Seeing is believing.
If you're tired of re-treating cattle for pinkeye, it's time to look for
a treatment with the power to see cattle through recovery.
TETRADURE 300 (oxytetracycline) Injection provides therapeutic
blood levels for 7 to 8 days.* To see more about TETRADURE 300
(oxytetracycline) Injection, talk to your veterinarian. Or, for
TETRADURE 300 product information, click
* Not for use in lactating dairy animals. Adverse reactions, including
injection site swelling, restlessness, ataxia, inflammation and
respiratory abnormalities, have been reported.
TETRADURE is a trademark of Merial. © 2005 Merial
Limited. All rights reserved.
Packers, Retailers Stoke The Heat On
Country-of-origin labeling (COOL) isn't supposed to go
into effect until September 2008, but one of the nation's largest trade
organizations representing meat processors -- American Meat Institute
(AMI) -- sent letters last week to 97 producer organizations advising
them that their members may soon hear from meatpackers about what they
will require of their suppliers as part of mandatory COOL.
"Although we adamantly oppose mandatory COOL, it is the law and it is
our job as the meat industry's trade association to help companies
prepare for full implementation," explains Mark Dopp, AMI cenior vice
president of regulatory affairs and general counsel. "Given the fact
that animals born now will be subject to mandatory COOL, we thought it
was wise to begin preparing."
In its letter to producer groups, AMI told its members that, in order to
comply with the law and satisfy retail customers, packers should demand
a number of things from livestock producers. This includes verified
documentation of where the livestock purchased were born and raised, and
an affidavit or declaration with each load of livestock purchases
stating that there's a verifiable audit trail in place that identifies
where the livestock in each load were born and raised.
AMI also advised its members to ask producers to provide access to
records so that the packer can perform audits as necessary to satisfy
its retail customers and to indemnify the packer for liability should
inaccurate information be provided to the packer.
Meanwhile, the Food Marketing Institute, which represents retailers,
sent a similar letter to producer groups, as well.
Interestingly, this all came after R-CALF was harping on AMI's stance in
opposition to COOL as costly and unwieldy.
In a statement following the receipt of AMI's letter, officials with the
Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) explained their organization, the
National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), and other livestock groups
have repeatedly warned Congress of the costs and record-keeping
requirements mandatory COOL will create for cow-calf producers and other
segments of the beef industry. The organizations continue to lobby for
changes in the legislation that would ease the burden on beef producers.
According to KLA, less than 10% of imported beef is estimated to sell at
retail, and thus subject to mandatory labeling. The vast majority of
imported beef goes into restaurants, which are exempt from the law. Yet,
it was worries about imports that prompted some groups to ask for the
Tyson Quits Antibiotics In
It's only chicken, but you have to wonder what Tyson's
decision to ban antibiotics in its fresh branded fowl meat may
ultimately mean to the cattle industry.
"While we have great confidence in the quality of our traditional
chicken, we're also committed to providing mainstream consumers with the
kind of products they want," says Richard L. Bond, president and CEO of
Tyson Foods. "According to our research, 91% of consumers agree it's
important to have fresh chicken produced and labeled, 'raised without
According to Tyson officials, the company uses therapeutic antibiotics
in only a very small percentage of its poultry flocks and only to treat
or prevent disease. Tyson will continue to use antibiotics on its birds
when necessary and only for therapeutic reasons.
Tyson began marketing the product as, "100% all-natural -- Raised
without antibiotics" last week.
Don't take a chance. Treat all incoming cattle with
IVOMEC® Plus (ivermectin/clorsulon)
Liver flukes are spreading and every load of incoming cattle could be
carrying them. The liver fluke problem is hard to diagnose and rarely
shows in clinical signs. Only IVOMEC® Plus
(ivermectin/clorsulon) kills liver flukes and other internal and
external parasites, all in a single dose. Product
®IVOMEC and the CATTLE HEAD LOGO are registered trademarks of
Merial. © 2006 Merial Limited. All rights reserved.
July Hay Cutting Adds Tons
When it comes to native grass, early July is the optimum
time for cutting, based on research from Kansas State University (KSU).
That's according to a recent column from Glenn Selk at Oklahoma State
The KSU researchers harvested native grass meadows in early June, July,
August and September. According to Selk, the June date produced about
half as much tonnage as the early August cutting, while the September
cutting had little nutritional value, between quality and digestibility.
Compared to July though (2,400 lbs. of dry matter forage/acre), the
August cutting was heavier (2,800 lbs.). But, with more crude protein
(CP) -- about 7% vs. 3% for August -- the July harvest yielded more
total digestible nutrients (TDN).
