Date set for start of US-Columbia Trade Agreement

President Barack Obama announced April 15 that the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will take effect on May 15, 2012. This announcement follows completion of work by the United States and Colombia to review each other’s laws and regulations related to the implementation of the agreement, as well as Colombia’s important steps to fulfill the Action Plan Related to Labor Rights. Read more…

Farm groups focus of estate tax

Rising land values, higher farm asset costs have forced farmers to turn their attention to the need for better estate planning. First step there is to get Congress to enact a permanent set of estate tax rules so farmers and their families can plan ahead. A group of commodity, dairy, livestock and specialty crop industries is urging the House and Senate to enact legislation before the end of the year to provide permanent, meaningful estate tax relief. Read more…

Assistance available for BCBS members impacted by Oklahoma tornadoes

During a natural disaster, you never know where you may end up. The folks at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) understand that many of their members may be displaced as a result of the tornadoes and severe weather that struck Oklahoma. BCBSOK is prepared to assist their members who live, go to school, work or are traveling in the communities impacted by the severe weather. Read more…

Mistakes that up your risk of food poisoning

We take every precaution to avoid food poisoning: We use separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables, we scrub our fresh fruit, and we disinfect just about everything. But when we focus so intensely on the major causes of food poisoning—undercooked food, unclean surfaces—little mistakes can easily slip through the cracks.. Click on the following link, provided by TSCRA Insurance Services Inc., to read about those tiny blunders that can lead to problems. While you’re at the TSCRA Insurance Services Inc. resources page, see what other helpful info they’ve gathered for you! Read more…

Schmallenberg spread a warning to Europe, scientists say

The outbreak of a new livestock disease in western Europe last year, particularly harmful to offspring, could move further into areas surrounding the worst affected countries in the next cycle of new births, scientists say. The Schmallenberg virus – named after the German town where it was first detected in November – infected sheep and cows on at least 2,600 farms in eight EU countries last year, most likely between August and October. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, April 16, 2012

For the week ending April 14, feeder cattle price trends at Texas auctions covered by USDA Market News were mostly steady to $3 higher per hundredweight (cwt), with a few to $5 higher. Several locations noted light receipts last week because of the Easter holiday. The Texas direct feeder cattle trade was $2 to $3 lower with limited comparable sales for immediate delivery as many sellers reportedly passed on the lower bids. Oklahoma City was steady to $2 lower with light receipts. Fed cattle cash prices were near unchanged from the previous week as beef prices fluctuated, but ended the week unchanged on Choice and higher on Select-grade beef. Read more…