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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
In a flurry of activity, officials with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) last week moved to eliminate a trade barrier slowing cattle trade with the U.S. CFIA eliminated all bluetongue-related restrictions on U.S. cattle moving into Canada. At the same time, CFIA reduced testing requirements for anaplasmosis as a result of improved testing techniques. Import bans on sheep, goats, and other small ruminants from the U.S. were also lifted by CFIA. These animals may now enter Canada for breeding purposes under certain conditions. These changes in trade restricting policy were hailed by U.S. livestock producers who have been pushing
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
In the largest cattle industry meeting of the year, over 6,500 participants from across the U.S. convened in Nashville, TN, to discuss the industry’s most pressing issues. Bio-energy and the implications of ethanol production to the cattle industry was one of the hottest topics discussed at this year’s convention. Many cattlemen from every region in the country came prepared to offer ideas and suggestions with regard to the inevitable challenges the industry will face as America makes an attempt to become less dependant on foreign fuels. The 2007 Farm Bill, international trade, and animal identification were also popular topics. With so
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
When all the pieces to the puzzle change together There is no shortage of information available pointing to the many changes that are on the horizon for beef cattle producers. We have always had changes that we have lived through in the industry, right? The question this time is whether this process is really any different from any other time in our history. Seasoned cattle producers will tell you that we have been in a state of change since time began and they are correct. We have transitioned through several marketing systems from cattle drives, to terminal markets, and finally auction
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
Group says it will appeal to state Supreme Court. Discussions about the weather, ethanol, trade and inevitable changes in the near future dominated the 2007 Cattle-Fax Market Outlook Seminar in Nashville, TN, on Feb. 1. Cattle-Fax analysts took turns discussing some of the cattle industry’s most influential factors as they look toward the coming year. Following a brief business meeting, Cattle-Fax Executive Vice President Randy Blach introduced the well-known Dr. Art Douglas, chairman of the Atmospheric Sciences Department at Creighton University, to give the 2007 weather forecast. This year was Douglas’ 30th consecutive year presenting the weather at the Cattle-Fax seminar
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and USDA are investigating a case of bovine tuberculosis (TB) found in an animal which originated in Douglas County, CO, located just south of Denver, CO. According to assistant state veterinarian Keith Roehr, the animal was a rodeo bull which had last traveled to compete during the summer of 2006. In an effort to determine how widespread the disease outbreak may be, CDA officials last week were busy testing animals from the herd of origin, as well as others which may have had contact with the infected animal. State officials are not releasing specific
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
NCBA, the wind of change It was a big week for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) two weeks ago when members met for the annual convention in Nashville, TN. There was a big crowd on hand, but they were easily lost in the huge Opryland Hotel. The main topic on everyone’s mind was feed. How much is it, could they afford it, and how much is it going to cost to get it home? There were some folks in Montana willing to donate some hay to the southern Colorado cattlemen. All they had to do was pay the trucking. Corn
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
The federal grazing fee for western public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM) in 2007, down from $1.56 last year. The newly adjusted fee, determined by a congressional formula and effective on March 1 of this year, applies to more than 8,000 permits administered by USFS and nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by BLM. The national grassland fee will be $1.37 per AUM, down from $1.73 in 2006, and will also take effect March 1. The fee for the eastern and
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
The USDA’s semi-annual cattle inventory report showed a hiccup in the expected expansion of U.S. beef cattle numbers. Drought, high feed costs, and a number of other factors resulted in a slight drop in beef cattle numbers from the Jan. 1, 2006, report. The total number of beef cows was estimated by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) at 32.9 million head. The number of all cattle, including dairy animals, showed a slight gain to 97 million head, mostly as a result of a 1 percent increase in the dairy herd which grew to 9.13 million head. Jim Robb, director of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
Cow/calf producers will do best in 2007 Another challenging year lies ahead for the nation’s cattle feeders and beef processors. 2006 began and ended with a lot of red ink for packers and only a solid period of profits from late April to the end of August relieved the financial strain. Yet it’s hard to see that this year will be much easier to make money. The same will be true for cattle feeders. Some analysts put feeding losses in 2006 at the largest in years. The Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) calculated average monthly losses for a fed steer at
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
Probably the most asked question at this year’s version of the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale was, “How do you think the bull sale is going to be?” After all, the trade area is very dry with no significant moisture in several weeks and the cattle market has been off its highs and a little iffy. Add to these concerns the fact that this year there were more bulls entered in the sale and you can understand everyone’s concerns. Well, it didn’t rain the week of the sale and the cattle market didn’t jump up overnight but the bull
