Hereford eNews
Hereford Highlights | Industry Insight | Market Update Volume 3, Issue 6
Welcome{IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE ", " END IF} {IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE [Name] END IF}{IF NOT ISEMPTY [Name] THEN ", " ELSE " " END IF} to Hereford eNews, your source of the most current news affecting Hereford breeders. We aim to focus on news worthy events pertaining to the Hereford seedstock industry. Sponsored by the American Hereford Association (AHA). Information sent to subscribers comes from material available on www.hereford.org or authored by AHA, Hereford World and Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC staff.
Hereford Highlights

Vermeer and Gallagher Team Up:
Offer Hereford Producers Exclusive Package

An exclusive incentive program designed to help American Hereford Association (AHA) members track cattle performance, using a free Gallagher Weigh System, is now available for a limited time from Vermeer Manufacturing.

The special Hereford Performance Package offered by Vermeer consists of a free new Gallagher SmartScale 500 with Heavy-Duty Manual Squeeze Chute Loadbars — approximately $2,500 in value — with the purchase of any new Vermeer M-Series Baler. This offer is available until April 30, 2006.

Vermeer markets three different sized M-Series Baler models that qualify producers for the special incentive. The 605M (72"D x 61"W), 604M (72"D x 47"W) and 504M (62"D x 47"W) produce round hay packages ranging anywhere from 1,300-2,400 lb., depending on bale size and moisture content.

For more information visit www.vermeerag.com or contact your local dealer.


Handel Named Agri-Business Person of the Year

Art Handel has been inducted into the Black Hills Stock Show Hall of Fame as the Agri-Business Person of the Year. Art worked as an AHA field representative for 33 years. He retired from this position in 2002 after more than 5,000 sales and 3 million miles on the job. Handel and his wife, Pat, live in Rapid City, S.D. Art owns and operates Handel Marketing that specializes in private treaty sales, ring service, consulting, and buying and selling commercial and registered feeder cattle and breeding stock.


Attention State Junior Associations

The AHA Youth Activities Department needs each state's junior association’s current officer information complete with addresses and telephone numbers. You may also want to include e-mail addresses for your officers and advisors if available. We are working on mailings for important summer activities and have received very few updated lists so far this year. Even if you think we have your most updated lists please send them anyway. You can e-mail your officer and advisor information to Chris Stephens, AHA director of youth activities, at cstephens@hereford.org.


Summer Regional and State Preview Shows

Summer will come quickly, and the AHA Youth Department needs to hear from you. The deadline is March 1 for state field day and complete regional show information to be received by AHA Youth Activities. For those who are in the process of planning these summer events, contact Chris at (816) 842-3757 or cstephens@hereford.org to ensure that the proper information is submitted. This is essential to get your event the best possible coverage and to guarantee that information is passed along to all Hereford youth.


Join Hereford Enthusiasts at the Junior National Hereford Expo
Louisville, Ky. – July 15-22

The Ohio and Kentucky Hereford associations, along with their junior associations, invite all Hereford breeders to the 2006 Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE). The dates and location for the annual junior extravaganza are July 15-22 on the banks of the Ohio River in Louisville, Ky.

The headquarters hotel for the JNHE will be the Executive West Hotel, 830 Phillips Lane, Louisville, KY 40209, (800) 633-8723. Please make hotel reservations as soon as possible due to the limited number of rooms in the area. The hotel reservation cutoff date is June 1. The final JNHE entry deadline is also June 1. For more information, contact Chris at cstephens@hereford.org.


Get Your Copy of the Sire Summary

The AHA’s Spring 2006 Sire Summary is available in print. To get your copy, call (816) 842-3757. The Summary can also be obtained electronically at www.hereford.org under “Whole Herd TPR: EPD Search & Reference.”


HYFA Selling National Western Limited-Edition Prints

The Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) is offering a limited-edition print featuring the 100th anniversary of the National Western Stock Show. The prints are available for $25 and will be mailed upon order. To order your copy, contact Chris Stephens, HYFA director, at (816) 842-3757 or cstephens@hereford.org. Checks should be mailed to Stephens’ attention at the AHA, P.O. Box 014059, Kansas City, MO 64101.
Industry Insight

Assessing Rangeland Health
Tom Field
Colorado State University Department of Animal Science

It is important to acquire baseline data for a range or grazing site. The information needed includes historical use, historical conditions, maps, climatic and weather data, soil profiles, vegetation classification and persistence, and wildlife pressure.

Following the development of baseline data and management goals, the formation and implementation of a monitoring plan allows for the measurement of progress toward predetermined objectives. The Society for Range Management suggests a simple matrix to assess land health:

Healthy ground cover
(forest, shrubs, grass or cropland)
A lot Some A little
Weeds or plants that hold the soil poorly
(thistle, mustardweed, etc.)
A little Some A lot
Bare ground A little Some A lot
Source: Land management for small ranches in Texas; Texas Section - Society for Range Management.

If your assessment of a site puts all the answers in column one, then you can feel reasonably comfortable that the site is healthy. If the second column describes the site then it is a good opportunity to consider improvements to move from average to good health. When land is in poor condition (third column), immediate and oftentimes costly attention to the situation is warranted.


International Trade Updates

The American Meat Institute (AMI) announced several international trade updates on Feb. 6. Those specifically related to the beef industry are listed below:

  • Macau, a small, special administrative region of southeast China, has agreed to begin importing boneless U.S. beef products derived from animals less than 30 months of age. Conditions have yet to be negotiated.
  • The U.S. can export chilled and frozen boneless beef to Singapore that is derived from U.S. born animals less than 30 months of age. Eligible beef must be produced under an approved Beef Export Verification program.
  • Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between the U.S. and South Korea will begin at the end of a 90-day consultation period. The FTA would remove tariffs and other barriers to expand trade between the two countries. Expected completion is early 2007. The AMI will not support an FTA with South Korea until it allows market access for all U.S. beef products, as supported by OIE guidelines.

