Cattlemen’s Column: Some remarkable bright spots in a tough 2011

There is no denying that 2011 was a tough year for cattle raisers. Ranchers across the state are still facing an unprecedented drought and rebuilding from the crippling wildfires, but through all the dust and smoke, there were some definite bright sides of 2011. Because of the hard work of our members, TSCRA chalked up major victories at the Texas and U.S. Capitols. Read more…

Last chance for stock show passes and rodeo tickets!

If you haven’t yet sent in your order form to reserve rodeo tickets or to receive grounds passes to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, it’s not too late. All forms must be postmarked by Dec. 31. Read more…

Prescribed burn alliance formed after record-breaking wildfire season

Following a record-breaking wildfire season, the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas AgriLife Research and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service have assisted prescribed burn associations throughout the state in forming the new Texas Alliance of Prescribed Burn Association. The purpose of the alliance will be to safely increase the use of prescribed burning. Read more…

Combat cold weather nutritional stress in horses

People combat cold weather by putting on additional clothing; horses fight the elements by using more energy to maintain body temperature. But while most people can address their own needs, horses are dependent upon their owners to provide proper nutrition and protection from the weather. Read more…

U.S. Drought Monitor and Summary, 12-20-11

The same weather systems that brought the much-needed rains to Arizona and Texas also brought some rain and snows to New Mexico. Drought relief indicated in last week’s drought monitor was continued this week as more rains and snows (0.5 to 2.8 inches) fell mostly across southern New Mexico. Read more…

More young people see opportunity in farming and ranching

While fresh demographic information on U.S. farmers won’t be available until after the next agricultural census is done next year, there are signs more people in their 20s and 30s are going into farming. Read more…

Water planners urged to base needs on centuries, not decades, of drought data

In the past 500 years, Central Texas has seen droughts far worse than the 1950s drought of record, according to a report commissioned by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and published Wednesday in the December issue of the Texas Water Journal. Researchers warn that makers of water policy should broaden their planning to factor in the possibility of droughts far worse than the spell that set the bar more than a half-century ago. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: Just how do Santa’s reindeer get the job done?

Have you ever wondered how Santa’s reindeer can make that monumental journey on Christmas Eve? Let’s look into some key facts about reindeer that may help us understand how they get Ole St. Nick on his appointed rounds all over the world Read more…

New AgriLife Extension publication helps keep the hogs out

A team of experts has developed a new Texas AgriLife Extension Service publication focused on keeping feral hogs from raiding wildlife feeding stations. The four-page publication was developed by the Texas A&M University System and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) wildlife experts. It provides advice and direction on how landowners can protect corn and protein pellets intended for wildlife from being eaten by feral hogs. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Crumb-crusted top sirloin and roasted garlic potatoes with bourbon sauce

This luxurious dinner takes meat and potatoes to a whole new level. Read more…

December drought survey shows drought still impacting herd inventory, but hope is on the horizon

TSCRA conducted a survey of its members in September to assess the impact the ongoing drought has had on their business and cattle inventory. A follow-up survey in early December shows that while there is a consistent reduction in cattle numbers, that rate of liquidation has slowed and reveals the adaptability of the Texas cattle industry to compensate for situations such as extreme drought. TSCRA staff and officers would like to thank all who completed the survey. Herd size information is sensitive information and members’ willingness to share this data is greatly appreciated. Providing this important information allows us all to better understand the extent of the herd size changes and plan potential member service improvements. Read more…

How we use 2.3 billion acres

A new major land use report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service shows changes in U.S land use through 2007, reflecting loss of crop acres, relatively steady rangeland acres and continued, but slowing rural sprawl. Read more…

AgriLife Research adds new instrumentation to measure greenhouse gases

As greenhouse gases become more of a concern, determining the actual rates of emissions through scientific data is a growing necessity. This is why Dr. Ken Casey, AgriLife Research air quality engineer, has commissioned, through his program, an open-path Fourier transform infra-red spectrometer for use in monitoring greenhouse gases. This new technology will enable more accurate measurement of the concentration of gases, which will lead to a better understanding of what controls the emissions and when they occur. This has the potential to guide feedyard management and practices to minimize emissions. Read more…

TAHC now accepting area nominations for Veterinary Loan Repayment Program

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is accepting nominations for areas of the state experiencing a shortage of veterinarians to work in food animal medicine, rural, or public practice. The TAHC will forward nominations for selected shortage areas to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for inclusion in the national Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) for the 2012 award cycle. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Black and black baldy calves missing in Panhandle area

TSCRA Special Ranger Harold Dempsey, District 1, has reported the theft of 9 head of black or black baldy calves from an Armstrong county property in the Texas Panhandle. The calves could have been stolen any time between early September and mid-December 2011, and weighted approximately 500 pounds each. Read more…

TSCRA congratulates new regional special ranger supervisors

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Sonny Seewald has been selected as regional supervisor for Region 4 covering districts in south and southeast Texas. Special Ranger John Cummings has also been selected as regional supervisor for Region 3 in eastern Oklahoma. Read more…

Mineola man arrested on hay scam charges

A Mineola man was arrested Friday by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Larry Hand on charges of 2 counts of hay theft. Special Rangers Hand, Max Hartmann and Doug Hutchison investigated the case. According to Hand, Steven Clues, 39, of Mineola, began advertising hay for sale in late summer on Internet hay websites. He is accused of collecting funds by wire transfers on 98 round bales of hay from 2 victims, worth an estimated $10,000, but failed to deliver the hay. The victims were from Fayette and Comal counties. Hand says that a Grand Jury will review the case for possible additional charges. “These ranchers began ordering hay in September 2011 at the height of the drought and wildfire season,” Hand Read more…

Legislation introduced to counter proposed child farm labor laws

U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, Dist. 4, is taking action to support the tradition of family farms as bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of Labor push to restrict the ability of youth to do farm work. U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., Dist. 2, is co-sponsoring the legislation. Latham authored and introduced bipartisan legislation on Friday that expresses the sense of Congress that “the secretary of labor should recognize the unique circumstances of family farm youth and multi-generational family partnerships in agricultural operations when drafting regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.” Read more…

TDA Market Recap, Dec. 19, 2011

For the week ending Dec. 17, feeder cattle prices were mixed. Select Texas auctions were mostly $2 lower to $5 higher per hundredweight, though a trend could not be established at some Panhandle locations because of light receipts the previous week. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were mostly steady to $2 lower, while Oklahoma City was $5 lower to $2 higher. Buyers are willing to pay more for the more desirable offerings and to fill current orders, but lighter demand and the onset of cooler, wetter weather are also keeping a lid on the market. Read more…

Tracking beef’s shrinking footprint

A study published in this month’s Journal of Animal Science found that raising a pound of beef in the U.S. today uses significantly fewer natural resources, including land, water, feed and fuel than in the past. Read more…