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns spoke to a capacity crowd at the 2007 Cattle Industry Convention. Addressing issues such as ethanol, the 2007 Farm Bill, export markets, and animal ID, Johanns enraptured convention attendees with words of hope and optimism. “We’re on the verge of real change in American agriculture,” Johanns said. “But know that President Bush has set a strong course for the future of agriculture in America.” Johanns spent a substantial amount of time discussing what was arguably one of the hottest topics at this year’s convention, ethanol. He reminded attendees that Bush announced in his State of the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 12, 2007
Four U.S. senators have submitted a letter urging Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns to withdraw the proposal that will allow the import of live Canadian cattle up to 8 years of age into the U.S. The senators are concerned that the implementation of the proposed rule could harm American producers economically. Currently, the U.S. imports Canadian cattle which are verified to be under 30 months of age. USDA is proposing to allow live cattle imports of animals born on or after March 1, 1999, and beef products from cattle of any age to be eligible for import. Sens. Mike Enzi, R-WY, Byron
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 5, 2007
Cattlemen everywhere are working to find a balance between the nation’s need for renewable fuels with the importance of maintaining the viability of animal agriculture in the U.S. The Arizona Cattle Feeder’s Association (ACFA) has written a proposal which was presented to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association at the 2007 Cattle Industry Convention held in Nashville, TN, Jan.31 - Feb. 3. As many producers know, the ongoing expansion of ethanol production is having a devastating impact on animal production. As the price of corn and the returns for the commodity are increasing, the animal sector of agriculture is facing a startling
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 5, 2007
Begin with the beginning in mind If you have read any of my columns you know that a major focus for me is helping people think innovatively when managing the farm business, “Managing with a CEO Philosophy.” Moving to a management system based on this approach will take some time and effort. This series is designed to walk you through that process. The goal setting people would suggest that you start by visualizing what you want in the end and then develop a plan to get there. This plan works— for some. However, if you are so inclined to develop a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 5, 2007
The cattle on feed report issued Jan. 26 did little to immediately improve the current market situation. It was mostly neutral in its numbers, with cattle on feed numbers up 1 percent from 2006 at 11.97 million head. The tally is the highest Jan. 1 inventory since the data series began in 1996. The heifer placement number, which was up 4 percent, when considered with current heifer slaughter numbers, could indicate additional herd liquidations are in progress and January herd inventory numbers could be down when they are released Feb. 3. The number of cattle placed in feedlots during December
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 5, 2007
Get your game on Get your game on! That was the message at last week’s National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) opening session, delivered by Kevin Frieburg, a nationally known motivational speaker on the topic of marketing. Frieburg asked the crowd to get with the program and start running their business with passion while searching for new, better, more economical ways to produce and market their products.   I would have to say that the beef industry’s number one job is marketing beef. This guy did a good job getting the approximately 5,000 attendees of the convention excited about that job. The beef checkoff turned
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 5, 2007
It probably comes as no surprise to cattle producers that ethanol may not be the silver bullet that some experts claim it to be. Last week, air quality experts and scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began looking for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. It turns out, one of the contributing factors conflicts with the current U.S. energy policy and President George W. Bush’s plan to wean America off of foreign oil. Ethanol, a focus of Bush’s energy efficiency plan highlighted in the Jan. 23 State of the Union Address, is added to gasoline to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 5, 2007
Property values on the West Coast are among the most expensive in the U.S. and ranch and farm real estate values are no exception. Properties in the region are arguably the most expensive real estate in the agricultural world. The reasons are obvious. They are generally centrally located, near a city of fair size, they offer world-class recreational opportunities, from fishing and hunting to a wide variety of equestrian activities, and they are among the most sought after properties available. The price of many properties in the far west region sets them apart from other agricultural properties of similar size.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 5, 2007
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has announced it is removing the Great Lakes population of gray wolves from the federal endangered and threatened species list. It is also proceeding with plans to remove the northern Rocky Mountain region wolf populations from the list in Montana and Idaho. Wyoming wolves will remain protected under the endangered or threatened listing because the state’s laws and protection plans have not been approved by FWS. The agency claims that Wyoming’s proposals are not sufficient to protect wolves in the state. FWS Director H. Dale Hall said if Wyoming’s plan is not approved
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 5, 2007
On Jan. 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) charged four Iowa feedlots with illegally discharging pollutants into streams in violation of the Clean Water Act. According to EPA Attorney Dan Breedlove and EPA Compliance Officer Stephen Pollard, charges come as a result of walkthrough inspections by officials in April and May 2006. The inspections of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) come as part of a focus on the facilities by EPA, not just in Iowa, but nationwide. “These inspections were the result of a joint effort with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR),” said Pollard. IDNR originally developed the


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