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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 18, 2006
The famed National Western Stock Show (NWSS) has been selected as the host of the International Livestock Congress–USA (ILC-USA). Funded in part by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, ILC-USA brings producers, retailers, packers and others in the industry supply chain a new focus from a long-respected international forum. Formerly held during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, ILC-USA will take place during the NWSS, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007. Modifications to the program include a focus on information designed to educate the producer about the direct impact of global beef issues to their local market and management practices. The 2007 program will be
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 18, 2006
“Whole” Ranch Decisions A new year is upon us, and again, it’s that time we start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. That is, what could we do differently to make next year even better than the last one? Here is an idea that may help. Try your best at making “Whole” decisions. By the word “Whole” I mean slow down, step back and give it your best shot at viewing the whole situation. That’s quite different from jumping in the tractor, slamming it in gear and going about getting things done as we run over other family members. That’s the my-way or
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 18, 2006
Eighty-three percent of broiler chickens tested by a leading consumer magazine were infected with either campylobacter, salmonella or both. The two species of bacteria are responsible for the majority of bacterial-related food-borne illness. The 525 chickens tested by Consumer Reports for its January 2007 issue were purchased in early 2006 from supermarkets, bulk retailers, gourmet shops and natural food stores in 23 states. It is the highest rate of contamination the magazine has found in the nine years it has been conducting the tests. However, a USDA spokesperson called the report “junk science.” He said the sample size should have
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 11, 2006
—Third shipment rejected last week. South Korea said on Dec. 1 it will destroy or return a second shipment of U.S. beef after bone fragments were found in violation of a bilateral agreement that allowed imports of U.S. beef to resume. Kang Mun-il, a director general at the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, said, “Three bone pieces were found in the second shipment of U.S. beef.” South Korea, once the world’s third-largest buyer of U.S. beef, has agreed to import only boneless meat from the U.S., ending a three-year ban after an outbreak of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 11, 2006
This management column is designed to help improve the likelihood that you will maximize profits in your business. I focus on issues that will build your skills as the CEO of your business and try to help you act on what you already know but may have put on the back burner. The livestock marketing system has seen tremendous change in the last few decades. The poultry industry was first, followed by swine and now cattle. In each of these transitions, the industry first recognized a fundamental change in the way they were doing business with consumers. Each industry decided to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 11, 2006
Shortsighted A report, with all sorts of negative information about the impact of livestock production on the social, economic and environmental fabric of the world, was issued last month by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The report, Livestock’s long shadow, used new methods to calculate the effects that the production of animals has on the earth and contradicted decades of sound science and management practices. It also ran contrary to much of the new information being gathered by range management experts in recent studies. Rather than addressing different regions of the world and offering solutions to the unique problems
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 11, 2006
Acute Interstitial Pneumonia (AIP), which is also referred to as allergic pneumonia, cow asthma, and dust pneumonia, is a disease that occurs predominately in feedlot cattle and is second only to bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) as feedlot causes of death. The rate of deaths due to AIP are as high as 5.3 percent and there is a 50 to 60 percent fatality rate. “It’s a big problem and we don’t know what causes it,” said Dr. Dan Thomson, The Jones Professor of Production Medicine in the Clinical Sciences Department at Kansas State University (KSU). The occurrence of the disease is widespread,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 11, 2006
Fed cattle trade was at a standstill last week. Beef sales have been slower than expected and packers are holding more unnecessary inventory than they would like. The boxed beef cutout values have been falling and support is expected to develop at the $140 level, which we’re just $2 away from. Packers are still in negative margin even though it has improved greatly since two weeks ago, but they are still losing $12.25 a head. Fed cattle trade was expected to develop at the $86 level late Thursday or Friday. Feeders were asking for $87 live and $138 dressed, while
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 11, 2006
The Northwest Pilot Project (NWPP) is set to conclude this year. However, even when the project ends Dec. 31, 2006, the information collected and the time spent may be utilized for years to come. NWPP began its work in 2004. Its purpose was to help refine the animal identification program to make it reasonable, workable, and as practical as possible for cattle producers in every segment of the industry. The project was designed to meet the goal of a 48-hour traceback system as envisioned by USDA. It appears to have been successful. One of the primary focuses of the project
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 11, 2006
The 7th annual Nick Petry workshop was held at the National Western Complex on Dec. 1, 2006. Representatives from around the state of Colorado and state leaders were in attendance. The workshop was sponsored by the National Western Stock Show and the Western Center for Integrated Resource Management (WCIRM), Colorado State University (CSU). This year, the program focused on water usage and Colorado’s unique situation in relation to water rights for agriculture versus municipal use. The speakers were experts on the issue of water rights in the state. The workshop opened with a welcome from Dr. Louis E. Swanson, vice provost for
