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WLJ

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 15, 2007
The Canadian government officially sought to change how the U.S. doles out subsidies to farmers last week at the World Trade Organization (WTO). David Emerson, Canada’s minister of International Trade, and Chuck Strahl, Canadian minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, filed paperwork seeking consultations with the U.S. over corn subsidies as well as what they referred to as “the total level of U.S. trade-distorting agricultural support.” Under WTO procedures, a three-month consultation period is required before a country can ask the trade body to launch a formal investigation. A WTO case can result in punitive
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 15, 2007
Winter weather has created havoc in Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma. Last week, forecasters said the winter weather problems would be compounded by a blast of Arctic air which was expected to drop temperatures. Starting late last week, below-zero temperatures were forecast to hit much of the Great Plains, Corn Belt and southern U.S. Although many of these areas have already experienced significant winter weather and snowfall, this will be the first serious Arctic cold snap of the winter in most of those areas which have been seeing temperatures above normal this winter. According to long range forecasts, this may just
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 15, 2007
The recent blizzards that have pounded the high Plains will prove to have a significant impact on feedlot operations. Although the death loss has been minimal so far, it still significantly affects the bottom line of feeders in the short term. However, the greatest economic loss will come as a result of decreased feedlot performance. “From a market standpoint, it’s not really that big of a deal,” said Dr. Derrell Peel, extension economist of livestock marketing at Oklahoma State University. “Death loss in the feedlots is not going to affect the market much. The bigger issue will be the loss in
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2007
The new Congress got its way last week, testing their wings by passing a $2.10 increase to the minimum wage through the House of Representatives. Everything has a market, even labor, and it’s pretty clear that the labor markets have, for the most part, already taken care of a $7.25 an hour job. There are not many places in the U.S. where you can find skilled labor for under $7.25 an hour. This is the first Democratic House and Senate that has come along for 10 years and it seems ironic that passing a $2 increase in labor is the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 8, 2007
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has raised some concerns among environmentalists and several Congressional Representatives with a proposal to reorganize various unrelated programs under the direction and management of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). BLM manages almost 260 million acres of mining, grazing, and timber lands. There are also 26 million acres that fall under their NLCS umbrella. These acres are mostly wilderness, national monuments, and conservation areas. Some critics charge that BLM’s proposal was not aired publicly and that only a select number of people knew of the proposal. Both Republicans and Democrats alike are concerned with regard
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 8, 2007
Orchestrating resources You know the scene; everyone arrives early for the musical. People are dressed up and ready to enjoy an evening on the town. The crowds gather in the concession area to mingle and see who else in town was dragged to the performance by their spouse. As much as some of the people don’t want to be there, most know that the music will be enjoyable at some level. Something very interesting happens in the midst of all the commotion just prior to the event starting when the conductor stands in front of the orchestra and taps his
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 8, 2007
Clone this The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a big step two weeks ago by saying meat and dairy products from cloned animals are safe for human consumption. I’m not sure that everyone in animal agriculture is jumping for joy over this one, but the fact that science can exactly reproduce a living animal is remarkable. Scientists have been working on cloning for quite some time and it has apparently reached a point where it is viable for livestock production. It’s been a good 10 years since “Dolly,” the first cloned sheep, was created. I’m sure that at the onset,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 8, 2007
Fed cattle trade remained at an impasse last Thursday as cattle feeders held out for higher money, despite larger showlists. Bid prices last Thursday were at $89 live and $145 dressed. Most analysts expected that packers would have to pay at least $90 live and $143 dressed basis to get cattle purchased. Last established market was Dec. 29. In Nebraska, live sales traded at $87-88 and dressed sales at $140; in western Corn Belt, live sales traded at $87-88 and dressed sales at $138-140; in Texas, live sales were at $89; in Kansas, live sales traded at $88-88.50 and dressed
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 8, 2007
The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has concluded its review of “Rule 2” that could result in the resumption of boxed beef and live cattle imports from animals over 30 months of age from Canada. OMB found the Proposed Rule both “economically significant and a major rule.” In a study conducted by USDA, government officials determined that the greatest economic impact will be the effect on cull cow prices. The agency determined the effect on feeder cattle and fed cattle prices will be minimal. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), last Thursday, finally unveiled the tightly held
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 8, 2007
In the wake of two blizzards in just over a week’s time, National Guard helicopters dropped emergency bales of hay for livestock trapped by snowdrifts which were as deep as 15 feet last week in eastern Colorado and large parts of Kansas and Nebraska. The New Year’s weekend storm knocked out electricity in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma and left herds of cattle stranded without food or water. Cattle were seen wandering country roads and trapped in fields during spotter plane flights early in the week, bringing back memories of similar conditions in 1997 when more than 30,000 head of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 8, 2007
