Vietnam lifts restrictions on US beef

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Vietnam recently removed all cattle age and product restrictions on U.S. beef and beef products, provided these items are derived from cattle slaughtered on or after March 27. The Agricultural Marketing Service Export Verification (EV) program is no longer required for these products. Vietnam is a small market for U.S. beef and beef variety meat, with exports in 2014 totaling 2,869 metric tons (mt) valued at $22.1 million. But removal of cattle age and product restrictions is a positive development, especially in a market that is price-sensitive. Read more at AgWeb Beef Today…

USDA to issue disaster assistance to help honeybee, livestock, and farm-raised fish producers

Farm Service Agency

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency today announced that nearly 2,700 applicants will begin receiving disaster assistance through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) for losses experienced from Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014. The program, re-authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides disaster relief to livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs. Eligible losses may include excessive heat or winds, flooding, blizzards, hail, wildfires, lightning strikes, volcanic eruptions and diseases, or in the case of honeybees, losses due to colony collapse disorder. Beekeepers, most of whom suffered honeybee colony losses, represent more than half of ELAP recipients. Read more…

TDA Market Recap, April 6, 2015

Texas Department of Agriculture

For the week ending April 4, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady, ranging from $5 lower to $7 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas weekly direct feeder cattle sales were mostly were steady to $1 higher. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were $2 higher at $165 per cwt, and wholesale beef values were higher with Choice Grade gaining $3.87 to $255.57 per cwt and Select Grade rising $2.58 to $249.29. Net export sales for March 20-26 were down 60 percent from the previous week, a marketing-year low. Export shipments were down six percent from the previous week. Read more…

#BeefsOnMyPlate campaign kicks off

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The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has a unique opportunity for you to engage in the discussion around diet and health in Washington D.C. The most recent Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report has confusing nutritional messages by leaving lean meat out of healthy dietary pattern, despite its own nutritional evidence review. Now, you can engage by posting your pictures of how beef fits on your plate using #BeefsOnMyPlate. Read more…

TSCRA Ranch Gatherings in Mobeetie and Mangum this week

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TSCRA will be hosting ranch gatherings in Mobeetie and Mangum this week. The evening events are free and everyone is invited, including family, friends and neighbors. An RSVP is requested so we can make sure we have enough free beef dinner and space for everyone. For more information or to RSVP for the event in Mobeetie on Tuesday, April 7, click here. For more information or to RSVP for the event on Wednesday, April 8 in Mangum, Okla., click here. To see if we’re having a ranch gathering near you, soon, visit our event calendar at tscra.org.

Cow-Calf Corner: North American cattle situation - Canada; Make a record of twin births

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the April 6 edition of Cow-Calf Corner, a weekly newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel takes a look at how the North American cattle market is treating Canada and Glenn Selk discusses the problems that can arise from a multiple beef cattle birth. Read more…

Western Heritage Classic free grounds passes and discounted rodeo tickets

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TSCRA has teamed up with the Western Heritage Classic to provide TSCRA members with two complimentary grounds passes to the event in Abilene good for May 8-9, 2015. This is a $34 value! Western Heritage Classic has also offered TSCRA members Friday night ranch rodeo tickets at the discounted price of $15! Read more…

Vilsack: Window closing on trade deal

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday that a massive Asia-Pacific trade deal must get done before the 2016 presidential campaign season kicks into high gear. Vilsack said that time is running short to move trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation through Congress and smooth passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) before year’s end. Read more at The Hill…

USDA to launch new equine study in spring

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The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) will launch Equine 2015 in May—NAHMS third national study of the U.S. equine industry. As with NAHMS’ 1998 and 2005 equine studies, Equine 2015 is designed to provide participants, industry, and animal-health officials with information on the nation’s equine population that will serve as a basis for education, service, and research related to equine health and management, while providing the industry with new and valuable information regarding trends in the industry for 1998, 2005, and 2015. Read more at USDA.gov…

