Februar y 1, 2011
Reading, Riding and Raising THE CHANGING FACE OF AG EDUCATION IN TEXAS
Frostbite is a danger to newborn calves. PAGE 5
WHICH VACCINES ARE BEST?
Dr. Steve Wikse talks herd protection. PAGE 9
FEWER LAR�E�ANI�AL VETS
Harsh conditions, lower pay play a role. PAGE 22
KEEP IT CLEAN
Grain storage sanitation is critical. PAGE 26
The Land & Livestock Post ✪ February 1, 2011
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The Land & Livestock Post âœŞ
February 1, 2011
The Land & Livestock Post ✪ February 1, 2011
News From the General Manager
had a birthday a few weeks ago. Not a momentous occasion; it seems to happen every year. But, turning 32 made me realize that I was, in fact, in my 30s now. When I turned 30, it seemed like a fluke, then 31 rolled around and I figured there must be some mistake. But sure enough, 32 came at the same time as the last two and I guess I’ll have to accept JESSE WRIGHT it. The thing I’ve found about 32 is that is far easier to disappoint people than impress them. In order to hear the phrase “he’s 32” and have it mean incredibly young, you have to take over a fortune 500 company or build a skyscraper or accomplish some other outstanding feat that is outside of the normal human success scale. It is, however, fairly sim-
ple to hear “he’s 32” in the context that you’re old enough and should know better. Heck, the simple act of eating Lucky Charms and watching Saturday cartoons is enough to warrant such a snide response. There is an entire group of people to whom 32 is far off, but they are already setting themselves up to accomplish lofty goals of their own. We take a look at ag education in this issue and see what the future holds. We also feature some information about row crops, as well as cattle and equine news. It’s a pretty good mix, and I hope you enjoy it. ’Til next time,
Book honors Howard Hesby Special to The Post
A book written by students, colleagues, friends and family of Howard Hesby is now complete and can be ordered. Big Hands, Big Heart is a tribute to Texas A&M animal science professor Howard Hesby, who believed in helping students just as much outside the classroom as in it. It is estimated Hesby helped more than 15,000 students during his 35 years at Texas A&M and this book shares the stories from many of those he advised. The book project, spearheaded by Chris Boleman, Texas 4-H and youth development director, is a 300-page compilation of personal stories written about the impact Hesby made on individual lives. The book is being given to donors of $25 or more to the Howard Hesby Atrium Project in the Kleberg building, which houses the animal science program. When the Kleberg facility was built in 1975, an animal science student lounge was provided on the first floor. This area was removed in
2004 to provide administrative offices for a new department in the building. Not long after that, Howard Hesby and others worked to find another suitable area for animal science students to study, congregate, network and the idea of renovating the atrium to make it more student-friendly was born. Shortly after that, Hesby passed away. He was a great friend of students in the department and it was determined that it would be appropriate to name the planned atrium after him, now known as the Howard Hesby Student Atrium Checks should be made payable to Texas A&M Foundation and on the memo line indicate Howard Hesby Student Atrium Fund, account number 0573410. Orders should be mailed to Amanda Mendoza, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 2140 TAMU, College Station, Texas 77843-2140. Please include how many books wanted, and your name, address, e-mail and phone number. Contributions over $25 are also being accepted for the atrium project.
South Texas Cattle Marketing’s g’ Spring Gathering Cattleman’s Opportunity tunity Sale
Saturday February 26, 2011 • 1:00 p.m. Saturday,
Nixon Livestock Commission • Nixon, Texas Texas (3 miles east of Nixon on Hwy. Hwy
Featuring 1,200 Head
catt will be sorted into small groups of All of the cattle 10 head or less to accomodate any cattlema catt n’ needs! n’s
Sale Sponsored by
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Supporters of Kallion Fa Farms rms Feed Efficient Brahman Beef
Farm & Ranch
For more information contact:
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Lew Thompson,Marketing Director
(830) 334-8227 (O) • (830) 965-3058 (M)
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100 - Gray Brahman heifers coming from EL and Thompson Ranches. Long bred to registered Hereford bulls, 30 calves by sale day. F-1 factory in production. 180 - First calf Brangus heifers 5-8 months bred to Angus bulls, 75 calves by sale day. Brought to you from Rock Creek eek Ranch and Kinsel Ranch. Reputable ranches that always bring good cattle. 475 - True True F-1 Ti Tiger Stripe heifers out of Brahman cows and registered Hereford bulls, bred 5-8 months to low b/w Angus bulls, 150 calves by sale day. These heifers are cube broke, gentle and good with horses. Coming off of of some of the most reputable ranches in Texas where quality, quality feminity and backing up your product has become a way of life. Brought to you from Brooks Ranch, EL Ranch, Preston Farms, Diamond G Ranch, Kallion Farms and NR Johnston Ranch. Open Heifers Consignments 120 - Open Gray Brahman heifers from Thompson Ranches and Cabesa Cattle Co. Most sired by Kallion Farms and VV-8 8 Brahman bulls, weigh from 500-800 pounds and will be sorted into small uniform groups. Fancy as we have ever had. 150 - True Tr F-1 open heifers weighting 600-800 pounds out of Brahman cows and registered Hereford bulls, dehorned, ocv, ocv and cake broke. Most ready for bulls by sale day. Coming from Thompson Ranches and Cabesa Cattle Co. 25 - Pure bred open Brangus heifers out of Steiner and Camp Cooley Brangus bulls. Heifers weigh 800 (+) pounds coming from Martin-Bruni Cattle Co. Cow Consignments 30 - True Tr F-1 5 year old Tiger Stripe cows long bred to registered Hereford bulls, 15 calves by sale day. day 40 - 3-5 year old Brangus and Brangus Baldy cows med.- long bred to Angus and Hereford bulls. Great set of young cows. 50 - 4-6 year old cross bred cows, 20 calves by sale day, day balance long bred to Charolais and Angus bulls. Bull Consignments 10 - Hereford and Angus bulls. 6 - Kallion Farms Feed Efficient Ef Brahman bull. All fertility and trich tested. From H & H Livestock horse division, 2 - Ranch Geldings straight from our remuda.
Frostbite, hypothermia a danger to newborns By ELLEN CRAWFORD North Dakota State University Agriculture Communications
Safely breed lighter heifers By RYAN REUTER Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
The traditional recommendation for developing replacement heifers is to feed them to achieve 65 percent of their mature weight by the beginning of the breeding season. This recommendation was developed decades ago based on some research that indicated that almost all heifers would attain puberty by 65 percent of mature weight. Recent research, however, may call this long held recommendation into question. Researchers from Nebraska fed crossbred heifers to achieve either 55 percent or 50 percent of their mature weight by breeding season. The heifers were exposed to fertile bulls at a ratio of one bull to 25 heifers. The heavier heifers were exposed to bulls for 45 days, while the lighter heifers were exposed for 60 days. Interestingly, there was no difference in conception rate between these two groups — the conception rate was a very acceptable 88 percent. These data would seem to indicate that a target breed-
ing weight of 65 percent may need to be reconsidered in some situations. Let’s take a look at what a reduced target breeding weight can mean. If we assume that mature weight of an example herd of cows is 1,200 pounds, then our 65 percent target breeding weight would be 780 pounds. If we assume we weaned a 450pound heifer calf at 210 days, then we need this heifer to gain 330 pounds in the next 200 days. That is 1.65 pounds per day. During the winter, an average daily gain this high would likely require good quality pasture or hay and a significant amount of supplement. If we reduced our target to 50 percent, then the required average daily gain is only 0.75 pounds per day. This gain could likely be achieved by grazing dormant native range with minimal protein supplementation. This low input program likely would reduce expenses and labor requirements. It is also possible that a low input development system would challenge these heifers a little, and the least efficient
and least adapted heifers would be eliminated from the herd. There are a few issues to consider with developing heifers to lighter weights. Obviously, there is a point at which heifers that are too light in weight won’t cycle and therefore won’t get bred. Secondly, in the Nebraska research, calves born from heifers bred at 50 percent of their mature weight were, on average, seven days younger and 13 pounds lighter than calves born from the 55 percent group. However, the lighter heifers cost an average of $17 less to develop than the heavier heifers. Every ranch has a unique set of resources and opportunities. Be sure to put a pencil to the decisions you are making and determine which production practices may pay off in your situation. We may not be ready to recommend that you reduce your heifer breeding weight target based upon this one study, but don’t get caught in the trap of doing things the same way just because that is the way you’ve always done them.
blanket, heat lamps or hotwater bottles, and a warming box. • Provide calves with an energy source. Feed colostrum to newborn calves within the first six to 12 hours of life. Provide milk or electrolytes with an energy source such as glucose. An esophageal feeding tube works well to supply these energy sources. Without fluids, the animal becomes acidotic as it warms. An acidotic calf is predisposed to contracting scours or pneumonia. • Warm areas suffering from frostbite quickly. Frostbite is the destruction of tissue. To prevent permanent damage, restore circulation in the affected areas as soon as possible. The heat source should be about 105 to 108 F. Do not rub affected areas. They already are damaged and fragile. As the area
warms, it will be painful. Do not let the animal rub these areas. Frostbite in teats and scrotums could be a problem as well. However, frostbitten teats may be difficult to detect. The first sign may be a thin calf. The teat end is affected and can slough. If this happens, the sphincter muscle of the teat may be lost. This makes mastitis a possibility. Also, frostbite may cause an affected teat to dry up because the cow won’t let the calf nurse. In addition, the frostbitten teat may go unnoticed until next year. Bulls’ scrotums and testicles can suffer frostbite, too. Often these lesions go unnoticed. They can cause temporary or permanent infertility. All herd bulls should have breeding soundness exams 45 to 60 days after the last severe cold spell.
