Daily Archives: June 22, 2006

USDA plans voluntary cattle tracking

USDA plans voluntary cattle tracking


(UPI Science News Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) The U.S. Department of Agriculture still has no system to track livestock during an outbreak of infection, such as mad cow disease.

Former Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman asked the department to create a national livestock tracking system in 2003, when the first U.S. case of mad cow disease was discovered, The Wall Street Journal reported. There is still no such system for most farm animals, including chickens and beef cattle.


Beef Futures Mixed on Japan’s Import Res

Beef Futures Mixed on Japan’s Import Res

NEW YORK — The resumption of Japanese imports of U.S. beef was welcomed by the cattle industry Wednesday, but given the relatively small available market, cattle futures were mixed in response.

The live cattle contract for June delivery fell 20 cents to $81.75 per hundred pounds on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later-month contracts, however, rose in response to expected resumption of imports later in the year. The August contract was up 5 cents at $83.25, while the October contract rose 50 cents to $86.75.




Farm Groups Launch National Grassroots Campaign to Support Passage

Washington, D.C. – A broad-based coalition of agricultural and farm organizations is urging Congress to take prompt action on legislation introduced June 15 that would allow interstate sales of state-inspected meat and poultry products. S. 3519, the Agricultural Small Business Opportunity and Enhancement Act of 2006, was introduced by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Herb Kohl (D-WI).

Agriculture coalition members said the legislation will resolve a basic inequity which has existed since 1967. Removing the current ban on interstate sales will level the economic playing field for small business, spur more competition in the marketplace, create a more uniform inspection system and further enhance food safety and consumer confidence in the food supply. The coalition is also launching a national grassroots campaign to support passage of the bill. Coalition members include: the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA); American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP); Center for Rural Affairs; American Meat Goat Association; Kansas Livestock Association; National Farmers Union; National Grange; American Sheep Industry Association (ASI); Missouri Association of Meat Processors; Montana Chamber of Commerce; National Association of State Meat and Food Inspection Directors (NASMFID); National Bison Association; North Dakota Meat Processors Association (NDMPA); North Dakota Stockmen’s Association; Ohio Association of Meat Processors; R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America; Texas Association of Business; and Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors.

State and local agricultural groups have long sought to fix current law which is outdated and restricts free markets. The 1967 and 1968 Meat and Poultry Acts prohibit state-inspected products (beef, poultry, pork, lamb, and goat) from being sold in interstate commerce. However, the prohibition does not apply to “non-amenable” products—such as venison, pheasant, quail, rabbit, and a host of others. These products are normally regulated by state inspection programs, yet can be shipped in interstate commerce without restriction. The agricultural coalition pointed out that it does not make sense to allow these products to be shipped across state borders while beef, poultry, pork, lamb and goats cannot be shipped interstate.

S. 3519 would expand marketing opportunities for farmers and ranchers which they never had before. Without change, growing concentration in the processing sector will continue to leave smaller farmers and ranchers with fewer buyers for their livestock and poultry. Increased markets will stimulate small business sales, expand rural development, and increase local tax bases—all of which will benefit farmers, ranchers, processors, related industries, and consumers. Three USDA advisory committees have recommended that the ban on interstate sales be removed.

The agricultural coalition further noted that the legislation would also ensure fairness in trade. Foreign-produced meat and poultry products can be freely shipped and sold anywhere in the U.S. as long as that foreign country’s inspection program is equivalent to U.S. federal standards—the same standard which state meat inspection programs must meet. State agriculture officials pointed out that S. 3519 would provide small businesses in the U.S. with the same marketing opportunities given to companies in foreign countries.

Coalition members emphasized that state and federal inspection programs should function together as a seamless system in both intrastate and interstate commerce. “We hope Congress will act this year because this legislation will further enhance food safety, improve competition, and benefit farmers, ranchers, and consumers.”

Ohio Beef Newsletter available

The June 21, issue # 492, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefJune21.html

At the very least, this has been a unique spring for managing pastures. A frequent question that has been asked is, “Should I clip my pasture and when . . . or is it too late?” This week in Forage Focus, Jeff McCutcheon offers some considerations.

This week’s articles include:
* Never Count The Market Out
* Forage Focus: Should I Clip My Pastures?
* Pinkeye – A disease of plenty
* Sweep for Potato Leafhopper in Alfalfa
* Multiflora Rose Management in Pastures
Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

Texas beef producers optimistic but wary

Texas beef producers optimistic but wary

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

I won’t believe Japan has reopened until they put the first load in a grocery store

Texas producers reacted cautiously Wednesday to word that Japan might resume U.S. beef imports after a delegation inspects packing plants to ensure that mad cow-contaminated meat doesn’t end up in bowls of gyudon, a popular Japanese dish of braised short ribs over rice.

‘I am encouraged but skeptical,’ said Frank Winters, 43, manager of Flint Rock Feeders in the Panhandle, one of nine feedlots in the state that went through a lengthy process to be certified to supply cattle for Japan.

