Greener pastures signaling rebound in US beef supplies

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns

Pasture conditions in the U.S., the world’s largest beef producer, are mostly recovered from a 2012 drought that forced ranchers to shrink the domestic herd to a 63-year low. While it takes years to reverse a decline in animal supply, record-high beef prices and the increasing availability of cheap feed are providing incentives for some producers to begin expanding. A production rebound would help slow beef-price gains that the U.S. government said will be the biggest of any food group this year except pork. Read more at Bloomberg…

FSA reminds producers: Farm bill allows early termination for certain CRP contracts

Farm Service Agency

USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Judith A. Canales reminds producers that as of Aug. 6, producers with acres under contract through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) can apply for early contract termination, as required by the 2014 Farm Bill. The deadline to request early CRP contract termination is Jan. 30, 2015. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Beef-stuffed peppers

beefiwfd

Bell peppers stuffed with ground beef and rice and baked to savory perfection. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

Louisiana man arrested for a second time on theft charges

badge-denim

A Louisiana man was arrested Monday, Aug. 18 for the second time this year in Salisaw, Okla., and charged with second degree theft of livestock. TSCRA Special Ranger Toney Hurley led the investigation. Jacob Thompson, 30, was arrested by TSCRA Special Rangers Kent Dowell and Bart Perrier on a theft of livestock warrant out of Hopkins County in East Texas. Read more…

Fed cattle prices continue to decline

stockpaper

Feedlot margins dropped significantly last week, from $284.85 per head down to $197.88 per head for the week ending August 16, says the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker’s latest report. The two-week skid came after margins topped out at $381.70 per head for the week ending August 2. The decline is well below the $280.55 per head price from a month ago, but significantly higher than this time last year when feedlot margins were losing $41.58 per head. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

LCRA proposes water plan changes that keep more water in lakes

LCRA

Despite pleas for a delay from rice farmers and some environmentalists at a hearing today, the Lower Colorado River Authority board appears poised to vote Wednesday on a proposal that would limit future releases of water from the Highland Lakes. Read more at the Austin American-Statesman…

NARMS report finds hopeful trends in Salmonella, E. Coli in beef

beefpackage

Agriculture, and humanity in general, has some celebrating to do. The most recent National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) report showed that drug-resistant Salmonella was down in humans and chickens in 2011 (most recent complete data). Also, retail ground beef had one of its best years in 2011 in terms of non-resistant E. coli. Read more at the Western Livestock Journal…

Texas crop, weather, for Aug. 19, 2014

Corn-harvest-small

Except for a few isolated areas, the entire state received some rain in the last seven days, from barely a trace to as much as 2 inches in parts of the Panhandle and West Central Texas, according to the National Weather Service. For most, the moisture received was not enough to prevent soils from drying out as the dog days of summer wound down. Read more…

Ranching 101 attendees hear about plant identification and control

Tscra

Attendees of Tuesday’s Ranching 101 session at TSCRA headquarters in Fort Worth learned how to identify, optimize, fertilize and control plants from the experts at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Dow AgroSciences. Topics included how to control the plants you don’t want, fertilize the ones you do, and understand the growth cycles for both. Read more…

Local ranching event scheduled Aug. 26 in Kaufman

Posted

TSCRA will host a ranch gathering Tuesday, Aug. 26, at the Kaufman County Fairgrounds in Kaufman. Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by a complimentary beef dinner. The event is free and open to the public. TSCRA Special Ranger Troy McKinney will update ranchers on cattle thefts in the area and let them know how they can better protect their livestock and equipment. Mike McCravey, Texas Beef Council industry relations manager, will provide an update on the Texas Beef Checkoff. TSCRA staff will also update cattle raisers on important legislative issues. Please RSVP to 800-242-7820, ext. 192, or rsvp@tscra.org. To get to the Kaufman County Fairgrounds from the intersection of US-175 and TX-34, head south on TX-34. After 1.1 miles, the fairgrounds will Read more…

USDA report: Heifer questions, strong export demand

Picture courtesy Noble Foundation

The August Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report from USDA, released Aug. 18, examines somewhat conflicting numbers regarding heifer retention, and shows U.S. beef imports and exports running well above last-year’s levels. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

GOP rep: 'Dangerous' EPA rule could increase food costs

groundwater

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., said Monday that a proposed Environmental EPA rule would wreak havoc on farmers and possibly drive up food prices. The EPA has the authority to issue rules for bodies of water on farms to ensure runoff is safe and not damaging to the environment, but Republicans argue the EPA has been too heavy-handed and could end up regulating a drainage ditch instead of just streams and rivers. Read more at The Hill…

Wheat, stocker cattle lease decisions impacted by corn prices

cattle-grazing-002-300x234

With all the rain in July, things are looking a little more optimistic for wheat and stocker cattle operators than in the past four years in the Rolling Plains of Texas and southern Oklahoma, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist. And that leaves wheat and stocker cattle operators with some decisions to make in the next few months. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, Aug. 18, 2014

Texas Department of Agriculture

For the week ending Aug. 18, 2014, feeder cattle prices quoted by Texas auctions were mostly steady to $12 lower per hundredweight (cwt), with a few steady to $5 higher on a portion of their offerings. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were $3 to $10 lower. Fed cattle cash prices were nearly $5 lower per cwt on a very light trade volume. Wholesale beef values were $4 to $5 lower. Cattle prices declined amid ongoing concerns about lower demand in the short term. However, they remain at historically high levels, with supportive supply-demand fundamentals over the long term. Beef export sales for the week were down 21 percent from the previous week and down 23 percent from the prior four-week average. Export shipments were down six percent from a week earlier, but up two percent from a year ago. Read more…

Order a TSCRA travel mug today

Tscra

Enjoy your morning coffee in one of TSCRA’s classic travel mugs. These stainless steel mugs are emblazoned with TSCRA’s blue POSTED sign and will only be available for a limited time. The mugs are $11 for members, so get yours today! To order merchandise please call 800-242-7820 or click here to visit our website to print out an order form.

Reps. Costa and Crawford prepare for WTO ruling on COOL rule

beefpackage

Reps. Jim Costa, D-Calif., and Rick Crawford, R-Ark., ranking member and chairman of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit, respectively, were joined recently by 110 members of Congress in sending a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman regarding the impending compliance ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule. Should the WTO rule against the U.S., the members of Congress are requesting the secretary of agriculture rescind the final rule while Congress works to permanently resolve the issue. Read more at High Plains Journal…

Veterans look to farming to grow and heal

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Mark Kelley.

On the surface, dodging gunfire in the battlefield and tending to animals and crops on a farm may seem like jobs that have little in common, but the reality is the pair are linked by a number of similarities.  Both require leaders who are problem solvers and willing to serve. This transition from the battlefield to the farm field underscores a growing trend in America: as thousands of young military personnel leave the service many are finding themselves drawn to the prospect of jobs on farms and ranches scattered throughout the countryside. USDA data shows that even though rural America makes up 17 percent of the country’s population, it accounts for 44 percent of the men and women who served in the military. Read Read more…

Texas hunting and fishing regulations free mobile app available

tpwd

Texas Hunting and Fishing Regulations app is now available for free download on iOS and Android platforms, providing sportsmen with mobile access to information they can use in the field and on the water. Read more…

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

cloudsosu

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…