February 1, 2011
cially newborns, warm and dry: Provide windbreaks to counteract the effects of the wind chill. • Making sure animals have adequate bedding: Bedding insulates he animal from the snow and ice underneath the body and lowers the animal’s nutritional requirements. Bedding allows the animal to “snuggle” into it and lowers the body surface area exposed to the wind. • Increasing the amount of energy supplied in the animal’s diet Stoltenow has this advice for producers with livestock suffering from hypothermia or frostbite: • Warm calves with hypothermia slowly. The heat source should be about 105 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer temperatures may cause skin burns or shock. Sources of heat include a warm-water bath, electric
This winter’s cold, snowy conditions are putting livestock, especially newborns, at risk for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is a profound drop in body temperature. “Animals less than 48 hours old or animals with a preexisting condition or disease are at the greatest risk for developing hypothermia,” said Charlie Stoltenow, North Dakota State University Extension Service veterinarian. Newborns are susceptible because they often are hypoglycemic, which means they have low energy reserves and electrolyte imbalances. Animals with pre-existing conditions, such as pneumonia or old age, are susceptible because they have impaired body reserves and may suc-
cumb to very cold and windy conditions more easily. Frostbite is the destruction of tissue in a localized area due to extreme cold. It is uncommon in healthy, wellfed and sheltered animals, but animals that are less than 48 hours old or have a pre-existing condition run the greatest risk of developing frostbite. The areas most likely to be injured include the ears, tail, teats, scrotum and lower parts of the limbs, especially the hooves. Hind limbs are more likely to be affected in cattle since their normal posture is to draw their front legs under their chest while their hind legs protrude from under their body. “Treating cases of hypothermia and frostbite is often unrewarding,” Stoltenow said. “Prevention is of primary importance.” Prevention consists of: • Keeping the animals, espe-
The Land & Livestock Post
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The Land & Livestock Post ✪ February 1, 2011 6
Producers must do a better job managing risks By DAN CHILDS Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
Agriculture input and commodity prices seemed to be on a rollercoaster during the last few months of 2010, with the inclines being longer and more sustained than the short dips down. This left general price levels much higher than forecasts of only a few short months ago. How can price predictions miss the mark by so much in such a short time period? From booths at local coffee shops to confer nf ence rooms in nfer land grant universities and U.S. Department of Education offices, agricultural producers and industry experts have asked the same question. Possible causes including weather conditions at home and abroad, a weak U.S. dollar supporting exports and the effect of index and hedge fund trading have all been volunteered as causes for the miscalculations. Regardless of the reason for the price swings, agricultural producers must do a better job of managing their production and price risks to remain successful in this volatile environment. Not so long ago, producers had few options to manage their risks. Limited insurance products existed, and the ones that were available had expensive premiums. Generally, crop insurance products only insured against the risks of production with little opportunity to insure prices. Futures contracts and options on futures contracts were available through commodity exchanges, but the products received little interest from producers. Not much attention was given to seasonal price patterns of inputs because the differences between the peaks and valleys were very small. As a result, concern was seldom given to managing the price risks of production inputs. When price risk strategies were implemented, only the risk for the commodity or output was considered. Today, locking in only the price of inputs or the price of the output is a recipe for potential failure.
The past few years have seen the addition of many tools to control risk. Several insurance products are now available to insure crop yields and price, forage production, and feeder and fed cattle prices. Premiums for crop insurance are more
affordable, especially when production history can be proven. Considerable flexibility exists for insuring forage production as well as cattle p r i c e s . Livestock price insurance can be purchased down to a single head of cattle. Futures market information and education is now much more accessible to individual pro-
ducers. Mini grain contracts of 1,000 bushels are available. How can these tools be leveraged to help producers manage risks? The first step is for a producer to know their per unit cost of produc-
979-828-4000 962 Acres, sAl sAlTer FArM rd., cAlVerT cAl Bermuda & Native, irrigation wells, 4 ½ miles of Brazos River frontage, some minerals, electricity, Calvert ISD; $2,070,000 90 Acres, FM 2446, FrAnklin Bermuda, Bahia & Native, small pond, seasonal creek, approx. 3,000 rd frontage, water & electric, Franklin ISD; $405,000 65 Ac, on cr 278, kosse 90/10 wooded/open, 3phase power, water well & community, hunting/recreational or homesite, 100% of surface rights convey; Bremond ISD $169,000 w/out minerals or $194,350 w/15% minerals owned 52 Ac, on FM 1940, FrAnklin Single wide mobile home, 70/30 open/wooded, new fences, 2 ponds, water well, surface control conveys, Franklin ISD $367,052
10Acres, rABBiT ln. & THurMAn rd, BryA BryA yAn n Water & Electric, 3 sides fenced, paved on 2 sides, pond site 5 min to Bryan; Bryan ISD; $129,000 9 Acres, FM 1373, BreMond 3 sides fenced, open hay pasture, water & electric available, Bremond ISD; $345,125
33 Acres, norTH oF cAlVerT cAl 95/5 wooded/open, live creek, elect. on site, road frontage on 2 sides; Calvert ISD $84,900 ($2,567/Ac)
30 Ac, on Wylie ln, FrAnklin 1,859 sq. ft., 2 bed, 2 bath custom home, built in 07, open floor plan, fireplace, in 37.5 Ac, on WArren rd, FrAnklin ground pool, built on hilltop overlooking Single wide mobile home, 25/75 wooded/open, improved & native pasture, pond, water well, fenced, electricity electricity, water well, Hearne ISD, Franklin ISD; $325K $119,500 (3,186/Ac) 99.457 Ac, FM 46, FrAnklin 60% open pasture, 40% wooded, spring fed 105 Acres, ½ Mile oFF FM 974, BryA Br n creek, 4 ponds, sandy rolling hills, new fence Approx. 25% pasture, 75% wooded, home site on 2 sides, fronts on FM 46, electricity and overlooking pond, rolling wooded hills with lots community water line available; Franklin ISD; of wildlife, electric in area, Bryan ISD; $390,000 ($3,921/Ac) ($3,750/Ac)
tion. Producers need to start with good production and financial records to allow for an accurate calculation of a break-even point. Once the break-even is known, per unit amounts for other items — things such as fixed costs; principal and interest payments; family living expenses; and desired profit — can be added to develop asking prices. After asking prices are determined, a producer can start evaluating different risk management tools to decide which ones fit their individual prefef eferences and risk tolerance. If certain tools, such as futures contracts or options, are used, upward movements in commodity prices may cause producers to miss out on profits from higher prices. This is common in volatile markets and causes many producers to forego risk management. Ideally, risk man-
agers should develop strategies that enable them to benefit from at least some potential commodity price increases. Risk management can also be used to protect against unexpected rises in input costs. Seasonal patterns show when prices are typically the lowest and highest of the year. Prices are usually lowest when a particular input is in the least demand, such as fertilizer and feed prices in midsummer. When combined with prudent production practices, students of seasonal price patterns who take action at appropriate times can lower their per unit cost of production. No one size fits all in risk management tools and strategies. However, diligent study and use of the available tools and strategies can turn volatile markets into good pricing opportunities.
✪ February 1, 2011
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The Land & Livestock Post
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The Land & Livestock Post ✪ February 1, 2011
Faulkner earns top ASABE honor Special to The Post
ST JOSEPH, Mich. — William “Brock” Faulkner, a research assoicate with the Texas Agriculture Experiment Station in College Station, has been named to the “New Faces of ASABE,” classs of 2011, by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He was one of 10 people chosen for the honor. The 10 society members, all 30 years old or younger, have distinguished themselves with outstanding, early-career achievements in agricultural and biological engineering. As educators, researchers, and emerging industry leaders, they serve as inspiration to their peers and to the future engineers who will follow in their footsteps. They were nominated by
their American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers sections and other members of the society. Faulkner’s engineering expertise in air quality and harvesting provides timely results for agricultural production. He has worked in agricultural air quality, BROCK h a v i n g FAULKNER developed previously unavailable particulate matter emission factors for feedyards and dairies em-ploying dust suppression sprinklers and for almond harvesting. The emission factors are being considered for revision by San Joa-quin Valley Air Pollution Control District,
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so this work is time-critical. Faulkner developed a wind tunnel for testing particulate matter samplers with agricultural-type dusts, enabling error characterization in standard samplers and leading to discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency about changing agricultural emission factors. His air quality work has led to 11 peer-reviewed publications, multiple speaking invitations, membership on a national parks subcommittee, and consulting work regarding preconstruction permits for feedmills and fertilizer plants. Faulkner has worked in cotton production and processing, evaluating the feasibility of picker harvesting in the Texas high plains, where im-proved
COLLEGE STATION — Since New Year’s, some Texas counties had received from 2 to 6 inches of moisture, but much of the state remains behind as far as long-term accumulations go, said Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel. From the Panhandle to South Texas, the lack of moisture affe af cted winter wheat and other crops and caused concern about the future success of spring plantings, according to county reports from AgriLife Extension agents. “Producers have had a productive week in the field this week with above average temperatures but no moisture in the area,” reported Rick
• See RAIN/Page RAIN 21
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yields are reducing the advantages of traditional stripper harvesting. He evaluated harvest and time-in-motion efficiencies, calculated costs of transporting and ginning, and evaluated fiber properties of cottons harvested with both methods. These data facilitated design of a decision-aid tool to guide producers in selecting harvest systems based on expected revenue and accounting for field performance and effects on product quality and value. Cotton Incorporated has made this tool available to producers. Faulkner holds bachelor’s, master's and doctoral degrees in biological and agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University. He has been a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers since 2000.
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What vaccines are critical for herd wellness? Q susceptible to all other infectious agents. The most common outcome of BVD virus infection in cow/calf herds is reproductive disease. Embryonic death, abortion, stillbirths, premature weak calves, birth defects and increased deaths of nursing calves all can be caused by BVD. Embryonic death is a “silent robber” of production, because it’s not readily visible. It results in irregular estrus cycles and repeat breeders, clues that dairymen might observe, but usually are not noticed in the breeding pastures of beef herds. Nursing calves that recover from BVD infections have decreased daily weight gains leading to lower weaning weights. This long list of disease problems caused by BVD can result in serious economic
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losses. I was a helper in a study headed by agricultural economist Jim McGrann on the economic impact of a BVD outbreak in a beef herd. Our estimates were that a BVD outbreak would drop pounds weaned per exposed cow more than 50 pounds the first year. That would be well over $50 less gross income per cow at today’s prices, a devastating loss. Production and dollar losses would continue to a lesser extent for one or two years after the initial BVD outbreak. A decision on whether or not to vaccinate must include an estimate of the likelihood of a herd becoming infected. We know BVD virus exposure is widespread in US beef herds. Devastating losses, however, mainly occur in herds that have calves persistently infected with BVD
virus (PI calves). Infection of non-immune pregnant cows in the first trimester of pregnancy with BVD virus can result in fetal death and reabsorption, mummification, abortion, birth defects, or live PI calves. These non-immune cows are the most common source of PI calves. The PI calves have a lifetime BVD infection. Many PI calves die, some are poor-doers that live to weaning, some become unthrifty adults, and a few develop into healthy adults that even produce PI calves. All PI animals shed billions of BVD virus particles in their urine, manure, saliva and nasal mucous exposing their herdmates to massive challenges of BVD virus 24/7.
