What To Expect From Mandatory COOL
With a new farm bill now on the books, USDA soon should be rolling out all of the important info on mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) so that producers can begin preparing for the implementation data. While important, deadlines and details probably aren’t what most producers are really curious to know, however.
The most obvious question is: “Will mandatory COOL decrease the importation of beef from foreign countries?” That’s primarily feeder cattle from Mexico and fed cattle from Canada.
Certainly, in the short term, nobody wants to be holding inventory if that inventory might be devalued, but I’ve had trouble with the cause and effect for quite some time.
Packers announce reductions in slaughter
Western Livestock Journal
—Cash fed cattle trade remains steady as supply begins to tighten.
Cash trade was just getting underway at mid-day last Thursday in the Corn Belt at prices steady with the previous week’s trade at $150, although volume was light and not enough to determine a trend. Analysts were calling trade at steady prices for the third consecutive week with prices near $96 live and $150-152 dressed.
National Beef announced last week that the company would immediately scale back its slaughter schedule, knocking 15,000 head per week out of the slaughter mix. It appeared that some additional announcements of harvest reductions were also likely, particularly in light of the questionable retail environment. Slaughter volume for the week through last Thursday was 391,000 head for the holiday-shortened period. That number was in contrast to the robust chain speed of 508,000 head, and above prior year levels of 386,000 head.
Kulongoski tries to get feedlots, workers together
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has intervened in a labor dispute at three Pacific Northwest feedlots that has put the future of some Oregon ranchers in jeopardy.
The issue is whether workers at Beef Northwest feedlots should have their vote on union representation handled by a neutral party or by the United Farm Workers.
John Wilson, president of Beef Northwest, wants the vote to be by secret ballot.
Arturo Sepulveda, organizer for United Farm Workers, claims to have cards signed by Beef Northwest workers asking to be represented by the union.
Ranchers show skills
Garden City Telegram
The task was to round up the three steers with the right tag and bring them around to the east side of the ring and into the chute.
Load them up into the trailer — one, two, three — then shut the first gate.
Next come the horses — one, two — into the trailer behind the steers, and shut the second gate behind them.
Then the cowboys need to get over the rails of the fence and — one, two, three, four — pile on the back of the truck.
The Quarter Circle 3 team of DM&M Feedyard, Cimarron, did it all in the course of one minute and 50 seconds, making them the first team to successfully complete the trailer loading event Thursday night at the Beef Empire Days 2008 Ranch Rodeo.
Understanding Feed Tags Important in Today’s Market
Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS
Over the last couple of issues we have been discussing steps that the cattle producer needs to take to survive in today’s market place. As most producers know by now, feeds, feed supplements and mineral supplements are at historic pricing levels. It is increasingly important that the producer knows exactly what he is getting when he purchases any of these products. Previously we talked about taking inventory of forages and better understanding exactly what is needed. In this article we’ll come from the other direction to better understand what is there and how to comprehend the labels or “tags” on feed and supplements. It is absolutely essential that the producer gets the most “bang for his buck,” and being able to understand feed tags is essential to this.
Canadian writer opposes JBS beef merger
North Platte Bulletin
A gomer is a bull which wants to breed, physically can breed, but can’t make a calf. Gomers aren’t castrated and are used to mark a cow when she’s in heat.
The bull climbs on, gets off, but leaves a mark on the cow with chalk or paint which is strapped on under his chin. Then, the real bull can be turned out, she’ll stand for him and hopefully, she’ll take.
This concentrated meatpacking business has made a lot of cattlemen stand for a lot more than they should have ever had to take, and it’s only getting worse.
Last year, JBS of Brazil bought Swift & Co., proudly declared themselves as American as apple pie and renamed the massive company JBS Swift.
Down Sizing The Herd Due To High Costs?
Producers, that choose to reduce inputs such as purchased feed and fertilizer for pastures, are also choosing to own and manage fewer cows. Removing cows from the herd would be slightly less painful if the prices received for them are at the yearly market top.
Oklahoma State University Agricultural Economists have plotted monthly averages for cull beef cows in the Southern Plains over a 10 year period of time (1997-2006). Cull cows sell for about 15% more per pound in June and July than in late October through November. Similar information is available at Iowa State University. Cull cows sold at Sioux Falls, Iowa brought 15% less per pound in the fall than they did in early summer.
