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August 2013 ddate— Issue 2

Deerly beloved XXX Managing the herd benefits deer, land owners

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PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID BRYAN, TX 77802 PERMIT # 23

JAMES THOMPSON CULTURE SHOCK

JAMES THOMPSON LEASING LEVERAGE

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JAMES THOMPSON SLIP-SLIDING AWAY

JAMES THOMPSON TROUBLE FROM THE NILE

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Straight from Scientists cook theup horse's burger mouth. from stem cells.

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Where’s the beef?

August 19, 2013

LONDON — The food of the future could do with a pinch of seasoning — and maybe some cheese. Two volunteers who took the first public bites of hamburger grown in a laboratory gave it good marks for texture but agreed there was something missing. “I miss the salt and pepper,” said Austrian nutritionist Hanni Ruetzler. U.S. journalist Josh Schonwald confessed to a difficulty in judging a burger “without ketchup or onions or jalapenos or bacon.” Both tasters shunned the bun, lettuce and sliced tomatoes offered to them to concentrate on the flavor of the meat itself. Mark Post, the Dutch scientist who led the team that grew the meat from cattle stem cells, re-

a request on my Facebook page for pictures. I got a lot of great trophy bucks, but turns out we have a policy of not publishing any dead animal pictures in the paper. I can understand this policy, because publishing such pictures seems to get the dander up of certain folks, and I myself don’t like getting hate mail. But, if you happen to have a trophy buck, I’d love to see it. Send it my way and I’ll put it up on the Land & Livestock Post Facebook page. Staying in the outdoor-sporting theme, we also have a story about stocking your ponds and some news and information about the state of agriculture today as well as upcoming events. Hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, thanks for reading. ’Til next time,

t’s the middle of August. That is usually not a good thing; it translates to three-digit temperatures, brown grass and overall misery. But, this year I don’t mind it so much, because I know it could be worse. We’ve seen worse, and I’m glad to be looking at i t i n t h e rearview mirror. This summer actually brought some rain and some JESSE WRIGHT lower temps, and that leads to better spirits in the ag industry. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hot — and dry — but it’s not as hot and dry as it has been in recent summers. Such arguments provide little AP photo/David Parry, PA comfort, so it is a good time, in A new Cultured Beef Burger made from beef grown in a laboratory from stem cells this heat, to think of how cold of cattle, is cooked by chef Richard McGeown during the world’s first public tasting it will be in the deer stand in a event for the food product held in London on Aug. 5. The cultured beef product was few months. developed by Professor Mark Post,not pictured,of Netherland’s Maastricht University. In our cover story, we look gretted having served the patty “That would have enhanced at the importance of deer management. While looking for without his favorite topping: See MEAT, Page 14 photos for this issue, I put out aged gouda cheese.

Burger cooked from cultured cattle stem cells By MARIA CHENG AP Medical Writer

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The Land & Livestock Post  August 19, 2013

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Restoring coastal prairies takes patience and work ron joked. Duron said they often tend to the plants in greenhouses before making it out onto the prairie. Aaron Tjelmeland, Upper Coast project director for the Nature Conservancy, works on the more than 2,300 acres of prairie in Texas City. Preserving coastal prairie is critical because it is a habitat for hundreds of diverse species and plants, Tjelmeland said. Prairie restoration also is drawing more attention be-

ALEX MACON Associated Press

TEXAS CITY — The coastal prairie once stretched across 9 million acres from Southeast Texas to Southwestern Louisiana. Years of urbanization and agricultural range improvement have led to almost 99 percent of the habitat being wiped out, according to the National Wetlands Research Center, but the prairie is attempting a comeback. It just needs a little help. The Galveston County Daily News reports more than 30 farmers, ranchers, conservationists and volunteers recently studied techniques for restoring and preserving prairie at the Texas City Prairie Preserve. “Nature spreads a lot of seeds, but may not put it in the ground correctly,” said Jim Willis of the Wildlife Habitat Federation. Presented by Coastal Prairie Partnership and the Houston

cause the plants particularly are durable during drought. Switch grass can survive for up to 12 years without water, Solomon said. The grasslands also act as a buffer during severe weather events, and the grasslands can mitigate the effects of hurricanes by soaking up much of the water. • Information from The Galveston County Daily News, www.galvnews. com.

Photo courtesy of www.flmnh.ufl.edu

Restoring coastal prairies is a major effort requiring patience and a lot of hard work. Chapter of the Native Prairies rely on volunteers from high Association of Texas, the Prairie schools and other programs Restoration Roundup was a day when they go out onto the praiof hands-on demonstrations of rie to plant up to 1,500 seeds at techniques ranging from seed- a time. “Prairie restoration is right drilling to bale-busting. Galveston Bay Area Master now the most successful it’s evNaturalists Jim Duron and Tom er been,” Duron said. “You don’t Solomon showed a group how to have to start from scratch.” It’s a trial-and-error process. prepare and plant switch grass, Duron and Solomon probably bluestem and prairie flowers. It’s a labor-intensive process, have killed more plants than and Duron and Solomon often anyone in the state of Texas, Du-

