Ranchers worried cattle branding may be replaced by ear tags

Traditional branding may soon be phased out in favor of ear tags for Texas’ more than 13 million head of cattle. DFW’s News 8 stopped by TSCRA headquarters last Friday to talk to association staff and learn more. Read more…

Potentially deadly horse disease on the increase In Oklahoma

Horses are getting sick from a strain of bacteria that vets say was likely caused by the drought conditions in Oklahoma. It’s called drought distemper or pigeon breast. The bacteria can spread from horse to horse and and vets say it can kill them. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Horse stolen in Stephens County

TSCRA Special Ranger John Bradshaw, of Dist. 9 in Central Texas, reports the theft of a horse from a property in Stephens County. The thief or thieves opened a gate on the property south of Breckenridge between Dec. 15 and 17 to steal the 14 hand sorrel gelding Quarter Horse, which has a forehead star and a stripe down to snip. The gelding is 6 years old, weighs approximately 900 pounds and is not branded. If you have any information on this theft, please call Special Ranger Bradshaw at 940-845-2019. Read more…

Texas Forest Service looking for landowners with ash trees

Texas Forest Service soon will be surveying ash trees across the state for signs of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that kills its host. An exotic wood-boring beetle from Asia, the dark, metallic green insect bores into ash trees and feeds on the area between the wood and the bark, effectively killing the tree. The half-inch long pest first was found in Michigan in 2002, and since has spread to at least 15 different states and Canada. The survey is designed to help tree experts determine if the beetle also has spread to Texas. Read more…

Texas receives additional USDA Emergency Conservation Funds

An additional $6,414,000 of Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funds has been allocated for counties affected by wildfire In 2011. These funds are in addition to regular ECP funds previously issued across the state. In Texas, 27 counties were approved for ECP assistance because they were designated as a primary disaster county under a Presidential Disaster Declaration issued for damages from 2011 wildfires. . Producers who sustained damage from the 2011 wildfires are encouraged to submit their request for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. Submitting a request after completing qualified reconstructive work may result in forfeiture of program eligibility. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, Jan. 30, 2012

For the week ending Jan. 28, feeder cattle prices at the Texas locations covered by USDA Market News were mostly steady to $5 higher per hundredweight, with a few to $10 higher. Texas direct feeder sales were steady to $4 higher. Oklahoma City was mostly $2 to $4 higher on feeder cattle, steady to $4 lower on steer calves and $1 to $4 higher on heifer calves. Read more…

Calves, feeders continue higher

It’s an unprecedented market rally, and a story-line that never gets old – feeder cattle were $2 to $5 higher last week. Short yearlings weighing 650 to 850 pounds saw the strongest demand. Read more…

What’s a quail worth?

What’s a quail worth? The short answer — as it relates to a wild Texas quail — is $253 each, according to a recently completed survey of Texas quail hunters. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: The numbers are in: Part 1

In this week’s Cow-Calf Corner installment, Dr. Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist, discusses the cattle report issued last week by USDA that confirmed that the U.S. beef cattle industry got smaller last year. Read more…

TSCRA Event Calendar

Feb. 16: Monthly Dilley Luncheon, Pancho Garcia Café, Dilley, Texas. Feb. 21: Ranching 101 Animal Nutrition, Fort Worth, Texas March 8: TSCRA Cattleman’s Luncheon, Wichita Falls, Texas March 16: Monthly Dilley Luncheon, Pancho Garcia Café, Dilley, Texas. March 20: Ranching 101, Pasture/Forage Management, Fort Worth, Texas March 30-April 1, 2012: TSCRA Convention Weekend, Trade Show and School For Successful Ranching, Fort Worth, Texas

USDA releases cattle inventory numbers; calf crop smallest since 1950 tally

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released their cattle inventory numbers and values of all cattle and calves, number of operations and size group estimates Friday afternoon. Report numbers reveal that the inventory of all cattle and calves in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2012, totaled 90.8 million head, a drop of 2 percent below the 92.7 million total on Jan. 1, 2011. This is the lowest Jan. 1 inventory of all cattle and calves since the 88.1 million on hand in 1952. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 39.1 million, were down 2 percent from 40.0 million on Jan. 1, 2011. Read more…

