New member discount from STAY-TUFF fence

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TSCRA is proud to welcome STAY-TUFF Fence as our newest participant in the member discount program. Through this program TSCRA members can receive 5 percent additional discount off the purchase of any qualifying STAY-TUFF fence fabric and/or fencing tools. Read more…

Court strips lesser prairie chicken of federal protection

© Gerard Bertrand

District Judge Robert Junell ruled Tuesday in Midland that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to make a proper evaluation of the states’ conservation plan when it listed the lesser prairie chicken — a species of grouse with feathered feet and striped plumage — as threatened. Read more at ABC News…

TSCRA applauds decision on lesser prairie chicken

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TSCRA applauded U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell’s decision to overturn the listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. This announcement comes after the lesser prairie chicken, a Great Plains bird, was listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened in 2014. “Judge Junell’s decision to vacate the threatened listing of the lesser prairie chicken is a major victory for ranchers and landowners across the country,” said TSCRA President Pete Bonds. “It is apparent that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to consider the many state conservation efforts before listing the prairie chicken as threatened. “The administration should realize by now that ranchers are the best stewards of our nation’s land, and they have proven their ability to successfully Read more…

TSCRF now accepting scholarship applications

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The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Foundation offers scholarships to students pursuing a degree program in agriculture or an agriculture-related programs such as animal science, pre-vet, agribusiness, range management or wildlife. Applicants must graduating high school seniors or college undergraduates currently enrolled or accepted at an accredited university in Texas or Oklahoma. Applicants are selected on the basis of their interest in the industry, leadership, academic achievement and financial need. Applications are due Feb. 1, 2015, and are awarded in March. For more information, click here.  

It’s what’s for dinner: Sonoma-style beef skewers

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Serve these top sirloin beef skewers with orzo and chard for a uniquely Sonoma taste. Read more at BeefItsWhatsforDinner.com…

This week’s Summer Sale: Khaki mesh-back cap

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Cattle Raisers Trading Co. is offering 10 percent off all TSCRA Khaki Mesh Back Caps through Sept. 8. Don’t miss out on this medium profile, mid-crown mesh back cap with the TSCRA seal on front and “Since 1877” on the back. Use promo code MESH at checkout to get yours while they last! Click here to go to the Cattle Raisers Trading Co. online store.

Texas farmers brace for new clean water rule

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Local uncertainty abounds as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule kicks in on Sept. 1, extending the agency’s regulatory power to smaller bodies of water, including some streams that only flow after heavy precipitation. The changes mean more landowners may need to apply for permits for work affecting water that now falls under federal jurisdiction. But some environmental law experts say the rule is so broad that it’s unclear which farmers, ranchers and landowners will be affected. Read more at The Texas Tribune…

84th Legislative Session adjourns on a successful note for the TCEQ

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Key bills passed during the last legislative session include drought planning, water needs and expedited permitting. New leadership, along with shuffled chairmanships in each chamber resulted in an increase of the agency’s appropriation and strengthened its ability to create innovative solutions to some of the state’s daunting challenges. Among the bills passed into law were projects dealing with aquifer storage and recovery, saltwater desalination and disposal of nonhazardous brine. Read more at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality…

Canada to replace China as largest US export market

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Agricultural exports in fiscal 2016 are forecast at $138.5 billion, which is $1.0 billion below the revised fiscal 2015 forecast. Bulk export values are forecast to fall, primarily as a result of lower U.S. oilseed prices and export volumes. U.S. high-value product exports are forecast to rise in fiscal 2016, although a strong U.S. dollar could limit export increases of these products. Canada is expected to return as the largest U.S. export market for the first time since 2010. Read more at the Cattle Trader Center…

Texas crop, weather, for Sept. 1, 2015

Late summer rains are often followed by fall armyworm outbreaks in pastures and hay fields.Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo

Dry weather followed by rain in the late summer and early fall means farmers should be on the lookout for fall armyworms. Given their immense appetite, great numbers and marching ability, fall armyworms can damage entire fields or pastures in a few days. Read more…

