Cow-Calf Corner: Current feeder prices and the economics of stocker production; Fall-calving season begins ahead of schedule

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Aug. 18 issue of Cow-Calf Corner, a newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel talks feeder prices and stocker production; and Glenn Selk discusses the quick approach of fall calving season. Read more…

El Niño - A Pack of Predictions

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El Niño is coming! It’s going to be HUGE! No, it’s dying! No, it’s coming but it will be weak! Evelyn Browning-Garriss, climatologist and author of The Browning Newsletter, discusses the ins and outs of predicting the El Niño weather pattern in this exclusive content for TSCRA members. Read more…

Update on vesicular stomatitis in Texas

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The Texas Animal Health Commission has received confirmation of 12 new cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in Central Texas; One case is in cattle and the remainder in horses. Ten of the new infected premises are in Bastrop County and two in Williamson County. Read more…

Comment period open for revised beef carcass grading system

Photo courtesy USDA.gov

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking public input on possible revisions to the U.S. Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef to adjust for recent improvements and trends in animal raising and feeding. AMS is also seeking input on a review of beef instrument grading. Read more…

Temple Grandin stresses the little things on ways to handle livestock

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When it comes to handling livestock, observing the little things can make for a more pleasant experience – both for the animal and the livestock, according to Dr. Temple Grandin, Colorado State University professor and animal scientist. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Aug. 12, 2014

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Moderate rain was scattered with 0.5 inch or less falling on most of the upper Midwest, the central High Plains, southwestern Oklahoma, and central through northeastern Texas. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

Local ranching event scheduled Aug. 21 in Palestine

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TSCRA will host a ranch gathering Thursday, Aug. 21 at the Palestine Civic Center in Palestine, Texas. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by a beef dinner. The event is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in cattle raising and ranching is welcome to attend. Read more…

EPA, Corps of Engineers hijack Clean Water Act to expand regulatory authority

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States could be facing upwards of 100,000 added regulated stream miles as a result of the “Waters of the United States” rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers. While the agencies continue to claim their proposal does not expand the scope of the Clean Water Act, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and Missouri Farm Bureau showcased new interactive maps on Aug. 14, 2014, at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo. These maps highlight just how far the proposed rule would expand federal jurisdiction over waters across the country Read more…

Dee Likes steps down after 31 years as CEO of Kansas Livestock Association

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The chief executive officer (CEO) and executive vice president of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) is stepping aside after 31 years in the position. Dee Likes will assume the title of KLA chief executive emeritus on Dec. 31 and will remain employed by KLA in an advisory role to work on future initiatives. Read more at Midwest Producer…

US sets new ground beef procedures to stop E. Coli outbreaks

Photo courtesy USDA.gov

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday announced new procedures for detecting and removing unsafe ground beef from grocery stores and suppliers as part of efforts to prevent potentially deadly illnesses caused by contaminated meat. The move “will allow the agency to trace contaminated ground beef back to its source more quickly, remove it from commerce, and find the root cause of the incident to prevent it from recurring,” said USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Read more at Reuters…

It's what's for dinner: Mediterranean beef and salad pita

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Traditionally Mediterranean ingredients like feta and olives are mixed into a salad in a unique presentation. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

State Sen. Ken Paxton meets with Cattle Raisers

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TSCRA welcomed Texas State Sen. Ken Paxton, Dist. 8, to their headquarters in Fort Worth, Wednesday, for a meeting to discuss issues important to cattle raisers. Topics included the EPA’s proposed rule on “waters of the U.S.,” private property rights, eminent domain and the upcoming state elections. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Disc mower and caddy stolen in Oklahoma

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TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5 in northeast Oklahoma, reports the theft of a disc mower and caddy on Aug. 10 or 11 from a property in Mayes County. The 2011 Vermeer is a yellow model 8040 10-foot rotary disc mower, Serial no. 1VR3070Z0A3002044. The caddy is a red single-axle Stoney Point brand with white markings and the owner’s name written on the tongue. If you have any information on this theft, please call Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.

New rules proposed on eminent domain process for new pipelines

photo: Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently talked to TSCRA President Pete Bonds about pipelines, due process, eminent domain and private property rights The Texas Railroad Commission has proposed a set of rules designed to provide more transparency when a pipeline operator seeks what is known as “common carrier” status: a designation that automatically gives the operator the power of eminent domain to seize land. According to the commission’s general counsel, the proposed rules would create a more developed process that would bring “greater confidence” in the common carrier classification and provide more “certainty for both pipelines and landowners.” The agency is accepting comments on the proposed rules until Aug. 25. Read more at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram…

Abbott reiterates opposition to Red River land grab; Demands real answers

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has again urged the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to drop its claims to private property along the Red River. A letter dated Aug. 13 seeks specific answers about the exact property the BLM now claims belongs to the federal government, asks the BLM to further explain the legal basis for its claim to private property and highlights the economic harm that the BLM’s actions are imposing on Texas landowners. This is the second letter Abbott has written to the BLM seeking this information. The BLM’s response to the first letter failed to answer substantive legal questions about its claims to private property along the Red River. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for Aug. 12, 2014

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Faced with limited irrigation water because of low aquifer levels and little to no surface water this summer, Winter Garden growers are abandoning hopes of planting traditional August crops such as cabbage. The Texas Winter Garden region is one of the major U.S. production areas of irrigated vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, onions, cucumbers and melons, along with pecans. The region lies southwest of San Antonio and is comprised mainly of six counties, Medina, Uvalde, Dimmit, Frio, La Salle and Zavala, but also includes parts of Atascosa, Maverick and McMullen counties Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cattle missing in South Texas

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TSCRA Special Ranger Steve Martin, Dist. 30 in far South Texas, reports cattle missing from a property in Karnes County. Some time between June 22 and 30, 14 cow-calf pairs disappeared from the property on FM 2201. The 14 cows are 5 year-old cross breed tiger stripe, with a few looking mostly like Charolais, branded with a DT on their left hip. The 14 calves are of various color and weigh 200 to 300 pounds, each. The calves are not branded. If you have any information regarding these cattle, please call Special Ranger Martin at 361-358-8851.

Aquifer feeding the High Plains shrinks

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The chief underground water source for irrigating the agriculture-rich Texas High Plains is depleting at a pace that some fear will exhaust it far more quickly than anticipated. Records examined by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal show the Ogallala Aquifer has dropped about 325 billion gallons every year for at least the past four decades, meaning the 40-foot decline in the water supply amounts to about a foot each year. The aquifer covers parts of eight states from the Dakotas to Texas, holds almost 3 billion acre-feet of water and could run out in 50 years, according to a Kansas study last year. Read more at The Longview News-Journal…

GAO faults cost analyses for EPA regulations

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A government report made public Monday finds fault with the Environmental Protection Agency’s analyses of the costs and benefits of its regulations. The Government Accountability Office report concluded that information incorporated into the EPA’s Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIA) was sometimes murky. Read more at The Hill…

Hunting, fishing licenses on sale Aug. 15

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New licenses for the 2014-15 hunting and fishing seasons go on sale Friday, August 15. The current year Texas hunting and fishing licenses (except year-to-date fishing licenses) will expire Aug. 31. In addition to a hunting license, anyone born after Sept. 1, 1971, must successfully complete a hunter education training course or purchase a one-time deferral good for one license year in order to hunt legally in Texas. The certification is valid for life and is honored in all other states and provinces. A Migratory Game Bird endorsement and Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification are also required to hunt dove or teal in September. Read more…