Check Out Your Checkoff: Beef Boot Camp

Texas Beef Council

Source: Texas Beef Council

The Texas Beef Council (TBC) recently hosted a Beef Boot Camp for 16 H-E-B meat market managers. The group participated in a day-long training covering beef nutrition, grilling techniques, quality grades, flavor pairings and of course, delicious beef recipes. Matching various cuts of beef with proper cooking methods is also a focus during the training. Attendees have the opportunity to prepare different recipes and sample everyone’s work. Beef Boot Camp is designed to educate retail employees so they will have beef knowledge to answer customer questions and provide suggestions that will result in a positive eating experience.

US Drought Monitor, April 22 , 2014


Source: US Drought Monitor

Weather systems moving in the southern storm track dropped 1+-inch rains over parts of Texas and Oklahoma, but the storms affected a relatively small area. Most of the South was drier than normal this week, continuing a pattern which has dominated the last 6 months and longer. The High Plains region of the Texas panhandle has had the driest October-March 42-month period in the 1895-2014 record during October 2010-March 2014, with range, pastures, and wheat struggling, and even irrigation was not helping much. D0 (Abnormally Dry) -D4 (Exceptional Drought) expanded in many parts of Texas, D4 expanded in the Oklahoma panhandle, and D3 pushed into north central Oklahoma and bled into adjoining parts of Kansas.



TSCRA special rangers gather for annual training session


TSCRA’s Special Rangers met for their annual training session this week at the Rocker b Ranch in Barnhart. The meeting allows all the rangers to get together and learn the latest about association activities, legislative priorities and issues important to TSCRA’s law enforcement department. The attendees also participate in required law enforcement and firearms sessions. This year’s meeting and session was sponsored by Lone Star Ag Credit.

TSCRA Special Rangers 2014

USDA designates 240 Texas counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 240 counties in Texas as primary natural disaster areas due to the recent drought. Farmers and ranchers in an additional 9 contiguous counties in Texas and 16 in Oklahoma also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Read more…

Profits increase for cow-calf ranchers


Cow-calf ranchers may be the last romantics of American agriculture. And these days that romance stands to be profitable — very profitable. Read more at Politico…

Plan to capture feral hogs for food bank meat gets closer to reality

USDA picture

A novel plan to trap wild hogs took a step closer to reality after Harris County commissioners approved a contract with a meat packing company that will process the animals into food for needy people. Click here to read the story at KHOU or watch the video below…

It's what's for dinner: American beef pot roast and cheesy mashed potatoes

Texas Beef Council

Try something a little different with your Sunday roast. Read more at…

Cattle Raisers oppose proposal that could put US cattle herd at risk


The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) submitted comments April 22 in opposition to a recent proposal by the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) that could put the U.S. cattle herd at a greater risk of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

USDA-APHIS has proposed a rule that would allow for the importation of fresh, maturated, deboned beef from a region in Brazil into the United States.

According to TSCRA President Pete Bonds, Brazil has a long history with FMD and lacks strict control measures to properly mitigate the risk of FMD into the United States should certain types of fresh beef be imported.

“Protecting the U.S. cattle industry from a catastrophic foreign animal disease like FMD is a major priority for TSCRA,” said Pete Bonds, rancher and TSCRA president. “And although we certainly support free trade with foreign countries that have a proven history of controlling animal diseases, we do not believe Brazil has met, and can consistently guarantee, the standards necessary to keep FMD out of the United States.”

Bonds says that many beef producers in Texas and the Southwest remember all too clearly the devastating effects of FMD the last time it was in Read more…

LCRA draws criticism over proposed rate increases


Citing millions of dollars in lost revenue and unrecovered costs, the Lower Colorado River Authority is proposing significant rate increases for Central Texas cities and Gulf Coast-area rice farmers. The LCRA says the proposed rate hikes — 16 percent for cities and power plants, and as much as 91 percent for some farmers — are needed to address costs. Read more at The Texas Tribune…

FDA revisits brewer's grain rule

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has agreed to return to the drawing board after a proposal to enact regulations governing the use of brewery and distillery byproducts as livestock feed drew considerable opposition from both industries. According to both brewers and livestock producers, had the regulations been imposed as written, it would have drastically hampered the ability of cattle producers to utilize these byproducts, potentially ending a long running relationship between the two industries. Click here to read more at Western Livestock Journal…

Vllsack: Ag unfairly blamed for climate change

exas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Blair Fannin

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that agriculture tends to take the brunt of criticism about climate change, but the industry contributes only 9 percent of the greenhouse gases blamed for a warming planet. Read more at The Des Moines Register

Study: Consumers want more protein, but need education


Source: PRWeb

Consumers say they want more protein in their diets but 71 percent of them don’t know the recommended daily amount they should be eating, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. The high interest in protein coupled with lack of knowledge about what is healthy could add up to an opportunity for marketers, according to a new NPD report, Protein Perceptions and Needs.

While the majority of consumers are unsure of the actual daily amount of protein recommended, nearly two-thirds of them believe they meet or exceed the recommended daily amount of protein, finds the NPD report. Of the 29 percent of consumers who say they do know the recommendation, the average amount cited is 66g of protein a day. The actual recommended daily amount of protein is 46g for adult females and 56g for adult males, based on the USDA guidelines.

Many consumers (64 percent) say they measure their protein intake by eyeing it or they are unsure of how to measure it. Consumers cite health websites, doctors, and food labels as the top sources of information for recommended daily intake of protein.

“Consumers say Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for April 23, 2014


There were varied reports of damage to wheat, forages and fruit and nut crops from the hard freeze on April 15 from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel throughout the Central, Rolling Plains, South Plains and Panhandle regions. A statewide summary of damage to wheat in those areas is pending. However, Dr. Larry Stein, AgriLife Extension horticulturist for fruits, nuts and vegetable crops at Uvalde, was certain pecan and peach orchards were left mostly unscathed. Read more…

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…

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…