Pawnee County, Okla., FSA office closing Aug. 1

As of Aug.1, 2012, the Pawnee County FSA office will be officially closed and all FSA program services will be provided by the Noble County FSA office unless a producer has elected to transfer their records to another county. Read more…

NCBA statement on COOL ruling

The World Trade Organization (WTO) issued its final ruling on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) June 29. The ruling was originally released November 2011 and appealed on March 23, 2012, by the U.S. Trade Representative. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President Bob McCan issued a statement on Friday’s final ruling, saying the government’s unfortunate decision to appeal only prolonged an issue that could have been resolved quickly. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: East Texas ATV stolen

TSCRA Special Ranger Larry Hand, Dist. 13 in East Texas, reports the theft of an ATV from a property east of Tyler in Smith County. On June 2, the thief or thieves cut a lock to gain entry to the rural property and took the vehicle from a barn. The ATV is a red and black Kawasaki TREX, serial no. JKARFDC128B500383. If you have any information on this theft, please call Special Ranger Hand at 903-592-5252. Read more…

Horses need hurricane plans, too

Evacuating when a hurricane hits the coast is a stressful and scary experience, especially when evacuating with horses. Hurricanes usually give enough lead time to move people and horses out of the storm’s expected path. But even with that time, making sure you are prepared for an equine evacuation can be crucial to horses’ survival. Read more…

U.S. Drought Monitor, June 26, 2012

Abnormally Dry to Extreme Drought conditions expanded across parts of Oklahoma and Texas. The long term/short term impacts boundary in Texas was moved westward. Read more…

Texas Conservation Plan landowner information

The Texas Conservation Plan for the dunes sagebrush lizard is a voluntary plan available for oil and gas companies and private landowners. The plan, developed by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and numerous stakeholder groups, will be administered by the newly-created Texas Habitat Conservation Foundation. The plan has been the topic of considerable discussion and many questions. To help answer some of these questions, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension is providing this short overview of the plan to provide some clarification for interested stakeholders. Read more…

Successful TSCRA ranch gatherings held across Texas this week

More than 300 association members and guests attended 3 TSCRA ranch gatherings held this week in Canadian, Roaring Springs and Fort Chadbourne. The weather may have been hot, but the attendees enjoyed beef dinners, catching up with old friends, making new friends and listening to interesting speakers. From these meetings, TSCRA gained 37 new memberships. Read more…

Supreme Court rules health law may largely stand

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld most of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law, saying it was authorized by Congress’s power to levy taxes. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members. The ruling upheld the individual mandate requiring nearly all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. The court did substantially limit a major piece of the law, one that expanded Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that provides health care to poor and disabled people. Seven justices agreed that Congress had exceeded its constitutional authority by coercing states into participating in the expansion by threatening them with the loss of existing federal payments. Read more…

House Democrats press for details on Asia-Pacific trade deal

A majority of House Democrats have admonished U.S. trade officials for failing to consult with Congress and disclose details of negotiations on an Asia-Pacific trade deal. On Wednesday, 132 of 191 Democrats sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk pressing him to increase transparency and openness in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks while ramping up engagement with Congress as complaints increase about the secrecy of the talks. Read more…

Bill would exempt CAFOs from reporting under Superfund Act

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee hosted a hearing on Wednesday, June 27, to deliberate on the “Superfund Common-Sense Act” introduced by Congressman Billy Long, R-Mo., According to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President J.D. Alexander, the legislation (H.R. 2997) would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the courts from imposing what Alexander called expensive liability and needless regulation on U.S. agriculture. Read more…

New Mexico veterinary official says VS outbreak is ‘significant’

New Mexico Livestock Board state veterinarian Dr. Dave E. Fly has said in a release issued June 20 that an outbreak of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in the state is significant. Initially found in the outskirts of Tularosa, Otero County, in April, suspected cases of the viral disease have been reported in southwestern San Miguel and northern Socorro counties. The board says counties along the path of the Rio Grande are at greater risk, as the disease tends to appear along waterways. Regulation on livestock movement in effect until state is declared free of VS. Read more…

New TxDOT application provides real-time travel information

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has launched a new online map application, Drive Texas™ that provides travelers with real-time traffic conditions, traffic and weather feeds, as well as links to other useful travel information. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Stuffed jalapeno burgers

Blended with cream, filled with cheese, salsa and jalapenos, this burger’s like no other for your Fourth of July cookout. Read more…

Experts: Texas cattle deaths due to prussic acid ‘isolated incident’

Texas AgriLife Extension Service experts said Tuesday the recent deaths of 15 cattle in Bastrop County were likely an isolated event and that no further problems are anticipated. “It should be known that there is not a widespread problem or concern related to this forage or its use for grazing livestock or the production of hay for livestock consumption.” Read more…

