Shrinking cattle supplies reshuffle packer rankings

feedlot

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…

USDA seeks comment on draft feral swine program

Feral Swine are not native to the U.S. They are the result of recent and historical (1500's Spanish explorers) releases of domestic swine and Eurasian boar. USDA APHIS photo Laurie Paulik.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Dec. 11 the opening of a 45-day public comment period for the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the APHIS Feral Swine Damage Management Program. They are encouraging response from stakeholders at all levels. Read more at Feedstuffs…

Cow-Calf Corner: The North American beef cow and heifer situation; It is time to begin the early evening feeding

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Dec. 15 edition of Cow/Calf Corner, a newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel discusses how the beef herd is faring in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.; and Glenn Selk talks about moving feeding times to better coordinate calving supervision. Read more…

House passes fiscal year 2014 funding

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The House passed the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Thursday evening, funding much of the government through Sept. 30, 2015. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President, TSCRA Past President and Victoria cattleman Bob McCan says this appropriations bill contained many of the priorities for cattlemen and women. Read more…

conic cattlewoman Minnie Lou Bradley, 2014 Saddle & Sirloin inductee

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When she speaks, people listen. Across the industry this iconic cattlewoman is known for her clear-cut common sense and determination. Drover and Angus breeder Minnie Lou Bradley joins the esteemed list of cattle industry game changers as a recipient of the 2014 Saddle and Sirloin Club Portrait Award. Read more at Drovers/CattleNetwork…

LCRA breaks ground on new reservoir

LCRA

Lower Colorado River Authority officials have begun construction of a new $250 million reservoir in rural Wharton County that should benefit all the municipalities and businesses north and east of San Antonio that rely on water from the lower Colorado River and lakes. Read more at the San Antonio Business Journal…

Time to move the Trans-Pacific Partnership across the goal line

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Negotiators from the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries are in Washington this week to move this landmark agreement closer to completion. We are almost there – you could say we are in the “red-zone” of the negotiations. Let’s hope the negotiators can do what the Redskins couldn’t – and put some points on the board. Read more at The Hill…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Dec. 9, 2014

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Most of the region was dry this past week, with the exceptions of the eastern Panhandle of Oklahoma, eastern and southeastern Oklahoma, and a few locales near the Texas Coast. Short-term dryness is emerging across parts of northeast and southeast Texas, and in the Panhandle. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Walnut-crusted roast with blue cheese mashed potatoes

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Impress your guests with this walnut-crusted roast and a side of blue cheese mashed potatoes. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

USDA seeks public comment on new EQIP rule

NRCS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is publishing a rule that outlines how it will improve the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), one of USDA’s largest conservation programs. The interim final rule includes program changes authorized by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill that are intended to simplify the EQIP regulation regarding conservation practice scheduling, payment limitations and other administrative actions. Read more…

EPA official unable to share release date for 2014 RFS final volumes

EPA

Lawmakers on Wednesday discussed EPA’s management of the Renewable Fuel Standard in a House Oversight Committee subcommittee hearing, inviting an EPA official to comment on the agency’s sluggish announcement of final volumes for the 2014 RFS. Read more at Farm Futures…

Motivating landowners to adopt best management practices

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

For years, natural resources professionals have worked to bridge the gap between research and application by establishing proven best management practices (BMPs) that benefit farms, ranches and working lands as well as improve water quality and quantity. But what motivates some landowners to adopt these practices while others do not? Read more from the Texas Water Resources Institute…

The Browning Blog: Rivers in the sky

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What do El Nino, storms on the West coast and Nor’easters all have in common? Dr. Evelyn Browning-Garriss discusses how water vapor rising from tropical oceans affect weather all over the U.S. and what it could mean for spring moisture in the Southwest. Read more…

TSCRA prepares for 84th Texas legislative session

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On Jan. 13, 2015, the 84th session of the Texas Legislature is kicking off in Austin. The state House and Senate are welcoming back many seasoned legislators, but also adding many freshmen to the halls of the Capitol. The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) is looking forward to being on the ground working at the state Capitol to make sure cattle raisers and landowners are properly represented. Read more…

Leading food organizations promote practical nutrition guidance

Photo © 2012 Cattlemen's Beef Board

A coalition of 18 food organizations announced Wednesday the formation of a new Back to Balance Coalition aimed at promoting balanced, practical and achievable dietary guidance. The coalition formed in response to public policy efforts occurring at the local, state and national levels to malign and restrict certain foods when both scientific research and the nutrition community say such efforts are unlikely to work.  Read more at Drovers/CattleNetwork…

Forage testing shows low nutrients going into winter

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Forage testing can help producers identify deficiencies in supplies so they can determine nutrient supplements to counter what could be another harsh winter. Insufficient forage nutrition this winter could lead to poor body condition of cows, calving challenges, reduced calf health, longer post-partum intervals, lower conception rates, increased age at puberty and reduced fertility in bulls. Read more at USAgNet…

Texas crop, weather, for Dec. 10, 2014

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Depending upon the weather and consumer tolerance for high prices, 2015 could be a make-it or break-it year for beef producers, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. It’s all about supply and demand. In Texas and the rest of the U.S., cow inventory numbers are down, largely due to recent droughts. This means calf supplies are down as well. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Gooseneck trailer stolen in south Central Texas

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TSCRA Marvin Wills, Dist. 15 in Central Texas, reports the theft of a gooseneck trailer from a property near Marlin in Falls County some time between Dec. 7 and 8. The trailer is a 2008 dark gray 20-foot Gooseneck brand with a dark gray canvas top, VIN No. 16GS420258B062533. It may have the Texas license plate DJJ-B11, which was stolen from another trailer. If you have any information about this trailer, please call Special Ranger Wills at 254-865-2571.

Japan's soaring demand for cow tongue drives US exports

exports

After Japan last year loosened restrictions on the age of cattle it would accept, U.S. beef-tongue exports soared by 150 percent in 2013 over the previous year, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. They’re on pace to go even higher this year. Read more at mcclatchydc.com…

More beef from down under set for US tables as herd drops

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Exports to the U.S. from the third-largest shipper will jump 35 percent to 360,000 metric tons in 2014-2015, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said in a report. That’s the highest since 2004-2005. The U.S. cattle herd started the year at the smallest since 1951 after years of drought forced producers to cull herds, and cattle futures reached a record last month. Prices may rise the most among agricultural commodities next year amid tight supply and strong demand, according to Rabobank International. Read more at Bloomberg…