Western Heritage Classic free grounds passes and discounted rodeo tickets

WHC

TSCRA has teamed up with the Western Heritage Classic to provide TSCRA members with two complimentary grounds passes to the event in Abilene good for May 8-9, 2015. This is a $34 value! Western Heritage Classic has also offered TSCRA members Friday night ranch rodeo tickets at the discounted price of $15! Read more…

USDA earmarks $332 million for conservation easements

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One of USDA’s voluntary conservation programs for producers – the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) – will provide $332 million in financial and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who enroll acreage in conservation easements by May 15. In addition to protecting wildlife habitat and the ecological productivity of working lands, ACEP easements contribute to the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses, USDA said. Read more at Agri-Pulse…

Expert: Beef cattle producers advised to get grazing leases in writing

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Surprisingly, some grazing leases are simple verbal agreements, but for both parties’ protection it is always best to get the agreement in writing, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service law specialist. Read more…

US Drought Monitor and Summary for March 30, 2015

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Worsening drought in the north contrasted with heavy rain and drought reduction in the south and east. Across western Oklahoma and northern Texas, sunny skies, daytime highs approaching or topping 90°F, and occasionally gusty winds caused Moderate to Extreme Drought to intensify.  Read more…

It’s what’s for dinner: Margarita beef with orange salsa

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Give your beef a margarita marinade this weekend! Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner…

TSCRA testifies about brackish water before committee in Austin

Texas State Capitol photo by TexasExplorer98 at flickr

TSCRA Director Joseph Fitzsimons, San Antonio, was in Austin at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing this week to voice concerns on House Bill 30, which attempts to designate a permitting system for brackish groundwater that is separate from fresh groundwater. While TSCRA and landowners support the development of brackish water, which is generally not potable, we believe creating a separate permitting system would complicate groundwater ownership rights that are already in place. Fitzsimons told committee members that the bill would infringe on landowners’ private property rights by taking away their right to due process. Additionally, he stressed the importance of providing sound science on development of brackish water before creating these management zones. TSCRA plans to remain engaged in this issue and will do Read more…

Lawmakers urge USDA, HHS to use 'sound science' for Dietary Guidelines

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Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., and 70 House colleagues are urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to make sure the final Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) are based on sound nutritional science and stick within the bounds of the charter authorized by Congress. In a letter to cabinet officials, the lawmakers said they are responding to the report produced by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that Vilsack and Burwell will refer to when writing the final guidelines. They said the report “exceeds the scope of its charge by straying from purely nutritional evidence and venturing into areas like sustainability and tax policy.” Read more at Agri-Pulse…

US plans to dig deeper on antibiotics given to livestock

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The U.S. government next year plans to begin collecting more detailed data on antibiotics used on farms in a potential precursor to set targets for reduced use of the drugs in animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is waiting for approval of federal funding to add questions about antibiotics to annual surveys of livestock producers as part of a bid to determine the most-complete national usage estimates ever in cattle, hogs and poultry, according to the agency. Read more at Reuters…

Ranchers worry cuts in USDA budget could put US cattle industry at risk

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has only a handful of places in the country where cattle are inspected for illness, disease and parasites once they cross the Mexican border. Recent cutbacks slashed the program’s budget, so facilities have turned to other sources of funding, such as collecting user fees for inspections. Watch the video or read more at KRVG News…

Warning: Wildflower picture season is also snake season

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For most Texans, spring time gives us small window of opportunity to trek outside in some bearable weather. It’s almost become a tradition for Texans to use this precious time go about doing what so many other Texans do – take photos in patches of bluebonnets. But just as we humans are beginning to shake off winter and go outside into the sun, so are the snakes. Read or listen to more at Texas Standard…

Texas crop, weather, for March 31, 2015

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Conditions are so favorable for an outstanding Texas peach crop this year that he almost hates to talk about them lest he jinxes the crop, joked Dr. Larry Stein, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist for fruits, nuts and vegetable crops at Uvalde. This is true throughout the state, and not just in the Hill County, where a large part of the state’s peach crop is produced, Stein said. In previous years, good filling weather was offset by late freezes, but he doesn’t expect that to happen this year. Read more…