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BEEF'S COW CALF WEEKLY    February 9, 2007  |  A PRISM BUSINESS MEDIA PUBLICATION
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    Table Of Contents
> Cattlemen Must Engage In Writing New Farm Bill
> National ID, What National ID?
> Study: 70% Of Producers Approve Of Checkoff
> Variant CJD Claimed 70 Brits In 2006
> Senators Call For Hold on Canadian Cattle Rule
> Livestock Insurance Workshops Begin in February
> Expansion Ends With A Whimper
> 2006 Grilling Season Treated Beef Very Well
> Web Site Takes Beef Producer Story To Consumers
> U.S. Senator Calls For Labeling Of Cloned Meat
> Bird Flu Hits Britain; Draws Trade Bans
> Californian Wins First Annual Auctioneer Contest
> Cattlemen Call For Sunsetting Of Ethanol Subsidies
> NCBA Launches Weekly TV Program
> One Million Europeans Call For GM Labeling
> Ag Groups Call for Disaster Assistance
> Johanns Proposes Income Test For Program Payments
> USDA Presents FY '08 Budget
> BSE Confirmed In Mature Alberta Bull
> Canada Elimination of Bluetongue Testing Applauded
> FMD In Vietnam; Japan Finds 32nd BSE Case
> Persistently Infected Calves Cost Money
> Beef Tenderness Continues To Improve, Survey Shows
> Market Basket Survey Finds Beef Is Getting Leaner
> Sale Barn Operators Say Value-Added Brings More Dollars
> KSU Cattlemen´s Day Is March 2; Sales To Follow



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    Our Perspective
      Cattlemen Must Engage In Writing New Farm Bill

The cattle industry has always prided itself on its peripheral position in past farm-bill debates. But this year, with a shrinking ag budget and seemingly more divergent goals and demands than ever, the industry must be engaged.

Click here to read more of this story.

      National ID, What National ID?

Last week, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns urged cattlemen in Nashville to help make a voluntary National Animal Identification System (NAIS) work. But despite USDA's rhetoric and all the organizational support for voluntary national ID, the industry remains in denial about this process.

Click here to read more of this story.

    Beef Checkoff
      Study: 70% Of Producers Approve Of Checkoff

Approval of the beef checkoff program is 70%, according to the latest biannual survey of producer attitudes about the checkoff commissioned by the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board. The Dec.18, 2006-Jan. 11, 2007 survey of 1,225 beef and dairy producers was conducted by Aspen Media & Market Research.

Click here to read more of this story.

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    Beef Safety
      Variant CJD Claimed 70 Brits In 2006

Seventy people died in the United Kingdom (UK) from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) last year. The latest UK Department of Health figures were lower than the 86 fatalities of 2005. Apart from 2004, when only 67 deaths were documented, the 70 deaths of 2006 are the lowest number of vCJD-related deaths since 1996, reports InTheNews.co.uk. More than 1,000 Britons are thought to have died from vCJD since government records began in 1990.
-- Joe Roybal

    Foreign Trade
      Senators Call For Hold on Canadian Cattle Rule

Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and John Thune (R-SD) have asked USDA Secretary Mike Johanns to withdraw USDA's proposed rule to allow for the importation of Canadian cattle born after March 1, 1999 and beef from animals over 30 months.

Click here to read more of this story.

    Risk Management
      Livestock Insurance Workshops Begin in February

A Nebraska workshop on livestock risk protection insurance and livestock gross margin insurance offers insight to producers on how to offset the risks of changing input prices and sales prices. Workshop participants will learn the differences between insurance, futures and options, review policy provisions and underwriting rules; how to create minimum price hedges for feeder cattle, fed cattle and hogs; and hedge cattle feeding margins.

Click here for dates, times, locations and contact numbers.

    Beef Markets
      Expansion Ends With A Whimper

Technically 2006 will go down as an expansion year with the total cattle inventory growing by 0.3%. But even that modest expansion only occurred as a result of the Jan. 1, 2006 number being revised downward. The beef cow inventory actually was lower by 100,000 cows. Beef replacement heifers were down by 0.5% and the 2006 calf crop was actually smaller than 2005.

Click here to read more of this story.

