Funds available for Funds available for prescribed burning near Sam Houston National Forest

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The Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership is providing $60,000 to landowners near the Sam Houston National Forest for prescribed burning. The funds reimburse eligible landowners who have taken measures to reduce grass and brush, enhance ecosystems and protect homes and communities from wildfire through strategically-planned prescribed burning. Eligible landowners must live within 30 miles of the Sam Houston National Forest. Priority areas consist of Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto and Walker counties. The deadline to apply is Feb. 15 Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Cowboy beef stew

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Warm Cowboy Beef Stew goes great on a cold January evening. Read more at txbeef.org…

TSCRA welcomes new Dist. 20 special ranger

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Former Travis County Sheriff’s Office Detective Kenny Murchison, of Lockhart, Texas, has joined the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) as a Special Ranger for District 20, which includes Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Washington and Williamson counties. Murchison replaced former TSCRA Special Ranger Doug Hutchison who recently retired. Read more…

Bullet train opponents reach out to Japanese ambassador

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Thirty-three East Texas officials sent a letter to the Japanese ambassador to the United States on Monday to express their opposition to a private Texas firm’s proposed high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston that has strong ties to a Japanese company. Read more at The Texas Tribune…

TWDB Board authorizes contracts to study brackish aquifers in Texas

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exas Water Development Board has authorized staff to negotiate and execute contracts to study brackish aquifers in Texas. An additional project, the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer project, will be completed through an interagency contract with the Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin. Staff received approval for the interagency contract from the board on Oct. 13, 2015. Work on the projects will begin immediately after the contracts are executed, which is planned for the end of January or early February 2016. Read more…

New vaccine may control cattle ticks

picture courtesy USDA-ARS

The economic impact of cattle fever ticks, including the southern cattle fever tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, was so severe in the late 1800s that the U.S. Department of Agriculture started an eradication program in the early 1900s to eliminate the deadly disease bovine babesiosis, which is transmitted by this parasitic pest. Although cattle fever ticks were declared eradicated in the United States in 1943, today they are still common in Mexico and can hitchhike on stray livestock, white-tailed deer, and other wildlife that cross the Rio Grande River into Texas. At the Agricultural Research Service’s Tick and Biting Fly Research Unit in Kerrville, Texas, scientists are looking for ways to get rid of this pest for good. A new vaccine may help. USDA Read Read more…

TSCRA’s Richard Thorpe commends 2015 Dietary Guidelines for reaffirming role of lean beef

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TSCRA First Vice President Richard Thorpe, rancher and physician, talked to Oklahoma Farm Report’s Ron Hays about the 2015 Dietary Guidelines on last week’s Beef Buzz radio show. Click here to read more and listen to the show…

US beef exports on the rebound

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U.S. pork exports continued to gain momentum in November while beef exports also showed signs of a rebound. Pork export volume was up 8 percent year-over-year while beef exports were the largest since June. Read more…

Texas using aircraft to fight rabies in wild animals

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State health officials this week are starting another round of air drops over a 17-county area of Central and southeast Texas to control rabies in wild animals. The Texas Department of State Health Services started its Oral Rabies Vaccination Program in 1995 for coyotes and gray foxes. It’s hoped the effort from aircraft that begin taking off Tuesday from La Grange also can eradicate rabies in skunks. The 1.4 million vaccine packets are coated with what state officials call “tasty fishmeal crumbles” wildlife eat to become immune to rabies. Watch the video or read more…

Bat monitoring and surveillance efforts underway in Oklahoma

Researcher Bill Puckette checks crevices in the cave wall for hibernating bats. Picture courtesy Jena Donnell/ODWC

Groups of bat biologists and cavers are quietly filtering into Oklahoma’s caves this month to monitor the hibernating bat populations found within. These counts enable biologists to determine which bat species are using the caves, as well as how many. It also gives them a look at how the wintering populations vary year to year with minimal disturbance to the hibernating bats. Populations will also be tested for the presence of white nose syndrome, an often fatal disease that affects hibernating bats. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, Jan. 11, 2016

