
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
Flies annoying the herd, buzzing around their ears and causing irritation isn’t the greatest concern. The pesky fly is also known to transmit an array of diseases, as well as stunt growth in calves. The time is now to prevent these tiny beasts from dominating control and wreaking havoc on cattle and, most critically, calves. As temperatures rise, so does the volume of the face swarming intruders. “These flies start becoming a problem about late May,” said Ron Lemenager, Purdue University Extension beef
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
With much of the West facing drought conditions, hay and forage production has been severely limited. In areas where hay production is good, growers are taking advantage of good yields and expecting near record prices for their crop. Western states In Washington, Idaho and Montana, the first and second cuttings of alfalfa were just getting underway last week, although wet weather was hampering efforts to complete fieldwork. Producers in Washington’s Columbia Basin had their second cutting rained on,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
Years ago, I helped a rancher greatly improve his profit by designing a planned grazing system where we split two large pastures into 36 sub-divisions. One of the 36 pastures was named Cut Bank. There was a large head cut located at the beginning portion of a small coulee where natural water movement continued to cut the clay soil back each year. At the upper end of this area there was a four foot straight drop-off in the shape of a horseshoe. I
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
Often in the headlines is the continuous urban sprawl, consisting of farm and ranch property being developed for houses to meet a growing demand for the open, more rural lifestyle that the city neglects. A much quieter affair that has been taking place for generations is the buying of actual ranches for the mere sake of having one for the recreational aspect. A majority of such wealthy-sought ranches exist in the rugged environs of the West, due to the enhanced view and recreation the mountains bring.


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