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    Beef Promotion
      2006 Grilling Season Treated Beef Very Well

Beef dollar sales and pound sales were up 3% and 6%, respectively, in 40 markets during the summer grilling program between June and September 2006. Meanwhile, beef grilling cuts accounted for 67% of total beef dollar sales during the 18-week campaign, according to FreshLook Marketing.

Click here to read more of this story.

      Web Site Takes Beef Producer Story To Consumers

Easy public access to facts, statistics and the personal experiences that take place from pasture to plate is the aim of a new beef checkoff-funded Web site -- www.BeefFromPastureToPlate.org. The Web site covers the entire production chain and features producer profiles, a live "Ask a Producer" page, a timeline of cattle in North America, fact sheets, recipes, safety tips and beef trivia.

Click here to read more of this story.

    Biotechnology
      U.S. Senator Calls For Labeling Of Cloned Meat

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) introduced legislation to require FDA and USDA to mandate labels for products from cloned animals or their offspring. Mikulski said, "I'm strongly opposed to the FDA approving meat and milk products from cloned animals for human consumption. If cloned food is safe, let it onto the market, but give consumers the information they need to avoid these products if they choose to. We need to let Americans -- many of whom find this repugnant -- speak with their dollars and choose the food that they feel confident is safe."
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

    Industry News
      Bird Flu Hits Britain; Draws Trade Bans

Britain destroyed 159,000 turkeys this week following the discovery of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian flu on a farm in eastern England. Ireland, Russia, Macedonia, South Korea, South Africa, Japan and Hong Kong banned British poultry imports, while the Netherlands and Norway ordered restrictions on their commercial poultry in an effort to stem potential spread of the infection, reports the International Herald Tribune.

Click here to read more of this story.

      Californian Wins First Annual Auctioneer Contest

Gene Klaft, Los Alamos, CA, was named the Champion Cattlemen's Auctioneer last week in Nashville, TN. Klaft competed against other top auctioneers from across the country in the event hosted by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's Livestock Marketing Council (LMC).

Click here to read more of this story.

      Cattlemen Call For Sunsetting Of Ethanol Subsidies

Members of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) last week adopted a resolution urging Congress to end the ethanol tax credit and the tariff on imported ethanol. The resolution reflects the growing concern among the livestock and meat industries of the effects of increased ethanol production on higher feed prices.

The resolution says NCBA "supports transition to a market-based approach for the production and usage of ethanol produced from livestock feeds" and "supports the sunsetting of the existing blender tax credit and the ethanol import tariffs as scheduled and not allowing for renewal in their current form." The ethanol blenders tax credit expires in 2010 and the import tariff expires in 2009.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      NCBA Launches Weekly TV Program

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has launched a new weekly television program for America's cattle farmers and ranchers on RFD-TV. NCBA's "Cattlemen to Cattlemen" airs every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. EST, with rebroadcasts Wednesdays at 4:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Click here to read more of this story.

      One Million Europeans Call For GM Labeling

This week, the environmental activist group Greenpeace delivered 1 million signatures petitioning the European Commission to label all milk, meat and egg products derived from animals fed genetically modified crops, the International Herald Tribune reports.

Click here to read more of this story.

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    Government
      Ag Groups Call for Disaster Assistance

More than 20 ag groups called on Congress to approve disaster assistance for U.S. producers as soon as practicable. In a letter to the Senate and House leadership, the groups said, "We appreciate the supplemental assistance offered to help some of the victims of the 2005 hurricane season. Unfortunately, this assistance wasn't available to all farmers and ranchers who suffered devastating losses due to hurricanes, and none of this assistance was available to producers in other areas of the nation."
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      Johanns Proposes Income Test For Program Payments

In his appearance before the National Cattlemen's Beef Association last week, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns said the administration wants to lower the adjusted gross income (AGI) limit for commodity program payments from the current $2 million to $200,000. It's among a number of items, which also includes elimination of the three-entity rule, and placing a cap of $360,000 on the amount of payments that can be received by an individual farmer or farmer and his spouse. The new rules would produce savings of $1.5 billion.

Click here to read more of this story.

      USDA Presents FY '08 Budget

President Bush submitted a $2.9-trillion, fiscal year 2008 budget request with the goal of eliminating the deficit over five years. Included is a request for $89 billion for USDA. Highlights include:

Click here to read more of this story.

    Animal Health
      BSE Confirmed In Mature Alberta Bull

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed a case of BSE in a mature bull from Alberta. A CFIA release says the animal's carcass is under CFIA control, and no part of it entered the human food or animal feed systems.

