VOICE OF THE PEOPLE (LETTER)
Bonnie Beaver, DVM
College Station, Texas — As past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, I was recently asked to appear before Congress to explain why the AVMA does not support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. Horses have been my passion since childhood, and had much to do with why I became a veterinarian. I strongly support the AVMA’s opposition to this bill because it does not adequately address certain issues that are critically important to ensuring the welfare of horses that would be affected by it.
A Big Squeeze On Farmers
Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis
The Associated Press is reporting More than 60 percent of U.S. in drought.
More than 60 percent of the United States now has abnormally dry or drought conditions, stretching from Georgia to Arizona and across the north through the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin, said Mark Svoboda, a climatologist for the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
An area stretching from south central North Dakota to central South Dakota is the most drought-stricken region in the nation, Svoboda said.
“It’s the epicenter,” he said. “It’s just like a wasteland in north central South Dakota.”
Herd dispersals increasing in North, East Texas
By LORI COPE | East Texas Edition
Country World News
July 27, 2006 – Drought and decline of forage is forcing movement of cattle in some regions of the state, while others, blessed with more rainfall, are seeing only seasonal adjustments in sales.
Beef cattle packed into the sale facilities of the Winnsboro Livestock Commission on Friday as dried up pastures and high hay prices are forcing dispersals of entire herds.
Worst anthrax outbreak in 50 years hits Canadian prairies
OTTAWA (AFP) – More than 500 bovine have died of anthrax on Canadian farms in recent months in what officials described as the worst outbreak here in at least 50 years.
In western Saskatchewan province, 432 cattle and other livestock on 86 farms died after being exposed to the pathogen. Another 88 died on a dozen farms in neighboring Manitoba province, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said.
“It’s the largest outbreak for sure in the last 50 years,” CFIA veterinarian Sandra Stephens told AFP. Proper records were not kept prior to the 1950s, she added.
Anthrax is caused by bacteria and can be transmitted to humans through contact with contaminated animal substances such as hair, feces or hides, and is characterized by ulcerative skin lesions.
Ranchers putting cattle out to pasture for increasingly popular beef
The Associated Press
By JACOB ADELMAN
That demand for a segmented product rather than just the commodity of beef is something that our producers are picking up on
Fred Nick has always served his cows a pretty bland menu: grass and more grass.
Then, a few years ago, he learned that meat from exclusively grass-fed animals like his was gaining popularity among consumers for its reported health benefits, among other advantages.
Now Nick’s steaks and burgers are showing up for sale at a health food store near his 1,300 acres of pastures and rolling hills set in from California’s Central Coast.
‘We got pretty excited about that because we realized that’s what we’d been doing this whole time, and we didn’t even know we had a health product,’ said Nick, 72.
Rebuilding Japan Beef Trade May Be Slow
By JOSH FUNK
The Associated Press / phillyburbs.com
OMAHA, Neb. – Now that Japan has lifted its ban on U.S. beef, American beef producers are eager to resume trade there, but analysts say restoring sales to pre-ban levels and regaining the trust of Japanese consumers will be a slow process.
“The Japanese consumer likely has a lot of questions about the safety of the U.S. product,” said Darrell Mark, an agricultural economist with the University of Nebraska’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Five go to court for fake animal drugs
By DAVID LESTER
Five area residents were arraigned in U.S. District Court in Yakima on Tuesday on charges they participated in the sale of counterfeit, misbranded or expired animal antibiotics over a four-year period.
Federal Magistrate Michael Leavitt entered pleas of innocent on behalf of the defendants.
A status conference is scheduled for Aug. 10 to sort out legal representation for the seven individual defendants and two Yakima-based corporations named in a 175-count indictment a federal grand jury returned in mid-July.
Drought relief for cattle farmers
By Jaine Treadwell, The Messenger (AL)
Cattle farmers who have been forced to sell livestock due to drought conditions, may be able to postpone reporting the gain from the sale.
Tammy Powell, Pike County Extension coordinator, said if the livestock were held for breeding, dairy or draft purposes, the forced sales may qualify to be treated as involuntary conversions.
Lean Plate Club: Which beef is better? It all depends
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Grass-fed or grain-fed? Organic or not? It can be puzzling. And what about the taste?
If you’ve ever stood at the meat counter, pondering whether to spring for the various types of niche beef or just to buy plain old steak, you’re not alone.
“Consumers do not understand the difference between all-natural, grass-fed and organic beef,” says Rick Machen, who grew up on a cattle ranch and is now a livestock specialist at Texas A&M University. “I don’t understand them myself and I’m a university professor. It’s something that the industry needs to work on so that consumers fully appreciate and understand the differences between those products.”
Red meat & beef production at record highs for June
North Texas E-news / By USDA
Aug 2, 2006
Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.12 billion pounds in June, up 4 percent from the 3.96 billion pounds produced in June 2005.
Beef production, at 2.43 billion pounds, was 9 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 3.16 million head, up 8 percent from June 2005. The average live weight was up 14 pounds from the previous year, at 1,259 pounds.
Veal production totaled 13.0 million pounds, 1 percent below June a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 58,700 head, down slightly from June 2005. The average live weight was 4 pounds below last year, at 365 pounds.
Pork production totaled 1.66 billion pounds, down 3 percent from the previous year. Hog kill totaled 8.34 million head, 2 percent below June 2005. The average live weight was unchanged from the previous year, at 268 pounds.
Successful Soil Fertility Program Involves Six Steps
Ardmore, Okla. — A complete and successful soil fertility program involves six steps, according to Noble Foundation soil and crops specialist Jim Johnson. With the current high price of fertilizer and expected higher price in the future, following these steps could be a money-saving move for agricultural producers.
Take a good soil sample.
Take a minimum of 15 cores per field to a depth of 6 inches. The 6-inch depth is important because calibrations are based on this depth.
“Do not sample places you know do not represent the majority of the field, such as areas near gates, water, feeders, bad spots, etc.,” Johnson says.
China poised to resume U.S. beef imports
by Tom Steever
A story from Xinhua, China’s official news agency, says the country will resume imports of U.S. boneless beef from cattle younger than 30 months of age. That’s according to China’s State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
That agency calls the resumption highly meaningful in promoting bilateral trade between China and the United States. The same agency also informed local governments in China to strictly follow inspection and quarantine requirements to ensure quality and safety of imported beef.
Smithfield buys Conagra Assets
Smithfield Foods Inc., Smithfield. Va., signed a definitive agreement to acquire nearly all of the assets of the branded meats business of ConAgra Foods Inc., Omaha, Neb. The deal includes the packaged meats and turkey products sold under the Armour, Butterball, Eckrich, Margherita, Longmont, and LunchMakers brands.
The brands are marketed to retail grocers, delicatessens, restaurants, and other foodservice establishments. The combined annual sales of these brands are about $1.8 billion.
Last month, Smithfield announced it was also acquiring Sara Lee Foods’ meat business in Europe.
The August 1, issue # 498, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefAgst2.html
The time is upon us to be seeding forages – both perennial and annual ones for extending the grazing season.
Articles this week include:
* Forage Focus: Late Summer and Extended Winter Grazing Forage Options
* Fall seeding grasses
* The Impact of Hot Weather on Bull Fertility
* Ohio Cattlemen Plan Roundup for September 9 in Eastern Ohio
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report