New beef industry long-range plan establishes roadmap for 2016 to 2020

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Drive growth, protect the business and political climate for beef, grow trust and promote beef’s value are the key factors in the beef industry long-range plan, announced during the 2015 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver last week. Sixteen beef industry leaders representing every link in the beef value chain have been developing a set of aggressive goals to strengthen the beef industry from 2016 to 2020 since December 2014. Read more…

Oil eases, choppy after early dollar strength pressures

An oil well is seen near Denver, Colorado February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Brent and U.S. crude slipped in choppy trading along with the seesawing dollar after the currency’s early strength pressured dollar-denominated commodities. Read More at Reuters…

Cuban flag flies over embassy in Washington for first time in 54 years

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The red, white and blue Cuban flag was raised over the island’s embassy in Washington on Monday for the first time since 1961 — a fluttering symbol of the historic thaw taking place between the Cold War foes. As pro and anti-Cuban protestors gathered outside the gates of the embassy chanting “Fidel” and “Justice” — the flag was was raised at about 10:35 EST. The ceremony came after the United States and Cuba reestablished diplomatic ties early Monday after a 54-year gap. Read More at the Kansas City Star

Space is available on the August Copenhagen-to-Stockholm Cruise

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If you’d like to cruise the Baltic Sea, Aug. 17 to 27, with TSCRA, hurry to reserve the last stateroom. Travel to 8 countries in the comfort of your Silversea’s all-inclusive suite. See everything from Soviet-era austerity to Romanov grandiosity. For more information contact Pam Small, Travel Experts, at 512-454-5235 or e-mail Pamela@PamSmallTravel.com.

TSCRA Recognized for Outstanding NCBA Member Recruitment

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Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association earned the use of a piece of equipment from New Holland for outstanding efforts to recruit new members to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. TSCRA will get its choice of a 1-year lease on a New Holland Roll-Belt™ 560 Specialty Crop round baler or a 1-year lease on a New Holland T6 175 tractor. The award was announced yesterday at the 2015 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver.   “Since 2003 New Holland has been a great partner to NCBA, recognizing and rewarding our affiliates that help strengthen the membership base and give the cattle industry a stronger voice,” said Philip Ellis, NCBA President. “Like New Holland, these state affiliates recognize that the organization’s growth is a smart way Read more…

6666 Ranch Wins Environmental Stewardship Award for NCBA Region IV

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Seven families were honored yesterday for their outstanding land management practices during the 2015 Cattle Industry Summer Conference. The Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) honors the efforts of farmers and ranchers who are dedicated to maintaining and improving their lands to ensure that they are productive for future generations. 6666 Ranch, Guthrie, won Region IV, and was nominated by TSCRA and Texas Section, Society for Range Management. Regional and national award recipients serve as role models among their peers in the farming and ranching community, ensuring that the innovative conservation practices are widely adopted by other land managers. The program is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, USDA-NRCS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tyson Foods, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation. The other Read more…

U.S. Drought Monitor, July 14, 2015

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During the past week, generally dry conditions prevailed across most of the region with the exception of some isolated pockets of heavy shower activity (4 to 8 inches) in west central and some lesser accumulations (2 to 3 inches) in the northwest Panhandle of Texas. In these parts, one-category improvements were made in areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) as well as in the sole remaining area of Moderate Drought (D1) in the state. According to the NWS in San Angelo, Abilene already has broken the July rainfall record at 8.26 inches. Statewide, Texas experienced the wettest January through June period on record (1895–2015), according to NOAA NCEI. In Oklahoma, short-term improvements led to removal of the remaining areas of Abnormally Dry (DO) in the Panhandle Read more…

TSCRA member touts Levelland Ranch Rodeo

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See TSCRA member Blake Birdwell on www.myfoxlubbock.com encouraging ranches to enter this weekend’s Ranch Rodeo and inviting the general public to come watch. Watch video here…

