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Bill

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How Did We Get So Sidetracked On Traceability?
The concept of traceability has been a hot-button topic for a long time, but somehow it's gotten tangled up in the BSE issue. ID's proponents see themselves as vindicated about ID's necessity, while opponents view it as just another USDA-led initiative that doesn't consider the needs of producers.

The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism attacks, and the possibility of bio-terrorism attacks in the U.S., increased government's desire for traceability. The problem is that, in the process of considering traceability in this light, most folks in the industry missed the real impetus behind traceability, which is the marketplace.

The demand for source- and age-verified cattle is growing at a phenomenal rate both domestically and globally. The driver behind traceability is, and always will be, the marketplace. Being sidetracked by the food-safety and animal-health aspects, we've failed to embrace the desires of the marketplace.

If we'd focused on our customers, it's unlikely we'd find ourselves in the position of not only trailing nearly every beef-producing country in the world, but at risk of being uncompetitive in a large part of the global market.

The interminable delay in getting the Japanese and Korean borders open should have given us ample time to move forward. Instead, we essentially squandered it.

Attend meetings and you'll hear what Japan, Costco, Wal-Mart, McDonald's and our other customers are saying. It's not about a government-mandated program; it's about an industry responding to consumer demands.

The question shouldn't be whether the government timeline for ID implementation is too aggressive. It should be about how we can get a system implemented more quickly.

Canada has regained a much higher portion than the U.S. of its lost markets, but the message has been lost on U.S. cattlemen. The issue of traceability -- source, age or process verification -- isn't about governments, trade, food safety or animal health. It's about responding to the marketplace.
-- Troy Marshall
Could part of the reason be that R-Calf is more concerned about closing borders than opening them?
 

Sandhusker

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I'd say the reason is only because you got us back. That statement is a bit misleading considering, for the most part, the US WAS and IS your export market. Take away that one customer and what does he have to say then?

You comment about R-CALF being concerned with closing borders is misleading as well. R-CALF has concerned itself with closing ONE border. We'd like to get others opened; Japan, Korea, any beef importing nation...
 

Tam

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Sandhusker said:
I'd say the reason is only because you got us back. That statement is a bit misleading considering, for the most part, the US WAS and IS your export market. Take away that one customer and what does he have to say then?

You comment about R-CALF being concerned with closing borders is misleading as well. R-CALF has concerned itself with closing ONE border. We'd like to get others opened; Japan, Korea, any beef importing nation...

Sandhusher if you get Japan, Korea and any other beef importing nation back where will you get the beef from? :? :wink:
 

HAY MAKER

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Tam said:
Sandhusker said:
I'd say the reason is only because you got us back. That statement is a bit misleading considering, for the most part, the US WAS and IS your export market. Take away that one customer and what does he have to say then?

You comment about R-CALF being concerned with closing borders is misleading as well. R-CALF has concerned itself with closing ONE border. We'd like to get others opened; Japan, Korea, any beef importing nation...

Sandhusher if you get Japan, Korea and any other beef importing nation back where will you get the beef from? :? :wink:

That's something you bettter be thinking about Miss Tam,since you are so anti R CALF,and pro ncba you have to be against M Cool,you think about that for a while then you tell me where the beef will come from..........good luck
 

Bill

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Sandhusker said:
I'd say the reason is only because you got us back. That statement is a bit misleading considering, for the most part, the US WAS and IS your export market. Take away that one customer and what does he have to say then?

You comment about R-CALF being concerned with closing borders is misleading as well. R-CALF has concerned itself with closing ONE border. We'd like to get others opened; Japan, Korea, any beef importing nation...
No I will stand by my statement above. We have all seen far more press releases from the sheisters in Billings regarding Canada than we have about Japan or Korea. Are you trying to tell us that the "Action Legal Fund" crew are going to sue the Asians? :roll: :lol: :lol:
 

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HAY MAKER said:
Tam said:
Sandhusker said:
I'd say the reason is only because you got us back. That statement is a bit misleading considering, for the most part, the US WAS and IS your export market. Take away that one customer and what does he have to say then?

You comment about R-CALF being concerned with closing borders is misleading as well. R-CALF has concerned itself with closing ONE border. We'd like to get others opened; Japan, Korea, any beef importing nation...

Sandhusher if you get Japan, Korea and any other beef importing nation back where will you get the beef from? :? :wink:

That's something you bettter be thinking about Miss Tam,since you are so anti R CALF,and pro ncba you have to be against M Cool,you think about that for a while then you tell me where the beef will come from..........good luck

Gee Haymaker lets just look at the numbers. The US imported 1,197,992 MT of beef which in other words is about 2,641,572,360 lbs. of beef in 2004 and you exported only 135,423 MT which is about 298,507,715 lbs, that is a difference of well over 2.3 billion lbs (2,343,064,645 lbs) more imports than exports in one year. So again where will the extra beef to supply the Japan, Korea and any other beef importing nations market be coming from if the US needs over 2.3 billion pounds of extra beef just to supply their domestic market? :wink: Want to make a wild guess Haymaker?
 

