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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Amalgamated Bank, trustee of a mutual fund owning nearly 89,000 shares of Tyson Foods, filed suit on Feb. 16 against the Springdale-based company charging directors benefitted fiscally at the expense of shareholders. The lawsuit—which was filed in Delaware and seeks class action status—lists the world's largest meat processor and most current and some former members of its board of directors as defendants, including Chairman and CEO John Tyson. One of the charges of the complaint is that the company tied giving stock options to executives and board members to events that the company believed would increase the value of shares, such as
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
The Senate formally reopened consideration of President Bush’s nomination of William G. Myers III to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last Tuesday with a hearing that focused on his environmental record. Key senators said the new hearing is unlikely to prevent a recurrence of last year’s filibuster of the nominee. For the second time in two years, Myers faced the Judiciary Committee and questions over his record as the Interior Department’s top lawyer and a lobbyist for mining and cattle interests. According to senators, this second hearing echoed the first, in spite of a 24-page report issued by the Interior
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Safeway posts Q4 turnaround Safeway moved from a $695.9 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2003 to a gain of $202.7 million in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 1, mostly as a result of the strike that crippled its California business in 2003 and significant write-offs involving its Randall's and Dominick's divisions. For the year, sales were flat at $35.8 billion, but profits jumped to $560.2 million, compared with a net loss of $169.8 million in 2003. Sales for the quarter increased three percent, from $11 billion to $11.4 billion. Same-store sales increased 1.5 percent, excluding results from strike-affected stores. Alberta
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
A nutrition scientist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, recently found that combining beef tallow and soybeans can improve the health of humans. According to Dr. Tim Carr, the beef fat helps in allowing a vegetable-derived cholesterol-lowering sterol to be added to food without being wasted near as much as normal. The dilemma has been that blood cholesterol-lowering sterols can be extracted from soybeans and added to other foods. However, the extract stuck to manufacturing equipment. However, Carr discovered that the combination of extract and tallow can be made into a powder, making it more applicable as a food additive. He further explained
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
An increase in the nation's cattle inventory has signaled a rebuilding phase among beef herds, according to a Texas Cooperative Extension livestock economist. "Beef cows are up one percent nationwide," said Dr. David Anderson, extension economist for livestock and food products marketing. "The highlight is that we've ended the last cycle and we've started a new cycle – a rebuilding phase." The nation's beef cattle inventory is at 33.06 million head, according to recent data released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Heifers, young female cattle, are also being held back from slaughter and retained in herds. "Heifers are up four percent, so
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Smithfield, VA-headquartered pork and beef processor Smithfield Foods Inc. announced that net income for its fiscal 2005 third quarter was $97.5 million—versus income last year of $42.1 million. Sales were $3.1 billion compared with $2.7 billion last year. The substantial increase in earnings is attributable to the continued success of Smithfield’s vertically integrated pork operations, enabling the company to realize improved profitability during this period of increased livestock cost, the company said in a news release. In the quarter, the company’s hog production operations benefitted from a 48 percent increase in live hog market prices year over year. Raising costs remained about
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— Tests to last at least through May. As of the end of February, USDA had tested over 250,000 head of the “most at risk” cattle through the first nine months of its 12-18 month stepped-up surveillance program for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Officials with the agency’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said the minimum requirement of target animals to be tested for the disease should be reached by the end of the second week in March, but that the testing program will continue at its current pace through at least the end of May. As of Feb. 27, 252,501 target
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Approximately one month after USDA experts returned from their investigative mission to Canada in which they sought to determine the effectiveness of that country’s ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban, the agency released an official report of the findings. Overall, USDA found Canada to be in compliance and just as proficient as the U.S. with a similar feed ban. The results answered many of the industry’s questions that arose after two cows from separate herds were discovered to be infected with BSE within the first few weeks of January. “After the two recent BSE finds in Canada, it was important to get a team
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— Trade minister says delay unsatisfactory. Canadian government and cattle industry officials were openly indicating last week that trade lawsuits may be filed against the U.S. under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO) or North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The possibility of trade litigation between the two countries was brought up after U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull, Billings, MT, granted a temporary injunction against USDA’s March 7 date for allowing Canadian live cattle to reenter the U.S. According to Canada’s International Trade Minister Jim Peterson, the agreement to reopen the border to Canadian cattle and expanded category of beef was
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— Futures gains cited. — Calves, feeders steady to firmer. A strong rally in live-cattle futures last Thursday prompted packers to come to the trading table with significantly more money than they used the previous week. That resulted in cash cattle trade being $4-5 stronger. As of press time last Thursday, Kansas and Texas cattle feeders had sold 40-45,000 head each within a range of $90-91.50, with the majority bringing $90.50. Northern trade tallied 50-55,000 head at mostly $90 live, $142-144 dressed. Early week packer bids were mostly $85 live, $140 dressed and prospective sellers were asking at least $90 live, $143 dressed. A