Some cattle ranchers worry about proposed ear tag rules

The New York Times spoke with TSCRA member Dan Gattis, as well as representatives and leaders of the association, about proposed rules that would require ear tag identification for adult cattle moving across state lines. But not all ranchers are fully on-board with the proposed rule. Many, including TSCRA, would like to see brands allowed as an official – and more permanent – method of identification, along with the tags. The proposed rule would not prohibit the use of brands, but they are not classified as “official” by USDA. They also have other concerns about the ear tag rule, including possible increased costs for producers and how the program will integrate with other state and federal ID. In Texas, a proposal discussed this week by the Texas Animal Health Commission would require adult cattle 18 months or older to have ear tags whenever their ownership changes. Read more…

TCEQ eases some restrictions on water rights

Conditions have improved to the point where the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) notified Brazos River Basin junior water-right holders and more than 160 Neches River Basin junior water-right holders that their right to divert water is no longer suspended. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Gooseneck trailer stolen from Gonzales property

TSCRA Special Ranger Gary Baros, Dist. 25 in South Texas, reports the theft on Dec. 12 of a gooseneck trailer from E Bar Feeds in Gonzales. The trailer is a yellow 6-bale in-line round bale hay trailer made by Hay King, Texas farm license plate number DZK B09, VIN number 1K9GH4528BT304081. If you have any information on this theft, please call Ranger Baros at 361-293-7549. Read more…

Feral hogs and quail

Dr. Dale Rollins, Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch, examines the possible implication of feral hogs in the decline of quail numbers, and what this may mean for both populations. Read more…

U.S. Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 24, 2012

Despite dry, warmer-than-normal weather, with temperatures averaging up to 14°F above normal, little, if any, change was made to the drought designation from Texas northward into southern Kansas. Locally heavy rain has been falling over the region since the data cutoff time on Tuesday for this week’s drought depiction; impacts from the rain will be addressed in next week’s U.S. Drought Monitor. A small increase in the Abnormally Dry area was made in northeastern Oklahoma to reflect 60-day precipitation deficits up to 3 inches. Read more…

MF Global victims should start claims

MF Global customers need to submit claims against the bankrupt brokerage firm before a Jan. 31 deadline, says U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Budget Committee and a high-ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Read more…

Could reliance on mandatory ear tags for national ID program phase out branding?

Federal officials have long argued that a national animal identification system is necessary to quickly trace outbreaks of diseases and that it would protect not only the health of animals and humans, but also the cattle industry. However, cattle ranchers have not been enthusiastic about a federal plan to institute an ID system that does not involve brands as an official way of identifying cattle. In an age of increasing reliance on electronic devices, some ranchers are worried using an ID method such as metal ear tags would eventually spell the end of the cattle brand. Read more…

Beef Buzz: Stretch hay supplies this winter

Hay in Oklahoma and Texas continues to be a scarce commodity- and prices of hay rolling in on semis from the north are extremely high. In this Beef Buzz audio from the Oklahoma Farm Report, Dr. Dave Lalman, Oklahoma State University Extension beef cattle specialist, says there are some relatively simple ideas that ranchers can put into place that will help stretch each large square or round bale that you may open up to feed. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Sirloin with sugar snap peas and pasta salad

A healthy, quick and perfect weeknight dish! Read more…

TSCRA special rangers work with Texas Forest Service to improve communication during wildfires

TSCRA special rangers met with officials from the Texas Forest Service (TFS) at TFS headquarters in College Station Wednesday to discuss the ongoing effort to improve communications during wildfires. The groups are working together to improve landowner and firefighter communication during large, complex wildfires by incorporating TSCRA’s rangers into the state command structure. Read more…

Now is the best time of year to control wild pigs

From now until spring green-up is one of the best times of the year to control wild pigs, due to a number of factors. Dr. Billy Higginbotham, AgriLife Extension fisheries and wildlife specialist, says landowners have the choice of several methods, with some being more successful. Read more…

Winter means cattle producers need to keep closer eye on herds

Cold and wet conditions will compound dangers to cattle, and producers need to keep a closer eye on herds through the time spring grass can be grazed. Drought-shortened hay and grazing mean some cattle are going into the winter thinner than normal. Because of the energy deficiency diet, cattle have used their fat reserves to maintain their body function, thus reducing body condition. This condition becomes very critical as the cattle production cycle moves into the calving period. Read more…

Comprehensive website for Texas economic data and insight unveiled

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has announced the launch of a new, online resource for Texas economic data, news and analysis. The new website, TheTexasEconomy.org, will help Texas residents, business owners and policymakers connect with economic data in a comprehensive yet easy-to-understand format. Read more…

Checkoff issues annual research update

The beef checkoff’s Research, Education and Innovation (REI) program manages safety, human nutrition and product enhancement research that provides technology and knowledge to all sectors of the beef supply chain to increase understanding of beef products offered to today’s consumer. The checkoff’s annual Research, Education and Innovation Annual Update has been released for 2012. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for Jan 24. 2012

Thanks to rains, more of Texas transitioned from exceptional to extreme drought, or from severe to moderate, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. But weekly on-the-ground reports from Texas AgriLife Extension Service agents still paint a mixed picture of the general agricultural situation. Read more…

Supreme Court tosses out California’s downer law

In a unanimous decision issued Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law that bans the processing of all non-ambulatory animals.

