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WLJ

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 12, 2007
—Ranchers turn out in opposition to governor’s brucellosis management idea. On a six-to-one vote last week, the Montana Board of Livestock halted a plan presented by Gov. Brian Schweitzer to create a split-state status for brucellosis management. The plan would have created a disease management zone around Yellowstone National Park, where elk and bison have transmitted the disease to cattle, while allowing the remainder of the state to claim disease-free status; however, ranchers and Montana Stockgrower’s Association (MSGA) officials said the plan was premature. Following the discovery of an infected herd of cattle in Bridger, MT, in May, officials with USDA’s Animal
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 12, 2007
Darrell Wood of Pete’s Creek Partnership, one of the founding ranches of Panorama Meats, Inc., the Angus grass-fed beef company based in Vina, CA, last week received one of three 2006 National Wetlands Conservation Awards from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Department of the Interior. Wood received the award at a ceremony in Oklahoma City, OK, for his management of the Pete’s Creek Wetland and Riparian Restoration Project on 1,262 acres of the partnership’s ranch located in Lassen County just north of Susanville, CA. This land was also certified as organic grazing land for Panorama Grass-Fed Beef cattle
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 12, 2007
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed removing the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse from Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection in Wyoming but continuing protection for the mouse in Colorado as a threatened subspecies. The new plan would replace a 2005 proposal to delist the mouse across its entire range. Earlier this year, FWS Director Dale Hall ordered the review of eight endangered species—including the Preble’s mouse—decisions involving former deputy assistant secretary Julie MacDonald. Those decisions included the 2005 proposal to lift protection for the Preble’s mouse. The ruling came after MacDonald resigned following criticism by the department’s inspector general
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 12, 2007
Fall is well underway and winter has even begun for producers in most northern areas of the U.S., but as light frosts persist in more southerly areas, ranchers should maintain caution and be wary of placing cattle on sorghum-type feed. Grain sorghum and Sudan grasses are prone to accumulate prussic acid when stressed, such as during periods of drought or freezing temperatures. Even a series of light frosts is not enough to totally kill a sorghum plant, which may continue to make attempts at regrowth until well after a killing freeze. This time before a killing freeze should concern cattlemen the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 12, 2007
As expected, R-CALF United Stockgrower’s of America filed for a preliminary injunction to prevent trade in over-30-month (OTM) cattle last week. Along with 10 co-plaintiffs, the group submitted a 27-page brief to the U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota Northern Division, in an effort to buy time for their lawsuit and efforts in Congress to prevent USDA from opening the border to expanded beef trade. USDA published the regulation known as Rule 2 in mid-September and set Nov. 19 as the day trade would be allowed to resume for live cattle born after March 1, 1999, and beef from animals
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 12, 2007
The term “evolution” must be used loosely since the history of Centralized Ultrasound Processing (CUP) only dates back about a decade. However, drastic changes have occurred in how cattle producers in all aspects of the beef cattle industry use carcass ultrasound data. This short history lesson will not only explain the trends, but also define why guidelines and rules were established for breeding programs. In 1998, much of the initial research that garnered carcass ultrasound as we know it today was already completed. Diving into the research behind ultrasound could take another issue of Carcass Ultrasound 101 in itself. Nevertheless, a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 12, 2007
The future of the 2007 Farm Bill recently came into question after acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner issued remarks which threaten numerous provisions of the Senate Farm Bill as they are currently written. Conner stated that the Bush administration’s policies are in opposition to the bulk of the new proposals in the Senate’s version of the bill and that if the bill were placed in front of President Bush in its current form, it would be vetoed. In addition to tax and budgetary concerns, Conner stated that the administration is opposed to specific provisions within the bill itself, such as
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
Prices for fed cattle will go up slightly in 2008, according to the prognosis offered at the 2007 Texas Cattle Feeders Association Annual Convention by Randy Blach, executive vice president of Cattle-Fax. Blach predicted the 2008 average price would be around $92 to $94 per cwt. “I don’t think you should be surprised if we sell cattle into the low dollar area into the spring and when we’re in our biggest supplies, we may very well be trading cattle in the mid-to-upper 80s. “With feeder cattle and calf prices, they’re likely to stay close to the same levels they’ve been at
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
Tides are shifting in some areas of the western U.S. and groups which 10 years ago would have condemned livestock grazing on ecologically-sensitive areas are beginning to see the advantages of coexisting with ranchers and their livestock. In addition to fire, livestock are perhaps the most important tool available for regenerating rangelands and cleaning out invasive species. The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MPR) is an example of a conservation group which has recently begun to perceive the benefits of cooperation with ranchers, as they endeavor to return the lands they manage back to native grasses and improve the health of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
Larry and Jean Croissant were honored by their peers by earning the Red Angus Association of America’s (RAAA) Breeder of the Year Award. The Croissants received the award at the 2007 National RAAA Convention held in Dodge City, KS, Sept. 26-29 at the historic Dodge House Hotel and Convention Center. They were presented the award by Donnell and Kelli Brown, RA Brown Ranch of Throckmorton, TX, long time friends, customers and one of the industry’s largest seedstock producers. Croissant Red Angus is a family owned and operated seedstock operation located in Briggsdale, CO. Larry and Jean, along with their son-in-law
