US Drought Monitor for Nov. 18, 2014

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Bitter cold — albeit dry — weather resulted in no change to the drought depiction except along the Texas Gulf Coast. Despite the frigid, mostly dry conditions, some Abnormal Dryness (D0) was reduced along the southeastern coast of Texas where rainfall totaled locally more than 2 inches. Short-term drought remained most intense (Exceptional Drought – D4) along the Texas-Oklahoma border west of Wichita Falls, where 90-day precipitation has totaled less than 50 percent of normal. In contrast, many of the long-term drought areas from Texas into Colorado have received above-normal precipitation over the past 90 days, but are still wrestling with the impacts of longer-term deficits. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

Directors appointed to Guadalupe, Angelina and Neches River Authorities

Texas State Capitol photo by TexasExplorer98 at flickr

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has appointed three members to the Angelina and Neches River Authority Board of Directors. The board sets policy, provides oversight and employs a general manager for the Angelina and Neches River Authority, which oversees water resources in 17 counties surrounding the Neches River Basin. One person was also appointed to the Upper Guadalupe River Authority Board of Directors. The authority develops water policies, manages floods and protects the quality of water for the Guadalupe River. Read more…

Conaway announces senior House Agriculture Committee staff

DC

Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, the chairman-elect of the House Agriculture Committee, announced the appointment of senior staff to lead the committee in the 114th Congress. Read more at Agri-Pulse

It’s what’s for dinner: One-dish beef stroganoff

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This quick and easy recipe makes a great fall comfort dinner. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

Cattlemen’s Column: APHIS rule proposal could devastate American cattle herd

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In this month’s Cattlemen’s Column, TSCRA President Pete Bonds discusses a rule proposal made by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that would allow the importation of live cattle and fresh or frozen beef from Northern Argentina. APHIS would accomplish this by adding the Patagonia areas of Argentina to the list of regions considered free of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). TSCRA casts doubt on this decision, fearing it could be a costly mistake for America’s cattle herd. Read more…

High beef prices a boon for drought-weary ranchers

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If you’ve shopped for meat recently, you no doubt have noticed that beef prices are up. Some grades are even at the highest levels ever recorded by the USDA. Though the inflated prices may be hard on consumers, they’re helping Texas cattle ranchers recover from a fierce drought. Listen to the story at NPR.org…

House passes bill to reform EPA science panel

DC

The House on Tuesday passed legislation to overhaul the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board. Passed 229-191, the measure, H.R. 1422, would change the process of selecting members of the Scientific Advisory Board and the terms of office. Among other provisions, the measure would require the Scientific Advisory Board, which consults the EPA on its regulations, to have at least ten percent of members from state, local or tribal governments. Read more at The Hill…

Amid high prices, cattle buyers are choosier

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

Calves sold steady to $5/cwt. higher in the Southern Plains this week. They traded unevenly steady in the Southeast and uneven across a wide range in the Northern Plains. Buyers continue to place a heavy discount on calves that come with a higher health risk. The high premium ($30-$40/cwt) for steers versus heifers also continued, according to the Agricultural Marketing ServiceRead more at BEEF magazine…

Proper cow nutrition now saves headaches later

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

A cow is more likely to sustain a healthy state of living when the feed she consumes is a mixture of green and yellow feeds. Read more at BeefTalk…

Mule deer season begins soon – be sure to follow CWD testing requirements

picture courtesy USFWS

Texas mule deer season begins soon, so be sure to check the season dates and zones. Hunters taking mule deer and elk inside the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Containment Zone during the 2014 general mule deer hunting season, Nov. 28 – Dec. 14, are required to submit their harvest (unfrozen head) for sampling at a check station within 24 hours of take. Read more….

Texas crop, weather, for Nov. 18, 2014

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The first hard freeze for the South Plains and Lubbock area came on Nov. 13 -14, about 10 days later than average, which was timely for finishing up the area’s cotton. Read more…

Ag groups urge Congress to act on tax extenders

DC

A number of agricultural groups, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council, sent a letter to House and Senate leadership Tuesday urging both houses to act on expired tax policies before the end of the year. Read more…

Oklahoma hunting check stations are not optional

Oklahoma Dept of Wildlife Conservation

Oklahoma state wildlife law requires anyone who takes a deer, elk, turkey or paddlefish to check in their harvest within 24 hours of leaving the hunting or fishing area, and in all cases prior to processing the carcass. Any device with Internet access can use the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s E-Check system, if a physical check station is not an option. Failure to report any harvest comes with some pretty steep penalties. Read more…

Windmilling, a dying art, hangs on in Texas

Photo by Carol Hutchison

Only a few dozen outfits still exist in the Texas Panhandle that practice the dying art of “windmilling” — fixing the old-style whirligigs that pump water from the aquifers. Windmills were crucial to 19th-century settlers of West Texas and the Great Plains because little surface water existed. Now, thousands of them — far smaller than the giant electricity-producing turbines that have sprouted around West Texas in recent years — still twirl in remote pastures. The windmills go where electricity cannot reach and cattle need to drink, though cheaper solar pumps are starting to push them out. Read more at The Texas Tribune…

TSCRA Crime Watch: 10 head of calves missing in Oklahoma

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TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5 in eastern Oklahoma, reports 10 head of cattle missing from a property near Morris in Okmulgee County some time between Oct. 15 and 31. The cattle are red Angus-cross calves weighing between 500 to 550 pounds, each, and had a “WR” brand on the left hip. All had ear tags and electronic identification (EID) tags in each ear. If you have any information regarding these calves, please call Special Ranger Cummings at 918 342-0888.

New ladies emblem V-neck T-shirts

WomensTee

For our fashionable Cattle Raisers we have our stylish ladies emblem T-shirt available in light grey, charcoal grey or chocolate brown. The shirt is made with a soft fabric that is comfortable to wear and durable year round. Show your Cattle Raisers style this year and buy our ladies emblem T-shirt this holiday season. Member price: $18.

 To order and check for size availability, call 800-242-7820 or visit tscra.org and click on the Cattle Raisers Trading Co. button.

Texas Beef Council turns focus to younger eaters

Texas Beef Council

After a dinner of beef brisket on a warm fall evening in north San Antonio, members, friends and guests of TSCRA sat back and listened to Jason Bagley of the Texas Beef Council outline how the trade group is moving away from print, television and radio ads. To attract young families, Bagley said, the council is turning to food and recipe apps, its website and tailored cooking events. Read more at The Texas Tribune…

USDA projects total beef supply down 1 billion pounds in 2015

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Beginning beef stocks in 2015 are projected at 495 million pounds, down 89 million pounds from 2014. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

Cow-Calf Corner: Federally-inspected slaughter summary; Results of adjusting feed levels for winter weather

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Nov. 17 edition of Cow-Calf Corner, a weekly newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel discusses federally-inspected slaughter numbers and what it means for beef production and herd rebuilding; and Glenn Selk talks adjusting feed levels for winter weather and how this can affect future calf crops and weaning weights. Read more…

USDA playing politics with the National beef checkoff

Photo © 2012 Cattlemen's Beef Board

Troy Marshall with BEEF magazine gives his View From The Country about USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s move to create a new beef checkoff. What might a separate government-run beef promotion program mean for the cattle industry, especially when the current cattlemen-run checkoff has an 80 percent approval rating? Read more at BEEF magazine…