The Cattle Business Weekly
  •  Snowpack melts early across the West
     West-wide snowpack is melting earlier than usual, according to data from the fourth 2015 forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service  
  • The impact of Canada and Mexico on the U.S. cattle and beef market may be different in 2015. More detail on the Canadian situation follows. 
  • As Winston Churchill said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” According to Winchester, we need to get away from the attitude that if something closes in a community, then the town will die. He said that in some ways rural is thriving and has been since the 70’s. 
  • Meat exports slowly recovering from port delays
    “We didn’t see much relief from the shipping backlog until March, and container traffic in some ports still has not returned to normal,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. “However, the new labor contract agreement definitely sent positive signals to our Asian buyers and allowed the U.S. meat industry to begin the process of putting this crisis behind us. The momentum exports regained in February is encouraging, and we’re looking forward to further improvement when March results are published.” 
  • Cattle producers in North Dakota will see the $1-per-head beef checkoff rise to $2-per-head after both the House and Senate have voted to approve the measure.
    The increase would make it possible to send half of the $2 checkoff to the national board for beef promotion, research and education while the other half would stay in state and be used for the same purposes. 
  • What happened to common sense? Is work ethic part of the past? Why can’t my employees get the job done on their own? These are questions I hear frequently from business owners, not just in agriculture but all industries. It’s becoming increasingly perplexing and frustrating to manage people. 
  •  The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Beadle County, South Dakota.  The flock of 53,000 turkeys is located within the Central flyway, where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. 
  • Updated: South Dakota, Nebraska fires blaze up
    On Saturday afternoon, a South Dakota rancher who spotted smoke in the West Short Pine Hills located 45 miles north of Belle Fourche, S.D. on the Wyoming South Dakota border called in a fire. The fire quickly grew to massive size with winds whipping past 70 miles an hour. Both timber and grassland has been lost according to fire officials with the Great Plains Fire Information Center.  
  • “I have seasonal draws, valleys and canyons as well as ponds and other natural depressions on my land that will at times fill or flow with water during precipitation events. Many rarely, if ever, have flow that reaches a flowing stream,” said Jeff Metz, a farmer and rancher from Angora, Nebraska. “This rule could require that I obtain a federal permit in order to plow, apply crop protection products, graze cattle or even build a fence in or around these areas.” 
  •  The up cycle will eventually turn, and producers will face lower profits after herd expansion occurs. So irrespective of the focus of your farming business, positioning to handle the volatility you will face and having the resiliency to handle the downside while retaining the agility to capture opportunities, will be critical. To help you navigate this new business environment, we’ve identified 10 strategies for long-term success. 
  • At the heart of the project is the Pathfinder Ranch, a 235,000-acre cattle ranch located west of Casper
     
     
  • If or when interest rates rise and borrowing costs increase, said Smith, supply-side pressure on grain prices and the exit of speculative money from commodity markets could decrease commodity prices by 30% to 40%.  
  • National Ag in the Classroom may lose funding, move from USDA
    The National Ag in the Classroom Organization is looking for support to restore its full $1Million federal funding. Recently, the Obama Administration requested the organization’s funding to be zeroed out and to be removed from the umbrella of the United State’s Department of Agriculture. 
  • Des Moines Water Works has decided to pursue legal action against county supervisors in Buena Vista, Sac and Calhoun counties in Iowa. The board voted on the matter March 10, passing the motion to pursue legal action unanimously. The legal filing was conducted Monday, March 16 in federal court.  
  • The Nebraska and California Beef Councils recently collaborated on a program to provide culinary dietitians with a taste beef production practices set in the ranching communities of Napa and Sonoma County California.  
 
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