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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Livestock market owners in some areas are finding limited demand for cattle with age and source verification, which has limited premiums for cattle sold outside of special age- and source-verified sales. Part of the problem rests in the limited acceptance among producers, and some with buyers who aren’t willing to pay added costs for the cattle. According to Dan Harris, Holton, KS, livestock market operator and chairman of Livestock Marketing Association’s Government and Industry Affairs Committee, one of the biggest issues surrounding animal identification and any potential age and source verification is the cost to market owners. “My biggest concern is
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Livestock auction markets in the middle and eastern U.S. play a special role that many ranchers in the western U.S. are not accustomed to—that of the collector. The large majority of producers in the Midwest and the east are small, with average herd sizes ranging from a few head to maybe 50 head, not the few hundred or thousand head cow herds that many western producers are familiar with. Because of the high number of producers but relatively small herds, auction markets in these areas serve as collection points and places of price discovery. Without auction markets to serve as a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
After very light live cattle trade a week earlier, beef packers cut plant operating hours again last week to reduce total harvest significantly in their efforts to boost the sagging cutout values. However, the move appeared to have little effect and at mid-week, lower wholesale prices spurred heavy trade, allowing packers to move 482 loads of Choice and Select fab cuts and 134 loads of trim and grinds out of cold storage and into the hands of retailers. Most of the decline in cutout values came on middle meats, with rib roasts and boneless ribeyes leading the way lower, although
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
With volatile feed costs that have reached record highs in recent months, feed yards want calves this fall that will perform from day one without added worry of sickness. That means buyers will be willing to pay more for healthy cattle, says Dr. Joe Dedrickson, director of the Merial Large Animal Veterinary Professional Services. “Feed yards can’t afford sick cattle this fall,” he explains. “The stress of weaning and shipping can lead to bovine respiratory disease (BRD), and with profit margins tight, any setback due to BRD can be devastating to the bottom line. Prevention is key.” Treatment costs alone for BRD
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Sale Calendar is a service to our advertisers. There is a minimum advertising requirement to be eligible to be listed in the sale calendar. Contact your fieldman for more information, or to have your date added to the Sale Calendar. We will only run auction sale dates or private treaty start dates. We do not run consignor sale dates. ALL BREEDS Sept. 30 – Visalia Livestock Market, Bull Sale, Visalia, CA Oct. 5 – Tri County All Breeds Bull Sale, Templeton, CA Oct. 7 – Cal Poly Bull Test Sale, San Luis Obispo, CA Oct. 20 – Western Stockman’s Famoso All Breeds Female & Bull
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
BLACK GOLD BULL SALE Sept. 13, Colusa, CA 75 Fall yrlng Angus bulls $3,361 21 Spring yrlng Angus bulls 3,640 15 Spring yrlng Charolais bulls 2,773 Auctioneers: Rick Machado and John Rodgers Sale Manager: Matt Macfarlane Marketing For over a decade, this sale has either kicked off the fall marketing season on the West Coast or it has been one of the very early sales. This year, it was one of the very early sales and the results of this sale are eagerly awaited by the industry. Once again, this sale will be viewed as a market maker sale as it again set the pace for the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns gave a formal letter of resignation to President Bush on Sept. 20, effectively ending speculation regarding Johanns’ future political career. Bush made the announcement to the press at 9:27 EDT in a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House. Speculation has been running rampant for weeks regarding Johanns’ move to fill a Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-NE. The Senate would be the next logical stop politically for Johanns, though there is speculation that Bush’s outright endorsement of Johanns for the Senate is a denouncement of Hagel, who has been a frequent critic
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
During a long-awaited announcement Sept. 14, USDA’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. John Clifford, formally revealed USDA’s final minimal-risk rule for normalizing trade with other minimal-risk countries. Currently, the only country the U.S. has designated as being at minimal- risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is Canada. The official designation by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) of both countries is ‘controlled risk.’ While the Canadian border has been open to cattle under 30 months of age since January of 2005, the movement of cattle over that age has remained restricted until now. Live cattle over 30 months of age, destined both
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-MO, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, recently introduced legislation that would prohibit USDA from developing a mandatory National Animal Identification System (NAIS).   Talent’s bill, S.3862, amends the Animal Health Protection Act to “prohibit the Secretary of Agriculture from implementing or carrying out a National Animal Identification System or similar requirement.” The bill would also cease funding and defund NAIS. The bill’s language also requires federal protection of any information obtained through a voluntary program.   A similar piece of legislation has entered the House introduced by U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-MO, which calls to make the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
  Late in the day, Sept. 20, Congress finally reauthorized the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting (LMPR) Act. The bill, H.R. 3408, will now head for the president’s desk for passage into law. The bill, which had been in conference committee after differing versions passed out of the House and Senate last year, contains few alterations and passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Reports last week said the changes for LMPR advocated by the Senate after a Government Accountability Office report last year will be addressed in the 2007 Farm Bill negotiations. According to the National Pork Producer’s Council, among the enhancements
