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Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
The European Union has moved to lift a ban beef from four provinces in northern Argentina, the South American nation's animal and food inspection agency, Senasa, reported Wednesday. In October 2003, the EU banned beef from the provinces of Chaco, Formosa, Jujuy and Salta after foot-and-mouth disease was found among a group of hogs in Salta. On Wednesday, a European agricultural committee voted to overturn the ban, effective almost immediately. Though the EU will allow imports from these provinces, it will keep a ban on beef from an area located within 25 kilometers of the Bolivian and Paraguayan borders. Hoof-and-mouth disease
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
The first set of fed cattle recently completed all phases of the Northwest Pilot Project Animal Identification trial. Initiators of the animal ID program were pleased to report that everything appears to have gone smoothly and no glitches were found so far in their system to effectively identify and track cattle through the production chain. This first set of cattle were purchased from Bob Skinner, Skinner Ranches, Jordan Valley, OR, and placed in the Beef Northwest feedlot at Nyssa, OR. Larry Lorenzen, Lorenzen Ranches, Pendleton, OR, purchased the cattle. Because the funding had not yet come though for the pilot project,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
Ruminant nutritionists around the country are urging cow/calf producers to use extra caution this winter when feeding or supplementing corn in their cattle rations. Several sources indicated that warmer-than-normal temperatures and cheap grain prices could combine to create a problem with more cattle foundering than normal. “There is no doubt that corn is a cheap feed resource right now, and it can hold a place in cow nutrition and management throughout the winter,” said Doug Linfield, nutritionist with Ruminant Specialists Inc., Hugoton, KS. “However, as good as an option as it is, it isn’t a good idea to rely on it
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
The full Senate is expected to vote on whether to confirm Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns as the next U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on Jan. 20, the first day after reconvening from an early January recess. The Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously approved Johanns’ nomination on Jan. 6. While approval is expected from the full Senate, there could be a few points of contention by several farm state Democrats, particularly those opposed to reopening the border to Canadian live cattle and beef from older cattle. During the Jan. 6 confirmation hearing, Johanns was asked about his stances on several trade matters, including country-of-origin labeling,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
Setting record straight Dear Editor (Steven Vetter), I want to clarify some errors in the article “Breed-specific beef validation debated” in your 2005 Bull Buyer’s Guide. First, I cannot be included in a group of “administrators and executive directors,” but I am in charge of producer communications for Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB). The article has me saying consumers think it false advertising when a breed-specific brand doesn’t require at least a portion of the breed claimed in their genetic makeup. Then it has me disagreeing with them. In fact, I did not agree or disagree with the idea. I did question the validity
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
Consumers may once again turn to low-carbohydrate diets to shed unwanted pounds this month, but the trend is unlikely to be as significant for food and beverage manufacturers as it was last year, according to the findings of a Morgan Stanley survey. Morgan Stanley’s consumer staples analysts surveyed 2,500 U.S. adults in late December. About 13 percent of those surveyed expected to start a diet in early 2005, and about one-third of those were expecting to choose a low-carb diet plan. Based on the findings of their survey, the analysts estimate six to seven million adults will start a low-carb diet in
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed another case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in that nation’s cowherd last Tuesday. The latest cow was not a herd mate to a BSE-positive animal discovered only nine days prior and was a purebred Charolais under seven years of age. CFIA said that while testing the cow they kept control of the carcass, and no part of the animal’s remains entered the human food or animal feed production chains. The agency also said that because the animal is purebred it will help facilitate traceback and discovery of any related animals that may have been exposed
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
— Short supplies, weather tighten sellers’ grip. For the first time in several months, beef packers last week showed positive profit margins and that resulted in them coming to the table and paying more for their immediate slaughter needs. While trade volumes were pretty light, fed cattle sellers were able to capitalize off of tight supplies and winter weather that was threatening several major feeding areas. Last week’s trade happened at mostly $92-93 live in southern cattle feeding areas, primarily Kansas and Texas. Northern trade was at mostly $145 dressed, $90-91 live. Prices were $2-5 higher than the previous week. Packers started
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
After completion of a status review of the greater sage grouse, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced recently that there is no warrant for listing of this species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Producer associations applauded that announcement last week, saying they “beat the odds.” Over the last 10 years, 90 percent of the species proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act received some form of listing and protection. The final FWS decision followed recommendation made by several agency scientists and managers. FWS Director Steve Williams said, “I have reviewed the work completed by our scientists and I
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
Retail prices for food at the supermarket dropped about four percent in the fourth quarter of 2004, retracting most of the increase recorded in the third quarter, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation market basket survey. The informal survey on the total cost of 16 basic grocery items showed a decrease of $1.51 from the 2004 third quarter survey. The third quarter average price for the market basket items was $1.53 higher than the second quarter. The $38.87 average paid by volunteer shoppers for the 16 items is $1.44 higher than the 2003 fourth quarter survey average of $37.43.
