Merger may be bad news for ranchers
Alamogordo Daily News
Sen. Jeff Bingaman is warning that the acquisition of two beef processors by the world’s largest beef producer could have a significant impact on cattle ranchers in Otero County.
The Brazilian-owned JBS Corporation announced last month that it has arranged to purchase Smithfield Beef Group and National Beef Packing Company, which will make JBS the largest beef producer in the United States.
“JBS’ proposal to acquire these two U.S. beef processors would give a single company control of about one-third of the domestic market and a monopoly in many areas of the county,” Bingaman said in an interview Tuesday. “I am concerned about the possible antitrust implications of the acquisition, as well as its impact on competitive market access for the many small and independent cattle growers (including) those in Otero County, who are vulnerable to unfair market pricing.”
Positive and Negative comments on Columbia FTA
“Negative Response to Colombia Pact”
After President Bush announced he would send to Congress legislation to enable implementation of the U.S. Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement reaction has been split. National Farmers Union President Tom Buis called the move – premature. He said a level playing field must first be established. America’s farmers and ranchers produce the safest, most abundant, most affordable food supply in the world. And Buis points out that – our trading partners are not required to meet our high labor, environmental, health and safety standards. He said the Colombia agreement is – another step in the wrong direction.
Respecting the meat you eat
Inside Bay Area
Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.
If your meat had a name would you be able to eat it without a guilty
Have you met your meat? Most of us haven’t. The tender T-bone, purchased shrink-wrapped from the supermarket, seems a far cry from the living, breathing, tail-flipping steer it once was. Truth is, most of us don’t really want to meet our meat, or get to know our game — we prefer to just enjoy it. Or do we?
A growing number of meat eaters are taking interest in where their meat comes from, particularly in light of the February recall of 143 million pounds of beef from a Chino slaughterhouse after an undercover video by the Humane Society of the United States was released that showed sick or “downer” cattle being kicked, chained and dragged, or rammed with forklifts.
Local farmers still feeling drought effects, despite rain
After soaking rains last week and more wet weather expected this week, things are looking up for area farmers. But East Tennessee is still in a moderate drought and farmers are still feeling the impacts of an extremely dry 2007.
This time last year, there was little for Knox County farmer Dave Cantrell to till thanks to the Easter freeze and the drought. Many of farmers’ crops were devastated
Progress Slow Against Fever Ticks
A few miles north of the Rio Grande, where spring temperatures climb past 100 degrees, helicopters work in concert with cowboys to gather cattle, thorny bushes nick kneecaps, and dust and manure swirl up noses and down collars, and cowboys inspecting, dipping or treating cattle are gritty and soaked with sweat before noon. For a small contingency of government “hands” and livestock producers on the border, the very presence or absence of ticks on cow bellies or deer flanks indicate defeat or victory in the fight against the fever tick, a foreign-origin pest that threatens the health of U.S. cattle.
Beef’s new competitor
While traveling in Kansas this past week I had the opportunity to meet with several cattlemen and feedlot managers. The mood among them is somber to say the least. The market doesn’t seem to be adjusting to the realities of the new energy economy very quickly.
Transportation cost is one of the biggest factors impacting every industry across the country – especially livestock feeding. When trucking companies are dealing with diesel prices in the neighborhood of $4.00/gallon, the cost of moving grain or animals or boxed beef becomes significant.
Carlos Ojea to Judge All American Angus Futurity
For the first time in the 61 year history of the All American Angus Futurity, there will be a judge from outside of the North American continent. The 61st Annual All American Angus Breeders Futurity will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 26th and 27th at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.
Over the past 61 years, the All American Angus Breeders Futurity has become one of the most prestigious Angus Shows in the world. Tom Burke, Smithville, Missouri, Chairman of the 2008 All American Angus Breeders Futurity has announced that the Executive Committee selected Carlos Ojea of Buenos Aires, Argentina as the official judge.
Clean Calving Environment
The incidence of infectious disease is a function not only of immunity level, but also the level of exposure to infectious agents. Exposure to infectious organisms is highest in confined environments.
Federal Restrictions Hit Minn. Livestock
New federal restrictions meant to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis may force the state’s livestock producers to spend more time and money shipping their cattle and bison out of state.
The new restrictions take effect Wednesday. State officials had been gearing up for them since the discovery of another infected herd in February.
The restrictions will not affect animals going to slaughter or coming from herds certified as TB-free. But other animals being shipped out of state – primarily feeder cattle, breeding stock and replacement dairy cows – will have to pass tests first.
Dry spring, rangeland worry ranchers
California Farm Bureau
April showers bring May flowers, but so far this season’s parched conditions have failed to bring the lush grasses that feed the state’s grazing cattle, a situation that could spell disaster for California ranchers.
“We’re at a really critical point right now,” said Neil McDougald, University of California Cooperative Extension range and livestock advisor.
Evaluating Alfalfa Stands
As alfalfa begins spring growth many producers are looking at alfalfa stands questioning if they are worth keeping another year or should they be harvested early and rotated to corn this spring. Unfortunately this is not always a yes or no decision.
Established Stands: The magic number of plants that traditionally indicated when it is time to rotate out of an established alfalfa stand is 4 – 5 plants per square foot. However, depending on fertility and weed invasion, alfalfa stands with 4 – 5 plants per square foot can yield as much as a stand with many more plants per square foot. The correlation between plants per square foot and yield is very low since individual alfalfa plants respond to decreasing stand density by producing more stems. Increased number of stems per plant compensates for fewer plants and maintains the yield.
Beef Checkoff Educates Kids and Parents
Hoosier AG Today
The school year will soon be drawing to a close, and even with busy summer months ahead parents are being encouraged to make sure the family sits down together as often as possible at the family dinner table. Scott George is a dairy producer from Cody, Wyoming who chairs the Beef Checkoff youth education and information subcommittee. The checkoff has worked diligently with government and school administrators to create educational kits that teach children and parents about beef.
Blunt: Area ‘a hot spot’ for cattle rustling
Governor touts successes of anti-theft measures at farmers’ meeting in Springfield.
Amos Bridges •
Gov. Matt Blunt stopped in Springfield on Tuesday to tout the state’s successes fighting cattle rustling, but local farmers were more interested in talking about continued thefts.
“I think it’s getting worse,” said Bill Johnson, a rancher who runs 25 to 100 head of cattle at his Walnut Grove farm. “Some law-abiding citizen is finally going to shoot someone … That’s what this is building up to.”
Missouri is the nation’s second-leading beef cattle state, behind Texas. With 500-pound calves fetching $600 at the sale barn, a night’s haul can net thieves thousands of dollars and devastate a rancher’s bottom line.
“We Have Met The Enemy”
The recent beef recall, which was the largest in U.S. history, has made the entire beef/dairy industry take an introspective look at itself. As the Scottish bard, Robert Burns said, “O wad some power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!” We have to be concerned with public perception because it affects demand and demand is a major determinant of price. We simply can’t keep handing ammunition to the very people who want to put us out of business. Maybe the cartoon character, Pogo, said it best “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Learn to market beef cattle April 15 in Mansfield
Mansfield News Journal
MANSFIELD — Marketing Beef Cattle, a program for beef cattle producers, will be at 7 p.m. April 15 at the Richland County Fairgrounds Administration Building. The program will be presented by Sam Roberts of United Producers. He is in charge of direct cattle marketing and is a graduate of The Ohio State University.
This program is for anyone raising beef cattle and will cover marketing, auctions, grid, contracts and price differentials. Duane Rader, Richland County’s program assistat, said attending the program will help participants better understand the concepts of marketing and how to make informed marketing decisions.