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What's new on BEEF?
- Read the full May issue 
- Heifer economics: part 1
- Cow calf weekly article archives

What's new on American Cowman?
- Tip of the Week
- How to grill the perfect Steak

What's new on Hay and Forage Grower?
- Roundup Ready Alfalfa Injunction Stands 
- Starting Dry 

    Table Of Contents
> Ag Coalition Supports Market-Development Programs
> Full Restoration Of Beef Trade Needed For FTA
> Impact Of "Over-30" Cattle Impacts Will Be Minimal
> Throw-Down Time Is Next Week On U.S.-Korea FTA
> Bankruptcy Court Approves Sales Of eMerge Units
> Certified Hereford Launches Consumer Web Site
> Iowa, Nebraska Land Values Show Big Gains
> Korea Is King Of High-Priced Beef
> R-CALF Schism Spawns New Cattlemen's Group
> TSCRA Special Rangers Recover The Goods
> Unwanted Horses Being Abandoned In Kentucky
> Administration Threatens Veto On Spending Bill
> Bill Would Limit Farm Payments To Individuals
> House Budget Resolution & AG
> Michigan Mandatory RFID Program Goes Well

Herefords - The Efficiency Experts
Adding Hereford genetics to your herd makes perfect business sense in a cost-driven economy. Excellent conversion, hardiness, fertility, longevity and even disposition can help reduce input costs. These Hereford efficiencies are ideal for your herd, your business and your plans for the future. Low-maintenance cattle, long-term profit. Now that's power.

    Foreign Trade
      Ag Coalition Supports Market-Development Programs

The Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports urged Congress to renew and increase the support for the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD). The Coalition testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee saying a recent independent study of the MAP and FMD programs showed the benefit of these programs to U.S. agriculture.

Conducted by Global Insight, the USDA study found these programs increased the U.S. share of world trade since 2001 by more then one market share point to 19%, or $3.8 billion in additional U.S. agricultural exports. According to the study, the programs improve farm income by increasing farm cash receipts by $2.2 billion and increased annual farm net cash income by $460 million.

The coalition is asking Congress to increase MAP funding from the current $200 million to $325 million, and FMD funding from $34.5 million to $50 million. Coalition members include: American Feed Industry Association, American Meat Institute, American Sheep Industry Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Cotton Council, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, The Catfish Institute, USA Rice Federation, U.S. Apple Export Council, and U.S. Meat Export Federation.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      Full Restoration Of Beef Trade Needed For FTA

The American Meat Institute (AMI) testified at the House Ways and Means Committee's hearing on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations this week. AMI told the committee that full restoration of beef trade with Korea should be a prerequisite for a U.S.-Korea FTA.

"The current Korean import requirements for U.S. beef do not come close to a first stage of reopening trade. The beef industry is united and has informed the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA that they will not support an FTA with Korea if U.S. beef exports are not normalized."

Other key issues that must be resolved in the negotiations are rice and automobiles.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      Impact Of "Over-30" Cattle Impacts Will Be Minimal

Many U.S. cattle producers have serious concerns over expanding allowable beef imports from Canada. They believe a recent proposal by USDA to open the U.S. border to cattle, and products from cattle, more than 30 months of age will trigger a deluge of additional low-price beef imports, driving down domestic cattle prices.

Click here to read more of this story by Clint Peck

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      Throw-Down Time Is Next Week On U.S.-Korea FTA

With no progress made this week in four days of negotiations regarding agricultural sticking points to a U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement (FTA), show time is next week. Among the sticking points are beef, which the U.S. wants fully reopened; and rice, which Korea wants excluded from any deal.

The two countries will hold talks next week in Seoul to try to break the deadlock on contentious issues in order to reach an FTA deal by an end-of-month deadline.

"There have been some gains made in the four days of talks, but key issues have yet to be fully resolved," South Korea's assistant agriculture trade minister told Yonhap News. "Those that have not been resolved will be referred to a ministerial-level meeting that will kick off next week in Seoul," says Min Dong-seok.

Min doesn't believe that agriculture will become a obstacle for sealing an FTA by the end of next week, despite the lack of progress on the beef-import question. In fact, if anything, South Korea seemed even more intractable in its positions. The Koreans regard even any mention of rice in FTA negotiations as a dealbreaker, while contending that a resolution to the beef issue doesn't have to be negotiated ahead of an FTA, Yonhap News reports. Meanwhile, the U.S. maintains the beef issue must be resolved before signing off on an FTA.

The U.S. was hopeful that the widely expected May announcement by the World Health Organization (OIE) of its classification of the U.S. as being a "controlled risk" for BSE would grease the skids on reopening of full beef trade. But Min says: "Washington's position that South Korea should give concrete assurances to adhere to the revised verdict of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) cannot be accepted," Min says.
-- Joe Roybal

    Industry News
      Bankruptcy Court Approves Sales Of eMerge Units

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida recently approved the sales of CattleLog and VerifEYE, two business units of the now defunct eMerge Interactive, Inc. Micro Beef Technologies was the successful bidder for CattleLog, as reported last week, for around $1.6 million. Chad Inc. will purchase the VerifEYE assets for approximately $370,000.
-- Burt Rutherford

      Certified Hereford Launches Consumer Web Site

Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) debuted a consumer Web site,, this week. It provides recipes and the latest nutritional and healthy living information, smart shopping techniques for families, and info on the CHB community. A list of CHB retail outlets and links to their Web sites are also included.