Fall-calving cows can be weaned in late spring or early summer and culled at the yearly price peak. Fall-calvers that are not pregnant at weaning time would be “no-brainers”. They would be high on the cull list during the summer months. Fall-calvers that are re-bred may be a tougher decision, but if herd size reduction is necessary, then selling them now is a better option than later.
Governor Pawlenty signs bovine tuberculosis legislation into law
Farm and Ranch Guide
Governor Tim Pawlenty today signed legislation strengthening the state’s efforts to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (TB) from beef cattle and deer in northwestern Minnesota.
The bill provides the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) with expanded regulatory authorities and funding to implement a bovine TB eradication plan in northwestern Minnesota.
As part of the plan, BAH will increase livestock testing, tighten restrictions on animal movement, provide cost-share assistance for fencing in certain areas, and offer a “buy out” option to livestock owners in the disease management zone. In addition, the legislation directs that a per-head assessment be collected on all cattle sales in the state between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009. The funds are to be collected by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), for the purpose of helping fund bovine TB control activities.
Executive Session: Forst saddles up to lead cattlemen
by Brian Brus
The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – The great irony about Terry Stuart Forst is that, as the family head of the state’s oldest operating ranch, she doesn’t like to talk about the past.
“Whatever I’ve done has already happened; it’s over and done,” Forst said. “What you did isn’t as important as what you’re fixing to do. … You’ll find what’s going to happen a lot easier to talk about than what’s already happened.”
And perhaps that’s what makes her a good fit as the Oklahoma Cattlemen Association’s next president – its first woman, at that. The industry as a whole has changed dramatically over the years, and Forst has experienced firsthand how much family-operated businesses have weathered those changes.
Why Is It Important To Prevent BVD Infection In Bulls?
Both acute and persistent infections may decrease the reproductive soundness of bulls. The primary affect of infection in bulls is the subsequent potential for venereal transmission during breeding and the shedding of BVD in semen.
Susceptible cows may become infected following artificial insemination with contaminated semen. The semen from acutely infected bulls will pass a breeding soundness examination, which will increase the risk of transmission to susceptible cows. BVD infection was transmitted by a single bull to 55 cows in one herd and to several other herds that had been free of BVD.
Fuel adds to farm frustrations
Money from food price increases getting caught up at middleman
By MIKE JAMES
The rows of corn poke hopefully out of the ground in Glen Young’s field.
Just a few inches of green now, the tiny stalks represent thousands of dollars of investment, not to mention long days of plowing, fertilizing and planting.
Young farms the 15-acre field south of I-64 along with another 16 acres nearby and separate plots of wheat, hay and switchgrass.
With corn prices spiraling worldwide, Young can expect to get $6 or more per bushel at harvest, compared to the $3.60 he received a year ago.
So why isn’t he out shopping for vacation condos or luxury cars?
Ranchers prosper by ignoring factory-farm model
It’s been said that hot dogs – like laws – are something you never want to see being made.
But Steve Elzer is glad to know what goes into the wieners he buys from a new hot dog stand near his office – 100 percent grass-fed beef raised in California’s Central Coast.
“I love the feel, the taste, the pedigree that this meat is free-range,” the 46-year-old movie publicist said between bites at the chrome and ketchup-red Let’s Be Frank stand.
The fledgeling chain of hot dog stands – two more operate in San Francisco – is among a small but thriving segment of the fast-food world offering grass-fed and other naturally raised meats to the masses.
Edmondson raises issue on merger: beef prices
By John Greiner
A proposed purchase of two American meat companies by a Brazilian firm could lead to higher beef prices for consumers and lower prices being paid to beef producers, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said Thursday.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Edmondson expressed his concerns about harmful effects from the proposed acquisition of National Beef Packing Co. of Kansas City, Mo., and Smithfield Beef Group of Green Bay, Wis., by the Brazilian company, JBS.
Cattlemen Mourn Passing Of Jim Hanna
Nebraska cattleman and U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Region VII Director, Jim Hanna, passed away on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha following a brief illness.
“The cattle industry has lost a true champion,” said USCA President, Jon Wooster. “Jim was a man of courage, character and conviction. His leadership style was one of reasoned, sound judgment combined with his wonderful vision, wisdom and wit. He will be sorely missed.”
North Dakota State breaks ground on ag research projects
Two new projects at North Dakota State University are aimed at crop and livestock research.
Gov. John Hoeven’s office says he joined campus and state officials at Friday groundbreaking ceremonies for NDSU’s new research greenhouse and Beef Cattle Research Center.