Cattle Raisers applaud withdrawal of proposed youth labor regulations

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) applauded a decision by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday to withdraw a proposed rule that would have restricted youth under 16-years of age from performing most jobs associated with agricultural production, especially the livestock sector. The proposal would have also limited youth involvement in programs offered through the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H. Read more…

Forecaster predicts rain in parched West Texas, Okla.

Farmers, ranchers and others struggling with historic drought in West Texas and Oklahoma received a welcome prediction Thursday from a weather researcher who expects the region to see above-normal rainfall in the next three months. University of Colorado climate scientist Klaus Wolter told those attending a drought forum in Lubbock that his prediction came from an experimental model that considers such factors as warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico and soil moisture data collected from around the nation. Read more…

State leaders unveil the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal

Officials with Texas Forest Service and The Texas A&M University System gathered with state lawmakers Friday morning to unveil new web applications that will help homeowners and communities determine wildfire risk — and take measures to mitigate potential hazards. Read more…

Selecting for calmer cattle

Stockmen know that wild, temperamental cattle present a danger to handlers, facilities and other cattle. They’ve also learned that cattle behavior can play a role in performance, health and carcass value, making selection for calmer cattle a worthwhile effort. Read more…

Beetles chomping their way through salt cedar at Lake Meredith

Dr. Jerry Michels, a Texas AgriLife Research entomologist in Amarillo, is hopeful this will be the year major defoliation occurs on salt cedar that lines the banks of the waterways leading into Lake Meredith. They are using both spraying and introduction of salt cedar beetles, which cause defoliation, eventually killing the trees. Read more…

U.S. Drought Monitor, April 24, 2012

No alterations were made to the drought depiction in Oklahoma this week. Notable improvements were made in Texas, especially the Coastal Bend and far southern Texas. In addition, some of the abnormally dry area in east Texas has retreated, while some trimming of extreme drought and exceptional drought was also performed in the Panhandle. The dominant impacts across most of the state are considered to be long-term (L). Read more…