Daily Archives: February 16, 2006

Animal rights groups’ funds continue to grow

Donations to animal rights groups increased 40 percent from 2003 to 2004 (the most current snapshot available.) “Animal People,” a publication that bills itself as ”News for people who care about animals,” reported the results based on Internal Revenue Service Form 990, which the groups are required to file. Here’s a quick look:

  • The Humane Society of the United States revenues equaled $74 million, up 3 percent.
  • The Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (the next largest group), grew revenues to $48.2 million, an 11 percent jump.
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reported a 20 percent gain or $28.1 million in revenue.
  • PETA-affiliated Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the PCRM Foundation combined for $16 million, up from $12 million in 2003.

The Animal Agriculture Alliance points out that the groups’ combined efforts against animal agriculture spent more than $290 million in 2004.
For more information, go to drovers.com.

Boswell introduces bill to ban packer ownership

From Drovers Journal

Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, has introduced legislation (H.R. 4713) that, if passed, would prohibit packers from owning, feeding or controlling livestock intended for slaughter. The bill, which would amend the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, has yet to receive any co-sponsors, points out National Pork Producers Council officials. An identical measure introduced by Boswell in 2003 garnered 11 co-sponsors.

Pasture options for economical fertilizing

Pasture options for economical fertilizing

The Baxter Bulletin

Nitrogen fertilizer prices have climbed sky high, leaving hay and cattle producers in a bind for spring forage. What affordable options will allow producers to grow enough forage this year?

The first thing to do and also the cheapest, is to get soil tests on all fields that normally would be fertilized. Cutting fertilizer rates without a good guideline can drastically cut needed forage production.

Soil test results are a valuable guide for directing fertilizer applications, and they are free. Soil samples can be submitted through Baxter County Extension office. Some fields may not need as much fertilizer as producers typically apply, while others may have declined in fertility and yield so that more fertility is required to restore yield.

Estimating forage need is another way to improve fertilizer efficiency. If spring forage production is often in excess of what is needed, then lowering fertilizer rates can be justified, but this should be determined for each farm to ensure adequate hay and pasture production.

In cases of excess spring growth, splitting a heavy spring fertilizer application into smaller spring and fall applications can extend the grazing season and reduce winter hay requirements.

Overseeding legumes such as clover and annual lespedeza will reduce fertilizer costs since nitrogen fertilizer is not needed for legumes. Legumes improve forage quality and reduce fescue endophyte problems. Clovers need higher soil fertility than lespedeza and most grasses. This makes soil tests even more important since spreading clover seed on fields with poor fertility can be a waste of money.

Annual lespedeza is a good choice where fertility is too low for clover to survive.

For information on soil testing or forages, call University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service at 425-2335.

Mark Keaton is staff chair for Baxter County at UA Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

GM Food Goes on Trial

GM Food Goes on Trial

By John Feffer,
AlterNet. Posted
February 16, 2006.

The global jury is still out on whether GMOs are a boon or a bust.

The fundamental rule of retail is: The consumer is always right. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has once again disregarded this rule by declaring the majority of European consumers wrong.

In poll after poll, Europeans have voiced their skepticism of food that’s been altered at the genetic level. Their governments initially responded with a moratorium on new GM products and subsequently adopted a Europe-wide policy on product labeling. But in its latest ruling, the WTO did some labeling of its own, declaring Europe’s cautious policy on genetically modified organisms (GMO) an unfair barrier to trade.

The 800-page report, the longest decision in the WTO’s short history, has not yet been released to the public. But the U.S. government and its co-plaintiffs, Canada and Argentina, are already treating it as a historic ruling. The European Union, on the other hand, has dismissed the report as simply a ruling about history, since it lifted its moratorium against GMOs in 2004. Still unclear is how the ruling will affect different regions within Europe that continue to declare themselves GM-free.

