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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
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
The shooting of four cows in north-central Montana was recently solved with information provided through the Montana Livestock Crimestoppers program and the local sheriff's office. The shooting of domestic livestock is just one of the crimes Montana producers face, according to Jack Wiseman, Brands Enforcement Administrator with the Montana Department of Livestock. Others include the alteration of a brand on an animal and theft of livestock from the field or from a sale written with a bad check. The Livestock Crimestoppers program can help solve many of these types of crimes if people are aware of the program and report suspicious
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service recently reported that commercial red meat production in the U.S. totaled 3.65 billion pounds in January, down two percent from the 3.71 billion pounds produced in January 2004. Beef production, at 1.92 billion pounds, was slightly below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.53 million head, down two percent from January 2004. The average live weight was up 13 pounds from the previous year, at 1,262 pounds. Veal production totaled 13.3 million pounds, 17 percent below January a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 67,700 head, down 14 percent from January 2004. The average live weight was seven
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— Canadian cattle reentry delayed. — Appeal on way to Ninth Circuit. R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America was claiming victory last week as U.S. District Court Judge Richard Cebull, Billings, MT, granted the group’s request for a temporary restraining order against USDA’s planned March 7 reopening of the border to Canadian live cattle. In his written order explaining his ruling, Cebull said, “Plaintiff (R-CALF) has demonstrated the numerous procedural and substantive shortcomings of the USDA’s decision to allow importation of Canadian cattle and beef. The serious irreparable harm that will occur when Canadian cattle and meat enter the U.S. and co-mingle (sic) with
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
As I write this, a judge in a Billings, MT, courthouse is listening to oral arguments over the reopening of the U.S. border to Canadian cattle and other products. Whatever the outcome, it’s timely to look at some of the supply-demand fundamentals that face the U.S. industry this year. Right now, I have some causes for concern. After eight years of herd liquidation, cow-calf producers last year began to retain heifers and rebuild their numbers. This meant the national herd on Jan. 1 was 95.85 million head, up one percent from the previous year. A couple of other numbers are important.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— More corn acres projected in ‘05. — Good growing weather also expected. There is a very good possibility that feed corn prices later this year could be even lower than prices seen in late 2004 and early 2005 if prospects for more corn acres and very conducive growing conditions come to fruition, grain and cattle market analysts told WLJ last week. According to estimates from commodity committees within USDA, corn plantings for 2005 could be over 82 million acres, the largest figure since 1985. That figure is 1.1 million acres larger than last year, when the nation’s largest corn crop in history
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
The IRS Manual has a section in the Audit Technique Guide entitled “IRC Section 183: Farm Hobby Losses With Cattle Operations and Horse Activities.” The guide is intended to alert IRS auditors to situations pertaining to the horse and cattle industries. The guide says, “Current trends indicate that these two activities, due to their nature, contain certain opportunities for taxpayer abuse.” Auditors are advised, “Many of the taxpayers who potentially fall under the provisions of IRC section 183 with respect to horse and cattle activities have been involved in such activities during their youth. These taxpayers have grown up on
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Clarifying OCM article Pete, I saw your reference to my OCM article and I wanted to clarify a few things. First, you mentioned that fed cattle prices usually make a big break by August. That is basically true and that was the whole point of my article. With the Canadian border being closed, prices have been much better than normal and we didn’t see the big break in prices in the summer. When the border is opened, fundamentals will return to normal and you had better be prepared for a break in the market. August live cattle have only been over $80 when
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
—Incident Comes Months After River Cleanup Manure spread on a frozen field is blamed for killing dozens of brown trout in southern Wisconsin—just two weeks before public hearings start on proposed new rules that would streamline the process for expanding livestock farms in the state. The West Branch of the Sugar River, near Mount Horeb in Dane County, had been removed last October from a federal government list of impaired waters after more than $900,000 in state and federal grants and thousands of volunteer hours turned a shallow, muddy stream into prime trout habitat. But officials said Monday that the stream was damaged
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
A nationwide study of the retail meat case last year revealed rising demand for processed meat, natural products, protein variety, case-ready meats, and on-package information, according to the groups involved with the survey. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Board (NPB), and food packaging supplier Cryovac Food Packaging conducted the 2004 National Meat Case Study (NMCS), which found that despite an increase in retail meat prices, consumer demand for meat remained strong. However, there were some noteworthy shifts in meat purchases, according to the study’s findings. Part of the study evaluated the size and composition of the self-serve fresh meat case
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
U.S. meat exports will increase markedly during the next 10 years, according to an article on cattlenetwork.com. The increase in U.S. meat exports will help the beef and chicken industries recover from disease-related market losses. Improved global economic growth and rising demand for meats will contribute to the gains in U.S. exports. The gradual recovery in beef exports to markets such as Japan and South Korea is also critical to the projections. The predictions assume that Brazil and Argentina will not be recognized as free of hoof-and-mouth disease (HMD) by key meat-importing countries, such as Japan, the cattlenetwork.com article said. U.S. beef
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Beginning March 18, Texas will join more than 33 other states that require most dairy cows and dairy bulls to have a negative test for bovine tuberculosis (TB) within 60 days before entering the state. Targeted animals entering Texas will have to be officially identified with an ear tag and will be restricted at a designated facility until they test negative for TB at six months of age. With 807 registered dairies, Texas ranks among the top 10 states in the nation for dairy cattle and milk production. Nearly 62,000 dairy replacement animals entered the state in 2004. The new regulation
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
A jury in the U.S. District Court in Omaha awarded a judgment in favor of South Sioux city resident Carol Marmo for damages and injuries she suffered due to numerous releases of hydrogen sulfide gas by IBP, Inc. This trial was the culmination of a nearly five year court battle for Mrs. Marmo and vindication for the community in a more than fifteen-year fight against IBP for damages caused by massive chemical emissions from IBP’s Dakota City wastewater treatment facility. Mrs. Marmo is represented by the law firms of Croker Huck Kasher Dewitt & Gonderinger of Omaha and Resolution Law Group,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
The House of Representatives is being asked to consider a bill that would make paying producers for reduced or eliminated grazing permits a law. This bill entitled the “Cattlemen’s Bill of Rights,” was recently introduced by Rep. Rick Renzi, R-AZ. Renzi’s bill HR 411 seeks “to recognize the importance of livestock ranching to the history and continued economic viability of the western U.S.” The bill states that it would accomplish this by compensating ranchers when certain government actions result in the loss or reduction in Animal Unit Months (AUMs) authorized under a grazing permit or lease issued by a federal land
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
There’s very little chance it will leapfrog “The Da Vinci Code” on any bestseller lists, but a new book compiled and edited by two University of Missouri professors might just gain a devoted cult following. Agronomist Craig Roberts and animal scientist Don Spiers, along with Chuck West of the University of Arkansas, co-edited “Neophytodium in Cool-Season Grasses” (2005 Blackwell Publishing). The less-than-catchy title belies the significance of the work, which addresses every aspect of naturally occurring toxins in pasture grasses’ a huge problem for livestock producers in Missouri and around the world. “Neophytodium” is the Latin word for the fungus also called the


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