Keys Has No Comment About Appointment
High Plains Journal
DENVER (DTN) — Walking around the trade show at the cattlemen’s convention, Chandler Keys was greeted throughout the expo by well-wishers asking if “it is going to happen.”
A former NCBA lobbyist, Keys’ name has been mentioned for months as the new USDA undersecretary for marketing and regulatory affairs, replacing Bill Hawks who left the position last year.
When asked Wednesday evening if he was being considered for the position, Keys said he could not comment.
USDA Pursuing Rule to Admit Canadian Breeding Cows, Older Cattle
High Plains Journal
DENVER (DTN) — Despite a new case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Canada, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on a rule that would allow breeding cows and older cattle from Canada into the United States.
John Clifford, chief veterinarian for the USDA, told a committee of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association that a rule allowing cattle over 30 months of age from Canada is being drafted, but he could not give a timeline for when it would be announced. The latest case of Canadian BSE would factor into the risk analysis of the rule, but not prevent it, Clifford said.
“This is something the department wants to move aggressively on,” Clifford said. USDA officials also are working on a rule that would make the country’s guidelines for beef imports parallel the World Animal Health Organization, known by the French acronym OIE, Clifford said. The OIE guidelines call for different levels of market access based not only on the number of mad-cow cases, but also the other preventive measures a country has installed to control the spread of the disease.
NCBA Convention News Briefs
High Plains Journal
By Chris Clayton, DTN Staff Reporter
Checkoff Talk Focused on Fee Increase DENVER (DTN) — Talk of changing the nation’s beef checkoff focused more directly on a possible push for a fee increase at the NCBA convention.
“It’s probably time to look at how we enhance the checkoff,” said Missouri cow-calf producer Mike John, president-elect of the NCBA. Texas rancher Jim McAdams, the group’s president, asked members at a forum Thursday if they would support increasing the fees. Only one of the 200 or so people in the room raised a hand in opposition.
John said any change in the $1 per-head checkoff would require not only a vote of Congress, but also approval by producers.
McAdams said growing global competition will place more demands on the checkoff. Leaders who use the checkoff money must figure out a way to increase resources.
“Due to inflation alone, the buying power of that dollar is less than 50 percent of what it was when the checkoff was passed,” McAdams said.
U.S. out of patience on beef ban
Friday, February 3, 2006; Posted: 1:09 a.m. EST (06:09 GMT)
TOKYO, Japan (AP) — The U.S. Congress has “run out of patience” over Japan’s ban on American beef imports, Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer said on Friday, adding that he hoped the issue could be settled in a “fairly short period of time.”
Japan, long the biggest export market for U.S. beef, reinstated a ban on the American meat on Jan. 20 after inspectors discovered spinal material, which experts say poses a risk of mad cow disease, in veal shipped by a New York meat packer.
“What would be extremely unfortunate is if this somehow becomes the spark that sets off a trade war,” Schieffer told a small group of journalists.
“There is no question in my mind that the American Congress has run out of patience on this issue, and that’s not a good situation,” he added.
Schieffer said a report on the results of a U.S. investigation into how the lapse occurred would likely be finished in “the next week or so” and presented to Japan for its feedback on how to set up a system to prevent similar occurrences.
The initial ban, imposed after the discovery of mad cow disease in the United States in December 2003, halting annual trade worth about $1.3 billion.
Ag Budget Cuts for 2006 Official
The House of Representatives has passed a budget reconciliation bill that will trim nearly three-billion dollars in federal spending on agriculture over the next five years.
National Farmers Union has been opposed to the proposed cuts from the beginning. NFU says the cuts will place an even bigger burden on the nation’s farmers and ranchers. NFU points out ag producers are already facing low commodity prices, increasing energy costs and devastating weather conditions. NFU President Dave Frederickson says the plan only makes a bad situation worse. He calls passage of the budget package the wrong move at the wrong time.
But American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director Dana Brooks says the ag budget cuts could have been much worse. She notes President Bush initially proposed nine-billion dollars in cuts from federal farm and food spending in his budget request for 2006. And now President Bush is preparing to deliver his proposed budget for 2007 to Congress. According to Brooks – the President will likely ask for even deeper cuts this year.
And once again – Brooks says Farm Bureau and other farm groups will be poised to make the argument that ag spending didn’t create the federal deficit – and further cuts to ag spending won’t get the country out of it.
The budget reconciliation bill passed by the House Wednesday also makes official the end of the Step 2 cotton export program in August – a move required to bring the U.S. into compliance with a WTO ruling in a case filed by Brazil. The bill cuts funding for advanced direct payments – research – conservation – rural development and energy – and extends a scaled-back version of the Milk Income Loss Contract program for two years.
