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WLJ

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
The American Simmental Association (ASA) has added dollar indices to its Spring 2005 Sire Summary. Working with USDA geneticist, Dr. Mike MacNeil, ASA blended EPDs with five years of economic data on prices and costs to predict the dollar differences between sires when used in a commercial operation. Terminal Index (TI) is designed for evaluating sires’’ economic merit in situations where they are bred to mature Angus cows and all offspring are placed in the feedlot and sold grade and yield. Consequently, maternal traits such as milk, stayability and maternal calving ease are not considered in the index. The All-Purpose Index (API)
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
USDA banned meat from the human food supply from cattle too sick or injured to walk following the discovery of mad-cow disease in just such an animal over a year ago, but some of those banned cattle carried "no threat" of the disease, the department's secretary said last Tuesday. “Let’s say in the transport of an animal, the animal breaks its leg," USDA Secretary Mike Johanns said. "Everybody agrees that there is no (mad-cow disease) risk whatsoever. You have an animal with a broken leg.” The ban on all cattle too sick or injured to walk - called "downers" - together with
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
A program to register and identify livestock is being launched in Arizona to help quickly trace the origin of diseased animals. The Tri-National Livestock Health and Identification Consortium will begin as a voluntary program but will eventually be required of all livestock breeders and owners, said Katie Decker, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Arizona will join Colorado, New Mexico and two Mexican states in the pilot program. "It's consumer-driven. The consumer wants food safety," she said. The program is being spearheaded by agricultural officials in Colorado, Decker said, and Arizona will sign an agreement later this month to participate. Larger
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firms with positions in dozens of U.S. companies, including retailers like Mervyns and Sam Goody, has acquired a majority interest in Creekstone Farms. John Stewart, the company's chairman and holder of a large minority stake, will continue to operate Creekstone. According to Stewart, Sun will also invest additional money in the company to expand its physical plant to give it added scale. "That will allow us access to additional major retail accounts," Stewart said, "and that will put us in a position to become the natural beef leader nationwide.” "We are very enthusiastic about our relationship and
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
A Texas animal health official says a national animal identification program will help the livestock industry stay ahead of threatening diseases that could hurt farms nationwide. "It (the identification system) enables us to protect animal health in our country as best as we possibly can," Bob Hillman, executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission, told beef producers at the 43rd Blackland Income Growth Conference recently in Waco. Though a mandatory animal identification program has yet to be established, the animal health commission is already issuing premises identification numbers on a voluntary basis. The commission assigns premises identification numbers to farms, ranches, feedlots,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
The leaders of two Texas producer organizations say the Bush administration should impose economic sanctions on Japan due to Japan’s unwillingness to open its market for U.S. beef. According to Bob McCan, president of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, efforts by the Bush administration and industry have gone the extra mile in proving U.S. beef is free from BSE, but Japan continues to stall on the issue. “Japanese consumers are expressing a desire and need for safe and wholesome U.S. beef,” said Texas Cattle Feeders Association Chairman Charlie Sellers. “The time has come for us to take these efforts to a
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Tyson Foods Inc. Springdale, AK, will pay an $18,400 fine to settle several environmental violations that occurred last year at its Temperanceville, VA, poultry processing plant, according to the Virginian-Pilot (Hampton Roads, VA) newspaper. The newspaper said processor will also upgrade the processing plant. The State Water Control Board, which next meets on March 15 in Richmond, must approve the settlement. The board can alter the terms but usually adopts what state regulators have negotiated with violators. According to a proposed settlement with Virginia regulators, problems surfaced at the Accomack County complex last May, when an inspector from the Virginia Department of
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— Agriculture disease research network could disintegrate. Bush budget cuts would hit important research programs that examine everything from soybeans and dairy production to cattle viruses, agriculture school officials complained to Congress on Tuesday. Fred Cholick, dean of the agriculture college at Kansas State University, said the cuts threaten the original mission of the 75 land-grant schools, created by Congress in the 1800s to use public money on shared agricultural research. Under the Bush plan, funding for three programs on farming, forestry and animal health, mainstays at land-grant institutions for decades, would be slashed from $200 million this year to $100 million next
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Beef production will be slower than expected after Canadian cattle are allowed back into the U.S. this month, the Agriculture Department said. Cattle prices should remain relatively high because of competition between U.S. and Canadian packing houses, according to a report issued by the Agriculture Department’s chief economist. Banned since the discovery of BSE in May 2003 in Alberta, live cattle imports from Canada are scheduled to resume on March 7. “Based on increased slaughter of steers and heifers in Canada, U.S. packers will have to compete more aggressively for the pool of slaughter-ready cattle, somewhat dampening an expected decline in fed steer
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
U.S. demand for meat remains firm, but increasing cattle supplies could pressure prices in 2005, according to Shayle Shagam, livestock analyst at the World Agricultural Outlook Board for the USDA. Shagam spoke Friday, Feb. 25, during the the USDA's Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, VA. Strong demand for meat protein and moderate growth in meat production continue to support prices, grain costs have moderated and the multi-year drought in the western U.S. has diminished, Shagam said. Producers have received higher returns for their products but have responded in measured fashion to the urge to increase production. Production increases for 2005 in pork and
