House passes youth labor legislation

The Department of Labor (DOL), withdrew its proposed rule regarding youth in agriculture on April 26, 2012. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), along with an overwhelming majority of congressional leaders, doesn’t believe pulling back the proposed rule does enough to provide certainty to America’s farm and ranch families. Consequently, U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, introduced the Preserving America’s Family Farm Act (H.R. 4157), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a voice vote, Tuesday. Read more…

TCEQ warns of possible curtailment of water rights

Despite recent rains, drought conditions remain widespread across the state. As a result, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) informed water rights holders today that the agency may need to administer water rights on a priority basis, if drought conditions persist. The executive director and his staff will closely monitor drought conditions throughout the state and take actions when necessary to control diversions. Read more…

Cattle flood auctions

Cattle are streaming into auctions across the country as ranchers sell animals amid a spreading drought that has shriveled pastures and driven up the price of feed corn. Beef from the animals now flooding livestock auctions will start showing up in grocery stores in November and December, temporarily driving down meat prices. But then prices are expected to rise sharply by January in the wake of dwindling supplies and smaller livestock herds. Read more…

Corn grain prices push to record highs

The future of corn prices and the impact on fed livestock continues to be an unfolding, tumultuous situation, but some degree of clarity should be coming to the story in the next few weeks, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service economist. Read more…

Conservation agencies seeks local input

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and their many partners in Local Working Groups statewide, invite the public and any agencies with interest to participate in their annual Conservation Stakeholder’s Meetings held in counties across the state from now until the end of August. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, 7-24-12

If you’ve got grasshopper problems now, you’re probably going to continue to have them until this fall, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service entomologist. Grasshoppers are long-lived; they’re with us most of the summer, and growers are still battling them. Some producers have already had to re-treat two or three times to protect crops. Read more…