Among the resolutions, amendments and directives passed in July at the Beef Industry Summer Conference in Dallas, TX, were:

  • Antibiotics and drugs for beef cattle: Because prudent, appropriate use of antibiotics and other modern compounds is essential to provide for the health and welfare of animals, NCBA supports actions based only on sound, peer-reviewed science and risk assessment relative to the use of antibiotics or other drugs.

  • Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD): NCBA requests immediate funding of research for alternative methods of FMD — other than depopulation — by the Department of Homeland Security and USDA.

  • Tuberculosis (TB): With four U.S. states having verified bovine tuberculosis (TB) within their borders, NCBA requests USDA reopen the TB rule for changes, including changes in the number of herds, type of operation and testing age.

    NCBA also will request USDA to ensure adequate funding to complete the TB eradication effort, in addition to funding new voluntary programs.

    Also, NCBA members support split-state status for Michigan.

  • Screwworm control: Eradication efforts have rid screwworm from the U.S., Mexico and Central America. NCBA members resolve to endorse evolving screwworm plans, favor the ongoing research on cryo-preservation, all male screwworm production, improved mass rearing techniques and procedures to quickly manage outbreaks. NCBA also insists that negotiations with Mexico and Panama ensure availability and access to requested screwworm flies, and that appropriate research programs continue undisrupted.

  • Polyether ionophores: The feeding of polyether ionophores (monensin, lasalocid, laidlomycin, etc.) to cattle increases feed efficiency and isn't a concern for antibiotic resistance in cattle or humans. NCBA strongly urges government agencies to reclassify the compounds to reflect their true function and discontinue their classification as antibiotics.

  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): NCBA is opposed to haying and grazing lands enrolled in the CRP program, except in drought or other emergency, the incidental grazing in conjunction with grazing contiguous crop residue or stubble on lands enrolled in continuous sign-up CRP or Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), and in the case of a Natural Resource Conservation Service or Farm Service Agency determination that maintenance or management is required on land enrolled in CRP to maintain plant health and proper resource management.

    NCBA resolves that in all instances of grazing on lands enrolled in CRP, continuous sign-up CRP, or CREP, the payment be reduced by the value of the forage grazed. In addition, managed grazing on CRP lands should be permitted during the primary nesting and brood-rearing season.

  • Invasive species: NCBA members support legislation aimed at noxious weed and/or pest control but any effort should be done at the local level with federal/state funding and local input. Each producer group and/or area should determine what's harmful to that specific area and what non-native species are beneficial.

  • Livestock impoundment: Currently, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are impounding and selling trespass livestock without judicial review to determine whether the BLM or USFS is in compliance with state brand inspection laws. NCBA urges BLM/USFS to seek a state district court order authorizing any livestock impoundment or seizure.

  • Preference redefined: NCBA supports the return of the definition of “Preference” to the pre-rangeland Reform 94 period. That intent directed government to recognize that the Taylor Grazing Act intended that these ranches hold a priority position for an actual number of adjudicated “Preference” level of federal animal unit months.

  • Renewable fuels standard: Directs NCBA policy staff to ask Congress to request a General Accounting Office study of the economic impact of the 5-billion-gal. renewable fuels mandate on the users of feed grains and other products derived from the ethanol industry. The goal is for publication of results by 2004.

  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) contract changes: NCBA members request the CME make the following changes to current specifications of the Live Cattle Futures Contract: Move upside weight specifications for carcass deliveries from 900 lbs. to 950 lbs. and for live animal deliveries from 1,400 lbs. to 1,450 lbs.; Eliminate the 100-lb. delivery discount but maintain current rules that eliminate from delivery animals weighing 200 lbs. over or under the average weight of the load; Change current USDA premium/discount grids to trade volume weighted grids of premiums and discounts reflective of the average grid in use within the delivery area; To lessen livestock stress, allow scheduling of live deliveries throughout the day; Change the per delivery unit from “steers only” to steers and heifers; Certify Greeley, CO, as a delivery point.

For more information, contact NCBA's Washington, D.C., office at 202/347-0228.