Crop, grazing land requirements to meet demand in 2050

Photo courtesy Texas A&M AgriLife

As part of the larger Food Forward Sustainability Project, researchers J.R. Knapp of Fox Hollow Consulting and R.A. Cady of Elanco Animal Health have estimated the quantity of feed required to produce animal products and meet global consumer demands in 2050 under different production scenarios using population-based models. Without innovation in animal and plant agriculture, 36 to 58% more land would be required in 2050 to produce food and feed, they said. Read more at Feedstuffs.com…

National Cattlemen’s Foundation accepting applications for W.D. Farr Scholarships

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The National Cattlemen’s Foundation is accepting applications for the W.D. Farr Scholarships for the 2015-16 school year. The annual W.D. Farr Scholarship awards were established by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation in 2007 to recognize outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in meat science and animal agriculture. Each $12,000 award recognizes superior achievement in academics and leadership, and will allow graduate students to further their study in fields that benefit the cattle and beef industry. To apply for the scholarship, graduate students planning to pursue a career in meat science or the beef industry should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a description of applicant’s goals and experience, a statement of belief in the industry as well as a review of the applicant’s graduate research Read more…

Asian beef salad

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A bed of fresh salad greens and cilantro topped with sliced steak and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts and drizzled with a sweet, savory and tangy dressing make this Thai-style beef salad a hit for the hot weather this weekend. Normal pantry ingredients are used in an unusual way. Get the recipe at Texas Beef Council…

Special rangers still busting cattle rustlers

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State’s oldest livestock orga­nization’s cattle cops protect ranchers, herds from thieves SAN ANTONIO – While it’s been a rainy year in South Texas, lingering drought conditions across the country are continuing to drive up beef prices. That’s helping make the old crime of cattle rustling popular once again. Texas has a dedicated group of lawmen on the hunt for cattle thieves, 30 certified peace officers who work for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), the state’s oldest livestock organization. “We’ve been around for 138 years,” said Special Ranger Sonny Seewald. “Mostly we work on livestock theft, cattle and horse theft and anything agricultural related.” Seewald investigates cattle rustling cases and other agriculture-related crimes in a six-county region that includes Bexar County. While some Read more…

Safe handling facilities — a worthy investment

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By Travis McCarty I recently had a phone conversation with a client about building new facilities. After the phone call, I began recalling the places that I have feared for my life while preg checking, semen-testing bulls and/or delivering calves. Right or wrong, I know the veterinarian’s safety may not be top of mind, but when taking into consideration animal welfare, the value of the livestock and the cost of labor getting injured on the job, there is really no excuse not to have safe facilities to handle cattle. Read more at Drovers Cattle Network…

Aiming fire at seedlings may be key to rangeland mesquite control

Mesquite biomass could be feasible for electricity generation. Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo

Fire must be effectively managed to get the best control of mesquite seedlings, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research rangeland ecologist said. Dr. Jim Ansley of Vernon recently published study results in “Rangeland Ecology and Management” journal that indicate both season and intensity are important factors in the mitigation of mesquite seedlings by fire. “We know adult mesquite trees are fire resistant because they resprout following a fire,” Ansley said. “We have determined that range managers might have a greater success of mesquite control with fire if their efforts are aimed at the seedlings.” In the study, mesquite seeds were planted in mid-grass and tall-grass plots in the spring and then burned in the winter at 10 or 22 months seedling age or in late summer Read more…

USDA announces conservation incentives for working grass, range and pasture Lands

ast Texas producers prefer small grain rye for winter pasture because it is more tolerant to acid soils and offers earlier forage production than other options. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that beginning Sept. 1, farmers and ranchers can apply for financial assistance to help conserve working grasslands, rangeland and pastureland while maintaining the areas as livestock grazing lands. The initiative is part of the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a federally funded program that for 30 years has assisted agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. In return, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. CRP has helped farmers and ranchers prevent more than 8 billion tons of soil from eroding, reduce nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to cropland by 95 Read more…