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You're trying to tell us we need Canadian beef to meet our markets and I'm not buying it. That is short sighted. Tam, our herd is at 50 year lows. We will add cows, we are already starting. If we get our herd to the same size it was in the 70s, we're going to need all the export markets we can get.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Sandhusker said:
You're trying to tell us we need Canadian beef to meet our markets and I'm not buying it. That is short sighted. Tam, our herd is at 50 year lows. We will add cows, we are already starting. If we get our herd to the same size it was in the 70s, we're going to need all the export markets we can get.


Could you get us some figures on heifer retention? From the few guys I have talked to none of the ranches he's prg checking on are retaining any. Maybe Oldtimer could tell us what he is seeing while brand inspecting.
 

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Soapweed said:
For whatever it is worth, I am retaining about half of our heifer calves this year as replacements for our cowherd.
That's worth quite a bit both figuratively and literally. :lol: :) Have a good day Soapweed. I enjoy your posts.
 

Econ101

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Sandhusker said:
You're trying to tell us we need Canadian beef to meet our markets and I'm not buying it. That is short sighted. Tam, our herd is at 50 year lows. We will add cows, we are already starting. If we get our herd to the same size it was in the 70s, we're going to need all the export markets we can get.

This is the effect of "swinging" the cattle cycle with the price manipulation argued in the Pickett case. These swings lose market share to more stable poultry and pork that can quicker react to the markets than cattle.

Tam, I have stated before, the U.S. does not need to import any beef from Canada. The importation of cattle is the packer's game. If prices were more stable and profitable, the domestic supplies would be higher. I personally think trade with Canada is a good thing, but that issue should not detract from the economic scams that the packers are playing on all producers, Canadian producers included. The cattle producers are hitting each other with the crossfire on these little rabbits that are being tossed out so the big game can get away. You are one of the biggest shooters, Tam.
 

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Tam, I have stated before, the U.S. does not need to import any beef from Canada. We just need to breed more domestic beef for our own table.
 
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Big Muddy rancher said:
Sandhusker said:
You're trying to tell us we need Canadian beef to meet our markets and I'm not buying it. That is short sighted. Tam, our herd is at 50 year lows. We will add cows, we are already starting. If we get our herd to the same size it was in the 70s, we're going to need all the export markets we can get.


Could you get us some figures on heifer retention? From the few guys I have talked to none of the ranches he's prg checking on are retaining any. Maybe Oldtimer could tell us what he is seeing while brand inspecting.

Some who have not saved much for heifers for a couple years( because of the record prices) are saving them this year- altho a couple have said they probably shouldn't with the price they're worth....Also with the feed we have available locally, several are shipping the steers and holding and feeding the heifers thru the winter.....
Lots of hay and grain available this year to feed thru the winter- altho I heard the rumor of a low protein wheat buyup coming the first of the year, which may take up some of the cheap cheap grain.....
 

Jason

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Econ101 said:
This is the effect of "swinging" the cattle cycle with the price manipulation argued in the Pickett case. These swings lose market share to more stable poultry and pork that can quicker react to the markets than cattle.

Tam, I have stated before, the U.S. does not need to import any beef from Canada. The importation of cattle is the packer's game. If prices were more stable and profitable, the domestic supplies would be higher. I personally think trade with Canada is a good thing, but that issue should not detract from the economic scams that the packers are playing on all producers, Canadian producers included. The cattle producers are hitting each other with the crossfire on these little rabbits that are being tossed out so the big game can get away. You are one of the biggest shooters, Tam.

You finally answered a question I posed to you some time ago. You don't understand the cattle cycle.

Packers are in no way responsible for controlling the heifer retention rates or cull down of herds.

Drought first and foremost is the factor that shapes the national cowherd. Without water and pasture producers cannot increase production no matter what the price of calves is doing.

Second to say poultry and pork are easier to adjust production levels. That is true. Again is it packer manipulation that makes a cow have 1 calf and a sow have 13 piglets? Or are the packers responsible that it takes a few short weeks to get a chicken to slaughter but a calf can be 14-30 months?

Just the biological factors of cows make it harder to have a steady supply of beef than of chicken and pork. Those same factors allow us to turn cheaper non arible land acres into high quality protien.

