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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 15, 2005
Two competing immigration reform bills have been introduced in Congress in past weeks and the debate over the best approach toward overhauling a broken system is raging. One proposal sponsored by Sens. John Kyl, R-AZ, and John Cornyn, R-TX, would mandate extensive reforms in border security including increases in border patrol agents and technology. The Kyl-Cornyn bill also provides funding to increase the size and number of detention facilities for holding illegal immigrants. Perhaps the most contentious portion of the Kyl-Cornyn measure is the requirement that immigrants in the U.S. illegally report for health screening and background checks before being
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 15, 2005
—Draft plan under review The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week that it has made significant progress toward a change in policy for eliminating all bovine materials in livestock feed. FDA initially banned the feeding of bovine materials to cattle in 1997, but the rule did not cover certain feeding practices and left potential loopholes in the feed ban. The most serious concerns lie in the potential for cross contamination of feed during the milling process and the possibility of cattle being fed a ration containing banned materials accidentally. In January 2004, former FDA Commissioner, Mark McClellan announced the agency
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 15, 2005
— Rental rates climb, also. — Calf pressure from corn costs, not pasture. Pasture values across the major cattle grazing regions of the U.S. continue to rise and along with that, another uptick has been seen in average pasture rent, according to USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS). While land values bode well for those looking to sell all or a portion of their land, it could become a hindrance to cattle producers looking to expand their operation or buy more “seasonal” grazing acres. Market analysts said they don’t expect calf prices this fall to decline directly because of increased rental rates, however,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 15, 2005
— Justice to determine if appeal needed. — Approximately 800,000 acres impacted. A federal court judge in Idaho recently ruled that livestock grazing on approximately 800,000 acres of federally-managed land in the state must be stopped later this month in order to preserve and improve wildlife habitat. Ranching organizations said the judge’s findings directly contradict a ruling earlier this year that said challenges to federal grazing rights must include factual basis, not just theoretical hypothesis. The decision also was said to violate a congressional order exempting the federal land in question from federally-mandated environmental reviews. U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Winmill said that an
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 15, 2005
Heavy carryover of slaughter-ready cattle in the southern Plains over the past two weeks has been weighing on fed market prospects. Additionally, packer demand for fed cattle was waning as they try to keep boxed beef prices elevated in an effort to regain profitable margins. Last week’s market looked like it would end up moving cattle at prices $1-3 softer, compared to the previous week, which saw cattle gain $3-4 live, $5-7 dressed. Through last Thursday noon, there were only a handful of cattle traded on the spot cash market. Those cattle were sold in Nebraska at $80 live, $2-2.50 below prices
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 8, 2005
Aussies approve checkoff jump Australian beef producers voted in favor of increasing the dues for that country’s version of a beef checkoff program. About 58 percent of the 9,810 ballots returned approved the $5 per head levy. Prior to the vote, the fee was $3.50. The extra $21.3 million annually is expected to go towards marketing development and promotion. The Beef Industry Funding Steering Committee (BIFSC) said earlier this year that the Australian cattle industry faced cut-price competition from Brazil, slowing beef production, and the imminent re-entry of the U.S. into the Japanese and Korean markets. A recent BIFSC report showed
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 8, 2005
— Condemnations feared by Canada. — More feeder cattle entering the U.S. Officials with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) last week clarified that there are some differences between regulations regarding Canadian feeder and fed cattle. In addition, Canada’s concern that Canadian cattle could be condemned upon entering U.S. packing plants was not acknowledged by USDA officials. After saying that both fed and feeder cattle needed a “CAN” brand on their right hip upon being loaded on a truck destined for the U.S., APHIS officials said that was not the case. Instead, Canadian feeder cattle destined for U.S. feedlots must have
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 8, 2005
— Producer support critical Congressman Richard Pombo, R-CA, chairman of the House Committee on Resources, is currently working to complete revision and lobby consensus on a draft version of an Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform bill. Speaking to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Federal Lands Committee last week, House Resources Committee staff member Erica Tergeson urged NCBA members to contact their representative to show support for the bill. Many agriculture industry activists consider the Pombo ESA reform bill to be crucial to producer interests and are tracking the progress of the bill closely. Many expect that the bill will create an expanded
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 8, 2005
Beef cattle researchers are looking into the possible relationship between an individual animal’s eyeball and age. If a direct correlation is found between the two characteristics, sources said more beef could be available for export to countries with restrictions against U.S. beef. Michael Dikeman, animal science professor with Kansas State University, said that the weight and/or nitrogen contact of the lens might correlate with the animal's age, as previous research has shown in swine. “We are currently in the early stages of our study, as we have only been collecting data on age-verified cattle for about a month,” Dikeman told WLJ last
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 8, 2005
— Rally of $3-5 live, $5-7 dressed. — Calves follow suit. Cattle feeders were still reporting major losses on cattle being marketed last week, however, the extent of those losses narrowed significantly as live cattle brought $3-5 more than two weeks ago, and dressed cattle were $5-7 stronger. Most market sources cited a forecast for stronger beef demand leading up to Labor Day as the primary reason for the fed market turn around. Trade was said to be mostly completed by the end of business Wednesday, as just over 216,000 head had traded. In Nebraska, feedlots sold 65,000 head of cattle for $81-82.50