Texas crop, weather for July 14, 2015

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State climatologist: Say goodbye to the rain for a while Tired of it always raining? You’re in luck; the rains will likely cease for the rest of July. “I think you can say goodbye to the rain for a while,” said Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, state climatologist, College Station. “We’re entering a dry spell, and it looks like the second half of July is going to be quite dry. Many parts of the state may not see a single drop of rain.” According to weekly reports from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county agents across the state, most producers will welcome the drier weather. As of July 12, the somewhat drier weather had allow field activities such as herbicide and fertilizer applications to resume, but there Read more…

Potentially dangerous heat persists this week

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The USDA Agriculture Research Service, in cooperation with the National Weather Service, predicts emergency heat-stress levels for Monday, July 13 and Tuesday, July 14 across a large region of the central U.S. stretching from Texas into Nebraska and Iowa. Heat-stress risk is due to high temperatures, higher humidity, low wind speeds and little cloud cover. The forecast indicates the heat-stress risk begins to decline, particularly in northern areas, on Tuesday and through the rest of the week. Some areas in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi however will experience severe heat through the week. The Heat Stress Forecast Map is available online from USDA. Read More at Drovers Cattle Network…

Ask the Vet: New name for pasteurella

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By Dr. Ken McMillan, DTN/The Progressive Farmer Contributing Editor Question: I got a report back from our state lab on a calf that died. It said she had something called Mannheimia. I have never heard of this. What is it, and what do I need to do to prevent it from happening again? Answer: Mannheimia haemolytica is the new name for Pasteurella haemolytica. Every so often, microbiologists change the name of organisms to confuse us — or so it seems. In their defense, as they learn more about organisms, and especially microorganisms, they reclassify them to better fit with those findings. Read More at The Progressive Farmer…

Great Plains grazing project aims to help producers mitigate drought and assess carbon footprint

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Oklahoma is the center of a five year study looking at ways producers can better mitigate drought, along with addressing the carbon footprint of the beef industry. The Great Plains Grazing Project involves Oklahoma State University, Kansas State University, University of Oklahoma and Tarleton State University, along with the Noble Foundation and two Agricultural Research Service (ARS) locations. Dr. Jean Steiner of the Grazinglands Research Laboratory in Fort Reno, Oklahoma, the co-project director, said researchers want to help producers identify animals that might be suited to meet the production potential of their land. She said producers are moving back to having smaller framed females that have lower maintenance requirements. Read More at The Oklahoma Farm Report…

TSCRA member discount from American Hat Company

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TSCRA is proud to welcome American Hat Company as our latest participant in the member discount program. Through this program TSCRA members can receive 15 percent off the full line of straw and felt hats. American Hat Company sells high-quality felt and straw hats that are 100 percent American-made in Bowie. They have been selling hats to ranchers and cowboys for 100 years and are proud to offer this discount to TSCRA members. To receive the discount, members need to order their hats through the Best Hat Store, either in-store in the Fort Worth Stockyards, or by phone at 817-625-6650. You will need to verify your TSCRA membership to receive the discount. The Best Hat Store can order, shape, and ship any hat Read more…

Unique U.S. beef and cattle trade situation continues

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin

By Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist The unique U.S. beef and cattle trade situation that developed in 2014 has continued in 2015.  Falling beef production is keeping beef supplies tight and prices near record levels in the U.S.  This discourages beef exports and attracts more beef and cattle imports.  Both imports and exports are further enhanced by the strong dollar.  Though dollar appreciation has leveled off recently, continued global macroeconomic uncertainty is likely to keep the dollar strong for the time being.  In May, beef exports decreased 14.4 percent year over year with exports to all major export destinations (Japan, Canada, Mexico and Hong Kong) down except South Korea which was unchanged from last year.  Year-to-date beef exports are down Read more…

Two cases of eastern equine encephalitis confirmed in Texas

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Eastern equine encephalitis has been confirmed in two East Texas horses from separate facilities by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station, according to agency officials. The horses were in Newton and Orange counties. The Orange County case is approximately 10 miles from an eastern equine encephalitis case, which occurred in 2014. As a reportable zoonotic disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Animal Health Commission were made aware of the positive test results. Human infection with eastern equine encephalitis, commonly known as EEE, is relatively infrequent in the U.S. Of the neurologic diseases that affect horses, eastern equine encephalitis has the highest mortality rate, according to animal health experts. Both horses displayed classic signs: flaccid or droopy lips, Read more…

Is Feedlot Beef Bad for the Environment?