‘Maybe I should say my optimism is guarded, because they’ve yanked the rug out from under us so many times it’s not funny.’


Anthrax Cattle; Emmons County

Anthrax Cattle; Emmons County

KFYR Radio

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ North Dakota has its first anthrax cases of the year.
State Veterinarian Susan Keller says two cattle in south central North Dakota’s Emmons County have died of the disease. The herd southwest of Linton has been quarantined.
Last year, more than 500 animals in 16 North Dakota counties died from anthrax — the worst outbreak in state history.


Producers still skeptical of livestock tracking program

Producers still skeptical of livestock tracking program

Idaho State Journal

Payton Nash shows the electronic ear tag placed in one of his 4-H steers. The tag identifies the animal as belonging to him. Journal file photo
By Debbie Bryce – Journal Writer

POCATELLO – The Livestock Identification and Marketing Opportunities Act, introduced last June by U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa, would create a mandatory system to track agricultural animals.

While H. R. 3170 currently has no co-sponsors and no legislative action has been taken, the Bill would allow agricultural animals to be traced from their point of origin to slaughter within 48 hours.


Bones of contention remain in beef deal

Bones of contention remain in beef deal

Japan will allow U.S. imports — after inspections — halted after backbone found in meat.

By Libby Quaid Of The Associated Press / Mcall.com

U.S. beef shipments to Japan could resume within weeks under a new agreement, but the Bush administration cautioned Wednesday that the deal to restore trade interrupted by Japanese mad-cow disease concerns could still fall through.

”I don’t want this to be regarded as something bigger than it is,” Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns told reporters in his office. ”It’s a step along the way, certainly a helpful step, but we still don’t have beef there.”


Mixed response as Japan decides to lift beef ban

Mixed response as Japan decides to lift beef ban

The Associated Press / Seattle Times

LUBBOCK, Texas — Japan’s decision to reopen its market to U.S. beef brought joy to the nation’s cattlemen and some hand-wringing by its meat processors, upset that their plants would be open to Japanese inspection as part of the deal.


Japan could resume beef imports in "weeks": Johanns

Japan could resume beef imports in “weeks”: Johanns

By Christopher Doering

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As part of a U.S.-Japan agreement to restore beef trade, Tokyo could reject individual shipments, rather than cutting off trade altogether, as a safeguard against mad cow disease, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said on Wednesday.

Japan’s January 20 suspension of U.S. beef imports came after it discovered banned spinal material in a shipment of veal from New York. U.S. farm groups have since complained Tokyo’s response was overblown.


Ranchers should test water quality to avoid problems in cattle

Ranchers should test water quality to avoid problems in cattle

Tri-State Neighbor

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Ranchers and farmers should test the water their animals are drinking to avoid performance problems in cattle, a South Dakota State University specialist said.

SDSU Extension beef specialist Julie Walker said water quality changes throughout the summer, so it’s important that producers monitor local water sources on an ongoing basis.


Nelson says he won’t be satisfied until Japanese can buy US beef again

Nelson says he won’t be satisfied until Japanese can buy US beef again


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ U-S Senator Ben Nelson says today he’s cautiously optimistic that beef trade with Japan will resume in late July, but he wishes the trade deal announced this morning included a firm timeline.

Starting Sunday, Japanese officials will spend several weeks inspecting U-S beef processing plants.

Nelson says that until U-S beef returns to Japanese store shelves, he won’t consider trade with Japan to be restored.


Goodlatte Comments on Japanese/U.S. Beef Trade

Goodlatte Comments on Japanese/U.S. Beef Trade


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman Bob Goodlatte today issued the following statement regarding an understanding reached late last night between United States and Japanese officials outlining a final process toward resuming imports of U.S. beef products into Japan.

“While this latest agreement indicates that progress is being made toward the resumption of beef trade with the Japanese government, the market remains closed and U.S. beef is not yet available to Japanese consumers. Our negotiators continue to work diligently toward finalizing an agreement that would give U.S. beef producers access to this once lucrative market, and I applaud their efforts.


LMA releases members’ top three concerns about beef checkoff

LMA releases members’ top three concerns about beef checkoff

Drovers news source (Wednesday, June 21, 2006)

What beef checkoff issues are most important to auction markets? In a recent member survey conducted by the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), respondents ranked these three topics as most important to them:

* Keeping the non-producer exemption: The current policy of not collecting on cattle purchased to facilitate transfer of ownership and resold within 10 days.
* A periodic vote on the continuation of the beef check-off: The current policy allows it through a petition process.
* How beef checkoff committee members are appointed: Those members responsible for beef checkoff programs largely come from within one beef industry organization.

Billy Perrin, LMA chairman of the board, said, “LMA is using the survey in its work with the cattle industry beef checkoff task force. And the survey will be used to develop accurate and relevant questions for the 8,000-beef producer survey.”