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
— Slaughter cow sold to U.S. in ‘02. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have both initiated investigations into the current status of cattle ever associated with animals recently confirmed to be infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). USDA and CFIA have both confirmed that a herd mate to a BSE-infected Alberta dairy cow—confirmed on Jan. 2—entered the U.S. back in February 2002, and that the animal was slaughtered and processed into the human food chain. In addition, a search has been initiated on a total of 141 animals that were at one time associated with that
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
R-CALF USA filed a suit last Monday to stop USDA from reopening the border to Canadian live cattle and an expanded list of beef products. The suit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, is the second effort by R-CALF to prevent USDA from lifting the ban. Both cases cite the need for protection of U.S. consumers and the U.S. cattle industry from increased risk of the disease. R-CALF was successful gaining a court injunction to stop USDA from allowing Canadian processed and bone-in beef products to the U.S. when they discovered USDA had eased the ban
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
A west Texas town is offering an incentive package to lure a $20 million meat-processing plant with its 700 jobs. Odessa Texas is in the running for a $20 million meat-processing plant, according to the Odessa American newspaper. An unnamed company is considering Odessa as well as several other west Texas towns as the site of the plant. Neil McDonald, the Odessa Chamber of Commerce’s economic development director, reported some details of the project “dubbed Project Trim”—during the monthly meeting of the Odessa Development Corp. Shortly before Christmas, the state Office of Tourism and Economic Development contacted McDonald about “Project Trim” seeking
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
A U.S. beef trade delegation is scheduled to visit Tokyo later in the week of Jan. 17 in a renewed effort to convince Japan that USDA’s beef grading system can reliably determine the age of cattle without birth records. Age verification approval is needed before Japan is willing to reopen its border to U.S. beef. Japan requires that the U.S. be able to prove that cattle slaughtered for beef export would be 20 months old or younger before it eases a ban imposed after the U.S. announced the finding of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in December 2003. USDA sent
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 14, 2005
Volatile wholesale beef prices last week were boosting the uncertainty about which meat and poultry cuts will capture the lead spots in grocers printed advertisements. Meat market analysts and retail sources predict that grocers will be conservative buyers overall and take a cautious approach through the balance of this month and into February, which historically has been a slower sales period due to consumers paying for holiday gifts purchased in December and facing higher heating bills. Beef Some major U.S. beef packers earlier this month announced temporary closures at a few processing plants and/or reduced operations at other facilities. The companies cited poor
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 10, 2005
An independent survey of consumers in Japan has placed Aussie Beef at the top when it comes to brand recognition and food safety. The AC Nielsen report into the retail beef market in Japan included surveys of Japanese consumers and took into account brand awareness, consumption figures, consumer perceptions, and key purchasing drivers for both domestic and imported beef brands in Japan. Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Japan regional manager Samantha Jamieson said the report confirms the solid standing that the Aussie Beef brand currently has in the Japanese market. “The Aussie Beef brand continues to be at the top of mind for
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 10, 2005
Australia has suspended imports of beef from Brazil even after a suspected case of hoof-and-mouth disease (HMD) turned out to be a false alarm. The suspected case had been reported on a property in a state of the country that had been recognized as HMD free. Australia’s Minister for Agriculture Warren Truss said Australia has only ever imported a small sample of Brazilian beef for processing, but all import permits have now been canceled. “We do not import beef from Brazil in any quantities and so there's no likelihood of there being significant quantities coming into Australia," he said. “But any risk is too
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 10, 2005
New boxed beef report unveiled USDA on Jan. 3 formally unveiled its new boxed beef report, which is a downsized and much simpler version of what it had been publishing twice daily for the past several years. The new report only lists the composite Choice and Select boxed beef cutouts, along with the Choice/Select spread. Previously the composite cutout was broke down into 600-750 and 750-900 pound weight categories under each quality grade. However, officials with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service said the detail was unnecessary and complicating the reporting. U.S. cattle leave for Cuba A shipment of 22 beef cattle left the port
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 10, 2005
Less than two days after the third case of BSE in a Canadian-origin cow was confirmed, U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-ND, introduced legislation to delay the entry of Canadian cattle and beef. Last Tuesday, Jan. 4, Pomeroy introduced HR 187, which would delay the entry of live cattle or beef from “minimum BSE risk” countries until U.S. beef access to the top 10 pre-BSE export markets is similar to or exceeds pre-BSE levels. Specifically, Pomeroy said the bill aims, “To prohibit the operation during a calendar year of the final rule issued by the Secretary of Agriculture to establish standards for the
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Jan 10, 2005
After USDA announced its plans to reopen the border to Canadian live cattle beginning March 7, the agency’s chief economist Keith Collins predicted that as many as 2 million head of Canadian live slaughter and feeder cattle could cross the border in 2005. However, both U.S. and Canadian cattle market officials said last week that figure is probably very high, and that Canadian cattle entering the U.S. will hit a major lull through the summer months. Dennis Laycraft, executive director of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, said it's doubtful that live cattle exports to the U.S. will reach half of Collins’ projection. “Considering


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