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 8, 2005
Through the rest of the year, livestock identification in Texas is moving from the drawing board to field conditions to test identification devices, equipment durability and reliability. Using USDA cooperative agreement funding, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has awarded contracts to four manufacturers of radio frequency eartags (RFID), five makers of tag “reader” devices, four computer software providers and a data trustee to maintain the computer records. Tag readers and computers are set up in several livestock markets, and customers of these facilities will be issued RFID eartags for cattle that will be marketed through the livestock markets. Two cattle
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 8, 2005
— Senate action wanted before Sept. 30. — House approved five-year extension. Among the first livestock industry issues expected to be addressed by the Senate upon getting back from summer vacation at the end of August, is the pending sunset of current mandatory price reporting (MPR) legislation. The current program is slated to come to an end September 30, and livestock industry leaders are pushing for the Senate to approve a five-year reauthorization of the program. The House of Representatives approved such an action on July 27, prior to adjourning for its month-long summer recess. A large majority of Senators, however, are awaiting a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 8, 2005
The number of confirmed cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in U.S.-born cattle is still at one after USDA last week announced that confirmatory testing came back negative on a suspect cow sample. According to John Clifford, deputy administrator of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, both the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, Ames, IA, and the international lab from Weybridge, England, came back with negative results on a “non-definitive” sample tested late last month. “The initial non-definitive result was caused by artifactual (artificial or untrue) staining and, while this staining did not resemble BSE, we felt the prudent course was to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 8, 2005
A range utilization study conducted by Dr. Derek Bailey, professor of Animal and Range Sciences at New Mexico State University, may have broad impact for ranchers grazing cattle, specifically those on public allotments. Researchers and cattle grazers have been looking for ways to encourage even distribution of forage utilization across the entire range area, while easing the heavy use of riparian areas. Under traditional range conditions in the West, as much as 30 percent of an allotment gets very little grazing due to its slope, elevation, and distance from water, said Bailey. As a result, cattle stick to grazing in stream-side
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 8, 2005
University of Georgia (UGA) scientists have developed a method for eliminating the harmful E. coli O157:H7 pathogen in cattle watering troughs. An estimated 73,000 cases of E. coli O157:H7 in humans are reported each year in the United States. Studies have shown that the pathogen can be transferred from one cow to another through the animals' drinking water. "Cattle drinking water is often contaminated with cud (rumen content)," said Michael Doyle, a UGA microbiologist and director of the Center for Food Safety in Griffin, GA. "Cattle water can also have manure in it, and together, this leads to E. coli contamination." In the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 1, 2005
— Weather improvement needed. — Yields of 130 bushels could create $3 corn. Recent slides in feeder cattle prices have been more the result of domestic market fundamentals than a heavy influx of cattle coming in from Canada, according to several market analysts. One of the primary domestic market indicators pressuring prices lately has been forecasts for higher corn prices. During mid-July, USDA commodity reporters forecasted that this year’s corn crop would yield an average of 145 bushels per acre, 15 bushels smaller than last year. However, independent market analysts called USDA’s projection pretty optimistic, with most forecasts ranging between 135-140 bushels per
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 1, 2005
Canadian calf program concluded The Feeder Calf Set-Aside Program in Canada ended late last month now that Canadian cattle are moving across the U.S. border. The Canadian Agriculture Ministry said that producers are free to market their calves as they see fit, and there are no slaughter restrictions. A notice to industry on July 15 also announced that auctions under the Fed Cattle Set-Aside Program were suspended. Cattle registered in the program will be released as scheduled, though producers who want to voluntarily withdraw some lots from the program before their scheduled release date may do so with preauthorization from their
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 1, 2005
In a letter dated July 14, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) that the agency will be resuming federal compliance inspection and enforcement responsibilities for the state’s feedlots. The EPA is concerned that ISDA is not inspecting feedlots at a level conducive to ensuring producer compliance with federal laws. EPA is particularly focused on statutes regulating Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) under the Clean Water Act. ISDA, along with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, has been tasked with feedlot inspections since early 2001. In January of that year, the state signed an agreement
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 1, 2005
— Beef demand still lagging. — Northern trade $2 softer. Early week thoughts of a steady fed cattle market last week went by the wayside come Wednesday afternoon as reports of another possible BSE case raced across the U.S. In addition, domestic market fundamentals, not Canadian cattle imports, were cited for some of the bearishness seen late in the week. As of midday Thursday, just a trickle of cattle had traded hands in Nebraska at mostly $122 dressed, $77 live. Those prices were mostly $2 softer than prices the week prior. Cattle feeders in Texas and Kansas were still holding out in an effort
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 1, 2005
—Sample bound for England for confirmatory testing. — Sample first collected in April. USDA announced July 27 a non-definitive test result for a brain tissue sample tested at an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) lab. The sample, which was tested at least three months after being collected, was sent to USDA by an independent veterinarian who had been called to a remote undisclosed farm in April 2005, to care for an animal experiencing calving difficulty. Little was known about the specifics of the case as of press time last Thursday, including the origin or type of animal involved. USDA officials confirmed that


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