TSCRA wraps up Texas Central Railway informational meetings

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Around 100 ranchers, landowners and guests attended the second of TSCRA’s informational meetings in Navasota Thursday evening at the Grimes County Expo Center. Kyle Workman, president, Texans Against High-Speed Rail, was there to discuss the project and answer questions. TSCRA hosted a previous meeting May 14 in Corsicana at the Navarro County Exposition Center. Read more…

Browning Blog: Rain in the plains, y’all

Evelyn Browning-Garriss

In the May 22 edition of the Browning Blog, exclusive content for TSCRA members from climatologist Evelyn Browning-Garriss, get the latest on El Niño, spring and summer rain, and what it all means for our short and long-term drought situation.  Read more…

Wal-Mart asks meat suppliers to reduce antibiotic use

photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

Wal-Mart Stores Inc said its U.S. units were asking meat suppliers to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals, joining the list of U.S. companies that have responded to consumer and government concerns over the excess use of drugs in livestock. Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. will also ask suppliers to provide annual reports on antibiotics management and animal welfare, the world’s largest retailer said on Friday. Read more at Reuters…

Roberts: EPA stacked the deck on WOTUS comments

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., used a nomination hearing Thursday to sound off on what he said were EPA’s “questionable activities” surrounding the proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. Roberts told Jeffrey Prieto, President Obama’s nominee to be USDA’s general counsel, that the proposed rule would harm U.S. agriculture, which USDA has the responsibility to protect. What’s more, Roberts said he believes EPA broke federal law when it “manipulated and influenced” the outcome of the rule’s public comment period, which should trouble any attorney. Read more at Agri-Pulse…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, May 19, 2015

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Nearly coast-to-coast storminess reduced drought’s footprint across the nation’s mid-section but triggered lowland flooding from the southeastern Plains and the western Gulf Coast region into the mid-South. By May 20, cumulative storage in Texas’ reservoirs climbed to 24.78 million acre-feet (78.5 percent of capacity)—the highest in more than 4 years. Only a month ago, Texas’ storage was 22.53 million acre-feet, or 71.4 percent of capacity. Six months ago, on November 20, 2014, storage stood at just 19.43 million acre-feet, 62 percent of capacity. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

Texas Central Railway Informational meeting tonight in Navasota

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TSCRA is hosting an informational meeting on the proposed Texas Central Railway (TCR). The purpose of this meeting is to provide information to TSCRA members, ranchers and landowners who may be impacted by the proposed railway. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the  Grimes County Expo Center, 5220 F.M. 3455. Read more…

Texas ag producers still have time to apply for direct farm ownership loan program

Farm Service Agency

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Judith A. Canales announced Thursday, May 21, that farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest loans available through the FSA direct farm ownership program. Applications must be approved by Sept. 30, 2015, to take advantage of the funding available. Eligible farmers and ranchers can borrow up to $300,000 to buy farmland, construct or repair buildings, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation. The interest rate can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. Read more…

Care for your stock trailer

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During the Cattle Transportation Symposium at Colorado State University, University of Tennessee emeritus professor Dr. Clyde Lane outlines some considerations for minimizing risk and stress while transporting cattle in stock trailers. Watch the video at  at Drovers CattleNetwork…

It’s what’s for dinner: Inside-out grilled steak salad

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Wrap grilled strip steaks in crunchy lettuce leaves and top with strips of your favorite veggies. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

Housing cutoff for Galveston Summer Meeting is June 3

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If you plan to attend TSCRA’s Summer Meeting in Galveston June 25-27, a block of rooms has been reserved at Moody Gardens Hotel. The rate is $189 per night and includes complimentary wireless internet access in all guest rooms and meeting rooms. Reservation cutoff is June 3, 2015. To reserve a room, please call 888-388-8484 and ask for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association room block. You may also go online to www.moodygardenshotel.com and use group code “cattle” to receive the discounted rate. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cattle stolen in southeast Texas

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TSCRA Special Ranger Hal Dumas, Dist. 21 in southeast Texas, reports the theft of cattle from a property in Robertson County this past weekend, May 15-17. The cattle are crossbred heifers weighing 600 to 800 pounds, each, and have a 7 brand on their right hip. The cattle are of different colors. Those with information about this theft are urged to contact Special Ranger Dumas at 979-828-5832.

