News Update
Feb. 20, 2006


Canadian Cattle Herd Declines

Statistics Canada is reporting a decline in the country’s national cattle herd — the first decline in three years, according to the Canadian Press (CP).

According to CP, a survey of 10,000 cattlemen showed a 233,000-head drop this year, from 15.1 million head on Canadian farms in 2005 to 14.8 million head as of Jan. 1, 2006. However, the total is still more than 1.3 million head higher than pre-bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) figures.

The report noted that, with the border reopening July 2005, exports of live cattle to the U.S. are approaching pre-BSE ban levels.


Congress, Consumers Question CO Use in Meat

Members of Congress and some consumers are voicing concern about the meat industry’s use of carbon monoxide (CO) to maintain meat’s bright pink color, the Washington Post reports.

Although harmless to health at levels being used, CO as a “pigment fixative” is coming under fire, the article noted. Critics are challenging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), arguing that the agency is allowing the practice without a formal evaluation of its impact on consumer safety. The gas allows meat to maintain its bright pink color for longer periods of time in an effort to save the industry from discarded meat that is still safe to consume, but “no longer pretty.”


ERS Issues Livestock, Feed Outlooks

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) has released its latest round of statistical updates.

For the latest timely livestock, dairy and poultry information, focusing on current and forecasted production, price, and trade statistics, visit

Printed copies are also available for purchase from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) by calling 1-800-999-6779 (specify SUB-LDPM-4042).

The latest ERS feed outlook has also been released. The report examines supply, use, prices and trade for feedgrains, including supply and demand prospects in major importing and exporting countries. The outlook focuses on corn but also contains information on sorghum, barley, oats and hay.

Visit to view the entire report.


— compiled by Crystal Albers, associate editor, Angus Productions Inc.

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