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…