Events Calendar

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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…

Canada to follow US lead on antibiotics


Source: Feedstuffs

In an April 11 statement, Health Canada’s Veterinary Drugs Directorate (VDD) said it is now moving forward, in collaboration with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), to remove growth promotion/production claims of medically important antimicrobial drugs from food animal production. VDD and CAHI will also work on developing option to strengthen the veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food animals. Read more…

Water police, part 3: EPA’s definition of ‘tributary’

Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Kay Ledbetter

Source: Farm Futures

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, commenting on the new definition of what constitutes a water of the US, says, “To be clear: our proposal does not add to or expand the scope of waters historically protected under the Clean Water Act.” However, accepting the government’s definition of ‘tributary’ would vastly expand its regulatory power. Read more…

Economics of using mesquite for electricity dependent on outside factors

Texas A&M AgriLife photo

Using mesquite biomass for electricity generation may become economically feasible if ecological and agricultural factors are considered, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research paper being published in the BioEnergy Research journal. The study estimated the long-term economic feasibility of mesquite biomass in electricity production under five different harvest scenarios. They examined variations in rates of standing biomass accumulation and tree density re-establishment after harvest using an above-ground-only or whole-plant harvest option. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, April 14, 2014

Texas Department of Agriculture

For the week ending April 12, 2014, feeder cattle prices reported by Texas auctions were mostly steady to $6 higher per hundredweight (cwt) compared to their previous sale. However, a few locations also noted lower prices, especially on feeders weighing 700 pounds or more. Texas direct feeder cattle prices were steady on cattle weighing less than 800 pounds, but lower on heavier weights. Tight supplies and strong demand continue to support the feeder cattle market. Read more…

TAHC: Tuberculin shortage resolved


Source: Texas Animal Health Commission

On March 26, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) sent out an announcement stating that the USDA was experiencing a nationwide shortage of tuberculin, the product used for tuberculosis testing. The TAHC has stated that that the shortage of tuberculin has now been resolved and the Texas State-Federal Lab is once again fully stocked with tuberculin.

Beef prices reach highest level since 1987


Source: The Associated Press

The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners — and relief isn’t likely anytime soon. A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987. Read more…

USDA announces funding to train and educate next generation of farmers and ranchers

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Mark Kelley.

Source: USDA

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced April 11 the availability of more than $19 million in grants to help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of agricultural producers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).

“USDA is committed to the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers because they represent the future of agriculture and are the backbone of our rural economy. As the average age of farmers continues to rise, we have no time to lose in getting more new farmers and ranchers established.” said Vilsack. “Reauthorizing and expanding the Read more…

Can the EPA be farmers’ friend and foe?


Source: Farm Futures

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy’s attempts to reassure producers that your regulator foe really is your friend creates a conundrum. Read more…

Prevent the spread of invasive species

Caddo Lake giant silvinia in 2006. © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Source:  Drovers CattleNetwork

The USDA has proclaimed April as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. Here are some tips to prevent the spread of noxious weeds and bugs to your area and other regions of the country. Read more…

Cow/Calf Corner: Pressure builds on cattle prices; Culling order for fall-calving herds when forage is limited

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

Source: The Cow/Calf Corner newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service

April 14, 2014

Pressure builds on cattle prices
by Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist

With boxed beef prices down sharply from the second rollercoaster high of the year, fed cattle prices may have peaked seasonally. Fed prices are currently holding mostly steady near $150/cwt. but will likely decrease into May as fed cattle marketings increase seasonally. Cattle slaughter typically increases from April through May to seasonal peaks in June. Fed cattle prices typically decrease from April peaks to summer lows in July. Average price Read more…

U.S. beef export shipments and sales increase


Source:  Laura Mushrush, Assistant Editor, Drovers CattleNetwork

U.S. beef export shipments slightly increased by one percent from the previous week to 12,400 metric tons.

The total moved the 4-week average down four percent for the second consecutive week and decreased the 27-week average to 13,265 MT.

Japan continues to be the primary destination, taking in 3,700 MT. Other notable shipment totals include Hong Kong (2,500 MT), Mexico (2,100 MT), South Korea (1,800 MT), and Canada (800 MT). Read more…

USDA designates 6 counties in Texas as Primary Natural Disaster Areas


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated six counties in Texas as primary natural disaster areas due to the recent drought.

Those counties are:

Crockett                          Menard                    Schleicher                Irion

Reagan                           Sutton

“Our hearts go out to those Texas farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We’re also telling Texas producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather Read more…

U.S. may give up demand for zero Japan beef tariffs in trade deal: Nikkei


Sourece:  Reuters

The United States appears willing to accept a big cut in Japanese tariffs on beef imports rather than insist on scrapping the levy, the Nikkei business daily said on Friday, as the two countries seek a trade deal seen as vital to a broader regional pact.  Read more…


U.S. Drought Monitor: April 8, 2014

April 8, 2014, Drought Map, Southern Region


The same storm system that brought good rains to the southeast also caught portions of Arkansas, east Texas, and Louisiana.

Outside of these areas, the remainder of the region was mostly dry.

Although dry, temperatures remained at or below normal, with departures from normal of 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit through portions of west Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

Improvements were made to the D0 in northern Louisiana, removing all of the abnormal dryness this week.

In southern Arkansas, D0 was also improved.

The rains in east Texas allowed for the improvement of some of Read more…

How to create a login for TSCRA’s Member Center


If you’re interested in downloading one of our free apps, need information on member discounts or want to get free tickets to the Western Heritage Classic, all you’ll need to access exclusive association information is a TSCRA membership and a Member Center login. If you haven’t created a login yet, or it’s been a while, it’s easy to do and free!

Step 1: go to

Step 2: Click on “Create New Login” from the blue menu

Step 3: Click on “New User Registration” to register

Step 4: Fill out information and click “Submit.” Note: It may take Read more…

Check Out Your Checkoff: Beef for Breakfast

Texas Beef Council

Viewers in Tyler and Beaumont recently learned beef isn’t just for dinner anymore. Through Texas Beef Council’s (TBC) monthly television cooking segments, consumers are given ideas for incorporating beef into a healthy, filling breakfast. The beefy sweet potato hash recipe was demonstrated using leftover pot roast to make a nutritious breakfast that can be enjoyed on the go. Lean beef is an excellent source of protein and is packed with other nutrients that will power you up for the day. The recipe speaks to the checkoff’s target audience of the older millennial parent — born between the early 1980s and Read more…

Japan may cut US beef tariffs in crucial trade talks


Source: Reuters

Japan is considering slashing tariffs on U.S. beef imports to less than 10 percent from the current 38.5 percent in negotiations aimed at laying the ground for a broad Pacific trade pact, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday. The proposed cut would be much deeper than one negotiated with Australia, which on Monday agreed to a trade deal with Tokyo including a halving of the levy on frozen beef to 19.5 percent. Read more…

Senators question EPA, president told of agency ‘land grab’ on water rule


Source: DTN Progressive Farmer

A group of U.S. senators Wednesday told President Barack Obama that his administration has not followed the proper channel in developing the proposed Clean Water Act rule. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Pineapple-soy glazed beef steaks



This recipe is great for the grill or broiler. Read more…