February 1, 2011
cessfully prevent reproductive losses due to IBR. Infection by PI-3 usually doesn’t cause reproductive losses in cows. That virus is mainly involved with respiratory disease in calves. In my opinion, the single most important disease that most cows should be vaccinated against is STEVE EVE VE BVD. The WIKSE , DVM VM “diarrhea” in the name of this disease is misleading, because diarrhea is only one of many conditions of the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems caused by BVD virus. In addition, BVD virus infection impairs the immune system of calves making them more
uestion: “I’ve got about a 200-head cattle ranch near Navasota. What I’d like to know is what’s the most important vaccine I should give my cows?” Answer: That depends on conditions present on your ranch. For maximum effe ef ctiveness, each beef herd vaccination program must be unique. Diseases vaccinated against, vaccine types used, timing of vaccination and timing of booster doses must all be tailored to specific disease risks and management schemes of each ranch. I’m happy to tell you about general principles, but you should consult your veterinarian on your herd vaccination program because he or she is the most knowledgeable person on how to implement a successful preventive medicine program for your ranch. Generally, the most important reason to vaccinate cows is to prevent reproductive tract infections such as bovine virus diarrhea — BVD — which can result in embryonic deaths and abortions. Cows also are vaccinated against diseases that could cause their death such as redwater (bacillary hemoglobinuria). In addition, sometimes cows are vaccinated against diseases that can cause deaths of young calves such as corona virus. What do I think is the most important vaccine you should give your cows? I don’t know the details of your operation, so it will have to an educated guess. I would say it is the combination viral vaccine. The vaccine contains infectious bovine rhinotracheitis — IBR — virus, bovine viral diarrhea virus and parainfluenza-3 — PI-3 — virus. Late abortions are seen with IBR virus infections. The Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory occasionally confirms IBR abortions in herds that do not vaccinate against the disease. Vaccination seems to suc-
The Land & Livestock Post
• See WIKSE/Page WIKSE 12
7th ANNUAL FEMALE & BULL
REPLACEMENT SALE SA SAT. FEBRUARY 19 - 10:00 A.M. Early Consignments Include: • 80 3-5 yr old Crossbred Pairs & Bred Cows • 30 2-6 yr old Brangus Pairs & Bred Cows • 50 3-6 yr old Crossbred Pairs & Bred Cows • 10 Brangus Open Heifers Heif • 10 Brangus Baldy Open Heif Heifers • 25 Charolais Bulls, Angus & Herefor eford Bulls from Pat Griswold ef
500+ Head Accepting Additional Consignments All Livestock must be received no later than Wed., February 16, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.
All consignments will be screened upon arrival.
All bulls must be fertility tested and Trich tested prior to arrival. FOR INFORMATION
Call 936-825-6545 or Greg Goudeau 936-661-8432
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The Land & Livestock Post ✪ February 1, 2011
Technology, variety factors for cotton growers By BLAIR FANNIN Texas AgriLife Communications
COLLEGE STATION — In today’s world of Texas cotton, large-acreage farmers may not be as apt to switch to conventional varieties as small producers, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service specialist. Producers planting hundreds of acres don’t have the time for hassles such as weed and insect problems more associated with conventional varieties. Take the chance and there’s potential for added labor and input costs that could chip away at potential profits during times of historically high cotton prices, said Gaylon Morgan, AgriLife Extension state cotton specialist. “When it comes to nongenetically modified cotton, some producers have just gotten so big and it would
Producers planting hundreds of acres don’t have the time for hassles such as weed and insect problems more associated with conventional varieties. require more time and labor for them to go with conventional varieties,” Morgan said. “They just won’t be able to stay ahead of the weeds.” In his presentation at the Texas Plant Protection Association conference recently, Morgan said Texas planted more than 93 percent in genetically modified cotton in 2010. When a farmer makes variety selection, they should consider both variety and tech-
• See COTTON/Page 11
Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin
When cotton farmers make variety selection, they should consider both variety and technology that fits their farming operation, experts recommend.
March h 1-20 1
Mark Your Calenda Cal r……Forr IInformation… Check k tthe Port Cit Cityy W Website ebsite port-city.com t-city t-city.com Wednesday
March 2nd Noon
Expanded Educational Activities
The All Breeds Livestock Sales Committee thanks
Capital Farm Credit For their help and assistance
Cattle Sales On the INTERNET Check Port City’s Web site for details
Tuesday ay March 1st And Friday ay March h 4th
Twelve Breeds from our nation’s best
March 5th Noon
40% Pairs, 40%Breds, 20%Open
Both Sales are in the Reliant Arena Sales Pavilion, Houston, TX
Sales Manager for the All Breed Sales
Port City Stockyards Company
P. O. Box 540 Sealy, Texas 77474 979-885-3526 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Easy Access Parking Provided
Cotton From 10
FSA committee reappointed Special to The Post
his three brothers. The farming operation consists of 4,000 acres producing watermelons, cotton, onions, pumpkins and peppers in Pecos and Reeves County. Mandujano has served as an advisor to the Pecos County Farm Service Agency Committee. • Wesley Ratcliff of Oakwood has been involved in agriculture for most of his life, and has owned and operated his current ranch for more than 10 years. • Glen A. Rodof El Campo owns and operates Rod Grass Farm LLC and Jones Creek Farm JV growing rice, row crops, and turf grass. “In Texas, the State Committee has a tremendous responsibility to be accountable for the use of taxpayer dollars as our agency allocated more than $1.6 billion in federal farm program benefits to producers statewide in fiscal year 2010,” Garcia said.
February 1, 2011
The five-member committee overseeing programs and operations of the Farm Service Agency in Texas has been reappointed. Juan M. Garcia, executive director of USDA’s agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced the reappointments. The State Committee is responsible for the oversight of farm programs, county committee operations, appeals, federal farm policy determinations and provides Farm Service Agency program information to the general public and other Agency stakeholders. “I am grateful that our state committee members were reappointed and can continue their involvement with Texas Farm Service Agency,” Garcia said. “Their contribution to the Agency has had a posi-
tive impact on our programs, producers and employees, and I am certain that we will have another successful year of delivering federal farm programs,” he said. The individuals reappointed to serve on this committee are: • Chairman Jerry Don Glover of Muleshoe has more than 46 years of experience in agriculture policy. Glover is a third generation farmer currently farming in Parmer County. • Debra Barrett of Edroy is a fourth generation cotton farmer, and has been farming cotton and grain sorghum since 1981. Barrett served as a member of the San Patricio County Farm Service Agency Committee six years prior to her appointment in January 2009. • Armando Mandujano of Coyanosa owns Mandujano Brothers, a partnership with
nology that fits their farming operation. “It dictates the type of management system they will have in place for the coming crop season,” he said. “Yield is a big incentive for a producer selecting a variety that’s well adapted for their area, but input cost for a growing a variety, conventional or GMO, is equally important.” Morgan said a tool is available for cotton farmers to compare costs and income for conventional and genetically modified cotton at http://agfacts.tamu.edu/~lfal cone/newweb/cropbudgets.ht m . The site’s budgets were developed by Larry Falconer, AgriLife Extension economist at Corpus Christi, to use in comparing yields and varieties. “I recommend producers use these budget tools to determine if conventional or GMO varieties are for them,” he said. The upfront costs of genetically modified cotton is what many producers fret about, especially when you throw in drought conditions like those in 2009, Morgan said. “You’re looking at $50 more an acre upfront cost if you go with Bt2 RoundupFlex variety for seed and technology fees,” he said. “However, the budget estimates indicate about a $2an-acre difference in seasonlong input cost between the conventional and Bt2 RoundupFlex system. Another thing that plays into this is the logistics. The Roundup Ready Flex cotton system has simplified weed management and has allowed more farmers to cover more acres while maintaining excellent weed control. So, they may not want to go back to conventional cotton systems.” Another consideration is product protection plans provided for genetically modified cotton varieties, Morgan said. Although difficult to quantify in a budget, most major seed companies provide a product protection plan for genetically modified cotton varieties. “These product protection plans can offset seed and technology fees if replanting is required or if a hail storm destroys your crop mid-sea-
son,” Morgan said. “Producers, however, should visit with individual seed companies for the specific details on these product protection plans.” There remains a strong interest in conventional cotton varieties from some producers, and several new conventional varieties are available from university breeding programs in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. “Several of conventional varieties are marketed through AllTex and one from University of Arkansas, but still Texas will probably stay at about 6 percent of the acreage in conventional varieties,” Morgan said. Producers can find yield and quality data on the Stacked-Trait and conventional cotton varieties at varietytesting.tamu.edu/cotton/ index.htm. For more on variety selection and other cotton production information, visit varietytesting.tamu.edu/cotton/ index.htm.
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The Land & Livestock Post ✪ February 1, 2011 12
There’s news in the names T
imes are hard. Folks are doing all they can to make a living and pay the light bill. Often, that includes owning several businesses in an attempt to corner a share of the commercial dollars available in any given location. Unusual names for business are not, well, unusual. Quippy, clever and cute names can be found everywhere, painted on signage or flashing in lights declarJULIE CARTER ing a multiCOWGIRL SASS AND SAVVY tude of types of commerce. The Girdle Garage, Get Plastered, Get Crabs Here and A Pane In The Glass are examples of crafty titles of business offering only a suggestion of the goods and services within. One of my favorites is “Sweetie Pie’s Ribeyes.” Now how could you pass that one up? The ones that always catch my eye, however, are the folks who are uniting a number of skills under one roof and naming them all in the business name. Every state has these but I always get a kick out of noting the frequency of them when I drive down any Texas highway. I’m told by a native Texan that one of the state’s mottos is “Bluer skies, brighter stars, colder beer, and wilder bars.” A Denton, Texas establishment quite possibly proves at least one of those points. “Mable Peabody’s Beauty Parlor & Chainsaw Repair Night Club” is a Denton landmark. It is the oldest nightclub in Denton, opened in 1976 by Margaret Hunnicutt. Morphing through a number of name changes, the now infamous name was selected as the result of several glasses of wine and great friends. The atmosphere in Mable’s is friendly and often likened to Sam Malone’s “Cheers” of television fame.
Unusual names for business are not, well, unusual. Quippy, clever and cute names can be found everywhere, painted on signage or flashing in lights declaring a multitude of types of commerce.
