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    Table Of Contents
> Is It "Never Another Bad Day," Or "One Last Fling?"
> Oh, Canada. What A Hot-Button Issue You Are
> The Story Of A Cowboy Hero
> OIE Rules U.S. As "Controlled Risk" For BSE
> USDA Announces Results Of CRP Intentions
> California Court Bars Roundup-Ready Alfalfa
> Congress Looks At High Feed Costs & Livestock
> Cotton Ground Is First Casualty In Corn Fever
> Micro Beef Technologies Acquires CattleLog
> Retail Gasoline, Diesel Prices Up Sixth Straight Week
> Updated Wyoming Grasshopper Field Guide Available
> W.D. Farr Scholarship Deadline Is April 4
> World's First Cowboy Theme Park Opens May 17
> Bill Seeks To Clarify Manure Isn't Hazardous Waste
> CAFO Tax Credits Proposed In House
> Senate Committee Begins Work On Budget Resolution
> Study On Cross-Country Ethanol Pipeline Proposed
> Eliminating PI Animals Makes Economic Sense
> Nebraska Studies Summer Vs. Spring Calving
> Oklahoma Sets AgriTourism Meetings
> Montana Livestock Forum Set For April 10-11


This year Camp Cooley Ranch celebrates 20 years of ultrasound performance in our Brangus herd. From this work results some of the most powerful, performance proven Brangus, Angus and Charolais bulls to ever sell at Camp Cooley. Your search for Quality in Volume begins and ends at Camp Cooley Ranch. Give us a call or stop by for a visit!
    Our Perspective
      Is It "Never Another Bad Day," Or "One Last Fling?"

Holy Toledo, Batman, this market has been hot! Fed cattle set all kinds of post-BSE highs last week. Early trade was at $98 and late-week trade hit $99, fully $4/cwt. higher than the week before.

Boxed beef moved dramatically higher, as well, with the Choice price moving above $166 last week. And the long-awaited big move in the Choice/Select spread apparently has started, as it moved to over $11/cwt.

While the weather has improved dramatically the last several weeks, it continues to play big in this rally. Carcass weights continue to run 10-12 lbs. below year-ago levels, and it will take some time to recover that lost weight, especially considering $4/corn. The winter stress is also expected to continue to drive the Choice/Select spread to record or near-record levels this spring. In addition, the booming futures market helped drive the feeder market significantly higher.

So the question is, "where do we go from here?" It's safe to say the upside is somewhat limited. Consumer demand will be a key determinant the next several weeks in whether the beef complex can continue to show strength, thus returning some margin to the packing industry. Though the market is still saddled with $4 corn, with continued light placements, the supply and demand fundamentals remain in excellent condition.
-- Troy Marshall

      Oh, Canada. What A Hot-Button Issue You Are

As expected, the World Organization for Animal Health's (OIE) Scientific Commission cited the U.S. and Canada in the first group of countries to be classified as "controlled risk" for BSE; a final ruling from OIE is expected in May. This should help the two countries in their efforts to regain lost export markets. It also should weaken the effort of those hoping to bury USDA's plan on "over-30" cattle.

With so many significant factors impacting our market, all the attention on the Canadian border issue is almost mind-boggling. Ethanol is just one issue that, according to current projections, will cost the industry tens of billions of dollars over time. Yet, it seems to inspire little grassroots interest in how it all plays out.

Meanwhile, mention a USDA rule to reopen trade with Canada, which follows international guidelines and would allow the U.S. to halt its loss of slaughter-cow capacity, and it inspires a lot of passion on both sides of the issue.
-- Troy Marshall

      The Story Of A Cowboy Hero

Public interest in the 6-ft. snowstorm that hit Southeast Colorado has melted away with the coming of warmer temps, but the difficulties for area ranchers in many cases are just beginning. The calving stories are almost too horrific to recount -- abortions, weak calves, older cows calving early and/or not producing milk, and poor calving percentages. I recently talked to a cattleman who said he'd consider a 50% calf crop at this point a minor victory.

