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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Calves from your herd may be of higher or lower quality, but they aren’t the same as last year’s. If you carried out a plan that was based on accurate information, they’re probably better. If the information was questionable, so is your chance for improved calves. The second law of thermodynamics applies to herds without plans: Nature tends to move toward a state of greater disorder. Knowing that your operation and its output cannot stand still, you must set goals to avoid the aimless, downward drift. A cash-flow budget is part of the plan, because farms and ranches don’t make the same
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Production of beef and pork in Brazil is estimated to increase in 2005 by six and three percent, respectively, reflecting a rebound in domestic demand and higher exports, although at a lower pace than last year due to a less competitive exchange rate relative to the U.S. dollar, according to an attache report posted Feb. 15 on USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service Web site. Economic analysts foresee economic growth in 2005 in the range of four-five percent, lower inflation rates around 5.6 percent, a further decline in the unemployment rate, and higher real income. These indicators are likely to influence consumer confidence
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), sharply criticized the Bush administration’s proposal to transfer $300 million out of a program for U.S. farm commodity donations. The proposal, presented in the fiscal year 2006 budget for the U.S. Department of Agricu1ture, would shift the funds from USDA’s P.L. 460 Title II foreign food assistance program to a U.S. Agency for International Development program that doesn’t rely solely on U.S. goods for donations. Goodlatte, in a statement released Feb. 14, said the funds should be kept for the USDA program because it helps American farmers since the money is used to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
— Remaining officers, new mission statement approved. Marlene Strickland, Sarasota, FL, was installed as the 54th president of the American National CattleWomen (ANCW) during the 2005 Cattle Industry Annual Convention, held February 2-5 in San Antonio, TX. “We are really looking forward to the discussion results that will be compiled from the input we received from members and cattle women who participated,” Strickland said. “This input will be a catalyst for meeting the needs of women in our industry.” Strickland brings years of commitment to the beef industry at the county, state and national level to the position of ANCW president. She is
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Some Californians see the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act as a protection for the state’s open areas, while others see it as a government land grab that will infringe upon property rights. Each of these viewpoints is being heard by federal legislators as the Act is being considered by the full Senate. Last week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved S153, the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study Act, which was introduced by Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Essentially this bill directs the Interior Department to study whether the Rim of the Valley Corridor
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) released the comprehensive results of an audit performed on random feed and feedstuffs to determine compliance with the country’s 1997 ban on feeding ruminant materials back to ruminants. The initial results of this study were released in January around the time that two more Canadian cows were discovered to be infected with BSE. Although these results were just microscopic analysis, which could not define the actual form of the contaminant, Canadian practices still received strong criticism. The tests conducted by the Canadian government discovered that four brands of Canadian cattle feed contained some form of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
— Senator intros bill against final rule. — Hearing on TRO still set for March 2. The amount of uncertainty surrounding the scheduled border reopening to Canadian live cattle and an expanded category of beef increased immensely last week as a northern Plains senator, backed by several colleagues, filed a formal complaint against the final rule. In addition, growing anticipation of a hearing on a requested temporary restraining order against reopening the border added to the doubt. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, last Monday formally introduced bipartisan legislation to overturn the controversial trade plan. Under S.J. Resolution 4, USDA’s ruling designating Canada as a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Last week, the Wyoming House passed a bill that would shield restaurants, advertisers, ranchers and other form lawsuits by obese people claiming their weight and health problems were caused by the long-term consumption of food or drink. Fourteen states have enacted so-called “common sense consumption” acts, dubbed “cheeseburger bills” by some, that bar people from seeking damages in court from food companies for weight gain and associated medical problems. Wyoming is one of 18 additional state considering such legislation. The U.S. House approved a similar bill last year, but the Senate did not act on the legislation. — WLJ
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Japanese trade remains the major focus for the U.S. beef industry, and is progressing at a very slow pace. Nonetheless, progress is still being made. A couple of Japanese groups have agreed that the “A40" bone ossification age verification tests will be suitable for determining cattle age, and packers have indicated that when trade starts they will be sending full carcass sets to Japan, not boxes. The tests will also continue a problem for the variety meats, which are the markets seeing the most impact. I was told by one packer last week that they are selling Australian tongue to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) has expressed concern about the proposed merger of the second- and third-largest cattle- feeding companies in the U.S. because it would create the largest such firm and consolidate power into the hands of the country's largest hog producer. Smithfield Foods Inc. announced last week a deal to merge its MF Cattle Feeding subsidiary with ContiBeef, a subsidiary of ContiGroup Companies Inc. The combined entity would be the nation's largest cattle-feeding company, with more than 1.6 million cattle marketed per year, based on filling available one-time capacity two times a year. "We are very worried about potential
