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WLJ

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 20, 2006
After some contentious debate last week, the U.S. Senate took up the long awaited disaster aid package. Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, both D-ND, attempted to insert a disaster aid package into Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bills last Tuesday in a late night session. The attempt sparked a heated discussion on the floor of the Senate and the $4.9 billion package was eliminated from the discussion after Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-TN, agreed to bring the Agriculture Appropriations bill forward the following day and allow the aid bill to be debated on the floor. However, the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 20, 2006
The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” can be readily applied to an emerging disease known as Hemorrhagic Bowel Syndrome (HBS). HBS, which is also known as “bloody gut” and “jejunal hemorrhage syndrome,” is a sporadic, acute intestinal disease mostly found in dairy cows. However, it has been found in beef cattle as well. HBS is characterized by large blood clots that are found in the intestine which could lead to obstruction. There are many clinical signs of HBS ranging from bloody feces, abdominal distention, and loss of appetite, to decline in milk production,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 20, 2006
An issue with potentially dire consequences for the beef industry was resolved last week when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) reached an agreement. EPA answered cattlemen’s concerns in a letter dated Nov. 2, 2006, agreeing with NCBA that cattle operations should not be required to have a permit under the rules of Title V under the Clean Air Act. “Based on on-site visits and the observations of its personnel, EPA generally presumes that air emissions from cattle loading and unloading, cattle feedlots, retention basins, roadways, and feed loading operations are fugitive emissions (cannot be
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 20, 2006
— Feeder cattle remain under pressure. Fed cattle trade broke out early last week in the northern tier states of Nebraska and Colorado along with the Corn Belt cattle feeding areas. Prices were steady to $1 higher than the prior week at $84-85.50 live and $133-135 dressed basis. In the south, there was some light trade reported last Wednesday at $85, however, once initial orders were filled, trade dropped off as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) rallied and cattle feeders held out for higher money. Feed grain prices and continuing declines in consumer movement have been equally hard on feedlots and packers
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 20, 2006
Equal footing Dear Editor: I heartily applaud Pete Crow and his bold call to “…lose the subsidies and let the markets find their way” (Editorial, November 6). It’s clear that he is referring to the wasteful and shortsighted ethanol industry subsidies that have “artificially” stimulated corn prices which “…has placed livestock feeders at an unfair disadvantage.” I’m assuming that he also means the corn subsidies that have given livestock feeders and corporate grain giants an unfair advantage over the last several decades by keeping corn prices artificially low. Otherwise he would be just one more in a long line of ag-industry hypocrites. It
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 20, 2006
Extremely dry conditions in many parts of western North Dakota during this past growing season reduced the amount of forage available for grazing livestock and hay production. The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) has developed a pilot insurance program for pastures and hay land for 2007. The insurance will be available from private crop insurance agents, with a closing date for sales of Nov. 30, 2006. Coverage is available for land in 24 counties: Adams, Billings, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Divide, Dunn, Emmons, Golden Valley, Grant, Hettinger, Logan, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Oliver, Sioux, Slope, Stark, Ward and Williams. A different
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 20, 2006
South Korea has made some concessions regarding restrictions on imported U.S. beef but talks are still not over, USDA reported. Negotiators representing the South Korean government agreed to remove silver skin from their list of prohibited items. In addition, South Korea agreed that cartilage, breast bone and bone chips would no longer be considered specified risk material, however, they are still prohibited and a zero tolerance remains in place. Chuck Lambert, USDA deputy under secretary of marketing and regulatory programs, said he was disappointed that South Korea has not clearly outlined—as they have with many other trading partners—what will be allowed as
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 20, 2006
— Agencies are turning to ranchers to improve grasslands and wildlife habitat. California government agencies are discovering what ranchers have known for generations: Livestock grazing is beneficial for the environment. With increasing frequency, holders of large land parcels are working in cooperation with ranchers to control brush, preserve habitat, and minimize fire danger all across the state which is commonly known for antagonistic environmental policy. “For whatever reason, it’s not widely known that livestock grazing is being widely used on non-federal lands to manage plant populations in California,” said Sheila Barry, natural resources and livestock adviser for the University of California Cooperative
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 13, 2006
A ballot initiative backed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of the U. S. (HSUS), and Farm Sanctuary passed with over 61 percent of Arizona residents voting to prohibit the use of gestation and veal crates in livestock operations. With over 258,000 votes still outstanding, it is expected that the number will climb to over 64 percent. Beginning Dec. 31, 2012, Arizona producers will be required to keep pregnant pigs and veal calves in enclosures that are large enough that the animals can turn around and fully extend their limbs. “We are disappointed that the voters
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 13, 2006
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), which is the largest and most diverse financial exchange in the U.S., has proposed a merger with the Chicago Board Of Trade (CBOT), creating a large institution that will conduct more than 87 percent of current U.S. exchange-traded contract volume. On Oct. 17, 2006, CME announced the purchase of CBOT for $8 billion in cash and stock, becoming CME Group, Inc. The total book value of the new conglomerate is $26 billion. CME is expected to close its doors and move to the CBOT trading floors by late 2008. “There has been an undercurrent to this effect
