TCFA Auction Market Survey

At the request of members and other livestock organizations, Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) chairman Jim Waterfield asked livestock auction markets in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico whether or not they supported the Livestock Marketing Association's (LMA) effort to declare the beef checkoff unconstitutional. Approximately 75% of the markets surveyed said they do not support the LMA in this action.

For a list of the markets surveyed and the responses, contact the TCFA at info@tcfa.org.

Food Safety Pact

The U.S. and Mexico signed a new food safety pact last month. The agreement is designed to improve the safety of food supplies in both nations. USDA and the Food and Drug Administration will work with their counterparts in Mexico to expand food safety programs and coordinate inspection activities.

Meanwhile… On Trade

Australia recently asked the U.S. Trade Representative to begin negotiations leading up to a free trade agreement between the two nations. This drew a skeptical response from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). Cattlemen will only support the action if human and plant/animal health trade barriers are resolved and access to other beef markets is increased, says NCBA. NCBA will not support increased access to the U.S. beef market until meaningful access and tariff reduction is achieved in other major beef importing countries.

Bangs-Free OK

The nation's march toward stomping out brucellosis (bangs) took another step forward recently. USDA declared Oklahoma as a brucellosis class-free state in September. The move follows an interim rule issued in April declaring Oklahoma free of brucellosis, which lifted certain restrictions on the interstate movement of cattle. Class-free status is based on a state carrying out all requirements of the brucellosis program and finding no cases of the disease for 12 months.

New Silage Inoculant

A super-concentrated silage inoculant has been introduced by Ecosyl Products Inc., Newark, DE.

Specially designed for low-liquid volume application to forage, Ecosyl 400T contains MTD/1, a bacterial strain the company claims will improve silage fermentation and reduce the breakdown of nutrients such as proteins.

Ecosyl 400T is formulated to stay in suspension and retain viable bacterial count for up to two days in the concentrated state. The concentrate also can be kept for up to five days when refrigerated. One bottle of Ecosyl 400T contains sufficient inoculant to treat 400 tons of forage. It can be used on corn, sorghum and all small grain cereal forages and costs about 75¢/treated ton.

Champion's New Owners

Tejon Ranch Co. — former owners of Champion Feeders, Hereford, TX, has finished divesting its livestock division in order to concentrate more heavily on its real estate ventures. Tejon sold its cows last spring to some West Coast ranchers. Justin Gifford, Matt Echeverria and a group of cattle feeders purchased the feedyard from Tejon this summer.

The other partners consist of a South Texas rancher, an agricultural-based family operation from California and a large ranch in Hawaii, according to Champion managers.

In order to help customers figure breakevens on cattle, Champion Feeders, Hereford, TX, has put a breakeven spreadsheet on its Web page. Go to www.championfeeders.com and click on “services.” Then click “breakeven calculator” — for a tool to use when making management decisions in buying or selling feeder cattle.