Save the Date for Policy Conference – All TSCRA members invited to attend

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Mark your calendar for Wednesday, Sept. 23, to Friday, Sept. 25, for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Policy Conference at the Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio. The TSCRA Policy Conference replaces the traditional fall meeting and offers a format in which TSCRA members will have ample time to focus on policy issues of interest to association members and any others involved in ranching and the stewardship of private property.

Summer meat demand

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Meat prices are higher in the latest retail prices released for the month of June. The All Fresh retail beef price was $6.114/lb., up $0.059 cents from May and up $0.606/lb. from one year ago. The June retail pork price was $3.703/lb., up $0.007/lb. from last month but $0.413/lb. lower than June of 2014. The retail broiler composite price was $1.987/lb., $0.055/lb. higher than May and up $0.038/lb. year over year. Read more…

Blue-Green algae can threaten livestock

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Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are microscopic organisms that can be found in all types of water including farm ponds. Some cyanobacteria can produce toxins that can be harmful to livestock affecting the nervous system and liver. Read more…

Visit TSCRA’s Facebook page for Levelland Rodeo photos

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See exciting images from the TSCRA Ranch Rodeo at Levelland over the weekend at TSCRA’s Facebook page. Stacy Fox, TSCRA director of member programs, captured these images.

TDA Market Recap July 20, 2015

Texas Department of Agriculture

For the week ending July 18, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady, with instances of sales ranging from $1 to $8 lower per hundredweight (cwt). Texas weekly direct feeder cattle sales were mostly $1 to $4 lower with some steady sales early in the week. Wholesale beef values were lower, with Choice Grade losing $3.68 to close at $233.30 per cwt and Select Grade losing $4.60 to close at $229.39 per cwt.

Levelland Ranch Rodeo Recap

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Wild-cow milking was the deciding factor in which team won the TSCRA Levelland Ranch Rodeo, July 18. The bronc riding, team doctoring and team branding competitions set up a showdown in the last segment. Spires Land and Cattle and Tongue River Ranch were first and second going into the wild-cow milking. Both teams were tied after their respective runs. The final team, Sandhill Cattle Company, needed to be faster than 36 seconds in the wild-cow milking to win the entire rodeo. Team captain Tripp Townsend made quick work of the roping and the rest of the team worked hard to put together a fabulous 30-second run and take home the championship. Spires Land and Cattle won the tiebreaker for second place and Tongue River Ranch came in third place. Read more…

New beef industry long-range plan establishes roadmap for 2016 to 2020

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Drive growth, protect the business and political climate for beef, grow trust and promote beef’s value are the key factors in the beef industry long-range plan, announced during the 2015 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver last week. Sixteen beef industry leaders representing every link in the beef value chain have been developing a set of aggressive goals to strengthen the beef industry from 2016 to 2020 since December 2014. Read more…

Oil eases, choppy after early dollar strength pressures

An oil well is seen near Denver, Colorado February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Brent and U.S. crude slipped in choppy trading along with the seesawing dollar after the currency’s early strength pressured dollar-denominated commodities. Read More at Reuters…

Cuban flag flies over embassy in Washington for first time in 54 years

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The red, white and blue Cuban flag was raised over the island’s embassy in Washington on Monday for the first time since 1961 — a fluttering symbol of the historic thaw taking place between the Cold War foes. As pro and anti-Cuban protestors gathered outside the gates of the embassy chanting “Fidel” and “Justice” — the flag was was raised at about 10:35 EST. The ceremony came after the United States and Cuba reestablished diplomatic ties early Monday after a 54-year gap. Read More at the Kansas City Star

Space is available on the August Copenhagen-to-Stockholm Cruise

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If you’d like to cruise the Baltic Sea, Aug. 17 to 27, with TSCRA, hurry to reserve the last stateroom. Travel to 8 countries in the comfort of your Silversea’s all-inclusive suite. See everything from Soviet-era austerity to Romanov grandiosity. For more information contact Pam Small, Travel Experts, at 512-454-5235 or e-mail Pamela@PamSmallTravel.com.