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 13, 2006
It’s over I suppose it has to happen every now and then, but it sure felt like the wheels fell off everything that has anything to do with the cattle market and politics. Wednesday was the big trade day last week and we haven’t seen the market established that early in the week for quite a while. Cattle feeders finally realized the effects of the corn market. Now we’ll see cattle weights come down and, unfortunately, feeder cattle prices, too. I would prefer to blame the negative twist in the markets on the elections just because something needs a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 13, 2006
Joe Meng, vice president for Arkansas City, KS-based Creekstone Farms, last week said the company had responded to USDA’s opposition filing in Creekstone’s pursuit of blanket testing for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Meng said USDA will now be allowed one final opportunity to reply to Creekstone’s reply. The judge presiding over the case has set a deadline of Dec. 1 for the USDA response. After the USDA filing, the federal judge will render his decision on the Creekstone motion for a summary judgement. Creekstone is seeking resolution to the matter in Washington, D.C., federal District Court for a case filed in mid-2006.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 13, 2006
— Corn prices continue to pressure feeders. Fed cattle trade came early again last week at $86 live and $132-135 dressed. Those prices were mostly $2-$3 lower live and $4-$5 lower dressed basis. Texas feedlots sold 20,000 head of cattle at $86-$86.50, Kansas feedlots reported selling 11,000 head at $86 live and $1.365 dressed, Nebraska feedlots reported selling 22,000 head of cattle for $85-$86 live and $1.33-$1.35 dressed, and Colorado feedlots reportedly sold 5,500 head for $86-$86.50 live and $1.35 dressed. The decline in the cash market, along with continued declines in the futures market, is being driven by shrinking retail
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 13, 2006
Research conducted by the Institution of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER), Wales, UK, has proven that feeding high sugar grasses to ruminant livestock could have many advantages. It is known that the conversion of grass protein to milk protein is significantly poor. The reason is that the microbes in the animal’s rumen cannot keep pace with the rapid breakdown of proteins into compounds containing nitrogen. Much of the nitrogen is absorbed from the rumen and becomes waste which is excreted in the animal’s urine, producing large amounts of ammonia. High sugar grasses contain high levels of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC). The
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 13, 2006
The packing industry has searched for years for ways to improve efficiency and remove variables from the meat production process. The approval of instrument grading last week is perhaps one of the fastest ways to improve efficiency and eliminate variability in packing plants. At the same time, the technology is expected to reward producers of high quality beef and lower costs. Taking humans and the inevitable errors of grading out of the loop, USDA expects the technology will allow producers to better analyze the impact of management decisions on the end product, while improving efficiencies in feedlots and profits all
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 13, 2006
In a landslide vote, Washington voters rejected property-rights Initiative 933 last Tuesday. The bill would have created new limits on government’s power to regulate what owners can do with their land. It also would have allowed property owners to seek retroactive compensation for unequally applied restrictions on land use in the rapidly growing state. I-933 lost by large margins in almost all western Washington counties. It also was trailing in Spokane County and in some rural eastern Washington counties, where it had been expected to fare the best. “The voters showed they support laws that protect communities from irresponsible development and keep
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 6, 2006
ID, records don’t have to be high tech Climbing into a tractor cab at a farm sale, you discover corn yield counts for the past 20 years. The crop rotations on the back 80, the river bottom and “John’s place” are laid out in barely legible layers on the vinyl interior. To an outsider, this “chicken scratch” is useless information, but to the farmer who owned that tractor, it was priceless. He might have used it to pick different seed varieties or to change his weed and pest control from year to year. What about the rancher who gets a new pair
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 6, 2006
The outbreak of E.coli 0157:H7 that was responsible for three deaths and over 200 sick people across 26 U.S. states and one Canadian province may have been caused by wild boars. Health officials have localized the contaminated spinach to one specific property, said Dr. Kevin Reilly, deputy director of the prevention services division for the California Department of Health Services. “We have not closed any possibilities on three other [nearby] ranches, but the information is accumulating that our environmental findings are consistent on this one property.” There is clear evidence that the pigs did walk through the field that produced the tainted
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 6, 2006
Late last month, 61 head of mixed cattle weighing approximately 630 pounds were stolen from Brookover Cattle Company near Scott City, KS. The cattle, owned by Scott Livestock Company, were recovered after being left at a small livestock auction market near Joplin, MO. Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) has a program that is designed to aid members in recovering stolen cattle. As a member, Scott Livestock reported the missing cattle to KLA for their assistance. “One of our member services is a theft reward program,” states Matt Teagarden, director of industry relations at KLA. “We’ve been able to help recover livestock, in addition
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 6, 2006
It's a gold rush It’s starting to look like the next gold rush and in some cases, you can literally say that because the product is gold. Dried distillers grain (DDG), is coming onto the feed market very fast. Dried distillers grains are actually the byproduct of the savior of the energy industry, ethanol, or that’s what some people might be thinking. The past few weeks, the corn market has gone ballistic. Cash corn is well over three dollars, $3.50 a bushel, to be exact, as of last Thursday. The last time corn moved in this direction was about 10 years


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