from October 14
GIPSA RULE REINTRODUCED BY USDA
NCBA is asking USDA to withdraw potentially damaging livestock
marketing rules originally introduced in 2010 by the Grain Inspection,
Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). USDA recently announced
the latest GIPSA proposal includes an interim final rule on competitive
injury and two proposed rules addressing undue preference. NCBA
President Tracy Brunner said these provisions were troubling in 2010 and
remain a major concern six years later.
Proposed rulemaking initially undertaken in 2010 was quickly
defunded by Congress at the urging of KLA, NCBA and other livestock
groups. The organizations contended the GIPSA rule was a flawed concept
that would limit producers’ marketing options, while adding layers of
bureaucracy and opening the door to litigation.
“These rules were flatly rejected by cattle producers six years ago
and a strong bipartisan majority in Congress expressed their continual
disapproval through a half decade of defunding,” said Brunner, a rancher
and cattle feeder from Ramona.
While USDA has excluded marketing arrangements from the latest
proposal, competitive injury and undue preference provisions are
included in the rule-making. Brunner said the rules are another
government solution in search of a problem. If implemented as written,
he said the rules would limit producer marketing options, compel buyers
to offer lower bids across the board to avoid the appearance of
preference and create a situation ripe for baseless legal challenge.
NCBA remained engaged with USDA throughout the defunding period.
Brunner said, once again, this administration has disregarded producer
input and moved forward with regulations that would cause irreparable
from October 20
NEW REDBOOKS NOW AVAILABLE
The 2017 Integrated Resource Management Redbook
is now available from the KLA office. This pocket-sized book helps
cattle producers efficiently record their daily production efforts. It
has more than 100 pages to record calving activity, herd health, pasture
use, cattle inventory, body condition, cattle treatment, breeding
records and more. It also contains a guide for judicious use of
antimicrobials in cattle, Beef Quality Assurance best practices and
proper injection technique information, as well as a calendar and notes
To receive your book(s), mail a check for $5.00 each to the KLA
office or call Sue at (785) 273-5115 with your credit card information.
from October 19
RTK PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Winners have been announced for the Ranchland
Trust of Kansas (RTK) photo contest. Photos must have been taken in
Kansas and express the mission of RTK, which is “To preserve Kansas’
ranching heritage and open spaces for future generations through the
conservation of working landscapes.”
Bruce Hogle of Overland Park was the grand prize winner in this
year’s contest. His winning photo was taken at Chase State Fishing Lake
during a prescribed spring burn. Crystal Socha of Augusta was the Fan
Favorite category winner, receiving a record-breaking 323 votes on RTK’s
Facebook page. More than 3,000 votes were cast in the Fan Favorite
category, which included the top 25 photos chosen by RTK’s panel of
Winners in the remaining categories include: Landscape - Jason
Ebberts, Overland Park; Livestock - Gail Griffin, Colby; People - Betty
Morgan, Wichita; KLA member - Kate Hagans, Utica; and Youth - Ella
Barrett, Grantville. Receiving honorable mention were photos from Tony
Ifland of Cedar, Tom Gossen from Wichita and Carlton Heller of Emporia.
All winning entries can be viewed here or on RTK’s Facebook page. Prizes for contest winners were sponsored by Wolfe’s Camera of Topeka.
RTK will have photo stationery cards for sale throughout the year
featuring the 10 winning photos. The cards can be purchased for $20 per
10 card set by emailing Samantha Weishaar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
from October 18
USDA ACTS TO PROVIDE RELIEF FOR DAIRY PRODUCERS
U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week USDA is offering to
purchase $20 million in cheddar cheese to reduce record supplies.
Section 32 of the Agriculture Act of 1935 authorizes USDA to purchase
surplus food to benefit food banks and families in need through the
government's nutrition assistance programs.
While USDA projects dairy prices to increase through the rest of this
year, many factors, including low world market prices, increased milk
supplies and slower demand have contributed to a sluggish market for
dairy producers. According to USDA, dairy revenues have dropped 35% over
the past two years.
from October 17
AG EMPLOYERS REPORT NUMEROUS OPENINGS ON SURVEY
The lack of a skilled workforce is a top inhibitor of growth for many
Kansas agricultural businesses, according to the results of a survey
conducted by the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA). Employers
taking part in the survey indicated numerous vacancies exist, including a
significant number of entry-level positions requiring no advanced
degree. More than half the current job openings are in agricultural
mechanics, agriculture business and animal science.
Employers specifically mentioned applicants lack basic skills such as
written communication and applied mathematics. Also identified as
lacking are the “soft” skills of motivation, time management and
KDA conducted the first Kansas Agriculture Workforce Needs Assessment
Survey in 2016. A total of 250 responses were received from farmers,
ranchers and agricultural businesses employing nearly 12,000 people. KDA
will use the results in working with secondary schools and
postsecondary educational institutions to develop partnerships that will
help teach the skills needed by employers.
from October 14
INPUT SOUGHT FOR BEEF QUALITY AUDIT
Beef producers from all segments of the business are encouraged to
participate in a survey that will help establish a benchmark and course
of action for the industry. The survey of the checkoff-funded National
Beef Quality Audit will collect producer information and opinions. That
information will be added to the audit’s traditional production research
to provide an in-depth snapshot of where the industry stands in terms
of supplying quality beef to consumers.