"As the calculations of amount of hay and quality are combined, we learn
that the earlier-cut hay produced about 168 lbs. of CP/acre and the
later-cut hay produced only 84 lbs. of CP/acre," Selk explains.
"Assuming typical TDN content for these hays, we would expect to find
about 55% TDN in the July hay and 46% TDN in the August hay." The July
cutting produced about 1,320 lbs. of TDN/acre and the August hay
produced 1,288 lbs. of TDN/acre.
"Even though the producer hauled more tonnage from the field to the
storage area and back out to the cattle with the later-cut hay, he moved
considerably fewer nutrients than he would have if the hay had been cut
one month earlier," Selk says.
Up front, the final country-of-origin labeling (COOL)
rule -- scheduled to become mandatory in September 2008 -- hasn't been
published. You might remember the law making it mandatory was part of
the current farm bill and was originally slated to become mandatory in
However, with trade groups advising their processor and retailer members
to begin demanding the necessary information from producers (including a
request for indemnification, according to one such letter), it makes
sense to think about how you might comply. The last time COOL seemed
imminent we put together a stocker fact sheet (you can find it at www.beefstockerusa.org),
which still seems appropriate.
For instance, if you're supposed to be able to tell someone what cattle
you had, you need to be able to identify them. Until the final rule is
written, we can only conjecture that a compliant identification (ID) and
verification system could be as simple as brand certificates and tax
inventory records or a pocket notebook with individual tag numbers and
descriptions, or as elaborate as electronic ID with up-loadable
purchase, sales and performance information.
Logic suggests your inventory records ought to verify that you had the
cattle you said you had. The question revolves around having the
necessary documentation proving specific cattle came to you with
documentation verifying their source.
Common sense also says the kind of documentation described above should
verify either the country of origin or at least the point of last
origin. If USDA can trace stocker back to the order buyer, say, one
would think verifying the origin from that point would be that buyer's
Of course, there's nothing to keep stockers from demanding COOL
affidavits as a condition of purchase from their suppliers.
As you ponder all of that, it also continues to seem rational to believe
that the premiums associated with ID-enabled verifications of source,
age and all of the rest are still meager and irregular enough that the
cost of establishing a new ID system should be weighed against what
animal ID can garner you -- management and market access.
Incidentally you can also find stocker fact sheets about what to
consider in an ID system and how to make sense of Quality Systems
Assurance (QSA) and Process Verified Programs (PVP) at (www.beefstockerusa.org.)
This is obviously a different world than when the COOL debacle first
began. These days the industry has the voluntary National Animal
Identification System (NAIS). Keep in mind the COOL law prohibits USDA
from devising a standardized system of ID for COOL. Too, there's no
question more cattle should qualify these days thanks to the PVPs and
QSAs borne out of qualifying cattle for export markets following the
discovery of BSE here.
Still, the gap between reality and what COOL demands seems like a
SUREHEALTH® continues to gain approval.
Beef export countries demand proof of age, and the only
way to achieve this is through a Quality Systems Assessment (QSA)
program like the optional one offered through MERIAL ® SUREHEALTH
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certification and is backed by a limited 21-day limited warranty. Click here
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® MERIAL, SUREHEALTH, the
SUREHEALTH and CATTLEHEAD LOGOS are all registered trademarks of Merial.
© 2006 Merial Limited. All rights reserved.
Weather And Crops
Corn on Track -- Drought Deepens For
"For the most part, this year's corn crop appears to be
coming along nicely but the bullish wheat market has supported all the
grains," say analysts for the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
"Wheat harvest yields across the Southern Plains continue to be
disappointing and wet conditions are hampering progress. On the other
hand, grass pastures from Texas up through South Dakota are the best in
recent memory, a stark contrast to last year."
Indeed, on a national basis, pasture conditions are significantly better
than a year ago, with half of the nation's pasture rated as Good or
Excellent, compared to 38% at the same time last year.
Ironically, about the same percentage of the nation -- approximately
one-third -- is currently experiencing drought, the same as last year,
according to Mike Hayes at the National Drought Mitigation Center.
What's changed, of course, is the location, with the Southeast,
Southwest and West bearing the worst of it.
For the record, Hayes says the worst nationwide drought period in modern
history occurred in 1934-1936 -- the Dust Bowl years when 70% of the
nation was experiencing severe or extreme drought. During the worst
recent years -- 2000, 2002 and 2006 -- Hayes says about 40% of the
nation was experiencing the same level of drought.
