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Kerry Halladay, WLJ Managing Editor

News
Jun 24, 2013
Western ranchers are no stranger to fire. The recent years-long drought in many states has made that an even closer relationship as massive wildfires devastate parched rangelands. But in Idaho, more and more ranchers are turning in their cowboy hats for firefighters’ helmets as this year’s fire season starts up.
News
Jun 14, 2013
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently announced a proposed labeling requirement for beef products. Addressing the recent concern over the increased potential for foodborne illness in “mechanically-tenderized” beef, FSIS’ proposal would require all such products to be clearly labeled and come with safe cooking instructions.
News
Jun 10, 2013
In addition to targeting certain groups for greater scrutiny, some have speculated the IRS was shielding other groups from investigation. In this case, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and its questionable level of political involvement given its tax-exempt status seem to reside in the IRS’ blind spot.
News
Jun 7, 2013
The most obvious benefit of course is the added forage availability. Cattle that will only eat grasses are at a disadvantage compared to those which will also eat thistles, sages, knapweed and others. And if cattle can and will eat weeds, that removes the need to spray for or otherwise destroy them, which represents both time and money.
Markets
Jun 3, 2013
The cash markets were sluggish as packers are trying to hold onto their positive profit margins as cutout values have begun to move lower. By midweek, the asking prices were $126-128 live and $202-204 dressed, but packers were only bidding $122 live in the South Plains and $197 in Nebraska by Thursday morning.
Markets
May 27, 2013
Cash trade on live cattle kept analysts guessing throughout the week. At first, expectations were for a midweek startup, then after the futures’ bust on Wednesday, analysts were calling for a lateweek trade. All the while, the cash market failed to show the repeatedly record-setting cutout values.
News
May 24, 2013
The May 20 Crop Progress report showed overall corn plantings jumped 43 percent in the prior week. The previous report (released May 13) showed only 28 percent of the expected crop planted, but the most recent report quoted 71 percent. The five-year average for that week in May is 79 percent.
News
May 24, 2013
What seemed at first like a promising free trade agreement with the European Union (EU) has started to feel a bit like a bait and switch. Talks of “comprehensive” free trade only go so far with the EU pushing to maintain its “precautionary principle” with ag imports.
Markets
May 20, 2013
By Thursday afternoon, about 15,000 head had been confirmed sold, adding to the 8,000 head sold throughout the week. With the exception of Texas—where live cattle sold at $125, a dollar lower than the prior week’s live price—nothing in trendsetting numbers.
News
May 20, 2013
Friday, May 10, National Livestock Credit (National) announced its acquisition of Superior. The purchase was made possible by a limited partnership between National and a number of cattlemen from a variety of states. By all accounts, little will change with Superior following the transition but the improved stability offered by the new owners.
Markets
May 17, 2013
Friday, May 10 saw the release of the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report. Though the report contained very few surprises compared to prereport industry expectations, this was the first WASDE report of the year to include domestic projections for the 2013/2014 marketing year and 2013 world production estimates.
Markets
May 13, 2013
The Australian beef industry is experiencing a perfect storm of economic disaster. Drought, oversupply from closed markets, and ag policy gone awry have left Aussie producers scrambling to find an alternative to simply shooting the hundreds of thousands of excess animals which cost more to feed and ship than they’re worth at market.


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