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Roger Koedam and his partners from Iowa are close to opening a brand new livestock auction market in Canton, SD. The facility, which is nearing completion, is expected to hold its first sale on Oct. 16. According to Koedam, the market will hold 5,000 animals easily, with a maximum capacity of 7,000 head. Most pens are also under cover, which Koedam said would be a benefit for cattlemen in the area. “We have about two-thirds of our pen space under a roof. The total roof area is 200 by 500 feet,” Koedam said. He said the new market, named Sioux Falls Regional
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Premiums for preconditioning, source verified and weaning continue to be the fastest ways producers can add value to their calf crops, experts say. Several studies have shown the premiums available to producers can stack up to as much as $10 to $20 per cwt. Now that export markets have reopened to much of Asia, calves which meet the criteria for export, including source and age verification, will qualify for additional premiums. More frequently than ever, auction markets are recommending producers implement as much of a preconditioning program as is practical. The drawback, a lack of facilities to handle vaccination and 30
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Producers have a variety of differing philosophies when it comes to handling cull cows. Numerous studies have shown that selling unproductive cows contributes a substantial amount of money to an operation’s bottom line, by most accounts an average of 20% of revenue and in some cases, as much as 30% in a given year. Feeding culls can be a proposition which is both risky and potentially rewarding. Research has shown there can be substantial profitability when open or no-longer-productive culls are placed on feed for a period of time prior to marketing them. The profitability of such a practice can vary
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Antibiotic use in animals rose 7.5% in 2004 according to a recent release from the Animal Health Institute (AHI). According to Ron Phillips, spokesman for AHI, the bulk of the increase was in agricultural use antibiotics as opposed to antibiotics used for the treatment of companion animals. Overall, for the past five years, the use of antibiotics has been trending down; however, last year saw a rise in usage according to the group’s release. The figures, compiled by a survey of animal pharmaceutical manufacturers, show a decline from 24.4 million lbs. of antibiotics sold in 1999 to a low of 20.2
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
“We still have not seen definitive standards on what could be a nationally-mandated ID program. We are urging our members and producers to remember that, as they ponder whether or not to move forward with an identification system by investing in the (necessary) equipment,” said John McBride, director of information for LMA. McBride said that until more field tests are conducted regarding costs, economic impacts and industry participation, there should be no mandatory ID program put into place or forced on businesses and producers within the industry. “All the states aren’t even set up for premise identification right now, which goes to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
Cargill, the nation’s second largest beef processor, announced their intentions to purchase California’s largest meat packing operation, Beef Packers Inc. (BPI). This is Cargill’s first packing plant in the western U.S. and a move that further consolidates the meat packing industry. Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. has made a preliminary agreement to acquire the Fresno, CA-based company and all its subsidiaries. Cargill is buying the slaughter operations of BPI, the processing operations of Fresno Meat Co., the retail meat distributorship known as RPM Beef Inc., steak cutter and restaurant distributorship King-O-Meat, Inc. and live cattle and meat transportation company Ore-Cal Transportation, Inc.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) recently said mandatory price reporting, implemented in 2001, undoubtedly expanded the amount of market data disseminated throughout the industry and also slowed the number of “formula trades” compared to voluntary reporting. However, the agency said it was unable to determine whether the additional information resulted in higher prices for cattle. In a report entitled, “Did the Mandatory Requirement Aid the Market?,” ERS found that prices paid under “formula purchasing arrangements,” which were not included under the voluntary system, closely matched the prices received under negotiated spot cash purchases. However, the review did indicate a slowdown
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
After several months of speculation, U.S. Rep. Richard Pombo, R-CA, last Monday introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), but with some changes that would make the legislation more compatible with the interests of ranchers and other private land owners. The House Resources Committee acted quickly on the proposal passing it by a vote of 25-12 last Thursday, which means it will next go the full House for debate and a vote. Among the changes approved under the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 (TESRA), is a plan to financially compensate private property owners for losing
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
— Conference debate inevitable. Fiscal year 2006 appropriations are among the “front-burner” issues being currently addressed by Congress. Included in the Senate debate were amendments concerning bovine spongiform encepalopathy (BSE) management and beef trade. Both those amendments were part of the Senate ag appropriations package that was passed 97-2 last Thursday. The appropriations bill now goes to a conference committee where a compromise bill will be worked out. The Senate last week passed, by a vote of 72-26, language that would prohibit USDA from implementing a rule allowing Japanese beef to enter the U.S. until Japan reopens its borders to U.S. beef
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Dec 20, 2007
It looked like we were going to get some big news on reopening beef trade with Japan last week. Prime Minister Koizumi was in the U.S. attending the United Nations meetings in New York City, and took some time to visit with President Bush about getting beef trade restarted. Chandler Keys, lobbyist for NCBA said that Koizumi is taking this beef issue back to his


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