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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
  Public scrutiny of farm animal welfare and the industry’s common practices is growing each year. Animal rights activists have been working ‘round the clock to pass both state and federal statutes which dictate how animals must be treated. This includes not only pets, but also livestock and poultry.   The general public has lost its contact with rural life and, for the most part, has little understanding of agricultural practices. When coupled with the support of celebrities—who paint agricultural practices with a broad brush showing extraordinary practices—the general public often becomes willing to turn on animal producers.   The result of this
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
  This move essentially takes the state of Idaho out of the packing industry and it is sad to see this limited but vital infrastructure reduced. There was some discussion about the plant being taken over by another packer. Tyson wasn’t terribly eager to help the competition and decided against that idea. Now it appears the plan is to mow it down and develop the real estate. The Boise plant sits on 1,500 acres and is in an area of rapid urban growth.   Now the only opportunity for a packer in Idaho is the old Swift plant in Nampa which was purchased
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
The Flandreau City Council earlier last fall voted to issue a 10-year, $750,000 loan to the Flandreau Development Corp., which passed that money and an additional $100,000 on to Ridgefield.   Dan Sutton, president of the Flandreau Development Corporation, said the company no longer had a presence in the community as a result of the shutdown. “Ridgefield only has a shell here in Flandreau and the 37-acre property in Huron. All the rest of the assets, aside from maybe a few boxes, have been turned over to Farmers Union Industries,” Sutton said. Ridgefield moved its corporate headquarters from Huron to Flandreau last year with
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Fires in Nebraska have scorched approximately 70,000 acres impacting several ranchers’ livelihoods by eliminating grazing acreage for thousands of cattle. The state has approximately two million head of cows and nearly seven million head of cattle and calves making it the third largest cattle state in the center of corn country. Along with mass cattle production, Nebraska is third in corn production and second in ethanol production. These statistics have enabled Nebraska cattle producers to have an advantage over other drought and fire stricken regions by having access to more feasible, plentiful feed sources despite burned rangeland. Most of the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
— Pasco, WA, plant will scale back operations. According to an Aug. 11 announcement by Tyson Foods, the company will be shutting down its plant in Boise, ID, and scaling back its operation in Pasco, WA. This means the third and final large Idaho packing plant in as many years will be closing its doors and laying off employees. The decision leaves the approximately 80 Idaho feedlots with little alternative but to ship their cattle greater distances for harvest.   Last year, Swift closed its Nampa, ID, plant and J.R. Simplot closed its Nampa processing plant in 2003. The Boise plant has
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
  This request came prior to Canada announcing preliminary findings of their eighth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) last Wednesday found in an older cow born prior to Canada’s imposed feed ban preventing ruminant remains from being fed to ruminants. One of the U.S.’s three BSE cases was also believed to have been born and raised in Canada before being trucked to the U.S.   At the beginning of this month, USDA rescinded a proposal that would have allowed imports of Canadian cattle over 30 months of age saying there won’t be a ruling on the case until the investigations into
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
South Dakota’s state veterinarian, Sam Holland, attributed the outbreak to unusual weather conditions across the northern Plains this summer. “We had about a foot of rain in June, followed by hot dry conditions in July, which contributed to the outbreak,” he said. Holland also said low water conditions along the Missouri river have exposed long-covered soils which may be harboring the disease. “The 15 counties along and east of the Missouri River are where the most cases have been reported, some of that is likely a result of the Army Corp. of Engineers’ water draw down,” said Holland Susan Miller, South Dakota
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
After the environmental group, Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), attempted to push his cattle off Coronado National Forest, Jim Chilton, a fifth generation Arizona rancher, turned the tables, suing the group for making “false, unfair, libelous and defamatory statements.” Earlier this year Chilton won that suit and was awarded $600,000 by an Arizona jury. CBD is appealing the ruling, asserting First Amendment Rights and claiming “honest mistakes” caused the group to post a July 2002 news bulletin claiming “much” of the allotment had been “grazed to bare dirt.” Since CBD was founded in 1989, the group has a long history of litigation,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
August 29, 2005 The North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association (NDBCIA) has been keeping records since 1963 and annually presents five-year rolling benchmark values for average herd performance on several traits. The purpose of the NDBCIA is the improvement of beef cattle, primarily focusing on genetic improvement, but also being very cognizant of the yearly management that is involved in a beef cattle operation. By comparing individual herd values with the overall averages, individual herd performance can be evaluated. The data from the evaluation may lead to discussion, which may be the basis for management changes. Data trends also can be evaluated. For
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
August 29, 2005 We live in an era of new ideas and technology that can produce better beef profitably. It’s exciting to try out the cutting edge, but unless you are isolated and independently wealthy, you’ll feel pressure to justify your actions. When you “know” you are right, that pressure is a pain in the neck. Maybe you just need an adjustment. There is risk in making changes to an enterprise based on any new insight, tool or practice. The more you depend on that enterprise for a living, the more risk. The less known about the new application, the more
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
