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.