SELECTING A COMMERCIAL SQUEEZE CHUTE VIDEO AVAILABLE ON WEB
A video titled “Selecting a Commercial Squeeze Chute” is now available on the Animal Science web page. The address is http://animalscience.ag.utk.edu/beef/beef.htm . This video should assist you in working with individuals planning to purchase a squeeze chute. With the number of individuals receiving a cost share from the Agricultural Enhancement Program for handling facility improvement, there will be a need for you to provide some guidance. Producers need to select the commercial squeeze chute that best meets their needs. A fact sheet discussing this topic is also available on the same web page.
Submitted by Clyde Lane, Jr.
SADEX GROUP LICENSED TO USE SUREBEAM IRRADIATION TECHNOLOGY
Sadex Corp. of Fort Worth, Texas has licensed the irradiation technology used by the SureBeam Corporation. SureBeam corporation went bankrupt in January, 2004. The purchase by Sadex included the technology and the equipment. Sadex reopened
Surebeam’s Sioux City plant in June. According to available information the new owner of the Surebeam technology is planning to avoid the mistakes made by Surebeam and expand the irradiation of beef.
From: Food Irradiation Update 1-5-06 (Published by Minnesota Beef Council)
Submitted by Clyde Lane, Jr.
SOME CATTLE FACTS FROM CATTLEFAX
Following are some short facts related to the beef cattle industry that was recently released by CattleFax.
- U.S. feeder cattle and calf supplies outside of feedlots are expected to total 28.4 million head on January 1, 2006 – up about 2% (500,000 head) from a year ago.
- During 2005, heifer slaughter was down about 550,000 head at 9.8 million head. This is 2 million head smaller than during the cycle peak in 2000.
- U.S. fed cattle marketings for the year were the smallest since 1996 and 5 percent smaller than the 5-year average.
- The choice cutout value averaged $144 during 2005 compared to $141 in 2004. Prices have traded in a new and higher trading range during the past two years with practical highs near $160 and good support at $125.
- Corn utilization for ethanol production is expected to increase nearly 20% this year to 1.6 billion bushels, which is 2.5 times more than just 5 years ago (150% increase).
- Beef cow numbers were 1.5 million head larger than current levels at the cycle peak in 1996. U.S. beef cow numbers are expected to increase an additional 1.5 million to 1.8 million by 2009.
- U.S. dairy cow numbers were up nearly 2% in 2005. Dairy cow numbers in the U.S. have only increased three times on a year-to-year basis since the dairy termination program in 1985-1986.
- Retail beef prices were relatively flat during 2005. The All Fresh Retail Beef Price has increased over 29 percent in the past four years. Expect retail beef prices to be mostly steady in 2006.
- During 2005, average carcass weights increased 7.5 pounds to 757 pounds and were the second heaviest on record. The record heavy carcass weights during 2002 averaged 758 pounds.
- The 2005 U.S. net beef supply was nearly the largest on record and is expected to increase by 200 to 300 million pounds during 2006.
- In the first half of 2005, the choice/select spread averaged about $4 below 2004. However, in the second half of 2005, the choice/select spread averaged about $5 above 2004 due to a smaller supply of choice grade cattle.
Source: CattleFax. Submitted by Jim Neel
NFU ConventionMarch 3-6, Denver, Colo.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) will host its 2006 convention, themed “Fuels From the Farm — Our Nation’s Future,” in Denver. The organization’s 104th convention is scheduled to include appearances from former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. John Edwards and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.
New NFU leaders will be elected at the convention, and members will decide on 2006 policy objectives. Members will also participate in workshops and breakout sessions about renewable energy, the new Farm Bill, trade, and consumer-producer cooperation. Entertainment is also scheduled.
Visit www.nfu.org for more information.
Cattle feeding, marketing short course
Feb. 7, Bowling Green, Ohio
The 2006 Great Lakes Professional Cattle Feeding and Marketing Short Course will be at the Wood County Junior Fair Building in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Ohio State University (OSU) Extension, in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), Purdue University and the Ontario Department of Agriculture, is offering the cattle feeding and marketing short course to help enhance the cattle industry in the Eastern Corn Belt. Coursework is designed to provide information on current feeding, management and marketing practices to improve profitability. Topics to be discussed include distillers’ grain, feedlot air quality, feeding out heifers, national animal ID, alliances and market projections.
Registration is $30, with $20 for each additional individual family/farm member. FFA and 4-H students can register for $10. To register, send a check made payable to Michigan State University to Steven Rust, Department of Animal Science, MSU, 2265B Anthony Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1225.
For more information contact OSU Extension beef specialists Steve Boyles at (614) 292-7669 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dan Frobose at (419) 354-6916 or email@example.com.