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BEEF'S COW CALF WEEKLY    June 15, 2007  |  A PENTON MEDIA PUBLICATION
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    Table Of Contents
> John Wayne Got Me To Thinking
> BEEF Writer Pens Family-Themed Black Hills Travel Book
> Agriculture Differs Over Ethanol & Energy Bill
> District Court Judge Again Blocks New Grazing Rules
> Gasoline & Diesel Prices Both Down For The Week
> Groups Urge More Money for Conservation
> Japan Loosens Its Inspection Policy On U.S. Beef
> MARC Releases 2007 Across-Breed EPD Calculations
> Maximize Your Hay Crop With Proper Storage
> New Farm Payment Data
> Pelton Simmental/Red Angus Wins BIF Seedstock Award
> Producer Input Sought On FMD Research Study
> Report Chronicles Producer Responses To Drought
> U.N. Fingers "Industrial Livestock Production"
> Watch For Blue-Green Algae In Stockwater
> Web Site Calls For Balanced Food & Fuel Policy
> Range-Monitoring Program Slated For June 20
> Nebraska Grazing Conference Is Aug. 7-8 In Kearney
> Adding Value To Calves Is Focus Of KSU Meeting
> Beef Cattle Repro Issues Focus Of Sept. 11-12 Meeting
> Weekly Mailbag

    Our Perspective
      John Wayne Got Me To Thinking

I love John Wayne movies, and one of my favorites is "The Cowboys." John Wayne isn't the self-actualized, emotion-spewing modern man in this film, but he obviously learned to love and respect those kids, and vice versa.

Click here to read more of this story by Troy Marshall



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      BEEF Writer Pens Family-Themed Black Hills Travel Book

BEEF readers recognize the name of Kindra Gordon, former BEEF managing editor, as a sage chronicler of beef industry happenings. But the Whitewood, SD-based freelancer has branched out into a new genre with the publication of her family-themed guidebook to the Black Hills of South Dakota entitled "Black Hills Family Fun Guide."

The book is arranged by theme and covers everything from presidential places, museums and animal attractions to recreation equipment rentals, mini golf courses and chuckwagon supper shows. More than 150 Black Hills attractions, as well as Black Hills facts, history and maps are included.

The book is available through Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and the publisher's Web site at: www.adventurepublications.net. Contact her at office@gordonresources.com.
-- Joe Roybal

      Agriculture Differs Over Ethanol & Energy Bill

The Senate began debate this week on an energy bill that would increase the renewable fuels standard (RFS) to 36 billion gals. The bill deals with biofuels, energy efficiency, auto fuel economy standards, and advanced energy technologies.

There's a difference of opinion regarding this legislation between various ag groups. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) stated: "This bipartisan bill strikes an appropriate balance to continue the momentum spurred by the 2005 energy bill while providing the necessary incentives to bring next generation ethanol technology to the commercial market. This bill is to cellulosic ethanol what the 2005 energy bill was to grain ethanol."

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said, "This legislation blazes a trail toward more robust, more diverse, and more affordable domestic energy supplies. And it does so in a manner that is environmentally and economically responsible."

But in a letter to the Senate leadership, a number of food and ag groups raised their concerns regarding what the impact of increasing the RFS would have on the food industry. The letter stated the increase in the RFS "will inevitably be met by corn ethanol, and it is likely to have significant impacts on food and feed production, public health, and land, air and water resources." Those signing the letter included the American Meat Institute, Grocery Manufactures/Food Products Association, Kellogg Company, Nestle USA, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, and United Egg Producers.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C. correspondent



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      District Court Judge Again Blocks New Grazing Rules

Ruling in response to an environmental group's lawsuit, a District Court judge again blocked new rules on the use of 160 million acres of federal land. Read the decision at: www.westernwatersheds.org/legal/SJ_BLMgrazeregs_07/SJDecision.pdf .

