Ardmore man convicted of knowingly concealing stolen cattle

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Cody Wayne Blalock, 28, of  Ardmore, Okla., was convicted Dec. 16, 2014, of knowingly concealing stolen property (cattle). Blalock pleaded guilty to selling 2 stolen steers to subjects in Jefferson County in the summer of 2014. The cattle were identified by their registered brands and returned to the rightful owners near Ardmore. TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier led the investigation. Read more…

Demand and prices to remain high for beef calves in 2015

TAMU AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin

Breeders and cow-calf operations saw record-high prices in 2014, as the national cattle head count remained low and ranchers pushed to get their herds back up to pre-drought levels. Kathleen Brooks, a beef economist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, talks about the year ahead and what breeders can expect from their bottom line in 2015. Read more at Bloomberg BusinessWeek…

Research finds mandatory meat labels economically not worth the fight

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When you pick up a pound of meat from the grocery store, have you noticed the label indicating where the meat originated? According to new research, most shoppers have no idea the label exists — but that little label is causing a big stir among the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Read more from Kansas State University…

TDA Market Recap, Jan. 12, 2015

For the week ending Jan. 10, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady to $10 higher, with one sale location reporting an increase as high as $30 in comparison to pre-holiday prices. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were $2 to $9 higher. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were slow later in the week, though prices were quoted at $170 per hundredweight (cwt) last Thursday, up about five percent from last week. Wholesale beef values continued their increase to close at $256.79 per cwt for Choice Grade cut-out and $248.23 per cwt for Select Grade. Weekly export sales beginning Jan. 1 totaled 6,000 metric tons (MT), with Japan, Chile and Mexico as the top buyers. Export shipments of 7,700 MT went primarily to Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea. Accumulated exports of 680,200 MT for 2014 were down two percent from the previous year. Read more…

The Browning Blog: What a change - wet and cold winter weather

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While the monthly precipitation rates for winter have been above average in Texas, temperatures have averaged 5 to 10 degrees below normal. In the latest exclusive from Climatologist Evelyn Browning-Garriss, we hear about winter weather patterns affecting the Southwest and how long the wet and cold could last. Read more…

Livestock producers urged to enroll in disaster assistance programs before Jan. 30 deadline

Farm Service Agency

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency is encouraging livestock producers who have suffered eligible disaster-related losses to call their local FSA office and schedule an appointment before the upcoming Jan. 30 deadline. Producers must be placed on an appointment register before the deadline in order to receive program benefits.  The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) compensates eligible livestock producers for grazing losses due to drought, or fire on federal lands between Oct. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2014. Producers forced to liquidate their livestock may also be eligible for program benefits. Read more…

Activists charged under Utah's ag-gag law

Four animal activists who took pictures of a large southwestern Utah hog farm have plead not guilty to charges filed under a controversial law that criminalizes undercover investigations of slaughterhouses and factory farms. The 4 from California and Maryland entered the pleas last week to charges of trespass and agricultural operation interference. They are the first to be prosecuted under Utah’s “ag-gag” law for allegedly taking photos of Circle Four Farms near Milford, Utah, and owned by Murphy-Brown LLC. – a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc. Read more at Feedstuffs…

Roberts becomes first in history to chair both House and Senate ag committees

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The 114th Congress may be in its early days, but the Senate Agriculture Committee chairman is anything but a rookie. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., made history when he was selected to serve as the committee’s chairman – making him the only member of Congress to serve as chairman and ranking member for the House of Representatives and Senate Agriculture committees. Read more at Drovers CattleNetwork

Cow-Calf Corner: The evolving role of Canadian and Mexican cattle and beef trade; The 3 stages of parturition

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State University

In the Jan. 12 issue of Cow/Calf Corner, a newsletter from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Derrell Peel discusses beef trade flows in North America and Glenn Selk goes over the 3 main stages of parturition, or calving. Read more…

Thornberry introduces bill to repeal estate tax

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U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R, Texas – Dist. 13, wasted no time getting to work in 2015, introducing a bill on the first day of the 114th Congress earlier this week. The legislation, the Death Tax Repeal Act (HR 173), is designed to completely repeal the federal taxes imposed on estates left to heirs. Thornberry noted that small business owners, farmers and ranchers who hope to pass personal businesses on to future generations are particularly vulnerable, but have to contend with a tax that may make that impossible. This was backed up by Joe Parker, TSCRA past president and rancher from Byers, who said, “Unfortunately, when it comes time to pass these hard-earned operations on to the next generation, if a rancher can’t afford to pay Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cargo trailer stolen in Oklahoma

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TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 3 in Oklahoma, reports the theft of a cargo trailer from a property near Stilwell in Adair County. Stolen was a white 12-foot Wells Cargo brand cargo trailer with black frame, tandem axle, 6-spoke white wheels and a vertically-mounted spare tire on the trailer’s tongue. If you have any information regarding this trailer, please call Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.