Click here to read more of this story by Troy Marshall


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    Foreign Trade
      OIE Rules U.S. As "Controlled Risk" For BSE

In a move seen as bolstering efforts to fully reopen Pacific Rim markets for U.S. beef, the World Organization for Animal Health's (OIE) Scientific Commission has endorsed the recommendation from an OIE expert panel that the U.S. be classified as "controlled risk" for BSE. OIE's General Assembly will vote on the recommendation in May.

Ron DeHaven, USDA administrator for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), said, "The controlled risk classification recognizes that OIE-recommended, science-based mitigation measures are in place to effectively manage any possible risk of BSE in the cattle population. This recommendation provides strong support that U.S. regulatory controls are effective and that U.S cattle and products from cattle of all ages can be safely traded in accordance with international guidelines, due to our interlocking safeguards."

Meanwhile, the Kyodo News reported this week that Japan won't immediately relax its import terms for U.S. beef despite the OIE announcement. Japan currently only accepts beef products from cattle 20 months of age and younger.

The article quoted Yoshio Kobayashi, Japan's Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries vice minister, as saying that an examination of U.S. terms for beef exports to Japan has yet to be completed.

''We are not at the stage of participating in negotiations to review the terms of trade,'' he said.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      USDA Announces Results Of CRP Intentions

An estimated 23.2 million acres out of 27.8 million acres of eligible Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts set to expire between 2007 and 2010 are expected to be re-enrolled, says USDA Secretary Mike Johanns. An estimated 4.6 million acres in CRP contracts will exit CRP between 2007 and 2010. Of the 4.6 million acres, 1.4 million acres are located in major corn-producing states, USDA says.

"The percentage of landowners choosing to remain in CRP is consistent with what we've seen in the past, despite speculation that re-enrollment would drop significantly due to high corn prices," Johanns says. "We are closely monitoring interest in CRP re-enrollment, planting projections and demand for commodities to determine the most appropriate future actions in administering the CRP."

The 4.6 million-acre estimate includes all general sign-up expiring contracts not extended or re-enrolled under last year's offer. It doesn't include acres under expiring continuous sign-up contracts, which will be eligible to be re-enrolled during the final contract year.

More than 36 million acres enrolled in CRP, under which landowners plant grasses and trees in crop fields and along streams to protect the environment and provide wildlife habitat.
-- USDA's Farm Service Agency release

    Industry News
      California Court Bars Roundup-Ready Alfalfa

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday issued a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit currently pending before the court on Roundup-Ready alfalfa. The suit, brought by an activist group called Center for Food Safety, alleges USDA approved Roundup-Ready alfalfa without sufficient environmental impact studies. Oral arguments are set for April 27.

The preliminary injunction allows continued harvest, use and sale of Roundup-Ready alfalfa but placed limits on the purchase and planting of seed until further hearings are held. Growers who purchased seed before March 12 can plant prior to March 30. After March 30, growers can only plant non-genetically engineered alfalfa seed.

Roundup-Ready alfalfa is produced by Monsanto, which isn't named in the suit. The company, along with several farmers, was granted intervenor status in the suit last week.
-- Burt Rutherford

      Congress Looks At High Feed Costs & Livestock

The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry held a hearing to review the impact of feed costs on the livestock industry. USDA says the U.S. produced an estimated 5 billion gals. of ethanol through 2006, using about 20% of the 2006 corn harvest. By 2010-2011, USDA said 4 billion bu. of corn will be used to produce 11.5 billion gals. of ethanol, using 30% of U.S. corn production.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association members at their annual meeting in February adopted policy calling for a transition to a market-based approach for the production and usage of ethanol produced from corn.

"We're calling for sunsetting the existing blender's tax credit (51¢/gal.) and the ethanol import tariff (54¢/gal.) as scheduled in 2010 and 2009 respectively," Ernie Morales, a Southwest Texas cattle feeder and rancher, told committee members. "We believe these credits have served a valuable purpose. But at a projected annual production level of somewhere between 12 and 15 billion gals., it's clear this is no longer a fledgling industry."
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      Cotton Ground Is First Casualty In Corn Fever

Cotton is one casualty of the growing U.S. emphasis on corn production. John Anderson, Mississippi State University Extension agricultural economist, says 25% of that state's cotton acres could go into corn in 2007.

