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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 28, 2005
— Early case confirmed in California. Veterinarians and government animal health officials are recommending earlier vaccinations for horses in an effort to prevent West Nile Virus (WNV) from becoming a severe problem this year. “Horse owners should begin vaccinating their animals in March and April this year, which is earlier than usual, as an added precaution," said Wayne Cunningham, state veterinarian at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "Depending on the levels of infection in an area, a second booster shot might be needed later this year, which is why it's important for them to consult with their local veterinarians." WNV has caused more
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 28, 2005
Approximately $7 million dollars will be directed from the agriculture budget this year to help find ways for the beef industry to combat BSE and other food safety issues. Five million of those funds are specifically directed for Food Safety Research and Response, while the remaining $2 million is being redirected for enhanced research into BSE. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced the funding allocations during his keynote remarks at the National Restaurant Association’s Food Safety Summit held March 16-18 in Washington, DC. “In a rapidly changing world marketplace, science is the universal language that must guide our rules and policies, rather
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 28, 2005
Lean manufacturing beef has never seen better times. Fresh 90-percent-lean beef found a new high recently at $157.34. The last big rally in this market was in 2003, when it touched $152.13 in July—the entire beef complex was on fire. Lean manufacturing beef is a very active market and demand for hamburger has never been better. The cow beef cutout value is also at the top of its trading range at $120. Food service uses a great deal of this type of product. This is essentially the same index that is used on the Choice/Select cutout value, which has been trading
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 28, 2005
Among the U.S.’ most geographically dispersed small businesses are the 774,630 independent businesses that raise beef cattle. These independent businesses comprise the U.S. cattle industry, which is by far the largest beef producer in the world. These independent businesses contribute nearly $40 billion annually to the U.S. economy. As such, they are critically important to the financial well being of the U.S. economy, and rural America in particular. These independent cattle-raising businesses are the foundation for the nation’s $175 billion beef industry. They operate in a global market, facing fierce competition from other beef-producing countries of the world. Foreign competitors are
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 28, 2005
Labeling overrrated Dear Mr. Vetter: As a beef producer I have always felt fortunate that there are ten or more packing plants operating in the upper Midwest. They are a huge asset to the dairy and beef producers in the region. It is because of these mostly independent plants that the North Central States have one of the best cow markets in the country. Logic dictates that the cattle procurement range of the packing plants of the northern United States and southern Canada extend across the border. The shrinking of cattle production in the upper Midwest has increased the need for this
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 28, 2005
The 2004-2005 Midland Bull Test has come to an end with the final weights taken March 4-5. The 1,100 bulls on test this year sell on April 6, 7, and 8 and have been ultrasound and fertility tested. Information is available on the website www.midlandbulltest.com. For additional questions contact Leo or Sam McDonnell at 406/322.5597 or email them at bulltest@wtp.net. Angus There were 50 Angus bulls on test at Midland Bull Test. The top 70-75 percent sell April 8 at the Midland Bull Test sale facilities. Angus bulls were split into two groups, the first group was the Green Tag division,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 28, 2005
— Placements good for fall feds. — February marketings disappointing. USDA’s March 1 Cattle-on-Feed Report resulted in a mixed bag of fed market forecasts coming from cattle market analysts. Lower-than-expected placements last month were called very bullish for deferred futures contracts and late summer, fall cash fed cattle prices. Below-a-year-ago marketings led to some bearish thoughts for cash cattle through April and early May, despite them being within pre-report estimates. According to the agency’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), February placements totaled 1.52 million head, six percent below February of last year and eight percent fewer than February 2003. In addition, that figure
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 28, 2005
The Bureau of Land Management announced last week that it is selling more than 500 wild horses to two Indian Tribes in the Dakotas under a new law passed by Congress. The BLM has sold 141 wild horses (105 mares and 36 studs) to the Rosebud Sioux of South Dakota and 120 horses (96 mares and 24 studs) to the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota. Completion of other sales to these tribes will take place over the next several weeks. BLM Director Kathleen Clarke said, “As the BLM implements the new sale-authority legislation passed by Congress, we are pleased to announce
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 28, 2005
Taiwan officials last Thursday announced that some U.S. beef will be allowed back into the Taiwanese market beginning April 16 following the suspension of imports in 2003 due to the discovery of a BSE in Washington state. U.S. beef and beef products from cattle under 30 months of age and with specified risk materials (SRMs) removed will be allowed to reenter the Pacific Rim market. In addition that product will need to be accompanied with certificates issued by USDA under the auspices of the agency’s Beef Export Verification (BEV) program. The Taiwanese Bureau of Food Safety has also asked USDA to provide
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 28, 2005
— More intervener requests filed. — Court date for permanent stay set. The volume of activity in the ongoing legal challenge concerning cattle and beef trade with Canada picked up significantly as USDA formally filed its appeal against a temporary injunction preventing Canadian live cattle imports and several other North American producer groups entered requests to become involved in the suit regarding a permanent injunction request to prevent imports. In addition, U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull, Billings, MT, recently set July 27 as the opening date for hearing a request for the permanent injunction against USDA’s final rule regarding cattle and beef imports
