Important hotel information for Cattle Raisers Convention

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TSCRA will hold its 2015 Cattle Raisers Convention in Fort Worth March 27-29 in Fort Worth. For those attendees who have yet to make their hotel reservations, our room blocks at the Omni and Hilton have very limited availability. We are in the process of expanding that allowance and securing rates with overflow hotels in the area. We will provide that information as soon as it becomes available.  

JBS expands Utah plant as tight cattle supply squeezes rivals

Photo Courtesy of Oklahoma State University

JBS USA, one of the top U.S. meat processors, said on Thursday it will expand a Utah beef-processing facility, even as some of its rivals have been shuttering plants because of tight cattle supplies. The $75 million project, set to be completed by mid-2016, signals JBS is looking beyond the current lack of supply to a time when producers will begin rebuilding cattle herds, which have dropped to their smallest size since 1951 after several years of drought. Read more at Reuters…

Prescribed burn insurance available for Oklahoma landowners

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Prescribed fire is one of the most powerful and important land management practices available to agricultural producers and land stewards. Prescribed fire helps rejuvenate native plant communities that positively impact wildlife habitat and livestock forages. However, liability is always a concern for landowners using or considering the use of prescribed fire. Liability is one of the main reasons prescribed fire is not commonly used in land management. Knowing that prescribed fire is as important to most agricultural operations as grazing, rain and sunshine, the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association (OPBA), in conjunction with The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and The Bramlett Agency have come together to provide a solution for landowners Read more…

BeefTalk: Feed those cows the right amount of food

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A common mistake that is made as the weather warms is to reduce the feed a little bit. However, the cows still need to be fed. In fact, a common mistake that is made as the weather warms is to reduce the feed a little bit. In reality, yes, that extra feed for body heat may not be needed, but every day that a cow gets closer to birth, the more demanding the pregnancy becomes. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 27, 2015

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Most of Texas and southern Oklahoma recorded precipitation this week, but most other areas were dry. Temperatures were 2-6 degrees above normal over most areas except west Texas, which was 2-4 degrees below normal. Improvements to the drought status were made in southern and eastern portions of Texas in response to this week’s precipitation. Read more…

West Coast port slowdown costing US agriculture millions

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A labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association impacting exports out of the United States’ West Coast ports is costing agriculture millions, about 90 ag groups said Wednesday. Meat interests are particularly concerned about the hiccup; Since November, pork prices have dropped 20 percent in large part because of the port problem, says the National Pork Producers Council. Meat and other perishable products awaiting shipment soon may need to be destroyed or discounted and sold on the domestic market. Read more at FarmFutures.com…

Cargill to remain privately held company

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Cargill Inc, one of the world’s largest privately held corporations and a top commodities trader, will probably not go public anytime soon, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday. Read more at USAgNet…

AgriLife Extension expert: Soundness exams, genetic testing improve herd performance

Ranchers can benefit by having annual breeding soundness exams on all herd bulls, according to Dr. Bruce Carpenter, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension livestock specialist, Fort Stockton.  (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo)

The value of a herd bull is determined not just by his genetic merit, but also by the number of calves he may or may not sire. Emerging DNA technology offers the opportunity to identify genetic markers for traits of interest and identify individual sires used in multiple-sire breeding pastures, according to Dr. Bruce Carpenter, livestock specialist, Fort Stockton.  Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Beefy shepherd’s pie

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This easy recipe uses only a handful of ingredients to make a flavorful dish. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cows missing, shot in Oklahoma,

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TSCRA John Cummings, Dist. 5 in northeast Oklahoma, reports the death of two cows shot from a Wagoner County road near Porter some time between Jan. 21 and 22. One cow was brown and between 7 to 8 years old with an ear tag reading #5W. The second cow was a white cow, aged 5 to 7 years, with ear tag #H7. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888. TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, Dist. 4 in south Central Oklahoma, reports a cow missing from a Stephens County pasture near Bray. The cow is black, weighs approximately 1200 pounds, has a ZZ brand on the left hip, a right ear tip notch and a white ear Read more…