However, Brazil has made some progress on improving sanitation procedures and the natural barriers to infection from dangerous diseases such as mad cow, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, due to the fact cows are mainly grass-fed here, allowing exporters to open new markets. “With other major exporters hobbled by disease, importers will rely on us more and more for supplies despite the animal-health issues,” said Jose Vicente Ferraz, meat sector analyst. Brazil’s meat exports are expected to jump 15% to approximately $7 billion in 2005 and may take over from soy as the main agricultural export in the next couple of years–no
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
The change in subsidy rules is contributing to a drastic reduction in the number of cattle in the country, as producers ship them to market to stem per head losses. A London Daily Telegraph report cited feeder losses of $80-100 (U.S. dollars) per head, mirroring conditions in the US market. Already this year, the British government is reporting a decrease of more than 100,000 calves produced, a decrease of 4 percent from last year. Overall herd numbers in England have been reduced to 10.5 million animals, a decline of more than 1.5 million animals in the past ten years. British producers,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
August 29, 2005 Just when you think all the ballyhoo about the Canadian border is over, someone has to go and push the “fools button”. The calamity of errors over the Canadian import rule and BSE testing continue; this time it was the Canadian Food Safety Agency that messed up. You would think that with the sensitivity toward BSE and trade with Canada that the agencies would go out of their way to insure accuracy of import and testing standards. Last week, it was discovered that a heiferette over 30 months old went through a processing plant in Wisconsin. Then, to top
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Field peas are a cool season legume crop grown across the Northern U.S. and Canada. Presently, Canada, at more than 127 million bushels per year, is the world’s leading producer of peas and lentils. However, U.S. producers are increasing production rapidly as peas gain popularity in rotation programs. According to Vern Anderson, a researcher at North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) Carrington Research Extension Center, U.S. growers are expected to harvest more than 32 million bushels of dried peas this year. In addition to an increase in production which allows for wider distribution, peas are also a very economical feed source. Current prices
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
The U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) Aug. 18 announced that two Mexican cattle companies are among the front businesses for Mexican drug-trafficking cartels. Cattle sold to Texas ranchers by these suspect companies after Aug. 19 could be seized as evidence of a money laundering scheme, agency officials said. Cattle already purchased and owned before the suspect Mexican companies were identified are not going to be impacted by the announcement, Treasury officials said. The department also plans to inform cattle associations and other groups of the action taken against the Mexican companies, officials said. The Treasury also will provide other information, such as
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
The three judge panel unanimously supported a district court decision, ordering the plaintiffs — five individuals and one corporation — to pay Tyson Fresh Meats more than $70,000 in expenses related to the trial held last year in Montgomery, Alabama. Last week the appeals court affirmed Judge Lyle Strom’s decision to reverse a jury verdict against Tyson Fresh Meats, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. They found Tyson did not violate the law through its supply agreements with independent cattle producers and has legitimate business reasons for entering into such agreements. In the subsequent ruling on trial costs, the appeals
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
“We’ve completed the dairy herd testing and have passed the halfway point for testing purebred and seed stock herds. More than 750 of these have been tested since late April when herds were randomly selected for the disease surveillance. We plan to complete the remainder of the testing of the randomly selected herds before the end of the year. Volunteers still are welcome to have their purebred or seed stock herds tested,” said Dr. Dee Ellis, who heads up field operations for the Texas Animal Health Commission, the state’s livestock and poultry regulatory agency. “Accredited private veterinarians who are TB-certified conduct
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
September 3, 2007 Colorado State Fair punishes 4-H youth On the eve of the livestock sale at the Colorado State Fair being held in Pueblo this week, several youngsters who had qualified for the sale were told they would not be able to sell their animals because they had not complied with the state fair rule requiring enrollment in the premises registration component of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Two of the families involved had submitted the premises identification number for their county fairgrounds. Both families say they received permission from state fair officials to do so for the 2007 fair.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
The U.S. House of Representatives is tentatively scheduled to vote Sept. 7, on a bill that would completely eliminate horse slaughtering in the U.S. Rep. John Sweeney’s, R-NY, House Bill 503, “The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act,” would mean an immediate and permanent ban on the “shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling or donation” of horses in interstate commerce for slaughter for human consumption. Reportedly, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-IL, made a deal with Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-KY, to bring this bill out of the Energy and Commerce Committee and straight to the House floor for an immediate
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
September 4, 2006 Again, fed cattle markets were slow to develop last week. Packers were reluctant buyers looking into the Labor Day weekend, the last big grilling holiday for summer. Labor Day is a pivotal point for market direction and strong meat sales are often required for the market to advance into positive territory during the following weeks. Packers are at break-even levels and will be trying to get some positive margin back into the picture. Packers were bidding $86 for cattle and feeders were looking for $90 as of last Thursday. The boxed beef markets were significantly softer last week,


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