Click here to read more of this story by Joe Roybal

      Gasoline & Diesel Prices Both Down For The Week

For the third consecutive week, the U.S. average retail price for regular gasoline decreased, falling 8.1¢ to $3.076/gal., as of Monday, or 17¢ higher than this time last year. Meanwhile, retail diesel fell for the second consecutive week, decreasing 0.7¢ to $2.792, or 12.6¢/gal. lower than at this time last year.

All regions reported gasoline price cuts, with the East Coast falling 4.6¢ to $3.022, and the Midwest seeing the largest decrease at 15.2¢ to $3.073. Gulf Coast prices fell 5.8¢ to $2.962, Rocky Mountain prices fell 3.5¢ to $3.225, and the West Coast was down 5.3¢ to $3.265. California fell 5.4¢ to $3.32, which is 9.5¢ above last year's price.

Meanwhile, East Coast prices for retail diesel fell 0.5¢ to $2.789/gal., and the Midwest was down 1.1¢ to $2.753. The Gulf Coast saw a decrease of 0.7¢ to $2.742, and Rocky Mountain prices were down 2.1¢ to $2.937. Only the West Coast reported a weekly increase, rising 1¢ to $2.941. California prices rose 2.5¢ to $2.997, which is 22¢/gal. lower than at this time last year.
-- Energy Information Administration



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      Groups Urge More Money for Conservation

A number of environmental groups have written the House and Senate leadership and the Ag Committees leadership urging them to increase mandatory funding for conservation by $10 billion over five years during consideration of the farm bill. The groups wrote, "Boosting conservation spending in the 2007 farm bill would also help more farmers and more regions receive a fair share of federal farm spending."

Some of the groups signing the letter were Environmental Defense, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Working Group, American Farmland Trust, The Wilderness Society, Sierra Club, and Friends of Earth.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C. correspondent

      Japan Loosens Its Inspection Policy On U.S. Beef

Japan said this week that it found no safety problems at the 28 U.S. meatpacking facilities it inspected in 14 states last month. Later, it further announced an easing of Japan's policy of 100% inspection of U.S. beef shipments to a sampling-based protocol.

USDA Secretary Mike Johanns welcomed the news and said the U.S. "is eager to refocus our discussions with Japan on beef trade based on OIE standards." The U.S. was recently cited as a country at controlled-risk for BSE by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which means trade should be allowed in all beef irrespective of age. Japan currently allows only imports of boneless U.S. beef from cattle 20 months of age and younger.

In further good news this week, the Kyodo News reported that Japan intends to begin negotiations with the U.S., possibly in July, to bring its import policy concerning U.S. beef more into line with international standards. The report says Japanese Ag, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Norihiko Akagi will likely meet Johanns in Germany next week to confirm the launch of negotiations, possibly the following month.

In addition, Malaysia announced this week it will accept bone-in beef and variety meats from cattle of all ages from the U.S., consistent with OIE guidelines. Of this, Johanns said: "We applaud this decision and look forward to confirming the details with the Malaysian government.

"Science provides us with clear data upon which international trading standards were built. All of our trading partners must be mindful of these guidelines and work toward complying with them. We are pressing for clear, aggressive timelines from our trading partners that demonstrate their commitment to internationally-agreed upon OIE standards."
-- Joe Roybal



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  • Genetics -- 22.22%
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      MARC Releases 2007 Across-Breed EPD Calculations

USDA's Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) has released its table of adjustment factors to be used to estimate across-breed expected progeny differences (AB-EPDs) for 16 breeds (click on table icon below).

Click here to read more of this article by the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

      Maximize Your Hay Crop With Proper Storage

Ahh... that sweet smell of fresh-cut hay. You've worked hard to get those bales put up, investing anywhere from $10-15/round bale after calculating time, labor and equipment costs. Choosing a proper storage method can preserve bales, maximizing nutritional value and savings.