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The Wall Street Journal recently asked this question. Robert Martin says the pollution spreads for miles; Jude L. Capper says the beef industry keeps things safe. Read More at The Wall Street Journal...

Obama to create new national monuments in Texas, California, Nevada

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Mammoth bones, prehistoric rock carvings and more than a million acres of wilderness will be protected as part of three new national monuments that President Barack Obama is creating in California, Nevada and Texas. Read More at CBSNews.com

TSCRA Crime Watch: 40-foot hay trailer stolen from Osage County

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TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, District 4, north central Oklahoma, reports the July 8 theft of a 2014 Red Rhino (Go-Bob) 40-foot, 8-bale hay trailer from a property at Fairfax in Osage County, Okla. The red trailer is a double-axel, single-wheel trailer. The serial number is GPGN 40814430. The trailer had been stored in a pen and the gates had been secured with a chain and padlock. The thief or thieves cut a link in the chain to access the pen. If you have any information on this theft, please contact Special Ranger Perrier at 918-275-4257.

Sign Yoho’s Petition to Oppose Importation of Fresh Beef from Brazil and Argentina

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On June 29, 2015, under President Obama’s direction, the USDA approved a rule change to allow for fresh beef to be imported from Brazil and Argentina. The importation of fresh beef has the potential to devastate our domestic beef supply by introducing the deadly foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) to our herds and closing down our beef export markets. The U.S. has not had an FMD outbreak since 1929. Cases of FMD in Brazil have been confirmed as recently as 2011. Brazil is still using a form of live FMD viral vaccine. USDA inspectors have not verified a quarantine protocol standard that will be secure and have the ability to ensure the prevention of this devastating disease from entering our nation’s food supply. Estimates of economic loss Read more…

States, groups, sue EPA over WOTUS rule

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

By Larry Dreiling  The Environmental Protection Agency early in the morning of June 29 published its rule on the Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act. Under a 60-day notice period, the rule goes into effect on Aug. 28. By the time the July 4 holiday rolled around, 27 states and state agencies as well as 14 agriculture-oriented organizations had filed lawsuits. Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas filed suit in U.S. District Court in Galveston, Texas. Legal action has also come from Oklahoma, according to a July 8 report from Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Read More at the High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal…

House Republicans take aim at McCarthy, EPA regulations

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By Spencer Chase, Agri-Pulse WASHINGTON, July 9, 2015 – EPA administrator Gina McCarthy was on the hot seat on Capitol Hill Thursday as Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology peppered her with questions on her agency’s regulatory record. Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, used his line of questioning to press McCarthy on why EPA had not fully complied with committee document requests related to the science used in forming regulations such as WOTUS and the Clean Power Plan. He said the committee had to resort to issuing its first subpoena in 21 years to obtain some of the documents, and that agency’s actions suggested the administration has “something to hide.” Read more at Agri-Pulse…

GOP defeats amendment on horse slaughter

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Republicans narrowly blocked an amendment to a spending bill Wednesday that would have defunded inspections of horse slaughter facilities. The amendment from Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) would have prohibited funding for the inspection of horse slaughter facilities, which would effectively prevent them from operating. GOP appropriators defeated the proposal in a 24-24 vote during a markup of a bill to fund the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration. Read More at thehill.com… 

Dinner by the Numbers: How Do Meal Kits Stack Up?

