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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
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Meat market sources and analysts predict that U.S. grocers will offer shoppers a broad mix of fresh beef, pork and chicken cuts in the coming weeks rather than focus mainly on any one sector. They said that, with ongoing uncertainty about the status of the import ban on Canadian cattle after a Federal District Court judge in Montana ruled last Wednesday to postpone the March 7 scheduled reopening of the border, grocers may be cautious about aggressively featuring beef. Meat industry sources said opinions among retailers, wholesalers and distributors ahead of Wednesday's ruling seemed to be about evenly split as to whether
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— Beef ban resolution demanded. Legislation asking for the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to impose economic sanctions against Japan if the Pacific Rim country continues to ban U.S. beef from entering its market was formally introduced by a member of the House of Representatives last Thursday. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-KS, said it is apparent that Japanese officials have been reneging on an October agreement to reopen the Japanese borders to U.S. beef, and that if the ban remains in place that they should be forced to pay damages to the U.S. beef industry. “While the U.S. has done its part
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— USDA’s final import rule nixed. — House proposal expected next. The full Senate voted 52-46 in favor of a resolution of disapproval against USDA’s proposed final rule concerning imports from “minimum BSE risk” countries. A similar proposal is expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives over the next two weeks, sources said. The Senate resolution, originally introduced by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, specifically cited the issue of allowing live cattle and an expanded category of beef from Canada beginning March 7. The resolution means that a majority of the Senate is against USDA implementing its final rule concerning imports from
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
The American Simmental Association (ASA) has added dollar indices to its Spring 2005 Sire Summary. Working with USDA geneticist, Dr. Mike MacNeil, ASA blended EPDs with five years of economic data on prices and costs to predict the dollar differences between sires when used in a commercial operation. Terminal Index (TI) is designed for evaluating sires’’ economic merit in situations where they are bred to mature Angus cows and all offspring are placed in the feedlot and sold grade and yield. Consequently, maternal traits such as milk, stayability and maternal calving ease are not considered in the index. The All-Purpose Index (API)
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
USDA banned meat from the human food supply from cattle too sick or injured to walk following the discovery of mad-cow disease in just such an animal over a year ago, but some of those banned cattle carried "no threat" of the disease, the department's secretary said last Tuesday. “Let’s say in the transport of an animal, the animal breaks its leg," USDA Secretary Mike Johanns said. "Everybody agrees that there is no (mad-cow disease) risk whatsoever. You have an animal with a broken leg.” The ban on all cattle too sick or injured to walk - called "downers" - together with
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
A program to register and identify livestock is being launched in Arizona to help quickly trace the origin of diseased animals. The Tri-National Livestock Health and Identification Consortium will begin as a voluntary program but will eventually be required of all livestock breeders and owners, said Katie Decker, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Arizona will join Colorado, New Mexico and two Mexican states in the pilot program. "It's consumer-driven. The consumer wants food safety," she said. The program is being spearheaded by agricultural officials in Colorado, Decker said, and Arizona will sign an agreement later this month to participate. Larger
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firms with positions in dozens of U.S. companies, including retailers like Mervyns and Sam Goody, has acquired a majority interest in Creekstone Farms. John Stewart, the company's chairman and holder of a large minority stake, will continue to operate Creekstone. According to Stewart, Sun will also invest additional money in the company to expand its physical plant to give it added scale. "That will allow us access to additional major retail accounts," Stewart said, "and that will put us in a position to become the natural beef leader nationwide.” "We are very enthusiastic about our relationship and


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