What's more, Hayes explains scientists who analyze tree rings to gather
historical climatic data say it appears the drought in the 1930s was
normal by historical standards.
For the week ending June 5, according to the National Agricultural
States with the worst pasture conditions -- at least 30% of the acreage
rated poor or worse -- include: Alabama
(85%); Arizona (49%); California
(95%); Florida (55%); Georgia (64%); Kentucky
(61%); Mississippi (59%); Nevada (39%); North Carolina (43%);
Ohio (32%); Pennsylvania (34%); Tennessee
Corn -- 70% is rated Good or Excellent,
compared to 77% last week and 70% at the same time last year.
- Soybeans -- 96% is in the ground, 1%
behind last year, but 2% ahead of normal. 92% has
emerged, which is 1% ahead of last year and 5% ahead of the
five-year average. 65% is rated Good or better,
which is 2% behind last year.
- Winter Wheat -- 97% advanced to the heading
stage, 1% behind last year, but 2% ahead of average. 11% has been harvested, 23% behind last year
and 9% behind the average. 50% is rated Good or
Excellent, compared to 29% a year earlier.
- Spring Wheat -- 11% of the crop has reached the
heading stage, which is 8% behind last year and 1% ahead of
the five-year average. 85% is rated Good or
Excellent, compared to 60% a year ago.
- Barley -- 13% has emerged, the same
as last year and 3% ahead of normal. 81% is rated
Good or Excellent, compared to 74% a year ago.
- Sorghum -- 82% of the intended acreage is sown,
which is 5% behind last year and on pace with normal. 76% is rated good or better, 30% more than
last year. i>
- Oats -- 54% of the crop was at or beyond the
heading stage, which is 5% ahead of last year and 4% ahead
of the five-year average. 83% is rated Good of
Excellent, compared to 43% last year.
- Pasture -- 50% is rated Good or Excellent,
compared to 38% last year. 23% is rated
Poor or Very Poor, compared to 32% a year ago.
On the wet side of the fence, states with the most lush pasture
conditions -- at least 40% rated good or better -- include: Arkansas
(58%); Colorado (77%); Idaho (58%);
Iowa (66%); Kansas
(65%); Louisiana (66%); Maine (85%); Maryland (50%); Michigan (41%);
Minnesota (63%); Missouri (43%); Montana (80%); Nebraska
(73%); New Mexico (62%);
New York (75%); North Dakota (83%); Oklahoma (74%); Oregon (41%); South Dakota (77%); Texas
(75%); Washington (64%);
Wisconsin (51%); Wyoming (47%).
Nov. 7-8 -- BEEF Quality Summit, Holiday
Inn Centre, Omaha, NE; 1-800-722-5334, ext. 14606; or www.beefconference.com.
Dec. 13 -- Alabama Forage Conference, Troy, AL, contact Eddie
Jolley (334-887-4564) or Don Ball (334-844-5491).
Yearling Prices Continue To Counter
"The recent fed-cattle price drop from the mid $90s to
the low $90s occurred sooner than expected and raises questions about
whether markets are merely weakening seasonally or as a result of
something more fundamental," says Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State
University Extension livestock marketing specialist. "Feeder-cattle
markets remain generally strong and, while no clear threats can be
identified at this time, there's a lengthy list of factors that could
inject volatility into cattle markets in the coming weeks and months."
Speaking to the former, reporters from the Agricultural Marketing
Service (AMS) point out fed-cattle prices have dropped $11/cwt. over the
last five weeks; Choice carcass cutout values have lost more than $23
during the same period.
"Weekly low fed-cattle prices will likely be in the mid $80s/cwt." say
analysts with the Livestock Marketing Information Center. "Last year,
the summer quarter (July- September) fed-cattle price averaged
$85.34/cwt. in the Southern Plains. Prices then averaged $87.25/cwt. in
the fourth quarter and $85.94/cwt. for the year. Prices are forecast to
be higher than 2006's for the balance of 2007. In fact, the annual
average cash fed-cattle price for 2007 is forecast to exceed $90/cwt.
for the first time (average near $93)."
"Sluggish macro-economic indicators, high gas prices and weaker pork
exports are likely contributing to beef demand pressure," Peel says.
"Anticipated increases in broiler production in the second half of the
year will add additional pressure to meat supplies."
On the other hand, while fed-cattle prices have crumbled, AMS notes
yearling feeder cattle prices are virtually the same as they were five
weeks ago although corn is nearly 15¢/bu. higher.
Last week, AMS reported market strength for heavier yearling steers
weighing over 800 lbs., while yearling stocker cattle under 700 lbs. and
calves traded unevenly steady in the Plains and the Midwest.