Founder of cattle brokerage company sentenced

The founder and former chief executive officer of the now-defunct cattle brokerage company Eastern Livestock has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in a check-kiting scheme. Two other former executives were ordered to make restitution of $890,000 and sentenced to five years, withheld through pretrial diversion. Read more…

Fourth of July fire safety

Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the Fourth of July. Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries, but you can help prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths. First, be sure your area allows fireworks and follow these firework safety tips on what you can do to make your Fourth celebration a happy and safe one, from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Texas Forest Service. These links are provided by TSCRA Insurance Service. While you’re at their resources page, check out all the other important information they’ve gathered for you! Read more…

Animal owners advised to be prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms

With Tropical Storm Debby threatening the Gulf States, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain is reminding livestock owners that they need to be prepared to not only take care of themselves but also their animals. For cattle and horse owners, a hurricane or storm plan should begin with selecting the place on their property that is least likely to flood where livestock can quickly and easily be moved when a hurricane or other severe weather threatens the area. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, June 26, 2012

While crops were doing reasonably well in Central Texas, much of the rest of the state is backsliding into drought pretty quickly. Read more…

Former Oklahoma game warden joins TSCRA as special ranger

Former Oklahoma Game Warden Paul Cornett has joined the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) as a special ranger for District 3 in Oklahoma. District 3 includes Caddo, Canadian, Carter, Cleveland, Comanche, Custer, Garvin, Grady, Hughes, Johnston, Kiowa, Love, Marshall, McClain, Murray, Oklahoma, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Seminole, Stephens, and Washita Counties. Read more…

DOJ report on competition in agriculture markets

In 2010, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a series of workshops exploring competition in the agricultural sector. The workshops, DOJ and USDA hoped, would create for a dialogue and learning on the challenges—as well as the opportunities—facing American agriculture in the 21st Century. The DOJ has released a report on the workshops and what they learned. Read more…

Blue-green algae, other diseases threaten cattle

Dry fields and pastures are not the only challenges agricultural producers are facing so far this summer. Warmer-than-usual weather and a lack of precipitation are also contributing to disease threats to livestock, according to Kansas State University veterinarian Larry Hollis. Hollis, who is a beef cattle specialist with Kansas State Research and Extension, outlines 3 threats to cattle stemming in part, from recent weather conditions, including blue-green algae in ponds, leptospirosis and anaplasmosis. Read more…

USDA-ARS studying alternatives to antibiotics in animal health

Over the years, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have developed and patented new technologies that could aid in reducing antibiotic use. Some of those tools have been shown to be effective in treating mastitis in cattle, controlling foodborne enteric bacterial pathogens, creating antimicrobials that kill disease-causing bacteria, and protecting poultry against parasites. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, 6-25-12

or the week ending June 23, feeder cattle price trends at Texas auctions were mostly steady to $7 lower per hundredweight (cwt), although a few locations also noted prices as much as $5 higher on a portion of their offerings. Lower fed cattle and beef markets, dry pastures and variable quality offset smaller supplies. A Texas direct feeder cattle trend was not available due to light trade volumes as sellers passed up the lower bids in hopes of a recovery. The Oklahoma City auction was $1 to $5 lower. Fed cattle cash prices were down $3 in very light trade as the market followed beef values lower, leaving many sellers unwilling to accept the lower bids. Read more…

Visit Cattle Raisers Trading Company for your TSCRA merchandise

If you’ve been wanting your own TSCRA cap or t-shirt, now’s your chance to show your Cattle Raisers pride. Click here or go to tscra.org and click on the “Shop TSCRA” button to visit Cattle Raisers Trading Company to see all our TSCRA merchandise. Read more…

Cattle rustling on the rise

Now, thanks to gooseneck trailers hitched to high-powered pickups, the theft of bovines is easier, faster and more profitable. This week, West Texas members and guests will get an update on cattle rustling. The organization also will meet Tuesday in Canadian and Thursday in Roaring Springs, a small community in Motley County. At both gatherings, which are open to the public free of charge, special rangers will update attendees on recent livestock and equipment thefts in the area and how ranchers can better protect their livestock against thieves. Read more…

US cattle on feed up 2 percent

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.1 million head on June 1, 2012. The inventory was 2 percent above June 1, 2011. Placements in feedlots during May totaled 2.09 million, 15 percent above 2011. a The number of cattle on feed for feedlots in Texas with capacity of 1,000 or more has remained steady since June 1, 2011, and was down in Oklahoma by 10 percent. The number was also up two percent from May 1, 2012, in Texas and up 8 percent in Oklahoma from the month previous. Read more…

Hybrid grass tied to Texas cattle deaths

The recent deaths of 15 head of cattle in Bastrop County have been linked to the grass in the field where they were grazing, which tests indicated produced cyanide gas. Federal officials are investigating whether a random mutation of the grass variety was responsible. However, some sources incorrectly reported that the grass the cows ingested – a form of Bermuda grass known as Tifton 85 – was a genetically modified (GM) organism. In fact, Tifton 85 is a hybrid, not a GM organism. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: 2012 Beef Cow Slaughter; Anaplasmosis; Test Your Forage!

