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BEEF'S COW CALF WEEKLY    June 1, 2007  |  A PENTON MEDIA PUBLICATION
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    Table Of Contents
> Swift & Company Goes Brazilian
> Tie A Ribbon Around Those Calves At Marketing Time
> Japanese Farm Minister Commits Suicide
> Bill To Limit Farm Payments Introduced
> Cattle Raisers Applaud Texas Eminent Domain Bill
> Ethanol's Effects On Cattlemen Offers Many Unknowns
> Fence Donations Help Ranchers
> Hereford Juniors To Gather in Mississippi
> Interstate Shipment of State-Inspected Meat Promoted
> June Content Now Available at www.beef-mag.com
> Manage Your Pasture's Nitrogen Cycle
> More Bones To South Korea; Korean Ranchers Will Fight
> Nebraska Plans Sustainable Grazing Tour For Educators
> President Approves Disaster-Assistance Measure
> Targeted-Grazing Book Available
> Tennessee Beef, Forage Field Day Is June 14
> U.S. Develops FMD Vaccine
> What Does Friboi/Swift Merger Mean For Global Beef?

    Our Perspective
      Swift & Company Goes Brazilian

Months of rumor and speculation ended this week with the announcement that Swift & Company was to be purchased by J&F Particpacoes S.A. of Brazil. J&F owns 77% of JBS, the largest beef processor in Brazil.
Click here to read more of this story by Troy Marshall



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      Tie A Ribbon Around Those Calves At Marketing Time

When I wrap a gift, my wife usually rewraps it. When she informed me that the wrapping is sometimes just as important as the gift, it wasn't something I easily comprehended. But when it comes to marketing cattle, the principle is a good one to remember.
Click here to read more of this story by Troy Marshall

      Japanese Farm Minister Commits Suicide

Japanese politics were roiled this week by the suicide of the nation's farm minister on Monday. Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka was embroiled in various political funds scandals and was facing growing pressure for his resignation.

The 62-year-old Matsuoka had served in the cabinet post since September, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assumed office. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki told a press conference that Environment Minister Masatoshi Wakabayashi has replaced Matsuoka as acting agriculture minister on a temporary basis.

Lynn Heinze of the U.S. Meat Export Federation tells BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly that the leadership change shouldn't affect ongoing U.S. efforts to liberalize the Japanese market for U.S. beef.

"From what we're seeing so far, things remain on track... the first step toward access is the end of the 100% box testing, which we understand is on course to end mid-June (the audit teams here for the last two weeks are ready to provide their final report)," Heinze says. "As for moving from the 20-month rule, there are domestic rule changes that would be required and we didn't expect much action on this front until after July elections."
-- Joe Roybal



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      Bill To Limit Farm Payments Introduced

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) have introduced S. 1486, the "Rural America Preservation Act," which would limit farm program payments to $250,000. The bill caps direct payments at $20,000; counter-cyclical payments at $30,000; and marketing loan gains (including forfeitures), loan deficiency payments, and commodity certificates at $75,000. This legislation has passed the Senate in the past and will be considered this year during the farm bill debate.

Grassley said, "It is unfair to family farmers and to American taxpayers that the government has been awarding seven-figure payments to corporate mega-farms. When 10% of the nation's farmers receive 72% of the payments, it erodes public confidence in federal farm programs. And it only gets worse every year."
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C. correspondent

      Cattle Raisers Applaud Texas Eminent Domain Bill

The fallout from the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo vs. City of New London continues. In that decision, the court ruled that it's OK for a city to condemn private property in the name of economic development.

The Texas legislature recently passed a bill that cattlemen and other private property advocates are applauding as protective of landowners in the Lone Star State. "H.B. 2006 helps level the playing field for landowners who are condemned and ensures they are justly compensated for damage done to their property," said Jon Means, president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. The bill defines "public use" in a way that is intended to prevent condemnation for economic development purposes and also requires a condemning authority to make a bona fide offer to the landowner.
-- Burt Rutherford



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      Ethanol's Effects On Cattlemen Offers Many Unknowns

What effect will the rush to ethanol have on cattlemen? There are a lot more questions than answers.
Click here to read more of this story by Burt Rutherford

      Fence Donations Help Ranchers

Ranching families in Southwest Kansas affected by recent tornadoes have benefited from nearly $60,000 in wire and posts. Last Friday, about 25 ranch families came to Pratt Livestock, an auction market in Pratt, KS, to pick up wire and posts in the third such distribution since the tornadoes struck.

