USDA Crop Reports Preview: Big, bigger, biggest


While attention following the release of the September round of supply and demand numbers is expected to focus on new-crop production estimates, global ending stocks projections could tell the real story. USDA will release its latest Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports at 11 a.m. CDT Thursday. DTN/Progressive Farmer Senior Analyst Darin Newsom takes a look at what we may expect from the report. Read more at DTN/The Progressive Farmer

Texas crop, weather, for Sept. 9, 2014


Rains came to the Panhandle and South Plains a couple weeks too late to ensure a really good dryland cotton crop across the board. In early August, dryland cotton in the Texas High Plains teetered on being moisture stressed, but still had the potential to make a very good crop – if rain was received in time. Unfortunately, the rains came the first week of September, not mid-August as hoped. Read more…

EPA again tries to explain water jurisdiction rule

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released seven pages of questions and answers Monday on its proposal to redefine which lakes and streams it can regulate. The explainer is the latest attempt by the EPA to respond to backlash from Republicans and business groups who say the “waters of the United States” proposal from March would significantly expand the EPA’s jurisdiction. Read more at The Hill…

Staples condemns school policies calling for

USDA photo by Lance Cheung

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples wrote an editorial for the Austin American-Statesman about keeping “Meatless Monday” campaigns out of Texas schools and restricting children’s lunches. “Restricting children’s meal choice to not include meat is irresponsible and has no place in our schools. This activist movement called ‘Meatless Mondays’ is a carefully-orchestrated campaign that seeks to eliminate meat from Americans’ diets seven days a week — starting with Mondays…” Read more…

Extension agency warns livestock producers about prussic acid poisoning

AgriLife Extension Aget Mark Arnold, Waxahachie, warns livestock producers to use caution when grazing sorghum/sudan grass during periods when these forages may be experiencing stress. Whether drought or frost stress, as prussic acid poisoning is one of the most toxic and rapidly acting of any common poison. It is also called hydrocyanic acid or cyanide poisoning. Cyogenic compounds can develop in plants that are stressed. In the rumen the compounds are converted to cyanide, which can kill livestock. Read more at…

Attend a TSCRA event this month


TSCRA has 14 events scheduled for September, including ranch gatherings this week in Fowlerton, Placedo, and Corpus Christi. We will also be hosting lunches, educational events, Beef Quality Assurance producer training and our fall membership meeting in Austin Sept. 24-26. Check out our events calendar at for more information. We’re adding new events all the time!

Mexico continuing to fall behind on obligation of sending Rio Grande water to Texas


Under the terms of a treaty signed in 1944, the U.S. is obliged to give Mexico water from the Colorado River, while Mexico must transfer water from the Rio Grande and its tributaries. But in recent years, Mexico has fallen behind on its obligation. The accounting for the water sharing gets tallied in five-year cycles. And at this point, in the fourth year of the cycle, Mexico currently owes the United States 380,000 acre-feet of water. Read more at The Washington Post…

Ag producers in Teas still have time to apply for direct farm ownership loan program

Farm Service Agency

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Judith A. Canales announced Sept. 5 that farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSA’s direct farm ownership program. Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: Cattle and beef trade reacts to US market situation; Feeding weaned calves during a pre-conditioning program

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Sept. 8 issue of Cow/Calf Corner, Derrell Peel discusses how the beef trade has reacted to the US market situation and Glenn Selk talks feeding weaned calves during a pre-conditioning program. Read more…

US cattle futures extend rally on tight supplies


U.S. cattle futures continued to climb early in the session Friday, rallying to catch up to recent cash market prices as processors bid aggressively for tight supplies of available animals. Read more at…

$15.50 rally in 11 trading days; Third time this year


It happened in January, then in June and now in September, monster rallies, occurring in a relatively short time frame surging from $14.06 to $16.42 in under a month. And Thursday’s extremely volatile price action, as shorts and bear spreaders blew out of October live cattle (LC), was done on huge volume, 129,874 contracts, not quite a record, ripping 10k contracts of OI out of Oct LC and leaving net OI down over 5k, only 2k off of the recent low, coming in at 307,874. Read more at The Beef…

Have we reached peak burger?

Photo courtesy

For most of its history, the fast-food business in the U.S. has been characterized by rapid and dependable growth. In recent years, however, the companies that made Big Macs and Whoppers into icons of American pop culture have seen robust domestic expansion disappear from their menus. Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek

Setting up your own wireless network


If the two-way radio was all you ever needed for farm communication, then it may be time to think about setting up a wireless equivalent – with a sensor at the other end rather than a family member or coworker. By now, you’ve probably replaced that old two-way radio with a cell phone or a smartphone. Wireless is the next step. It can let you tap into information from devices that are silently watching or measuring on your behalf. You can open the channel (like a two-way radio) by just dialing it up or connecting to it over the Internet. Keep an eye on confined livestock facilities, tank water levels, gate positions or weather conditions from anywhere. Read more at…

Akey named interim director at Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab


On Sept. 3, the Texas A&M System Board of Regents named Dr. Bruce L. Akey interim director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. Akey began as executive deputy director at the lab in June of this year. Akey replaces Dr. Tammy Beckham, who announced in August her intention to leave the lab to become fulltime director of the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Sept. 2, 2014


Along the central and western Gulf Coast, locally heavy rainfall fell across coastal areas of Louisiana and Texas with some areas receiving five-to-ten inches helping to improve drought conditions in southeastern Texas. Read more…

Congressman visits with Cattle Raisers and tours Bonds Ranch


Cattle Raisers welcomed Congressman Marc Veasey, Texas – Dist. 33, to TSCRA President Pete Bonds’ ranch in Saginaw Thursday for lunch and tour of the operation. TSCRA leaders enjoyed visiting with the Congressman about issues important to cattle raisers.

Attend ranch gathering in Corpus Christi on Sept. 11


TSCRA will host a ranch gathering Thursday, Sept. 11 at the Corpus Christi Yacht Club in Corpus Christi. Attendees will enjoy a free beef dinner and presentations from TSCRA Special Ranger Steve Martin, who will discuss how to keep their livestock and equipment safe from theft and Texas Beef Council staff will provide an update on the Texas beef checkoff. TSCRA Executive Vice President Eldon White also will update cattle raisers on important legislative issues. Read more…

Vesicular stomatitis update


Since the Aug. 27 update, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) received confirmation of one new case of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in a horse 3.5 miles southeast of Waco in McLennan County. Three premises have been released in Travis County, five premises have been released in Bastrop County and one premises in Williamson County has been released. To date, 58 premises in 12 Texas counties have been confirmed with VS. Of the 58 premises, 23 have been released. Read more…

EPA’s renewable fuel quota may rise as gasoline sales climb


U.S. renewable fuel quotas may end up higher than a proposal issued last year because gasoline use is climbing, the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief said. Administrator Gina McCarthy told an investors’ conference in New York that the quotas, which are months overdue, will be released soon. She declined to discuss any specific figures, while laying out the rationale for a modest increase. Tim Cheung, a research analyst at ClearView Energy Partners in Washington, predicted the EPA will require 13.6 billion gallons of ethanol be blended into gasoline for vehicles — about 600 million gallons more than the agency proposed. Read more at Bloomberg News…

Texas crop, weather, for Sept. 3, 2014

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson

A shortage of small grain rye seed may require many East and Central Texas producers to rethink their winter pasture plan. Much of the seed production for the most popular varieties used in East Texas comes out of Oklahoma. Because of the drought, as well as late freezes this year, a lot of seed production was lost. Read more…