A food and beer store in Dublin is named “Chigger Ranch.” It’s a landmark and locals give you directions from there. “You go east from Chigger Ranch about two blocks and take a left ... .” Down the road a piece is a new “Western Store and Saloon.” Just before Christmas it hosted its fourth consecutive grand opening since the first three went so well. This combination of businesses came about when a man bought the old saloon building to open a Western apparel store, but had not yet had the time to take down the old saloon sign. Around town it is now referred to as the “Comanche Saloon and Hat Store.” In Stephenville, you will find the “Everlasting Life Church and Livestock Auction.” Services are on Wednesdays and Sundays, with a goat sale on Fridays and cattle sale on Saturdays. In Dublin there is a business called “House Leveling and Livestock Commission.” That fits right in with a few others in the general area of Central Texas: “Hanson’s Egg Farm and Horse Training,,” “Ellie’s Home-style Café and Welding Repair” and “Joe’s Liquor Sales, Auto Repair and Daycare.” Outside Stephenville, there is an old beer joint that has been closed for quite a while. However, the outside has been repainted and adorned with the silhouettes of shapely girls similar to those seen on the mud flaps of trucks, standing up but clearly nude. The name painted on this establishment is “Spring
Break” and on the front of the building is another sign that says, “Interviewing Dancers.” The place is nowhere near ready to open and there are never vehicles or other signs of civilization around it. The locals are questioning where exotic dancers could be found among the “cornfed” locals or the Lake Dwellers, the name given to a sect of folks who thrive, hillbilly-style, near the banks of the regional lakes. It is suspect if the business ever has any intention of opening and perhaps someone is just having fun interviewing dancers. • E-mail Julie Carter at email@example.com.
Wikse From 9 How common are PI calves? A study showed 19 percent of 52 beef herds experiencing reproductive losses and 3 percent of 76 beef herds selected at random contained calves persistently infected with BVD virus. Roughly, one out of five herds with reproductive problems and 1 out of 30 herds selected at random contain BVD PI calves. Severe disease losses happen when a PI calf enters a beef herd that is not immune to BVD virus. Financial losses due to BVD virus can be very high and risk of a herd becoming exposed to calves persistently infected with BVD virus is moderate. That makes it prudent to protect your herd against BVD virus. Studies have convincingly shown that vaccination alone will not always prevent losses due to BVD virus in cattle herds. I’ll discuss a BVD virus control program in next month’s Land and Livestock Post. • Dr. Steve Wikse is a retired professor of large-animal clinical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University.
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The Land & Livestock Post
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Agrilife Extension introduces new website for homeowner questions Special to The Post
COLLEGE STATION — What tax credits or rebates are there for buying alternative energy materials or systems for my home? Which type of programmable thermostat is best? How is using a tankless water heater less expensive than a regular water heater? The answers to these questions, plus an abundance of additional information on home energy use, is available on the new Home Energy resource addition to the eXtension website at eXtension.org, said an expert with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. “The new resource contains useful information from Texas AgriLife Extension Service experts, as well as experts from other land-grant universities throughout the U.S.,” said Janie Harris, AgriLife Extension housing and home environment specialist in College Station. Harris said the new resource contains information on best home energy-use
practices, money-saving tips, articles and answers to frequently asked questions. “There’s also an Ask the Expert feature where you can e-mail a specific question and receive an answer from one of the subject matter experts supporting the home-energy resource area,” she added. Harris said the information can be accessed by clicking on the eXtension site’s Resource Area tab and selecting Home Energy. She said the resource was developed as a “community of interest” among professional educators who joined together in a “multi-institutional, multi-state, multi-disciplinary effort” to bring objective, relevant and timely home energy-saving guidance to the public. Harris said family and consumer science experts from AgriLife Extension, an educational agency of the Texas A&M University System, were among those from the country’s land-grant universities providing input for the new resource.
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The Land & Livestock Post
AP photo/Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald, Tom Hacker
Farrmer Chris Jessen holds his new “panda cow” named Ben, hours after the rare miniature cow was born in Campion, Colo., on Dec. 31. The miniature panda cow is the result of genetic manipulation. A white belt encircles the animal's midsection, and the cow has a white face with black ovals around the eyes, giving it a panda-like appearance. The mini-cattle are bred solely as pets. Jessen says panda calves can sell for $30,000.
Ag survey planned By BLAIR FANNIN Texas AgriLife Communications
COLLEGE STATION — A survey collecting rates charged for custom agricultural operations will be distributed in January to select farmers, ranchers and landowners across the state, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service economist. “Each year, AgriLife Extension receives many requests for prevailing rates for certain kinds of work and custom farm-machine operations,” said Steven Klose, AgriLife Extension economist in College Station. “This survey helps us establish a baseline of rates statewide and further assist with questions inquiring about specific custom-hire activities.” The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and will be distributed by U.S. mail only, Klose said. The survey will collect data on the following categories: tractor rental, tillage operations, planting operations, application of fertilizer and lime, chemicals-cotton har-
vesting, peanut harvesting, hauling and drying, combining and hauling grains, haying and silage operations, land preparation, brush control, other farm and ranch operations, miscellaneous livestock operations and consulting services. “The final data will be compiled in a survey publication later this spring,” Klose said. “Only regional and state averages will be published.” The completed publication will be available online at agecoext.tamu.edu. Those who do not receive a survey and would like to participate can phone 877-826-7475 or contact Klose at 979-458-1807 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Agriculturee news Agricultur
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Ways to determine mare’s expected delivery date By DONALD STOTTS Oklahoma State University
rk An a l C
DA FREEMAN DAVE OSU Cooperat er ive Extension erat • Changes in milk mineral content can be viewed about one day prior to foaling as the concentration calcium increases. • External genitalia relaxes a half day to one day prior to foaling. Musculature under the tailhead relaxes, becoming soft and loose. “It’s important to remember that not all signs are seen in all mares and signs will difdif fer in intensity and occurrence from maiden pregnancy to those following previous births,” Freeman said.
February 1, 2011
TE PRIVA Y T A E TR
Photo courtesy of HorseTopia.com HorseTopia.com
Knowledgeable horse breeders can take advantage of several conformational and behavioral changes in the mare that suggest the foaling day is approaching. concentration of the milk immediately prior to foaling can be monitored with commercially available kits that work on the same principles as water hardness check strips available through commercial outlets such as plumbing supply and home • Fully assembled and ready to use. improvement stores,” Free• Made of heavy-duty materials to man said. Other changes in mares withstand the toughest conditions.
“Simply moving ahead eleven months from the last breeding should get you on the early side of expected foaling date. e.”
STILLWATER, Okla. — Expected birth date is an ageold question, for horse breeders tending four-legged mothers-to-be as much as any proud parent. Most mares are bred naturally by scheduled breeding with the stallion or through artificial insemination. Dave Freeman, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension equine specialist, said knowing the last breeding date and approximating the expected gestation length should get a horse manager in the ballpark of the expected foaling date. “The normal gestation length of broodmares averages 338 to 345 days,” he said. “Simply moving ahead eleven months from the last breeding should get you on the early side of expected foaling date.” One point of caution, however: gestation length will be variable between mares and even the same mare from year to year. Still, knowledgeable horse breeders can take advantage of several conformational and behavioral changes in the mare that suggest the foaling day is approaching. “Changes in the mineral
suggesting that foaling is approaching include: • A mare’s udder fills two weeks to four weeks prior to foaling, although maiden mares may not exhibit. Additionally, mares may have filling and regression periodically through the last trimester. • Horse breeders may notice a change in tailhead conformation one week to 1 month prior to foaling. The horse’s musculature relaxes, leading the abdominal area to drop down. • The mare’s teats fill with milk two days to one week prior to foaling, although responses will vary from specific animal to animal. • Milk may drip from a mare’s teats one day to one week prior to foaling, again with variable responses from one animal to another. • Secretions form wax-like beads on end of teats one day to fours days prior to foaling.
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February 1, 2011
n i n
r ve u c g
Not your Dad’s rag education anymore
By HOLLI L. ESTRIDGE Special to The Post
one are the days when school agriculture programs catered to the rural student who dreamed of doing a turn on the family farm.
Today’s agriculture education classes aim to train the next generation of researchers, veterinarians, environmental scientists, forensic specialists, ag mechanics, floral designers, horticulturists and more. “The needs have changed,”
said Adren Pilger, director of Career and Technical Education for Bryan schools. “When I was in high school, every kid raised an animal, participated in an internship and completed ag science projects. Now our program encompasses much more.” Jack Elliot, head of the department of agricultural leadership, education and communications at Texas A&M University, said education is evolving toward ag science, a reflection of industry demand. “Agriculture is misunderstood,” said Elliot. “There’s a growing need for new scientists at the highest levels. The industry embraces all the sciences,” Elliott said. Ag education programs — from the early grades through high school — face the challenge of continually adapting to these changes and demands.
In great demand
Photo courtesy of College Station schools
Blake Washburn cuts the neck for a 16-foot gooseneck stock trailer being custom built for a customer. customer The trailer which was shown at the 2010 San Antonio Livestock Show. Show Experts see a growing demand for people educated in all aspects of agriculture, leading to a renewed interest in school ag programs.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agricultural, food and renewable resources sectors of the U.S. economy will generate an estimated 54,400 openings for professionals
ON THE COVER Andrew Morris ris rebuilds builds a transmission of a Farmall B tractor for the tractor restoration contest at the San Antonio Livestock Show. Show Photo courtesy of College Station schools
with baccalaureate or higher degrees in related specialties annually through 2015. Most of those jobs will be in business and science occupations, with 15 percent in agriculture and forestry production and 11 percent in education, communication and government services, according to the report. Elliot said demand, especially for educators, is as high as it has ever been. “Most states have higher need than supply,” said Elliot. “There are plenty of opportunities, especially if a student is not geographically bound. That’s wonderful in today’s environment.’ According to the USDA report, more than enough graduates with ag-related specialties will be available during the next couple years in some occupations. But the agency predicts a shortfall of new graduates with expert-
• See LEARN/Page LEARN 17
The Land & Livestock Post
✪ February 1, 2011
Photo courtesy of College Station schools
From left, Chantelle Eargood, Austin Gardner, dner dner, Andrew Chambers, Austin Livingston, Calli McIntyre, Brianna Hubbard, Colton Hanson, Cole
Learn From 16 ise in what it calls priority business and science specialties.
Sustaire, Bobby Hennigan, Jordan Harris, Blake Washburn, Matthew Telg posing with prizes won at the Austin County Tractor Contest.
The agency anticipates double digit growth in virtually all ag-related specialties. Among the fastest-growing needs are biochemists and biophysicists, environmental engineers, veterinarians, and environmental scientists. )In many cases, “ag aware-
ness” with students begins as early as elementary school. Laura Huebinger, Extension program specialist for 4H and Youth Development, works in a supporting role
• See EDUCATE/Page TE TE/Page 18
Photo courtesy of Bryan schools
Caitlin Bullard of Bryan High School sorts bedding plants to determine which ones are ready to transplant into larger pots so they will be ready in time to market for spring planting.
