Events Calendar

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EPA's 'Waters of the US' proposal open for comment


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today posted their proposed definition for waters of the U.S. protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the Federal Register, triggering a 90 day public comment period. Read more at Agri-Pulse…

Obama trip stirs emotions over Asia trade pact


President Barack Obama’s abilities as negotiator-in-chief for the United States will be put to the test this week on a trip to Asia that could set the stage for the conclusion of a huge new free-trade agreement. But the deal faces even more hurdles at home because of opposition from fellow Democrats. The trip comes at a critical time for talks on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional free-trade deal that companies hope will boost exports by billions of dollars but labor groups and other opponents fear will move jobs overseas and weaken consumer protections. Read more at Politico…

Keys to establishing summer forages

AgriLife photo by Robert Burns

The window of opportunity to plant summer annual forages is at hand while it is closing for most perennial warm-season forages. It is recommended that perennials be planted by mid-May. However, there may still be time to establish perennial forages if moisture is good and the forecast remains promising for the next 30 to 60 days. Before planting, review these keys to successful establishment of summer annual forages and some selected perennials. Read more at Noble Foundation….

TDA Market Recap, April 21, 2014

Texas Department of Agriculture

Source: Texas Department of Agriculture

For the week ending April 19, 2014, feeder cattle prices reported by Texas auctions were mostly $4 lower to $4 higher per hundredweight (cwt) compared to their previous sale. Heavier cattle and weaned, preconditioned offerings posted the largest increases, with prices as much as $9 higher at a few locations. Texas direct feeder cattle prices were mostly steady. Tight supplies and strong demand continue to support the feeder cattle market. Fed cattle cash prices were $1 lower. Wholesale beef values were higher. Weekly beef export sales were the highest of the marketing year at 21,900 metric tons (MT), up 18 percent from the previous week and 42 percent higher than the previous four-week average. The top buyers were Japan, Mexico and South Korea. Shipments of 12,700 MT were up three percent from a week earlier and equal to the average. The leading destinations were Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Cotton prices were higher for the week due to concerns about the very dry conditions on the Texas Plains, strong export shipments and continued economic growth in China. However, the large world cotton supplies continued to limit gains. Cotton exports totaled 84,700 bales, a Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: South Texas saddle thefts


TSCRA Special Ranger Steve Martin, Dist. 30 in South Texas, reports the theft of saddles from a storage building in Bee County. Some time between April 12 and 17. 4 saddles went missing from the property near Beeville.

Stolen were a natural brown colored shop-made saddle from the Lazy R Saddle Shop with a 16″ padded seat, square skirts, flat-plate rigging, 4-inch horn, screw-down Conchos, some tooling and a brand burned into the seatback described as an upside letter Y with an unconnected rafter over the top; A Lazy R Saddle shop-made brown saddle with a 14-inch padded fawn-colored seat, mild tooling, square skirts, flat-plate rigging, 3-inch horn, stirrup leathers with regular buckles, and a brand burned into the seatback described as an upside letter Y with an unconnected rafter over the top; A shop-made brown saddle by Mike Lee with a 16″ plain seat and modified association tree, natural rough-out finish, round skirts, flat-plate rigging, 3 1/2-inch horn, stirrup leathers, toe fenders, and a brand burned into the seatback described as an upside letter Y with an unconnected rafter over the top; and a factory-made brown Cowboy Tuff saddle with full floral tooling, a 16-inch padded black seat with Read more…

Ranch gathering April 29 in Weatherford


TSCRA will host a ranch gathering Tuesday, April 29, at the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse building, 2251 Mineral Wells Highway in Weatherford. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by a complimentary beef dinner. TSCRA Special Ranger Wayne Goodman will update ranchers on cattle thefts in the area and how they can better protect their livestock and equipment. Please RSVP to 800-242-7820, ext. 192, or The gathering is sponsored by Novartis Animal Health, Livestock Nutrition Center and Lone Star Ag Credit. Anyone who joins TSCRA at the gathering will receive a free metal gate sign courtesy of Bayer Animal Health and New Holland Agriculture.

One-fifth of China’s farmland is polluted, state study finds


Source: The New York Times

The Chinese government released a report on Thursday that said nearly one-fifth of its arable land was polluted, a finding certain to raise questions about the toxic results of China’s rapid industrialization, its lack of regulations over commercial interests and the consequences for the national food chain. Read more…

Lesser prairie-chicken listing catches eye of state lawmakers

© Gerard Bertrand

Source: High Plains Journal

Kansas lawmakers watched with interest as the Sunflower State was one of five Western states recently notified the lesser prairie-chicken was being placed on the threatened species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Read more…

Cow/Calf Corner: Cattle and beef markets so far in 2014; Short-term calf removal

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the April 21 issue of Cow/Calf Corner newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel discusses how the first quarter of 2014 is shaping up for the cattle and beef markets and Glenn Selk talks how the short-term removal of a calf from its mother may have benefits for a certain number cows, especially those with body condition scores. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Saddle, calves missing in Oklahoma


TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5 in eastern Central Oklahoma, reports the theft of three calves from a property near Canadian in Pittsburg County. Some time between April 1 and 4, a thief or thieves used a pickup truck to steal two black and one red calf, each weighing approximately 300 pounds. The calves had no brands or ear tags.

Cummings also reports the theft of a 16″ Roo-Hide cutting saddle from a barn in Craig County near Afton on April 1. The saddle is smooth leather with no tooling, a smooth leather seat, square skirt and Luann-style cutting stirrups.

If you have any information regarding these thefts, please call Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.

Anonymous information may also be left on our Operation Cow Thief tip line at 888-830-2333. TSCRA offers a cash reward for information leading to the arrest and/or grand jury indictment of thieves.