Click here to read more of this article by Alaina Burt

      New Farm Payment Data

The Environmental Working Group released new data on its Web site this week regarding who receives farm payments. The information indicates that 10% of subsidy recipients collected 73% of all subsidies, while 67% of all farmers and ranchers didn't receive any government "subsidy" payments. Also, from 2003-2005 half of the crop payments went to 19 Congressional districts. The information is available at www.ewg.org.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C. correspondent

      Pelton Simmental/Red Angus Wins BIF Seedstock Award

Pelton Simmental/Red Angus, owned by the Lynn and Gary Pelton families, and managed by Lynn Pelton, is the Beef Improvement Federation's (BIF) 2007 Seedstock Award winner. The Pelton operation vied with nine other top seedstock operations for the annual honor bestowed during the BIF's annual meeting last week in Ft. Collins, CO. Other finalists included:

5L Red Angus, owned and managed by Larry and Lisa Mehlhoff, Montana; Bridle Bit Simmentals, owned by Errol and Gayle Cook & Sons (Chad, Brent and Brad) and managed by Chad Cool, Colorado; Echo Ridge Farm, owned and managed by C.W. Pratt, Virginia; Heartland Cattle Company, owned and managed by Tom and Cora Lynch, Iowa; Lindskov-Thiel Ranch, owned by Les and Marcia Lindskov & Brent and Nancy Thiel, managed by Brent Thiel, South Dakota;

Star Lake Cattle Ranch, owned by Jim and Randy Blin, managed by Montie Soules, Oklahoma; TC Ranch, owned by Vance, Connie and Dru Uden, Nebraska; Tinney Farms, owned by Howard Tinney, and managed by Arlin Taylor, Alabama; and Tomlinson Farms, owned by George and Deanna Tomlinson, managed by Tommy Tomlinson, Illinois.

For the latest results and more coverage of the BIF annual meeting, including the proceedings, visit: www.bifconference.com.
-- Joe Roybal

      Producer Input Sought On FMD Research Study

The Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance (CADMS) in the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine needs livestock producers' help in a nationwide study designed to protect the U.S. from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). CADMS needs livestock producers to participate in an online survey to gather data on animal movements and management practices that will be used to build a simulation model to predict the duration and magnitude of an FMD outbreak, as well as determine the best strategies for containment.

FMD, which was last diagnosed in the U.S. in 1929, is cited by the Department of Homeland Security as the top bioterrorism risk against U.S. ag because of its infectivity and virulence. Study director Tim Carpenter says the model will "provide decision-makers with a valuable tool for rapid response and will help determine the best strategies, including vaccination, to contain an outbreak and minimize impact to the livestock industry." All information will be kept confidential and be used only for modeling purposes.

Find the survey at www.cadms.ucdavis.edu. For more info, contact Pelayo Alvarez at pealvarez@ucdavis.edu or 530-554-2988.
-- University of California-Davis news release

      Report Chronicles Producer Responses To Drought

"Multiple Impacts -- Multiple Strategies: How Wyoming Cattle Producers are Surviving in Prolonged Drought" reports the details of a 2005 survey conducted by the University of Wyoming on how area producers deal with drought. The survey is available online at ces.uwyo.edu/PUBS/B1178.pdf.

The surveys were sent to a random sample of 3,000 producers across the state, with a total of 1,190 returned. The survey found producers were more likely to use multiple strategies as the drought lengthened from the period 2000 to 2004.

The most frequently cited strategies were purchasing additional winter feed, partial herd liquidation and participating in some type of government feed-assistance program. The next two more frequently used strategies were leasing additional grazing and early weaning if calves. The least common strategy was total herd liquidation.

Hard copies of B-1178 are available for $4 each by e-mailing bixbyd@uwyo.edu or calling 307-766-2115.
-- University of Wyoming news release

      U.N. Fingers "Industrial Livestock Production"

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO) warned this week that large-scale industrial livestock production that focuses on a limited range of breeds is the single largest threat to global farm animal diversity, with one breed becoming extinct monthly (www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2007/1000598/index.html)

A new report entitled, "The State Of The World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food And Agriculture," says skyrocketing global demand for meat, milk and eggs had led to the heavy reliance on intensively bred animals. Read it at: www.fao.org/docrep/meeting/011/ah834e/ah834e00.htm

FAO Assistant Director-General Alexander Muller characterized the report as a "wake-up call to the world," and stressed the need to bolster the global food supply by maintaining and deploying a wide array of genetic resources, which are "vital and irreplaceable."