The Land & Livestock Post ✪ February 1, 2011
Educate From 17 for various education programs offered by extension offices around the state. “The way we reach most of our kids are at that elementary grade level,” she said. “We are constantly looking for ways to expand that.” The Extension Service teaches a curriculum devised by the Farm Bureau tying agriculture-related lessons back to science and math. “Children often don’t realize that some of the other subjects they are learning in school play an important role in agriculture, as well,” Huebinger said. In Brazos County, the Extension Service hosts livestock shows and Pizza Ranch — an interactive program designed to teach elementary students about the origins of
food. Huebinger said the agency does not track the number of students who go on to participate in other ag programs or who choose an ag-related career because there are many groups offe of ring agricultural education, but she said participation remains high.
A broad field Once students enter high school, opportunities to specialize in a variety of fields abound, said John Templeton, an ag mechanics teacher at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station. Consolidated offers agrelated career-tech courses ranging from welding to floral design. The new challenge, said Templeton, is a recent decision by the Texas Education Photo courtesy of College Station schools
• See AG/Page AG 19
From left, Justin Jaynes, Tyler McFarland, Austin Howell and Michael Bilke build a 16-foot goose-
neck livestock trailer for a customer which was shown at the 2010 San Antonio Livestock show. show
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LUFKIN — A Feb. 4 forestry pest management clinic will offer basic information that professional foresters can put to practical use, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel. The clinic will be at the Angelina AgriLife Extension office on 2201 S. Medford Drive in Lufkin. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Registration for the program is $40 per person and can be paid at the door, but participants must RSVP no later than Feb. 1 by calling 936-6346414, extension 100, and leaving their name and contact information. A catered lunch, break refreshments and educational materials are included in the registration fee. The clinic will allow participants to earn five continuing education units toward renewal of their Texas Department of Agriculture pest applicator’s license, five Continuing Forestry Education credits toward the Society of American Foresters accreditation, and five Texas ProLogger hours.
GRAND SALINE, Texas (AP) — Many East Texas farmers are giving up on sweet potatoes, saying it’s become hard to find properties that are big enough and they must fend off of wild hogs and weevils that can devastate their crop. Texas used to be one of nation’s top growers of sweet potatoes. The Texas Department of Agriculture says it ranked No. 3 in 1970 with 13,500 acres. This year, it was No. 8 with only 1,300 acres. Tony Phillips of Grand Saline told the Houston Chronicle there were 70 or 80 growers when he joined his father’s and uncle’s sweet potato business in 1978. Now, he thinks there’s about 15. And, Phillips isn’t earning a living growing sweet potatoes. He farms during the day and works at night at the Morton Salt Mine.
February 1, 2011
face, Pilger said, is the misconception that students involved in ag education do not go to college. “We give as many scholarships as anybody,” he said. “And the kids that do go on to college from this program are usually more successful than children who are not involved in the program. A lot of that has to do with the fact that they have worked their way through college in co-ops and other activities.” Pilger and Templeton said programs continue to see steady enrollment numbers from year to year.
Sweet potato growers decline
Agency, to change many courses from a semester duration to a full year. “The advantage is that we have the same students all year long,” said Templeton. “But, it also keeps some students from being able to pursue a course they would like, while still trying to meet the core requirements for graduation.” In Bryan schools, ag education is three pronged: The program includes a classroom proponent, hands-on activities and supervised agricultural experiences in which students participate in iternships in the community. Students also may particiPhoto courtesy of College Station schools pate in Future Farmers of Cole Sustaire disassemblles an engine from an Allis Chalmers B America, competing in contractor for the tractor restoration contest at the 2010 San Antonio tests and stock shows. One challenge ag programs Livestock Show. Show
Students also may ma participate in Future Farmers of America, competing in contests and stock shows.
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News Searching for wisdom on the cattle business
n interviewer asked me how one can make a living in the cow business. Actually he said, “As we’re heading into the next couple years with declining cattle numbers and steady prices, how do you think you should position yourself to take advantage of the market?” I assume he’d mistaken me as an authority in the cattle BAXTER BLACK business. Maybe he thought I was a Wall Street speculator who heard rumors of another run on ethanol. Or maybe he mistook me for a dairyman, who works harder than an Egyptian hod carrier and lives between dairy buyouts and the price of cheese in Laos. Or I might have looked to him like a jaded packinghouse buyer who spends his day drawing blood from renegade cattle feeders and learning to speak Portuguese! Or an economist who practices economic monetary catability which allows him to spring back from the embarrassment and disrepute of making wrong market predictions over and over, like a ragged Phoenix with his tail feathers scorched. Or maybe a cattle feeding addict who can’t quit risking everything he has, on the belief that he can outsmart the rancher on his left and the packer on his right. He’s like the fellow who keeps rewinding the video movie The Alamo and replaying it thinking, “Surely, Davy Crockett’s bound to win sooner or later!” Or he might have thought I was a stocker-grower who haunts the sale barns gambling on each bid that the calf in the ring just looks rough because there was mud in the alley, and the rat-tail and potbelly are genetic defects.
You’ve got to admire someone who brags he only has a 10 percent death loss! Or the lonely cow-calf operator who is the only part of the industry wherein “lifestyle” is counted on the financial statement under asset, and his banker’s cell phone number is listed under “One More Year!” You would think that I might have come up with some constructive answer to the interviewer, being as how I have been a keen observer and participant in this great thing we call, “The Cattle Bidness.” Last month I bought two solid-mouth, bred cows both marked third trimester pregnant. The first one weighted 1,390 pounds. My reasoning was even if I only kept her for one calf, I could sell ’em both back in the fall and make money! Oughta work! The second cow weighed 930; I paid $785. Got’er home. She’s got popcorn teeth, is 4 months along and has a bad temperament! Turns out I bought the one that came in after the one I thought I bid on! Gonna be hard to make her pay. So, when he asked “… How should we position ourselves … .” I aligned myself with the PGA, the NBA and the NRA: “Shoot for the center!” I said. • Baxter Black is a former large animal veterinarian who appears regularly on National Public Radio. His website is www.baxterblack.com.
LIVESTOCK MARKET REPORTS Buffalo Results of Buffalo Livestock Commission’s Jan. 8 sale: Head: 2,515 Steers: 150-200 lbs., $125$190; 200-300 lbs., $125-$185; 300-400 lbs., $145-$170; 400500 lbs., $122-$150; 500-600 lbs., $110-$135; 600-700 lbs., $110-$123; 700-800 lbs., $110$117. Heifers: 150-200 lbs., $120$185; 200-300 lbs., $115-$165; 300-400 lbs., $112-$135; 400500 lbs., $109-$127; 500-600 lbs., $106-$120; 600-700 lbs., $102-$114; 700-800 lbs., $97$109. Slaughter cows: $46-$71.50. Slaughter bulls: $65-$79.50. Bred cows: $580-$1,110. Cow/calf pairs: $710-$1,250.
Caldwell Results of Caldwell Livestock Commission’s Jan. 12 sale: Steers: 200-300 lbs., $165$182; 300-400 lbs., $133-$155; 400-500 lbs., $122-$137; 500600 lbs., $121-$129; 600-700 lbs., $100-$116. Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $125$137; 300-400 lbs., $121-$127; 400-500 lbs., $112-$125; 500600 lbs., $107-$116. Slaughter cows: $30-$70. Slaughter bulls: $62-$77. Stocker cows: $500-$710. Cow/calf pairs: $600-$900.
Groesbeck Results of Groesbeck Auction & Livestock Co.’s Jan. 13 sale: Head: 641 Steers: 300-400 lbs., $165$182; 400-500 lbs., $133-$155; 500-600 lbs., $122-$137; 600700 lbs., $115-$125; 700-800 lbs., $97-$116. Heifers: 300-400 lbs., $125-
$137; 400-500 lbs., $121-$127; 500-600 lbs., $112-$125; 600700 lbs., $107-$116. Slaughter cows: $44-$74.50. Slaughter bulls: $69-$79. Bred stocker cows: $700$1,150. Cow/calf pairs: $800-$1,250.
Milano Results of Milano Livestock Exchange’s Jan. 11 sale: Head: 400 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $160$173; 300-400 lbs., $132-$170; 400-500 lbs., $116-$139; 500600 lbs., $108-$134; 600-700 lbs., $106-$116; 700-800 lbs., $104-$113. Heifers: 300-400 lbs., $113$136; 400-500 lbs., $109-$132; 500-600 lbs., $105-$121; 600700 lbs., $102-$113; 700-800 lbs., $101-$103. Slaughter cows: $45.50$71.50. Slaughter bulls: $68-$83. Stocker cows: $760-$800.
Navasota Results of Navasota Livestock Auction Co.’s Jan. 8 sale: Head: 1,841 Steers: 150-300 lbs., $110$195; 300-400 lbs., $110-$180; 400-500 lbs., $105-$157.50; 500-600 lbs., $95-$137.50; 600-700 lbs., $92-$119. Heifers: 150-300 lbs., $100$180; 300-400 lbs., $100-$140; 400-500 lbs., $95-$137.50; 500-600 lbs., $90-$127; 600700 lbs., $88-$115. Slaughter cows: $38-$70. Slaughter bulls: $60-$80. Stocker cows: $550-$1,075. — Special to The Eagle
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â€˘ See CROPS/Page 25
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Auckerman, AgriLife Extension agent for Deaf Smith County, west of Amarillo. â€œWinter wheat continues to deteriorate with the lack of moisture and extreme drying conditions in our area.â€? â€œSoil moisture is very short with no measurable rainfall since late October,â€? said Jay Kingston, AgriLife Extension agent for Kent County, east of Lubbock. â€œWheat is in poor to very poor condition along with native pastures.â€? â€œPecos County has gone 120 days without any measurable precipitation,â€? said Norman Fryar, AgriLife Extension agent for Pecos County, southwest of Odessa. â€œContinued winds and diverse temperature ranges are impacting the overall agricultural industry of the county.â€? â€œConditions remain dry in Foard County. Producers are debating on whether to topdress wheat,â€? said Seth Manney, AgriLife Extension agent for Foard County, west of Wichita Falls. â€œMany would like to contract wheat, but are reluctant with this weather pattern.â€? â€œIt has been very cold this week, we still have not received any rain,â€? reported Greg Gruben, AgriLife Extension agent for Scurry County, west of Abilene.
