Livestock helps minimize drop in farm income in 2014

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U.S. farm income is expected to fall 14 percent in 2014, to its lowest level in four years, as expectations for record corn and soybean crops have pushed commodity prices to their lowest in several years, the Agriculture Department said this week.The USDA said net farm income is forecast to be $113 billion in 2014, down from $131 billion in 2013. Read more at The Des Moines Register…

Counties in Texas, New Mexico, designated as primary natural disaster areas

Farm Service Agency

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated El Paso and Kleberg counties in Texas as primary natural disaster areas due to the recent drought. Farmers and ranchers in Brooks, Hudspeth, Jim Wells, Kenedy and Nueces counties in Texas, as well as I Dona Ana and Otero Counties in New Mexico, also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Read more…

“Riparian Restoration on Farms and Ranches” now available

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has published a new resource for landowners and managers, “Riparian Restoration on Farms and Ranches in Texas.” The new publication can be downloaded for free or purchased at $3 per hard copy through the AgriLife Bookstore. Read more at the Texas Water Resources Institute newsletter Conservation Matters

Cattle producers can add revenue through cost-effective calf management

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A new Farm Assistance study conducted by specialists with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service reveals cattle producers can add significant net cash farm income to their operations on top of already high cattle prices by implementing cost-effective calf management practices. As prices for calves continue to reach historic levels, beef cattle producers could see increased revenue by implementing blackleg vaccinations, castrations and implants, as well as deworming. However, many ranchers do not elect to do so and could be missing significant additions to revenue Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Lean meatball subs

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An easy meatball sub sandwich would make a great lunch or dinner. Read more at txbeef.org…

TSCRA Crime Watch – John Deere tractor, box blade stolen in Oklahoma

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TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, District 5, eastern Oklahoma, reports the Aug. 8 theft of a John Deere model 4500 tractor and a Rhino box blade from an Inola, Okla., property, in Rogers County. The tractor has a front-end loader, is green and yellow, with duct tape on the seat and rubber latches holding the hood down. VIN No. LV4500T352299. The Rhino box blade is model HB 66. It is red and had 6 hydraulic lines that hooked from the tractor to the box blade. VIN No. 10027. If you have information regarding this case, contact Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.  

EPA Finally Hands Over Maps Detailing the Extent of their WOTUS Proposal

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Source: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology released maps today of waters and wetlands the Environmental Protection Agency has to-date refrained from making public. After multiple requests, the Agency finally handed over the maps to the committee. The maps appear to detail the extent of the “Waters of the United States” proposal. “Given the astonishing picture they paint, I understand the EPA’s desire to minimize the importance of these maps,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Science Committee, in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “But EPA’s posturing cannot explain away the alarming content of these documents. While you claim that EPA has not yet used these maps to regulate Americans, you provided Read more…

Humane Treatment of Cattle Yields Better Beef – and Better Sales

Photo courtesy Noble Foundation

Source:  Denver Post Livestock welfare researcher Temple Grandin told food industry officials Tuesday that humane practices improve meat quality, which in turn is helping contribute to historic high prices. Grandin, a Colorado State University professor whose research is internationally acclaimed, said humane treatment provides benefits at the slaughter plant as well as the ranch and feedlot.  Read more.

Ranchers weigh options on replacement heifers amid historic high prices

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When it comes to replacement heifers in beef cattle operations, producers are faced with a dilemma: Raise them, buy them or sell them and “take the money and run,” said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist. It’s becoming an all too familiar situation among Texas ranchers,said Stan Bevers, an AgriLife Extension economist at Vernon who recently presented a study at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course. Read more…

Texas crop, weather for Aug. 26, 2014

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Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts warn grain sorghum producers they should now be ever more vigilant in scouting for armyworms in the coming weeks as the crop heads out. Though much dryland grain sorghum in the High Plains is currently drought-stressed, there’s still the potential for some very good yields. Another rain in the next week or two would really make a difference. Read more…

