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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 20, 2007
20, 2005 Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns last Thursday announced the first Farm Bill Forum and the topics on which USDA will be seeking input from America's farmers, ranchers and rural residents regarding the development of the 2007 Farm Bill. "The next farm bill will affect America's entire agricultural community," said Johanns. "That's why I want to ask America's farmers and ranchers how our farm policy is working and how we can make it better. I believe very strongly that they deserve a voice in this process.” The first Farm Bill Forum will be held in Nashville, TN, on July 7 from 6:00 to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 20, 2007
20, 2005 — Northern tier cattle 30-40 pounds heavier. — Cool weather could intensify front-end supplies. The normal seasonal summer spike in finishing weights of fed cattle started this year several weeks earlier than normal, and analysts are concerned that unseasonably cool weather could make the issue of front-end supplies even more severe over the next couple of months. For the week ending June 12, the average live finishing weights of steers being processed was 1,260 pounds, 18 pounds heavier than last year. Average steer carcass weights for that same week were 824 pounds, 15 pounds heavier than a year ago. The biggest jump in
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
May 28, 2007
A new study conducted by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University (ISU) conservatively estimates that the increased prices of corn driven by the demand for corn-based ethanol have already increased U.S. food retail prices by $14 billion annually. The study examined the impact of ethanol and other biofuels on the future and what kind of effect it could have on crop markets, the livestock sector, exports and grain-based food retail prices. The study found that if corn were to reach $4.42 per bushel, which is not out of the realm of possibility, as opposed to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
May 23, 2007
2005 Eric Loretz Eric Loretz, born August 30, 1923, in Sacramento, CA, passed away May 1, in Elk Grove. He was 81. Loretz lived his entire life around the Sacramento area and in 1936 moved to the home ranch in Franklin where he lived until
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Apr 2, 2007
Negotiations to resolve the protracted Chinese ban on U.S. beef should be part of the formal agenda for the upcoming strategic economic dialogue meeting set to occur in mid-May, said American Meat Institute (AMI) President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle in testimony submitted to Congress. “The U.S. has demonstrated its trustworthiness in food safety and animal health matters in accordance with internationally accepted scientific principles and should have access to the Chinese market,” he told the Senate Committee on Finance. Boyle noted that the ban on U.S. beef has frustrated the beef industry and has stymied the ability to get quality U.S.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Apr 2, 2007
  Tradition or planning? Have you ever stopped to think through why you do what you do? I don’t mean why you are in the beef business but, rather, why you produce and market the way that you do. Why is the size of your operation what it is today? Why do you market when and how you do? Why do you market with whom you do? All these questions get at the basic idea of making sure that you are making decisions on purpose rather than by tradition. There are so many areas of your business that require your decision making that
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Apr 2, 2007
  Placements up 4 percent from 2006. The March 1 cattle on feed report came in mostly in line with pre-report expectations and was viewed as positive in the near-term for the industry. The number of cattle on feed in feedlots of 1,000 or more head as of March 1 was estimated at 11.6 million head, 4 percent below the same date last year, according to the USDA report. With the tighter numbers of available fed cattle, the market should continue to gain strength over the next several weeks. University of Nebraska Agricultural Economist Darrell Mark said the report was reasonably friendly for
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Apr 2, 2007
  Caution: Market volatility ahead With a $4 corn market, it is absolutely remarkable that feeder cattle markets have found strength at last summer’s level. April feeders were trading at $106.40 last week and the deferred contracts were even higher on into summer and fall. This defies the normal trends we’ve come to expect. Corn goes up, feeder cattle go down. Corn goes down, feeder cattle go up, a simple market dynamic. So what gives in this world of expensive feed costs and high priced feeder cattle? Cattle feeders are earning a little on today’s fed cattle, but they have to be cringing
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Apr 2, 2007
  U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-WY, has introduced legislation to end unfair and manipulative meat packer practices. Enzi said money is being taken out of the pocketbooks of hardworking ranchers in Wyoming and across the U.S. because of off balance policies. Enzi introduced a bill that would address the problem of captive supply in the livestock industry. The bill would amend the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) to require packers to have a fixed base price in their contracts and to also put contracts up for bid in the open market. Enzi said this would prevent packers from manipulating the base price
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Apr 2, 2007