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
I suppose that the Montana federal judge made the expected decision. After all, he appears to have been handpicked by the folks at R-CALF. If you support keeping the Canadian border closed, you had a really good week last week. If you don’t, be patient; logic will, hopefully, prevail—eventually. R-CALF had their request for a temporary injunction handed to them by U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull last Wednesday. I’m not certain that his decision came as any big surprise, but, it was the only wild card playable in this border game. Otherwise the border would be ready to open today, March
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Concentration in agricultural markets continues to rise according to statistics released Feb. 25 by National Farmers Union during its 103rd anniversary convention in Lexington, KY. An NFU-commissioned study conducted by Mary Hendrickson and William Heffernan from the University of Missouri Department of Rural Sociology revealed that the top four firms in most agricultural sectors have increased their stronghold since the last study, released in 2002. The study showed the top four beef packers now dominate 83.5 percent of the market. Four pork packers control 64 percent of that market, and the top four poultry companies process 56 percent of the broilers in
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
A federal appeals court has ruled that new federal clean-water regulations aren’t protecting the nation’s waters from the manure pollution of large farms. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Monday it agreed with environmentalists who claimed in lawsuits that the rules failed to provide meaningful review of plans developed by the farms to limit the pollution. The court said the rules imposed in February 2003 by the Environmental Protection Agency were arbitrary and capricious and did “nothing to ensure that each large farm was complying with requirements to control the pollution. Its ruling requires the EPA to make changes
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
One Alberta automobile dealership is allowing Canadian ranchers to trade in a portion of their stockpiled cattle as trade-ins towards the purchase of new trucks or cars. Cochrane Dodge Chrysler in Cochrane, Alberta, is allowing Canadian producers to trade 10 head of cattle toward the purchase of a diesel truck, five head of cattle toward the purchase of a gasoline-powered truck and one or two head toward the purchase of a car. An appraiser will be on-premises to determine the fair market value of the cattle. The program started last week and is slated to last about two weeks total.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) last Monday released data showing a 43.3 percent drop in the percentage of E. coli O157:H7 positive ground beef regulatory samples collected in 2004 compared with the previous year. Of the 8,010 samples collected and analyzed in 2004, 0.17 percent tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, down from 0.30 in 2003, 0.78 in 2002, 0.84 in 2001 and 0.86 in 2000. Between 2000 and 2004, the percentage of positive samples in FSIS regulatory sampling has declined by more than 80 percent. In April 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in its annual
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (MEF) hosted a “Celebrate Tet With U.S. Beef” event in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Feb. 24 to kick off the return of U.S. beef to that country. Although a small market for U.S. beef—about 22 metric tons in 2002 and 16 in 2003—prior to a ban resulting from the discovery of a single imported animal with BSE in December 2003, it is one of the first Asian countries to reopen to U.S. product. More than 50 U.S. exporters, Vietnamese importers, retailers and restaurant owners, and Vietnamese officials attended the celebration. Seth Winnick, U.S. Consul General; Philip
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
A false case of brucellosis from cattle in Campbell County, WY, could lead to a review of how laboratories nationwide handle tests for the cattle disease in the future, a veterinary official said. I'm quite confident there will be a review of that protocol at a national level," said Sam Holland, chairman of the U.S. Animal Health Association's (USAHA) committee on brucellosis. Holland, who is also the South Dakota state veterinarian, said he requested USDA review federal protocols for culturing brucella nationwide, "in light of the recent event and information gleaned from that experience." Four months ago, the Animal Disease Research and
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— Second important date in December ‘06. Producers need to plan now to meet two key compliance dates for confined livestock operations next year, a University of Nebraska livestock bioenvironmental engineer said. Both deadlines result from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA’s) recent update on rules dealing with concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. These rules deal mainly with how manure is managed to protect water quality. The updated rules place more of an emphasis on proper management of animal manure both at the confinement site where it is produced and on farmland where it is applied. By Feb. 13, 2006, all large
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last Tuesday announced the sale of 200 wild mares to a Wyoming company, the first transaction under new sale authority for wild horses and burros. The new law, which was formally implemented this past December 2004, directs BLM to offer for sale those wild horses and burros that are more than 10 years old or have been unsuccessfully offered up for adoption at least three times. The agency estimates that about 8,400 animals are affected by the new law, this year alone. “As we implement the new sale-authority legislation passed by Congress, we are committed
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— ‘Cow hay’ to range $50-65, pre-delivery. — Trucking costs could jump, also. More inexpensive hay prices of the past few months may be a distant memory by the middle part of this year as extended feed usage this winter and spring and potential production declines could team up to force short late-year supplies. According to forage market analysts and hay brokers across the Plains and western U.S., high- and average-quality alfalfa hay supplies are tight throughout, and carryover of those supplies will be down by midyear. Sources said that even though on-hand hay stocks in the seven most western states were up
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