Pipeline proposal revives eminent domain debate

photo: Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Amid an oil and gas boom that has increased demand for new pipelines, Texas regulators have proposed new rules that have renewed a clash between two major state interests: energy development and private property rights. Read more at the The Texas Tribune…

Cattle operations honored for stewardship efforts

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Seven cattle operations were recognized here today as regional winners of the 2014 regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program. The awards, announced during the 2014 Cattle Industry Summer Conference, honor the industry’s best land stewards. Rocosa Ridge Ranch, Bosque County, Texas, was the 2014 regional winner for Region IX. Read more…

Duckweed can choke out a pond, and the fish that live in it

Picture by Oklahoma State University

Fish need a steady supply of oxygen in the water to survive. Without it, pond owners may find their pond surfaces littered with dead fish. Many ponds and lakes throughout the region can be seen with duckweed growing on the surface. While this plant does not typically cause too many problems, if left uncontrolled, it can cover the whole pond and choke its oxygen supply. Marley Beem, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension aquaculture specialist, said you should never let any plant entirely cover the surface of a pond. Read more…

National Dove Hunter Survey findings released

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Only one month until dove season opens in the North and Central hunting zones in Texas! About 250,000 mourning dove hunters harvest 5 million mourning doves on an annual basis in Texas – making the Lone Star State the nation’s leader in both the number of hunters and harvest. The findings of a National Dove Hunter Survey will help managers better understand the opinions of this important hunting community at a national level. Read more…

US Drought Monitor, Jan. 29, 2014

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Cooler, showery weather late in the period helped to offset the effects of several hot days, resulting in only minor changes to the drought depiction. There were some improvements noted in a few areas, including Texas’ northern panhandle, where the coverage of extreme to exceptional drought was further reduced. A bit farther south, Lubbock received 10.46 inches of rain from May 1 to July 29, helping to dent the 30.47-inch precipitation deficit that accumulated from January 2011 – April 2014. On July 27, USDA reported that subsoil moisture was rated 65 percent very short to short in both Oklahoma and Texas. Rangeland and pastures have exhibited some recovery and are currently rated just 24 percent very poor to poor in Texas and 19 percent in Oklahoma. Read more…

August 1, 2014: CattleFax Daily Market Outlook and Analysis

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The fed cattle market was lower this week as cattle in the North traded at $163 to $164 live, steady to $3 lower than last week. On a dressed basis, trade was steady to $4 lower this week at $255 to $258. In the South, live cattle traded at $162 to $163, weak to $2 lower than the previous week. Boxed beef values moved higher this week as high demand for end cuts and grinds pushed prices higher and helped support weaker demand of the middle meats. Feeder cattle were $2 to $5 stronger for the week with calves finding a higher market by $3 to $8. Slaughter cows were steady to $4 higher for the week. Pasture conditions remained very good in many parts of the country, slowing movement off grass. Read more…

July 31, 2014: CattleFax Daily Market Outlook and Analysis

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Cash market remained quiet today, any rumored early bids have been for steady cash. A strong round of profit taking in futures markets led to loses across both live and feeders. The august live cattle contract continues to test the $160/cwt resistance point. Several feeder contracts closed limit down. Weather continues to put downward pressure on corn, which has traded sideways for about 10 days. August live cattle futures closed $1.92/cwt lower, while the actively traded October contract dropped $2.60. August feeder cattle futures closed $2.35/cwt. lower. The CME reported the seven-day average Feeder Index at the next in line of daily record highs, $225.06/cwt., up $0.11/cwt. Wholesale boxed beef values ended the day $1 to $2/cwt. higher. Corn futures closed around $0.04/bu lower. Soybean futures prices finished mixed, plus or minus a few cents. Nearby Chicago wheat futures closed around $0.03/bu. higher, while Kansas City wheat added $0.0875. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Tractors, hay rake stolen in South Texas

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TSCRA Special Ranger Tommy Charbula, Dist. 24 in South Texas, reports the theft of three tractors and a 10-wheel hay rake from a property in eastern Fort Bend County near Acola. Stolen on July 9 was a John Deere tractor model 6430 Premium, VIN 1o6430h515536. This tractor has an air-conditioned cab and a model 563 front end loader with a hay spear. Also taken was a John Deere 65 horsepower tractor with a front end loader and a hay spear. This tractor does not have a cab and has a toolbox mounted on the front bumper. The third tractor stolen January 2014 is a 2012 New Holland model T5070, VIN zcjh16342, with an air-conditioned cab and a model 825TL front end loader. Also missing is Read more…

Cargill announces plans to close Milwaukee beef plant

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Citing tight cattle supplies, Cargill today announced that it will close its Milwaukee, Wis., beef slaughter facility, which employs approximately 600 people, effective at the close of business on Friday, Aug. 1. Cargill said its six other U.S. beef harvest plants, which are located in California, Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Pennsylvania, are unaffected by this plant closing. Read more at Agri-Pulse

