House votes to overturn Supreme Court decision on eminent domain

The House on Tuesday afternoon approved legislation that overturns a 2005 Supreme Court decision that affirmed the ability of states to take control of private property under the doctrine of eminent domain and hand it to another private developer. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cattle missing in Upshur County

TSCRA Special Ranger Larry Hand, Dist. 13 in East Texas, reports the theft of 15 head of steers from a property north of Gilmer in Upshur County. The steers each weigh 400 to 500 pounds, are of various colors, have a double under bit in the right ear and the W over Bar brand on the left hip. If you have any information on this theft, please call Special Ranger Hand at 903-592-5252. Read more…

CME Group: Beef exports up 7 percent in first 2 months

The CME Group says that by judging from the trade data for the first 2 months of the year, U.S. beef export demand remains in good shape. Total shipments continue to track above year ago levels despite sharply higher prices in the U.S. market. A weaker dollar has blunted some of the impact of higher U.S. beef prices, but not entirely. Read more…

USDA announces equine operations now eligible for emergency loans

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Bruce Nelson announced Feb. 29 that equine operations that breed, raise and sell certain types of horses are now eligible for loan assistance under FSA’s emergency loan program. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, Feb. 28, 2012

Rains continued to improve forages and the outlook for spring planting in many areas. Only about 14 percent of the state was listed as being under “exceptional” drought conditions, according to the Feb. 21 U.S. Drought Monitor. However, though conditions have greatly improved in the last few months, nearly 70 percent of the state still suffered from “severe” drought conditions. Read more…

EPA greenhouse gas rules face new legal challenges

U.S. limits on greenhouse gas emissions face a challenge in federal court this week from more than 100 industry groups and several U.S. states, the latest high-profile effort to halt or overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules. Read more…

Vilsack grilled on budget request

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack may have thought he was complying with the mood in Congress recently when he presented a budget with a minimum of increases, but at a 4-hour hearing before the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee he got a full dose of members’ views on cuts to the programs they think are important. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: This Could Be the Year for Grass Tetany

Grass tetany is a serious, and often fatal, metabolic disease caused by low blood levels of magnesium. It is also known as grass staggers or wheat pasture poisoning. It most commonly affects older cows early in lactation, but it may also occur in any cattle. It occurs most commonly when cattle are grazing lush, immature grass and it often affects the best cows in the herd. It is typically a late winter or early spring problem coinciding with the rapid growth of cool season grasses. In this case an ounce of prevention truly does equal a pound of cure. Read more…

General Oklahoma CRP sign-up to begin March 12

Francie Tolle, executive director for the Oklahoma Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced that a 4-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general signup will begin on March 12 and end on April 6. During the sign-up period, farmers and ranchers interested in offering land under the competitive general sign-up are encouraged to contact their county FSA office. Read more…

New website showcases the opportunities of US-Korea FTA

The USDA Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Seoul recently launched a Web page to showcase potential opportunities to be created by the soon-to-be-implemented U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS). KORUS will take effect on March 15, 2012. Information available on the Web page includes a list of South Korea’s top-imported commodities, a detailed view of the population, and analysis of trade competitors. Exporters can also download the latest import statistics, which are updated monthly, to accurately evaluate market trends. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, Feb. 27, 2012

For the week ending Feb. 25, feeder cattle prices at Texas auctions covered by USDA Market News were mostly steady with a few to $2 lower per hundredweight and a few to $5 higher. Texas feeder sales direct to feedlots were $1 to $4 higher with some as much as $6 higher. Oklahoma City was $2 to $5 higher on feeder cattle and $4 to $10 higher on calves. Fed cattle cash prices were near unchanged from last week’s record high. Wholesale Choice boxed beef prices were up 3.7 percent for the week, which helped packers reduce their losses, though margins remain negative according to most sources. Read more…

Last chance to re-register your brand!

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) reminds ranchers that the current brand re-registration period ends this Wednesday, Feb. 29! If you haven’t yet re-registered your brand with the county clerk’s office, this is your last chance. Read more…

Oklahoma cattle shooting suspects plead guilty

Two Broken Arrow men pleaded guilty Feb. 23 to 8 counts of cruelty to animals for shooting 9 head of Rogers County cattle with a bow and arrow, killing 6 of them. Traton Tyler Vanderpool, 19, and Jared Wade Barlass, 20, were sentenced to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Regimented Inmate Discipline (RID) program for one year. Upon successful completion, the defendants will serve 4 years of supervised probation, pay a $100 fine, serve 60 days in the Rogers County jail or complete 240 house of community service. Vanderpool and Barlass will also pay full restitution to the ranchers in this case. Read more…