The relief effort initiated by the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) has benefited from many individual cattlemen, as well as the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA), Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Pratt Livestock, Cactus Feeders and High Plains Farm Credit.

Emergency management officials are organizing volunteer labor to help build fence. If interested, call 620-659-2188 and ask for Karen. Individuals or businesses can send cash donations to KLA at 6031 S.W. 37th, Topeka, KS 66117. To be tax-deductible, make checks to the Kansas Livestock Foundation and note "Greensburg relief effort" in the memo line.
-- KLA release



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      Hereford Juniors To Gather in Mississippi

National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) members will congregate at Mississippi State University Aug. 2-5 for the 2007 NJHA Program for Reaching Individuals Determined to Excel (PRIDE) convention. The event offers educational tours, a judging contest and leadership/team building workshops. Visit www.jrhereford.org for more info.
-- NJHA Release

      Interstate Shipment of State-Inspected Meat Promoted

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is urging Congress to pass legislation to allow for the interstate shipment of state-inspected meat and poultry products. NASDA said, "allowing interstate meat sales is just plain common sense -- no other food commodities inspected by state authorities are prohibited from being shipped across state lines. Why aren't the same market options available for meat and poultry?"

Two bills (H.R. 1760 and H.R. 2315) have been introduced in Congress to allow for the interstate shipment of state-inspected meat.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C. correspondent



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      June Content Now Available at www.beef-mag.com

Get an in-depth look at what's shaping the beef industry with BEEF magazine's annual State Of The Industry Report. This year's report details how the industry is challenged with trade, ethanol, profitability, politics and consumer demand issues. Grazing guru Jim Gerrish writes about the importance of managing your pasture's nitrogen cycle.

In addition, how producers and researchers are measuring "doability" in cattle rounds out the second in a two-part series by Bill Zimmerman. And don't miss the special, 16-page tribute to the Beef Improvement Federation, which commemorates that organization's 40th anniversary. Find all of this and more at www.beef-mag.com.
-- Alaina Burt

      Manage Your Pasture's Nitrogen Cycle

While legumes can put quite a bit of nitrogen (N) into a pasture, just how effectively are you as a grazier recycling N in your pasture system?
Click here to read more of this story by -- Jim Gerrish, americangrazinglands.com

      More Bones To South Korea; Korean Ranchers Will Fight

South Korean inspectors found two boxes of beef ribs in a 15.2-ton shipment of U.S. beef this week. "The two boxes were packed full of chuck short ribs so they were easily noticed by our inspectors," said Kang Mun-il, head of the state-run service under the Agriculture Ministry. Seoul immediately ordered a suspension of all imports from the meat processing company that shipped the rib-filled boxes.

Meanwhile, the Hanwoo Association, South Korea's umbrella beef cattle association, called for a year's delay in further market opening for U.S. beef. Yonhap News reports Nam Ho-kyung, chairman of the Hanwoo Association, which represents 200,000 South Korean cattle ranchers, called on policymakers to diligently follow through on all aspects of the eight-point risk assessment analysis to check the safety of U.S. beef, a process that could take more than a year. It includes on-site inspection of cattle ranches, meat processing facilities and government oversight procedures, the report says.

The Hanwoo chairman said the recent World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) designation of the U.S. as "controlled risk for BSE" was immaterial, due to the lack of an animal-tracking system in the U.S., and lingering concerns over its feed ban. He said every available means will be employed to delay the signing of new import guidelines.
-- Joe Roybal

      Nebraska Plans Sustainable Grazing Tour For Educators

Six farms and ranches are on the itinerary of a two-day, field tour of intensive rotational grazing operations in northeast Nebraska. The July 2-3 tour is sponsored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Extension and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and is geared toward ag educators who will use the information to tell others about intensive rotational grazing.

"This is ideal for educators, Natural Resources Conservation Service employees, high school vo-ag instructors, or anyone else in a position to be educating people about intensive rotational grazing," says Chuck Francis, UNL sustainable agriculture specialist and a tour coordinator.

The tours will cover the importance of cattle rotation frequency, costs, fencing, water and other management decisions. Overnight lodging, two meals, bus transportation and materials are provided by a SARE grant. For more info, contact Karen Spath at 402-472-8616.
-- Joe Roybal

      President Approves Disaster-Assistance Measure

President George Bush signed the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill that included a $3-billion, ag-disaster assistance program. It would provide assistance to farmers and ranchers nationwide who experienced serious losses in 2005-2007.