Texas cases of VS still growing

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The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of 14 new cases of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in both horses and cows in South and Central Texas. Twelve new premises are located in Bastrop County, one new premises is in Travis County and one new premises is located in Val Verde County. Two cases of VS have been detected in bovine in Bastrop County. Read more…

Prescribed Fire Handbook available on mobile media devices

The head fire is set in a paddock as a part of a managed fire. Texas AgriLife Research photo by Dr. Richard Teague

The Oklahoma Prescribed Burning Handbook has been a wildly popular publication. So much so that John Weir, research associate in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management can hardly keep them stocked on his shelves. To help keep the supply up with the demand, Weir worked with DASNR’s Technology-Services and Support group to create the “Prescribed Fire Handbook,” a mobile website landowners and land managers can easily take with them into the field. Read more…

New mosquito-borne virus disease found in south Central Texas

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Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, has been identified in five Texas counties — four of them in south Central Texas — and may become endemic to the state, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologists. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Italian beef and cheese calzone

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This beef and cheese calzone is easy to make and bake. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

July 30, 2014: CattleFax Daily Market Outlook and Analysis

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Live cattle and lean hog futures continued to trade in opposite directions. Cattle markets continued to be supported by reports of strong interest for beef and generally optimistic cash market expectations. Hog markets were burdened with mostly bearish cash market news. Live cattle-to-lean hog spreads continue to trade at relatively high levels, especially regarding the April through June contracts. August live cattle futures closed $1.075/cwt higher, while the actively traded October contract added $0.850. August feeder cattle futures closed $1.600/cwt. higher. The CME reported the seven-day average Feeder Index at another all-time high of $224.95/cwt., up $0.76/cwt. Wholesale boxed beef values ended the day $1 to $2/cwt. higher. The USDA estimated hide and offal value continued its volatile trend by ending the day $0.11 weaker at $16.20/cwt. Corn futures closed mostly steady. Soybean futures prices pulled back $0.06 to $0.20/cwt. Chicago wheat futures closed around $0.04/bu. higher, while Kansas City wheat added $0.05. Read more…

July 29, 2014: Daily Market Outlook and Analysis

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Trade Tuesday saw mixed live cattle futures with uncertainty about cash trade for the week. Cash is either expected to be strongly up, or weakly down, and the entire market is currently looking for bids. Feeder cattle futures performed well with steadily cheaper corn and bullish sentiment from the feedlot sector. Corn futures lost all of yesterday’s gains, while soybean futures gave back a portion. August live cattle futures closed $0.27/cwt lower, while the actively traded October contract closed unchanged from yesterday’s close. August feeder cattle futures closed $1.25/cwt. higher. The CME reported the seven-day average Feeder Index at yet another all-time high of $224.19/cwt., up $2.24/cwt. Wholesale boxed beef values ended the day $2-3/cwt. higher while the choice select spread narrowed to $2.31. Record highs are becoming a norm as the USDA reported drop credit reaches $16.31/cwt. Corn futures closed around $0.0625/bu. lower. Soybean futures prices fell $0.10/bu. Chicago wheat futures closed around $0.15/bu. lower, while Kansas City wheat dropped $0.14. Read more…

TSCRA supports The Red River Private Property Protection Act

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TSCRA announced support July 29 of H.R. 4979, also known as the Red River Private Property Protection Act, authored by Rep. Mac Thornberry, Texas, Dist. 13. The legislation provides legal certainty for landowners along the Red River. TSCRA submitted a letter of support for the record at a hearing before the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. Read more…

House passes bill to modernize Endangered Species Act

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The House passed H.R. 4315 the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act on Tuesday, July 29, by a vote of 233 to 190. The Public Lands Council (PLC) and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) strongly support the legislation, which combines four bills previously marked up by the House Natural Resources Committee, and will be beneficial to updating and improving the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Read more…

Appeals court upholds COOL

Example label now available on ground products.

The federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected a challenge to the Agriculture Department’s meat labeling rules, delivering the latest in a series of blows to industry groups that oppose the regulations as needlessly burdensome. Upholding previous rulings, the court let stand the department’s country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements for cuts of meat. Read more at The Hill

Texas doctors issue warning about poisonous caterpillars

courtesy Bart Everson via Flickr

Doctors are cautioning residents to avoid a small, furry caterpillar whose bite can cause severe pain and dangerous allergic reactions. Read more at The Houston Chronicle

Texas crop, weather, for July 29, 2014

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Fall armyworms are more like “summer” armyworms this year due to unseasonable rains in July. The rains were favorable for crops, but they also set up conditions for armyworms to survive and increase in numbers. Read more…