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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
— Seafood protocol could set precedent for beef. The sixth annual R-CALF USA convention included a “surf and turf” theme during its country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) session. Margaret Bryan Curole, shrimper and representative of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, spoke to the group about the way her industry deals with new compliance rules for mandatory COOL, some of which could affect beef producers down the road. One of the major changes Curole cited was the exemption of labeling of processed foods. USDA defines a processed food as an item that “is changed in character by processing or combining it with other food components.” By this
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
Crabgrass is a troublesome weed for most producers. But, with a little careful planning and management, it can be a first rate forage, according to Bruce Anderson, extension Forage Specialist for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. When Anderson says crabgrass, he asks producers what comes to mind? A tangled up mess on cultivator shanks? Aching fingers from weeding the garden? Crowded out plants in an alfalfa field? Anderson agrees crabgrass can be a problem. But he says it also can be an outstanding forage grass when used in the right place, at the right time and in the right way. “Cattle love crabgrass,” said
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
Scratching out a living from the Wyoming countryside isn’t for the faint of heart. However, Bill Suranyi isn’t easily fazed. A lifetime northern Wyoming resident, he wouldn’t have it any other way. Suranyi relies on years of experience and careful management to keep his 200 Red Angus cows in prime condition. And while 5,600 acres of green needlegrass, western wheat grass and pubescent grass usually do the job, even the best manager can snag a few glitches. “The cattle business hasn’t been easy the last few years,” Suranyi explains. “I’ve had to sell 100 cows because it’s been so dry.” Suranyi isn’t alone.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
— USDA, FDA investigators visiting Canada. The official overseeing all federally-governed livestock regulatory and marketing programs recently told a group of Canadian beef and cattle ban proponents that the agency is closely looking into allegations that the neighbor to the north is in violation of several international BSE guidelines. However, USDA Under Secretary Bill Hawks also told R-CALF USA members that, as of Friday, Jan. 21, the agency was still working on the premise that the northern border would be reopened to Canadian live cattle and an expanded category of Canadian beef starting March 7. “We are taking the concerns and questions of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
— Legislation banning practice to be proposed. New figures from USDA reveal an increase in the number of horses slaughtered in the U.S. last year for human consumption. Nearly 65,000 horses were slaughtered in 2004, 28 percent more than 2003. However, those horses aren’t processed for domestic U.S. consumption. The horses are slaughtered at one of three foreign-owned slaughter plants, and the meat is sent to Europe and Asia, where it is considered a delicacy. Because a large majority of the horses processed are competitive racehorses in the public spotlight and pets, several animal rights groups are stepping up their efforts to have
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
— Affidavits, birth certificates preferred. Beef industry lobbyists indicated last week that Japanese officials are not entirely convinced USDA’s cattle carcass grading system is the best way to verify the age of U.S. cattle providing beef for export to Japan. USDA officials acknowledged last week that Japan has asked for more information concerning its “A40" proposal, but said it will still be part of the program when U.S./Japan beef trade restarts later this year. According to USDA, there is a combination of meat quality and bone traits that can be used to determine cattle that are between 12-17 months of age, and
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
Eighteen farm, consumer and public interest groups last Wednesday delivered a letter to new Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, expressing concern about the apparent retaliation against the chairman of the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals (NJC), who recently made disclosures covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) rules on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). On Dec. 8, NJC chairman Charles Painter sent a letter on behalf of the the government meat inspectors' union to the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), outlining concerns about the removal of "specified risk materials" (SRMs) from cattle and FSIS
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
Eighteen farm, consumer and public interest groups last Wednesday delivered a letter to new Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, expressing concern about the apparent retaliation against the chairman of the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals (NJC), who recently made disclosures covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) rules on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). On Dec. 8, NJC chairman Charles Painter sent a letter on behalf of the the government meat inspectors' union to the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), outlining concerns about the removal of "specified risk materials" (SRMs) from cattle and FSIS
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
Eighteen farm, consumer and public interest groups last Wednesday delivered a letter to new Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, expressing concern about the apparent retaliation against the chairman of the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals (NJC), who recently made disclosures covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) rules on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). On Dec. 8, NJC chairman Charles Painter sent a letter on behalf of the the government meat inspectors' union to the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), outlining concerns about the removal of "specified risk materials" (SRMs) from cattle and FSIS
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
It’s about time those folk who want to keep our border closed to Canadian cattle came clean. They’re not really interested in science or consumer confidence in the U.S. beef supply. They just want to keep making as much money as they’ve made since the border closed on May 20, 2003. Cow-calf producers have just enjoyed the best two years of profits in at least the last 30 years (according to data from the Livestock Marketing Information Center). That’s unless their operation was badly hurt by the drought that still lingers in parts of the western U.S. So it’s understandable they
