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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) last Wednesday filed a request to become an intervener in a lawsuit against USDA and its final rule regarding the reopening of the border to Canadian live cattle. R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF) on Jan. 10 filed the suit in U.S. District Court, Billings, MT, to continue to ban imports of Canadian cattle in an effort to protect the U.S. cattle herd and U.S. consumers from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). USDA last week was still planning to reopen the border to Canadian cattle younger than 30 months of age on March 7. Legal counsel representing CCA
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Canadian farmers held a record number of cattle on their farms Jan. 1, while hog numbers were only slightly above year-earlier levels on the back of good exports, Statistics Canada reported last week. The national cattle herd has been building steadily since May 2003, when Canadian officials identified the first native-born case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in an animal in Alberta. "Canada's national cattle herd continued to swell last year, reaching a record 15.1 million head as of Jan. 1, 2005, a little more than a year-and-a-half after the worldwide ban on Canadian cattle," the government reporting agency said. However, changes in
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Questions arise about reentry date. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) last week finally released the guidelines that will be followed once Canadian feeder, fed cattle and other ruminants and cervids are allowed to reenter the U.S. However, whether March 7 will actually be the first day when Canadian cattle cross the border is still in question. During the weekend of Feb. 19-20, Dr. Ron DeHaven, administrator for APHIS, intimated that the March 7 implementation date would be the first day his department would start gleaning over export certificates and requests from Canadian exporters, and that it could be
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
While U.S. fed cattle prices softened throughout most of February, Canadian fed cattle prices strengthened significantly as both Canada’s domestic beef demand and processing capacity picked up. Over the first three weeks of the month, Canadian fed cattle prices jumped $5-7 per cwt, with $74 trade (U.S. dollar equivalent) being reported in the province of Alberta on Feb. 22. Saskatchewan fed cattle were bringing over $75 that same day. Based on the last U.S. trade of mostly $88, Canada’s cattle market is $12-13 lower, which is the narrowest spread between the two markets since BSE was first discovered in Canada in May
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Sometimes I feel like we haven’t done our job here at WLJ. During my travels this past month, it has become painfully clear that the facts are in no way present in any conversations regarding the Canadian border opening next month. One reader asked us to explain the upside of the border opening “for us out here in the hinterlands.”And, all I can say is, in the short-term there is no upside. In the long-term, the border opening is supposed to create value on a host of export items, which will add value to fed cattle and on down the line. Many
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Consumers Union last Thursday asked USDA to retest a cow that was determined in November 2004 to be negative for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) using a test called the “Western blot.” The Western blot test is used by authorities in Japan and Europe when making a final determination as to whether a cow has the brain-wasting disease, Consumers Union said. “Given the potential consequences to both public health and the cattle industry if this brain- wasting disease become established here, it is extremely important that every scientifically justifiable step be taken to prevent it," said Michael Hansen, a biologist with Consumers Union,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Several recently released reports have shown that the incidences of pathogens contaminating meat are definitely decreasing. A majority of the reason for the reduction in food-borne illnesses can be attributed to research work and improved technology. Scientists at USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS) are continuing to build on that research in hopes of finding new, more effective ways to squelch pathogens. Campylobacter is one of the pathogens ARS has been focusing on. Thoroughly cooking beef, chicken or pork will ensure Campylobacter is killed. Raw meat, however, harbors the bacteria and can lead to food poisoning. ARS scientists figure the best way to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Pay for getting dressed requested. The U.S. Supreme Court last week said it will hear arguments on whether meat-processing plants must pay workers for the time to change into protective clothing and to walk to their work stations. The nine justices will review two opposite lower court rulings examining workers' rights under federal labor law. One ordered IBP Inc.—prior to its purchase by Tyson Fresh Meats Inc.—to pay $3.1 million to 815 workers in Pasco, WA, for the time to put on and remove protective clothing. A separate federal court ruling said 44 Barber Foods employees in Portland, ME, were not
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
The second dairy cow depopulation portion of a dairy industry “self help” program started earlier this month and is expected to be done by the end of March or very early April. While an additional 50,000-plus cows will be processed over the next four to six weeks, beef market analysts said the overall impact to slaughter cow prices should be minimal. According to officials with Cooperatives Working Together (CWT), 50,478 dairy cows from 363 dairies nationwide were accepted into the second scheduled “dairy cow retirement” program. Those cows are to be processed in a timely manner over the next month to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
The European Commission approves new BSE tests, opening up competition in the field. The European Commission has approved seven new rapid BSE tests: • CediTect BSE test • Enfer TSE Kit version 2.0 • IDEXX HerdChek BSE Antigen Test Kit (EIA) • Institut Pourquier Speed'it BSE • Prionics Check PrioSTRIP • Roboscreen Beta Prion BSE EIA Test Kit • Roche Applied Science PrionScreen. The approval means that now 12 tests can be used to monitor BSE. Following a laboratory evaluation by the Commission and subsequent field trials by the test producers under the supervision of the Joint Research Center, the European Food Safety Authority recommended that the seven new tests
