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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
December 10, 2007 R-CALF's rebuttal to Robinson, Queen Dear Editor: This letter is a rebuttal to both John Robinson’s column and John Queen’s letter, which appeared in the Nov. 19 edition and illustrate that the Captive Supply Reform Act has been grossly misrepresented. One wonders whether many who write and speak of it have actually read it or intentionally misrepresent it. First, a brief review of the process at issue. Forward contracts are agreements to sell cattle at a future point in time, often for a two-week period but sometimes longer, and usually with the ability of the packer to call for the cattle
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
December 10, 2007 Ethanol plants and livestock producers have created a symbiotic relationship. Cattle producers feed their livestock distillers grains, a byproduct of the ethanol distilling process, giving ethanol producers an added source of income. But recent research at Kansas State University (K-State) has found that cattle fed distillers grain have an increased prevalence of E. coli 0157 in their hindgut. This particular type of E. coli is present in healthy cattle but poses a health risk to humans, who can acquire it through undercooked meat, raw dairy products and produce contaminated with cattle manure. “Distillers grain is a good animal feed. That’s
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
The Senate voted 77-18 to pass the agreement, which was revamped earlier this year to include groundbreaking labor and environmental provisions. The House voted 285-132 for the agreement last month. The deal locks in Peru’s duty-free access to the U.S. market under a longstanding U.S. trade-preference program, creating a more favorable environment for foreign investment in Peru. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) estimated that the agreement would increase U.S. exports of agricultural products to Peru by more than $700 million once the measure is fully implemented. “Upon full implementation, all U.S. agricultural exports, including barley, corn, sorghum and distillers dried
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 10, 2007
A federal judge recently ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) failed to take into account the best scientific evidence available when it decided not to give sage grouse endangered species protection. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill chastised the agency in his decision, which placed a large amount of blame on former Deputy Assistant Interior Secretary Julie MacDonald. MacDonald, who resigned in May, has been accused by Winmill of intimidating FWS personnel, editing scientific data, and purposefully blocking potential listings of a number of critical species, including sage grouse. “Furthermore, the FWS decision lacked a coherent analysis of the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 10, 2007
The weather outlook for much of the southern U.S. isn’t likely to change much over the course of the next three months. Below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures are expected to remain in control for most of the winter months, according to National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts. That could spell bad news for the winter wheat crop and producers who, in some areas, have been suffering from drought conditions for more than a year. David Miskus, agriculture weather meteorologist for the National Centers for Climate Prediction, said last week that a moderate La Niña will continue to influence U.S.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 10, 2007
At a press conference Nov. 30, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) CEO Terry Stokes announced the two organizations had finalized a $2.1 million agreement to encourage beef producers’ voluntary participation in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Citing lower than expected premises registration among cattle producers, Knight said the agreement would help promote the program among the producers using NCBA’s extensive media outlets and partnerships with state cattlemen’s associations. “This cooperative agreement will help USDA reach out to the large and varied American cattle industry to promote the merits of a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 4, 2007
Markets Good Quality Pays The purebred cattle markets have been quite good this fall, with very little moisture and high hay prices it would normally have everyone’s caution flag up. But bull and female sales have been great, some outfits have had the best sales ever. This last week Stevenson Basin Angus in Hobson, MT. grossed 6.5 million on their three day event. There have been thousands of Registered Angus females on the market this fall enough that one might think it would be to hard for the market to absorb, but it did. Registered Angus females have been bringing the big money
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 3, 2007
The next generation A lot of people say they like farm and ranch living because it is a great environment for raising children. They learn about nature, responsibility and consequences. Make sure they also learn about the business. As the youngest animals in your herd have the most potential for excellence, the next generation of producers has much more. There are even some ideas common to growth and development of both species. You want to give them every opportunity to succeed, but don’t spoil them, and make them sure they can function in the real-world economic environment. Don’t lose track of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 3, 2007
Market’s good, quality pays   The purebred cattle markets have been quite good this fall. With very little moisture and high hay prices, it would normally have everyone’s caution flag up. But bull and female sales have been great; some outfits have had the best sales ever. Last week, Stevenson Basin Angus in Hobson, MT, grossed $6.5 million on their three-day event. There have been thousands of registered Angus females on the market this fall, enough that one might think it would be too hard for the market to absorb, but it did. Registered Angus females have been bringing the big money
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 3, 2007
Though most senators and representatives left Washington, D.C., for their home states over the Thanksgiving break, debate over the new energy and farm bills did not cease. Divisions exist not only between party lines, but within the parties as well. The largest hold-up preventing the energy bill from moving forward is a provision which would increase total federally-mandated renewable fuel production to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The Senate version of the energy bill has already been passed and includes the biofuel mandate, along with a new Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standard of 35 miles-per-gallon (mpg) by 2020, which seems likely
