Senate hearing postponed as TPA talks continue

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The Senate Finance Committee postponed a trade hearing set for Thursday, a sign that talks are progressing on a bill to provide President Obama with the negotiating authority needed to complete a Pacific Rim trade deal. Read more at Agri-Pulse…

It's what's for dinner: Beef sirloin pasta Portobello

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This beef and pasta dish is quick and easy to make for a weeknight treat. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

Embassy Suites Fort Worth has rooms available for Cattle Raisers Convention visitors

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If you’re headed to Fort Worth for the Cattle Raisers Convention in March and still need to make hotel reservations, the Embassy Suites at 600 Commerce St. has ten 2-room suites available for only $219. A complimentary breakfast is available on each day with these rooms. For more information, please contact the hotel at 817-332-6900  and reference the TX & SW Cattle Group or visit tscra.org.

TSCRA, TCFA hold 2015 Cattlemen at the Capitol events this week

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TSCRA and Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) hosted 2015′s Cattlemen at the Capitol this week in Austin. Read more…

Join us in Houston for a reception at the rodeo!

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Join TSCRA and fellow ranchers for a reception at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at 5:00 p.m., on Friday, March 6 at the Stockman’s Club in the NRG Arena. Everyone is welcome, so invite your family, friends and neighbors. Read more…

Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline, leaving it in limbo

photo: Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

President Barack Obama on Tuesday, as promised, vetoed a Republican bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, leaving the long-debated project in limbo for another indefinite period. The U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, after receiving Obama’s veto message, immediately countered by announcing the Republican-led chamber would attempt to override it by March 3. That is unlikely. Despite their majority, Republicans are four votes short of being able to overturn Obama’s veto. Read more at Reuters…

Texas crop, weather, for Feb. 24, 2015

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There have been considerably more reports of both leaf and stripe rust on wheat than is normal for this time of year, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist Dr. Clark Neely. Wheat rusts are fungal diseases that affect wheat and other small grains. Stripe rust prefers cool, moist weather, whereas leaf rust becomes more prevalent later in the spring when temperatures increase. Read more…

Will eating less meat save the planet?

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TSCRA First Vice President Richard Thorpe talked to Fox Business News’ Stuart Varney about the new dietary guideline recommendations that suggest Americans eat less red meat. Watch the video on Fox Business…

Froman asks county officials to back Obama trade policies

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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman called on county government officials from across the country to support President Obama’s request for trade promotion authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. Read more at Agri-Pulse

New deadlines announced for Conservation Stewardship Program

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Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced that the USDA is offering a renewal option through March 31 for eligible agricultural producers and forest landowners with expiring Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contracts. These producers must be willing to adopt additional conservation activities aimed at helping them achieve higher levels of conservation on their farms, forests and ranches. USDA will also extend the deadline for general sign-up CSP applications until March 13 providing farmers, ranchers, and private forest managers 2 additional weeks to apply for this funding round of $100 million. Read more…

FDA issues draft guidance for evaluating drugs for E. Coli reduction

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For years, beef packers have employed a variety of post-harvest interventions to reduce contamination of meat with E. coli O157:H7 or other shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Meanwhile, the industry continues to explore options for pre-harvest interventions to reduce the amount of STEC cattle carry into processing plants, thereby enhancing the efficacy of plant interventions. Toward that goal, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) this week issued a draft guidance outlining appropriate research protocols for companies developing such interventions. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

TDA Market Recap, Feb. 23, 2015

For the week ending Feb. 21, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady and firm, ranging from $2 to$16 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas weekly direct feeder cattle sales for head under 800 lbs. were $2 to $4 higher, and for head over 800 lbs., prices were $3 to $7 higher. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were lower at $160 per cwt, but wholesale beef values were higher with Choice Grade increasing $2.09 to $240.31 per cwt and Select Grade rising $4.75 to $237.79. Net export sales for Feb. 6-12 were down 22 percent from last week and nine percent from the weekly average. Export shipments were consistent with last week. Read more…

The Browning Blog: Where’s the rain?

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In the latest issue of the Browning Blog, an exclusive benefit to TSCRA members, Climatologist Evelyn Browning-Garriss discusses where the rain went and when we should expects its return. Read more…

Sentence handed down in Wilbarger County cattle theft case

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A Chillicothe, Texas, man was sentenced with restitution Tues., Feb. 17 after pleading guilty to third degree theft of livestock and 2 counts of hindering a secured creditor. TSCRA Special Ranger Scott Williamson led the investigation. The Wilbarger County District Attorney Staley Heatly prosecuted the case.  Read more…

West Coast ports to begin tackling backlog after labor deal

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U.S. West Coast ports will resume full operations from Saturday evening after a tentative labor deal was reached between a dockworkers union and a group of shippers, easing months of disruptions to trans-Pacific trade that have hit businesses from automakers to meat exports. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

EPA expected to announce  RFS this spring

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to offer a proposal for Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) for 2014, 2015 and 2016 this spring, and will use actual production levels to determine last year’s mandated volumes. Reuters reports that the agency will address all three years at once and plans to look at broader changes to address long-term issues of demand as well as arguments from refiners that ethanol blending capacity has hit its peak. Read more at USAgNet…

Cow-Calf Corner: US meat market struggling; Dietary changes needed for early lactation beef cows

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In the Feb. 23 issue of Cow Calf Corner, a newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension, Derrell Peel talks factors challenging the U.S. meat market so far in 2015, and Glenn Selk disucsses the dietary needs for cows as they deliver calves and begin to lactate. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cattle stolen in Central Texas

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TSCRA Special Ranger Marvin Wills, Dist. 15 in Central Texas, reports the theft of 8 head of cattle from a property in Hill County. Some time between Jan. 25 and Feb. 4, a thief or thieves cut a lock on a gate to steal 3 black Angus-type and 5 white Charolais-type cows weighing approximately 1200 pounds, each. The cows were branded with a running W on the left hip. Please contact Special Ranger Wills at 254-223-2330 or the Hill County Sheriff’s Department at 254-582-5313 if you have any information in this case.

TSCRA statement on 2015 Dietary Guideline recommendations

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The USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday released their 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report, which recommends that Americans consume less beef. “Including beef in meals and practicing a balanced diet is a healthy option for Americans,” said TSCRA President Pete Bonds in a statement Friday. ” The federal government keeps attacking our industry by spreading false information about beef. This appears to be a trend from bureaucrats who are pushing an anti-meat agenda. The federal government should be promoting all nutritious food sources in their recommendations – not just the ones they feel like fit their political agenda.” Read more…

Nutrition panel urges Americans to eat green

exas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Blair Fannin

Americans should consider the health of the planet along with the health of their hearts when deciding what to eat, according to an expert panel that advises the federal government on nutrition. It is the first time the advisory committee, which updates its recommendations in a report every five years, has considered the environmental impact of food choices. But a registered dietitian who served on the advisory committee in 2010, notes that there were no experts on food’s environmental impact on the latest panel. Read more at USA Today…