â€œRangeland and wheat were really struggling due to the lack of rainfall. We certainly do not have any underground moisture to start next seasonâ€™s crop.â€? â€œWe had from 0.5-1.5 inches of snow Sunday and Monday with some scattered rainfall late Monday,â€? said Rick Hirsch, AgriLife Extension agent for Henderson County, west of Tyler. â€œHay supplies are rapidly depleting with increasing cold weather. Soil-moisture conditions were helped by snow and rain but it was not enough to sustain production.â€? â€œWe went from a 100-percent topsoil moisture shortage to a 100-percent adequate topsoil moisture,â€? said Larry Perez, AgriLife Extension agent for Jim Hogg County, east of Laredo. â€œA 1- to 2- inch rainfall event will do that in this area. Very cool temps with significant moisture and lots of clouds means no evaporation and moisture retention; lots of smiling faces in the county.â€? AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries: Central â€” Most of the region received rain in the past week. Livestock producers were providing cattle with hay and feed. Wheat producers were applying fertilizer on those wheat fields that developed good stands. Corn producers were also applying fertilizer to fields they plan to plant in the spring. The cold,
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Fewer veterinarians enter large-animal practice Harsh conditions, lower income cited in decline By ROBERT RODRIGUEZ The Fresno Bee
FRESNO, Calif. — Stuart Hall doesn’t mind the tripledigit temperatures, the flies or the occasional temperamental cow. “This is a physical job,” said Hall, a Visalia, Calif.based farm veterinarian. “But this is what I love to do.” Agricultural leaders wish there were more like him. The vast majo ma rity of veterinarians choose to take care of dogs and cats, not cows, pigs and chickens. The trend has raised concerns among animal-health experts who worry that there won’t be enough farm veterinarians to fill the expected vacancies at key federal agencies responsible for protecting the nation’s food supply. Nearly 30 percent of the veterinarians at the federal level, including at the Food Safety and Inspection Agency, are eligible to retire in the next three years. Rural communities also are feeling the squeeze. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that more than 1,300 counties in the U.S. don’t have a farm veterinarian. “The demand and need for services is critical,” said Gina Luke, assistant director in the
government relations division of the American Veterinary Medical Association in Washington, D.C. “We are talking about making sure we have enough people to treat animals, and make sure that our food supply is safe.” For years, interest in becoming a large-animal veterinarian has gradually been waning. Veterinary schools are seeing fewer students with farm backgrounds. At the same time, the pet industry has exploded. An estimated $3.4 billion was spent on pet services last year, including trips to the vet. The lure of having a staff and working in an air-conditioned office has become a strong attraction for students, as does the prospect of an income that will help pay for their education — a cost that can be more than $100,000. The average salary for small-animal vets is $64,744, compared to $57,745 for largeanimal vets, according to a 2008 survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association. “As vets, the small-animal practice looks pretty attractive from a quality-of-life
• See VETS/Page VETS 25
Photo courtesy American Veterinar terinary Medical Association
Dr Heather Case examines the teeth of a horse in Barrington Hills, Ill. The number of veterinary stuDr. dents entering large-animal practice has been declining.
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The Land & Livestock Post ✪ February 1, 2011 24
Farm Bureau: Help with loss of workers
Marketplace Get Your Name
By RAY HENRY Associated Press
ATLANTA — States that crack down on illegal immigrants should also help farmers who need seasonal labor, the nation’s largest farm lobbying group said early last month. And if Congress doesn’t overhaul immigration, farmers will assist the federal government in helping states create programs that give growers access to enough legal labor, under a policy approved at the annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation. The policy retains the Farm Bureau’s long-held view that immigration policy should be set by the federal government. “So far, all of these state programs have been on enforcement only,” said David Winkles, president of the South Carolina Farm Bureau, whose members proposed the policy. “They don’t address the fact that we don’t have an adequate labor supply in agriculture.” In recent years, some state governments have passed laws attempting to crack down on illegal immigrants. A new wave of legislation is expected this year as politicians consider measures similar to a law passed in Arizona. Among other steps, the Arizona statute requires that police question the immigration status of people they have reason to suspect are in the country illegally. President Barack Obama’s administration has challenged that law in court, and a judge temporarily blocked the enforcement of several of its provisions. Farmers rely on seasonal laborers, including many illegal immigrants, to harvest labor-intensive crops such as strawberries, onions, peaches and tobacco. The agriculture lobbying group says Americans refuse to take the difficult, low-paying jobs. The federal government has a guest-worker program for agriculture workers, but farmers say it’s expensive to use and inflexible. The debate over immigra-
tion policy reflected the delegates’ regional concerns. They also voiced support for a secure border. Texas representatives modified the immigration proposal so it supported the right of state governments to help enforce immigration law and border security. Raymond Meyer, a state director who represents ranchers and farmers south of San Antonio, said drug runners in his border region will drive heavy duty trucks through rural land when they are forced off highways. That puts ranchers and farmworkers at risk, he said. Meyer said he prefers that Congress set immigration and border policy, but added that his farmers have immediate security needs. “We have, naturally, Border Patrol, but it’s more than they can handle,” he said. Paul Schlegel, a Farm Bureau lobbyist who monitors immigration issues, said he was not sure the latest proposal would translate into new legislation. His organization has argued for an overhaul of immigration law. “It helps to keep up the political pressure on federal legislators to do what everybody wants them to do, which is to get a solution to this problem,” he said. In other moves, the Farm Bureau delegates: • Said keeping direct payments, crop insurance and the Average Crop Revene Election program will be priorities in the next Farm Bill, which sets federal funding for agriculture. • Backed a temporary supply management program for the dairy industry. • Urged Congress to conduct oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency, which they accused of burdening farmers and ranchers. The Farm Bureau opposes the agency’s moves to regulate greenhouse gases.
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Vets From 22
farm animal vets, federal legislators have introduced several bills, including the Veterinary Services Investment Act, which is aimed at recruiting veterinarians, helping vets expand their practice and providing nontuition financial assistance for students. The bill has passed the House of Representatives and is awaiting approval in the Senate. If approved, it would complement an existing federal loan-repayment program that provides students up to $75,000 in exchange for agree-
ing to work in an underserved area for three years. Lehenbauer, who was on the program’s selection panel, said helping students defray some of the cost of their education is an important factor in attracting more veterinarians. This year, more than 500 students applied for the repayment program, and between 60 and 80 students will receive funding, Lehenbauer said. “Money can be a real magnet,” Lehenbauer said. “And we are already seeing lots of interest in this.”
was reported to be widespread. Wet soils prevented growers from planting spring wheat. This late, most spring wheat that was originally planned will probably not be planted as growers opt for other warm-season crops in its place. Farmers had not applied fertilizer.
From 21 wet weather was hard on cows. Coastal Bend — Soil-moisture levels were greatly helped by rain. Winter pastures responded well to the rain. Wind damage and hail from a Jan. 9 storm
sue 24 Is
• See REPORTS/Page 29
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School officials know they face a challenge, but their work appears to be paying off. Over the past four years, the number of UC-Davis students interested in large-animal medicine has more than doubled to 11 students out of 127. Nearly half are studying to be small-animal veterinarians. The rest have selected different specialties, such as equine or zoological. UC-Davis student Jessica Woultee said students face a tough decision when choosing a career path. She is among a group of senior students training at Tulare’s center. The students get hands-on experience treating dairy cows and doing research in the center’s lab. “Being able to find a job is a concern of a lot of us, so we have to look at all our options,” Woultee said. Woultee likes the outdoors and enjoys taking care of large animals. But she also knows the realities of paying off thousands of dollars in student loan debt. She has considered working for the federal or state government, but also is exploring the possibility of opening a private practice handling both large and small animals. “In today’s economy, you almost have to do a little bit of everything,” Woultee said. To help boost the number of
point of view,” said Hall, who works for Lone Oak Veterinary Clinic in Visalia. From 1998 to 2009, the number of companion-animal vets has climbed to 47,118 from 30,255, while the number of farm-animal vets has dropped to 5,040 from 5,553, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Complicating the issue is the graying population of farm-animal vets. Half are older than 50. Only 4.4 percent are younger than 30. “There are folks who are looking to retire or sell their practice and they are finding it challenging to hire someone to take their place,” said David Kirkpatrick, spokesman for the American Vet-erinary Medical Association. Young veterinarians are more likely to take a job in a city and not in the rural areas where they often drive long distances to see their clients. Many of those rural areas are underserved, say veterinary industry officials. About 500 counties in the nation with large-animal populations have no veterinarian. In California, at least six rural counties, mostly in the northern half of the state, have just one large-animal veterinarian. Jennifer Mather practices in rural Placer County, in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She took over an area that was served by three veteri-
narians who recently retired. “I would love to share this area with other vets,” said Mather, who has been practicing for a year. “There is a real need up here. I get calls from people who are at least an hour away and more, asking me if I can come see their cattle.” Mather even got a call from a beef cattle owner who was three hours south of her. She couldn’t make the drive but she gave the rancher some advice over the phone. “Sometimes that is all I can do,” she said. Industry officials, congressional leaders and veterinary schools are responding to the need for more animal doctors with legislative remedies and outreach programs. At the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, vet school applicants interested in becoming farm-animal vets have an admissions edge. And the school has reached out to high schools in rural areas with educational programs aimed at boosting the numbers of students. “We have some undergrads who have not been to a farm or even seen a large farm animal,” said Terry Lehenbauer, an associate director at UCDavis’ Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare, Calif. “So we are having to do a better job of selling our program.”
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Grain storage sanitation can prevent problems By BLAIR FANNIN Texas AgriLife Communications
COLLEGE STATION â€” Proper grain storage sanitation can help prevent costly problems from developing for most producers, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert. Roy Parker, AgriLife Extension entomologist, provided several recommendations for farmers to practice when he spoke at the Texas Plant Protection Association Conference held in Bryan recently. â€œYou always want to build on developing a reputation as a quality grain producer,â€? he said. â€œInsects can destroy kernels, and grain quality can be jeopardized. Other problems such as dust, odor, RO ROYY PPARKER ARKER moisture and mold are challenges producers must be aware of and overcome if those problems persist.â€? Parker outlined several management practices for stored grain, which included some common practices that arenâ€™t always carried through, such as making sure combines and harvest equipment are clean and properly set. â€œThis reduces trash, fines and broken kernels,â€? he said. â€œHarvest at a safe, low-moisture level but not so much that the grain cracks.â€? Parker said sanitation of grain bins begins as soon as the last truck pulls out with the last load. â€œThat means you start cleaning bins, augers and other equipment and facilities,â€? he said. â€œYou also want to make sure you have tightfitting bins for effective fumigation. Also, treat empty bins with insecticide about two weeks before loading. â€œ Products such as Tempo, Storcide II and silicon dioxide are effective in controlling and preventing insects as well as malathion in the empty bins, he said. Parker advises that a grain protectant such as Actellic or Actellic plus Diacon II, Storcide II or Storcide II plus Diacon II be
Proper grain storage sanitation is critical to prevent costly problems from developing, according to experts with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Common practices overlooked include making
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sure combines are clean and properly set, said Roy Parker, Parker AgriLife Extension entomologist. Other problems include insects, dust, odor, odor moisture and mold. applied to the grain as it is â€œAlso, itâ€™s advised to being loaded into bins, and be inspect the grain for insects sure to check the labels for and monitor temperature,â€? he the grains specific insecti- said. cides can be used on. As part of insect control, Parker also advised remov- phosphene gas, which comes ing grain peak and â€œcoreâ€? round bins and applying a â€˘ See GRAIN/Page GRAIN 29 top-dress insecticide.
