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WLJ

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 19, 2007
Careful what you wish for At first glance, it might appear that the “Golden Rule” of trade, also known as “treat other countries like you want to be treated,” isn’t working very well for USDA. There are those in the agriculture industry and in Congress who would paint a similar picture of the beef business. They point to increasing market openness as a sign of impending disaster for U.S. producers. Increased competition from foreign producers will drive down prices for U.S. cattle, seems to be the current line of thinking. However, a check of prices last week shows that probably isn’t the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 19, 2007
Almost three months have passed since sequential storms rocked the Plains states but we are just beginning to see the significant impacts the storms had on the cattle feeding industry. Feedlot operators are continuing to see a higher death rate than they have seen in the past several years. In fact, Chris Reinhardt, extension feedlot specialist at Kansas State University, says that on average, the feedlots affected by the storms are experiencing about twice the death loss this winter than they would have seen in a normal winter. Unfortunately, even though pen conditions have improved with the warmer temperatures and
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
As a result of the growing appetite of the ethanol industry for raw materials used in the production process, U.S. corn farmers will need to produce record harvests this year to avoid a supply crunch and further jumps in price. Already there are concerns across many sectors, including ethanol plants and, in particular, among livestock producers, about corn shortages later this year. Those concerns are adding to calls for increasing the use of cellulosic materials in the ethanol production process. The biomass available for cellulosic ethanol is much greater, however, the technology lags far behind corn-based ethanol production. Currently, 114
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has declared Argentina free of hoof and mouth disease (HMD) with vaccinations except for an area of approximately 10 square miles in the northern portion of the country, the Argentinian Agriculture Secretariat reported last Wednesday. “With this certification from the OIE, the country is showing the best sanitary condition in recent years,” the Agriculture Secretariat reported. The certification comes ahead of a USDA proposal to resume imports of fresh and frozen beef from the country. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulation was originally published in January of this year.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
The Arizona Senate has made a move to protect livestock owners from being required to participate in a mandatory individual identification plan in case the federal government ever decides to move forward with a mandatory program. A bill proposed in the Senate meetings regarding animal identification was passed last week and is moving to the House. The bill, which was originally sponsored by Sen. Karen Johnson, R-District 18, was intended to prevent the state’s ranchers from being forced to comply with the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). “The person who was initially proposing the legislation was contacted by a rancher and
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
Are your cows qualified? Maybe you had to sum up your qualifications when you applied for an off-farm job. Perhaps your Future Farmers of America (FFA) Star Farmer application required it or, if you never actually had an “official” résumé, you’ve helped a son or daughter fill one out. A good résumé makes a positive difference. The idea is to fit everything you want to say about yourself on one standard page and then hope the person reading it understands your value to the company, organization or community. Have you ever thought about what you’d put on your herd’s résumé? What accomplishments
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
Last week, the New Mexico Board of Livestock stated that a case of bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been confirmed in an Eddy County dairy cow. That comes after another animal, related to an infected herd in Colorado, was also traced to a New Mexico operation. New Mexico Livestock Board officials are now busy tracing the history of the dairy cow to determine where the disease originated. The infection was discovered in February as a part of routine testing, known as slaughter surveillance, which is conducted at all state and federally inspected plants in the U.S., said state veterinarian Dave Fly.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
Let ’er rip The USDA’s proposed rule that would lift the current ban on importing beef and cattle over thirty months old, also known as “Rule 2,” is just about complete. The comment period closes this week, March 12, and then could go into effect shortly afterward. It doesn’t seem like the timing for opening the Canadian border to older cattle could be any worse. Last week, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced a small breach in their feed ban system. Actually it wasn’t a breech in the ban, or a problem with protocol. It was a simple situation of human
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
Last week, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier decision affirming the Texas state law which bans the sale of horse meat for human consumption. Without issuing a reason, or a single dissent, the 19 judges of the full court rejected a petition by the plants seeking full court review of a three-judge panel’s Jan. 19 decision which upheld the Texas horse slaughter ban. The slaughter plants had claimed the Texas law at issue was unconstitutional, an argument that was dismissed by the court in its January opinion and again by its decision denying a rehearing of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
Relatively active, and substantially higher fed cattle trade took place last Wednesday, bucking the trend of late week trade over the previous few months. Fed cattle prices on approximately 20,000 head were trending as much as $4-7 higher last week, with prices reportedly in the range of $98 live basis in the southern Plains, an increase of $4 over the prior week. In the north and Corn Belt, dressed prices were reportedly as much as $7 higher in some areas, with prices in a range of $154-155 dressed in Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. Last Thursday, in the wake of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