USDA raises beef, port prices forecast on drought, disease

Newspaper Stock Report

Retail prices for many U.S. meats, already at record highs, continue to rise on a combination of drought and disease, but overall food cost increases remain near long-term averages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday. The agency now forecasts pork, beef and veal prices to rise by 6.5 to 7.5 percent in 2014, up from 5.5 to 6.5 percent forecast a month ago. The overall “meats, poultry and fish” category will rise by 4 to 5 percent. Read more at Reuters…

JBS USA opens new cattle-buying station

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JBS USA opened a 12,000-square-foot cattle-buying station in Denver, Co., Aug. 25. The company is leasing space at 503 School Road, where Goods Livestock buys hogs and operates a livestock truck wash. In the past, directly working with the packer was only an option for large farms that could send the packer a full semitrailer load of cattle at a time. Lancaster County’s average herd size is about 60 to 75 animals, though, and many farms are dairy farms, which only produce a few slaughter cattle at a time, said Curtis McFadden, the main buyer for JBS.Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

Drones on the farm: What are the laws?

Picture courtesy Ohio State University Extension

While the appeal of using unmanned aerial systems by farmers and growers to aid in farm operations is growing in popularity, before you launch a drone over your crops to gauge field conditions, be aware that doing so could result in a hefty fine from the Federal Aviation Administration.  So says Peggy Hall, assistant professor and Ohio State University Extension field specialist in agricultural and resource law. Hall said that while the technology is available for farmers and growers to utilize drones for their farm operations, the rules of who can use it and how aren’t as clear.  Read more…

TDA Market Recap, Aug. 25, 2014

Texas Department of Agriculture

For the week ending Aug. 23, 2014, feeder cattle prices quoted by Texas auctions were mostly steady to $6 lower per hundredweight (cwt), though a few locations had prices steady to $5 higher. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were steady to $5 higher. Fed cattle cash prices were $2.60 lower per cwt. Wholesale beef values were lower. Cattle prices have declined amid ongoing concerns about lower demand. However, prices remain at historically-high levels as smaller supplies continue to support the market. Fed cattle are still higher than they were at any time before late June Read more…

Get a sneak peek at the September issue of The Cattleman

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The September print edition of The Cattleman will be in your mailbox soon. But if you’d like to start reading it right now, the digital version is ready for you in the TSCRA Member Center. This digital edition of The Cattleman is free to TSCRA members, and is an exclusive benefit of your membership. Read more…

Browning Blog: A Time for Tropical Storms?

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In the Aug. 25 edition of The Browning Blog, Climatologist Evelyn Browning-Garriss talks tropical storms, the tricky work of long-range hurricane predictions and what we might see develop in the next couple of months. Read more…

Ranchers gather for events in Oklahoma and Texas

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More than 150 association members, friends and guests joined us in Holdenville, Okla,. and Palestine, Texas, last week for ranch gatherings. Be sure to check our events calendar to see if we have a gathering planned in your area. Read more…

Endangered bird ignites debate over endangered species rules

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A potential move by federal regulators to list a small bird as endangered has ignited debate over changes to the Endangered Species Act. The greater sage grouse, whose habitat covers 165 million acres in 11 western states, is at the center of one of the most controversial species designations in years. The fight has drawn comparisons to the spotted owl, which critics turned into a symbol of the law’s excess in the 1990s. Read more at The Hill…

Cow/Calf Corner: Cattle markets move past summer highs; Reducing the risk of calf scours in fall-calving herds

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Aug. 26 issue of Cow-Calf Corner, a newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel talks waning summer cattle markets and Glenn Selk discusses reducing the risk of calf scours from fall-calving herds. Read more…

Texas anthrax, vesicular stomatitis updates

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Anthrax has been confirmed in a white-tailed deer in southeastern Edwards County. This is the second confirmed case of Anthrax in Texas this year, the first in a deer. TAHC has also received confirmation of 2 new cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in horses located 8 miles northwest of Bastrop in Bastrop County. A previously infected premise in Guadalupe County, premises in Travis County, and all premises in Val Verde County have been released. Read more…