John Pocock writes on eCorn Digest that it's a similar story in Texas. There, Brent Bean, Texas A&M University (TAMU) Extension agronomist, says: "North of Lubbock, certainly 10% of the cotton acreage could go to corn." That 10% figure is likely to hold true for East Texas and the Gulf Coast areas of Texas as well, according to Steve Livingston, TAMU Extension agronomist, Corpus Christi.

"In heavy corn areas south of Houston, seed dealers have doubled their corn and sorghum sales," he says. "So, if you consider corn and sorghum together, about 30% of the cotton in this area could go away this year."

For more info on corn and cotton acreage, visit:
-- eCorn Digest

      Micro Beef Technologies Acquires CattleLog

Micro Beef Technologies will acquire CattleLog Animal Information Systems from eMerge Interactive. Terms of the sale weren't disclosed. In February, eMerge declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and put its two business units, CattleLog and VerifEYE, on the block.

Micro Beef Technologies serves the cattle-feeding segment with a variety of information and animal-management technologies. CattleLog serves the non-confined segment with data collection and age and source verification.
-- Micro Beef Release

      Retail Gasoline, Diesel Prices Up Sixth Straight Week

Gasoline prices were up for the sixth straight week, increasing 5.4¢ to $2.559/gal., as of March 12; 19.3¢/gal. higher than at this time last year. All regions reported price increases.

East Coast prices were up 4.2¢ to $2.533/gal., while Midwest prices rose 2.2¢ to $2.487. Prices for the Gulf Coast were up 3.5¢ to $2.402, while Rocky Mountain prices increased 5.9¢ to $2.412. The largest regional increase was in the West Coast at 15.5¢ to $2.92, while California rose 17.1¢ to $3.068, 53.6¢/gal. over last year.

Meanwhile, retail diesel prices jumped 5.9¢ to a national average of $2.685/gal., 14.2¢ higher than at this time last year. All regions reported price increases, with the East Coast jumping 6.5¢ to $2.669/gal., and the Midwest 6.7¢ to $2.673. Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast saw an increase of 5.7¢ to $2.644, Rocky Mountain prices grew 7.8¢ to $2.736, and the West Coast saw an increase of 1.6¢ to $2.811. California prices rose 0.2¢ to $2.899, 15.2¢/gal. higher than at this time last year.
-- Energy Information Administration

      Updated Wyoming Grasshopper Field Guide Available

The field guide, "Common Wyoming Pest Grasshoppers," updated with new photos and clarified text, is now available from the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service (UWCES). The free, pocketsize booklet includes photos and info on the 17 most problematic grasshopper species that cause economic injury to Wyoming and Western producers.

"The main purpose of the handbook is to help with the identification of grasshoppers and management techniques to aid in control efforts," says coauthor and UW CES entomologist Scott Schell.

Email or call 307-766-2115 for a copy.
-- University of Wyoming news release

      W.D. Farr Scholarship Deadline Is April 4

Applications are being accepted for the W.D. Farr scholarship program, which honors W.D. Farr, 96, of Greeley, CO, a pioneer rancher, statesman and banker. Presented by the National Cattlemen's Foundation (NCF), $12,000 scholarships will be awarded to two outstanding students pursuing graduate degrees in animal science, environmental science or agriculture. Application deadline is April 4. Visit for more info, or call 303-850-3388.
-- National Cattlemen's Foundation news release

      World's First Cowboy Theme Park Opens May 17

Wild West World, a $30 million theme park celebrating the American cowboy, is set to open May 17 just north of Wichita, KS. Featuring 24 rides, the theme park also includes skill games, food-concession areas, gift shops, craft and artisan shops and musical performances throughout the park.

Click here to read more of this story by
Ron Wilson, Kansas State University

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      Bill Seeks To Clarify Manure Isn't Hazardous Waste

Sens. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), and Reps. Ralph Hall (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), introduced the "Agricultural Protection and Prosperity Act of 2007," which is intended to clarify that livestock manure is not classified as a hazardous waste under Superfund laws.