Stewardship of Antimicrobials Workshop to be held in Amarillo

photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

Regional leaders in livestock production, the veterinary community and the feed supply industry will be among the speakers at a Sept. 11 workshop in Amarillo. Organized by Farm Foundation, NFP, the workshop is an opportunity for participants to gain a comprehensive understanding of two Guidance for Industry (GFIs) issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, as well as the FDA’s revised Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Read more…

USDA expands forage crop insurance option nationwide for livestock producers

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) is expanding crop insurance coverage for ranchers to help them protect against loss of forage produced for feeding livestock. The Rainfall Index Pasture, Rangeland, Forage pilot program (PRF) will now be available in all 48 contiguous states beginning with the 2016 crop year. Read more…

Survey shows limited access to land for new farmers

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

A new survey of land ownership in the lower 48 states illustrates some of the difficulties would-be farmers face in acquiring farmland. The survey, by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), shows that about a tenth of the 911 million farmland acres outside of Alaska and Hawaii – about 91.5 million acres – is slated for ownership transfer in the next five years, not including farmland that is in or expected to be put into wills. Landlords expect to keep or put nearly 48 percent of these acres in trusts. Some 26 million acres are expected to be sold to a relative or given as a gift, and only 21 million acres are expected to be sold to a non-relative. This means that only a Read more…

Last day for early Policy Conference registration discounts

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Monday is your last day to get early pre-registration discounts for TSCRA’s Policy Conference Sept. 23-25 in San Antonio. Prices go up on Tuesday, so be sure to register now to reserve your spot! Click here to view our newly-updated schedule and registration information…

True or false: Color is a good indicator of beef doneness

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When grilling beef at home, is it safe to say that beef is done when it’s brown all the way through or feels warm to the touch? Color and touch are not accurate ways to determine the doneness of a steak, roast or hamburger. Read more at FactsAboutBeef.com…

Expert: Managing pastures doesn’t mean only growing grass

Sideoats grama grass is a highly palatable plant that decreases in density under continuous grazing. Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Kay Ledbetter

What a pasture should look like – whether a waving sea of grass or one with diverse vegetation – depends on the cattleman’s final goal and actions taken before rain falls. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: Late summer Oklahoma crop and forage conditions; Growing bred replacement heifers

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Aug. 31 edition of Cow-Calf Corner, a weekly newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Agency, Derrell Peel talks late summer Oklahoma crop and forage conditions and Glenn Selk talks growing those bred replacement heifers. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Aug. 25, 2015

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Areas of moderate to heavy rain fell over portions of Texas (generally 0.5-4.0 inches, and 5.0-8.0 inch totals near the central Texas coast), which helped to alleviate severe short-term drought. This warranted a nearly complete overhaul of the drought depiction for the Lone Star state. Read more…

Southwest Barbecue Team promotes Texas-style barbecue in Japan, Korea

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Greg Hanes, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) assistant vice president of international marketing, recently joined a group of U.S. producers in Japan and South Korea to promote Texas-style barbecue and the advantages of using U.S. beef – especially underutilized cuts – as part of the American dish. Listen to the story or read more from the U.S. Meat Export Federation…

New feral hog video series offers management expertise

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The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is taking steps to help landowners manage the state’s ever-increasing feral hog population. A recent step is the Wild Pig Management Video Series. Read more at the Texas Water Resources Institute…

It’s shaping up to be a jubilee quail year

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From seemingly teetering on the brink of extinction to roaring back with a vengeance, wild quail seem to have made a miraculous comeback across Texas. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Spicy Portuguese beef steak kabobs

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These steak kabobs cook up quick for a tasty, spicy favorite. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

TSCRA Crime Watch: 10 head of cattle missing in East Texas

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TSCRA Special Ranger Jimmy Dickson, Dist. 14 in East Texas, reports the theft of 10 head of cattle from a property in Freestone County. Some time between Aug. 18 and 24 a thief or thieves removed a chain and lock from a gate to steal the 9 red unbranded heifers and 1 black cow branded JJ on the left hip. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Dickson at 903-586-8733.  