TSCRA Recognized for Outstanding NCBA Member Recruitment

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Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association earned the use of a piece of equipment from New Holland for outstanding efforts to recruit new members to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. TSCRA will get its choice of a 1-year lease on a New Holland Roll-Belt™ 560 Specialty Crop round baler or a 1-year lease on a New Holland T6 175 tractor. The award was announced yesterday at the 2015 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver.   “Since 2003 New Holland has been a great partner to NCBA, recognizing and rewarding our affiliates that help strengthen the membership base and give the cattle industry a stronger voice,” said Philip Ellis, NCBA President. “Like New Holland, these state affiliates recognize that the organization’s growth is a smart way Read more…

6666 Ranch Wins Environmental Stewardship Award for NCBA Region IV

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Seven families were honored yesterday for their outstanding land management practices during the 2015 Cattle Industry Summer Conference. The Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) honors the efforts of farmers and ranchers who are dedicated to maintaining and improving their lands to ensure that they are productive for future generations. 6666 Ranch, Guthrie, won Region IV, and was nominated by TSCRA and Texas Section, Society for Range Management. Regional and national award recipients serve as role models among their peers in the farming and ranching community, ensuring that the innovative conservation practices are widely adopted by other land managers. The program is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, USDA-NRCS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tyson Foods, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation. The other Read more…

U.S. Drought Monitor, July 14, 2015

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During the past week, generally dry conditions prevailed across most of the region with the exception of some isolated pockets of heavy shower activity (4 to 8 inches) in west central and some lesser accumulations (2 to 3 inches) in the northwest Panhandle of Texas. In these parts, one-category improvements were made in areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) as well as in the sole remaining area of Moderate Drought (D1) in the state. According to the NWS in San Angelo, Abilene already has broken the July rainfall record at 8.26 inches. Statewide, Texas experienced the wettest January through June period on record (1895–2015), according to NOAA NCEI. In Oklahoma, short-term improvements led to removal of the remaining areas of Abnormally Dry (DO) in the Panhandle Read more…

TSCRA member touts Levelland Ranch Rodeo

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See TSCRA member Blake Birdwell on www.myfoxlubbock.com encouraging ranches to enter this weekend’s Ranch Rodeo and inviting the general public to come watch. Watch video here…

TSCRA Crime Watch: 16 crossbred cows missing from Chelsea, Okla.

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TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, District 4, north central Oklahoma, reports 16 mature crossbred cows are missing from a property at Chelsea in Nowata County, Okla. Apparently, no force was used to gain entry to the property. A wire gate securing the property was found open. The cattle are mostly Angus or Charolais cross. They have a brand on the left shoulder of 3 stacked bars and a single number, which indicate their birth year. The left ear of each cow has 2 notches on the bottom. If you have information regarding this theft, please contact Special Rangers Perrier at 918-275-4257.

TSCRA Crime Watch: 25 or more cows, weaning age calves missing east of Mineola

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TSCRA Special Ranger Larry Hand, District 13, northeast Texas, has received a report that 25 or more cattle are missing from land leased for pasture in Wood County. The lessee reports a good count of the cattle being grazed was done on May 6. On July 6, during the final round-up count, at least 11 cows and at least 14 calves were missing. The cows are mostly mixed colors of black, black baldy, red and tiger-stripe. They all carried a brand on the right hip in the design of a double J connected back to back forming what is sometimes called a fish hook. The large end of the brand faces the animal’s head. The  weaning-age calves, of similar colors to the cows, were not Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: 2 Limousin bulls missing from San Augustine area

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Special Ranger Larry Hand reports 2 Limousin bulls, one black and one red, have gone missing from a property northeast of San Augustine in East Texas. The bulls were last seen June 1. The bulls are described as: Black bull, gentle, 20 months, 1,200 to 1,400 pounds, tattoo number DMAR61A, not branded, with a blue ear tag right ear and a 3-inch split in the left ear from injury Red bull, gentle, 12 to 14 months, 700 to 800 pounds, no brands or tattoo There was no forced entry to the property and the fences are in good shape. Hand reports an older model white 1-one truck with black steel bed and rusty white long stock trailer had been seen on property early one afternoon Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: John Deere tractor parts stolen from Strang, Okla., area

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TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, District 5, eastern Oklahoma, says a thief or thieves cut a barbed wire fence off a Mayes County, Okla., road to gain entry to a ranch near Strange between July 2 and 9. The thief or thieves drove their vehicle onto the ranch and stole parts from a John Deere 430 tractor. Stolen were: 2 front tires and yellow steel wheels Alternator Breather 2 lights Battery 2 battery cables Approximately 20 gallons of diesel fuel from the fuel tank If you have information about this theft, please contact Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.