Gov. Rick Perry renews proclamations extending drought and wildlife emergencies

Gov. Rick Perry has renewed proclamations extending emergencies due to extreme fire hazard and drought conditions across the state. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Tractor stolen in Northeastern Oklahoma

TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5 in northeastern Oklahoma, reports the theft of a Massey Ferguson tractor from a Claremore property in Rogers County, some time between Feb. 14 and 21. Read more…

Cattle producers should remain de-stocked despite recent rainfall

Beef producers shouldn’t get too caught up in adding cattle to herds despite recent rainfall, according to Dr. Larry Redmon, AgriLife Extension state forage specialist. He recommends remaining de-stocked, despite recent rain, and consider drought management part of your overall strategy. Read more…

TPWD sets statewide public hearings

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is recommending changes to next year’s hunting and fishing regulations and is seeking comment during a series of public hearings. Each year, TPWD considers changes in hunting and fishing regulations to achieve resource management objectives and maximize outdoor recreation opportunities consistent with good stewardship. The public is encouraged to attend public meetings in their area and provide comment on proposed changes. The TPW Commission will make final rulemaking at its March 28-29 public hearing in Austin. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: Prices, incentives and margins in the beef industry

It is a fact that cattle and beef prices tend to go up and down together. It is also a fact that cattle and beef prices do not usually go up and down by the same amount and at the same time. It is this second fact that creates so much of the short term dynamics in cattle and beef markets. Read more…

TSCRA Event Calendar

March 8: TSCRA Cattleman’s Luncheon, Wichita Falls, Texas March 15: Monthly Dilley Luncheon, Pacho Garcia Cafe, Dilley, Texas March 20: Ranching 101-Resource Management, Fort Worth, Texas March 30-April 1, 2012: TSCRA Convention Weekend, Trade Show and School For Successful Ranching, Fort Worth, Texas

Oklahoma man arrested on felony charges

A Pushmataha County, Okla., man was scheduled to appear Thursday in a Marshall County, Okla., court for an arraignment on felony charges of burglary in the second degree and larceny of farm equipment. George Holder, 45, of Antlers, Okla., was arrested Feb. 10 by the Choctaw County Sheriff’s Office after a 10-month investigation. Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Austin Green and Deputy David Barnes of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office led the investigation. Read more…

Texas Supreme Court rules in favor of groundwater rights

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Feb. 24 applauded the opinion of the Texas Supreme Court in the Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Burrell Day and Joel McDaniel case regarding whether or not landowners own the groundwater below their land. Read more…

TAHC accepting comments on two new rule proposals

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is now accepting public comments on rule proposals that were authorized during the Jan. 24 commission meeting. TAHC proposed amendments to Chapter 51, titled “Entry Requirements,” which would make Texas’ entry requirements more consistent with current national interstate movement standards; and Chapter 35, “Brucellosis,” which proposes to remove the brucellosis test requirement for change of ownership of adult sexually intact cattle, and to add a requirement that cattle be permanently and officially identified when there is a change of ownership. Read more…

2012 CRP emergency grazing ends Feb. 28

USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director James B. Douglass, announced that the 2012 Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) emergency grazing deadline is Feb. 28, 2012. Read more…

Winners of Texas Hog Out Challenge announced

With an estimated 2.6 million feral hogs causing an estimated $500 million in damage to rural and urban areas of Texas each year, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples proudly announced on Thursday Hardeman County as the winner of the 2011 statewide Hog Out Challenge. The challenge awards grants to the five Texas counties that remove the most hogs and record the highest participation in feral hog abatement programs. The 2011 challenge resulted in the removal of 12,632 hogs. Read more…

U.S. Drought Monitor, 2-21-12

Texas continued to see very un-La Nina like precipitation during the week, with most of it centered on the eastern half of the state. Short-term drought impacts are falling by the wayside, but longer-term hydrological remnants are still there, most obvious in the western counties and up into the Panhandle. The big news is the reduction of Exceptional drought in central Texas this week along with reductions of Moderate to Extreme Drought. Lesser amounts of the wet stuff fell across western Texas, including the Panhandle, and we will continue to reassess the benefit of these rains in the short-term vs. the long-term duration and severity of the drought moving forward in these parts as more data comes in from the field. Oklahoma and the rest of the southern Plains stand pat this week after very little in the way of precipitation. Read more…

Reward increased for Johnson and Ellis Co. thefts

On Feb. 21, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger H.D. Brittain reported the theft of cattle near the Johnson and Ellis County line. If you have any information, please contact Special Ranger Brittain at 817-599-5088. A reward has been increased to up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and/or Grand Jury indictment. Callers may remain anonymous by calling the Operation Cow Thief tip line at 1-888-830-2333. Read more…

