Beef production down, pork up in December

Picture courtesy Noble Foundation

Picture courtesy Noble Foundation U.S. red-meat production during December, at 4.1 billion pounds, was up slightly from a year earlier, mainly because of a recovery in pork production, as beef slaughter and production declined according to the latest Livestock Slaughter report from USDA. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork

Cornyn to chair subcommittee at forefront of US trade agenda

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn

U.S. Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, has been named chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness for the 114th Congress. This chairmanship will put Sen. Cornyn at the forefront of developing a U.S. trade agenda to grow America’s economy and competitiveness. Read more…

Beaver problems in pond dams

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

Not only do they build their own, but beaver can cause significant structural damage to pond dams. Dam problems can turn into big problems. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 20, 2015


South of the Texas Panhandle, precipitation has been variable lately, and drought designations have likewise improved at some places and times, and deteriorated in others. But short-term conditions have averaged much closer to normal across the region as a whole, with precipitation shortfalls observed on time scales of 6 months to multiple years. Read more at…

Seeking answers on how to manage feral swine


Solutions for the feral swine problem are about as elusive as the pigs themselves. For several years, agricultural media and the popular press have documented the growing numbers and distribution of feral pigs, particularly in the southern half of the U.S. We know they damage crops and wildlife habitat, and potentially serve as reservoirs for diseases affecting livestock. n an effort to reduce damage and protect domestic livestock, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is asking for input from the public on its proposed environmental impact statement as part of the APHIS Feral Swine Damage Management Program. Comments will be accepted through Feb. 2. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork

New Cuba regulations should benefit US agriculture


Treasury and Commerce Department regulations to implement the beginning of normalization of relations with Cuba, announced in December by President Obama, were published in the Federal Register on Jan. 16. The new regulations are effective immediately and should benefit U.S. agricultural exports by improving the foreign exchange earnings available for purchasing U.S. agricultural products and by making U.S. goods more price-competitive. Read more at Ag Professional...

USDA reminds producers of upcoming livestock disaster assistance deadline

Farm Service Agency

USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Judith A. Canales, reminds livestock producers that the Jan. 30, 2015, deadline to request assistance for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2014, is fast approaching.  Applications for the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, restored by the 2014 Farm Bill resumed in April 2014, after having expired on Sept. 30, 2011. To date, more than 556,000 applications have been approved to assist farmers and ranchers in recovering from nearly 3 years of natural disasters.  Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for Jan. 21, 2015

A Panhandle producer strips cotton in Moore County, northwest of Dumas. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Jourdan Bell

A variety of factors – mostly weather — have delayed the finishing of the cotton harvest in the Panhandle, Rolling Plains and, to a lesser degree, the South Plains. During mid-January, the area had drier, warmer days that allowed producers to catch up harvesting, but on Jan. 21, a new winter storm system was moving into the Panhandle, with as much as 8 to 10 inches of snow in the forecast. Until the delay, yields and quality were very good, despite earlier difficulties.  Irrigated yields were as much as 3.5 bales per acre, and dryland from a half to one bale per acre. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Sweet potato beef mash-up


Ground beef and sweet potato chunks get wrapped up in a whole-wheat tortilla. Read more at…

TSCRA Ranch Rodeo scheduled in Duncan, Okla., Feb. 13-14


TSCRA will host a ranch rodeo Feb. 13-14 at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center in Duncan, Okla. Each ranch rodeo performance will begin at 7:00 p.m. The ranch rodeo will be held in conjunction with the Oklahoma Horse Fair. Read more…

Trade, transportation and taxes: State of the Union hits key ag points


President Barack Obama addressed tax and trade issues in State of the Union address on Tuesday and agriculture groups weighed in on plans for trade, taxes and infrastructure. Read more at Farm Futures

Beef checkoff launches MBA 2.0

MBA Logo

The beef checkoff’s Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) program has launched MBA 2.0, an opportunity for beef and dairy producers to step up and be true leaders – ‘Agvocates’, if you will – for the industry and all of agriculture. Building on the success of the original MBA courses, with nearly 6,000 graduates to date, the program hinges on the importance for consumers to hear directly from those growing and delivering their food to them. Read more…

TSCRA Cattlemen's Column: National Beef Checkoff - A successful grassroots program


TSCRA Second Vice President Richard Thorpe discusses the success of the national beef checkoff and how the program continues to support the beef industry. Read more…

USDA: How livestock mandatory price reporting brings transparency to the marketplace


The Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting (LMR) Program was established to expand pricing information available in the livestock industry. Part of USDA Market News data, the information is distributed by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and allows analysts to dive in head first and fulfill all of their number crunching ambitions. Read more at…

Cow-Calf Corner: Mixed start to 2015 cattle markets; Study your lesson before calving season begins

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Jan. 19 issue of Cow-Calf Corner, a newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel discusses the start to markets in 2015 and Glenn Selk talks studying up on calving lessons before it’s time to use what you know. Read more…

TSCRA Regional Association Promotion Team Meets in Fort Worth


Today, the TSCRA Regional Association Promotion (RAP) Team Leaders gathered in Fort Worth to discuss ideas for developing and enhancing TSCRA membership opportunities for 2015. RAP Team Leaders work to support and carry out the initiatives of the Association Promotion Committee. Many great ideas were discussed at today’s RAP Team meeting, and we look forward to hosting many great events this year.

Japan TPP negotiator: felt US intends to wrap up talks in few months


Japan’s deputy chief trade negotiator Hiroshi Oe said on Wednesday he got the impression during talks that the United States intends to wrap up overall TPP discussions within a few months. Oe, speaking to reporters after talks with his counterpart Wendy Cutler, acting deputy U.S. trade representative, said he felt the United States is seriously trying to find common ground in their discussions. Read More at Reuters…

Role of Canadian and Mexican cattle evolves


The most recent monthly trade data provides an update to recent cattle and beef trade flows in North America.The data emphasize the longer-term evolution and change in the roles of Canada and Mexico in North American and global markets. Cattle and beef trade flows between the United States, Mexico and Canada are increasingly complex and represent an ever-more-integrated North American market. Canada and Mexico are both major beef-import sources and destinations for U.S. beef exports. Read More at Agri-View…

Don't miss your last chance for healthcare open enrollment


Open enrollment for health insurance ends Feb. 15, 2015. Your next opportunity to reconsider your plan will be Nov. 15, 2015, unless you experience a qualifying condition such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child or termination of employment, among others. We don’t want you to miss this important deadline! For more information about your health insurance options, contact Julissa Chubbs at, Tina Finicum at; or Michele Woodham at or call 800-252-2849.

USDA announces funding for new conservation partnership projects


Texas State Conservationist Salvador Salinas announced Jan. 14 more than $10 million in funding for 2 new and innovative projects funded through USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program, or RCPP. The projects bring together partners to the NRCS conservation mission in an effort to harness innovation and ideas, while demonstrating the value of voluntary, private lands conservation. Read more…