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    Food Inc.

    Anyone seen this documentary? Pretty scary stuff. I thought that old boy who was raising grass cattle, hogs, poultry made a lot of sense when he talked about how a cow wasn't meant to eat corn, chicken manure, other cows or dead chickens! I suspect his hogs, cattle and chickens are pretty tasty?
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    Canada COOL challenge

    Apparently Canada finally filed a challenge with the WTO over the COOL law on Oct 7th? I don't know if this is a good thing or not...suspect it has a lot more to do with the Liberal party hammering the Conservatives over their "do nothing" attitude towards Canadian agriculture. I doubt it will...
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    Alberta presort calf sale

    Attended the presort calf sale in Innisfail Alberta yesterday. 600-650 steer calves were right in that $1.05 range(about 96 cents US dollars) and heifer around 575 lb. around 91 to 93 cents( US 83 to 85 cents). These were good black, red or tan calves. There were 2100 head on offer. The sale...
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    Cattle economics in Alberta

    In Alberta this year we had a pretty tough drought. Hay prices are pretty well in that 6 to 8 cent/lb. range. Due to poor pastures a lot of people are going to have to start feeding fairly early. With a lot of luck we can turn cattle out May 10...if we didn't eat the pastures down too hard the...
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    The fall calf run?

    In Alberta right now quite a few cows/calves are hitting the market. The buyers are splitting the calves off and the cows are going to slaughter. Calves 350 to 500 lb. are bringing right around $1/lb. ($.93 US), maybe a couple of cents more for really good calves. Get below 350 lb. and the price...
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    Low returns in Agriculture?

    Looking back on some of my old accounting books I am amazed how little the prices of our products have increased and how high our costs have increased! In 1988 we sold 612 lb. steer calves for $1.12/lb. We bought a new half ton 4X4 for $9200. Our dyed deisel was 18 cents(converted to US gal/$)...
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    Hows the economy in your area?

    All the time on TV I hear how times are tough and how bad the economy is? In Alberta things are slowing down as the oil/gas business tries to cope with low prices but you'd never know it. Buildings are stiil going up in the industrial parks and lots of new houses being built. Alberta car sales...
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    A question?

    Reading bluestems remarks below about fish/seafood and MCOOL I wondered just how that works? I'll admit I don't know much about the subject. If an American fishing boat catches Salmon off the Alaska coast are those fish labelled "product of the USA"? What about if they are processed in say...
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    I don't get it?

    One thing I get very confused about is the US cattlemans attitude towards the NAIS program? They talk alot about food safety for the consumer but don't want to give the USDA a tool that would help? It seems to me if an animal turned up with BSE or FMD it would make sense to know right away where...
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    Alberta sales

    Dropped into the local sale barn yesterday and feeder prices are definitely up. Talked to one order buyer and he said with the MCOOL changes there was more interest from the US feedlots. Very good calves on offer saw some 740 lb. steers sell for $103 and some 690 lb steers for $1.08! I suspect...
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    Spagetti sauce

    I grow a lot of tomatoes...mainly because I like to grow tomatoes! In the fall I fill up those quart size zip locks with tomatoes and freeze them. Use those frozen tomatoes in stews, stirfry, spagetti sauce. A real tasty spagetti sauce: a bag of tomatoes, some apple cider, some canola oil...
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    Fuel prices

    Just wondering how people see fuel prices playing out? Oil got up to $46 on Friday...quite a jump from the week before? They say it is because of the problems in Gaza. In Alberta, or at least my part of it, drilling is slowing down. That might be partly due to the province changing the royalty...
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    Early or late calving?

    At one time we calved very early, January/February(we were a purebred outfit). When we went totally commercial we moved them back to start on May 1st. We do not sell calves anymore. In Alberta we don't have as many options as our southern neighbors. Brutally cold and snowy winters kind of make...
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    Premises ID and mandatory traceback?

    I see the USDA got its knuckles rapped for trying to basically force these two things onto American cattlemen? Now I know Americans aren't too keen on doing this(Premises/ID traceback) but I've always found when a government beurocrat gets something in their head they don't usually give up...
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    Mexico...what's this?

    Mexico closed the border to one beef plant and 5 hog plants yesterday? They claim it was for "technical reasons" but was it? There is some opinion Mexico was retaliating for US COOL. Apparently COOL has dried up the importation of Mexican feeder/slaughter cattle...sort of the same thing...
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    The Farm Crisis in the livestock sector

    The National Farmers Union in Canada has a good write up on this subject. The graphs and figures clearly show how this situation came about in Canada and the US. NAFTA, packer and retail concentration, and captive supply have driven our prices lower than the Great Depression(adjusted for...
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    The poor cattle market

    In Alberta we've got a pretty negative market for our cattle. I think the same thing could be said for most of North America? Not sure about everyones numbers but I doubt any cattle producer is making money? In Alberta we have some things going for us...and lots going against us! We do have a...
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    Is Free Trade a good thing?

    What do you think? Has free trade with Canada been a good thing? I believe it has been good for Canada and the USA. I do know for Alberta it has been a fairly good deal in that we don't get screwed by eastern Canada so much anymore. At least we can sell our gas/oil at a world price instead of...
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    COOL...is it nothing more than protectionism?

    I don't know how COOL is affecting everyone, but here in Canada it sure has slowed down exports of feeder cattle. Doesn't seem to be as bad for slaughter cattle yet. It has been pretty rough on the hog business as a lot of Canadian weaner pigs were shipped south to be finished and processed. I...
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    Cross Breeding

    In my neck of the woods Angus are becoming sort of the standard breed, either black or red. Now not knocking Angus but I wonder why any commercial producer would want a straightbred herd? The economics of cow/calf production is not very good right now? If crossbreeding can add 20-25% efficiency...
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