TSCRA urges EPA to retain current CAA dust standard

TSCRA filed comments today with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supporting their proposal to maintain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for dust. The EPA’s NAAQS establish the level at which coarse particulate matter (or “dust”) is considered legal under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). Under the CAA, the EPA is required to review these air quality standards every five years. The EPA is set to publish their final rule on NAAQS by December of this year. Read more…

Three suspects charged with felony property theft

A Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) investigation has led to the arrest of 3 suspects who have been charged with felony property theft. Donald Ray Redmond Jr., 41, of Liberty, David Matthews Ambrose, 31, and Vicki Lynn Byrd, 32, both of Dayton, were taken into custody Wednesday. Read more…

TSCRA to hold Sept. 8 ranch gathering in Lubbock

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) will host a ranch gathering on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Cagle Steaks in Lubbock. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by a complimentary beef dinner. State Reps. Charles Perry, Dist. 83, and John Frullo, Dist. 84, will talk about what ranchers and landowners should expect during the upcoming legislative session. TSCRA Special Ranger Scott Williamson will also report on recent cattle thefts in the area as well as tips on protecting livestock and equipment against theft. Read more…

USDA report predicts record exports

Fiscal 2013 agricultural exports are projected at a record $143.5 billion, according to USDA’s quarterly Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report forecasting exports for fiscal years 2012 and 2013. The forecast trade balance for fiscal 2013 shows a surplus of $26.5 billion, down $3.5 billion from the revised 2012 forecast, according to the report. The revised trade surplus for 2012 is $30 billion. Read more…

Wildlife officials investigating dove deaths in West Texas

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating a series of active dove mortality events in and around the West Texas communities of Midland, Odessa and Big Spring. The cause has yet to be determined, but poisoning has not been ruled out. At this time, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) simply desires to provide hunters information on this localized event. Read more…

Hogs outsmart “pork choppers”

When Texas legislators allowed hunters to pay to shoot feral hogs from helicopters, they made national headlines with the “pork chopper” law. Now, a year after the law took effect and the hoopla has died down, shooting hogs from the air isn’t wildly popular and the animals are finding ways to avoid the gunners, meaning helicopter hunting is not particularly effective for feral hog control, a state official said. Read more…

U.S. Drought Monitor, Aug. 28, 2012

The Gulf coast of Louisiana – as well as portions in east Texas – continued in a wet pattern. At the end of the current U.S. Drought Monitor period, Hurricane Isaac was making landfall along the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts. In portions of southeast Oklahoma, Exceptional Drought was expanded to include more of the area that has been missing out on the recent rains. Even with rains in portions of Texas, the consensus was that the impacted grazing lands are not showing much change, so no improvements were made. Degradation was shown in west Texas into New Mexico where a new area of Exceptional Drought was introduced. Conditions also intensified and expanded in south Texas where another new area of Exceptional Drought was introduced and all drought intensity levels pushed farther to the north. Some improvements were shown to Abnormally Dry and Moderate Drought levels in central and eastern Texas as the area was refined to account for the most recent precipitation in the area. Read more…

Arrest made in felony livestock theft case

A joint investigation between Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) and the Lufkin Police Department has led to the arrest of a La Marque man charged with felony livestock theft and felony credit card abuse in Angelina County. Jason Todd Miller, 38, of LaMarque, was arrested Wednesday by Galveston County authorities in Houston. Miller is accused of purchasing a horse in March from a Lufkin horse sale using a $4,500 check from a closed account. On the same day, a saddle and tack were purchased from a vendor using a bad credit card. Read more…

On Texas-Mexico border, ‘tick riders’ fight a little big disease

For decades, cowboys known as ‘tick riders’ have patrolled the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent cattle carrying ‘fever ticks’ from entering. Read more…

Livestock producers affected by disasters urged to keep good records

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia urged livestock producers affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Isaac to keep thorough records of their livestock and feed losses, including additional expenses for such things as feed purchases because of lost supplies. USDA Read more…

US farmers want new farm bill but time is running out

Congress needs to pass a new farm bill and fast or risk putting U.S. farmers in financial jeopardy as they need to decide on how much winter wheat to plant and how much to spend on corn and soybean seeds, plus make other decisions critical to American food production, a number of farming experts said this week. With the current package of farm bill programs due to expire Sept. 30, the chorus of voices from the countryside demanding action by lawmakers is growing louder. However, even these farm experts acknowledge that passage before Sept. 30 appears unlikely because of election year politics and a deeply divided Congress. Read more…

AgriLife Extension expert: Drought lingers, out-of-state hay required again

Hay production ‘hit and miss’ across the state, so bales could begin to show up in fields across the state as producers begin searching for supplies to get them through the winter. Read more…

Beef prices expected to increase this year as farmers deal with drought

Despite the torrential rainfall in the South with Hurricane Isaac, severe drought is affecting the Midwest, which is expected to make the already rising price of beef only go higher. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Thai beef wok’n roll-ups

This beef appetizer is sure to get high scores from your taste buds. Read more…

Crime Alert: Tractors and equipment targeted in Northeast Oklahoma

TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5, reports the theft of two tractors, a trailer and equipment from properties in Northeast Oklahoma, near Inola. Stolen were a red McCormick tractor with a red front end loader, black bucket and yellow sun shade, sometime between Aug. 21 and 22. The suspect or suspects entered through an unlocked gate and drove the tractor to a trailer. On Aug. 26 or 27 a suspect or suspects cut a padlock on a barn door to steal a John Deere tractor with a front end loader and rear bale spear, plus a green Miller utility trailer. Read more…

Emergency CRP grazing extended to assist ranchers impacted by drought

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Wednesday a 2-month extension for emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres, freeing up forage and feed for ranchers as they look to recover from this challenging time. This flexibility for ranchers marks the latest action by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide assistance to producers impacted by the drought, which has included opening CRP and other conservation acres to emergency haying and grazing, lowering the interest rate for emergency loans, and working with crop insurance companies to provide flexibility to farmers. Read more…

Walmart joins agriculture sustainability group

Walmart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer, has joined an alliance of other Fortune 500 companies, including Cargill and Kellogg Co, seeking to make agriculture more sustainable. The Field to Market alliance was started three years ago by the non-profit Keystone Center to improve agricultural productivity and reduce the use of natural resources. It includes farm groups, grain handlers and food makers. Walmart is the group’s first retailer and now its largest member. Read more…

GOP Senate may hurt chances for egg bills, opponents say

Opponents of legislation setting federal standards for the welfare of egg-laying hens say they feel good about keeping the measures from becoming amendments to the farm bill. They also believe the chances of the egg standards becoming law would be further diminished if Republicans win control of the Senate in the November election. The prevailing argument is the measures set bad precedent that could lead to national production and welfare standards for other livestock. Read more…

Grandin explains beef slaughter process in video tour

A video guiding viewers through the cattle slaughter process produced by the American Meat Institute and Dr. Temple Grandin was already in development, but was expedited after the temporary closure of Central Valley Meat Company last week. The video provides additional transparency to educate consumers about the meat and poultry they eat. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for Aug. 28, 2012

According to National Weather Service records, large areas of the state have received 100 percent or more of normal rainfall since Jan. 1. Many other areas have gotten 50 to 75 percent of normal. But precipitation statistics aside, much of Texas still suffered from drought conditions, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel. Of concern are low pond and stock-tank levels. Conditions often vary county to county within a region. Read more…