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WLJ

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
Agri-Food Canada has been working to put a newly enhanced feed ban in effect for several years. The new regulations would eliminate the inclusion of all specified risk materials in all animal feed, not just cattle feed. However, last week, Agri-Food Canada said the agency would postpone any rule-making decisions until the U.S. publishes a similar change to its feed ban. Canadian officials said the delay was made at the request of the Canadian beef industry which hopes to harmonize its regulations to those of the U.S. in order to be more competitive. Cattle
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
— Exchange contracts ignore lower cash to rally sharply. Fed cattle trade last week began in the northern tier and western Corn belt on Wednesday at prices sharply lower than the previous week. Cattle trade in Nebraska and Colorado moved good volume, with more than 100,000 head trading hands at $3 lower than the prior week at $125 dressed and $78-78.75 live, $2-3 lower than the prior week. In the southern Plains, bids and offers were still far apart and as of Thursday, cattle in the south had not
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
It seems the U.S. beef producer is stuck between a rock and a hard spot these days, not too different from the old Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons I recall from my youth. You remember the ones; Coyote would strap himself to an Acme rocket or some other contraption and fling himself after the Roadrunner in another futile attempt to catch him. In the end, Wile E. Coyote would end up “pancaked” on a mountain or run over by a truck. Meanwhile, the roadrunner, unscathed, would run by, cast a sideways glance at
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
The central U.S. saw an expansion of the drought last week into much of the Great Plains as far north as South Dakota. With the exception of the far west, states such as California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and most of Utah and Montana, the drought worsened for most producers. Large numbers of cull cows are flooding the marketplace in the southern Plains as producers work to provide enough grass for the core of their herds. In states such as Colorado, cattle
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
Flies annoying the herd, buzzing around their ears and causing irritation isn’t the greatest concern. The pesky fly is also known to transmit an array of diseases, as well as stunt growth in calves. The time is now to prevent these tiny beasts from dominating control and wreaking havoc on cattle and, most critically, calves. As temperatures rise, so does the volume of the face swarming intruders. “These flies start becoming a problem about late May,” said Ron Lemenager, Purdue University Extension beef
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
With much of the West facing drought conditions, hay and forage production has been severely limited. In areas where hay production is good, growers are taking advantage of good yields and expecting near record prices for their crop. Western states In Washington, Idaho and Montana, the first and second cuttings of alfalfa were just getting underway last week, although wet weather was hampering efforts to complete fieldwork. Producers in Washington’s Columbia Basin had their second cutting rained on,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
Years ago, I helped a rancher greatly improve his profit by designing a planned grazing system where we split two large pastures into 36 sub-divisions. One of the 36 pastures was named Cut Bank. There was a large head cut located at the beginning portion of a small coulee where natural water movement continued to cut the clay soil back each year. At the upper end of this area there was a four foot straight drop-off in the shape of a horseshoe. I
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
Often in the headlines is the continuous urban sprawl, consisting of farm and ranch property being developed for houses to meet a growing demand for the open, more rural lifestyle that the city neglects. A much quieter affair that has been taking place for generations is the buying of actual ranches for the mere sake of having one for the recreational aspect. A majority of such wealthy-sought ranches exist in the rugged environs of the West, due to the enhanced view and recreation the mountains bring.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
Nebraska Like several other Plains states officials, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman spent much of last week touring drought afflicted portions of his state. The tour was one of several steps state officials in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and others were taking to begin the process of opening the door for disaster relief in the form of federal assistance and money. During the tour, Heineman said the dry conditions plaguing the state were serious and he immediately requested disaster declarations for eight counties in Nebraska.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
— There is value to the buyer and seller by implementing a good health management program. Commercial cattlemen operating terminal-based programs vying to reap profits from feedlots will benefit when the feedlot benefits. Cattle that have a better chance of being stamped Choice earn the feedlot greater profits, thus cattlemen able to produce such cattle will be paid premiums. Although there are many factors dictating Quality Grade, it is much more than simply genetics. A lot depends on health management, limiting commingling, and following reputable health protocols.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jun 19, 2006
The U.S. has been engaging in Asian trade negotiations for nearly three years and the tension is rising with little progress or signs of border openings any time soon. The two countries again in the spotlight are South Korea and Japan. South Korea, who had planned on trade resumption June 7, backed out of the deal citing further concerns after visiting U.S. facilities. Japan, who has been demanding stricter regulations on U.S. processing plants, has been juggling the issue of resuming trade without being able to reach an agreement. Estimated dates of possible resumption
