House passes bill to overhaul EPA Scientific Advisory Board


The House passed legislation on Tuesday to modify the selection process for members of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board. Read more at The Hill…

One new positive found in 2014-15 Trans Pecos CWD surveillance

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Steve Byrns

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was detected in only one of 222 tissue samples that were collected from hunter harvested deer and elk from the Trans Pecos ecoregion during the 2014–15 season as part of a CWD surveillance effort. This sample was collected from a mule deer buck harvested in the Hueco Mountain area of far West Texas. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, March 20, 2015


Drought conditions in Texas were reduced in some areas, while other areas saw intensification this week. D0 and D1 conditions were trimmed back in the Coastal Bend and east Texas. Meanwhile, D2 and D3 conditions were expanded towards the south in central Texas due to the below normal reservoir levels which are less than 70 percent full in those areas. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Angus bull missing in Burleson County


TSCRA Special Ranger Hal Dumas, Dist. 21 in southeast Central Texas reports a bull missing from a pasture in Burleson County. The black bull has a G6 brand on the left side and is very gentle, so it can be pasture loaded. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Dumas at 979-828-5832.

One last chance to get pre-registration discounts for Cattle Raisers Convention


If you missed the pre-registration deadline for the Cattle Raisers Convention taking place in Fort Worth March 27-29, now’s your chance to guarantee your seat at the largest ranching event of the year. If you’re only planning on visiting the Cattle Raisers Expo and don’t want to register for the entire roster of meetings, day passes are available and free to TSCRA members. Save time by signing up for your day pass today and skip the line! Read more…

House Ag Committee advances bill to protect farmers and ranchers from duplicative regs and permits


The House Committee on Agriculture has approved H.R. 897, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015. This legislation (H.R. 872 in the 112th Congress and H.R. 935 in the 113th) would clarify Congressional intent regarding pesticide regulation in or near waters of the United States. Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Saucy skillet meatballs and potatoes


This meat and potatoes meal isn’t your usual, but it could become your favorite. Read more at…

House renews efforts to repeal the death tax


TSCRA Second Vice President Robert McKnight testified Wednesday before the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures on the federal estate tax, also known as the death tax. He shared his personal family story of dealing with the unrealistic death tax and how it negatively affects ranching families across the country. TSCRA believes the death tax should be permanently repealed to protect future generations from being saddled with unreasonable estate tax burdens. Read more… 

Subcommittee reviews WOTUS definition and its impact on rural America

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

The House Agriculture Committee’s Conservation and Forestry subcommittee held a public hearing March 17 in Washington D.C. to review the definition of “waters of the U.S.” proposed rule and its impact on rural America. Read more at Agri-Pulse | Click here to read participants’ testimony or watch a webcast of the hearing

New FDA rules change access to antibiotics for beef producers

Picture courtesy Noble Foundation

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Simmons says new rules for antibiotic use by cattle producer are in the process of being finalized. Simmons said these changes should increase flexibility and ease of use, with the final rule being released spring 2015. She said NCBA will continue to work to educate producers on this new method of accessibility. Final implementation date has been set for December 2016. Listen or read more at Oklahoma Farm Report’s Beef Buzz

Assessing the value of ground beef

Photo courtesy USDA

Ground beef is a critical component of the overall beef market and the value of cattle, according to a white paper sponsored by the Angus Foundation. However, our current beef-production system best allows flexibility for the industry to market ground beef while also addressing demand for high-quality, high-value muscle cuts. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork…

Texas crop, weather, for March 17, 2015

Picture courtesy Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service

Frequent rains and the resultant soggy field conditions continued to keep producers from planting corn and other crops in some parts of the state. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Black calves, stock trailer missing in northeastern Oklahoma


TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, Dist. 4 in northeastern Oklahoma, report the theft of two calves and a stock trailer from a property near Slick in Creek County sometime between March 14 and 15. Stolen were two black calves, a heifer and a steer, weighing approximately 450 pounds, each., with no brands, tags or ear notches. Also stolen from the property was a tan 16-foot bumper-pull stock trailer with a damaged roof and mismatched tires. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Perrier at 918-275-4257

TSCRA leaders meet with Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman


TSCRA’s President Pete Bonds and Director Jason Peeler met with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Timothy Massad on Tuesday. Read more…

EPA’s McCarthy pledges to make WOTUS rule ‘reasonable’

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

The Obama administration is promising to rewrite its proposed Clean Water Act rule to ensure that farmers have clear guidance about what streams, ditches and ponds will be regulated. Speaking to the National Farmers Union annual convention in Wichita, Kansas, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the final rule is being prepared for White House review, and that the administration still intends to complete it this spring. Read more at Agri-Pulse…

Feral hogs present disease risk for livestock and people


Feral hogs can carry numerous diseases of importance to commercial livestock producers and human health. As the nation’s feral hog population increases, so does the rate of exposure to infected hogs and potential for disease transmission. Find out what  diseases to look out for and how to prevent you or your cattle from falling prey. Read more at…

BLM seeks bids for new off-range pastures to care for wild horses


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking proposals for new off-range pasture facilities that can provide a free-roaming environment for wild horses removed from Western public lands. Proposals will be accepted through April 22  from interested parties in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.  The contractor must provide humane care for a minimum of 100 horses for a  1-year period, with a renewal option under BLM contract for a 4-or 9-year period. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, March 16, 2015

Texas Department of Agriculture

For the week ending March 14, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady and firm, ranging from $2 to $10 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas weekly direct feeder cattle sales were $1 to $6 higher. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were higher at $161 per cwt, but wholesale beef values were lower, with Choice Grade falling $4.36 to $244.12 per cwt and Select Grade falling $0.32 to $244.07. Net export sales for February 27-March 5 were up 47 percent from the prior four-week average. Export shipments were up seven percent from the previous week. Read more…

NOAA: Elusive El Niño arrives


The long-anticipated El Niño has finally arrived, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. In their updated monthly outlook released recently, forecasters issued an El Niño Advisory to declare the arrival of the ocean-atmospheric phenomenon marked by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean near the equator. Certain impacts often associated with El Niño may appear this spring in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, such as wetter-than-normal conditions along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Read more at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration…

Group seeks to reverse slight upward trend in E. Coli in ground beef

AgriLife Extension photo

Once a major threat to the beef industry, the levels of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef have been on a historic decline since peaking in the mid-1990s. But E. coli infections have been on an upward trend since 2010, when rates were at 0.95 illnesses per every 100,000 people. In 2013, the rate reached 1.15 illnesses per 100,000, still far below the peak of 2.62 per 100,000 in 1996. The slight uptick was reportedly enough to prompt the creation of a 6-point strategy to reverse the trend, designed by USDA’s Strategic Performance Working Group (SPWG) within the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Read more at Food Safety News