Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Made
A deal was reached in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement Oct. 5, setting the stage for more beef trade to Asian markets. Congress still has to approve TPP, which isn’t likely until 2016. “The TPP will immediately reduce tariffs and level the playing field for U.S. beef exports to growing markets,” says Philip Ellis, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president. Countries in the TPP are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, U.S. and Vietnam. For more, visit www.BeefToday.com/Cat tlemens_Notebook.
Sage Grouse Compromise Reached
The greater sage grouse will not require Endangered Species Act protection in the 11-state range the bird calls home. More than $750 million in government and interest-group funding will be used for conservation. “It does mean a brighter future for one amazing, scrappy bird,” says Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior. Habitat protections will be placed on federal lands, which are a third of the bird’s range. Ranchers and private landowners have been proactively working with USDA and the Sage Grouse Initiative for conservation. Since 2010, 4.4 million acres of habitat has been restored in the West. For more information, visit www.BeefToday.com/Cattlemens_Notebook.
Funds for Deer and Cattle Disease Study
Florida’s legislature approved $2 million in funding per year for the University of Florida to study Hemorrhagic disease, which can pass from deer to cattle. In 2014, the disease caused at least $30 million in economic loss to Florida deer farms. The disease causes a loss of appetite, anemia, swollen tongues, bleeding from the skin and nasal discharge. Hooves are known to be sloughed or broken leading to chronic lameness. Hemorrhagic disease is transmittable to cattle and symptoms are similar. The research is a priority for the beef and dairy industries in Florida, which provides $1.4 billion in revenue. For more information, visit www.BeefToday.com/Florida.
No Killing of Wolves Allowed
Wolves in eastern Oregon are to blame for five confirmed attacks on sheep herds this summer, but wildlife officials will not allow for the predators to be killed. At least seven sheep and a guard dog were killed by the Mount Emily wolf pack in June and August. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) says non-lethal control measures are keeping the pack at bay since the last attack. Jeremy Bingham of Utopia Land and Livestock, who sent in the formal request to protect his livestock, estimates he’s lost 100 ewes to wolf attacks in the past two years. The last time ODFW authorized killing of wolves was 2011. For more information, visit www.BeefToday.com/Oregon.
A Win for Livestock Producers in Wild Horse Case
A court ruled claims by animal activists against the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) wild horse management plan were unsupported. In 2014, the wild horse population was estimated to be overpopulated in the Devils Garden wild horse territory of the Modoc National Forest. USFS planned to remove horses from the area and correct the territory, so they did not affect private property and USFS land unsuitable for horses. “While the activists’ goal appeared to be to leverage the Wild Horse Act to increase wild horse use and reduce domestic livestock use, the court stood staunchly behind the science-based decisions in the management plan,” says Van Liew, Public Lands Council executive director. For more information, visit www.BeefToday.com/California.
Costly Water Quality Rules
Farmers around Lake Champlain and other waterways will have to make costly management decisions because of new rules aimed at reducing phosphorus runoff. Algae blooms have been in parts of the lake and runoff from farms has been at the focus for state officials. Farms with at least 10 acres will have to certify by 2017 they are in compliance with the new rules signed by the governor this past June. Required agricultural practices to prevent runoff include nutrient management, manure storage and fencing buffer zones between crops and waterways. The state estimates 40% of phosphorous running into Lake Champlain comes from farms. For more, visit www.BeefToday.com/Vermont.
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