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 3, 2007
—California red legged frog, Arroyo toad among animals to be reviewed.   U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) officials announced late last month that it would reverse course on seven of eight recent endangered species decisions which were impacted by former Deputy Assistant Interior Secretary Julie MacDonald who resigned in May. The decision could have significant impacts on ranchers whose land is inhabited by the animals. The news means that earlier victories on the part of ranchers could be overturned as part of the review. According to a letter which was sent to House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee Chair Nick Rahall, D-WV,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 3, 2007
The next steps: Considering brucellosis— Threats, opportunities and the future Gov. Schweitzer’s announcement to abandon split-state status for brucellosis classification in Montana is a step in the right direction. Although the governor is not pleased with the Board of Livestock’s decision to reject the proposal, the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) sees great opportunity for the governor to advance long-term solutions to the brucellosis problem. Montana’s ranchers are eager to confer with the governor and provide the fortitude and collaborative spirit needed to address this serious threat. The May 2007 disclosure of brucellosis was the most fearsome event in Montana’s livestock industry in over
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 3, 2007
Don’t wait until some disaster strikes to find out if you carry sufficient farm insurance. Review your policy closely with your insurance representative to determine the kinds and amounts of coverage you should carry vs. your ability to self insure. If higher land values have helped inflate your net worth the past few years, you may also need to boost your liability coverage at the same time. While I can’t cover all the details, here are some of the basics you’ll want to discuss with your agent. First, determine what’s covered and what’s not. A good property policy will cover dwellings
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 3, 2007
—Analysts encourage caution, expect near-term weakness. Live cattle trade began at mid-week last Wednesday with prices steady to higher than the previous week. Sales last week in the northern Plains trended steady from $95 to $95.50, with dressed sales steady at $150 in Nebraska and steady to $1 higher, from $150-151, in Colorado. Live sales in the southern Plains were fully steady from $95-95.50, with dressed sales reported in Kansas $1 higher at $152. Western Corn Belt fed cattle trades last week were steady from $94 to mostly $95 on the live side and steady to $2 lower from $148-150 dressed. Much
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 3, 2007
Cow/calf producers are aware that natural colostrum (first milk) must be ingested by baby calves within six hours of birth to acquire satisfactory passive immunity. However, some calves do not have ample opportunity to receive colostrum. Perhaps the mother is a thin 2-year-old that does not give enough milk or the baby calf was stressed by a long delivery process and is too sluggish to get up and nurse in time to get adequate colostrum. These calves need to be hand fed stored colostrum in order to have the best opportunity to survive scours infections and/or respiratory diseases. Therefore, stored
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 3, 2007
As the cattle industry heads into what looks to be another profitable year for cow/calf operations, so comes the time for ranchers to make decisions about replacing cull cows. While this is a yearly event, this year’s high feed prices combining with the high prices paid for heifer calves beg the question: is it less costly to buy or develop replacement heifers? Feed is not the only variable in the equation. A particular producer’s individual goals for his herd can be a large difference maker when it comes time to look for outside genetics or to stay within the herd. Labor,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 26, 2007
—Shipments began to trickle south on Nov. 19.   USDA moved forward with its planned opening of the border to Canadian imports of live cattle born after March 1, 1999, and beef from cattle of any age last week. However, despite attempts to fight the proposal, analysts said there would likely be little market impact. The number of cattle expected to flow south will be limited by a lack of proper documentation, excess slaughter capacity in Canada, the cost of shipping cattle south, and a surge in the value of the Canadian dollar. Those factors combine to create a financial barrier
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 26, 2007
Borders open It sounds like the senate version of the Farm Bill has hit the mud pit. The Farm Bill didn’t get to the floor for a vote and with Thanksgiving break, it will be at least another two weeks. My bet is that we’ll get an extension of the current Farm Bill. Acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Connor has already told the Senate that the president will veto the bill if certain requirements aren’t met and the packer ban, I would imagine, doesn’t fit the requirement profile. The Canadian border opened for trade last Monday, Nov. 19, and a whopping
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 26, 2007
As the holiday season rolls around, the likelihood of the Senate Farm Bill getting completed before 2008 becomes smaller all the time. Political positioning around the bill has been intense, with one last power play by Democrats before the Thanksgiving recess. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, had previously offered Republicans the opportunity to add perhaps five amendments to the Farm Bill, while Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, continued to insist on allowing any amendment to be attached. The result was the filing of as many as 290 amendments to the Farm Bill, which Democrats refused to accept on the grounds that
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 26, 2007
As the holiday season rolls around, the likelihood of the Senate Farm Bill getting completed before 2008 becomes smaller all the time. Political positioning around the bill has been intense, with one last power play by Democrats before the Thanksgiving recess. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, had previously offered Republicans the opportunity to add perhaps five amendments to the Farm Bill, while Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, continued to insist on allowing any amendment to be attached. The result was the filing of as many as 290 amendments to the Farm Bill, which Democrats refused to accept on the grounds that


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