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WLJ

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
In mid-August, officials with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Idaho seized 31 head of cattle from Oakley, ID, ranchers Jared and Bruce Bedke. According to Idaho BLM spokesman Barry Rose, those cattle will be sold to recoup more than $50,000 in administrative costs if the animals are not claimed by the Bedkes, who would also be required to pay the costs involved in the case. Jared Bedke said the issue started earlier this year when he and his father chose not to renew the permit for their grazing allotment. “We elected to exercise our property rights on our allotment,”
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
Legislators in Colorado recently responded to an incident at the 2007 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo which kept two young 4-H’ers from participating in the livestock sale because of a new premise ID requirement. The new rule, created by the Colorado State Fair Board of Authority in January of this year, required all participants entering the livestock sale to have a valid premise ID registered under the government’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS). NAIS is a program which seeks to register all premises where livestock are kept in the U.S. in an effort to speed up the flow of information during
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
Expect change, use caution Traditionally, the early summer video markets have a lot to do with setting the market and in eight out of 10 years, the market highs are found at that point. This year appears to be one of those exceptions, when feeder cattle prices get stronger going in to fall. September feeder cattle were $119.60 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange last week. The prices on last week’s Superior Video Auction responded to the board with yearling prices near or above that level based on a variety of trading criterion. With feeder cattle this high, a lot of the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
Recent attempts by President Bush and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to use additional tools in the enforcement of immigration laws have been halted by U.S. District Court Judge Maxine M. Chesney. Chesney issued a ruling on Aug. 31 which barred the administration from launching its plan to use Social Security numbers (SSN) in its effort to increase enforcement efforts in the wake of Bush’s failed policy initiative which called for comprehensive immigration reform. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff had announced agency plans in early August which would call for the use of ‘no-match’ letters (NML) in seeking legal action against
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
— Ranchers accused of violating grazing regulations on federal lands. Embers of the Sage Brush Rebellion were flaring again last week as federal officials filed charges against Wayne N. Hage, Benjamin J. Colvin, and the estate of E. Wayne Hage. The charges stem from allegations that the ranchers have been intentionally grazing cattle illegally on federally managed lands in Esmeralda and Nye counties in Nevada. According to U.S. Department of Justice documents, the ranchers allegedly grazed cattle on U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land without the required permits, disregarding several trespass notices from the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
—Feeder cattle sales strong, video yearlings sell as high as $122. Fed cattle trade appeared to be trending back to the late week trade pattern of fall after a couple months of cattle trading early in the week. Trade was stalled last week with no action expected until Friday. Last Thursday afternoon, there was $5 separating packer bids of $92 and feedlot asking prices of $97 live and $154-155 dressed. Ehedger.com analyst Troy Vetterkind said last Thursday he expected trade to develop at prices steady to higher than the prior week at $96 live and $152 in the beef. Prior week
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
Corn for food and fuel There has been a great deal of hand wringing lately about the price of food now that Colorado and the nation is turning to agricultural commodities, primarily corn, to fill part of our demand for liquid fuel. There is a kernel of truth to these fears, but not much more than just that. Ethanol production from corn has been on the increase for several years as a means to increase the combustibility of gasoline. More complete combustion of gas helps clean our air and extends fuel supplies by about 10 percent in unleaded gasoline. Many vehicle manufactures
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
Twice last week, South Korean inspectors found bone-in beef in a shipment of U.S. beef sent overseas. The South Korean National Veterinary Research & Quarantine Service said in a release last Thursday that it would delist the U.S. plants that had been responsible for the shipment. That decision came as a relief for the beef industry which had been shut out of the market for a month as a result of a prior mistake. The first finding, which was announced last Monday, was the result of inspectors finding ribs in a 40-pound case which was included in the 15.5 ton shipment
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
NAIS is a ruse No matter where you live in America, or what you do—whether you are a 4-H or FFA parent, rancher, logger, farmer, miner, commercial fisherman, recreationist, etc.—you should be paying close attention to the battle for property rights and freedom that is being fought on the lands of Colorado. Whether the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is “the mark of the Beast” may be questioned, but what is crystal-clear is the USDA’s intention of making this “voluntary” agenda mandatory: Nationwide. Touted as an asset to “homeland security” and “the threat of disease,” the truth is that this is
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
Grass fed, naturally raised, tender, organic... All are labels for which markets exist, but consumer and producer confusion alike has prompted USDA to provide solutions to the issue at an accelerated pace. Currently, ‘organic’ is the only one of the aforementioned terms which USDA recognizes and regulates through its National Organic Program (NOP). Grains, feed/forage, produce and livestock can all carry this label, which carries with it a considerable verification process designed to ensure consumers are receiving products which meet the claims made by the producer or retailer. Sonja Tuitele, spokesperson for Wild Oats Market, a grocer specializing in natural and organic
