The phone calls run hot and heavy this year with the feeder calves and yearlings bringing what they are and the killer cows and bulls turning such big checks. There's lots of interest and calls on the part of our readers, people wanting to know what I think these feeder cattle and yearlings and so forth are going to be worth this fall.
I have a stock answer for them: it's going to depend on quite a few factors. I don't think a lot of people are discouraged to where they think it's going to fall out of bed, however. Quite a few of these people who think things are so good are wondering if the bubble is going to break and fall on its face. I personally don't think so. The international demand for animal protein is awfully good; the demand for quality product is really strong, and it's that way all across America. I think we're going to see a pretty good turn in this cattle trade.
As to what they're going to be bringing, quite a few things are involved here that you'd have to consider. One is what's going to be happening to the money situation here in America and worldwide. With this multi-trillion-dollar debt America is carrying and the attempts to start paying it back, what's the taxation going to amount to? What kinds of loopholes are going to be thrown at us through laws and rules?
Also figuring into the equation is the situation on grain. It doesn't look like there's going to be near the amount of acres planted to corn as many thought, and that will probably drive the corn prices up some because the supply would have a chance to be down. This would make it a little more difficult for cattle feeders to plan in the future on what the gain costs are going to amount to.
Then there's the situation that's on everyone's mind - the weather. We've had some real tough droughts in the last years, and we've had some areas that have just gone through one of the worst, toughest winters that we've seen in modern times, so no one knows what the future is going to bring. I watch the predictions and the work of weatherman Dr. Art Douglas from Creighton University, Omaha, NE. He publishes very good information that I've watched the last few years, and he turns out to be about as accurate as you can find. He works closely with the NCBA and Cattle Fax, and they use his work in their releases. His recent extended weather outlook is printed in this issue.
Oops! This beautiful photo is on the front page of this week's paper with the wrong caption!
We apologize to Abbie Skelton for the mix up.
The wolf tapeworm...
WY veterinarian warns of problems
A nasty tapeworm found in Alaskan wolves has turned up in Park County, Wyoming, and has infected multiple elk and four dogs, according to a Powell veterinarian. State and federal officials say the risk of infecting humans is low, but veterinarian Ray Acker, who owns and operates Big Horn Animal Care Center in Powell, said it behooves hunters and dog owners to take precautions to protect themselves and their pets from the parasite. Echinococcosis granulosus (E. granulosus) can infect and kill humans, but there have been no reported cases of human fatalities in Wyoming.
Acker said he fears it is only a matter of time before the tapeworm's cysts invade humans and potentially kill them. E. granulosus tapeworm can infect all carnivores, but wolves and other canines are the primary host. "You could call it the wolf tapeworm," Acker said.
"We always take any type of situation related to human safety and wildlife very seriously," Dan Thompson, statewide supervisor of the large carnivore management section in Lander said in an email.
Hank Edwards, Wyoming Game & Fish Department laboratory supervisor in Laramie, said, "Don't panic. Just be aware of the risk. I don't know the prevalence in wolves, but certainly some carry it. It's very, very rare that it infects people."
Humans contract the hydatids (cysts) from E. granulosus. Hydatid disease in humans is difficult to diagnose and may require surgery to remove them. "It can be fatal," Acker said. Humans can be exposed to the eggs from canine feces or fur. From there, the cysts take up residence in the human's lungs or liver. "It is a silent killer," Acker said. Humans can unknowingly carry the cysts for 20 years until it becomes critical. When cysts rupture, the person enters anaphylactic shock and dies within 10 minutes, Acker said. "Right now it's rare for humans because it's just emerging," Acker said.
FSA meetings to update SD ranchers...
Four meetings will be held April 14 and 15 in South Dakota by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to update the public about the Livestock Disaster Program application process, which will begin April 15. FSA officials will give presentations about reporting and documentation requirements and information about how the programs will be administered, and they will answer questions from producers. The community meetings -- held in Eagle Butte, Hermosa, Union Center, and Interior -- are being hosted jointly by FSA, Intertribal Ag Council, SD Cattlemen's Association, SD Farmers Union, SD Farm Bureau, SD Stockgrowers Association, and SD Sheep Growers ... with support provided by Ag United, First Interstate Bank of Sturgis, SD Dairy Producers, Rushmore Electric Power Cooperative, West River Electric Association, DakotaLand Feeds, Central Life Sciences, SDSU Extension - West River Ag Center, and the SD Soybean Research & Promotion Council.
