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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Several recently released reports have shown that the incidences of pathogens contaminating meat are definitely decreasing. A majority of the reason for the reduction in food-borne illnesses can be attributed to research work and improved technology. Scientists at USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS) are continuing to build on that research in hopes of finding new, more effective ways to squelch pathogens. Campylobacter is one of the pathogens ARS has been focusing on. Thoroughly cooking beef, chicken or pork will ensure Campylobacter is killed. Raw meat, however, harbors the bacteria and can lead to food poisoning. ARS scientists figure the best way to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Pay for getting dressed requested. The U.S. Supreme Court last week said it will hear arguments on whether meat-processing plants must pay workers for the time to change into protective clothing and to walk to their work stations. The nine justices will review two opposite lower court rulings examining workers' rights under federal labor law. One ordered IBP Inc.—prior to its purchase by Tyson Fresh Meats Inc.—to pay $3.1 million to 815 workers in Pasco, WA, for the time to put on and remove protective clothing. A separate federal court ruling said 44 Barber Foods employees in Portland, ME, were not
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
The second dairy cow depopulation portion of a dairy industry “self help” program started earlier this month and is expected to be done by the end of March or very early April. While an additional 50,000-plus cows will be processed over the next four to six weeks, beef market analysts said the overall impact to slaughter cow prices should be minimal. According to officials with Cooperatives Working Together (CWT), 50,478 dairy cows from 363 dairies nationwide were accepted into the second scheduled “dairy cow retirement” program. Those cows are to be processed in a timely manner over the next month to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
The European Commission approves new BSE tests, opening up competition in the field. The European Commission has approved seven new rapid BSE tests: • CediTect BSE test • Enfer TSE Kit version 2.0 • IDEXX HerdChek BSE Antigen Test Kit (EIA) • Institut Pourquier Speed'it BSE • Prionics Check PrioSTRIP • Roboscreen Beta Prion BSE EIA Test Kit • Roche Applied Science PrionScreen. The approval means that now 12 tests can be used to monitor BSE. Following a laboratory evaluation by the Commission and subsequent field trials by the test producers under the supervision of the Joint Research Center, the European Food Safety Authority recommended that the seven new tests
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Moisture still helping calf market. — Feeder cattle losing ground. A Thursday rally in the live cattle futures market kept last week’s fed cattle trade at a stalemate as prospective sellers had more impetus to hold on for at least steady money, compared to the previous week. However, analysts weren’t sure packers would ante up that much, as processing margins continued to go deeper into the red last week. As of press time last Thursday, the only trade for the week was an anemic 13,000 head in Nebraska at mostly $137-137.50 dressed. Other northern cattle feeders were waiting for packers to bid
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
The Livestock Marketing Association has called for the U.S. border to remain closed to Canadian cattle and beef until USDA meets three requirements. According to a resolution passed by LMA’s Board of Directors, at its recent annual meeting in Austin, TX, the border should remain closed unless and until: • There is full implementation of mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL); • there is resumption of U.S. cattle/beef trade with Japan, Mexico and South Korea; and • Canadian cattle imports can be accepted in an “orderly marketing method.” The board of directors noted that LMA provides marketing services “to tens of thousands of cattle producers,” and that
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
A cow in northern Japan tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a preliminary examination last Thursday, a Japanese official said. If confirmed, it would be the country's 15th case of the brain-wasting malady. Preliminary tests on the Holstein cow—already dead when it was brought in from a ranch in Hokkaido prefecture—turned up positive at a dairy health center in Obihiro, said Hokkadio government official Osamu Terada. Other specifics, including the cow's age, were not disclosed. Results from more precise testing at a state-run research center north of Tokyo were likely to be released during the first week of March, officials said. On
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
A U.S. District Court judge denied last Wednesday the U.S. government's request to strike two arguments made by the American Meat Institute in an effort to force the U.S. to lift its ban on Canadian cattle of all ages. The American Meat Institute, which represents U.S. beef processors, told Judge John Garrett Penn that USDA isn't justified in using a 30-month age threshold to distinguish cattle as less or more safe. AMI also asked Penn to impose a 120-day deadline on USDA to make a decision on older cattle in the event the judge doesn't grant a preliminary injunction that would allow
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Escrow has been closed by the state of California and its conservation partners on 82,000 acres of the Hearst Ranch in San Luis Obispo County. The finalization of this agreement assures that 128 square miles of pristine rangeland, an area twice the size of San Francisco, will remain undeveloped and used only for agricultural, recreational and preservation purposes. This marks the largest land conservation transaction in state history. The drivers behind this conservation agreement were state agencies, the Hearst Corporation, the American Land Conservancy and the California Rangeland Trust. In 1998, these groups approached the idea with Stephen Hearst, vice president
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
