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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
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Questions arise about reentry date. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) last week finally released the guidelines that will be followed once Canadian feeder, fed cattle and other ruminants and cervids are allowed to reenter the U.S. However, whether March 7 will actually be the first day when Canadian cattle cross the border is still in question. During the weekend of Feb. 19-20, Dr. Ron DeHaven, administrator for APHIS, intimated that the March 7 implementation date would be the first day his department would start gleaning over export certificates and requests from Canadian exporters, and that it could be
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
While U.S. fed cattle prices softened throughout most of February, Canadian fed cattle prices strengthened significantly as both Canada’s domestic beef demand and processing capacity picked up. Over the first three weeks of the month, Canadian fed cattle prices jumped $5-7 per cwt, with $74 trade (U.S. dollar equivalent) being reported in the province of Alberta on Feb. 22. Saskatchewan fed cattle were bringing over $75 that same day. Based on the last U.S. trade of mostly $88, Canada’s cattle market is $12-13 lower, which is the narrowest spread between the two markets since BSE was first discovered in Canada in May
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Sometimes I feel like we haven’t done our job here at WLJ. During my travels this past month, it has become painfully clear that the facts are in no way present in any conversations regarding the Canadian border opening next month. One reader asked us to explain the upside of the border opening “for us out here in the hinterlands.”And, all I can say is, in the short-term there is no upside. In the long-term, the border opening is supposed to create value on a host of export items, which will add value to fed cattle and on down the line. Many
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Consumers Union last Thursday asked USDA to retest a cow that was determined in November 2004 to be negative for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) using a test called the “Western blot.” The Western blot test is used by authorities in Japan and Europe when making a final determination as to whether a cow has the brain-wasting disease, Consumers Union said. “Given the potential consequences to both public health and the cattle industry if this brain- wasting disease become established here, it is extremely important that every scientifically justifiable step be taken to prevent it," said Michael Hansen, a biologist with Consumers Union,
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
Several recently released reports have shown that the incidences of pathogens contaminating meat are definitely decreasing. A majority of the reason for the reduction in food-borne illnesses can be attributed to research work and improved technology. Scientists at USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS) are continuing to build on that research in hopes of finding new, more effective ways to squelch pathogens. Campylobacter is one of the pathogens ARS has been focusing on. Thoroughly cooking beef, chicken or pork will ensure Campylobacter is killed. Raw meat, however, harbors the bacteria and can lead to food poisoning. ARS scientists figure the best way to
Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
by WLJ
Feb 28, 2005
— Pay for getting dressed requested. The U.S. Supreme Court last week said it will hear arguments on whether meat-processing plants must pay workers for the time to change into protective clothing and to walk to their work stations. The nine justices will review two opposite lower court rulings examining workers' rights under federal labor law. One ordered IBP Inc.—prior to its purchase by Tyson Fresh Meats Inc.—to pay $3.1 million to 815 workers in Pasco, WA, for the time to put on and remove protective clothing. A separate federal court ruling said 44 Barber Foods employees in Portland, ME, were not