Meatingplace.com reported today that preliminary information suggests the animal was born in 2000, well after imposition of Canada's ruminant-to-ruminant feed law in 1997.

An epidemiological investigation is underway on the animal's early feeding and to identify its herdmates at the time.

Under Canada's enhanced feed ban, effective July 12, 2007, BSE should be eliminated from the national cattle herd within about 10 years. CFIA expects detection of a limited number of cases to continue as the level of BSE continues to decline. Learn more at: www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/heasan/disemala/bseesb/situatione.shtml.
-- Joe Roybal

      Canada Elimination of Bluetongue Testing Applauded

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has eliminated all bluetongue-related import restrictions on U.S. cattle entering Canada. It also reduced testing requirements for anaplasmosis, and removed import bans on U.S. sheep, goats and other small ruminants.

Click here to read more of this story.

      FMD In Vietnam; Japan Finds 32nd BSE Case

Up to 3,000 cattle and pigs have contracted foot-and-mouth disease in nine provinces across Vietnam. According to ThanhNienNews.com, 1,060 buffaloes and cows, 191 goats and 1,721 pigs have been discovered thus far. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat says provinces have been instructed to isolate diseased livestock, and instructed on sterilization procedures and vaccination of healthy animals. Inspections have also been tightened to prevent transportation of infected animals to other areas.

Meanwhile, Japan confirmed its 32nd case of BSE this week, this time in an August 2001-born cow from a farm on the northern island of Hokkaido.
-- Joe Roybal

      Persistently Infected Calves Cost Money

In a recent study of cattle herds in southern Oklahoma, nearly 17% of the ranches had at least one BVD persistently infected (PI) calf in the 2006 calf crop; some had as many as 10 or 12.

Click here to read more of this story.

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    Beef Quality
      Beef Tenderness Continues To Improve, Survey Shows

U.S. beef producers and processors continue to improve the tenderness of beef, according to results from the 2005 National Beef Tenderness Survey (NBTS).

In fact, the checkoff-funded survey indicates tenderness, as measured by Warner-Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF), has increased 18% since the last survey in 1999. At that time, tenderness had increased 20% since the initial survey in 1990.

In the 2005 NBTS executive summary, researchers say, "The latest increase could be due to increased aging times, longer and slower chill rates, processors paying more attention to tenderness parameters, and participation in more programs focused on beef tenderness."

Though tenderness has increased across all cuts, at retail, bottom round steaks continue to be the toughest.

"Although the beef industry has made significant advancements through the beef checkoff program with regard to enhancing beef tenderness and consistency, it's critical that the industry remains committed to improving beef tenderness, especially in the chuck and round cuts of the carcass," says J.O. "Bo" Reagan, National Cattlemen's Beef Association vice president of research and knowledge management.
-- Wes Ishmael

      Market Basket Survey Finds Beef Is Getting Leaner

Retail beef is getting leaner. More importantly, however, retail beef is leaner than reported in government nutrition databases. Now, the beef industry has the science it needs to do something about it.

Click here to read more of this story.

    Tips for Profit
      Sale Barn Operators Say Value-Added Brings More Dollars

Participating in a value-added verification program is extra work, extra record keeping and extra management, but it also results in extra dollars in your pocket, says a survey of 100 sale barn operators across the country.

Click here to read more of this story.

    Industry Meetings
      KSU Cattlemen´s Day Is March 2; Sales To Follow

The 94th annual Kansas State University (KSU) Cattlemen´s Day is March 2 at Weber Hall in Manhattan. Presented will be the latest beef cattle research, as well as three symposia, a market outlook and trade show. The symposia topics are "Ethanol byproduct utilization," "Beef reproduction" and "Adding value to calves."

The program is followed by the 30th annual Special "K" Bull and Heifer Sale. Offered are 80 bulls, 10 heifers, two embryo flushes, 50 cows and semen packages. Visit www.asi.ksu.edu/bullsale for a listing.

Registration ($15/person by Feb. 20 or $25 on-site) covers handouts and morning refreshments, with a lunch provided by U.S. Premium Beef and commercial exhibitors. For more info, visit www.asi.ksu.edu/cattlemensday or call Lois Schreiner at 785-532-1267.
-- Joe Roybal



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