Survey responses will be completely anonymous. Input from the cow-calf,
stocker, feeder and dairy sectors will be part of the detailed picture
of the U.S. cattle and beef industry.
Since its inception in 1991, the audit has provided the industry a
meaningful set of measurements relative to the quality of the U.S. beef
supply. Conducted every five years, the survey results provide direction
to individual supply chain decision-makers on how to improve the
quality and value of U.S. beef for both domestic and international
The 2011 National Beef Quality Audit showed the industry has made
significant progress in improving beef quality. It also suggested
changes for further improvement in product integrity and eating
satisfaction. Similar information is expected in the 2016 audit, with
final results to be released next summer. Producers can take the survey here.
from October 13
STUDENTS CAN APPLY FOR NCF BEEF INDUSTRY SCHOLARSHIPS
The National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF) is accepting applications
for 2017-18 scholarships sponsored by the CME Group. NCF will award 10
scholarships of $1,500 each to outstanding students pursuing careers in
the beef industry.
Applicants must submit a one-page letter outlining their career
goals related to beef production and marketing. The letter should be
accompanied by a 750-word essay describing an issue facing the beef
industry and solutions to the problem. Students must be graduating high
school seniors or full-time undergraduates enrolled at a two- or
The scholarships recognize and encourage talented students who will
play an important role in the future of beef production in America.
Those studying education, communication, production or other areas
related to the beef industry should consider applying.
Online applications must be submitted by October 31. To apply or learn more about the scholarships, click here.
from October 12
BLACH TO ANALYZE FACTORS INFLUENCING MARKET AT KLA CONVENTION
CattleFax Chief Executive Officer Randy Blach
will try to make sense of a brutal year in the cattle market and share
expectations on the trends that will shape the livestock, grain, protein
and energy markets over the next 12 to 24 months during the KLA
Convention in Wichita. His presentation will come December 1 during Beef
Industry University, sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of
Beef cowherd expansion and record-large pork and poultry production
have been some of the major drivers influencing this year’s market.
Blach will forecast trends for those three variables, as well as provide
an outlook for feed costs, energy prices, interest rate expectations
and export prospects.
The KLA Convention will take place November 30-December 2. KLA
members should have received a convention brochure in the mail last
week. Complete the registration form contained in the brochure and
return it to the KLA office or click here to register online.
Convention headquarters at the Wichita Hyatt Regency is sold out.
Additional room blocks for the convention are at the Fairfield Inn &
Suites at (316) 361-2104, Hotel at Waterwalk at (866) 822-6274 and
Drury Plaza Hotel - Broadview at (800) 325-0720.
from October 11
SCREWWORM FOUND IN FLORIDA DEER
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service has confirmed the presence of New World screwworm in Key Deer at
the National Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Key, FL. This is the first
screwworm infestation in the U.S. in more than 30 years.
Animal health and wildlife officials at the state and federal
levels are working to jointly address the finding. Response efforts will
include fly-trapping to determine the extent of the infestation,
release of sterile flies to prevent reproduction and disease
surveillance to identify any additional cases.
New World screwworms are fly larvae (maggots) that can infest
livestock and other warm-blooded animals. Adult flies generally do not
travel more than a couple of miles if there are suitable host animals in
the area. New World screwworm is more likely to spread long distances
when infested animals move to new areas.
Kansas Animal Health Commissioner Bill Brown said the affected area
is limited to one or two islands in the Florida Keys. It was first
confirmed in a deer and later found in two dogs and a pot-bellied pig.
He said a quarantine is in place and an incident management team is
on-site to address the disease. According to Brown, this situation
“poses very little risk to Kansas livestock.”
from October 10
NCBA-CME WORKING GROUP MEETS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Cattle producers from across the country, representing every
segment of the industry, were in Washington, D.C., last week to discuss
market volatility issues as part of the expanded NCBA-CME Working Group.
Over the course of two days, the group met with CME Group cattle
officials, the three members of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
(CFTC) and congressional leaders to brief them on issues cattle
producers are facing and examine possible solutions.
The full NCBA officer team joined task force members for the
meetings. NCBA President Elect and Working Group Chairman Craig Uden
said the organization is committed to finding a solution that works for
all market participants.
Uden said while the CME Group has taken some of the steps NCBA has
suggested, like adding messaging limits, volatility has not been
significantly reduced and convergence remains a concern. He suggested
when the market doesn’t react normally to clear external factors, it
sends false signals to cattle producers who are making decisions on herd
retention and expansion.
“Without clear and correct economic signals, future production
decisions are affected and our ability to meet domestic and foreign
demand is threatened,” said Uden.
NCBA leaders will continue working with the CME Group and CFTC to reduce
market volatility and support the role of the futures market as a risk