TSCRA Crime Watch: Padlocks cut, gates left open in Rogers County, Okla.

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TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings reports that on July 10, suspects cut 2 padlocks and removed the chains from gates on a ranch near Claremore, Rogers County, Okla. The gates were left open to a county roadway, the locks damaged and the chains are missing. If you have any information about this incident, please contact Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.

Crop, grazing land requirements to meet demand in 2050

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As part of the larger Food Forward Sustainability Project, researchers J.R. Knapp of Fox Hollow Consulting and R.A. Cady of Elanco Animal Health have estimated the quantity of feed required to produce animal products and meet global consumer demands in 2050 under different production scenarios using population-based models. Without innovation in animal and plant agriculture, 36 to 58% more land would be required in 2050 to produce food and feed, they said. Read more at Feedstuffs.com…

National Cattlemen’s Foundation accepting applications for W.D. Farr Scholarships

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The National Cattlemen’s Foundation is accepting applications for the W.D. Farr Scholarships for the 2015-16 school year. The annual W.D. Farr Scholarship awards were established by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation in 2007 to recognize outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in meat science and animal agriculture. Each $12,000 award recognizes superior achievement in academics and leadership, and will allow graduate students to further their study in fields that benefit the cattle and beef industry. To apply for the scholarship, graduate students planning to pursue a career in meat science or the beef industry should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a description of applicant’s goals and experience, a statement of belief in the industry as well as a review of the applicant’s graduate research Read more…

Asian beef salad

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A bed of fresh salad greens and cilantro topped with sliced steak and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts and drizzled with a sweet, savory and tangy dressing make this Thai-style beef salad a hit for the hot weather this weekend. Normal pantry ingredients are used in an unusual way. Get the recipe at Texas Beef Council…

Special rangers still busting cattle rustlers

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State’s oldest livestock orga­nization’s cattle cops protect ranchers, herds from thieves SAN ANTONIO – While it’s been a rainy year in South Texas, lingering drought conditions across the country are continuing to drive up beef prices. That’s helping make the old crime of cattle rustling popular once again. Texas has a dedicated group of lawmen on the hunt for cattle thieves, 30 certified peace officers who work for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), the state’s oldest livestock organization. “We’ve been around for 138 years,” said Special Ranger Sonny Seewald. “Mostly we work on livestock theft, cattle and horse theft and anything agricultural related.” Seewald investigates cattle rustling cases and other agriculture-related crimes in a six-county region that includes Bexar County. While some Read more…

Safe handling facilities — a worthy investment

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By Travis McCarty I recently had a phone conversation with a client about building new facilities. After the phone call, I began recalling the places that I have feared for my life while preg checking, semen-testing bulls and/or delivering calves. Right or wrong, I know the veterinarian’s safety may not be top of mind, but when taking into consideration animal welfare, the value of the livestock and the cost of labor getting injured on the job, there is really no excuse not to have safe facilities to handle cattle. Read more at Drovers Cattle Network…

Aiming fire at seedlings may be key to rangeland mesquite control

Mesquite biomass could be feasible for electricity generation. Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo

Fire must be effectively managed to get the best control of mesquite seedlings, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research rangeland ecologist said. Dr. Jim Ansley of Vernon recently published study results in “Rangeland Ecology and Management” journal that indicate both season and intensity are important factors in the mitigation of mesquite seedlings by fire. “We know adult mesquite trees are fire resistant because they resprout following a fire,” Ansley said. “We have determined that range managers might have a greater success of mesquite control with fire if their efforts are aimed at the seedlings.” In the study, mesquite seeds were planted in mid-grass and tall-grass plots in the spring and then burned in the winter at 10 or 22 months seedling age or in late summer Read more…

USDA announces conservation incentives for working grass, range and pasture Lands

