Vilsack announces blueprint for stronger service to increase efficiency in USDA operations

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must be built to meet the evolving needs of a 21st century agricultural economy, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday in presenting USDA’s Blueprint for Stronger Service, a plan that helps producers continue to drive America’s economy by streamlining operations and cutting costs. Read more…

Increase in fever tick sightings concerns animal health officials

A 2009 report from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) cites figures that indicate a significant increase in the tick population. According to the report, in South Texas there were 19 recognized infested premises in fiscal year 2003, while in fiscal year 2009 there were 146 properties. The report states that this is a 750 percent increase over a 6-year span and represents a level of infestation that hasn’t been seen since 1973.

Plan stocking rate based on rainfall

Climatologists say that we are in a “drier than average trend” and that it could last for several more years. How are cattle producers to plan for the future? What information can they use to make stocking rate decisions? According to Hugh Aljoe at the Noble Foundation, these are the questions that everyone in the industry should be asking.

TDA Market Recap, Jan. 9, 2012

Source: Texas Department of Agriculture For the week ending Jan. 7, feeder cattle prices at the Texas locations covered by USDA Market News were higher compared to pre-holiday sales as buyers caught up with orders and demand remained strong for the tight supply of available cattle. Fed cattle cash prices were nearly $1 lower per hundredweight as negative packer margins and lower beef prices continued to pressure the market. Prices across the cattle sector remain well above where they were at this time last year. Read more…