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
Barriers to trade in various forms pose significant limitations on U.S. agricultural exports, particularly beef, said Terry Stewart of Stewart and Stewart, a Washington, DC, law firm Friday, Jan. 21. Stewart was speaking to attendees of R-CALF USA’s sixth annual convention. He added many of these barriers would be difficult to remove because a country or countries in question suffered starvation because of things like armed conflicts or natural disaster are reluctant to liberalize agricultural trade. At the same time, countries with vast export potential and much lower income levels have seen rising agricultural sectors, which are viewed as their means for
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
Of course it’s politics I’m a long-time reader of WLJ, and I’ve become increasingly disappointed in its position on BSE and the Canadian border. Pete’s Jan. 10 column dismisses R- CALF’s safety concerns with the assertion that such concerns merely mask what for R-CALF is really “a market issue”; that it really is a “simple philosophy of protectionism.” Pete further argues that with “92 percent of the world’s population outside the U.S., …the marketing opportunities would be rich….” To Pete’s credit, his Jan. 17 column, coming on the heels of the most recent BSE case, had a softened tone. There are two
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced Jan. 26 the launch of a new Web site to inform stakeholders about the national animal identification system (NAIS). The Web site, available at http://www.usda.gov/nais, is designed to be a one-stop resource to facts about NAIS. "We hope our stakeholders will visit the site frequently to find out the latest news about the NAIS from a national perspective," said APHIS Administrator W. Ron DeHaven. "It will be updated regularly as new information becomes available." In addition to providing national news, the site provides contact information for state and tribal animal
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
— Calves, yearlings both slide downward. Widening negative packer margins associated with significant declines in boxed beef prices resulted in northern fed cattle trade being $2-5 softer and southern cattle feeders still holding out for at least steady money through last Thursday. In addition, fed cattle supplies were starting to build up, particularly in Kansas and Texas, giving packers the idea they may be able to wait a week more and buy fed cattle cheaper. Dressed trade started up in Nebraska on Wednesday at mostly $140, and by Thursday midday trade had concluded with the last activity at $138-139. Limited live trade
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
— Marketings also upsetting; data questioned. Record December feedlot placements and fewer-than-expected fed cattle marketings combined for a bearish Jan. 1 Cattle-on-Feed Report, according to market analysts. The futures market indicated that pessimism last Monday as all 2005 live cattle futures contracts were 50-95 points softer, compared to the previous trading day, and the first five listed feeder futures contracts declined by more than 100 points. According to USDA, U.S. feedlots placed 1.83 million head of cattle during December, five percent above December 2003 and 14 percent more than 2002. That figure was the highest on record. Analysts’ pre-report estimates ranged between
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
The CEO of R-CALF USA announced last week the group will file a request during the first week of February for a preliminary injunction to stop USDA from lifting its ban on imports of Canadian live cattle. Bill Bullard indicated the group will file for the preliminary injunction in U.S. district court in Montana. The injunction will ask the court to delay U.S. entry to Canadian live cattle and additional beef products, which is currently slated to begin March 7. Once R-CALF's injunction is filed, USDA will have three weeks to file a response as to why their Final Rule should be
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
Arizona rancher Jim Chilton earned an important victory last week for all producers who deal with negative publicity from environmentalist groups. This producer sued the Center for Biological diversity for libel and won. A Pima County Superior Court jury awarded the rancher $600,000 after jurors voted nine to one that the Center made “false, unfair, libelous and defamatory statements” against Chilton and his management of his U.S. Forest Service (USFS) grazing allotment. The fifth generation Southern Arizona rancher sued the group for harm done to his reputation and Arivaca Cattle Company when the Center alleged that Chilton mismanaged his 21,500-acre allotment.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
The new Congressional delegation is expected to reauthorize and slightly reform the Endangered Species Act (ESA) this year. Although most members of the House are voicing opinions that agree the ESA needs to be fixed, Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA), chairman of the House Resources Committee, is cautioning producers and private property rights activists to form a united front when asking for reform. The ESA was first passed in 1974. It expired in 1992, but has been floated along as the law of the land since then awaiting complete reauthorization. Currently, more than 1,000 species have been listed and less than one
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
— Policy moves come official in early March. Members of R-CALF USA in attendance at the group’s annual convention in Denver tentatively passed several resolutions focused on preventing BSE infection of the U.S. cow herd and food supply. There was also policy proposed on international trade. Policy will be made official upon all members of the group having an opportunity to vote via mail ballot on the various resolutions. Under R-CALF’s rules, members not attending the annual convention have 45 days from the time policy is crafted to vote. The most prominent resolution passed by convention attendees was one demanding USDA immediately withdraw
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 31, 2005
The American Simmental Association's Percent Retail Cuts EPD will be converted to a Yield Grade (YG) EPD in the Spring 2005 Sire Summary. The ASA Board of Trustees' decision to change the Percentage Retail Cuts EPD to a Yield Grade EPD was prompted by the fact that Yield Grade is the currency the industry deals in when quantifying the relative meat yield of carcasses. "Yield Grade and Percent Retail Cuts function much like Fahrenheit and Celsius-measuring the same thing, though on a different scale," says Dr. Wade Shafer, Director of Performance Programs at ASA. "The new EPD, however, more directly reflects the


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