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that beginning Sept. 1, farmers and ranchers can apply for financial assistance to help conserve working grasslands, rangeland and pastureland while maintaining the areas as livestock grazing lands. The initiative is part of the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a federally funded program that for 30 years has assisted agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. In return, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. CRP has helped farmers and ranchers prevent more than 8 billion tons of soil from eroding, reduce nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to cropland by 95 Read more…

Texas crop, weather for July 14, 2015

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State climatologist: Say goodbye to the rain for a while Tired of it always raining? You’re in luck; the rains will likely cease for the rest of July. “I think you can say goodbye to the rain for a while,” said Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, state climatologist, College Station. “We’re entering a dry spell, and it looks like the second half of July is going to be quite dry. Many parts of the state may not see a single drop of rain.” According to weekly reports from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county agents across the state, most producers will welcome the drier weather. As of July 12, the somewhat drier weather had allow field activities such as herbicide and fertilizer applications to resume, but there Read more…

Potentially dangerous heat persists this week

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The USDA Agriculture Research Service, in cooperation with the National Weather Service, predicts emergency heat-stress levels for Monday, July 13 and Tuesday, July 14 across a large region of the central U.S. stretching from Texas into Nebraska and Iowa. Heat-stress risk is due to high temperatures, higher humidity, low wind speeds and little cloud cover. The forecast indicates the heat-stress risk begins to decline, particularly in northern areas, on Tuesday and through the rest of the week. Some areas in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi however will experience severe heat through the week. The Heat Stress Forecast Map is available online from USDA. Read More at Drovers Cattle Network…

Ask the Vet: New name for pasteurella

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By Dr. Ken McMillan, DTN/The Progressive Farmer Contributing Editor Question: I got a report back from our state lab on a calf that died. It said she had something called Mannheimia. I have never heard of this. What is it, and what do I need to do to prevent it from happening again? Answer: Mannheimia haemolytica is the new name for Pasteurella haemolytica. Every so often, microbiologists change the name of organisms to confuse us — or so it seems. In their defense, as they learn more about organisms, and especially microorganisms, they reclassify them to better fit with those findings. Read More at The Progressive Farmer…

Great Plains grazing project aims to help producers mitigate drought and assess carbon footprint

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Oklahoma is the center of a five year study looking at ways producers can better mitigate drought, along with addressing the carbon footprint of the beef industry. The Great Plains Grazing Project involves Oklahoma State University, Kansas State University, University of Oklahoma and Tarleton State University, along with the Noble Foundation and two Agricultural Research Service (ARS) locations. Dr. Jean Steiner of the Grazinglands Research Laboratory in Fort Reno, Oklahoma, the co-project director, said researchers want to help producers identify animals that might be suited to meet the production potential of their land. She said producers are moving back to having smaller framed females that have lower maintenance requirements. Read More at The Oklahoma Farm Report…

TDA Market Recap July 13, 2015 (7/13/2015)

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AUSTIN – (July 13, 2015) For the week ending July 11, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady, with instances of sales ranging from $9 lower to $7 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas weekly direct feeder cattle sales were mostly steady with some firmness evident. Wholesale beef values were lower, with Choice Grade losing $13.14 to close at $236.98 per cwt and Select Grade losing $14.06 to close at $233.99 per cwt. Net export sales for June 26 – July 2 were up noticeably from the previous week. Export shipments of 11,200 metric tons (MT) were up four percent from the previous week. Shipments primarily went to Japan, Canada and South Korea. Cotton cash prices were 2.00 cents lower than the previous week and Read more…

TSCRA member discount from American Hat Company

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TSCRA is proud to welcome American Hat Company as our latest participant in the member discount program. Through this program TSCRA members can receive 15 percent off the full line of straw and felt hats. American Hat Company sells high-quality felt and straw hats that are 100 percent American-made in Bowie. They have been selling hats to ranchers and cowboys for 100 years and are proud to offer this discount to TSCRA members. To receive the discount, members need to order their hats through the Best Hat Store, either in-store in the Fort Worth Stockyards, or by phone at 817-625-6650. You will need to verify your TSCRA membership to receive the discount. The Best Hat Store can order, shape, and ship any hat Read more…

