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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 27, 2006
How to stop over-grazing from destroying your pasture's “biological capital” To stop something from happening, you must first thoroughly understand in basic detail what it is you’re trying to stop. This means acquiring a working knowledge of the science of how plants grow and how defoliation affects plants during different stages of their life cycle. What is over-grazing? Over-grazing happens when a plant bitten severely during the growing season gets bitten severely again while using energy it has taken from its crown, stem bases, and roots to re-establish new leaf growth. The next important item to help stop over-grazing is to know just
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 27, 2006
— Cattle on feed numbers remain record high. — Marketing rate a disappointment. The Nov. 1 cattle on feed report from USDA again showed record high numbers of cattle in U.S. feedlots. According to USDA calculations, there were 11.95 million head of cattle on feed at the first of the month, up 4 percent from last year. That figure is the highest recorded since USDA began the data set in 1996. The number of cattle on feed was mostly inline with analysts’ pre-report estimates. “Cattle on feed increased 2 percent less than normal from October 1 to November 1,” said Andy Gottschalk at
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 27, 2006
The federal agriculture official in charge of rural development said last week that changes need to be made in government policies to make it easier for people in rural areas to invest in ethanol and biodiesel plants. Tom Dorr, undersecretary for rural development for USDA, said rural America has significant wealth to invest in the rapidly expanding ethanol and biodiesel industries but regulations, tax policies, and technology in rural areas don’t make it easy. The big question, he said, is: How can individual producers and rural neighbors, cooperatives and other rural entrepreneurs capture the value when big companies start to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 27, 2006
Winter wheat conditions slipped slightly last week as a result of dry conditions which persist in much of the southern Great Plains. However, according to reports, crop progress is still considered good and may allow for improved grazing prospects for feeder and stocker cattle, particularly when compared to last year. The news is good for stocker operators who rely on wheat pasture for winter grazing and wheat growers who are currently receiving much improved prices for wheat as a result of depressed yields in other countries. Last Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade, December wheat futures were trading higher
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 20, 2006
Got plans? Agriculture in the U.S. is undergoing rapid economic and structural changes. Most farm and ranch business managers are conscious of industry trends and developments. However, they often have difficulty deciding what these changes really mean for their families and their farm businesses. To improve their chances for success, farm and ranch business managers must strengthen their ability to objectively and critically identify their farms’ strengths and weaknesses in light of opportunities and threats in the current and anticipated business operating environment. This assessment must be turned into a realistic course of action. Farm and ranch business strategic planning based
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Nov 20, 2006
Making a comeback California is not always the first place that comes to mind when you think about public land ranching, however, last week we learned there is more to the story. Ranchers in the state have a very successful history of working with public agencies to ensure public land grazing will continue. Too often anymore, we only hear about the divide between environmental groups and ranchers. On the one hand, extremist environmentalists, such as Jon Marvel of Western Watersheds Project or the Center for Biological Diversity, hold out photos of barren wastelands and blame cattle producers for the destruction of
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


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