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 11, 2006
— Drought aid delayed until at least early 2007. The U.S. Senate last Tuesday failed to pass the Fiscal Year 2007 Agriculture Appropriations budget. Instead, it passed a continuing resolution to fund agriculture needs at current levels until February 2007. The amendment, which required 60 votes to pass, failed by a vote of 57-37. Several spending bills have been delayed as the current Republican Congress prepares to hand over the reins to Democrats in January of next year. Several senators, particularly those from ag states, vowed to continue the fight to secure disaster aid for producers even after repeated threats from the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 11, 2006
In the past two years, the amount of speculative money from investors flowing into the commodities market has led to some spectacular run-ups in price. Among the most noteworthy for cattle producers is this year’s corn market, which has been driven to 10-year highs. Much of the fuel for the rise has been provided by the ethanol industry which, for the year to date, has produced 83.994 million barrels of the product. That compares with 67.682 million barrels during the same period last year. During September of this year, the ethanol industry refined 9.992 million barrels, or an average of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 11, 2006
A 407-page report titled Livestock’s long shadow was issued last month by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The report is the culmination of an in-depth assessment of global livestock production. The results of the report do not paint a friendly picture of livestock production in the U.S. or abroad. Already, anti-grazing and anti-livestock production groups such as Western Watersheds Project are using the report to provide an exclamation point for their attempt to reduce the footprint of agriculture. In the report, the authors used new and controversial means to interpret the impact of agriculture, and livestock production
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 4, 2006
  In the year 2006, Canada will report the largest incidence of anthrax poisoning in livestock in history. This year, 954 animals died on 175 premises in only two provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. According to statistics taken from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, there were two deaths due to anthrax in 2003 and only one in 2004. “I’ve lived here my whole life and this is the first time I’ve seen anything like this,” exclaimed Brad Wildeman, vice president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and feedlot owner from central Saskatchewan. Many Canadian cattlemen chose to administer an expensive vaccine in an attempt to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 4, 2006
  Marketing whoa When South Korea opened its border to imports of U.S. beef, there wasn’t the rush to the door like there was when Japan opened. Packers were slow to respond to the renewed market and also very apprehensive, for good reason. Two weeks ago, the South Korean government found a small piece of bone in a large load of beef. Unfortunately, the beef was from Creekstone Farms, which is a little guy trying to do the right thing. Finding a bone fragment the size of your finger nail is like finding a needle in a hay stack. But I suppose
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 4, 2006
  Beef is beef, right? I read a story the other day that should strike fear into the hearts of red meat processors. A San Antonio, TX, company called 21st Century Foods is selling charbroiled hamburgers said to be as tasty as any fast-food burger you’ll find. They also sell sausage patties, pasta sauce, sloppy joes and chili pie. Business is booming at the little company. Sales in 2006 are expected to be six times higher than in 2004, partly because the company landed a supply contract with the massive Houston School District. Terrific, you think. Another success story for the meat industry
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 4, 2006
The announcement that South Korea has banned the first shipment of U.S. beef was released Friday, Nov. 24, 2006. The decision made by health officials in Seoul, South Korea, was a result of the discovery of a bone fragment, less than ½ inch long, found in a package of meat shipped to South Korea on Oct. 30. The shipment contained 8.9 tons of U.S. beef. This follows a three-year ban on U.S. beef imports which was a result of the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), found in a U.S. beef cow that originated from Canada. South Korea agreed to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 4, 2006
Fed cattle trade was very light early last week, with only one reported purchase in Kansas at $85.50. Analysts were calling for prices to be in the area of $86, which would be $1-2 lower than the prior week in the live cattle market and in a range of $135 to $137 in the beef, when trade finally developed in earnest. The market was called lower last week despite a widespread snow storm across Colorado southward into the Texas panhandle, which did little to move cattle early or boost prices. Much of the downtrend in prices can be attributed to packer
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 4, 2006
The creation of a National Animal ID System (NAIS) will be a permanently voluntary effort, according to an announcement by USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight, Nov. 22. Knight told reporters that producers nationwide have concerns about problems associated with a mandatory NAIS program and those concerns have slowed the implementation of the system. In an effort to alleviate those concerns and move the process forward, USDA has committed to a voluntary program so deadlines set out by the agency can be met. Late last month in a speech in Kansas City, MO, Chuck Conner, USDA deputy secretary,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 4, 2006
USDA quietly resubmitted a plan last week proposing to lift the ban that restricts Canadian cattle over 30 months of age from being transported to the U.S. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will once again review the plan which was withdrawn by USDA in July 2006 following Canada’s seventh confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Jim Rogers, spokesman for the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service division of USDA, confirmed that a plan has been submitted to OMB for review. However, he declined to comment further on the issue. After USDA withdrew the initial proposal, they