Beltway Beef Audio News: Importance of the Trade Promotion Authority

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Bob McCan, NCBA president, TSCRA past president and Victoria, Texas, cattleman talks about the importance of Trade Promotion Authority in negotiating the current round of free trade talks.  Listen at beefusa.org…

Chairman Conaway announces subcommittee assignments

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Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, Texas, Dist. 11, announced subcommittee assignments for the 114th Congress on Wednesday. Read more at agriculture.house.gov…

Ethanol will face RFS threat

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Corn ethanol had dodged the latest bullet in Congress, but attempts to weaken or repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard are likely to be attached to must-pass legislation in Congress all year. That’s the consensus of lobbyists and ethanol advocates who spoke Tuesday at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit near Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday. Read more at agriculture.com

Texas crop, weather, for Jan. 27, 2015

The National Weather Service’s precipitation analysis shows all of the state received some form of moisture Jan. 20–27, with substantial accumulations in many areas. (National Weather Service graphic)

All of the state received moisture in one form or another during the last week, which generally benefited forages and crops, but slowed fieldwork. Read more…

Just a few spots left open for ranch rodeo teams

TSCRA has a limited number of open slots for ranch rodeo teams and the ladies breakaway roping on both nights of our ranch rodeo scheduled Feb. 13-14 at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center in Duncan, Okla. Events for the rodeo will include ranch bronc riding, team branding, team doctoring and wild cow milking. TSCRA will also feature a special ladies breakaway roping each night. Entry forms for the ranch rodeo and breakaway roping can be found by visiting www.tscra.org/ranchrodeo. Each entry must be accompanied by signed liability waivers for each contestant.   The rodeo will be held in conjunction with the Oklahoma Horse Fair. Performances begin at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for each ranch rodeo performance may be purchased at the event on the night of the rodeo. Read more…

Roberts names US Senate ag committee senior staff

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts from Kansas has named senior staff for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee. Read more at The Associated Press…

Extra funding sought to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria

The Obama administration wants to double the amount of federal funding dedicated to combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a mounting problem that causes an estimated 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually in the U.S. The president will ask Congress for the $1.2 billion as part of his annual budget request, scheduled to be unveiled next week, White House officials said. An additional $47 million would go to the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate new drugs and monitor the use of antibiotics in livestock. The USDA would receive an additional $77 million, in part, to help develop alternatives to the antibiotics used in farm animals. Read more at The Washington Post…

USDA accepting applications for Conservation Stewardship Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make available $100 million this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers and forest landowners should submit applications by Feb. 27, 2015, to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding. This year’s investment may result in the enrollment of up to 7.7 million acres in the program by private landowners. Read more…

Veterinary Loan Repayment Program yields dividends

A solid education is crucial to those seeking careers in animal science. However, many student loans can be burdensome. Through the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, the USDA’s National Institute of Food Agriculture may repay up to $25,000 each year of student loan debt to eligible veterinarians. In return, qualified veterinarians must agree to provide food animal medical care for 3 years in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations  VMLRP has helped 245 veterinarians since the program’s inception in 2010. Read more at blogs.usda.gov…

TDA Market Recap, Jan. 27, 201

For the week ending Jan. 24, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices $2 to $15 lower per hundredweight (cwt). Texas direct feeder cattle sales were down $4 to $12, with prices continuing to follow futures markets lower. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were lower at $160 per cwt. Wholesale beef values were lower than last week, down 2.6 percent to $253.74 for Choice Grade beef cut-out and down 1.4 percent to $247.23 for Select Grade. Weekly net export sales for Jan. 9-15 totaled 9,600 metric tons (MT), down 14 percent from a week ago, and export shipments of 11,000 MT were 13 percent lower in comparison to last week. Read more…