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Mysterious bird deaths are not uncommon By PAUL SCHATTENBERG Texas AgriLife Communications
In recent years, Texas has had its share of unusual, even “bizarre” weather, Gallagher noted, and birds are especially vulnerable to the vagaries of sudden cold, unpredictable winds, hail and lightening. “If you’ve ever been on a heavy commercial aircraft
• See BIRDS/Page 28
February 1, 2011
that the wind suddenly moved up or down 1,500 feet or more in a matter of seconds, think what that kind of force could do to a bird weighing only ounces,” he said. “In an updraft, masses of birds can also accumulate ice on their wings and bodies at higher altitudes. And in a sudden downdraft, especially one associated with something like a micro-burst, a mass of them can be tossed to the ground.” Gallagher said birds thrust thousands of feet upwards by a sudden updraft also are subjected to physical stress similar to that of a diver trying to resurface too quickly. “Basically, dissolved gases in their blood suddenly start boiling out and they get the avian equivalent of the bends,” he said. “A bird flying
COLLEGE STATION — Whether it’s a single death or a mass die-off, experts from Texas A&M AgriLife and other agencies say almost all bird mortality in Texas and elsewhere is due to natural – or at least explicable – causes. Each year in the U.S., hundreds of millions of birds die from a variety of causes, according to Thomas Lacher, head of the wildlife and fisheries sciences department at Texas A&M University in College Station. “The larger bird die-offs we see in Texas this time of year are not all that unusual given the kind of weather related to the season, storm fronts and mass roosts of birds, especially blackbirds,” Lacher said. “Mass bird die-offs in the hundreds happen all the time, but we seldom see evidence of
them.” However, Texas AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist Jim Gallagher, who works at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde, is someone who has witnessed a sudden, unexpected mass bird die-off. “Many years ago, while I was living in upstate New York, I saw dozens of geese crash to the ground when they were suddenly caught in a freezing rain,” he said. “The weight of accumulated ice on them made it impossible to sustain flight.”
The Land & Livestock Post
AP photo/Bjorn Larsson Rosvall
Mysterious bird deaths occur around the world. Here, Rescue chief Christer Olofsson holds a dead bird in Falkoping, Sweden, last month. Officials say about 50 birds were found dead on a street in Falkoping. Veterinarian Robert ter Horst says the cause of the jackdaws' deaths was unclear but that fireworks were set off near the scene.
Feb. 2-5: 2011 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, Denver, CO. Feb. 5: Double Creek Farms 3rd Annual Angus Bull Sale. Bryan, TX. 254-435-2988 Feb. 10: Land & Livestock Post advertising Deadline Feb. 12: Bradley 3 Ranch Angus Bull Sale, Memphis, Texas. Feb. 19 : Navasota Livestock Auction, 7th Annual Female & Bull Replacement Sale. Navasota, TX. 936-825-6545 Feb. 19: Coufal Prater Country Store, 2011 EXPO. Navasota, TX. 936-825-6575 Feb. 23: Thomas Charolais 5th Annual Spring Bull Sale, Raymondville, TX. 956689-5162 Feb. 24: Land & livestock Post advertising Deadline Feb. 25 & 26: Black & White Sale. RRR Ranch, Salacoa Valley Farms, Fluharty Farms. Camp Cooley Ranch Sale Facility, Franklin, TX. (979) 828-5532 Feb. 26: 44 Farms Prime Cut Spring Bull Sale. Cameron, TX. 254-697-4401 Feb. 26: Farm Ranch and Construction Equipment Sale. Edna TX. 979-865-5468. Feb 26: South Texas Cattle Marketing’s Spring Gathering, Cattleman’s Opportunity Sale. Nixon, TX. 830-334-8227
Feb. 27: Horse Auction. Over 100 Consignments. Edna,TX. 979-865-5468 Feb 28: Edna, TX All Breed Bull & Female Sale. Edna, TX. 979-865-5468
Mar. 2: Buffalo Livestock Marketing’s PreConditioned Weaned Calf and Yearling Sale. Buffalo, TX. 903-322-4940 Mar. 2: Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo All Breed Range Bull Sale. Houston, TX. 979885-3526 Mar. 5: Foundation Angus Alliance, Annual Production Sale. Luling, TX. 830-875-2438 Mar. 5: Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo All Breed Commercial Female Sale. Houston, TX. 979-885-3526
Apr. 1- 3: 2011 TSCRA School for Successful Ranching & Trade Show. San Antonio, TX. 800-242-7820 Apr 30: 2011-Kallion Farms “Advanced Genetics” Brahman Spring Production Sale, College Station, TX 956-245-9780
Do you have a sale or event you’d like listed? Call Jesse Wright at (979) 731-4721 or email email@example.com
The Land & Livestock Post âœŞ February 1, 2011
Birds From 27 along at 1,000 feet and suddenly being thrust upwards to 20,000 feet will be subject to the same physical effects as a diver coming up to the surface too quickly â€” if the rise is rapid enough.â€?
Disease and parasites
Disease and parasites may also be factors in some mass bird deaths, according to experts at the Texas Veterinary Medical and Diagnostic Laboratory. Necropsies done by the lab on birds from a 60-plus bird die-off Jan. 8, 2007, in Austin revealed they were â€œheavily parasitized.â€? But the unusually cold weather the night before was given as a â€œprincipal factorâ€? in this die-off, which led to the temporary closure of several downtown streets by state health officials until the incident was dismissed as a public health threat. â€œThere has been evidence that a few wild-bird deaths in Texas over the past several years have been associated with West Nile virus,â€? said Randy Moore, resident director of the diagnostic labâ€™s poultry laboratory in Center. â€œWe historically have seen instances of West Nile, which is predominantly carried by mosquitoes, affecting birds here in Texas, but the number of birds is very small. And currently there is no evidence that avian influenza (bird flu) or other avian viruses have been associated with mass die-offs in wild bird species in the United States.â€? Moore said mortality from parasites or disease is more often associated with individual or small groups of birds and is usually a â€œcontributing factorâ€? in these situations as opposed to a singular cause of death.
Another reason for some mass bird die-offs in certain areas of Texas from time to time could be bird control to benefit agriculture, said Mike Bodenchuk, state director for Texas Wildlife Services, an agency of the Texas Department of Agricultureâ€™s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Boden-
chuk said his agency is often called on by the stateâ€™s farmers and ranchers to provide control of birds which are detrimental to their agricultural operations. â€œFor example, we provide control to rice farmers in East Texas and to feedlot owners in the Panhandle,â€? he said. â€œWe use a bait that the birds ingest and fully metabolize prior to death, which typically occurs one to three days after they consume it. The toxin is not transferred to other birds, animals or humans that may come in contact with the dead birds.â€? Bodenchuk said birds killed by the bait typically can be found in clusters beneath their roosting areas â€” the trees or phone and power lines they return to after ingesting the toxin. â€œBird control in East Texas rice fields is usually targeted at blackbirds, while control in Panhandle feedlots is mainly targeted at starlings, which are an invasive species,â€? he said. Bodenchuk said these efforts reduce grain loss, lower operational costs and help increase agricultural production. â€œIn the case of starling control, it also helps native â€˜cavity-nestingâ€™ bird species by reducing competition for living space.â€? He added that these activities are â€œwell-publicizedâ€? in advance and are coordinated with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Department of Agriculture, so it should be relatively easy to discover if a bird die-off in a particular area was due to a control effort.
Another â€˜ingestion-relatedâ€™ occurrence was the likely reason for a mass die-off of cedar waxwings near Lake Ray Hubbard in Dallas this past
Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo
Some estimates for U.S. bird mortality approach 1 billion deaths annually. Experts note that multiple instances of hundreds of birds dying 'en masse' every year is normal -- and that pretty much all bird mortality is from natural or logical causes, not X-Files-type reasons. spring, according to experts with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. They said these fruit-fancying birds were migrating north as they stopped to partake of abundant, probably partially fermented, sweet berries on bushes near the Highway 66 bridge. The birds overindulged and many became intoxicated. Hundreds â€“ disorientated or bloated from gorging on the berries â€” had difficulty flying and were hit by cars traversing the bridge. A similar die-off took place in early January of this year near a bridge in the Lake Oâ€™ the Pines area of East Texas. Parks and wildlife experts and game wardens familiar with past occurrences said
â€˘ See DEATHS/Page 29
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P.O. Box 920, Gainesville, TX 76240
1-800-523-7477 or 940-665-6872
Grain From 26
From 25 East — The region had very cold days and nights, but received moisture in the form of snow, sleet and rain. Where rainfall was significant — as much as 3.5 inches — soil conditions were improved. However, many areas were still well below normal accumulations for the year. With average yearly precipitation more than 20 inches below long-term averages, San Augustine County reported that 2010 was the driest in 41 years. In nearly all the region, much more precipitation was needed to replenish stock ponds and improve winter pasture growth. Livestock were in fair to good condition with producers providing supplemental feeding. Many producers were searching for hay to buy. Far West — The region has had no measurable amount of precipitation in more than 120 days. The lack of moisture in conjunction with high winds has put the region at very high risk for wildfires. Pecan growers were pruning dormant trees. Fall-planted onions and alfalfa were dormant as well. Farmers were preparing fields for spring planting of cotton, chiles and corn. North — Soil moisture ranged from short to adequate. From 2 to 9 inches of snow fell with temperatures dropping into the teens and
From 28 the death of several hundred American coots, or mud-hens – a mass-roosting, low-flying species – was most likely due to them being frightened by a noise or predator. The panicked birds flew into the path of numerous cars traveling on or near the 155 bridge. Another possible factor in the recent mass bird die-off in Arkansas was given as loud noise or fireworks, noted Bodenchuk. “We’ve done roost relocation actions throughout Texas using literally tens of thousands of rounds of pyrotechnics, and I can’t ever recall any birds dying from ‘trauma’ as a direct or indirect result of that control method. However, I suppose it is possible that a flock of daytime-flying birds might suddenly be startled at night by a loud noise, panic and then fly into a nearby building or other structure.” While recent mass bird dieoffs in Texas and elsewhere have grabbed the headlines and spurred the imagination of conspiracy theorists – other “explanations” range from secret military or government testing to bio-terrorism and biblical portents — the real causes of the bird mortality are far more banal, according to experts.