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For the week ending Jan. 8, 2016, Texas feeder cattle auction reported prices $2 to $25 higher per cwt. Wholesale Beef values were higher, with Choice Grade gaining $14.14 to close at $232.20 per cwt and Select Grade gaining $15.97 to close at $226.98 per cwt. For the time period of Dec. 25-31, net sales totaled 6,100 metric tons (MT) for 2016, and increases were reported for South Korea, Japan and Mexico. Exports totaled 9,200 MT and went primarily to Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Read more…

Services announced for retired TSCRA Special Ranger Jesus “Chick” Saenz

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Retired TSCRA Special Ranger Jesus “Chick” Saenz passed away Jan. 8 after a short illness. Visitation will be held Monday, Jan. 11, from 5:00 to 9:00, with a Rosary at 7:00 at Garza Funeral Home, 4571 S FM 1329, San Diego, Texas. Funeral Mass is planned for Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 10:00 a.m. at Santa Rosa De Lima Catholic Church, 203 Saint Rosa De Lima Street in Benavides. Interment will follow at the Rancho Maria Cemetery in Benavides. Click here to read a full obituary…

Second suspect arrested in Oklahoma calf theft

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Robbie Don Ellis, 24, of Claremore, Okla., was arrested Dec. 26 on a felony warrant in Nevada, Missouri, in the case of a calf stolen from a Rogers County, Okla., rancher. TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings led the investigation and TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier assisted. Read more…

USDA disaster designation requested for West Texas counties hit by blizzard

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

Gov. Greg Abbott and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller have urged USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to grant a disaster designation for 11 West Texas counties hit by Winter Storm Goliath. A USDA disaster designation would make federal assistance, such as emergency loans, available to agricultural producers who have suffered losses in the designated counties, as well as in counties that are contiguous to a designated county. The designation has been requested for Bailey, Castro, Cochran, Deaf Smith, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lubbock, Parmer, Terry and Yoakum counties. Read more…

Cow-Calf Corner: International beef trade situation improving; Timing is everything when it comes to colostrum

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Jan. 11 edition of Cow-Calf Corner, a weekly newsletter from The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel talks international beef trade; and Glenn Selk discusses the best time to use colostrum on baby calves. Read more…

Expect colder January and February says Evelyn Browning-Garris

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Parts of the Cattle Raisers membership area are in for a colder-than-average January and February, says Evelyn Browning-Garriss, historical climatologist Given the long-time good relationship between Browning Media and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Browning-Garriss and her colleagues are providing an exclusive look at what we might expect from the weather in the next 60 days. Read more …

Health Insurance open enrollment ends Jan. 31

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Open enrollment for individual medical policyholders ends in just a few short days on Jan. 31, 2016. The Cattle Raisers Insurance team is here to guide you through the open enrollment process and answer all of your questions. After Jan. 31, the Affordable Care Act will not allow you to make any changes to your health care insurance plan until the next open enrollment period begins Oct. 1, 2016, and closes Dec. 15, 2016. However, if you have a “qualifying event” between Jan. 31 and Oct. 1, then you will be eligible to change your health care insurance coverage. For more information …

The best choice for catching feral hogs using a box trap gate

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Box traps are commonly used in wild pig management because of their portability, utility and ease of deployment. Yet some research has found that box traps were much less effective than larger more permanent corral traps. Read more…

U.S., South Africa resolve farm trade dispute

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By Reuters January 08, 2016 South Africa has resolved a dispute with the United States over farm exports, allowing agricultural goods to be exported to the world’s top economy without penalties, the trade minister said on Thursday. Read the entire story here: http://www.cattlenetwork.com/news/industry/us-south-africa-resolve-farm-trade-dispute