One breed of livestock has become extinct every month over the past seven years, and 20% of the world's cattle, goat, pig, horse and poultry breeds are in danger of annihilation, the report says.

The developing world will be the main site of breed diversity loss in this century, it cautioned. Among the most frequently used breeds of cattle, genetic diversity is being undercut by the use of only a few very popular sires for breeding.

"Effective management of animal genetic diversity is essential to global food security, sustainable development and the livelihoods of millions of people," said Irene Hoffman, Chief of FAO's Animal Production Service.
-- United Nations News Center

      Watch For Blue-Green Algae In Stockwater

Producers should watch for green to blue-green scum or a gelatinous mass on the surface of their livestock's fresh water supplies. Such blooms can be potentially fatal to livestock.

Click here to read more of this NDSU news release

    Industry Meetings
      Web Site Calls For Balanced Food & Fuel Policy

The American Meat Institute (AMI) and a coalition of meat, livestock and poultry organizations unveiled www.balancedfoodandfuel.org this week, a Web site dedicated to informing policy-makers, the media and the public about the impact of national ethanol policy on the industry and on consumers. The coalition member sponsors include the American Meat Institute, National Chicken Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Meat Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers.

"Our nation's current ethanol policy may be good news for petroleum blenders, but it's a raw deal for animal agriculture and consumers," the site says. "A more rational policy, however, can help avert the coming economic crisis." On the site, the coalition details the policies that its members believe will help balance food and fuel policy.

The coalition recommends the following steps:
  • Renewable Energy and Byproduct Research -- Federal funding should be provided for broad-based applied research into renewable energy technologies, economics, and byproduct safety, quality, and usability.
  • Emerging Bio-Energy Mandates -- New mandates should be limited to energy from emerging bio-based sources (i.e. cellulosic, methane) that do not adversely affect animal feed availability.
  • Incentive Neutrality/Counter-Cyclical -- Global energy demand will increase by more than 50 percent by 2030. Subsidies and tax credits for agriculture-based energy sources should be equally available among all forms of energy and source-neutral as a means to grow opportunities for all forms of energy. Fuel-based tax credits should function inversely to oil prices.
  • Energy Infrastructure Incentives -- We support subsidies/tax credits to grow agriculture-based energy infrastructure. Infrastructure incentives should be source/feedstock and renewable energy neutral.
  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) -- We believe that policy-makers should provide producers regulatory and legislative policy options to opt out of CRP to respond to market forces. Support a working lands approach to reintroduce acres into crop production.
  • Import Tariffs -- We support exposing consumers to more renewable fuels choices by allowing the current ethanol tariff to expire in December 2008.
Members of the coalition are American Meat Institute, National Chicken Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Meat Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, and United Egg Producers.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C. correspondent

    Industry Events
      Range-Monitoring Program Slated For June 20

Ranchers and range managers are invited to participate in a range-monitoring workshop focusing on range-monitoring techniques, and identification of grasses, forbs and sage. In addition, the June 20 workshop, which begins at 10 a.m. at the Fremont County Courthouse in Lander, WY, will tour federal lands south of Hudson that have undergone brush treatments. The event is free of charge. Contact Ron Cunningham at 307-332-1044 for more info.

Program instructors are University of Wyoming Extension range experts Mike Smith and Eric Peterson. Peterson helped produce a bulletin and DVD to assist public lands permittees and managers implement cooperative rangeland monitoring programs. It's available at www.uwyo.edu/CES/PUBS/B1169.pdf.
-- University of Wyoming news release

      Nebraska Grazing Conference Is Aug. 7-8 In Kearney

The 2007 Nebraska Grazing Conference, set for Aug. 7-8 at the Kearney Holiday Inn, offers more than two-dozen speakers from four states providing an in-depth look at grazing, from animal behavior to grassland management. Sessions begin Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. and conclude mid-afternoon Aug. 8.

Among the speakers are BEEF magazine columnists Jim Gerrish, who will lead a workshop on monitoring grazing lands, and Harlan Hughes, who will discuss stocking according to weather and cattle cycles.