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
May 22, 2006
  What about Mexico? Dear Pete: First to congratulate you on taking over the Cattlemen’s Tour from your Dad and Barbara. It is a great program and the trip to Africa I took with them was fantastic. Pete, the amount of print on the Japan Beef Ban is overwhelming. You can not open an Internet site or a trade journal without it being the presiding factor. However,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 5, 2005
— Charred area nearly double 10-year average A light snow pack over the winter was followed by a wet spring. Those conditions contributed to a good grass and brush crop which carried fire very well, said Ken Frederick, spokesman for the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, ID. Despite the fact that the total acreage burned this season is nearly double the 10-year average, Frederick characterized the 2005 fire season as “near normal,” saying most fires have been burning in isolated regions. Wildfire danger was reported by the NIFC as critical in most of Washington and Oregon and parts of Nevada
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 5, 2005
Malaysia bans Aussie beef Malaysia has suspended beef imports from several Australian abattoirs, claiming slaughter methods do not meet Islamic law and the meat is unfit for Muslims to eat. Inspectors from Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development have refused to approve Halal certification to Australian processors that stun animals to ease their suffering before slaughter. The Australian government has refused to say how many processors have been denied certification. The trade minister, Mark Vaile, has been talking to the Malaysian government to try to resolve the standoff. Processors finalize merger Rosen’s Diversified Inc., Fairmont, MN, and American Foods Group (AFG), Green Bay, WI,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 5, 2005
— “Most at risk” population almost exhausted. An official with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) told WLJ last week that their stepped up bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) testing program has succeeded with testing most of the U.S. cattle considered most at risk for the disease. As of Aug. 28, USDA has tested a total of 452,760 cattle for the disease, with only one confirmed case of the disease being found. USDA has conducted its more aggressive testing for the disease since June 1, of last year. Over the last two months, the weekly testing pace has been mostly steady with
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 5, 2005
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) last week said it has concluded its investigation into the over-30-month bovine animal that entered the U.S. and was processed as if it was an under-30-month animal. The agency announced it has suspended the accreditation of the veterinarian who inspected the suspect animal and that it will suspend issuing any more export certificates to the exporter that shipped the animal. Names of the veterinarian and the exporter were not released. Accredited private-sector veterinarians who act on behalf of the CFIA in this program and exporters are being reminded that there will be zero tolerance by the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 5, 2005
Preconditioned calves averaged a premium of $20-plus per head over the previous 10 years, according to a recent Colorado State University (CSU) study. Conducted on behalf of Pfizer Animal Health, the study showed that higher prices consistently go to calves enrolled in value-added preconditioning and animal health programs. CSU catalogued and examined data from more than 2.7 million lots of cattle sold through the Superior Video auction since 1995. The information was examined for factors such as calf color, breed, size, sex, lot uniformity, location and selected preconditioning program to determine which factors drive the sale price of a lot. Mike Amos, spokesman
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 29, 2005
Swift plant hikes wages Employees at Hyrum-based meat packing plant, E.A. Miller, will soon see more money in their paychecks thanks to a recent announcement by the plant’s parent company to hike wages. Officials with Swift and Company announced Aug. 19 a 21-percent hike in starting wages, in an effort to restaff key areas following the reopening of the U.S.-Canada border to calves 30 months of age and younger. New employees will make $10 an hour, up from $8.25, while current employees will see up to a $1.75 hourly rate increase. Staffing levels at the Hyrum plant waned six percent since
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 29, 2005
A shipment of 35 live cattle from Canada which contained 8 pregnant heiferettes, including one animal more than 30 months of age, were slaughtered by a U.S. packing facility earlier this month. The shipment and subsequent processing of the cattle violated USDA rules concerning cattle imported from north of the border. According to USDA officials, the animal’s age was questioned after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) noted a wide range of ages on a load of cattle approved for shipment to Green Bay Dressed Beef, Green Bay, WI, a subsidiary of American Foods Group (AFG). USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Aug 29, 2005
A two-year study by Oklahoma State University professor Bob Wetteman shows that heat stress can significantly shorten gestation length in early fall calving cows and heifers. Wetteman monitored gestation length for a group of 50 Angus-Hereford cross “early” (August) and “late” (October) fall-calving cows. Wetteman found that when subjected to the stress of hot days in late summer, cows tended to have shorter gestation lengths than cows bred to the same bull due to calve later in the fall. The average maximum temperature for the early calving group was 93 degrees during the week prior to calving. Wettemann found that cows in