In the June 25 issue of Cow-Calf Corner, topics include how the 2012 beef cow slaughter numbers differ from last year’s drought-affected count, why you should keep your eye out for early anaplasmosis in cattle this year, and why you should test your forage before you cut. Read more…

TSCRA Event Calendar

June 26: TSCRA Ranch Gathering, Canadian June 26: Injection Site and Equipment Care Demo, Bowie June 28: TSCRA Ranch Gathering, Roaring Springs June 28: TSCRA Ranch Gathering, Bronte June 29: TSCRA Range and Pasture Field Day, Granbury July 17: Ranching 101, Ranch Accounting, Fort Worth July 19: TSCRA Ranch Gathering, Spearman July 19: Dilley Luncheon, Pacho Garcia Café, Dilley Aug. 11: Southern Plains Beef Symposium, Ardmore, Okla.

Staples urges Congress to reform Endangered Species Act to protect property owners’ rights, jobs, natural resources

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is urging Congress to put an end to the overbearing regulations of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the abuse and misuse of the Endangered Species Act. In an ongoing effort to protect Texas private property owners’ rights, jobs and natural resources, Staples submitted written testimony June 19 to the U.S. House of Representatives’ committee on natural resources. Read more…

Cattle Outlook: Retail beef demand improves in May

Preliminary data indicate retail beef demand may have rebounded in May after a 1.8 percent decline in April. Export demand for beef was down 9.9 percent in April. Fed cattle demand was down 5.6 percent in April and down 0.3 percent in May. Thus far, 2012 domestic meat demand appears little changed from January-May 2011. Read more…

Tips to combat sinus pain and pressure

Nasal congestion, sinus pressure and pain are common symptoms that can result from colds and allergies. But you can manage your sinus problems once you understand the causes and treatments. TSCRA Insurance Services Inc. provides this link to help with your sinus action plan. Read more…

U.S. Drought Monitor, June 19, 2012

In the southern Plains, a patchwork of thundershowers resulted in expansion of some Abnormally Dry to Severe Drought and contraction of other Abnormally Dry to Extreme Drought in parts of Texas. Abnormally Dry to Severe Drought expanded in Oklahoma, with Extreme Drought expanding in the Oklahoma panhandle and into southwest Kansas. The impact boundaries were also adjusted in the southern and central Plains to reflect the changing nature of hydrological and agricultural (long-term and short-term) impacts. Read more…

Senate passes farm bill

The Senate on Thursday approved a sweeping new farm billthat would cost nearly $1 trillion over the next 10 years, financing dozens of price support and crop insurance programs for farmers and food assistance for low-income families. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support,64 to 35. It now goes to the House where it faces a much tougher road because conservative lawmakers want to make deeper cuts in the food stamp program, which serves about 45 million Americans. Read more…

New Mexico reports more cases of vesicular stomatitis

To date, 11 New Mexico premises are under quarantine after vesicular stomatitis (VS) was detected last month in 2 Otero County horses. The counties of Otero, Valencia, Socorro and San Miguel have confirmed positive cases of VS, while Dona Ana and Roosevelt counties have suspect cases. The counties of Bernalillo and Santa Fe are considered high risk for cases of VS. Based on these findings, New Mexico’s state veterinarian says a health certificate (CVI) will be required for all New Mexico-origin livestock in locations where out-of-state livestock are a part of a public event such as roping, racing, breeding or other forms of public exhibition, or traveling interstate. The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) prohibits entry of animals from VS-quarantined premises into Texas and requires other livestock to be accompanied by a valid certificate of veterinary inspection. Read more…

Consumer Reports’ poll says Americans want antibiotic-free meat

A majority of Americans want antibiotic-free meat, according to a national poll released by Consumer Reports. According to the Consumer Reports poll, 86 percent of consumers polled said that meat raised without antibiotics should be available in their local market. Read more…

Will the European debt crisis affect Texas?

In the latest issue of Fiscal Notes, a review of the Texas economy from the office of Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, economic experts discuss how the European crisis developed and what effects it may have on the Texas economy. Read more…

Producers encouraged to scout, treat fields for grasshoppers

Summer’s here and agricultural producers in the Southern Great Plains should expect grasshoppers insect to play their usual rogue role. Without a cold winter or cool spring, much of the grasshopper population has lived through the early stages of its life cycle. Agricultural experts at The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation say pastures and fields are likely to be bustling with young grasshoppers that are ready to do damage. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Philly cheese meatball sandwiches

A slight twist on an old standby. Read more…

Wrap up on Senate farm bill amendment votes

The Senate pushed on Tuesday evening on amendments, including a vote to require a study on determining the feasibility of offering crop-insurance policies that provide coverage for specialty crops involving food-safety issues. An amendment primarily to restore $4.5 billion in funding for food-stamp benefits also failed. Read more…