FULL STORY

Southwestern Angus Champion Bull

Southwestern Angus Champion Bull

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 3:14 PM CST
The Tri-State Neighbor

QLC LaGrand Forum won grand champion bull at the 2006 Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show’s Roll of Victory (ROV) Angus Show, Jan. 28 in Fort Worth, Texas. Fluharty Farms LLC, Gause, Texas; Quirk Land Cattle Co., Hastings, Neb.; and LaGrand Angus Ranch, Freeman, S.D., own the March 2003 son of G 13 Structure. He first won senior champion. Jeff Dameron, Lexington, Ill., evaluated the 141 entries.

Southwestern Angus Reserve Champion Bull

DAJS The Matrix 008 won reserve grand champion bull at the 2006 Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show’s Roll of Victory (ROV) Angus Show, Jan. 28 in Fort Worth, Texas. Katy Satree, Montague, Texas; Whitestone-Krebs, Gordon, Neb.; and Express Angus Ranches, Yukon, Okla., own the March 2004 son of Champion Hill Edition 2029.

Brokeback Resolution

Brokeback Resolution

By Mary Ann Akers
Roll Call Staff
February 16, 2006

They swear it has nothing to do with “Brokeback Mountain,” but a group of Senators, mostly from cowboy country, has introduced a resolution designating July 22, as “National Day of the American Cowboy.”

Canadian Cattle Numbers Down

Canadian Cattle Numbers Down

As of January 1, 2006

The national cattle herd has declined for the first time in three years in the wake of the reopening of the American border to Canadian cattle, easing the situation for farmers who had to feed record numbers of animals.

Cattlemen had an estimated 14.8 million head on their farms as of January 1, 2006, a drop of about 233,000 head from the record 15.1 million head established a year earlier, according to the January Livestock Survey of 10,000 producers.

Despite the decline, the total was still over 1.3 million higher than levels as of January 1, 2003, before the worldwide ban on Canadian cattle resulting from mad cow disease.

FULL STORY

USMEF Helps Taiwan Welcome Back U.S. Beef

USMEF Helps Taiwan Welcome Back U.S. Beef

Japan Hearld

OMAHA (DTN) — According to a federation release, as U.S. beef makes its way back to Taiwan stores and restaurants, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has several activities planned to ensure its return is a welcome one.

Shipments of U.S. beef started arriving in Taiwan last Friday. They are the first since June, when Taiwan banned U.S. beef after the announcement of a second case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States. U.S. beef products will be available in retail markets this week, and a survey by the Department of Health in Taiwan indicates 65 percent of consumers will buy U.S. beef. Carrefour, operating 37 outlets in Taiwan, will conduct a media event to reintroduce U.S. beef to customers.

“This week is an important one as we will see consumer reaction to U.S. beef returning to retail markets,” USMEF Director, Taiwan Davis Wu said. “U.S. beef is sought after for its taste and tenderness. We also believe consumers are confident in its high quality.”

USMEF enhances consumer excitement with a United Steak promotion, giving U.S. beef consumers a chance to win prizes. Consumers who buy U.S. beef at Carrefour stores between Feb. 20 and March 5 can use the entry form affixed to U.S. beef packages to enter a prize drawing that takes place March 10.

Many wholesale stores, steakhouses and hot pot restaurants in Taiwan have reported increased inquiries from customers who favor the special flavors of U.S. beef. USMEF will introduce trendy steakhouses and restaurants featuring U.S. beef to the media, attracting consumers to restaurants where they can enjoy delicious meals prepared with U.S. beef.

Taiwan initially banned U.S. beef in December 2003 after the United States discovered its first case of BSE. At that time, Taiwan was in the list of top 10 export markets for U.S. beef and beef variety meat with 19,225 metric tons (mt) valued at $76.5 million going to Taiwan.

Taiwan reopened to U.S. beef last April, but shut down again in late June. During the market-open time, U.S. beef and beef variety meat to Taiwan totaled 7,764 mt valued at $4.2 million. Taiwan again accepts boneless U.S. beef product from cattle under 30 months of age processed in plants approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To help U.S. beef gain traction in Taiwan, USMEF is reinstating an education program for restaurants and retail stores to help employees answer consumer questions regarding U.S. beef with correct and current information.