Marvin Nichols reservoir stays in State Water Plan

Photo by TexasExplorer98

It was an argument the state’s top water planning officials had long avoided, over a huge lake that probably won’t exist for decades — if ever.  But on Thursday morning, the Texas Water Development Board’s three members unanimously voted for the 72,000-acre Marvin Nichols Reservoir — which the thirsty Dallas Fort-Worth region hopes to build in Northeast Texas — to stay in the State Water Plan. Read more at The Texas Tribune…

6 practices to sustain pasture growth

AgriLife photo by Robert Burns

Conserving grass trumps maximizing beef production at Gary and Sue Price’s 77 Ranch near Blooming Grove, Texas. Their conservative practices give their operation the resilience needed to sustain a stable number of cattle – even in drought years. Improved grass and soil health result, too, from their work. In recognition of their efforts, they were named the 2012 recipients of the Environmental Stewardship national award. The Prices use six management practices to ensure sustained grass growth as well as soil, livestock, and economic health. Read more at Agriculture.com…

US Drought Monitor and Summary, Jan. 6, 2015

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Significant precipitation fell across southeastern Oklahoma and parts of Texas. A protracted winter storm brought damaging accumulations of freezing rain to portions of the southern High Plains Farther east, an area of heavy rain covered much of eastern Texas and the southeastern corner of Oklahoma. Despite the early-January rainfall, long-term precipitation deficits persisted across many areas of the southern plains, including northeastern Texas. Read more at droughtmonitor.unl.edu…

Get those best beef recipes in before convention!

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If you have not seen our Cattle Raisers Insurance Best Beef Recipe sharing contest, please log on to www.cattleraisersinsurance.com and select the Cattle Raiser Cook Book tab at the bottom. The winner of the Cattle Raisers Insurance Beef Cook-Off will be announced at the 2015 Cattle Raisers Convention and their recipe will be prepared by a celebrity chef. The winner will not only win a blue ribbon for the Best Beef Recipe, they will also win a set of Lodge cast iron cookware. You may also email your recipe to mwoodham@tscra.org.

Special rangers face rising cattle thefts, warning ranchers to be cautious

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You’ve probably seen higher prices on beef at the store. You might even be tempted to think it’s a good thing for people who raise cattle. But that’s not necessarily true. High prices for cattle are driving a growing black market for stolen cows. CBS KYTX19 news in Tyler-Longview talked to TSCRA Special Ranger Larry Hand and local ranchers about the rising threat of cattle theft. Read the story or watch the video at CBS19.tv…  

USDA embarks on 18-month UHF RFID pilot for tracking cattle

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

The project, overseen by the USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) , will test the ability of ranchers, veterinarians, feedlot operators and slaughterhouses to use UHF tags to track animals and their health data. RFID Journal

It’s what’s for dinner: Lemony beef & barley with sugar snap peas

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If you’re looking for a little easy week-night inspiration for that ground beef you have in your freezer, try this quick recipe that pairs lemon and barley with vegetables. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

Environmental impacts will not be part of updated federal dietary guidelines

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An advisory committee to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reversed course and will not recommend that the agency consider the environmental impact of food production when updating its national dietary guidelines, a USDA official told VICE News on Monday. In December, the Associated Press (AP) reported that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) of the USDA would make recommendations based on nutritional considerations, as it has done historically, as well as environmental impacts. Read more at Vice News

FSA offers additional coverage with noninsured crop disaster assistance program

Farm Service Agency

Francie Tolle, state executive director of the Oklahoma Farm Service Agency (FSA), is reminding producers that additional coverage is now available from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance. The new options, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect crops for which traditional crop insurance is not available, including hay and grazing crops as well as specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, honey, and energy crops. Read more…