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WLJ

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 25, 2005
— Proposal possible before end of summer. Ranchers in and around Yellowstone National Park and the Northwest could be allowed greater control over their predator problems if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) moves ahead with plans to propose delisting the grizzly bear from the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Grizzly bears are thought to have originally numbered more than 100,000 in the continental U.S. When the grizzly was added to the endangered species list in 1975, the bears numbered fewer than 200 and appeared well on their way to extinction. Due to the conservation of grizzly habitat and protection of the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 25, 2005
— Forage problems loom. With drought receding across much of the west, producers are being urged to start reviewing management strategies in an effort to minimize losses from problems not seen since the onset of the drought. It is also the time to take steps to plan for future low water years by preparing a drought management plan. When reviewing operating procedures, it is important to look at the big picture and make decisions that will place the ranch on a solid footing for future low water seasons, rangeland specialists said. Sources noted that building herd size slowly and maintaining proper stocking
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 25, 2005
Scientists may have found a literal “fountain of youth” which could result in older, proven cows regaining their younger production levels. Researchers at Advance Cell Technology, Worcester, MA, recently concluded a study in which 10- to 13-year-old cows were injected with cloned stem cells harvested from the livers of embryonic calves. The results of the study, published in the June 2005 issue of Cloning and Stem Cells, showed the treated animals reverted back to their younger form, particularly from a reproductive and mammary standpoint. In the study, scientists treated older cows with a small dose of embryonic stem cells, the equivalent of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 18, 2005
After a couple weeks of steady prices, feedlots nationwide were starting to feel the pressure and traded cattle $1-2 lower than the prior week. Through last Thursday, northern Plains cattle feeders sold 55-60,000 head at mostly $127 dressed. Southern Plains and Southwest feedlots finally pulled the trigger Thursday afternoon at $80-80.50 live, compared to mostly $82 the previous week. Texas feeders sold 35-40,000 head, while Kansas trade totaled 45-50,000 cattle. Beef demand was significantly softer the week after the Fourth of July weekend, which was considered strong for beef sales. Retail sources were skeptical whether it would pick up until Labor Day
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 18, 2005
The U.S. House of Representatives last week maintained a delay in the implementation of mandatory country-of-origin labeling (mCOOL) for meat products. The provision barring USDA from spending any money to prepare for COOL’s implementation this September was included in an appropriations bill that the House voted in favor of 408-18. mCOOL, which is supported by several independent farming and consumer organizations but is opposed by most U.S. meat-industry trade associations, would require meat products sold at retail to indicate the origin of the meat contained in the products. Trade groups opposing the plan say COOL will cost the industry hundreds of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 18, 2005
A proposed bill that would amend sections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is getting criticized by property rights organizations, including western ranching groups, and it hasn’t even been introduced in Congress yet. A leaked copy of Rep. Richard Pombo’s (R-CA) “Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005" showed the proposal includes two main items of concern for property owners. The first criticism is for language mandating a 50 percent compensation trigger. Under this change, landowners would have to prove that wildlife protection provided under the ESA has resulted in 50 percent or more of private land being removed from their
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 11, 2005
Last month’s release of the environmental impact statement (EIS) concerning new federal grazing rules was met with some harsh criticism from radical environmentalists and animal rights activists. However, officials with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) told WLJ that allegations of wrongdoing by them were “false and groundless.” Several activist groups claimed that BLM blatantly and illegally removed findings from the EIS that livestock grazing was indeed detrimental to federally-managed lands, specifically from a wildlife and riparian area standpoint. The groups said they were told by two scientists involved in the regulatory review process that their findings were disregarded and kept
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 11, 2005
— Senate passes trade pact. — House debate, vote around corner. The highly controversial Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) passed the full Senate July 1, and is now awaiting action from the House of Representatives later this month. The Senate vote was 54-45 in favor of opening free trade with six Central America countries—Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Proponents of CAFTA called the Senate action very positive, however, opponents of the proposal said that the vote shows that there are some concerns with the agreement. R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America, and several other producer organizations who oppose CAFTA
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 11, 2005
— Southwest conditions worsening. — Heifer prices could see jump. Meteorologists and climatologists are on the verge of declaring a majority of the western U.S. drought-free this summer. Sources said there are still some drought-like pockets in the extreme northern Plains, Northwest and parts of the Southwest, however, the Intermountain West, West Coast and central Plains are all in better shape than the previous four or five years. Cattle market analysts said continued improvement in weather and climate conditions could result in a much larger growth rate in the northern Plains and Intermountain cow herds, and a better calf and feeder cattle market
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jul 11, 2005
Reports of very good Fourth of July beef demand and some early week strength in both the futures and boxed beef markets gave fed cattle producers some optimism for a stronger market last week. However, as of Thursday, market activity was still almost nonexistent as packers were waiting for asking prices to get in line with the previous week’s market. The only trade reported as of press time was 5-8,000 head in Nebraska at $130 dressed, which was $1-2 stronger than two weeks ago. Thursday morning packer bids were down to $128-129 in northern feeding states. In the southern Plains, cattle feeders
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 27, 2005
South Dakota plant delayed Connecticut-based Ridgefield Farms will further delay breaking ground on a South Dakota beef processing facility until next spring. In addition, construction on a cattle slaughter facility has been pushed back another year, company officials said. In April, the company announced a six-month delay
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 27, 2005
Company expects fall introduction. Confirmatory A quick-test@ also unveiled. Canadian-based Vacci-Test Corporation recently announced it has developed a diagnostic blood test that shows the presence of brain diseases, including BSE, in live animals. Company officials said USDA researchers will conduct validation studies on their research starting next
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 27, 2005
Final results likely early this week. Testing disclosure scrutinized. Cattle industry and U.S. agriculture officials last week were both eagerly awaiting final results of confirmatory BSE testing being conducted by a world-renowned lab in Weybridge, England. However, as of press time last Thursday, those results were not
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 20, 2005
— Market declines $2-3; feeder cattle follow. Last week’s developments surrounding a possible second case of BSE in the U.S. and the continued softness in the boxed beef market combined to result in a $2-3 softer fed cattle market last week. That decline trickled down to the calf and feeder cattle markets, also to the tune of about
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 13, 2005
— Yearlings slump on fed losses. — Calves up on rain. Fed cattle gained $1 in the northern Plains dressed markets and were mostly steady on the live trade in southern feeding states last week. Most live trade was at $85, while dressed sales were at $135 on moderate trade.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 6, 2005
Morton’s founder dies at 83 Restaurateur Arnie Morton, founder of the Morton’s of Chicago steakhouse chain, died May 28 at the age of 83. Morton had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and cancer and had been living at a nursing home in Deerfield, IL. A native of Chicago, Morton opened his first restaurant,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
May 30, 2005
Swift names new CEO Swift & Company announced it has named Sam Rovit as its chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors. Rovit has been with leading strategy consultants Bain & Company since 1988, and was named to that firm’s partnership group in 1995. Rovit is co-author of Mastering
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
May 30, 2005
— High court votes 6-3 in favor of program. The U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned previous courts’ rulings that the national beef checkoff was unconstitutional, which means the program will continue to fund research and promotions, including the “Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner!” advertising campaign. As a result of that ruling, the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
May 30, 2005
I will have to admit that I was as surprised as anyone about the Supreme Court’s decision to maintain the beef checkoff and rule that it is a form of government speech and not subjected to the first amendment as forced association. If I were to place a bet six months ago, my money would have been that the program


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