Mississippi man faces charges in Texas hay scam

James Darin Hoffman of Wesson, Miss., man is charged with selling possibly more than $30,000 in nonexistent hay, and officials suspect there are other victims. Hoffman had allegedly been selling hay to farmers in Texas through a website called The Hay Barn. Read more…

Railroad commissioners adopt comprehensive hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure requirements

Texas Railroad Commissioners adopted one of the nation’s most comprehensive chemical disclosure rules for hydraulic fracturing fluids on Tuesday. The rule will require Texas oil and gas operators to disclose on a national public website chemical ingredients and water volumes used to hydraulically fracture, also known as “fracking,” wells in Texas. Read more…

Expanded disaster declaration provides much-needed relief for communities impacted by wildfires

Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted the state’s repeated request to expand its major disaster declaration to include 119 counties eligible for wildfire assistance, and extend the incident period from April 6, 2011, through Aug. 29, 2011. The original declaration issued by FEMA on July 1, 2011, covered wildfires between April 6, 2011, and May 3, 2011, and only included 45 counties. Read more…

USDA revises national nutrient management standard to achieve maximum agricultural, environmental benefits

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has revised its national conservation practice standard on nutrient management to help producers better manage the application of nutrients on agricultural land. Proper application of nitrogen and phosphorus offers tremendous benefits to producers and the public, including cost savings to the producer and the protection or improvement of ground and surface water, air quality, soil quality and agricultural sustainability. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: Know the cull cow grades before you sell

Many Southwest United States cow herds have been culled as much as possible. Some culling of beef cows occurs in most herds every year. If feed resources are available, a few producers may wish to market the culls after the first of the year for tax purposes. Whether we are culling because of drought or to improve the productivity of the herd, it is important to understand the values placed on cull cows intended for slaughter. Read more…