MF Global trustee says customers to get 100% reimbursement...
James Giddens, the court-appointed trustee in charge of the MF Global bankruptcy, says the financial company's customers will get back 100% of what they are owed by the brokerage. After MF Global collapsed in 2011 under the leadership of former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, customer money was found to be missing. A federal investigation found that the money had been used to support the firm's trading operations. Disbursement of funds to MF Global customers is expected to begin immediately and will continue for several weeks.
JBS Poultry makes purchase...
Brazil's General Superintendent of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) has approved without restrictions the purchase of Frinal SA Refrigerator & Poultry Integration by JBS Poultry Ltd. The JBS Board of Directors approved the purchase in January for $103.5 million but the deal could not be finalized without the approval of CADE. Frinal SA engages in slaughtering and marketing of chicken along with ancillary businesses that include the production of chicken feed, egg hatching, and broiler production.
Klamath Water: Drought Wells Denied
By Erika Bentsen
Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD)'s latest assault on Klamath County irrigators was an April 3 decision that wells used for drought relief will not be allowed to run this year because, ironically, of severe drought conditions ravaging the West. Beginning this year, assumed groundwater interference with surface water declarations are about to halt irrigation wells in Klamath County where the recently approved tribal surface water claims now reign supreme. As it stands now, tribal claims are so large that the natural in-stream water levels are tough to meet in wet years and impossible in dry ones. Any interference with surface water from groundwater wells -- at this point without any proof, credence, or merit -- is strictly forbidden. Like a cancer in the land, these interference regulations are now escalating limitation controls far beyond the irrigation wells in the Upper Basin where they originated and are now also attacking drought relief wells farther down the valley.
On February 13, Oregon Governor Kitzhaber declared Harney, Klamath, Lake, and Malheur counties a state of drought emergency. Ordinarily, this declaration would trigger the use of drought wells, which are permitted exclusively for this situation. Oregon's Statutes provide several Drought Mitigation Tools, including authorizing a temporary exchange of the source of water allowed from surface water to a stored water source, allowing livestock drinking water, and the use of drought wells. As in years previous, Harney, Lake, and Malheur counties will benefit from this mitigation assistance. And then there's Klamath . . . .
Unfortunately for several seemingly random Irrigation Districts and individual farms in Klamath County, drought well permits to supply much needed relief to nearly 16,000 acres (so far) of farmland in the lower Klamath Basin are being denied just as their season of use begins. Reasons stated for denial of this resource are listed as "injury to users" of various springs or wells are "within or adjacent to a groundwater decline area of 20 or more feet."
First, injury to users. In short, these particular wells are accused of interfering with surface water, just like the upper Basin ranchers, with no more proof than in-house computer modeling to give the OWRD its self justification. A glaring omission in OWRD's explanation for denial is how much water is being denied and how quickly the reduction (if any) is measurable.
MSGA seeking applications for 2014 Environmental Stewardship Award
Do you know a Montana rancher who is a leader in stewardship, implementing conservation practices to ensure the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of their operation? Encourage them to apply for the Montana Environmental Stewardship Award, presented by the Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA). Applications for the 2014 award are due June 30.
Each year, MSGA honors Montana ranches that exemplify environmental stewardship and demonstrate commitment toward improved sustainability within their communities. This award recognizes Montana ranchers who are at the forefront in conservation and stewardship and are willing to serve as examples for other ranchers. "Montana ranchers are leaders in this country when it comes to being stewards of our environment and conserving the natural resources that help make Montana such a great state to live in," said Ryan Goodman, MSGA manager of communications. "We are asking the community to get involved in helping us identify ranches that really go above and beyond when it comes to environmental stewardship and conservation in their local areas."
Ranches wishing to apply for the award and recognition are asked to complete an application packet (available at mtbeef.org/mesap), which is due at the MSGA office by June 30. Nominations can be submitted by contacting the MSGA office. Ranches must be a member of the Montana Stockgrowers Association to qualify for the award. A committee -- which will include representatives from Montana Stockgrowers, Montana Beef Council, past Environmental Stewardship Award winners, and others invested in Montana stewardship and conservation -- will evaluate the applications after all applications are completed.
The ranch chosen for the award will be announced at MSGA's Annual Convention in Billings in December. The Montana ESAP winner will then work with MSGA staff to prepare their application for the regional and national award competition, which is typically due in early March of the following year.