Unique U.S. beef and cattle trade situation continues

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By Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist The unique U.S. beef and cattle trade situation that developed in 2014 has continued in 2015.  Falling beef production is keeping beef supplies tight and prices near record levels in the U.S.  This discourages beef exports and attracts more beef and cattle imports.  Both imports and exports are further enhanced by the strong dollar.  Though dollar appreciation has leveled off recently, continued global macroeconomic uncertainty is likely to keep the dollar strong for the time being.  In May, beef exports decreased 14.4 percent year over year with exports to all major export destinations (Japan, Canada, Mexico and Hong Kong) down except South Korea which was unchanged from last year.  Year-to-date beef exports are down Read more…

Two cases of eastern equine encephalitis confirmed in Texas

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Eastern equine encephalitis has been confirmed in two East Texas horses from separate facilities by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station, according to agency officials. The horses were in Newton and Orange counties. The Orange County case is approximately 10 miles from an eastern equine encephalitis case, which occurred in 2014. As a reportable zoonotic disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Animal Health Commission were made aware of the positive test results. Human infection with eastern equine encephalitis, commonly known as EEE, is relatively infrequent in the U.S. Of the neurologic diseases that affect horses, eastern equine encephalitis has the highest mortality rate, according to animal health experts. Both horses displayed classic signs: flaccid or droopy lips, Read more…

Is Feedlot Beef Bad for the Environment?

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The Wall Street Journal recently asked this question. Robert Martin says the pollution spreads for miles; Jude L. Capper says the beef industry keeps things safe. Read More at The Wall Street Journal...

Obama to create new national monuments in Texas, California, Nevada

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Mammoth bones, prehistoric rock carvings and more than a million acres of wilderness will be protected as part of three new national monuments that President Barack Obama is creating in California, Nevada and Texas. Read More at CBSNews.com

TSCRA Crime Watch: 40-foot hay trailer stolen from Osage County

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TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, District 4, north central Oklahoma, reports the July 8 theft of a 2014 Red Rhino (Go-Bob) 40-foot, 8-bale hay trailer from a property at Fairfax in Osage County, Okla. The red trailer is a double-axel, single-wheel trailer. The serial number is GPGN 40814430. The trailer had been stored in a pen and the gates had been secured with a chain and padlock. The thief or thieves cut a link in the chain to access the pen. If you have any information on this theft, please contact Special Ranger Perrier at 918-275-4257.

Sign Yoho’s Petition to Oppose Importation of Fresh Beef from Brazil and Argentina

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On June 29, 2015, under President Obama’s direction, the USDA approved a rule change to allow for fresh beef to be imported from Brazil and Argentina. The importation of fresh beef has the potential to devastate our domestic beef supply by introducing the deadly foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) to our herds and closing down our beef export markets. The U.S. has not had an FMD outbreak since 1929. Cases of FMD in Brazil have been confirmed as recently as 2011. Brazil is still using a form of live FMD viral vaccine. USDA inspectors have not verified a quarantine protocol standard that will be secure and have the ability to ensure the prevention of this devastating disease from entering our nation’s food supply. Estimates of economic loss Read more…

States, groups, sue EPA over WOTUS rule

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

By Larry Dreiling  The Environmental Protection Agency early in the morning of June 29 published its rule on the Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act. Under a 60-day notice period, the rule goes into effect on Aug. 28. By the time the July 4 holiday rolled around, 27 states and state agencies as well as 14 agriculture-oriented organizations had filed lawsuits. Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas filed suit in U.S. District Court in Galveston, Texas. Legal action has also come from Oklahoma, according to a July 8 report from Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Read More at the High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal…

House Republicans take aim at McCarthy, EPA regulations

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By Spencer Chase, Agri-Pulse WASHINGTON, July 9, 2015 – EPA administrator Gina McCarthy was on the hot seat on Capitol Hill Thursday as Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology peppered her with questions on her agency’s regulatory record. Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, used his line of questioning to press McCarthy on why EPA had not fully complied with committee document requests related to the science used in forming regulations such as WOTUS and the Clean Power Plan. He said the committee had to resort to issuing its first subpoena in 21 years to obtain some of the documents, and that agency’s actions suggested the administration has “something to hide.” Read more at Agri-Pulse…