About 8,000 cattle and deer from nine Saskatchewan, Canada, farms are under quarantine after receiving feed that included banned meat and bone meal in violation of Canada’s feed ban requirements which were first enacted in 1997, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said March 2. Two of the farms are in the Swift Current area, and the other seven are in the Saskatoon region of the province. The contamination occurred when misidentified ruminant meat and bone meal was distributed from a Saskatoon processor to a nearby feed mill, said CFIA Chief Veterinarian Dr. George Luterbach. The meat and bone meal was
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
Weather rivals corn as the dominant market factor Weather is rapidly rivaling corn as the dominant market factor in 2007. Storms that began mid-December have turned the live cattle trade into a full-blown “weather market.” Analysts say this is the worst winter weather in years to hit cattle feeding country in terms of severity and breadth. Cattle on feed from Wisconsin to the southern Plains have been hurt. Beef packers are starting to realize that the impact of the bitter weather will be seen in cattle supplies and carcass quality into the summer. Add to this, corn at $3.50 to $4
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
Three prominent organizations filed to intervene in litigation, brought primarily by environmental groups, to list the Gunnison sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), Partnership for the West (Partnership), and the Western Conservation Coalition (WCC) will represent the interests of agriculture, landowners, and industry in the suit in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Colorado producers, landowners, and business owners have been struggling with lawsuits such as this one, filed by special interest groups, to list species under the ESA. The Gunnison sage grouse inhabits primarily southwestern Colorado, northern Arizona and New Mexico, as
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 12, 2007
Several Rocky Mountain river basins well below average for snowpack. Storms which raged across southern Colorado in December and January brought challenges and much needed moisture to the eastern portions of the state. However, with the snow season three-quarters of the way over, the western slope of Colorado is unlikely to recover from the overall lack of moisture. This is a definite concern as snow melt in the Colorado Rockies provides 80 percent of Colorado’s surface water and eight major river systems from the state provide water to 10 western states. “Last year, we had more snow fall in the northern part
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 5, 2007
January placements fall 23 percent from prior year. Marketings continue to disappoint. The Feb. 1 cattle on feed report issued by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service surprised many in the industry with lower than expected placements during the month of January. Most industry analysts expected placements in the range of 15 to 17 percent below year ago numbers. However, the actual number of cattle placed on feed during January was just 1.69 million head, 23 percent below year ago numbers. Net placements were 1.59 million head, the second lowest placement for the month of January since USDA started the data series in
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 26, 2007
A bill sponsored by the Committee On Energy and the Environment in the state of Oregon has some cattle producers and many organizations on edge as H.B. 2564 has been introduced in the state house. The proposed bill would require the installation and maintenance of water measuring devices on all municipal, industrial, agricultural, and domestic uses of water. The Water Resource Department (WRD) currently has the ability to macromanage water use in the state of Oregon and many citizens feel that this is an efficient and cost effective program. WRD already has the authority to regulate, investigate, and enforce water use
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 26, 2007
A number of groups from outside the agriculture community are going to have their say when it comes to this year’s Farm Bill debate. Some of those groups began stepping forward last week. One such group which relies on farm and ranch land for recreational purposes, the Agriculture and Wildlife Working Group (AWWG), set forward its priorities for the Farm Bill. Among the group’s suggestions was idling more land for conservation programs, particularly those that benefit wildlife the most such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). For the past two years, AWWG, a coalition made up of 16 hunting, fishing and
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 26, 2007
USDA predicts 2007-2008 marketing year corn production will top 12.065 million bushels. The ethanol industry’s demand for corn is expected to push corn production to 12.065 billion bushels this year. USDA said in its annual “baseline” report that demand will continue to drive corn prices and as a result, plantings, increasingly higher over the next 10 years. According to the report, USDA economists expect that during the next four years, the corn crop growth will be the strongest and by 2016, the U.S. corn crop will reach 14 billion bushels. Of that total, more than 4.3 billion bushels are expected to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 26, 2007
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler told reporters that though a seventh round of free trade discussions between U.S. and South Korean negotiators last week didn’t lead to any breakthroughs, it did generate optimism. “I don’t underestimate the challenges facing us,” she said, “but the prospects (for completion) are good, and we made substantial progress this week.” Negotiators from the U.S. and South Korea are slated to gather for an eighth round of negotiations in Seoul the week of March 5. Still lingering in the background of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks is the issue of beef. U.S. officials at many
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 26, 2007
Two ranchers in Idaho were awarded partial victories in their water rights case which was brought in front of the Idaho Supreme Court last week. Joyce Livestock Co. and LU Ranching Co. were seeking earlier priority rights for their water rights than had been allowed under a district court. Justices in the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that the district court ruled in error by not recognizing earlier water usages by the ranches’ past owners as is subject to Idaho water law. The ruling stated that priority dates must be based on past owners’ use and application. In Idaho, the water must