When calf prices climb and there is feed, producers tend to keep more heifers. This shorts the beef supply and tends prices higher in the short term. Then when prices fall many sell all their heifers to pay the bills, again affecting the supply but flooding it for a period of time.

This simple fact, shows that an arbitrary support on calf prices would not work. It would lead to a non demanded increase in supply. Then the price would have to fall unless you propose the government just pays ranchers for being ranchers. Sounds like wellfare to me.
 

Econ101

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Jason said:
Econ101 said:
This is the effect of "swinging" the cattle cycle with the price manipulation argued in the Pickett case. These swings lose market share to more stable poultry and pork that can quicker react to the markets than cattle.

Tam, I have stated before, the U.S. does not need to import any beef from Canada. The importation of cattle is the packer's game. If prices were more stable and profitable, the domestic supplies would be higher. I personally think trade with Canada is a good thing, but that issue should not detract from the economic scams that the packers are playing on all producers, Canadian producers included. The cattle producers are hitting each other with the crossfire on these little rabbits that are being tossed out so the big game can get away. You are one of the biggest shooters, Tam.

You finally answered a question I posed to you some time ago. You don't understand the cattle cycle.

Packers are in no way responsible for controlling the heifer retention rates or cull down of herds.

Drought first and foremost is the factor that shapes the national cowherd. Without water and pasture producers cannot increase production no matter what the price of calves is doing.

Second to say poultry and pork are easier to adjust production levels. That is true. Again is it packer manipulation that makes a cow have 1 calf and a sow have 13 piglets? Or are the packers responsible that it takes a few short weeks to get a chicken to slaughter but a calf can be 14-30 months?

Just the biological factors of cows make it harder to have a steady supply of beef than of chicken and pork. Those same factors allow us to turn cheaper non arible land acres into high quality protien.

When calf prices climb and there is feed, producers tend to keep more heifers. This shorts the beef supply and tends prices higher in the short term. Then when prices fall many sell all their heifers to pay the bills, again affecting the supply but flooding it for a period of time.

This simple fact, shows that an arbitrary support on calf prices would not work. It would lead to a non demanded increase in supply. Then the price would have to fall unless you propose the government just pays ranchers for being ranchers. Sounds like wellfare to me.

Jason,

You did not understand a thing I said in my post. Please do not misconstrue what I am saying. If you want to say something then go ahead but don't attribute it to me.

Your little geographic problems of weather are just that. Beef is a national market and those weather variences are limited to geography. High prices and low prices, ie. larger swings in the cattle market, are what drives supply. There are peculiarities in any particular circumstance, location, or time period. Those are factors of production and in the aggregate make up the supply of beef, but do not get those factors of production mixed up with the supply curve.

If the high prices in cattle stay high, there will eventually be more supply produced, and it does not necessarily have to come from foreign sources.

You are correct in the fact that supply of pork and poultry is more elastic becuase of the biological production characteristics of those products, and that is part of the case I make. (elastic means that the supply reacts to price quicker for this discussion). Because there are lower lows and higher highs in the beef market due to the deceptive device of captive supply, these substitutes will fill in more when the highs are in.

In case you don't know it, the packers (Swift and Tyson as well as Cargill) are all substitute players. They have higher profit margins in those businesses per lb. and increases in prices of those items goes directly in their pocket instead of the farmer's. When prices of poultry went up 25 cents per lb. due to lower supply of beef and higher prices of beef, Tyson made 25 cents more per lb in profit. Go look at the lbs. Tyson produced and add it up. It comes out a lot higher than the play on the beef market.

Let me do a little math for you: Tyson was making money at a wholesale price of 52 cents per lb. for poultry. By swinging the beef market they increased that to close to 90 cents and it settled down to somewher in the mid 70s. I am going to take a conservative average of 25 cents per lb. increase in the price of chicken. There is no competition for the farmer's in chicken and Tyson made ALL of that money per lb. for themselves. GIPSA has not enforced the Packers and Stockyards Act in respect to poultry in the economic sense. Tyson has contract production where they do not have to share ANY of those increases in price with the farmers.

Let us say that a beef is on the rail at 700 lbs. Tyson margin on processing that beef is let us say, $50.00. For the same amount of poultry the extra money on that amount ends up being 700 X .25 = $175.00.

Now where in the heck do you think Tyson is going to advertise? With the way the Beef Checkoff works, the beef people can not even execute a good campaign on beef vs. chicken.