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 5, 2016

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Dry conditions prevailed over much of the High Plains and the South region, with southern Texas the only area showing any changes for the week. After a very wet end to the year, drought is not a concern over much of the Plains and the South-Central states. Most of the abnormally dry conditions in south Texas were removed this week, with only a few small areas of dryness remaining. Read more…

2015 Dietary Guidelines include lean beef as a part of a healthy diet

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released their final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans on Thursday. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) initial draft report urged Americans to consume less lean beef; however, USDA and HHS decided to add lean beef back into the final report after closer review of nutritional science and many public comments. Read more…

Increased legal liabilities limit prescribed fire use for brush control

Photo by Oklahoma State University

Private landowners and managers tend to shy away from the use of prescribed fire for maintaining rangeland and forest ecosystems in spite of the known benefits due to the potential liability factor, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study. Read more…

TAHC coordinates response efforts to winter storm Goliath

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the aftermath of Winter Storm Goliath, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) continues to work with industry and state agency partners in response and recovery efforts in the northwest part of the Texas Panhandle. TAHC has been engaged in coordination efforts since the storm hit Texas on Dec. 26. Livestock producers in this region were severely impacted by blizzard conditions with wind gusts reaching up to 80 MPH and more than 20 inches of snow accumulation in a 48-hour period. TAHC Horseback Emergency Response Team has been conducting searches and identifying lost cattle while coordinating their efforts with local county officials and TSCRA’s Special Rangers. “The biggest challenge is yet to come; animal production losses will put a strain on all facets of the Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Texas chili

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Warm up with this Texas-style chili. Read more at txbeef.org…

Colombia now fully open to US beef

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U.S. beef gained full access to Colombia last week for the first time since 2003 as Colombia removed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) related restrictions on certain bone-in cuts. Beef derived from Canadian cattle imported into the U.S. for direct slaughter may also now be exported to Colombia. Read more at Feedstuffs…

GOP in no hurry to move on Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is brushing off calls from business groups for quick action on President Obama’s sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal. The National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable announced their support for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) this week as part of what looks like a choreographed effort to raise pressure on Congress. Read more at The Hill

Latent affects of blizzard a concern for cow-calf producers

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As the snow melts away from Winter Storm Goliath and cattle are gathered back into pens and pastures, cow-calf producers should continue to watch their animals for lingering after-effects. Read more…

US imports of feeder cattle

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Historically, in a year, the U.S. has often imported 1 million head of cattle from both Mexico and Canada. Those numbers can vary significantly from year-to-year due to economic conditions, including price incentives caused by exchange rates) and feed/forage conditions (e.g. drought). Trends in U.S. imports can change as national herd sizes grow or contract. Click here to read more Daily Livestock Report (PDF download) for 1-6-15…

Ranchers affected by recent snow storm in West Texas and Panhandle

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TSCRA continues working to assist ranchers who have been affected by the recent snow storm in West Texas and Panhandle. Ranchers who are still missing cattle should first call their local Sheriff’s department and then report the cattle to the TSCRA Law Enforcement Department by calling 888-517-6638 or e-mailing missingcattle@tscra.org. Ranchers with livestock death losses should immediately contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office for information on disaster assistance. To receive assistance from the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), ranchers must contact their FSA office within 30 days of the date they notice the death loss. Affected ranchers should be aware that there are some LIP payment limitations. For more information visit offices.sc.egov.usda.gov.

Cattle Raisers Convention registration is open!