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Pharmaceutical company veterinarians recently indicated that U.S. cattle producers may be relying too much on livestock vaccines and other disease treatment products in managing their cattle herd, and that more efforts should be made to prevent cattle health problems rather than focusing on treating the symptoms once they are seen. “Morbidity and mortality rates in calves aren’t any better than they were 70-80 years ago,” said Dr. Greg Quakenbush, manager of beef veterinary operations for Pfizer Animal Health. “In fact, in some areas those rates because of certain diseases are probably worse than they were back then.” He also said that fertility
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
— More western rains forecasted. A majority of western U.S. livestock producers ravaged by drought since the late 1990s could see their first significant sign of pasture and rangeland recovery this spring, according to a weather expert who spoke to cattle producers during the Cattle-Fax long range outlook, held in conjunction with the Feb. 1-5 Cattle Industry Annual Convention in San Antonio, TX. According to Dr. Art Douglas, professor of meteorology at Creighton University, above-normal precipitation is expected for a large swath of the western half of the U.S. through May. Douglas’ forecast indicated above normal moisture this spring for South Dakota,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
The U.S. needs to match European Union efforts to reform agriculture trade policy, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said Feb. 11. The EU is working to update its Common Agricultural Policy. This has the potential to cut “distorting trade subsidies” by two-thirds, eliminate export subsidies and offer improved market access for many products, he said. “We look to others to match this, including the United States. In particular we need to see how the U.S. plans to reduce and discipline agricultural domestic support and export credit.” Mandelson said in prepared text for a speech to the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. Mandelson said
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
U.S. soldiers in Iraq spend hours—sometimes days—on patrol hunting insurgents and dodging roadside bombs. But when they get back to base, they can pick up a case of Dr. Pepper, buy the latest DVD and get a Pizza Hut meal back to the room to relax after a hard day at war. A soldiers life isn’t what it used to be. Commanders say providing a good quality of life is essential to keeping volunteer troops in the military. Having a chance to skip the mess hail and go to Pizza Hut, Burger King or Subway—Popeye’s Fried Chicken and Taco Bell will be
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
To increase consumer demand for beef, the cattle industry must boost the amount of flavor the product contains, said Gary Smith of the Center for Red Meat Safety at Colorado State University. Smith made the comment while explaining why people eat beef to a gathering at the annual National Cattlemen's Beef Association convention. He later explained to Dow Jones Newswires that although the industry had focused on tenderness for the last few years, tenderness alone would not win new beef consumers, although it might encourage some who already liked beef to eat a little more. "If tenderness were the issue, they'd eat
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Having recently attended both the R-CALF and the Cattle Industry annual conventions—the latter where NCBA, the CBB, ANCW, Cattle-Fax and National Cattlemen's Foundation meet—I was struck by the contrasts I observed. The obvious first comparison, of course, is sheer size. At the national R-CALF convention, there were never more than 100 cattlemen in the room at any time during the three days. At NCBA-CBB joint sessions, thousands of cattlemen crammed huge theaters and ballrooms. Committee sessions had 25 to 50 people in attendance setting policy. Their joint board of directors' meeting had twice the number of people as R-CALF's "all-in" sessions.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Korea has yet to even hint if, or when, it will lift its bans in place on both U.S. and Canadian beef. While Japan has moved closer to lifting its ban, sources with USDA said it appears Korean officials are waiting for a full resolution between Japan and Canada and the U.S. before they start the resolution process. Korea did send a technical team to the U.S. last May to review and validate the findings of the International Review Commission concerning the U.S. protocols to prevent bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from infecting beef in the future. However, a high-level USDA official that
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Re: Cattle Identification Attention: Sarah Swenson: Why do not cattlemen insert “microchip IDs” in the cattle as they do in dogs now? They would not be very easily removed at all—and would surely simplify the procedure as well as decreasing costs! Just was thinking about this after reading the article in WLJ. I am retired now and have sold all our cattle since my husband (Clyde) passed away in 1994. Just always loved the cattle business! Audrey Carner Carner Hat C Ranch (no longer in business) Chino Valley Long-term solutions required Since BSE was discovered in Canada, a tangled web of media hype, international politics, scientific investigation and economic theory have
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
After eight years of cyclical decline, cattle numbers finally rebounded in the second half of 2004. The USDA annual cattle inventory report, released Jan. 28, showed an increase in the U.S. cattle herd for the first time since 1996. The report indicated 95.8 million head of cattle were on U.S. farms and ranches on Jan. l, which is 1 percent above the 94.9 million head recorded in 2004. The higher numbers were not a surprise to most cattle market observers because of the much improved moisture conditions in many southern and western cattle producing states. Above average cow-calf returns also fueled herd
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing the Salt Creek tiger beetle as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The only three known populations of the species in the world occur in saline wetlands in eastern Nebraska. The beetles are considered the rarest insect in Nebraska and are already protected under Nebraska State law. If the Salt Creek tiger beetle is listed under the Endangered Species Act, the Service will work cooperatively with partners to conserve habitat, said Ralph Morgenweck, director of the Service's Mountain-Prairie Region. In response to a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund and several


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