"The site contains great consumer-based information that both our retail outlets and foodservice outlets can use to help answer questions, provide cutting-edge material and guide consumers on where they can buy CHB in their own communities," says Craig Huffines, American Hereford Association executive vice president.
-- Certified Hereford Beef release

      Iowa, Nebraska Land Values Show Big Gains

DTN reports land values in Iowa and Nebraska increased as much as 14% across the states, based on separate surveys by the Iowa Farm and Land Chapter No. 2 Realtors Land Institute and University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).

Iowa land values rose 13.6% in the last six months across the state, with a 20% increase for land in the northeast and north-central Iowa. Average price for farmland across Iowa is $4,313/acre. Realtors have reported land sales higher than $6,000/acre, DTN says.

Nebraska farm values rose 14% statewide, with land in the northeast just under a 20% jump in values. UNL reports that land values in Nebraska increased more than 50% since 2003. Average prices vary across the state with a high of $2,784/acre in eastern Nebraska to $395/acre in the northwest.

Both reports cite the rise in commodity prices since 2006 and national policies pushing ethanol production for land value increases.
-- Alaina Burt


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      Korea Is King Of High-Priced Beef

The price of beef in South Korea is the highest among 29 countries, with South Korean consumers paying the U.S. equivalent of $59/kilo (55,800 won) for imported beef and 54,500 won ($58) for domestic product. One kilo is 2.2046 lbs.

An international survey conducted by Consumers Korea and consumer organizations in 28 other countries found Australian beef is nearly twice as expensive in South Korea as in Japan, says group chairman Kim Jae-ok.

Russia came in second, with imported beef being equivalent to 50,318 won/kilo, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 24,646 won, and Vietnam with 22,823 won. Japan's average beef import price was 21,023 won.

In January, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said that, as of October 2005, the average price of a kilogram of beef in South Korea was $56.44, six times more expensive than in the United States ($8.94) and five times more expensive than in Britain and Italy. The ILO survey of 13 countries also showed the price of Korean beef was roughly $15 more expensive than that of Japan.
-- Consumers Korea news release

      R-CALF Schism Spawns New Cattlemen's Group

The beef industry has a new political group. Cattle Buyers Weekly reported in last Friday's edition ( that the deposed and resigned leadership of Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) has formed an organization called the U.S. Cattlemen's Association (USCA).

Click here to read more of this story by Joe Roybal

      TSCRA Special Rangers Recover The Goods

Special Rangers with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) recovered or accounted for about $5 million in stolen livestock and ranch equipment in 2006, TSCRA reports.

The cadre of 27 TSCRA law enforcement officers are commissioned as Special Rangers by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. In 2006, these "cow cops" investigated 1,045 cases in Texas and Oklahoma. Working with federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies, they recovered or accounted for 3,716 cattle, 144 horses, 10 trailers, 18 saddles and 414 miscellaneous items with a total market value of $4,878,722.39.
-- Burt Rutherford

      Unwanted Horses Being Abandoned In Kentucky

While the concept of processing unwanted horses for food is an emotional issue, the dark side of such a policy is on display in Kentucky and other states, the Associated Press reports.

Click here to read more of this story by Joe Roybal

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      Administration Threatens Veto On Spending Bill

The Bush Administration stated its strong objections to the House of Representatives' FY '07 supplemental appropriations bill because of the language concerning the pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq, as well as the additional spending for non-defense items. The bill contains $4 billion in agricultural disaster assistance. The administration's statement said, "Because of the excessive and extraneous non-emergency spending" that President Bush "would veto the bill." The House of Representatives is to vote on the bill this week.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      Bill Would Limit Farm Payments To Individuals

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) introduced an amendment that would place a limit of $250,000 on the amount of farm payments an individual can receive.

Grassley said, "It's good policy and a nice way to help the Agriculture Committee dig into the $15 billion on offsets it needs for the farm bill. This proposal has always been popular and the reality is that with 72% of the payments going to 10% of farmers, we've got a serious problem on our hands."

The amendment is estimated to save $486 million over five years and $1.07 billion over 10 years. Grassley and Dorgan said the savings would be used for renewable energy/rural development, conservation and nutrition. The Senators plan to offer the amendment during Senate consideration of the budget resolution. They also plan to introduce legislation for consideration during the farm bill debate.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

      House Budget Resolution & AG

The House Budget Committee began work this week on the FY 2008 budget resolution. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC), chairman of the committee, proposes $20 billion in new agricultural spending over five years, if offset. The Senate Budget Committee's resolution proposes a $15-billion reserve fund for agriculture with offsets.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent

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    Animal ID
      Michigan Mandatory RFID Program Goes Well

Michigan's mandatory electronic-ID program for cattle went into effect March 1, and the nation's first statewide, comprehensive, electronic, animal-health tracking system for cattle appears to be off to a good start. Officials say early results showed about 95% of cattle arriving at livestock markets with radio-frequency ID (RFID) tags in their left ears.

Click here to read more of this story by Joe Roybal

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