Federal court validates cattlemen’s concerns on EPA’s scientifically shoddy approach

The Florida Cattlemen’s Association (FCA) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) on April 28, 2011, challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) determination letter and final rule establishing numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) for Florida’s lakes, rivers, streams and springs. The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee, resulted in a mixed ruling on Feb. 18, 2012. Read more…

USDA Emergency Conservation Funds available for 8 counties

The USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced Thursday that eight Texas counties were allocated a total of $662,000 in Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funds for damages from 2011 wildfires. The following counties each received $75,000 in ECP funds: Dallam, Fayette, Freestone, Limestone, Moore, Nacogdoches, Taylor and Wichita. Read more…

Be selective when choosing herd bulls

Beef producers don’t want to miss out on profit potential when it comes to selection and performance of breeding bulls. Structural soundness is an important characteristic when choosing a breeding bull because a bull takes on a lot of stress servicing a herd of cycling cows. If a bull with poor physiological traits is chosen, “that bull will only last a couple of years instead of five years…” Read more…

2012 Vaccine recommendations: Adults need vaccines, too!

As an adult, you can protect yourself and your loved ones by keeping your vaccinations up-to-date. This year, small changes give adults – and young children around them – better, long-lasting protection. Follow this link provided by TSCRA Insurance Services Inc. to see why keeping your vaccines current, even as an adult, can protect both you and those around you. Read more…

Preventing barn fires

A fire in a horse barn is a devastating event. Reduce potential fire hazards and develop a quick and efficient disaster plan with these steps from the American Quarter Horse Journal. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Provencal beef stew

A hearty, healthy stew from the “Healthy Beef Cookbook.” Read more…

Convention Weekend hotel update

If you are planning on attending TSCRA’s Convention Weekend March 31-April 1 in Fort Worth and haven’t yet made your sleeping room arrangements, we have some updates on the convention headquarters hotels. The Omni Fort Worth is sold out, but the Hilton Fort Worth still has plenty of rooms. Read more…

Cattle theft on the rise

attle rustlers recently targeted a ranch near Mansfield, and while a reward is being offered, cattle rustling is becoming more frequent in recent years. DFW’s NBC news station visited with TSCRA Special Ranger H.D. Brittain, a market inspector and victims of cattle theft. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, Feb. 22, 2012

Most of the state received rain the third week of February, further greening up pastures and winter wheat, according to reports from Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel. In some cases, the rains stimulated the growth of winter grasses and small grains to the extent that it relieved the pressure on extremely limited hay supplies. However, in most areas, livestock producers still had to provide supplemental feed and hay to cattle. In many areas the hay they fed continued to come in from out of state. Read more…

Texas becomes a battleground in Keystone XL pipeline controversy

The politically volatile Keystone XL pipeline is becoming embroiled in a widening controversy in Texas as supporters tout the promise of jobs and other economic benefits while increasingly vocal opponents say the project would trample property rights and endanger water supplies in East Texas. Read more…

Price takes on greater role in meat and poultry purchasing decisions

The impact of the economy and higher prices for meat and poultry products are making a significant difference for consumers at the meat case. Price has taken on an ever-greater role in the meat purchasing decision process, as price per pound has solidified its number-one ranking as the most important decision factor for consumers, while total package cost is now the second most important decision factor, surpassing product appearance, according to the seventh annual “Power of Meat” study. Read more…

Forecasters say more tornadoes expected in 2012

AccuWeather.com reports following a near-record number of tornadoes in 2011, an active severe weather season with above-normal tornadoes is expected in 2012, due to a weaking La Nina weather pattern. The Deep South, including the Gulf States and eastern Texas, is expected to get hit by severe weather early in the season, mainly in March. By early April, the severe weather threat will retreat to the north, reaching the lower Ohio and mid-Mississippi valleys. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, Feb. 21, 2012

For the week ending Feb. 18, feeder cattle prices at Texas auctions covered by USDA Market News were mostly steady to $4 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas direct feeder sales were steady to $1 higher and Oklahoma City was $1 to $4 higher on feeder cattle and steady to $8 lower on calves with steers posting the biggest losses. Fed cattle cash prices surged to a new record high $129 per cwt. on more than 16,000 head. Higher wholesale beef prices allowed packers to increase bids for the available cattle. The head count was still well below year-ago levels, but higher than in the past several weeks. Read more…

It’s severe weather awareness week in Texas

Straight-line wind storms, thunderstorms and tornadoes can occur at any time of year in Texas. So it pays for individuals and families to plan what to do well in advance. Feb. 19 – 25, 2012, is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Texas. The Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service remind you that this is a good time to talk to your friends and family about emergency preparedness. Read more…