Summer Sale on Cattle Raisers Trading Co. T-Shirt

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Cattle Raisers Trading Co. is offering 10 percent off all CRTC T-Shirts from Wednesday, Aug. 26 through Tuesday, Sept. 1. Don’t miss out on this versatile, cotton crewneck  shirt that is perfect for everyday wear! Get them while they last – use promo code LOGO at checkout. Click here to go to the Cattle Raisers Trading Co. online store.

TSCRA Policy Conference: Risk management for ranchers

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With fall calf values nearing $1,500 per head, the average TSCRA member may gross more than $60,000 in calf sales this fall. Given these historically high values, ranchers are increasingly interested in ways to protect their price risk. Hear about this topic and more at TSCRA’s Policy Conference in San Antonio Sept. 23 – 25. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for Aug. 26, 2015

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A combination of weather patterns is causing wholesale die-offs of fish in many East and North Texas farm ponds and lakes. Most of die-offs have been from East and North Texas. However, the same confluence of weather conditions – high temperatures and cloudy days followed by cool thunderstorms – could likely be causing fish kills in other areas as well. The conditions are causing oxygen depletion in farm ponds and lakes. Read more…

Consumer Reports study confuses serious safety issues, potentially misleading consumers about beef safety

Photo courtesy USDA

Sources: factsaboutbeef.com, A Consumer Reports study released Monday includes misleading information that could increase consumer confusion about food safety heading into the Labor Day weekend, say beef safety experts. “I have relied on Consumer Reports when purchasing cars and electronics but unfortunately this report will not help consumers when purchasing safe ground beef. The good news is the bacteria found in the Consumer Reports tests are not the type of bacteria commonly associated with foodborne illness in ground beef,” says Mandy Carr-Johnson, Ph.D., senior executive director, Science and Product Solutions, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the beef checkoff. “As an industry, our number one priority is producing the safest beef possible. Ground beef is the safest it has ever been with greater than 90 percent Read more…

5 things you should know about the EPA WOTUS rule

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

While experts say it is unlikely the EPA will go immediately into an enforcement campaign when it comes to the Clean Water Act (CWS) and its Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rules, it’s still good to know how the rule could affect you and your operation.  WOTUS expands the federal CWA jurisdiction over many landscape features found on farm, ranch and forest lands across the nation. The rule is expected to go into effect Aug. 28.  Read more at Texas Farm Bureau…

TSCRA ranch gathering roundup

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TSCRA welcomed approximately 200 family, friends and guests to a ranch gathering last week at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage. Attendees enjoyed a delicious beef dinner and heard from Special Ranger Larry Hand, who provided an update on local law enforcement activities and TSCRA President Pete Bonds spoke on the importance of being a member of the association. Thanks go to Panola County AgriLife Extension Agent Lee Dudley for emceeing the event and to our generous sponsors: Elanco Animal Health, Multimin, Inc., Heritage Land Bank, Legacy Ag Credit, Bill’s Meat Market, Panola Livestock Company, Wes Morgan Custom Signs and Copper Falls & Company Jewelry. Join us for gatherings in Granbury or Hereford on Tuesday, Aug. 25, or in Lubbock on Thursday, Aug. 27. Check out our event calendar at tscra.org for the latest on events in your area! Read more…

Get BQA certified!

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Join us for a Beef Quality Assurance Producer certification program in Fort Worth Aug. 29. The Texas Beef Quality Producer Program covers proper management techniques to ensure the beef you produce is a safe and wholesome product. Training programs cover Beef Quality Assurance, industry updates, record keeping, environmental stewardship and proper management practices associated with genetic selection, cattle handling, culling, vaccination and more. Click here for more information.  