So what are the main causes of bird death? The Sibley Guides website, a compendium of information on North American birds and trees, contains a “Causes of Bird Mortality” chart giving estimated annual bird mortality from various causes in terms of millions of birds. It turns out that blunt-force trauma
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responsible for the overall reduction in U.S. bird populations. However, the figures are nebulous. “The die-offs we’ve been hearing about in Texas are a normal occurrence,” said Lacher. “But when put together with reports of other dieoffs in other states or countries that are posted in blogs and on the Internet and shown on national television, they appear to be greater and stranger than they really are.” For more ag news you can use:
February 1, 2011
low 20s. The cold temperatures meant the snow did not melt for a few days. Though the snowy, cold weather brought needed moisture, it forced livestock feeders to use a lot of hay supplies. Winter pasture growth slowed with the low temperatures, but the snow was expected to have insulated young wheat from freezing. With the inclement weather, there is not much field activity other than feeding livestock. The pecan harvest was complete, and winter wheat was in fair to good condition. Rangeland and pasture conditions ranged from poor to good. Panhandle — The region remained very dry. Soil moisture was short to very short, which adversely affected all winter wheat but particularly that grown without irrigation. Field activities across most of the area were at a standstill due to weather. In a few counties, producers were preparing fields for spring plantings. A large increase in acreage destined for cotton planting was anticipated.
caused by impact with transparent, silicate-based materials is the top cause of bird mortality in North America. That’s right; birds crashing into windows is by far the continent’s single-greatest cause of bird mortality, killing an estimated 900 million a year. The second-leading cause is feral cats, which kill about 500 million birds annually, followed by high-tension wires, which take a yearly toll of around 190 million. Some lesser causes of bird mortality noted on the chart include cars, pesticides, communications towers and hunting, with hunting responsible for the fewest deaths. Data from other sources indicate U.S. bird mortality figures represent roughly half of those on the Sibley chart. Additionally, the National Audubon Society and U.S. Parks and Wildlife Department state that “loss of habitat” is truly the singlelargest threat to birds, and that this factor is most
in pellet or tablet form, can be applied by experienced grain managers or by a professional fumigator. “It’s a control option, and the cost is about 2 cents a bushel for the application if done by a professional,” Parker said. Finally, during times of anticipated bumper yields, an option for grain producers would be to store grain in large plastic bags (grain bags). Parker said these bags can serve as temporary storage until it can be sold. These storage bags were particularly useful during harvests in 2007 and 2008 when a combined 72.71 million bushels of grain were produced in the Coastal and
Upper Gulf Coast regions of Texas. Bumper grain crops can back up delivery trucks at area elevators and the grain storage bags are a short-term alternative. The air-tight polyethylene bags won’t present the insect problems like that of grain bins “because of respiration and carbon dioxide levels,” Parker said. “In fact, we’ve seen more rice weevils in bins where the grain was not treated with insecticide than in bags,” he said. “One critical thing to note is that bags should be placed on a humped (high ground) area and not close to any place where water can collect. Choose a well-drained area.” For more information and economic analysis and use methods of grain bags, visit the Web at http://farmassistance.tamu.edu/publications/focus/2009-5pages.pdf.
The Land & Livestock Post
Land & Livestock Post
QUALITY REPLACEMENT CATTLE FOR SALE • 81GoodBrangus Br Brangus 3yrolds.64withfullyworked rk rked Anguscalves lv attheside lves • 65TrueF-1Brangus Br Brangus 3yroldpairswithcalves lvlves by W4Herefo rerefordBulls. • 100F-1GoodBraf Brafafor Braf or ordd Tigerstripepairs. 90day calving! Exce Ex llentquality qualit 3-5yrolds. quality • 69F-1Braf Br Brafafafor ord Tigerstripe3yroldcows ord cow calving cows ne Springwiththeir2ndbabiesbyAngusBulls next • 20Reg5-8yroldBrahmanc 20Reg5-8yroldBrahmancowscalvingJan-Mar 20Reg5-8yroldB 20Reg5-8yroldBr Dahmanc toRegHerefordbulls. oRegHSOL oRegHerefordbulls • 60Crossbr Crossbr ossbred ed 3-5yroldcows, cows, 40pair, pair, Cr ossbr cow pair balance balanc heavybred bred. br • 40RegV8Brahman Br Brahman youngcows. cow Pairs&breds cows. br breds. • 75FallcalvingCrossbr Cr Crossbr ossbr ossbred ed cows, cow 3-5yearsold,Half calved lvlved out. • Threegroups gr groups of9Register Regist Register er ered ed Br Brahman heif heifers each • 45TrueF-1BrafordTigerstripeheifersALLcalving ueF-1BrafordT ueF-1BrafordTigerstripeheif Tigerstripeheif D inApriltoAngusBulls. priltoAngusBulls priltSOL • 17TrueF-1Braf Br Brafafafor ord heif ord heifers exposedsince sinc since No mber1toRegister Nove Register Register ered ed AngusBulls. • 80Exce Ex Excellentgrey gr grey Br Brahman cow cows with45F-1 babies, balance br bred,7-9yrsold. babies balanc • 68Grey Gr Grey Br Brahman cows cow calvingMar-Ju MarMar-Juneto Register Register ered ed Br Brahman Bulls. • 29Register Register Register ered ed Gr Grey Br Brahman cows. cow 24are ar are 3-4 yrsolds, olds, fiv five ar are 6yroldsExposedtoaRegister Register ered ed olds Regist er Br Brahman bullsince sinc since July15th. • 101Exce Ex ExcellentSantaGertrudisheifers heif readyfor heifers bullsweighing800lbs. Worked rk withcutting rked horses verygentle, horses, tle tle, calfhoodvaccinated
• 202&3yearoldB 202&3yearoldBranguspairsexposedbackto earoldB Herefordbulls erefordbulls erS efordbulls OLD • 44Brangus Br Brangus baldy3yroldcows cow cows calvingthis SpringtoBrangus Br Brangus Bulls. • 30FallcalvingBrangus Br Brangus 3yearoldshavingtheir 2ndcalves refordbulls lvlves byHerefo re • 23Ultra-black Ultra-black 3yroldcows cows calvinginMay. Ultr cow • 40GoodCrossbr Cr Crossbr ossbr ossbred ed 3yroldscalvingthisSpringto AngusBulls. • 31Good3yroldCrossbr Crossbr Crossbr ossbred ed pairswithAngus babies, afewheavybred bred. babies br • 40coming3yroldTrueF-1opencows. cow cows. (20 Br Brafafor afor ords ds 20Brang), Br Brang), reproduc pr produc oductively oductiv tively sound, ExposedtoRegCharolais ar arolais bullssince sinc since Dec15 ossbredpairswithbigC edpairswithbigC • 58GoodCrossbredpairswithbigCharolaiscalves. LD Mostly6&7yearoldsweighingover1200lbs. Mostly6&7y Mostly6&7yearoldsw earoldsw SO Toocheapat$1050! oocheapa oocheapat$1050! • 38TrueF-1Braf Braf ordd 3yroldcows cows Reg Brafafor or cow exposedtoReg Angusbullssince sinc since Dec1forFallcalves lvlves. • 4SouthTexas Te Texas Huntingranchesforlease 200-650acres acr acres.Forphotos phot photos &info inf info logontowww. www www. tex texastr astr astroph ophylease.com .c .com urebredGreyB eyBr • 12PurebredGreyBrahman3yroldsheavybred D w/2ndcalves. w/2ndc w/2ndcalves SOL • 79Ultra Ultr Ultra Black3yroldsheldopen. Justhadbaby calves lvlves pulledoffthem. Perfec rfrfec ec ectt forrecipients. • 32Grey Gr Br Grey Brahman yearlinghfrs. Ex Excellent&gentle. • 10certifiedF-1openyearlingheifers heifers. heif
BULLS OF ANY BREED FOR SALE OR LEASE! For phot photos and information logg onto www www.casascattle.com, click “f “for sale priv private tr treat eaty”. eaty” y” Qualit alityy registered gister ered bulls of anyy breed breed for sale or lease; for photos and information click the above websit bsite for “bull leasing”.
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February 1, 2011 âœŞ
The Land & Livestock Post
FARM, RANCH & CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT Brackenridge Park - Edna, Tx located on Hwy 111 7 miles South of Edna
We will be selling : Construction Equip, Trucks, Trailers, Autos, Tractors Combines, Row Crop, Rice Field Implements, Discs, Shredders, Hay Equip, Livestock Equip & Misc Items Too Numerous To Mention!!
February 1, 2011
Saturday, Feb. 26th, 2011 at 10 am
The Land & Livestock Post
Edna, Texas Farm & Ranch Weekend
Expecting Early Consignments fr om:
Area Farmers & Ranchers, Banks Estates, Farm Service Agency, Counties, Municipalities, Schools, Businesses & Individuals
We will be accepting equipment for this sale on site Mon, Feb. 21st thru Fri, Feb. 25th from 8 am to 6 pm. We can assist you with your hauling needs.
SALE DAY ANNOUNCEMENTS TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER PRINTED MATERIAL. Cash or checkk w w/Bank Ltr of Guarantee. 10% BP on purchases of $500 or less.
Sunday, Feb. 27th, 2011 at 1 pm Brackenridge Park - Edna, Tx located on Hwy 111 7 miles South of Edna
Expecting 100 head of Quality Consignments
with Horses of all Disciplines represented Cutting, Calf Roping,, T Team Roping, Barrel, Bulldogging, Ranch Horses, as well as Halter & Pleasure This will be a reputation eputa sale with horses to be honestly tly represented rep by the sellers. Consignments will be screened by the auctioneer/sales manager.. Stalls available-1st come, 1st served CALL NOW TO CONSIGN YOUR HORSES !!
Indoor/Outdoor arenas available with cattle.
EDNA, TX ALL BREED BULL & FEMALE SALE M O N D AY, F E B 2 8 , 2 0 11 - 1 0 A M Edna Livestock Auction 1543 State Highway 111 N. Edna, TX 77957 Expecting120 Bulls including 40 Big Stout Charolais Bulls along with Angus, Brangus, Hereford, Polled Hereford, Maine & Maine-Angus
300 Replacement Females Purebred Brahmans, Herefords, Brafords, F1s, Brangus along with all crosses
PAIRS • BREDS • OPEN HEIFERS All Cattle must be in place by noon Feb 26th
CALL NOW TO CONSIGN YOUR CATTLE !! Buying or Selling-Call today!!
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Auctioneers Auctionee rs - Real R eall EEst Estate t ate t Br Brokers B 31
February 1, 2011 âœŞ
The Land & Livestock Post
Published on Feb 22, 2011