On Dec. 26, 2006, R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF) filed a brief urging the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to remand litigation against USDA back to the Montana District Court and the courtroom of Judge Richard F. Cebull. The Montana District Court is where the arguments were first presented in January of 2005 concerning lifting of the ban that prohibited the import of Canadian cattle under 30 months of age. USDA has been given 30 days beginning Dec. 26, 2006, in which to respond to the filed brief after which time, R-CALF has 14 days to rspond. Bill Bullard,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 8, 2007
South Korea and the U.S. are scheduled to hold talks Jan. 8-9 over a dispute with South Korea’s decision to reject American beef shipments which they said contained banned bone fragments, South Korean officials said last Wednesday. The talks, scheduled in Seoul, South Korea, come weeks after South Korea rejected all three recent shipments of American beef because of bone fragments which South Korea fears could potentially harbor mad cow disease. The two sides will “hold technical consultations” over the quarantine issue of American beef, said a South Korean Agriculture and Forestry Ministry official. At stake is the upcoming round
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 8, 2007
—Prices appreciating, but buyers can still find good values. Property values in the Southwest continue to climb, despite rising interest rates and challenging conditions for producers. According to many real estate professionals in the region, sales have picked up after a slowdown last summer. Properties in the Southwest region still represent one of the best values available on the market. Lower than average operating costs, combined with reasonable land costs, have made the area a destination of choice for many ranchers who are looking to take advantage of rising property values to expand or relocate their operations. Arizona According to Harley Hendricks
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 1, 2007
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), along with several other agriculture and non-agriculture organizations, submitted petitions pursuing litigation against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Dec. 18, 2006. NCBA submitted a formal petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit seeking review of EPA’s air quality standards that regulate agriculture dust. The Clean Air Act Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM) (dust) revisions were released on Oct. 17, 2006. After extensive efforts put forth by NCBA, EPA agreed that agriculture operations emit only “fugitive” emissions (cannot be captured and measured). As a result, EPA’s
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 1, 2007
The last significant fed cattle trade was a week ago Friday when the market was established at $85 and $135 on limited trade prior to Christmas. Heavy winter weather in much of the feeding states has slowed trade significantly. At midday Thursday, just a handful of cattle traded at steady levels with the prior week. Slaughter was much slower last week with the holiday-shortened schedules. For the week through Thursday, 343,000 head passed through packing plants, which was 30,000 lower than the same week a year ago. Daily slaughter was lower, which makes one wonder if Swift has been able
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 1, 2007
Two-thousand six was a pretty good year, unless you were a beef packer. Beef packers lost money hand over fist most of last year and the first quarter of 2007 doesn’t look much better. The packing industry has been a pretty exciting industry this last year but one that lost a lot of money. There were a lot of companies changing hands and jockeying for position, trying to gain market share and trying to develop new niche markets. Cattle feeders have had the upper hand over packers, which I think is the first time I’ve seen the balance of power firmly
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 1, 2007
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released their draft risk assessment last Thursday confirming that meat and milk from cloned animals poses no risk to the food chain. After more than five years of study, FDA concluded that products derived from cloned livestock are virtually “indistinguishable” from livestock that are bred conventionally. The agency has conducted several risk assessments in which they examined hundreds of individual measures of nutritional and other compositional characteristics and have found no differences between cloned animals and conventional livestock. “We believe that meat and milk from cattle, swine, and goat clones is as safe to eat
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 1, 2007
The ethanol boom has grown into the biggest story in U.S. agriculture. Never before has a nation’s energy and food policies become so entwined. The boom is already impacting animal agriculture. It is starting to change the face of the U.S. cattle feeding industry. Some are warning it could cause a decline in protein supplies as the U.S. converts more feed grains into energy, with higher ration costs eventually meaning lighter cattle and hog carcasses. The most obvious impact so far is the dramatic rise in corn prices since the summer. Corn prices, basis Omaha, are nearly 80% higher than a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 1, 2007
Idaho and Montana ranchers may see relief in wolf protection regardless of the ongoing lawsuits in Wyoming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has announced they will begin taking steps toward delisting wolves in the two states regardless of whether or not Wyoming has submitted an acceptable management plan by the first part of the year. Wyoming’s management plan has been tied up in lawsuits since the reintroduction of wolves over one decade ago. This has impeded Montana and Idaho’s ability to pursue the delisting of wolves in spite of the economic repercussions the reintroduction of the wolves has had
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 1, 2007
South Korean lawmakers threatened to reinstate the ban on U.S. beef if the U.S. Congress continues to press the beef quarantine issue. Congress has attempted to negotiate with lawmakers in Seoul to try and come to an agreement that would allow U.S. beef back into the South Korean market. However, the U.S. has been met with nothing but obstacles since the first shipment of beef sent to South Korea was rejected on Nov. 24, 2006. “The U.S. should be aware that if the U.S. Congress continues to press with the beef quarantine issue, it will be viewed by most South Koreans


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