No Cattleman Update next week

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TSCRA offices in Fort Worth and Austin will be closed from noon on Wednesday, Dec. 24, through Jan. 2 in observance of the holidays. During that time The Cattleman Update e-mail will not be distributed. All offices will reopen on Jan. 5, 2015, for normal business. If you need help regarding a theft or law enforcement matter, such as with stolen or estray livestock, please call the Special Ranger assigned to your district. To find your local Special Ranger’s contact information, click here to go to our website or look in the back of any recent issue of The Cattleman magazine. The TSCRA officers and staff wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Cameron County temporary cattle fever tick quarantine area update

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The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed the presence of cattle fever ticks this fall on Cameron County premises located outside the permanent quarantine zone. In order to protect the land, premises, and animals from exposure to cattle fever ticks, the TAHC created a temporary preventative quarantine area (TPQA) in Cameron County. The TPQA, commonly referred to as the “blanket area,” and its requirements, became effective Oct. 7, 2014. Read more…

Old ruling keeps counties from mineral rights

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South Texas counties scrambling for money to repair roads damaged by heavy trucks carrying oil field equipment have run into a roadblock: the state itself. Officials in many of the counties hoped to lease mineral rights beneath county roads and rights of way to energy companies, and use the revenue to repair those roads. But a 54-year-old opinion from the attorney general’s office gives leasing rights, and the revenue, to the state. That does not sit well with some county judges. Read more at The Texas Tribune…

Cow/Calf Corner: Cattle markets weather a Christmas storm; Severity of winter and impact on calf birth weights

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Dec. 22 edition on Cow/Calf Corner, a newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel discusses the holiday cattle markets, especially in the feeder sector; and Glenn Selk talks about the effect winter weather has on calf weights. Read more…

Vilsack dropping beef checkoff proposal

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With Congress blocking USDA from spending any funds to create a second beef checkoff, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he’s happy at least that people within the beef industry could at least find an area of agreement. In a phone interview Thursday, Vilsack said the USDA won’t pursue efforts to create another checkoff under the 1996 commodity promotion law. A policy rider in the federal appropriations bill passed over the weekend prevents USDA from continuing to write a rule for the plan during this fiscal year. Read more at DTN/Progressive Farmer…

Spending bill maintains horse slaughter ban

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

Several provisions that impact the horse industry, including maintaining a ban on horse slaughter, were included in the omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress Dec. 13. The bill is a package that includes parts of the fiscal year 2015 appropriations bills and will fund most government agencies and programs until the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30, 2015. Read more at Blood-Horse.com…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Dec. 16, 2014

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Minimal or no precipitation fell on western and southern sections of Texas, and some slight deterioration in drought was warranted in Texas in the northwestern Panhandle, along the southeastern coast near Matagorda Bay, and northeast of Houston. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

CME adjusts cattle trading limits

CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures market operator, on Wednesday took emergency action to adjust trading limits for feeder cattle futures after prices plunged for five days in a row. A CME Group committee “determined that an emergency exists and that emergency action is warranted” after futures sank by their daily trading limits for five consecutive days, the Chicago-based company said in a notice. Read more at Reuters…

Thaw in relations with Cuba positive for US agriculture: USDA

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Exports of U.S. agricultural products such as wheat, rice, soybeans and meat products stand to gain from a surprise U.S. move toward repairing relations with Cuba, agriculture industry officials said on Wednesday. Read more at Reuters…

It’s what’s for dinner: Herbed beef tenderloin with holiday rice

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Enjoy a festive beef holiday with this tenderloin recipe. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

Health insurance open enrollment cutoff date is Jan. 15

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Open enrollment for health insurance began Nov. 15, 2014, and 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. For example, an application must be turned in by Jan. 15, 2015, for a Feb. 1, 2015, effective date. We don’t want you to miss the February deadline! For more information about your health insurance options, contact Julissa Chubbs at jchubbs@tscra.org, Tina Finicum at tfinicum@tscra.org; or Michele Woodham at mwoodham@tscra.org or call 800-252-2849.

Senate approves tax extenders bill

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With just over two weeks left in the 2014 calendar year, the Senate finally made up its mind about the tax extenders bill. The bill, which extends the life of a number of tax breaks through 2014, passed the Senate 76 to 16. The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law this week. Read more at Forbes…

Feeder fiasco continues as CME refuses to act

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Feeder cattle futures are locked down the CME mandated 300-point limit for fifth consecutive day taking live cattle futures along for the ride as fear spreads. There are already more offered limit down Wednesday than Tuesday as a true snowball effect is underway. Read more at The Beef…

Lawmakers question FDA ability to combat overuse of antibiotics in food animals

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FDA Democratic lawmakers want to know what’s being done to stop the overuse of antibiotics in food animals. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Dianne Feinstein and Kirsten Gillibrand sent a letter this week to the co-chairs of the newly formed interagency Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria — outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. In the letter, they question how the group plans to address what they called “critical gaps” in current Food and Drug Administration policies. Read more at The Hill…

Expert: Consequences of Texas drought continue to linger

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Texas agriculture industry experts discussed the future of water and its impact on agriculture before attendees at the 26th Texas Plant Protection Association Conference held recently in Bryan. Though most areas of Texas has received some rain, drought is still an issue and will continue to be an issue with 35 percent of the state is still in extreme or exceptional drought status. And with state populations continuing to grow, the problem is becoming more serious. Read more…

Live cattle futures succumb to feeder futures collapse

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A fourth limit down day in feeder cattle futures is proving too much for live cattle futures and each contract month has made a new low for the move catapulting through support and reaching levels not seen since September. Perhaps the CME needs to step in and expand the limit for feeder cattle futures, which will allow the longs to liquidate so the market can relieve the pent up pressure and halt this snowballing money game. Otherwise this debacle will have a difficult time concluding. Read more at The Beef…

Confine cattle to help pastures recover

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Although some areas had significant rains this past spring and summer, consecutive years of drought have taken a toll on rangeland, especially those acres with cattle grazing. There are a few options for producers to take part in while pastures are recovering. One of these is moving cattle to a confinement situation. Although confinement can lend its own expenses, culling the right cattle and following a few guidelines can make it a profitable decision. Read more at Agriculture.com

TSCRA Holiday Hours

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TSCRA offices in Fort Worth and Austin will be closed from noon on Wednesday, Dec. 24, through Jan. 2 in observance of the holidays. During that time The Cattleman Update e-mail will not be distributed. All offices will reopen on Jan. 5, 2015, for normal business. If you need help regarding a theft or law enforcement matter, such as with stolen or estray livestock, please call the Special Ranger assigned to your district. To find your local Special Ranger’s contact information, click here to go to our website or look in the back of any recent issue of The Cattleman magazine. The TSCRA officers and staff wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

TSCRA Holiday Sale

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Back by popular demand – TSCRA members can take advantage of our Christmas Sale! As a thank you to our members we are offering $5 off a $50 purchase, $10 off a $100 purchase or $15 off a $150 purchase. All orders must be placed by 5:00 p.m. on Dec. 18 to ensure delivery before Christmas. Gate signs are excluded in this special. To order and check for size availability please call 800-242-7820 or visit tscra.org and click on the Cattle Raisers Trading Co. button.

Shrinking cattle supplies reshuffle packer rankings

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It’s no exaggeration to say the landscape is littered with mothballed beef packing plants. Because of the shrinking cattle herd, more might share the same fate in the next 2-3 years. Read more at BEEF magazine…