Southeastern calves traded $3-$6 lower.
"Northern Plains buyers are showing the best demand and their preference
for predominantly English cattle has held the market for these types in
check, even in the Southern Plains," explains the AMS crew. "Cattle
showing excess ear and an obvious amount of Brahman influence are
falling under pressure, even though these cattle are more suited for the
upcoming hot weather. This situation may be exacerbated this year
because of the drought conditions in the Southeast and the larger than
normal movement of crossbred cattle to the west."
According to Peel, "Fundamental to the general strength in cattle prices
are cyclically low cattle inventories, extended this year by
drought-disrupted herd expansion in 2006. The question of the extent to
which herd expansion resumes this year will have implications beyond
this year but also immediately as renewed heifer retention will further
limit feeder cattle supplies in 2007."
To this point it appears expansion may be limited at best. According to
the June "Livestock, Dairy and Poultry" Outlook from USDA's Economic
Research Service (ERS), commercial beef and dairy cow slaughter
continues at higher levels than expected so far in the second quarter of
2007, relative to the Jan. 1, 2007 cow inventory and typical seasonal
cow slaughter patterns. Consequently ERS predicts cow slaughter will cut
into the year-to-year inventory levels Jan. 1 if it continues at the
"While cow herd expansion has clearly resumed in the center part of the
country, offsetting liquidation in the Southeast may temper herd
expansion once again," Peel says. "Overall levels of beef production
depend on cattle supplies and also on carcass weights. Carcass weights
have been lower since severe winter weather reduced feedlot production
in January and February and carcass weights are expected to remain below
year ago levels due to the continuing impacts of high feed prices."
Meanwhile, Friday's Cattle-On-Feed Report offered this:
The summary below reflects the week ended June 22 for Medium and Large 1
-- 500- to 550-lb., 600- to 650-lb. (calves), and 700- to 750-lb. feeder
heifers and steers (unless otherwise noted). The list is arranged in
descending order by auction volume and represents sales reported in the
weekly USDA National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary:
and calves on feed: +1% (11.3 million head) compared to June 1, 2006;
+5% compared to 2005. It's the highest June 1 inventory since the series
began in 1996.
- Placements (May): +13% (2.16 million) compared to 2006;
-3% compared to 2005. Net placements were 2.06 million.
- Marketings-fed cattle: -3% (2.09 million) compared to 2006;
+4% compared to 2005.
| Summary Table
| State|| Volume ||Steers || Heifers
| Calf Weight|| 500-550 lbs.
|| 600-650 lbs. ||
700-750 lbs. || 500-550 lbs. || 600-650
lbs. || 700-750
| MO || 39,600 || $125.20 || $119.38
|| $101.62 || $113.55 || $107.50 || $103.91 |
| KY* ||30,100 || $102-112 || $97-107
|| $93-103 || $87-973 || $84-945 |
| OK ||17,100
||$114.95 || $109.72 || $108.67 || $104.43
|| $101.69 |
| AL ||15,100 || $108-116 ||$101-108 || $97-102 || $98-107 ||
$95-99 || $82-865 |
| TN* ||13,500 || $108.75 ||$103.77
|| $97.78 || $97.24 ||$92.97 || $87.73 |
| TX ||12,700 || $112.55 || $101.80
|| $106.26 || $106.90 ||
$102.74 || $100.72 |
| AR ||9,100 || $114.49 || $108.98
|| $100.17 || $104.99 ||$98.77 || $92.33 |
||8,100 || $100-119.50 || $91-107
|| $90-106 || $85-101 || $82-88 |
||8,000 || $94-111 || $88-108
|| $80-108 || $80-97 || $75.50-88 |
| Dakotas ||7,400 |
| MS* ||6,500 || $100-1101 || $90-1003 || ** || $90-100 ||
$80-903 || ** |
| FL* ||5,400 || $99-112 || $89-103
|| $88-100 ||$89-91 ||
| KS ||3,500 || ** || ** || $108.79 ||
| LA(ND) ||3,400 || $94-110 ||$90-1072 || ** || $92-105 ||$91-982 || ** |
| VA ||2,300
$108.104 || $101.27 ||$93.78
| MT ||1,500
||** || ** || $1092 ||** || ** |
| CO ||1,300
** ||$101.954 || ** |
* Plus 2
** None reported at this weight or near weight
(***) Steers and bulls
(?) As reported, but questionable
Questions & Comments
Please send questions to:
Wes Ishmael, Contributing Editor, BEEF Stocker Trends, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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