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Meal kits are convenient, but can they help create a new distribution channel for small farmers? By Anna Roth Putting food on the table on a busy weeknight is a universal problem. Now, a horde of new, sleek, venture capital-funded services has arrived on the market peddling what they think is a solution: kits made of raw ingredients—portioned and sometimes prepped—that can be assembled quickly to make a meal “from scratch.” All claim to work with local suppliers to some extent, creating a whole new distribution outlet for small- to mid-size farms. Read more at civileats.com…

Texas Ranch Roundup passes

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TSCRA has teamed up with the Texas Ranch Roundup to offer TSCRA members 2 free trade show passes during the event in Wichita Falls Aug. 14-15. This is a $20 value! Don’t miss the TSCRA booth along with a great trade show, entertainment, a ranch rodeo and more. Click here for more information. Reserve your passes by July 31!

Practical answers to VFD questions

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Practical examples can sometimes be the best way to understand complex rules like those contained in the Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). These questions and answers from recent webinars hosted by Zoetis and Drovers CattleNetwork, and by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association might help you apply the new rules to your own operations. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork

US beef, pork exports sluggish in May

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After an encouraging performance in April, exports of U.S. beef and pork lost momentum in May, falling below year-ago levels in both volume and value according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports moved counter-seasonally lower in May, dropping 14 percent from a year ago to 88,466 metric tons (mt). Export value dipped lower year-over-year for the first time since January, reaching only $556.7 million, down 6 percent. For January through May, exports totaled 430,393 mt, down 10 percent from the same period in 2014. Export value remained ahead of last year’s pace at $2.68 billion, up 2 percent. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Beef and vegetable skillet

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This recipe cooks up quick and tasty in a skillet. Read more at www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

Attend YLS Leadership Workshop in Fort Worth July 24-25

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Plan no to attend TSCRA’s Young Leadership Series (YLS) Leadership Workshop July 24-25 in Fort Worth. This will be a great opportunity for education, networking and to hone your leadership skills! Practical and beneficial workshops, panel discussions, breakout sessions and a tour will ensure there is something for everyone at this event. The Young Leadership Series is designed for members age 19-40, but all ages are welcome. Whether you’re starting your own operation or your career as a ranch manager, we’ll have information for you to help build your future. Are you in an allied industry? We’ve got content specifically for you to help you succeed personally and professionally. Read more…

Reduced slaughter exacerbated by cow and heifer retention

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Cattle producers are culling fewer cows due to the improved pasture prospects for this spring and the early part of the summer. This likely means fewer cows will be going to slaughter until the fall culling season. The paucity of cows for slaughter this spring, summer, and early fall will likely have implications for supplies of processing beef and ground beef production through summer 2015. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

Black bear sightings on the rise in Oklahoma

Picture Mark L. Watson/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND2.0

Black bears have become a common sight in parts of Oklahoma in recent years, a good indicator that the species is expanding its habitat range westward. In recent years, black bears have been seen in places where no record of sightings exist in modern times. Sightings have been reported near Broken Arrow, Tahlequah, Muskogee, Wewoka and Ada. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for July 7, 2015

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Though there have been reports of high grasshopper populations in some areas, generally the pest’s numbers statewide are much lower this year. In the Central Texas Blacklands, only Ralph Davis, AgriLife Extension agent for Kaufman County, mentioned seeing large numbers of grasshoppers. Read more…

Pacific pact to reshape stock portfolios along trade flows

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The 12 nations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could wrap up an agreement in coming weeks, after the pact cleared a major U.S. hurdle with Congress’s decision to give broad negotiating authority to President Barack Obama. The deal, which covers 40 percent of the global economy and is expected to deliver $295 billion in annual global economic gains, will have long-term implications for Pacific Rim companies, and for competitors in countries that are late to the party or don’t join. Although details of the deal are still under wraps and full implementation is years down the track, fund managers are starting to look at the implications for long-term positioning. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

Survey: Lesser prairie-chicken population continues to climb

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The population of the lesser prairie-chicken is on the rise, according to survey results released last week by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA). Based on aerial surveys, biologists estimate the lesser prairie-chicken numbers about 29,000, a 25 percent increase from 2014. WAFWA commissioned the annual survey, which showed increases in three of the four ecoregions the bird inhabits. Read more at the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Services blog…