Lincoln said, "Farmers and ranchers have always been responsible stewards of the land and make great strides to preserve a healthy environment for food production as well as for their families and communities. There's a growing understanding in this country, however, that without the clarification provided by our legislation, requirements and liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act could be unfairly applied to America's farmers and ranchers both large and small."

Stacey Katseanes, National Cattlemen's Beef Association director of legislative affairs, says manure management on U.S. farms and ranches is already heavily regulated under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and countless state laws.

"Superfund is about toxic waste sites and chemical spills, not livestock manure on farms and ranches," she says. "The Superfund laws were created in the 1980s to provide for cleanup of toxic waste dumps and hazardous chemical spills, to force reporting of releases of hazardous chemicals and to enable emergency response."
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      CAFO Tax Credits Proposed In House

Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) introduced H.R. 1217, which would provide owners of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) with tax incentives for complying with new environmental regulations. Smith said, "This legislation will provide some tax relief to producers who are working to keep the environment clean."
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      Senate Committee Begins Work On Budget Resolution

The Senate Budget Committee began work this week on the budget resolution. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the committee, proposes $15 billion in new agricultural spending over five years, if offset. With numerous requests for additional farm-bill spending for specialty crops, conservation and environmental programs, cellulosic research, energy, permanent disaster aid program, food and nutrition, etc., it will be very difficult for the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to determine what offsets will be used to be able to access the proposed $15 billion in new spending.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      Study On Cross-Country Ethanol Pipeline Proposed

Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Dick Lugar (R-IN) introduced legislation to require a U.S. Department of Energy study on the feasibility of transporting ethanol by pipeline from the Midwest to the East and West coasts.

Harkin said, "The most promising liquid fuel alternative to conventional gasoline today is ethanol. We must do all that we can to reduce our dependence on oil using sources that will boost the rural economy and improve environmental quality. As we promote these ideas, however, we have to take into account the full range of infrastructure issues that broader ethanol use entails. The rapid growth of ethanol production and use necessitates the very near-term study of transporting ethanol by pipeline."
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

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One brand, one breed--the power of one can change your future in the beef business.

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    Tips for Profit
      Eliminating PI Animals Makes Economic Sense

Montana cattle ranchers still have time to screen their herds for animals persistently infected (PI) with the bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus. And the managers of the Montana BVD-PI Herd Screening Project believe there may be added incentive beyond better herd health for ranchers who identify PI-negative calves. They simply may be worth more money come marketing time.

Click here to read more of this story by Joe Roybal

      Nebraska Studies Summer Vs. Spring Calving

The greatest nutrient demand of beef cows is during lactation, a time when cows need special consideration in meeting their energy and protein requirements.

Click here to read more of this story by
Rick Rasby, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

      Oklahoma Sets AgriTourism Meetings

There's more than one way to turn a buck off the land, and the folks with the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Oklahoma Ag Department want landowners to know how agritourism may fit their plans. A series of workshops will explore tourism trends, landowner liability, funding sources, marketing, pricing and more.

Dates and locations include: April 6 -- Vinita; April 13 -- Antlers; April 26 -- Weatherford; May 4 -- Moore; May 10 -- Henryetta; May 15 -- Medicine Park; and May 18 -- Ardmore.

Early registration is $15, $25 at the door. For more info, visit or call 405-522-5652.
-- Burt Rutherford

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    Industry Meetings
      Montana Livestock Forum Set For April 10-11

The 56th Montana Livestock Forum and Nutrition Conference in Bozeman on April 10-11 features the theme "Energy Policy and the Cattle Industry."

The program begins April 10 at 12:30 p.m. with presentations by national experts on: The effects of energy demand on the cattle industry, the cattle industry and Montana's response to higher-priced grains, and boosting forage programs. The evening session features a discussion on whether ethanol byproducts are responsible for decreasing quality grade.

The April 11 program begins at 8 a.m. with a presentation on cow-herd improvement, followed by others on preventing disease introduction onto your ranch, and an analysis of how the re-establishment of U.S. imports of Canadian cull cows and processing beef will affect U.S. producers. The conference winds up at noon.

Registration is $50, which includes a CD of the proceedings. For more info, contact Anita Gray at 406-994-3414 or
-- MSU news release

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