Registration is $75 before Aug. 1 and $90 after; one-day registration is $40 before Aug. 1 and $50 after. For more infor, visit www.grassland.unl.edu, call 402-472-4101, or e-mail grassland@unl.edu.
-- University of Nebraska Center for Grassland Studies release

      Adding Value To Calves Is Focus Of KSU Meeting

Adding value to calves is the focus of an Aug. 9-10 Kansas State University conference. Set for Weber Hall on the KSU campus, the two-day conference will instruct producers on what they can do to become more efficient and reap the most profit from their business.

Presentations will focus on economics, partnerships, value-added opportunities and premiums, retained ownership, electronic marketing, carcass issues, natural beef, preconditioning and verification programs, animal handling, feeding and more.

Registration, which is $150/person, is due by Aug. 3. For more info on the conference, visit www.asi.ksu.edu/beefconference or call Larry Hollis at 785-532-1246. For registration questions, contact Linda Siebold at 785-532-1281.
-- KSU news release

      Beef Cattle Repro Issues Focus Of Sept. 11-12 Meeting

The Beef Reproduction Task Force, along with other state and national experts, will host an intensive workshop on "Applied Reproductive Strategies In Beef Cattle" in Billings, MT, Sept. 11-12. This will be the eighth national meeting the task force has coordinated throughout the U.S.

This meeting is for anyone interested in beef cattle reproduction and estrous synchronization, including ranchers, veterinarians, AI technicians and Extension personnel, says Rick Funston, program chair and a University of Nebraska reproductive physiologist.

Check out westcentral.unl.edu/beefrepro/ for more info, or contact John Paterson at 406/994-5562 or johnp@montana.edu.

The workshops are coordinated by the Beef Reproduction Task Force, (members in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Virginia) in cooperation with the Montana State University Extension.
-- Clint Peck

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    Cow-Calf Weekly Mailbag
      Weekly Mailbag

Correction On Brazilian Purchase Of Swift
I'm a Brazilian reader who has received BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly for quite a while now and find its news and information very useful, as I am a beef-market analyst. However, I noticed some factual errors in the June 1 piece, "Swift & Company Goes Brazilian," by Troy Marshall.

The article states that Swift's harvest capacity is 5,500 head/day, while JBS' capacity prior to the purchase was only 800-1,600/day. And, that, as JBS lacks the expertise to run such a large plant, it plans to essentially retain the current Swift management.

However, according to JBS, it has a beef-processing capacity of about 24,100 head/day and Swift of 23,000 head/day. Together, they will slaughter about 47,100 head/day, becoming the largest beef processor in the world, bigger than Tyson, which slaughters 32,600 head/day.
Leonardo Alencar
Scot Consultoria
Brazil


Editor's Note: Steve Kay, editor and publisher of Cattle Buyers Weekly (www.cattlebuyersweekly.com), a subscription newsletter and the top marketing and business newsletter for the meat and livestock industry, ranks the world's top-five global beef processors by annual sales this way:
  1. Tyson Foods: $11.825 billion annual sales, 37,600-head daily slaughter capacity, 10 plants worldwide, 8.9 million actual slaughter.


  2. Cargill, Inc.: $9.3 billion annual sales, 39,300-head daily slaughter capacity, 13 plants worldwide, 9 million actual slaughter.


  3. JBS/Swift: $9.05 billion annual sales, 45,715-head daily slaughter capacity, 35 plants worldwide, 9.614 million actual slaughter.


  4. National Beef Packing: $4.636 billion annual sales, 14,800-head daily slaughter capacity, three plants worldwide, 3.4 million actual slaughter.


  5. Smithfield Beef Group: $2.599 billion annual sales, 7,600-head daily slaughter capacity, four plants worldwide, 1.9 million actual slaughter.
Steve Kay notes these rankings are based on total global beef-only sales for fiscal 2006. Actual slaughter is for the latest fiscal year. All other data are also based on global operations. Data include company information and Cattle Buyers Weekly estimates.
-- Joe Roybal



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