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. Click here to read more on the Senate’s action at the New York Times…

Statement from NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall regarding Senate passage of 2012 Farm Bill

Source: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The U.S. Senate in a 64 to 35 vote passed the 2012 Farm Bill (S. 3240) Thursday, June 21. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) commended the passage of the legislation. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall issued the following statement:

“Like many of us who have a vested interest in this legislation (S. 3240), I was pleasantly surprised by the bipartisan efforts made to move this bill through the Senate very efficiently and without much partisan rhetoric. Both Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Minority Leader Pat Roberts, R-Kan., should be commended for their leadership on this very important piece of legislation. Their transparency and willingness to listen to all vested interests was very refreshing for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other like-minded organizations. NCBA stands firm in our commitment to support this legislation.

“Although the amendment process was certainly concerning in its early stages, all is well for cattlemen and women thanks to their outspoken grassroots advocacy. This legislation, as written, incorporates all NCBA priorities. Bottom-line, there is no livestock title, conversation programs – specifically EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) – are maintained and the research title is sustained. All this is done with more than $20 billion in savings to the American taxpayer.

“We support this legislation and will continue working with the House to ensure amendments that would interject the federal government into production agriculture are left out of the legislation or soundly defeated. As we focus our efforts on working with the House Committee on Agriculture to ensure another version of this legislation that is positive for cattlemen, I must stress the importance of family farmers and ranchers being engaged in this process.”

New Mexico reports more cases of vesicular stomatitis

Source: Texas Animal Health Commission

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 certificate must be written within 5 days of entering the show and must contain the following statement:

“The animals represented on this certificate have not originated from a premises or area under quarantine for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS), or a premises on which VS has been diagnosed in the past 21 days. I have examined these animals and have not observed lesions or clinical signs of VS”.

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.

VS can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas and a number of other animals. Lesions will usually heal in 2 to 3 weeks. Because the signs of VS mimic those of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), animal health officials strongly urge livestock owners and caretakers to report potential cases of VS to their private veterinary practitioner or state livestock health officials.

TAHC officials encourage livestock owners to use the best means possible to limit exposure of livestock to insect bites. It is theorized that insects are involved the transmission of VS.

For more information on Texas entry requirements, visit or call 1-800-550-8242 and ask for the permits department.

Click here to download a VS fact sheet from the USDA APHIS.

Producers encouraged to scout, treat fields for grasshoppers

Source: The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

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, called nymphs, that are ready to do damage.

Grasshoppers gather on an oak tree on a Southern Oklahoma ranch during the 2011 drought. Weather conditions this spring have created an ideal environment for grasshoppers. Noble Foundation consultants are encouraging producers to check their fields now and take action as needed.

“Grasshoppers can quickly devastate a field,” said David Annis, soils and crops consultant at the Noble Foundation. “Grass and forage producers need to be aware that this will be a potential problem this season.”

Nymphs favor warm and dry conditions like the climates found in Oklahoma and Texas during the spring and summer. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, the Southern Great Plains can expect a 40 percent chance of warmer and most likely drier conditions in the next three months.

Grasshoppers and nymphs share their main source of energy – forages – with ruminant animals such as cattle, meaning they are likely to populate grass pastures and hay fields. Having grasshoppers or nymphs present in fields creates competition with cattle, and these insects have the upper hand. Thirty pounds of grasshoppers can consume as much forage in a day as a 600-pound steer.

The economic threshold for grasshoppers is 7 to 10 insects in a square yard. If an infestation is not handled properly, or in time, grasshoppers can devastate forage production. “Their presence, coupled with the ramifications from drought conditions and warmer temperatures this year, can greatly decrease a producer’s ability to effectively utilize pastures for grazing,” Annis said. “Now is the time for producers to scout pastures and discuss potential treatment options with their local agricultural professional. It would also be good to work with neighbors when treating for grasshoppers. This joint effort will lengthen the life and effectiveness of treatments.”