TSCRA Crime Watch: Cattle missing in Navarro County

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TSCRA Special Ranger Jimmy Dickson, Dist. 14, reports 4 heifers missing from a property near Rice in Navarro County. The cattle went missing some time between Sept. 9 and 11 and were possibly originally estray, but now may be stolen. Missing are a heavy bred Brahman heifer, a bred Hereford heifer and 4 black Angus heifers. Some had orange ear tags. If you have any information regarding these cattle, please call Special Ranger Dickson at 903-586-8733.

Texas sees significant decline in rural land

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

The vast majority of Texas land — 83 percent — is part of a farm, ranch or forest. But Texas is losing such rural land more than any other state, in large part because of the exploding growth of metropolitan areas, according to newly released data. Scientists say that has serious implications for Texas’ water supply because such acreage — known as “working lands” or “open space” lands — helps the state retain water resources by letting rain infiltrate the ground and circulate into aquifers. Read more at The Texas Tribune…

Anthrax confirmed in Jim Wells County cow

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Anthrax has been confirmed in a cow approximately 10 miles north of Premont in Jim Wells County. This is the first documented case in the county since the late 1950′s. This is also the first case confirmed in cattle this year in Texas. Anthrax cases in Texas are often confined to a triangular area bounded by the towns of Uvalde, Ozona and Eagle Pass. This area includes portions of Crockett, Val Verde, Sutton, Edwards, Kinney and Maverick counties. Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism. A vaccine is available for use in susceptible livestock. Read more…

Major supermarket chains changed how they label meat, surprising customers and USDA

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In recent weeks, Giant stores nationwide changed their labeling procedures, making it difficult for customers to know the quality of meat. Rather than providing different options, the company labeled meat simply as “USDA graded” — a description that applies to all but a tiny amount of meat approved for sale in the United States. Larry Meadows, a USDA official who is one of the people charged with overseeing the nation’s meat supply, said in an interview that the action was problematic. “We’ve never seen anyone use anything like the ‘USDA graded’ label before,” said Meadows, associate deputy administrator of the USDA’s livestock, poultry and feed program. “The label is truthful, but it’s also misleading.” Read more at The Washington Post…

TDA Market Recap, Oct. 13, 2014

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For the week ending Oct. 11, 2014, feeder cattle prices quoted by Texas auctions were mostly steady to $5 higher per hundredweight (cwt) compared to their previous sale, with some locations as much as $10 higher. Demand was strongest for lighter weight offerings to turn out on fall and winter pastures. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were mostly $3 to $6 higher. Fed cattle cash sales were $2 higher. Wholesale beef values were higher. Limited supplies continue to support prices throughout the cattle-beef complex. Beef export sales for the week were up 18 percent from the previous week and five percent higher than the prior four-week average. Export shipments were up two percent from the previous week and five percent above the average. Read more…

Browning Blog: Soggy Simon and the End of the Southwest Monsoon

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Climatologist Evelyn Browning-Garriss discusses the 2014 Southwest monsoon season and how a storm named Simon shaped our fall weather in this week’s issue of the Browning Blog, exclusive content for TSCRA members by the author of The Browning Newsletter. Read more…

Ranching 101 is hitting the road!

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You’ve asked for it! TSCRA’s popular Ranching 101 program will be held in San Antonio on Oct. 29 at Aggie Park. Are you new to the business or just want to sharpen your skills? We’ll go in depth on animal health and marketing techniques for the new and small rancher. Registration is free to members and $20 for non-members. We’ll kick off at 9:00 a.m. and wrap up at 4:00 p.m. Lunch is included. Make plans to stick around for dinner and our TSCRA Ranch Gathering that evening beginning at 6:00 p.m. To register, click here. Click here for directions. Ranching 101 is sponsored by Lone Star Ag Credit. Read more…

Governors, attorneys general say CWA rule a legal threat to farmers

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Since the release of the proposed waters of the U.S. rule, the EPA has maintained it is simply codifying those waters that already are jurisdictional, and that it narrows down the scope of those waters covered with new definitions, and farmers have nothing to fear if they don’t already need permits. A group of governors and state attorneys general are unconvinced. Read more at DTN/The Progressive Farmer…

Senators join last-minute push to keep COOL

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September came and went with no final announcement on the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) dispute held up at the World Trade Organization (WTO). While there has been some speculation among stakeholders and a preliminary document shared with the governments involved, the final decision has yet to be announced. The WTO is deciding on whether the current COOL rule is in compliance with U.S. trade obligations involving its two largest trading partners, Canada and Mexico. Last week, a group of 32 senators sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski and Ranking Member Richard Shelby urging them to reject any efforts that would undermine, weaken, or suspend COOL through the appropriations process. Read more at the Western Livestock Journal…