Check Out Your Checkoff: Fueled by BEEF

BEEF team


The Texas BEEF Team was out in full-force throughout March making appearances in Houston, College Station, Bastrop, The Woodlands, Gonzales, Stonewall, San Antonio, Dallas and Seabrook. The team is a community of runners, triathletes and cyclists who recognize the nutritional benefits of lean beef and the vital role high-quality protein plays in their training. More than 260 runners, cyclists and triathletes proudly wore their “Fueled by Beef” jerseys and were visible advocates for the beef community. In addition to the race participants, more than 70 team members volunteered at the races serving at course water stops and cheering sections. Not only do dedicated team members wear their shirts on race day, but you can see them throughout Texas proudly wearing their shirts at the gym, outside while training and while volunteering in their community. There are currently more than 1,000 members on the Texas BEEF Team

BLM criticized for selling horses for slaughter


Source: AgWeb

The Bureau of Land Management is under fire again, but this time it’s not about going head-to-head with a Nevada rancher. Instead the issue revolves around selling horses for slaughter. The Bureau of Land Management rounded up a horse herd that roamed for decades on federal land in northwest Wyoming and handed the horses over to Wyoming officials. They, in turn, sold the herd to the highest bidder, a Canadian slaughterhouse. Read more…

Food companies unhappy with FDA feed proposal


Source: Politico

Expired marshmallows, broken crackers, stale donuts, even orange peels are among the billions of pounds of would-be waste that help feed livestock every year. By regularly diverting waste , the food industry prevents millions of tons of greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere, but an obscure proposal under a 2011 food safety overhaul could inadvertently send much of the reusable food back to landfills. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Southwest cheeseburgers

Texas Beef Council


Bring a little of the Southwest home with this burger paired with green onions and cumin. Read more…

US Drought Monitor, April 15, 2014



Warm temperatures and dry conditions were experienced over much of the south this week. Even as the week averaged out above normal, cold air at the end of the current U.S. Drought Monitor period pushed into the region with overnight lows well below freezing and snow in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. The dryness in the Texas panhandle allowed for D4 (exceptional drought) expansion this week. In central Texas, D2 (severe drought) was also expanded while an area of D3 (extreme drought) was improved slightly. Dryness in southern Texas also warranted the expansion and intensification of drought, with D1 (moderate drought) and D2 (severe drought) expanding. Another round of precipitation in the Big Bend of Texas allowed for D0 (abnormally dry) to improve while the extreme areas of northeast Texas also had D0 improve. Southern Oklahoma also had degradation of drought conditions, with D1 and D2 conditions expanding. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cattle missing in Central, NW Oklahoma


TSCRA Special Ranger Kent Dowell, Dist. 3 in central Oklahoma, reports the April 9 theft of 50 head of black heifers from a property near Roff in Pontotoc County. The heifers weigh approximately 450 pounds, each, and are branded with a rail 3 – the number 3 with a long bottom running upwards – on the left hip. The heifers also have left ear tags bearing the name SHAD BEEBE and a phone number. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Dowell at 405-941-4117.

TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, Dist. 4 in northwest Oklahoma, reports 4 head of black cows with calves missing from a property near Bartlesville in Washington County. Some time between March 1 and April 16, the black Angus-cross cow-calf pairs are believed to have gone estray. The cows have a C+ brand on their left ribs and have yellow or white numbered ear tags. The calves are not branded and had not been processed. If you have any information regarding these cattle, please call Special Ranger Perrier at 918-275-4257.

USDA-APHIS: Cervid DPP testing temporarily unavailable


ue to an unexpectedly high number of requests to test cervid (deer) serum samples for bovine tuberculosis (TB) this spring, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) has exhausted its supply of ChemBio DPP test kits. The kits are on back order and the manufacturer anticipates that they will be available in early May.

An interruption of about 4 weeks for DPP testing is anticipated at NVSL. Serum samples can still be submitted to NVSL during this time, but they will be frozen and tested when the kits are available. If testing is needed for movement prior to DPP kits being available again, traditional skin testing may be conducted. Otherwise, veterinarians should indicate on the APHIS 10-4 submission form that the testing is for movement, and those frozen samples will be prioritized when DPP tests resume.

If testing is needed for herd reaccreditation, timing of the accreditation will be based on the date the samples are received at NVSL, not the date the test is run.

Questions about submitted samples may be directed to Dr. Jeff Nelson, NVSL, at 515-337-7563 or; questions about herd reaccreditation or movement to Dr. Owen Henderson, VS Cervid Staff, at 970-494-7317 or

Weather will dictate cattle trends this year


Source: Drovers CattleNetwork…

Commercial cow slaughter has run at historically low levels so far this year, partly due to short supplies but also indicating ranchers intend to stabilize or expand their herds. The situation remains volatile though, and with drought appearing to be expanding in the West and Southwest, weather conditions will help determine the direction of herd numbers, according to the April Livestock, Poultry and Dairy Outlook report from USDA. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for April 15, 2014


Source: AgriLife Today

Sub-freezing temperatures on the morning of April 15 put large acreages of Texas wheat at risk for freeze injury, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Temperatures were not as low in the Panhandle and Rolling Plains — mostly in the mid-20s — and wheat there was not as likely to have been injured as in the Central and West Central regions. Read more…

Signup begins Tuesday for USDA disaster assistance programs restored by farm bill

Farm Service Agency

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that starting Tuesday, April 15, eligible farmers and ranchers can sign up for disaster assistance programs restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation, eligible producers can enroll in one of four programs administered by the Farm Service Agency. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014. Read more…