If you follow the money trail you will see the answers you need to seek. You need to stop chasing rabbits, or in your case, lemmings.
 

cowzilla

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I think some of you ranchers are missing the other factor which will control herd expansion . Its not ecconomic but more likely The Average Age of American and Canadian Cattlemen. Age of cattlemen in our area continues to increase and these guys are NOT expanding (retaining heifers). Young people see more profitable options (other jobs). Will there truly be a major herd expansion in the GOOD OL U.S.A? Ranch work can be hard work and young people see more comfortable life styles out there for them :!: :roll: [/list]
 

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Porker
Tam, I have stated before, the U.S. does not need to import any beef from Canada. We just need to breed more domestic beef for our own table.

OH I agee you wouldn't need to import any if you were producing more in the US but the problem with that is you aren't producing enough. If you cut imports today you wouldn't have to worry about demand for your short supply either as beef would only be eaten by the very rich. The US's problem is you don't produce enough beef at a price your consumers will pay so you import to keep the prices at a level that the average housewife will pay. Which keeps demand for all beef high including yours. So go ahead Porker cut imports if you want to live in a two level society those that can afford to eat meat and those that can't. If it was just as eazy as you seem to think it is, why did you all of a sudden become a beef importing nation? In other words why are you importing 2.3 billion lbs of beef to cover your domestic needs if you could just produce it in the US at the drop of a hat?

Econ
I have stated before, the U.S. does not need to import any beef from Canada. The importation of cattle is the packer's game. If prices were more stable and profitable, the domestic supplies would be higher.

Another blame the packer comment How could I guess. Does the weather IE drought have anything to do with why ranchers downsize their herds? Or could it's be because the next generation have seen first hand how hard it is to make a good living in Agriculture and have decide the big money in the oil patch is more attractive, so the aging father has to down size because he can't handle the work load by himself. Could the lost of good agriculture land to urban development have something to do with the size of the US herd? How many cattle do you think could be raise on the golf courses in the US? How much less land will be raising cattle and crops in the US if the development of new golf courses and city sub divisions stay at the pace they have been in the past decade? How much good Ag. land has been eaten up by Big City Fat Cats looking to build a fancy summer cottage so he can get away from the rat race for two weeks out of a year? Come on Econ let me how the packers are the ones eating up the Ag lands that once produced ag products. If ranchers don't have the land, grass and water on that land and the help to do the hard labor to raise cattle they are forced to down size which has nothing to do with PACKERS.

Sandhusker said:
You're trying to tell us we need Canadian beef to meet our markets and I'm not buying it. That is short sighted. Tam, our herd is at 50 year lows. We will add cows, we are already starting. If we get our herd to the same size it was in the 70s, we're going to need all the export markets we can get.

So Sandhusker if the US herd is at a 50 year low then with all the conditions I have already mentioned just what kind of time frame do you think it will take to get that herd size back up to what it was in the 70's? With the population increase in the US will the herd size of 70's beable to supply enough beef to cover the domestic needs at a price the average consumer will pay in the 2000's? With urban development to cover housing and recreation space for that increase in population will you have the land base to acommodate a herd size large enough to supply the beef needs of that extra population at a price they can afford? Will you beable to steal back the labor force from the bright lights and oil patch money to increase that herd size and not work the ageing rancher into an early grave?

You are the short sighted ones if you think the US can eazliy increase their herd size to cover the demand for beef at a cost everyone can afford.
 
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Tam- If the prices remain good and keeps ranching profitable, the US rancher can and will raise enough beef to supply itself and its export markets...But when the imports outweigh the exports and the cheap Canadian, Mexican and Aussie, etc. beef imports allows the packers and retailers to shoot the price all to hell - no one wants to expand...

With the big proposed changes coming in grain subsidies and the possible removal of a lot of land from CRP, I think you will be seeing an increase in cattle production if prices remain decent...Anyway around here- much of that land is not good enough to sustain unsubsidized crops but would be good grazing land....
 

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Oldtimer said:
Tam- If the prices remain good and keeps ranching profitable, the US rancher can and will raise enough beef to supply itself and its export markets...But when the imports outweigh the exports and the cheap Canadian, Mexican and Aussie, etc. beef imports allows the packers and retailers to shoot the price all to hell - no one wants to expand...

With the big proposed changes coming in grain subsidies and the possible removal of a lot of land from CRP, I think you will be seeing an increase in cattle production if prices remain decent...Anyway around here- much of that land is not good enough to sustain unsubsidized crops but would be good grazing land....

All your talk about herd expansion in the US is great but what are you going to do about outside forces that are created right in the US? Like demand for more and more prime ag land for something other than AG production. How are you going to regain access to the land that is used for golf courses and urban growth? What are you going to do about drought? And if your export markets open by Jan 2006 will the US herd,all of a sudden, be large enough to produce enough, at a cost consumers can afford, to supply both the export market and domestic markets, again at a price the average household budget can afford.
 

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