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Moisture still helping calf market. — Feeder cattle losing ground. A Thursday rally in the live cattle futures market kept last week’s fed cattle trade at a stalemate as prospective sellers had more impetus to hold on for at least steady money, compared to the previous week. However, analysts weren’t sure packers would ante up that much, as processing margins continued to go deeper into the red last week. As of press time last Thursday, the only trade for the week was an anemic 13,000 head in Nebraska at mostly $137-137.50 dressed. Other northern cattle feeders were waiting for packers to bid
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
The Livestock Marketing Association has called for the U.S. border to remain closed to Canadian cattle and beef until USDA meets three requirements. According to a resolution passed by LMA’s Board of Directors, at its recent annual meeting in Austin, TX, the border should remain closed unless and until: • There is full implementation of mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL); • there is resumption of U.S. cattle/beef trade with Japan, Mexico and South Korea; and • Canadian cattle imports can be accepted in an “orderly marketing method.” The board of directors noted that LMA provides marketing services “to tens of thousands of cattle producers,” and that
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
A cow in northern Japan tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a preliminary examination last Thursday, a Japanese official said. If confirmed, it would be the country's 15th case of the brain-wasting malady. Preliminary tests on the Holstein cow—already dead when it was brought in from a ranch in Hokkaido prefecture—turned up positive at a dairy health center in Obihiro, said Hokkadio government official Osamu Terada. Other specifics, including the cow's age, were not disclosed. Results from more precise testing at a state-run research center north of Tokyo were likely to be released during the first week of March, officials said. On
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
A U.S. District Court judge denied last Wednesday the U.S. government's request to strike two arguments made by the American Meat Institute in an effort to force the U.S. to lift its ban on Canadian cattle of all ages. The American Meat Institute, which represents U.S. beef processors, told Judge John Garrett Penn that USDA isn't justified in using a 30-month age threshold to distinguish cattle as less or more safe. AMI also asked Penn to impose a 120-day deadline on USDA to make a decision on older cattle in the event the judge doesn't grant a preliminary injunction that would allow
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Escrow has been closed by the state of California and its conservation partners on 82,000 acres of the Hearst Ranch in San Luis Obispo County. The finalization of this agreement assures that 128 square miles of pristine rangeland, an area twice the size of San Francisco, will remain undeveloped and used only for agricultural, recreational and preservation purposes. This marks the largest land conservation transaction in state history. The drivers behind this conservation agreement were state agencies, the Hearst Corporation, the American Land Conservancy and the California Rangeland Trust. In 1998, these groups approached the idea with Stephen Hearst, vice president
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
President George Bush renominated a friend of the livestock industry, William G. Myers III, to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel. With new information made public last week regarding Myers and his practices while serving as the Interior Department Solicitor, it is hoped that his nomination will not be filibustered by the Senate this time. Myers was first nominated by President Bush on May 15, 2003, and was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 1, 2004. His nomination was filibustered by Senate Democrats. Although Myers received 53 votes for confirmation from the Senate, which is a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Under an obscure provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian cattle producers are asking the U.S. government to pay more than $300 million to cover losses they incurred when the border was closed to Canadian beef after BSE was confirmed in Alberta during May 2003. At the beginning of February, approximately 500 Canadian producers, mostly of them from Alberta, had filed 121 claims under NAFTA seeking at least $325 million in compensation from the U.S. for the May 2003 decision to halt imports of Canadian beef and cattle. While the pending reopening of the border would limit future claims, it would
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
John Floyd Franz Born in Watertown, SD, John Franz was raised on a farm in Frankfort, SD. At 17, he enlisted in the Navy and served during WWII on the USS Pensacola and was awarded the Purple Heart. Upon his return he met June Wiggins, and they were married for 51 years. He began Franz Furniture Business in Tacoma, WA, and upon retirement moved to Yelm, WA, to raise cattle and horses on his 280-acre ranch. He died Feb. 11 on his ranch while doing what he loved, putting his horses away for the night. He was active in Yelm Moose, Eagles,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced last Thursday he has given the order for a risk analysis to be done on Canadian cattle 30 months of age and older, the first step in increasing Canada's beef access to the U.S. market. USDA is scheduled to lift its ban on cattle younger than 30 months and expand the types of beef allowed in from those younger animals on March 7. Johanns, speaking at USDA's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, declined to predict how long it will take to open the U.S. border to older Canadian cattle, but he has previously said it may take
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Placements below, marketings above estimates. — Reactions still mixed. USDA’s Feb. 1 Cattle-on-Feed Report, released Friday, Feb. 18, was better than pre-report estimates as January placements were below most forecasts and marketings were larger than expectations. However, analysts’ reactions to the report still ranged from slightly bullish to bearish, particularly for the summer fed market. Pessimists referred to the fact that Feb. 1 on-feed figures showed larger feedlot populations than a year ago. “The best way to put it is that the report shouldn’t result in any major downturn in the cattle markets the next couple of weeks. However, the data still
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