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
Quietly making noise A couple weeks ago, we received a news release saying USDA had purchased 1.3 million radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. At first this seemed a bit peculiar since USDA had already said the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) would be voluntary, a decision which was certain to kill the nationwide program. Several months ago, USDA Undersecretary Bruce Knight paid us a visit and told us the agency was going to lay off the ID program and quietly resurrect it when the industry was more understanding of the issue. As many of you know, animal ID is still a fairly
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
The Sept. 29 recall issued by Topps Meat Company due to contamination by Escherichia Coli O157:H7 (E. coli) has recently been traced by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to beef sourced from a now-defunct processor in Canada. Rancher’s Beef Ltd. of Balzac, Alberta, had announced earlier this summer that it would permanently shut its doors and cease production, citing export and labor issues as the major reasons behind the plant closure. The facility, located near Calgary, was initially met with excitement when it opened soon after the U.S. border closure due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy concerns. The Canadian livestock industry had
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
—Late week fed cattle trade expected steady to lower. Fed cattle trade was once again a late week affair last week, with very little trade occurring in the major cattle feeding areas. Analysts last week said they expected trade steady to weaker than the prior week’s level. The last established market was Oct. 26, with live cattle trading in a range of $92-93.50, with the exception of Iowa/Minnesota, where live sales traded from $90-91. Prior week dressed sales in the northern tier ranged from $139-143. Dressed sales in Kansas sold at $146.50. The current drive for packers to obtain fed cattle
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
Look before you leap Why would anyone want to invest in beef processing? Do they have any idea how much money it takes to get established? I’ve asked myself these questions many times in the last few years as I’ve watched new entrants to the business come and go. I have no answer to the first question, but 21 years of observing the packing industry on a daily basis has helped me see a couple of patterns. First, most people outside the business have no idea how competitive it is. Second, some people think a new venture will succeed because it is
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
Cull cows represent approximately 20 percent of the gross income of any commercial cow operation. Cull beef cows represent 10 percent of the beef that is consumed in the U.S. Therefore, Oklahoma ranchers need to make certain that cow culling is done properly and profitably. Selling cull cows when they will return the most income to the rancher requires knowledge about cull cow health and body condition. Proper cow culling will reduce the chance that a cow carcass is condemned at the packing plant and becomes a money drain for the entire beef industry. At cow culling time, producers often
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
R-CALF USA, along with 10 other plaintiffs, announced last week that it will take the lead among 11 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against USDA to stop imports of Canadian cattle over 30 months of age (OTM). The case, filed in Federal District Court—District of South Dakota, Northern Division, was chosen, said R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard, because a large number of R-CALF members reside in South Dakota, making it a logical choice. He also acknowledged the group wished to avoid courts in the 9th Circuit Court where R-CALF has been unsuccessful in several recent attempts at litigation against USDA regulation. The plaintiffs,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
President George W. Bush announced last Wednesday that he has selected former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer to serve as Secretary of Agriculture. Schafer, 61, had served two terms as North Dakota governor, finishing his final term in 2000 before returning to the business world. As governor, he was regarded as a political conservative who focused on the economic development of the state. He also trimmed the number of state government employees during his tenure. The nomination was a bit of a surprise to many, as acting secretary Chuck Conner, who replaced Mike Johanns, who stepped down in advance of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
—Rural communities shown to benefit from renewable fuel boom. A new study has identified the required private capital investment necessary for the renewable fuels industry to achieve the production goals established in the proposed Energy Bill. “The capital cost to meet the 36 billion gallon renewable fuels target by 2022 amounts to $105.5 billion (2007 dollars),” the study completed by John Urbanchuk, a leading analyst of the biofuels industry and a director for LECG, LLC, a global expert services consulting firm, concludes. “Providing the Farm Credit System with greater flexibility to support the financial requirements of the biofuels industry by enabling
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 5, 2007
—Industry advocates blast report, calling it anti-meat. An alarming study published last week by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) pointed to a potential link between red meat consumption and cancer development. The report, which was an update to a study conducted a decade earlier, caused ripples of concern in many consumer media outlets and rankled meat and beef industry experts who called the report alarmist, unfounded and biased against meat consumption. The WCRF study focused on a vast number of outside research on the possible cancer-causing effects of an array of different foods, including meat, vegetables and fish, as well
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Oct 29, 2007
The beef industry’s struggle with food safety issues and positive consumer-health relations is not new, but a recent focus on Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the production process has spurred new efforts in helping the beef industry stop the harmful bacteria right where it starts. E. coli bacteria are organisms which are normally found in the intestinal tracts of many animals, including humans. They are beneficial, being necessary to the digestive process, and are part of the important mix of intestinal organisms when found in proper balance. Certain strains of the bacteria, however, produce harmful toxins which can attack the lining of


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