USMEF also is relaunching its broadcast advertisement campaign, encouraging consumers to purchase U.S. beef now that it is back in the marketplace.

The campaign was successful during the first market reopening as it lured consumers to restaurants and stores featuring U.S. beef. The U.S. Meat Export Federation is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry and is funded by USDA, exporting companies, and the beef, pork, lamb, corn, sorghum and soybean checkoff programs.

Ohio Amazing Graze Forages Newsletter Available

Ohio Amazing Graze Forages Newsletter Available

The BiMonthly issue of Amazing Graze, the Ohio State Extension Newsletter is available at : http://forages.osu.edu/News/

Topics this month include:

  1. Extending the Grazing Season Backwards
  2. American Forage and Grassland Council 2006 Conference
  3. 2006 Ohio Forage & Grasslands Council’s Annual Conference
  4. Forages for Goats
  5. Spring Turnout
  6. Are You Ready to Plant This Spring?
  7. Announcement of “Tall Fescue On-line Monograph” Availability

Ohio Beef Newsletter available

Ohio Beef Newsletter available

The February 15, issue # 474, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefFeb15.html

If you signed an EQIP contract in 2004 or prior, you may be eligible for a “bonus payment” for simply completing the practice between March 1 and June 30, 2006. Read this issue of the BEEF Cattle letter for details.

Articles include:
* Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council Meeting Features Kit Pharo
* USDA Offers Energy Cost Offset for Completion of EQIP Practices, EQIP Sign-up Ends March 3
* Around Ohio with OLC: EQIP Addresses Natural Resource Concerns
* Application of Manure to Frozen Ground, How Should I Make the Application?
* Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference Boasts New Sessions
* Ohio Bull Test 84 day Update
* Weekly Purcell Agricultural Commodity Market Report

Stan
———-
Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

e-mail: smith.263@osu.edu
voice: 740.653.5419 ext. 24
fax: 740.687.7010

Two Tyson beef plants close

Two Tyson beef plants close

by Pete Hisey on 2/16/2006 for Meatingplace.com

As previously announced, Tyson Foods has closed two beef processing plants, in Norfolk and West Point, Neb.

Most of the Norfolk capacity will be picked up by Tyson’s new plant addition in Dakota City, Neb., which will debut in March, while the output from West Point will be shifted to Dakota City and other Tyson plants in the area.

“Given the expected efficiencies of the new processing floor at Dakota City and the anticipated improvements in capacity utilization, we believe this is the right strategic decision,” said Noel White, group vice president, Tyson Fresh Meats.

Approximately 1,650 workers will be idled by the closings, but Tyson said it will continue full pay for 60 days and attempt to find new positions for them within the company. Tyson representatives will meet with small groups of employees to discuss relocation to other plants, including Dakota City and Lexington, Neb., and Emporia, Kan. Tyson will offer cash relocation incentives to interested workers.

West Point closed on Wednesday; Norfolk’s last day of production will be Friday.

Japanese group backs packers, raps USDA

Japanese group backs packers, raps USDA

by Pete Hisey on 2/16/2006 for Meatingplace.com

An inspection team from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that had visited several U.S. packing plants late last week reported back that most U.S. processing companies were employing sufficient safeguards to be qualified to ship beef to Japan.

The finding was in sharp contrast to an earlier report from a team made up of members of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, which blasted Tyson Foods’ systems for removing specified risk materials. Tyson demanded an apology, but none has been forthcoming.

The LDP group visited Tyson’s Emporia, Kan., plant Feb. 10, and visited several other plants over the weekend. According to The Japan Times, Toshikatsu Matsuoka, head of the mission, told a press conference in Tokyo that “most facilities are doing enough” but “the irresponsible system of the agricultural department has caused a great deal of trouble for diligent companies.” Matsuoka said USDA should be held responsible for the shipment of veal to Japan that included banned spinal material.