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 10, 2007
A true cowman When Linn Battey was growing up in Texas, he said all he ever wanted to be was a cowboy. Well, Linn did become a cowboy, and a good one. Last week, John Jackson of the YP Ranch, Tuscarora, NV, called to tell me Linn Battey was leaving the YP and going back to Texas. They were having a going away party for him and John wanted to know if I could be there. Over the past years, I have become acquainted with Linn as he attended a lot of the bull sales during the spring with John,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 3, 2007
An incident at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo last week has spawned a firestorm of controversy related to the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). NAIS is a program which seeks to register premises and livestock for the purpose of traceability and is administered by USDA. Two young 4-H’ers, who were qualified for the livestock sale, were ejected from the fair and prevented from showing their livestock in the market show because their families had not registered their premises with NAIS. The families were given the opportunity to either register their livestock and premises on the spot, or be removed from
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 3, 2007
In its ongoing effort to improve the health and productivity of the public lands, including those recently affected by wildfire, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has initiated a native seed collection effort that is part of an interagency “Seeds of Success” program.  Starting with 12 collecting teams that quickly grew to 35 teams nationwide, BLM and numerous partners carry out the Seeds of Success (SOS) initiative, which is the core of a National Native Plant Materials Development Program. SOS provides seeds from many species of plants to growers, researchers, and administrators of seed in the U.S. BLM’s collecting partners include the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 3, 2007
Smithfield Foods, Inc. recently announced an export deal with a Chinese firm that would send 60 million pounds of pork to China. China is already a buyer of U.S. pork, but the new contract represents a substantial increase in export levels. The new agreement comes during a tough time for China’s own pork industry as they have been battling disease in the majority of the country’s hog herd since last year. Information leaked after the initial press release showed that COFCO, China’s largest oils and food importer/exporter, was the company with whom Smithfield struck their deal. The company had preferred
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 3, 2007
The end of the line? R-CALF’s staff and board of directors, who have relentlessly pursued the Canadian border issue through the court system, received more bad news last week when the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals shot down their latest attempt to stop the flow of beef from Canada. It seems that the courts have been pretty clear in their belief that USDA has followed proper procedure and reached the correct decision when the agency reopened the border two years ago, although R-CALF still believes differently. Last week, the board had yet to decide whether to pursue the case further.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 3, 2007
Many beef producers struggle with priorities when it comes to genetic selection. One part of them knows the market rewards a focus on the end product. After all, consumers are the ultimate customers. Then their skeptical side kicks in: “Yeah, but the most important thing is to get as many live, healthy calves as possible each year so the cows can earn their keep.” Those torn by this conflict of the mind can take heart in an updated research paper by Twig Marston, Kansas State University. Its long title indicates a comprehensive approach. “The Relationship Between Marbling and Other EPDs with Implications When
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 3, 2007
—Fed cattle prices rise ahead of holiday. Cash fed cattle trade last week was slow to start, with feedlots and packers working hard to outlast one another before coming to the table. As of last Thursday, analysts were still expecting trade at prices $1 higher than the prior week at $93-94 live and $146-148 dressed. However, as of mid-day last Thursday, feedlots were still passing on packer bids and were as much as $2-3 apart. A rising cutout and the expectation that next week’s holiday-shortened schedule ahead would add more strength to the boxed beef market was adding to feeder’s optimism
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 3, 2007
Origin labeling might increase case-ready beef Here’s one consequence of country of origin labeling (COOL) that few people have thought of—more consolidation in the meatpacking industry. How’s that, you might ask? Well, what if retailers decide to ask their meat suppliers for more and more prepackaged fresh meat with the origin label already on the package? Only a certain number of meat companies will be able to supply the volume required. So small players will drop out. I fully anticipate that retailers will ask for more prepackaged beef. That will mean the end of the in-store butcher and the custom cuts in
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 3, 2007
The grace period for Montana’s new horse testing rule has been extended to Sept. 7. The Montana Board of Livestock recently approved a new rule to require all horses coming into Montana be tested for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA), a respiratory virus that also causes abortion in mares. The new testing requirement was supposed to go into effect on Aug. 20. “That’s just too soon,” says acting State Veterinarian Dr. Jeanne Rankin. “Some of the tests are complicated and take a long time to run.” Also, a stallion could test positive because he contracted the virus naturally or has been vaccinated previously.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Sep 3, 2007
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America last week and agreed with USDA’s decision to resume imports of Canadian beef. For years, R-CALF has been arguing that beef and cattle originating in Canada pose a risk of spreading bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S. However, the court disagreed with each of the points presented by R-CALF lawyers. “Having reviewed the merits of this case, we conclude that the agency considered the relevant factors and articulated a rational connection between the facts found and its decision to designate Canada a minimal-risk country,” Judge Cynthia


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