TSCRA testifies before committee on importance of SB 474 for landowners

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Leslie Kinsel, chair of the TSCRA Legislative and Tax Committee, testified Monday on S.B. 474 in a House Land and Resource Management Committee Hearing at the Texas State Capitol. The bill is authored by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. Cindy Burkett. Read more…

This year’s first cases of vesicular stomatitus found in Pecos County

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The first cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in Texas for 2015 have been detected in 3 horses at a Pecos County premises approximately 30 miles north of Fort Stockton. The owner observed blistering and swelling on the animals’ tongues and lips and contacted their veterinary practitioner. Testing at the USDA National Veterinary Services lab in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the New Jersey serotype of virus. Vesicular stomatitis primarily affects horses and cattle causing blisters or sores on the tongue, lips, muzzle, nose, hooves and/or teats. Because of the contagious nature of VS and its resemblance to other diseases such as foot and mouth disease (FMD), the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) urges livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian or the TAHC immediately. Read more…

Conservation assistance available for landowners along the San Antonio River

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Through the Gulf of Mexico Clean Waters Initiative, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas will provide technical and financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and other private landowners along the San Antonio River in Wilson, Karnes, Refugio, Goliad, Refugio, Victoria, Calhoun and Aransas counties. This assistance will help private landowners in the designated watersheds to develop a conservation plan and receive voluntary recommendations such as rotational grazing, and brush management to help improve the natural resources, including water quality and quantity that ultimately flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for May 20, 2015

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Continued heavy rains through the South, Central, Southeast, East and North regions of the state delayed hay harvesting. The current cool, extremely wet conditions in many areas of the state have led to a lot of cool-season crops producers haven’t been able to harvest. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cattle stolen in north Central Texas, Northeast OK

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TSCRA Special Ranger John Bradshaw, Dist. 9 in north Central Texas, reports the theft of 8 head of cattle from a property near Newcastle in Young County. Some time between Jan. 1 and May 11, a thief or thieves popped a lock to steal 8 head of mixed breed, mixed color yearlings weighing approximately 750 to 850 pounds, each. The cattle have an M diamond 8 brand on the left hip and a double walking cane brand on the right side. If you have any information regarding these cattle, please call Special Ranger Bradshaw at 940-889-6123. TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5 in northeastern Oklahoma, reports the theft of 3 head of cattle from a property near Strang in Mayes County.  On May 5 Read more…

Join us for TSCRA's Summer Meeting in Galveston

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TSCRA will host this year’s summer meeting at the Moody Gardens in Galveston June 25-27. Bring the family and enjoy all the island has to offer. The schedule has been modified to allow attendees to enjoy their time on the island and fish, play golf, or enjoy the beach. Read more…

Legislation introduced in House to repeal COOL

Photo © 2012 Cattlemen's Beef Board

After more than a decade and 2 administrations failing to successfully implement the rule, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, introduced legislation (H.R. 2393) to repeal Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Originally introduced in the 2002 Farm Bill covering beef, pork and chicken; and implemented in 2008, COOL has been detrimental to the U.S. livestock industry and without benefit to U.S. consumers. After multiple rulings against the U.S. by the World Trade Organization, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Philip Ellis said this action by Congress is long overdue. Read more…

Canada plans retaliation against US after WTO meat ruling

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Canada plans to seek permission to retaliate against U.S. imports after a World Trade Organization ruling that U.S. meat labeling laws are discriminatory, Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said on Monday. Read more at Reuters…  

USDA to provide $21M to mitigate drought

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced May 19 that the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will invest approximately $21 million in additional farm bill dollars to help farmers and ranchers apply science-based solutions to mitigate the short and long term effects of drought. These investments will focus financial and technical assistance in the most severely drought-stricken areas in 8 states to help crop and livestock producers apply conservation practices that increase irrigation efficiency, improve soil health and productivity, and ensure reliable water sources for livestock operations. Read more…