For a complete listing of the trade updates, visit www.meatami.com.


Bush’s Ag Budget – Details Released

On Feb. 6, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns released details of President Bush's FY 2007 U.S. Department of Agriculture budget.

"The agriculture budget provides funds to protect America's food supply, improve nutrition and health, conserve and enhance our natural resources and enhance economic opportunities for agricultural producers," Johanns says.

For budget specifics, visit www.usda.gov/2006/02/0037.xml.


NCBA Looks to the 2007 Farm Bill

Cattle producer-members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) are looking ahead to the development of the 2007 Farm Bill, and identifying priorities as Congress begins its deliberations.

Programs of focus — in the areas of conservation, trade, marketing, research, energy production, property rights, tax policy and animal identification — are all being evaluated.

John Queen, North Carolina cattle producer and NCBA president-elect, has testified this week before members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee at a field hearing in Fayetteville, N.C.

While members and state affiliates are still building NCBA’s specific priorities, Queen emphasized the need to follow these key philosophies as guiding principles in the formation of the next Farm Bill: limited government involvement, individual choice in the management of resources, open and fair access to foreign markets, and policies that don’t favor one producer or commodity over another.

Queen also emphasized the need for sensible and workable environmental regulations, and thanked the Agriculture Committee for its role in protecting property rights. He noted that cattlemen are very concerned with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the use of eminent domain to acquire property.

For more information, visit www.beefusa.org/NEWSCattlemenProvideFarmBillTestimony24886.aspx.


Johanns Addresses Cattlemen at Annual Meeting

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns spoke to attendees of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Annual Meeting in Denver on Feb. 3. Among his remarks, Johanns addressed the beef trade setback with Japan and his intentions for remedying the situation. For a transcript of his remarks, visit www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=2006/02/0036.xml.


Federation of State Beef Councils Elects Jones and Voogt

Larry Jones, a third-generation beef producer from Holcomb, Kan., has been elected chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils Division of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Gary Voogt, owner/operator of a registered Angus operation near Grand Rapids, Mich., is vice chairman.

The Federation brings producer leaders from the 45 qualified state beef councils together at the national level to serve on national Joint Checkoff committees and to provide direction for national programs.


O’Brien to Lead Beef Board

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board has unanimously elected Jay O’Brien, cattleman from Amarillo, Texas, to serve as 2006 chairman of the board. Kansas cattleman Ken Stielow is vice chairman, and Dave Bateman of Illinois is secretary/treasurer.

Market Update
Downloads:

Cattle Outlook
Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain
University of Missouri-Columbia

Grimes and Plain offer market updates for the week past each Friday afternoon. To view this information, visit agebb.missouri.edu/mkt/bull2c.htm


Market Advisor:
Cyclical Expansion in U.S. Cattle Herd Continues
Tim Petry, Livestock Marketing Economist
North Dakota State University Extension Service

Rumors that the cattle cycle no longer exists were laid to rest with the most recent cattle inventory report released by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service on Jan. 27, 2006.

The USDA confirmed that U.S. cattle numbers, as of Jan. 1, increased for the second straight year. The estimated number of cattle and calves in the U.S. totaled 97.1 million head, 1.7% more than last year and the highest since 2001.

The abnormal eight-year liquidation phase of the last cycle from 1997 to 2004, compared with a normal four-year liquidation phase, may have caused some to question the validity of the cycle. However, the added length was primarily due to drought in much of the Western U.S. cattle-producing region. Prices were high enough in 2001 to encourage increasing cattle numbers after the normal four years of liquidation, but poor grazing conditions would not support additional cattle.

Beef cow numbers increased 1% over last year to the highest level since 2001. Much improved pasture and range conditions in the northern Plains and West, along with favorable cow-calf returns, helped fuel the increase.

Dry weather conditions in Texas and Oklahoma have been in the headlines recently, but beef cow numbers still increased 1% in Texas and 3% in Oklahoma. Evidently, the drought areas in those states, where some liquidation may have occurred, were offset by increasing numbers in areas of those states where rainfall was closer to normal. Even beef heifers kept for replacements were up 70,000 head in Texas and 35,000 head in Oklahoma.

The northern Plains states of Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming, which were severely impacted by drought for several years, all recorded increases in beef cow numbers of 1%.

Wet conditions in the Pacific Northwest were evident by the 22% increase in beef cows in the state of Washington.

The number of heifers held back for beef cow replacement was estimated at 5.9 million head, which is 3.8% above last year and the highest number retained since 1997.

Double-digit percentage increases in beef heifer replacements were posted in Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming. A 5-9% increase occurred in Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas.

Cattle cycle accumulation phases usually last six years. Beef cow numbers have increased about 392,000 head since the low in 2004, but are still more than 2 million head lower than the last cyclical peak in 1996. Depending on weather conditions, continued rebuilding of the beef cowherd is likely for several more years.

Cattle herd expansion will have both short- and long-term price implications.

In the short-term, historically low feeder cattle supplies will be supportive to feeder cattle prices this spring, especially lighter weight cattle suitable for summer grazing. Prices for replacement-quality heifers and bred cows also will be strong, as herd rebuilding continues at robust levels.

Fall 2006 calf prices will be impacted by a larger calf crop and likely below prices received in 2005, but still above historical levels. The size of the 2006 corn crop and resulting prices will be an important factor to watch for fall 2006 calf prices.

In the long-term, cattle numbers likely will increase through the end of the decade. As calf crops increase, so will beef production and cyclically lower prices can be expected to occur.

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