Record U.S. beef sales seen as Japan reviews trade curbs

U.S. farmers, poised to ship record beef cargoes for a second straight year, may get a further boost as Japan, once their biggest overseas customer, considers easing trade curbs imposed after an outbreak of mad-cow disease. Read more…

USDA inspectors prevent fever ticks from crossing Mexican border

U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspectors in Laredo halted a trophy deer hide infested with ticks from entering the U.S. on Jan. 13. Detailed examination of the hide revealed 23 live ticks and the hide was voluntarily surrendered for destruction. A USDA entomologist identified the pest as Boophilus sp., which includes cattle fever tick, a pest of quarantine significance in cattle. Cattle fever ticks are capable of carrying and transmitting babesia, a blood parasite deadly to cattle.

NDSU Beeftalk: $1.43 short

Producers buying replacement bulls and heifers realize that, even within the industry, costs are increasing. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, Jan. 23, 2012

For the week ending Jan. 21, feeder cattle prices at the Texas locations covered by USDA Market News were mostly steady to $4 higher per hundredweight. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were steady to $2 higher, with a few up to $5 higher. Oklahoma City was mostly steady on feeder cattle; steady to $2 lower on steer calves; and steady to $2 higher on heifer calves. Buyers continue to actively pursue available cattle, with prices mostly steady to higher across the region. However, reports also noted that the rate of increase has slowed somewhat. Read more…

USDA announces greater flexibility and additional tools for beginning farmers and ranchers

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Bruce Nelson announced a new rule Jan. 20 that expands loan opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, while also establishing a new Land Contract Guarantee Program. Read more…

NOAA: 2011 a year of climate extremes in the United States

According to NOAA scientists, 2011 was a record-breaking year for climate extremes, as much of the U.S. faced historic levels of heat, precipitation, flooding and severe weather, while La Niña events at both ends of the year impacted weather patterns at home and around the world. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: Winter challenges for Oklahoma cattle producers

The unexpected and welcome rain in November and early December has been followed across much of Oklahoma with the warm and dry conditions that the weather folks anticipated for this winter. Recent weather across the U.S. has generally been more consistent with La Niña weather patterns with storms streaming across the northern part of the country and little moisture in the south central and southwestern regions. Read more…

TSCRA Event Calendar

Feb. 16: Monthly Dilley Luncheon, Pancho Garcia Café, Dilley, Texas. Feb. 21: Ranching 101 Animal Nutrition, Fort Worth, Texas March 8: TSCRA Cattleman’s Luncheon, Wichita Falls, Texas March 15: Monthly Dilley Luncheon, Pancho Garcia Café, Dilley, Texas. March  20: Ranching 101, Pasture/Forage Management, Fort Worth, Texas March 30-April 1, 2012: TSCRA Convention Weekend, Trade Show and School For Successful Ranching, Fort Worth, Texas

Swenson Land and Cattle Company wins FWSS Ranch Rodeo

Swenson Land and Cattle Company wins FWSS Ranch Rodeo. Read more…

Top meat antitrust regulator quits

J. Dudley Butler will end his tenure next week as head of the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration, the agency said Thursday. Read more…

NCBA identifies biosecurity concerns with EPA proposed rule

NCBA filed comments on Jan. 19 with the EPA on a proposed Clean Water Act Reporting Rule that reaches beyone agency’s authority and could put the nation’s food system at risk of increased terrorist attacks. Read more…

New laws possible in wake of MF Global’s demise

The New York Times reports that lawmakers are considering new policies aimed at preventing a repeat of the MF Global debacle, in which the futures brokerage firm misused an estimated $1.2 billion in customer money as it collapsed. Read more…

Researchers seek sick quail reports from hunters

The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch (RPQRR) is asking quail hunters to keep their eyes open for any “weird quail” that may offer clues as to what’s going on with Texas’ quail population. Read more…