According to the House Ag Committee, the quantity loss threshold for eligibility is 35% and the payment rate is set at 42% of the established crop insurance price. Only producers with crop insurance coverage or who signed up for the Non-Insured Assistance Program would be eligible for assistance. The 95% crop value cap and deduction for crop insurance indemnities would be in place.

The bill includes a Livestock Compensation Program (LCP) that provides benefits for producers in designated disaster counties for their added costs of procuring livestock feed in 2005, 2006 or 2007 (up to Feb. 28, 2007). The payment rate is 61% of the payment made under the LCP announced in the Federal Register notice dated Feb. 12, 2007. Eligible livestock under that announcement are: adult or non-adult dairy cattle, beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, equine, poultry, elk, reindeer, sheep, goats, swine, deer, catfish and other livestock the USDA Secretary may designate.

In addition, a Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) would be available to cover livestock deaths caused by a natural disaster or related condition that occurred in 2005, 2006 or 2007 (up to Feb. 28, 2007), including losses due to hurricanes, floods, wildfires, blizzards and anthrax. The payment rate is to be not less than 26% of market value of the livestock on the day before the date of death, as determined by the USDA Secretary.

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), chairman of the House Ag Committee, said, "This Congress has delivered a fiscally responsible package that meets the most pressing needs for assistance in agriculture and rural communities."
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C. correspondent

      Targeted-Grazing Book Available

John Walker, Texas Ag Experiment Station resident director of research at San Angelo, has co-authored "Targeted Grazing: A Natural Approach to Vegetation Management and Landscape Enhancement."

"Using livestock to manage vegetation is an ancient practice," Walker says. "But grazing animals to manage vegetation as a paid service is a fairly new idea, especially in the U.S. The practice known as prescribed or targeted grazing, is growing steadily in environmentally sensitive areas where herbicides and other more intrusive noxious plant control measures are banned or held in ill favor."

The first six chapters outline basic principles of animal and plant interactions in targeted grazing. The second section examines management applications used to control broadleaf weeds, invasive grasses and noxious brush. The last three chapters look at targeted grazing from different perspectives and offer additional resources, a glossary and photos.

The 199-page softbound book and an accompanying compact disc are available for $25 through the American Sheep Industry Association, Call 303-771-350, e-mail info@sheepusa.org, or visit www.sheepusa.org/targetedgrazing.
-- Southwest Farm Press

      Tennessee Beef, Forage Field Day Is June 14

Cattle management and hay production and storage are on the agenda of the University of Tennessee (UT) Beef and Forage Field Day set for June 14 at the Blount Unit of the East Tennessee Research and Education Center. Activities will begin with a trade show at 7:30 a.m.

Morning sessions begin with tips on selecting a commercial squeeze chute for cattle management, hay barn plans and planning, and profitable hay production. A two-session youth program will feature a beef cattle judging clinic as well as presentations on career opportunities in ag and natural resources.

Following lunch, an afternoon session looks at the impact of health and temperament on feedlot performance and carcass quality. The Tennessee Beef Evaluation Program also will be discussed.

Preregister by June 8 by contacting your local county UT Extension office or call 865-974-7201. For more info, visit knoxville.tennessee.edu/events/.
-- Joe Roybal

      U.S. Develops FMD Vaccine

USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), along with the Department of Homeland Security and GenVec, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, have developed the first foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine produced in the U.S. While FMD vaccines already exist, they're produced elsewhere because they require infectious FMD material in the manufacturing process. The new vaccine, still under development, is a molecular-based product that does not require expensive, high-containment production facilities. The new vaccine also makes it possible to determine whether an animal with FMD antibodies acquired them through vaccination or the disease.

Additional testing is underway to determine the product's commercial viability and effectiveness against various FMD serotypes. Should the vaccine ultimately be proven effective, the U.S. government can plan adequate supplies for the veterinary strategic stockpile, USDA says.
-- ARS release

      What Does Friboi/Swift Merger Mean For Global Beef?

The largest South American meat packer just gobbled up another struggling competitor. J&F Participações S.A. of Sao Paulo, Brazil, parent company of JBS-Friboi, announced Tuesday the purchase of Greeley, CO-based Swift & Co. J&F will reportedly pay $225 million in cash and assume about $1.16 billion of Swift debt to the international rival currently owned by HM Capital Partners LLC, Dallas, TX.
Click here to read more of this story by Clint Peck



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