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 21, 2005
— Original briefs needed by end of month. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, San Francisco, CA, recently agreed to hear the National Meat Association’s (NMA) emergency appeal of a federal district court judge’s decision to deny the association intervener status in a lawsuit challenging USDA’s decision to allow Canadian live cattle back across the border. In addition, the appeal includes a request to overturn Judge Richard Cebull’s ruling granting a temporary injunction against reopening the border to Canadian live cattle, which was scheduled to happen March 7. NMA contends the continued ban on live Canadian cattle while Canadian beef is allowed
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 21, 2005
Oscar Meyer sale rumored Kraft Foods’ desire to focus solely on cheese and dairy, biscuits, coffee, and specialty beverages has fueled speculation that it wants to sell its Oscar Mayer and Louis Rich processed meat businesses. However, the massive size of the Oscar Mayer and Louis Rich brands make them saleable to only a few large companies. Some meat industry experts put a $1 billion price tag on just the Oscar Meyer brand. At least one industry watcher said Sara Lee would be the most logical buyer. Sara Lee already owns Ball Park Franks, the largest U.S. hot dog brand in
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 21, 2005
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) used its presence at Japan’s FoodEx 2005, the largest food show in the Asia-Pacific Rim region, to showcase the tastiness of U.S. pork and educate attendees about the safety of the U.S. beef. Since its debut in 1976, FoodEx Japan has become the premier event in the Asian-Pacific Rim region, and the third largest food and beverage show in the world, after SIAL in Paris and ANUGA in Cologne. This year’s show, March 8-11 in Makuhari Messe, featured more than 2,500 exhibiting companies and 100,000 food industry visitors. USMEF reports 20,000 visitors to its booth on
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 21, 2005
Canada's cattle and beef industry has followed through with plans to increase the nation’s overall beef slaughter capacity, and expansion is expected to continue as the U.S. border remains closed to live Canadian cattle. Prior to Canada's initial BSE confirmation in May 2003, the country's total slaughter capacity was at 72,000 per week, although the plants were actually processing closer to 65,000-69,000 each week. Currently, total weekly processing capacity around 84,000 head per week. Cliff Munroe, chief of Alberta Agriculture's regulatory services branch, said the province's two largest facilities, Lakeside Packers and Cargill Foods, have expanded their kills significantly, and that further
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 21, 2005
I received a letter and renewal from a reader last week that has taken WLJ for three generations, starting with my grandpa Nelson Crow. He said that grandpa always wrote the paper for the rancher. I would imagine that this reader has seen a lot of change in the U.S. cattle/beef industry. Through this entire BSE issue I have been accused of not representing the producers, and I’d like to say that is simply not true. Without you, the producer, there is no WLJ. If we’re not telling you what you want to hear, I apologize. Our goal is to report
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 21, 2005
— Agency rebuts GAO report. — Sens.: Loopholes need closing. — Meat group: FDA rules effective. A recent investigation and report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicated that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still has weaknesses in its regulations governing the ban of ruminant products in livestock feed. The GAO report also said FDA needs to expand its inspection network and develop some sort of testing to augment inspections of feed manufacturers. The GAO investigation, asked for by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-IA, and Richard Durbin, D-IL, did find that FDA has made strides in trying to protect the U.S.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 21, 2005
December 23, 2003, was a day each of us will never forget. Our industry has changed and we are struggling to define “normal” in a post-BSE world. What does “normal” mean? Does it mean there are simple answers to complex questions? Does it mean we should maximize short-term gains while sacrificing long-term opportunities? Does it mean questioning the safety of beef to keep from resuming trade based upon sound science? Finally, does it mean keeping our borders closed to trade for short-term profitability for our cattlemen? There are some within our industry who think so. This short-sighted approach to defining
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 21, 2005
— Early March jump bigger than normal. — Early Easter, short supplies cited. History has shown that boxed beef prices normally jump higher throughout March. However, this year’s early month spike in boxed beef prices have market analysts and retailers even more optimistic for a more lucrative late March and early April. Retailers said consumers were anxious to start grilling and get out of the mode of being “housebound,” while beef market analysts said tighter-than-normal supplies will force prices even higher. Over the first two weeks of the month, Choice boxed beef rose approximately $20 per cwt, while Select has followed with a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 21, 2005
BSE issue gone too far Dear Mr. Crow, I couldn't agree more with your editorial March 7. This BSE issue has certainly gone too far. The R-CALF crowd is leading the public to believe this is a contagious disease of cattle, or that muscle cuts of beef from Canadian cattle could in some way be a consumer health threat, is far from factual. R-CALF leaders seem all too willing to risk eroding consumer confidence in our product in order to further their own protectionist agenda. Thank you for speaking out. Ralph D. "Shorty" Jones Midland, SD Science used as a smoke screen Dear
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 21, 2005
The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) applauded members of the Montana House of Representatives for passing HB 406, the "Country of Origin Placarding Act," with an amendment to postpone implementation until October 2006 when the national country-of-origin-labeling is scheduled to be in place. The bill, which passed the House by 63-37, requires specific commodities offered for sale in Montana to be displayed with a placard indicating country of origin of that food. The law will require producers, growers and shippers of beef, processed whole grains, honey, pork, poultry, and lamb to label each individual portion, piece or package of that commodity in


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