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Invest in your ranching future and plan to attend the Cattle Raisers Convention & Expo April 8-10 in Fort Worth. Improve your ranch management skills, learn about state and national issues, shop the largest ranching expo in the region and enjoy plenty of live music and entertainment! Attend educational sessions and discussions of issues important to landowners, and join us as we take a look at what the new buzzword “sustainability” means in the beef industry. Brush up on practical ranching techniques for range and pasture management, brush control and maintaining healthy herds, and learn how private property rights are being defended in cases involving surface use and eminent domain — hearing from those directly involved in the fight. The Cattle Read more…

TAHC releases last VS quarantine in Texas

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The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has released all premises quarantined because of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in Texas. The only active premises was in Johnson County, approximately18 miles southeast of Cleburne. A TAHC veterinarian examined the affected cow and herd mates 14 days after the onset of the lesions. No new cases of VS were detected, allowing release of the premises. Read more…

Supplemental forage for a bass pond

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

Have the size of the bass in your pond or tank reached a plateau? It may be what you’re feeding them. In this article from the winter issue of Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation‘s Your Side of the Fence newsletter, Northwest Region Fisheries Supervisor Chas Patterson talks stocking supplemental bass forage for better results. Read more…(pdf download)

TDA Market Recap, Jan. 5, 2015

Texas Department of Agriculture

For the two-week holiday ending Jan. 2, 2016, Texas feeder cattle auction prices were not available, as reporting locations remained closed through the New Year. Wholesale Beef values were higher, with Choice Grade gaining $17.14 to close at $208.67 per cwt and Select Grade gaining $17.86 to close at $201.51 per cwt. For the time period December 18-24, net sales of beef totaled 4,000 metric tons (MT) and were up noticeably from the previous week but down 18 percent from the prior four-week average. Increases were reported for South Korea, Mexico and Canada. Exports totaled 12,400 MT, which were down 21 percent from the previous week but up one percent from the prior four-week average. The primary destinations were Japan, South Korea and Mexico. Read more…

TSCRA announces 2016 youth contests

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TSCRA is proud to announce the 2016 youth art, essay and photography contests are open and accepting entries. For a fourth consecutive year, the art, essay, and photography contests will award $5,000 in prizes to contest winners. Each category is divided into 3 age groups and prizes are awarded to the top 3 places in each age category. The entry deadline is March 4, 2016. For more information, including full contest guidelines and entry forms, please visit http://www.cattleraisersconvention.com/youth_contests.cfm.

Obituary for Becky Terry

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West Texas cattlewoman Mary Rebecca Byrd Terry, of Alpine, has passed away. Married to rancher Terry Jr. for 62 years, she served on countless boards, committees and with many charities. However, there was no group more dear to her heart than those who work in agriculture. She was tenacious in promoting, and when necessary, defending, the cattle industry. She loved the industry’s history understood the importance of promoting it’s future. But above all else, she had a deep love for the men and women who make their living from the land Read more…

High market prices drive 2015 increase in Oklahoma cattle rustling cases

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At the start of 2015, beef prices were high after year-long droughts caused ranchers to significantly cut their herds, limiting supply and increasing demand — and rustlers responded, said Larry Gray, executive director of the TSCRA’s law enforcement and theft prevention services. Read more at Tulsa World…

Cow-Calf Corner: How will cattle and beef markets be different in 2016; Passive immunity status and long-term health and performance of calves

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Jan. 4 edition of Cow-Calf Corner, a weekly newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel looks at the 2016 cattle market and how it will differ from 2015; and Glenn Selk talks passive immunity in calves and how this affects long-term calf health and performance. Read more…

Major disaster declaration approved for November OK storm

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin announced on Dec. 29 that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the state’s request for disaster assistance for 18 counties related to the winter storm that began after Thanksgiving. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Dec. 22, 2015

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The fronts that moved across the central part of the country dropped locally heavy precipitation across parts of Nebraska and the Dakotas, but were mostly dry from southeastern Nebraska to most of Texas. Read more…

Veterinary Feed Directive questions and answers

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In June 2015, the FDA finalized the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule pertaining to how feed-grade antibiotics can be used for livestock. Since then, there have been several meetings hosted across the state and country for producers, veterinarians and feed mills/feed distributors discussing the details of these changes and how all parties will need to work together to follow new FDA guidelines for feeding antibiotics to livestock. Read more at iGrow…