USDA report expected to show substantial increase in corn acres. Market direction will be influenced by USDA report and rising oil prices. With corn prices hovering around the $4 mark for the past six months or more, cattle feeders are anxiously awaiting this year’s first crop reports. The first indication of how farmers have responded to the market was set to be released last Friday. Until then, industry expectations and available data point to an increase in this year’s crop. Driven by ethanol production, corn usage has skyrocketed over the last two years and is expected to continue its rise as corn
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Apr 2, 2007
  Mandatory COOL is the solution To the Editor: In response to John Robinson’s March 19 column, have all the facts on hand before you write such a commentary. On the $1.99 ground beef, there is no mention of the USA cull cow and bull beef market. I hope this is just an oversight. The real crux of this letter to the editor lies within the next several paragraphs of your commentary. Labeling and COOL: well over 90 percent of the consumers of this country believe that beef products carrying the USDA label comes from only cattle born and raised in the USA. “Mandatory COOL is
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Apr 2, 2007
Cash fed cattle trade got underway early last week at prices lower than the previous week. Trading was light to moderate in all feeding regions last Wednesday. Compared to Tuesday, live sales in the southern Plains sold in a narrow range from $95-95.50. There were more than 35,000 head traded in Kansas at $95-95.50 live basis and $152.50 dressed. Compared to the prior week, live sales were $1-1.50 lower in Nebraska where 29,639 head had been traded as of Thursday and in Colorado, cattle traded in a range of $96-97.50. In the western Corn Belt, dressed sales were called $2-2.50
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Apr 2, 2007
Representatives from the livestock industry and several motorized recreation organizations met to discuss mutual goals for use of public lands. Attendees of the meeting agreed to form the Partnership for Livestock and Motorized Recreation on Public Lands, a group that will work “to ensure that motorized recreation and livestock production on public lands exist in a mutually compatible and beneficial manner.” The meeting was hosted by the Public Lands Council and the Blue Ribbon Coalition. Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, National Association of Counties, Western Governors’ Association, Tread Lightly!, Americans for Responsible Recreational Access, Colorado Resource
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Apr 2, 2007
Canada’s latest case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the ninth found in animals from Alberta, involved a 79-month-old Angus bull that was born and raised on the same farm where it died. Investigators with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said last week that contaminated feed or mineral could not be ruled out as the source of infection. In fact, no specific source of infection was identified. Despite the lack of answers, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns last week reiterated his intention to open the border to Canadian cattle born after March 1, 1999, and beef from cattle of any age. Under
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 26, 2007
Colorado residents stepped up to the plate in an effort to help Colorado’s farmers and ranchers who experienced devastating losses when blizzards swept across the state late last year. Residents from across the state, some not even involved in agriculture, made numerous selfless contributions during an evening of country music, poetry, and fun. Operation Blizzard Benefit was held at the Colorado State Fairgrounds on March 18 and so far, donations of cash and hay have totaled more than $680,000. The silent auction, alone, raised approximately $18,500 and there were a total of 3,358 concert tickets sold. It has been reported that
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 26, 2007
Prioritize what’s important It was a great week last week because I was able to take the entire week off and go to bull sales, get out in the country, and visit with you all. Bull sales are, for the most part, quite strong. Cattlemen are being a bit more selective about the bulls they buy, but the discussions are still focused on moisture and snowpack which is now concerning western producers a great deal. Many producers in California never received their winter rain, which grows the bulk of their feed. There is speculation that cowherds will be culled very hard
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 26, 2007
In a year that is likely to be filled with congressional bills dealing with agricultural topics, including a new Farm Bill, members of Congress opened the floodgates last week. U.S. Reps. Ron Kind, D-WI, Jim Gerlach, R-PA, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, and Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer, D-CA, introduced a revised version of The Healthy Farms, Foods, and Fuels Act that originally was introduced in 2006 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The newly introduced legislation, if eventually passed into law, would: Double incentives for better water quality to $2 billion a year; Provide farmers $300
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 26, 2007
Cascades and Colorado front range snowpack above normal. With temperatures rising at spring’s onset, climatologists are warning producers to be cautious with their stocking decisions. Snowpack conditions are very similar to last year and with spring runoff already beginning, water conditions could deteriorate quickly if April storms don’t materialize across the central U.S. Nebraska State Climatologist Al Dutcher said last week that with the exception of eastern Colorado, much of the high Plains region is facing dry conditions similar to those which caused drought conditions last year. “The eastern two-thirds of Nebraska is looking pretty good right now. In fact, they are


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