President George Bush renominated a friend of the livestock industry, William G. Myers III, to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel. With new information made public last week regarding Myers and his practices while serving as the Interior Department Solicitor, it is hoped that his nomination will not be filibustered by the Senate this time. Myers was first nominated by President Bush on May 15, 2003, and was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 1, 2004. His nomination was filibustered by Senate Democrats. Although Myers received 53 votes for confirmation from the Senate, which is a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Under an obscure provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian cattle producers are asking the U.S. government to pay more than $300 million to cover losses they incurred when the border was closed to Canadian beef after BSE was confirmed in Alberta during May 2003. At the beginning of February, approximately 500 Canadian producers, mostly of them from Alberta, had filed 121 claims under NAFTA seeking at least $325 million in compensation from the U.S. for the May 2003 decision to halt imports of Canadian beef and cattle. While the pending reopening of the border would limit future claims, it would
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
John Floyd Franz Born in Watertown, SD, John Franz was raised on a farm in Frankfort, SD. At 17, he enlisted in the Navy and served during WWII on the USS Pensacola and was awarded the Purple Heart. Upon his return he met June Wiggins, and they were married for 51 years. He began Franz Furniture Business in Tacoma, WA, and upon retirement moved to Yelm, WA, to raise cattle and horses on his 280-acre ranch. He died Feb. 11 on his ranch while doing what he loved, putting his horses away for the night. He was active in Yelm Moose, Eagles,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced last Thursday he has given the order for a risk analysis to be done on Canadian cattle 30 months of age and older, the first step in increasing Canada's beef access to the U.S. market. USDA is scheduled to lift its ban on cattle younger than 30 months and expand the types of beef allowed in from those younger animals on March 7. Johanns, speaking at USDA's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, declined to predict how long it will take to open the U.S. border to older Canadian cattle, but he has previously said it may take
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Placements below, marketings above estimates. — Reactions still mixed. USDA’s Feb. 1 Cattle-on-Feed Report, released Friday, Feb. 18, was better than pre-report estimates as January placements were below most forecasts and marketings were larger than expectations. However, analysts’ reactions to the report still ranged from slightly bullish to bearish, particularly for the summer fed market. Pessimists referred to the fact that Feb. 1 on-feed figures showed larger feedlot populations than a year ago. “The best way to put it is that the report shouldn’t result in any major downturn in the cattle markets the next couple of weeks. However, the data still
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Canada Farm Direct concluded that its first beef slaughter and processing expansion should occur in Saskatchewan after meeting with cattle producers and evaluating the future of the Western Canadian beef industry. “Cow-Calf production and the feelot industry will continue to grow in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba. To reach full potential, substantial additional slaughter capacity is needed,” said Dale Mather of Canada Farm Direct in a prepared statement. “We are studying the feasibility of a new facility to complement the other interests we will have in Saskatchewan.” After concluding its current share offer, Canada Farm Direct will acquire one of Western Canada’s largest
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
I have promoted, sold, and advertised smooth wire electric fencing as the latest and greatest inexpensive tool to control livestock and improve your pasture management for more than 20 years. The other day, I found myself working hard to come up with a long list of all the things that can go wrong with this kind of a fence. Talk about role reversal! I had just returned from Oklahoma after testifying in a lawsuit as a fencing expert in a trial-by- jury lawsuit involving a escaped black cow causing a serious semi-truck accident. The trial, which lasted six days, had me
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
ARS wants to improve the stability and profitability of forage production. Two research units in the central Great Plain states of Oklahoma and Nebraska demonstrate the agency's commitment to that purpose. The mission of the ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory in El Reno, OK, is to enhance forage and livestock production and develop management strategies that incorporate climate risk, promote sustainability, and conserve the productivity of grazinglands resources on the Great Plains. Managing intensive grazing systems for forage-finishing of livestock and dairy production requires increased efficiency in nutrient use. William A. Phillips, an animal nutritionist in El Reno, found that kenaf, a crop usually
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
It was as if a collective sigh of relief could be heard from grocers, meat processors and distributors across the U.S. last week as they prepare to say good riddance to February, a typically slow sales period, and look forward to improved business activity in March. For the month, as of the close of business last Wednesday, the Choice beef composite value dropped $4.46 per cwt, or 3.1 percent. The pork composite price declined $5.95, or 8.1 percent, while prices for boneless/skinless chicken breasts, a barometer for sales activity in the chicken category, fell about 25 cents per pound, or nearly
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice raised the issue of Japan lifting completely a ban on imports of U.S. beef during a meeting on Saturday, Feb. 19, with her Japanese counterpart. Rice met with Nobutaka Machimura for bilateral talks. The Japanese understood U.S. concerns and were trying to accelerate procedures "and made a commitment the issue would be resolved," said a State Department official, on the condition of anonymity. Hatushisa Takashima, the Japanese foreign ministry spokesman, said beef imports came up in the talks and that Japan would make an effort to meet U.S. requests. Japan imposed a ban on U.S. beef imports
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Stored wet grain will deteriorate rapidly as temperatures rise this spring, according to North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang. Corn at 24 percent moisture has an allowable storage time of about 130 days at 30 degrees, but only 40 days at 40 degrees and 15 days at 50 degrees. Therefore, 24 percent moisture corn needs to be dried using a high-temperature dryer before the grain warms, Hellevang said. The galvanized steel of a grain bin acts as a solar collector, so the grain near the south side and top of the bin will be heated to temperatures that


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