Just a few spots left open for ranch rodeo teams

TSCRA has a limited number of open slots for ranch rodeo teams and the ladies breakaway roping on both nights of our ranch rodeo scheduled Feb. 13-14 at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center in Duncan, Okla. Events for the rodeo will include ranch bronc riding, team branding, team doctoring and wild cow milking. TSCRA will also feature a special ladies breakaway roping each night. Entry forms for the ranch rodeo and breakaway roping can be found by visiting www.tscra.org/ranchrodeo. Each entry must be accompanied by signed liability waivers for each contestant.   The rodeo will be held in conjunction with the Oklahoma Horse Fair. Performances begin at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for each ranch rodeo performance may be purchased at the event on the night of the rodeo. Read more…

Roberts names US Senate ag committee senior staff

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts from Kansas has named senior staff for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee. Read more at The Associated Press…

Extra funding sought to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria

The Obama administration wants to double the amount of federal funding dedicated to combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a mounting problem that causes an estimated 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually in the U.S. The president will ask Congress for the $1.2 billion as part of his annual budget request, scheduled to be unveiled next week, White House officials said. An additional $47 million would go to the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate new drugs and monitor the use of antibiotics in livestock. The USDA would receive an additional $77 million, in part, to help develop alternatives to the antibiotics used in farm animals. Read more at The Washington Post…

USDA accepting applications for Conservation Stewardship Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make available $100 million this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers and forest landowners should submit applications by Feb. 27, 2015, to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding. This year’s investment may result in the enrollment of up to 7.7 million acres in the program by private landowners. Read more…

Veterinary Loan Repayment Program yields dividends

A solid education is crucial to those seeking careers in animal science. However, many student loans can be burdensome. Through the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, the USDA’s National Institute of Food Agriculture may repay up to $25,000 each year of student loan debt to eligible veterinarians. In return, qualified veterinarians must agree to provide food animal medical care for 3 years in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations  VMLRP has helped 245 veterinarians since the program’s inception in 2010. Read more at blogs.usda.gov…

Cattlemen urge renewal of Trade Promotion Authority

As trade negotiators meet again this week, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association urges the renewal of Trade Promotion Authority, legislation that gives the nation’s president the authority to negotiate trade agreements with an assurance that Congress will give the final agreement only an up or down vote. More than 12 million American jobs depend on exports, and with the renewal of TPA, valuable free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership can move forward. Read more…

Fewer heifers in feedyards

While the latest U.S. Cattle on Feed report showed total inventory in U.S. feedlots with capacity for 1,000 or more head was 1 percent higher on Jan. 1, 2015, compared to the first of the year in 2014, total inventory of heifers was down 2 percent during that time.  Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork

TPWD proposing changes to Turkey hunting regulations

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is considering closing spring eastern turkey hunting in 11 East Texas counties, restructure the season in two other counties and extend the youth-only fall turkey season. The recommendations are among a brief slate of proposed turkey hunting regulation changes for 2015. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: Oklahoma drought, winter grazing and forage update; Signs of impending calving

In the Jan. 26 edition of Cow-Calf Corner, a newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel talks drought, winter grazing and forage; and Glenn Selk discusses the signs of an impending calving for cows and heifers. Read more…

Cattle Raisers Insurance staff welcome your coverage questions

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The knowledgeable staff with Cattle Raisers Insurance is here to answer any questions you have about the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period, changing your current plan or getting a quote for family or ranch coverage.  Open enrollment for health insurance ends Feb. 15, 2015. Applications for new policies must be turned in to Cattle Raisers Insurance staff by the fifteenth of the month to get insurance for the next month. We don’t want you to miss this important deadline!  For more information about your health insurance options, contact Michele Woodham at mwoodham@tscra.org; Tina Finicum at tfinicum@tscra.org; Julissa Chubbs at jchubbs@tscra.org; or call 800-252-2849.  Read more…

USDA designates 156 Texas counties Primary Natural Disaster Areas with assistance to producers in surrounding states

Farm Service Agency

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 156 counties in Texas as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a drought that occurred from Jan. 1, 2014, and continues. Farmers and ranchers in 64 additional counties in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.  Read more…

Beef production down, pork up in December

Picture courtesy Noble Foundation

Picture courtesy Noble Foundation U.S. red-meat production during December, at 4.1 billion pounds, was up slightly from a year earlier, mainly because of a recovery in pork production, as beef slaughter and production declined according to the latest Livestock Slaughter report from USDA. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork

Cornyn to chair subcommittee at forefront of US trade agenda

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn

U.S. Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, has been named chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness for the 114th Congress. This chairmanship will put Sen. Cornyn at the forefront of developing a U.S. trade agenda to grow America’s economy and competitiveness. Read more…

Beaver problems in pond dams

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

Not only do they build their own, but beaver can cause significant structural damage to pond dams. Dam problems can turn into big problems. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 20, 2015

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South of the Texas Panhandle, precipitation has been variable lately, and drought designations have likewise improved at some places and times, and deteriorated in others. But short-term conditions have averaged much closer to normal across the region as a whole, with precipitation shortfalls observed on time scales of 6 months to multiple years. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

Seeking answers on how to manage feral swine

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Solutions for the feral swine problem are about as elusive as the pigs themselves. For several years, agricultural media and the popular press have documented the growing numbers and distribution of feral pigs, particularly in the southern half of the U.S. We know they damage crops and wildlife habitat, and potentially serve as reservoirs for diseases affecting livestock. n an effort to reduce damage and protect domestic livestock, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is asking for input from the public on its proposed environmental impact statement as part of the APHIS Feral Swine Damage Management Program. Comments will be accepted through Feb. 2. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork

New Cuba regulations should benefit US agriculture

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Treasury and Commerce Department regulations to implement the beginning of normalization of relations with Cuba, announced in December by President Obama, were published in the Federal Register on Jan. 16. The new regulations are effective immediately and should benefit U.S. agricultural exports by improving the foreign exchange earnings available for purchasing U.S. agricultural products and by making U.S. goods more price-competitive. Read more at Ag Professional...

USDA reminds producers of upcoming livestock disaster assistance deadline

Farm Service Agency

USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Judith A. Canales, reminds livestock producers that the Jan. 30, 2015, deadline to request assistance for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2014, is fast approaching.  Applications for the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, restored by the 2014 Farm Bill resumed in April 2014, after having expired on Sept. 30, 2011. To date, more than 556,000 applications have been approved to assist farmers and ranchers in recovering from nearly 3 years of natural disasters.  Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for Jan. 21, 2015

A Panhandle producer strips cotton in Moore County, northwest of Dumas. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Jourdan Bell

A variety of factors – mostly weather — have delayed the finishing of the cotton harvest in the Panhandle, Rolling Plains and, to a lesser degree, the South Plains. During mid-January, the area had drier, warmer days that allowed producers to catch up harvesting, but on Jan. 21, a new winter storm system was moving into the Panhandle, with as much as 8 to 10 inches of snow in the forecast. Until the delay, yields and quality were very good, despite earlier difficulties.  Irrigated yields were as much as 3.5 bales per acre, and dryland from a half to one bale per acre. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Sweet potato beef mash-up

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Ground beef and sweet potato chunks get wrapped up in a whole-wheat tortilla. Read more at BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com…