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
It's a pretty safe bet you won't hear this request from your kids: "More liver, please." If you do, however, there will be no shortage of the iron-rich delicacy most kids love to hate thanks to a vaccine developed by Kansas State University professors. T.G. Nagaraja, a professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine, and M.M Chengappa, university distinguished professor of microbiology and department head of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, have developed a vaccine that prevents liver abscesses in cattle. The vaccine was recently given approval by the United States Department of Agriculture. The KSU Research Foundation
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
— Two separate bills in House. Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced legislation contradicting a law passed last year that allows wild horses and burros to be sold for slaughter—including for human consumption—after appropriate adoption measures have been exhausted. The minority ranking member of the House Resources Committee Rep. Nick Rahall, D-WV, in late January introduced HR 297 to reverse last year’s authorization of sale authority for wild horses and burros. Rahall’s bill would “restore the prohibition on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros.” Language introduced by Sen. Conrad Burns, R-MT, was attached last
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection board is making a few additions to the state's proposed Livestock Facilities Siting Rules. Wisconsin is in the process of creating a set of standards that local municipalities can use to grant permits for larger livestock facilities. The idea is to prevent pressure on boards to pass emergency rules to keep large livestock operations out of an area. A task force appointed by State Ag Secretary Rod Nilsestuen developed the proposed rules with the help of a technical advisory panel. Those proposed rules are now the subject of a dozen public hearings
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Mar 7, 2005
Producers who are tackling the sage grouse habitat issue or managing the drought situation in Wyoming will have the opportunity to receive grants for those efforts due to a program put forth by USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and a producer group called the Wyoming Private Grazing Lands Team (WyPGLT). These two entities recently announced that new grant money will be available for projects that demonstrate new, improved or applied techniques that enhance grazing and result in improved or increased production and stewardship of private-grazing lands. Wyoming producers can take advantage of the grants by contacting the grazing team and
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Around 500 cattle have died of thirst on a remote Australian pastoral station, or ranch, according to reports on Feb. 18. Another 2,500 beasts are suffering from severe dehydration. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has slaughtered another 30 cows, horses and camels, after finding the Windidda Station abandoned early this week, the report said. Windidda is in the central desert of Western Australia state, 200 kilometers east of Wiluna town. RSCPA spokeswoman Kelly Oversby said the association has had to intervene at the station twice in the past 12 months. "It really is a case of neglect, and lack
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Nineteen more Aussie plants certified. Australian beef, sheep, and goat meat exports to China are set to increase following the Chinese government's approval of another 19 Australia meat processing plants for export. This brings the total number of plants approved so far to 35. Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile said: “This is great news for Australian exporters. China is a significant market for our agriculture exports, and imported around A$50 million worth of high-quality Australian meat in 2004.” Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry Minister Warren Truss said the approval from China means the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service can now recommend the registration
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Outback growth flattens Outback Steakhouse Inc., which missed fourth-quarter earnings expectations, forecast relatively modest guest count gains this year at its flagship steakhouse brand. The company said traffic should be “flat to up a little bit” given “tough” competition and selective menu price increases, in part to offset higher beef and minimum wage rates. Beef costs will be up about 3 percent from last year. Outback plans to raise menu prices in Florida, its home state, in May to offset an increased minimum wage there. Shares of Outback were changing hands recently at 45. 62, down 1.9 percent or 90 cents,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Patent on beneficial strains pending. Nontoxic strains of a fungus have been developed by the federal government’s research arm to combat poisonous toxins produced by a different strain of the same fungus in corn. This technology could work toward preventing sickness in livestock, which can be very susceptible to the poisonous toxin. According to scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), a patent is pending on two nontoxic strains of the Aspergillus flavus fungus, which is most commonly associated with producing the poisonous mycotoxin—aflatoxin. In addition, the nontoxic strains are effective in eliminating the Aspergillus parasiticus strain of fungus, is also
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) last Wednesday filed a request to become an intervener in a lawsuit against USDA and its final rule regarding the reopening of the border to Canadian live cattle. R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF) on Jan. 10 filed the suit in U.S. District Court, Billings, MT, to continue to ban imports of Canadian cattle in an effort to protect the U.S. cattle herd and U.S. consumers from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). USDA last week was still planning to reopen the border to Canadian cattle younger than 30 months of age on March 7. Legal counsel representing CCA
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Canadian farmers held a record number of cattle on their farms Jan. 1, while hog numbers were only slightly above year-earlier levels on the back of good exports, Statistics Canada reported last week. The national cattle herd has been building steadily since May 2003, when Canadian officials identified the first native-born case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in an animal in Alberta. "Canada's national cattle herd continued to swell last year, reaching a record 15.1 million head as of Jan. 1, 2005, a little more than a year-and-a-half after the worldwide ban on Canadian cattle," the government reporting agency said. However, changes in