It’s down to the wire on WOTUS

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

It is the 11th hour on the Waters of the U.S. rule. Unless something happens, the rule will go into effect this Friday, Aug. 28. But many groups are scrambling to halt the process. Read more at Western Livestock Journal…

Nesting habitat is vital to healthy quail populations

Picture © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Maintaining a healthy wild quail population hinges on the success of their annual production, because they are short lived and have a high mortality rate, said a Texas quail expert. “Without large numbers of new birds being added to the population each year it can quickly disappear,” said Becky Ruzicka, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wildlife associate at Dallas. “The importance of prime nesting sites cannot be overstated as quality nesting cover is essential for quail to successfully hatch chicks, because it provides protection from predators and the elements.” Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: Retail beef prices; Cattle on Feed and more USDA data; Testing hay can save supplement dollars

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Aug. 24 edition of Cow-Calf Corner, a newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension, Derrell Peel talks retail beef prices and the USDA’s Cattle on Feed report; and Glenn Selk discusses testing hay to save supplement dollars. Read more…

BQA Tip of the Month: Advice on broken needles

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This month’s Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) tip covers what to do in the case of a broken needle. The Texas Beef Quality Producer Program strives to promote good management practices for cattle producers. Good management practices results in a good product for consumers, which raises consumer confidence in beef as a wholesome food product. Becoming a certified Beef Quality Producer ensures that you have the necessary information to raise cattle with the highest possible quality. Read more…

RSVP today to attend a TSCRA ranch gathering next week in Granbury, Hereford or Lubbock!

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Join TSCRA for ranch gatherings on Tuesday, Aug. 25 in Granbury at the Hood County Livestock Building or in Hereford at the Hereford Country Club. We will also host a gathering on Thursday, Aug. 27 at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock. All our gatherings are free and begin at 6:00 p.m. The events include a free beef dinner and updates on association activities and issues facing ranchers and landowners. Everyone is welcome to attend, so be sure to bring your family, friends and neighbors!  

Body Condition Score your pasture

AgriLife photo by Robert Burns

How easy is it to body condition score your cows? You look at the fat deposits covering the cow’s body. A “fleshy” cow is considered good, while a thin cow may need special attention. How do you tell if your pasture is “fleshy?” What do you look at to assess plant health? Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

Young rancher seizes opportunity to put down roots of his own

photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

For the first 25 years of Daniel Hayden’s life, he has dedicated his time working on other people’s farms. He fed cows, cut hay, hauled tobacco and for the past five years, managed his parents’  farm operation. But he never had his own farm. That all changed last year. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, funded in the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills have awarded $90 million in grants to organizations in 48 states between 2009 and 2015 to support beginning farmers. Read more at USDA…  

US Drought Monitor and Summary, 8-21-15

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Short term dryness has caused expansion of drought across much of Texas and eastern Oklahoma. Warmer-than-normal temperatures have exasperated the situation. In Oklahoma, it was reported that soil moisture levels were approaching lows that we had not seen since August 2012. Drought was expanded in the southeast corner of Oklahoma and introduced in the northern part. Elsewhere, temperatures were 2-4 degrees above normal this past week in much of Texas. Drought conditions were expanded in much of east central Texas while a portion of southern Texas continued its drought free status. Read more…

Livestock producers urged to look for toxic plants

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Extreme heat and dry conditions can lead to a shortage of grass, and an opportunity to consume toxic plants and forages found in Texas rangelands. Livestock producers should be aware of potential pitfalls by scouting pastures to be on the lookout for four types of senna plants that can be toxic to animals. Read more…

Grant funds available for prescribed burning

This past wildfire season, Texas had more than 30,000 wildfires with nearly 4 million acres burned. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Kay Ledbetter)

East Texas landowners may now be reimbursed for helping to reduce overgrown vegetation on their lands. In an effort to reduce wildfire hazards on private property, Texas A&M Forest Service is offering grants to conduct prescribed burning. Strategically-planned prescribed fires can enhance ecosystems and protect homes and communities from wildfire. Read more…