Cattle Raisers Convention kicks off in Fort Worth

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TSCRA’s annual Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo kicked off Friday morning with classroom sessions at the School for Successful Ranching as well as exhibits, learning and cattle handling demonstrations in the Cattle Raisers Expo. Saturday’s events will begin at 8: 00 a.m. with the opening of the Cattle Raisers Expo, information sessions, more School for Successful Ranching classes and TSCRA’s Opening General Session at 10:00 a.m. The evening Dinner and Dance at the River Ranch begins at 7:00 p.m Read more…

Mexican stray animals continue to pose a disease threat along the Rio Grande

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A Mexican stray donkey has tested positive for glanders according to the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC). A USDA mounted quarantine enforcement inspector recently apprehended five Mexican stray donkeys along the Mexico-Texas border north of Presidio. The donkeys were transported to the USDA Presidio holding pens where they were isolated from contact with other animals. One of the 5 donkeys subsequently tested positive for glanders, an infectious bacterial disease of donkeys, horses and mules. The protocol for equines captured straying into Texas from Mexico is to test them for a number of diseases foreign to the U.S., including glanders. Read more…

Experts predict wet weather, farming problems to persist in South Texas

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Lower Rio Grande Valley growers looking for long spells of hot, dry weather may be in for a disappointment, at least through May, according to weather and crop experts. Barry Goldsmith, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Brownsville, said that while South Texas is now into the drier part of the year, unsettled weather could move across the area periodically for the next two, possibly three, months. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, March 24, 2015

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Moderate to heavy rain from southern Oklahoma into central and southern Texas reduced drought coverage and intensity, with the most notable improvements occurring between San Antonio, Texas, and the Big Bend. Despite the soaking rainfall, little change was made to the drought coverage and intensity northwest of Austin, where reservoirs levels struggled to rebound due to a persistent, pronounced long-term drought. Read more…

Travel Alert: If you're driving north to the Cattle Raisers Convention, avoid I-35 north of Austin

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A tractor trailer struck a bridge just north of Salado on I-35 on Thursday, resulting in the closure of the highway in both directions until further notice. Preliminary reports from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) state that large beams were dislodged from the bridge, which was under construction. Motorists are encouraged to take alternative routes such as SH 95 between Temple and Georgetown; US 190 from Belton to Killeen; and 195 to Georgetown. TxDOT is directing folks to keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest updates, including alternate routes.

Sign up now for your free Expo day pass; Buy a ticket to win a Ford Truck, Polaris Ranger or cruise

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TSCRA members attending the Cattle Raisers Convention beginning Friday in Fort Worth can get a free day pass for 2 full days of learning and fun. If you can’t make the meetings, TSCRA members can receive free Expo day passes for Friday or Saturday. Non-members may purchase a day pass for only $10. Time’s also running out to buy tickets for the TSCRA PAC raffle! Tickets will be available at the TSCRA PAC booth in the Expo. Read more…

Ranchers in Texas excited about rain

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin

The weather will likely be a topic of conversation this weekend in Fort Worth at the annual Cattle Raisers Convention. One rancher happy for the rain is Pete Bonds, Saginaw, president of TSCRA. Bonds is cautiously optimistic that drought conditions are improving but is not ready to start “doubling down” and buying a lot of cattle. Also discussing what the recent moisture could mean for cattle raisers are Jim Link, a TSCRA director and North Texas rancher, and Ken Cornelius, TCU Ranch Management director. Read more…

USDA designates Payne County in Oklahoma as a Primary Natural Disaster Area

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Payne County in Oklahoma as a primary natural disaster area due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought. Farmers and ranchers in Creek, Lincoln, Logan, Noble and Pawnee counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Read more…

Marbling research shows healthy fat in beef has benefits

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Beef with reasonable marbling and juicy taste is preferred among consumers, and industry leaders continue to monitor how to consistently produce a product with these traits. A recent research article addresses the biology and biochemistry of beef marbling and its effects on production systems, carcass and fat quality. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Beef fajitas on a stick

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Make a quick and easy fajita dinner by grilling your beef on bamboo skewers. Read more at www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

COOL retaliation looms

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It’s been more than a decade since Congress first passed its country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements and 3 subsequent World Trade Organization rulings that have gone against the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has said no administrative action could resolve the issue if the WTO comes down with a final adverse ruling. The WTO Appellate Body has announced it will circulate its ruling on the final U.S. appeal no later than May 18. WTO-authorized retaliation by Canada and Mexico could be authorized as soon as 60 days thereafter. Read more at Feedstuffs…

Hormones in beef:  Myth vs. fact

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Much confusion and concern often surrounds the use of hormones in beef production. A common myth surrounding beef produced with additional hormones is that it is unsafe to consume. The fact is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the development and use of hormone implants and the Food Safety Inspection Service of the USDA routinely monitors residues of synthetic hormones in meat. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork

Texas crop, weather, for March 25, 2015

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All parts of the state received more precipitation in the last week, further delaying planting of spring crops in many areas. The total amount of rain is not so much the problem as lack of warmer, sunny weather to dry out fields for planting and to encourage growth of winter forages. Read more…

Nutrition scientist, registered dietician urges secretaries to reconsider dietary guideline recommendations

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The department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and USDA hosted a meeting for public comments on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report released in February. The recommendations in the report, made by government-appointed nutrition scientists, fail to fully recognize the nutritional benefits of lean beef and conclude by advising Americans to eat less meat. Shalene McNeill, a nutrition scientist and registered dietitian with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said the advisory committee’s recommendation to exclude lean meat from a healthy dietary pattern is a historic move that ignores decades of nutrition science and all previous editions of the guideline. Read more…

FDA issues draft guidance for on-farm feed

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The FDA is now accepting comments on Draft Guidance 203, which outlines steps livestock producers can take to identify and prevent feed contaminants that could jeopardize animal health and food safety. The guidance provides detailed recommendations on addressing unacceptable feed risks on the farm, feed-safety practices in procuring, growing and using animal feeds, pesticide and agricultural chemical use, personnel training, identifying the origin of feed and analyzing feed samples. It also offers examples of feed contaminants and unacceptable risk levels. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

Get a sneak peek of your April issue of The Cattleman magazine

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The April print edition of The Cattleman magazine will be in your mailbox soon, but if you’d like to get a head start on it, the digital version is ready for you in the TSCRA Member Center. This digital edition of The Cattleman is free to TSCRA members and is an exclusive benefit of your membership. Read more…

Global meat consumption reaches 225 million tons in 2014

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Euromonitor International released new market research on the global fresh food industry. The global meat market saw 3 percent volume sales growth in 2014 to reach 225 million tonnes, driven by growing demand in emerging markets. Read more at USAgNet…

Livestock slaughter report data errors found

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The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has discovered a data processing issue that caused multiple data errors in the March 19, 2015, Livestock Slaughter report. The March report, which contained February slaughter data, has been removed from the Internet and the parallel data removed from the Quick Stats database. Read more…

Cow/Calf Corner: Spring in Oklahoma means severe weather; Spring time storms and the cow herd

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the March 23 edition of Cow/Calf Corner, a weekly newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension service, Derrell Peel discusses the good and the bad of spring weather and Glenn Selk talks about what to do after a severe spring storm. Read more…

House passes bill to overhaul EPA Scientific Advisory Board

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The House passed legislation on Tuesday to modify the selection process for members of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board. Read more at The Hill…