EPA water rule pits liberal billionaires against rural farmers

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

What do left-wing billionaires and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) definition of “navigable waters” have in common? More than the former would care to admit about the latter. Read more at The Hill…

Cow-Calf Corner: Oklahoma October rain = wheat pasture = stocker demand; Prussic acid poisoning is a concern after a light frost

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Oct. 13 issue of Cow/Calf Corner, a newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel discusses the interaction between October moisture, wheat pasture progress and stocker demand; and Glenn Selk talks prussic acid poisoning after a light frost. Read more…

Build a pond once, the right way

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right. This old adage rings true for pond construction as much as anything. Read more…

TSCRA officers attend Five Nations Beef Alliance

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TSCRA Officers Pete Bonds, Richard Thorpe, Robert McKnight and CEO Eldon White attended the annual conference of the Five Nations Beef Alliance this week in Bastrop, Texas. The alliance includes producer organization leaders from the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand. Delegations from Brazil and Paraguay also attended. NCBA President and TSCRA Past President Bob McCan, of Victoria, chaired this year’s conference. The purpose of the alliance is to foster communications among these beef producing countries and to pursue areas of common concern and interest. The group discussed, among other topics, beef production sustainability and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently under negotiation.

Ranch gatherings held in Elk City and Dalhart

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Approximately 100 association members, friends and guests gathered for ranching events in Elk City, Okla, and Dalhart, Texas, this week. Attendees heard about law enforcement activities and received a legislative update. Special thanks go to Brandon Hickey and Elk City Livestock Auction for sponsoring the gathering in Elk City. Attendees were entertained by Chuck Milner. Thanks also to Mike Bragg, AgriLife Extension agent for Dallam and Hartley counties, for his help on the gathering in Dalhart. Without our generous sponsors, these events wouldn’t be possible: Texas Range Minerals, Ridley Block-Sweetlix, Capital Farm Credit and Stockmen’s Feed Bunk. We still have plenty of gatherings planned this fall! Check our event calendar at tscra.org to see if we’re having one in your area!

Study – no health problems for GE-fed livestock

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A new scientific review from the University of California, Davis, reports that the performance and health of food-producing animals consuming genetically engineered feed, first introduced 18 years ago, has been comparable to that of animals consuming non-GE feed. The review study also found that scientific studies have detected no differences in the nutritional makeup of the meat, milk or other food products derived from animals that ate genetically engineered feed. Read more at AgWeb…

Winter care of broodmares

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

Keeping mares healthy throughout pregnancy is important for the delivery of healthy, happy foals. For owners of American Quarter Horse mares waiting for the spring foaling season, it’s crucial to remember to take extra care of them during the cold winter months. Read more at America’s Horse Daily by the American Quarter Horse Association…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Oct. 7, 2014

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All but eastern Oklahoma and eastern Texas missed out on any substantial precipitation last week while above-normal temperatures returned for most locales across the region, including most of Arkansas. Rains in eastern Texas led to some slight trimming of the southern Abnormally Dry (D0) flank, but all other changes in Texas and Oklahoma were for the worse across south-central Oklahoma along the Red River and in north-central Texas along with the Panhandle, where the past 60 days have brought less than 50 percent of normal rains coupled with temperatures running 2-4 degrees above normal. Read more…

Oklahoma woman convicted for knowingly concealing stolen property

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An Oklahoma woman was convicted Oct. 8 by a Bryan County jury for knowingly concealing stolen property (cattle). According to lead investigator TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, Christen Leeann Allen, 31, of Haskell, Okla., sold ten head of cattle at the Durant Stockyards on Oct. 10, 2013, that matched the description of registered purebred cattle reported stolen by the Langford Hereford Ranch. During the investigation some of the livestock sold by Allen were located and positively identified through brands and registered tattoo numbers. Read more…

Texas cattle industry hurt by drought

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Texas has been the long time leader in the cattle industry with the highest number of head and the most producers. But even though much of the state has received more rainfall this year than the past few, total cattle inventory is still down. Total numbers fell by 600,000 cattle from 2012 to 2013. And it’s down another 3.5-percent this year from last to less than 11 million head. That shortage is pushing the commodity to a premium. TSCRA President Pete Bonds talks drought, cattle prices and what this means for Texas ranchers. Read more at myhighplains.com…

Texas agriculture, bigger in more ways than you might know

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The Census of Agriculture is the most complete account of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Every Thursday USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) highlights new census data and the power of the information to shape the future of American agriculture. Texas cattle production alone is worth more than the total agricultural production of all but 6 states. Read more at blogs.usda.gov…