U.S. House scheduled to pass death tax extension today

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.R. 8, “The Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012,” this evening. H.R. 8 is a tax package that extends the current tax code for one year, including the death tax at the current level of $ 5 million per person exemption and a 35 percent tax rate. If an extension of current levels does not happen before the end of the year, the death tax will revert back to the $1 million per person exemption and a 55 percent tax rate. TSCRA is encouraging Texas and Oklahoma representatives to support H.R. 8 with a death tax extension until a full repeal of the tax can be achieved. Read more…

Cattle movement survey

TSCRA is conducting a follow-up survey to the September and December 2011 drought surveys, polling members to better understand the impact of the continuing drought on their herd sizes and future livestock marketing practices. This information will help TSCRA plan future programs and services. All survey responses will remain confidential and only used in aggregate. Individual responses will not be released in any format. Read more…

Brenham man arrested on a charge of cattle theft

Horasio Ramirez, 27, of Brenham, was arrested July 25 after he confessed to stealing 1 head of cattle from the Washington County ranch where he was employed. Doug Hutchison, special ranger for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) and Damon Wegner, investigator for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, conducted the investigation. Read more…

Louisiana hay restrictions waived to help Texas ranchers

An executive order has been issued waiving size restrictions and permit fees on oversized loads of hay traveling to Texas from Louisiana. The Louisiana Departments of Transportation and Development, Public Safety and Revenue will allow vehicles transporting round hay bales to be loaded side by side across trailers up to 12 feet in width and 14 feet in height. Size is normally restricted to 8 feet 6 inches in width and 13 feet 6 inches in height. Read more…

Anthrax confirmed in Irion County sheep

A yearling female sheep in West Texas has been diagnosed with anthrax. This is the second confirmed case of anthrax in a Texas animal, and the first in livestock, for 2012. The infected sheep was located near Mertzon, in Irion County, which is approximately 26 miles southwest of San Angelo. The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has quarantined the premises. Read more…

House GOP won’t extend farm bill

With Republicans badly split over farm subsidies and cutting food stamps, House GOP leaders Tuesday decided to drop plans to extend the current farm program for one year and instead will press for immediate help for drought-stricken livestock producers. The decision comes as Republicans feel pressure to do something for drought-hit farmers and ranchers before Congress begins its summer recess. Read more…

USDA APHIS removes barriers to trade and expands market access for U.S. farm exports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has worked in conjunction with federal, international and industry partners to arrange for the release of 209 shipments of American products valued at more than $39 million in 2012. The goods had been detained at foreign ports of entry pending resolution of various animal and plant health questions. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for July 31, 2012

In 2011, Midwestern producers were shipping hay to Texas as the state faced unprecedented drought and forage shortages. But don’t count on East Texas to return the favor this year as the Midwest undergoes its own drought. Though it’s possible some East Texas producers could ship hay north, it might not happen for a number of reasons, says Dr. Vanessa Corriher, an AgriLife Extension forage specialist. Read more…