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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
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Edwin J. “Ed” Carter Edwin J. “Ed” Carter, 72, died Feb. 6. He was born in Torrington, WY, Nov. 1, 1932, the son of Bill and Phyllis (Platx) Carter. He grew up in Torrington and graduated from Torrington High School. Following high school he went to work as a ranch hand for various ranchers in the area and lived in Fresno, CA, Sheridan and Lovell, WY. Carter spent four years working for Senator Malcolm Wallop on his ranch near Sheridan. He then began his own business trimming cattle hooves and preparing livestock for stock shows and traveled to Wyoming, Colorado,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
The first new packing house to open in Alberta since BSE was discovered in Canada recently processed their first cattle. After pondering the idea of turning a shuttered chicken processing plant into a beef facility over seven years ago, producers Reita and Stan Sparks, Wanham, Alberta, revisited that plan and moved forward with it after BSE was discovered back in 2003. "It gave us a jolt to try something else," said Stan Sparks, who plans to kill 70 animals a week at Hart Valley Processors near Wanham in the Peace River region of the country. Seven cattle were processed on Feb. 8, the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
— Cow market remains strong. — Calves stronger on weather, feeders struggling. Fed cattle markets were slow to develop last week as little trade was reported through Thursday. A small number of cattle traded between $87-88 live, $138-140 dressed. A pick up in trade was expected Friday. Early trade was $2-4 softer than the majority of market activity the previous week. Slaughter volumes continue to be a problem with just 573,00 head passing through packing plants two weeks ago, 10,000 head lower than the prior week. Packers processed 471,000 head through Thursday of last week, which was the first week that weekly slaughter
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has concluded its investigation into the latest case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) confirmed on Jan. 11. All animals tested through the investigation were found negative for BSE. The agency's investigation determined that 349 animals comprised the birth cohort, which includes cattle born on the farm of origin within 12 months before and 12 months after the infected animal. Of this group, 41 animals were found alive and were euthanized. They tested negative for BSE. Most of the other animals from the birth cohort had previously died or been slaughtered. The investigation also identified the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
— APHIS action not strong enough. According to a report from USDA’s inspector general last week, several Canadian exporters have permits that enabled them to export bovine cheek meat to the U.S., even though it’s a prohibited product under USDA import rules. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) notified Canadian permit holders that cheek meat is not allowed to be shipped to the U.S. last Monday, Feb. 14. The inspector general said, however, it was too late because over 30 tons of the product has already entered the country. In addition, the inspector general expressed skepticism over whether just asking
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
Large capacity poly forage applicator In-cab controlled rates of dry forage preservative for hay or silage can be easily managed with the Gandy poly forage applicator with positive displacement metering. The 2.3 cubic foot capacity translucent hopper has an instant shutoff and the application rate can be changed with the touch of a dial. The hopper provides 100-150 lb. capacity to cover more acres per fill, and the in-cab control allows rate adjustment to compensate for changes in flow of hay or silage. The underfed metering system eliminates dribble when not operating and is available in 2, 3 or 4-outlet configurations.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 21, 2005
An expected ramping up of slaughter volume this year is expected to result in cattle feeders’ struggling to show profits throughout 2005, according to a cattle market analytics firm. In addition, that profit deterioration will probably trickle down to producers supplying them with placement cattle, particularly stocker operators. During the annual Cattle Industry Convention Feb. 1-5 in San Antonio, TX, analysts for Cattle-Fax, Lone Tree, CO, told producers that recent herd rebuilding would result in almost 850,000 more fed steers and heifers being available for processing and that a lot of beef from those cattle would need to be discounted in


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