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The Land & Livestock Post  August 19, 2013

News Unique wheat, feed grains marketing opportunity slipping away if they wish.” Amosson said he believes this is happening because the supply pipeline for feed and other uses is basically empty. “End users are scrambling for anything they can use and are willing to pay a premium,” he said. “I expect the basis to fall as the new crop corn, which is anticipated to be at a record level, gets harvested. I don’t think this marketing opportunity will be around much longer since corn harvest has already started in

By Kay LedBetter Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

AMARILLO — Producers holding wheat or feed grains have a great opportunity to cash in on an extremely strong basis for any stocks of wheat and/ or feed grains on hand, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist. Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist in Amarillo, said the wheat basis, which is the cash price minus the futures’ price, is around 10 cents. “This is a unique marketing opportunity,” Amosson said. “I checked the data back to 1976 and we have never had a positive basis for wheat at this time of year. “The average for the previous five years is a negative 70 cents. I’m recommending producers go ahead and market any wheat they have on hand to capture this extremely strong basis. If they think prices are going to

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Checking the pond to see if it should be restocked By Steven Smith Samuel Roberts Nobel Foundation

ALE IND T R M A H OW S DS FEE WIX E TL CAT R & E OIL R AL E N S MI DER E E F NE RTO S O G L VI ER A MIN ND A TUB S DER FEE

August 19, 2013

Fo r a p o n d smaller than 0.5 acre (with the goal of catching channel catfish and largemouth bass), stock 10 channel catfish fingerlings per 0.1 acre of area during September or October and then stock four largemouth bass fingerlings per 0.1 acre during the following May or early June. For more information about s t o ck i n g f i s h , see the Ag News and Views article “Proper Stocking Is a Key to Quality Fishing” (www.noble.org/ ag/wildlife/propPhoto courtesy of Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation erstocking/). Restocking fish can be expensive and time consuming, so make sure fish are needed before any are stocked.

Rainfall in the first half of 2013 has filled many ponds in the Southern Great Plains that were partially or completely dry due to drought. With full ponds again, many pond managers are wondering whether the fish in the ponds survived or if they will need to be restocked. Restocking fish can be expensive and time consuming, so make sure fish are needed before any are stocked. If a pond retained a reasonable amount of water during the drought, there is a chance the fish survived. Before any fish are restocked, the absence or presence and abundance of fish first should be determined. This can be done by conducting a hook and line survey, seine survey and/or by using funnel traps. For more information about these methods, see the Ag News and Views articles “Hook and Line Fish Sampling” (www. noble.org/ag/wildlife/hookandlinefishsampling/), “Seine Sampling a Pond” (www.noble. org/ag/wildlife/seinesamplingpond/) and “Funnel Trap Fish Survey” (www.noble.org/ag/ wildlife/funnel-trap/). A hook and line survey is structured fishing where records such as time spent fishing, fish species caught, and weight and length of every fish caught are recorded. Necessary equipment includes rods, reels, and a variety of different sized artificial lures and/or live bait. A seine survey is primarily used to monitor the reproductive success of largemouth bass, bluegill and some other members of the sunfish family by capturing small fish that are young-of-the-year (less than 1 year old) or possibly from the previous year. This survey method is best conducted be-

tween mid-June and mid-September when most young fish are present. For most farm pond surveys, a 20-foot by 4-foot seine with a 1/8-inch mesh is sufficient. A funnel trap fish survey is used to provide information on the presence of species such as bullheads, bluegill, redear sunfish, green sunfish, etc. Funnel traps are usually constructed from hardware cloth formed into a cylinder. Typically, each end has an inward pointing funnel with a 2-inch opening serving as the entrance of the trap for the fish. Traps are typically placed in 3 to 5 feet of water. Traps should be checked daily. Check your local wildlife and fisheries regulations for specific rules on the use of funnel traps in your area. After conducting the surveys and finding fish, determine the proportional stock density. The proportional stock density can provide insight on the proportion of quality-size bass (12 inches) or bluegill (6 inches) to stock-size bass (8 inches) or bluegill (3 inches). With this information, a pond manager can make educated harvest and stocking decisions. For help determining this information, contact a local fisheries biologist. For more information about proportional stock density, see the Ag News and Views article Monitoring Bass and Bluegill Populations in Ponds. If a quality largemouth bass and bluegill fishery is your goal and you’ve determined no fish are present in a pond larger than 0.5 acre, stock 500 bluegill fingerlings (1- to 3-inch long fish) in September or October per acre. For added variety, 250 redear sunfish can be substituted for 250 bluegill. One hundred channel catfish fingerlings per acre can be stocked at this time if desired. The following May or early June, stock 100 largemouth fingerlings per acre.

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The Land & Livestock Post  August 19, 2013

News

Agricultural lease education benefits owner, tenant By Jeri Donnell Samuel Roberts Nobel Foundation

Leases are a common practice in agriculture. In its most basic form, a written lease is a unique document that defines the owner (lessor), tenant (lessee) and property; describes each party’s privileges/responsibilities; and details mutually agreed upon terms. Still, many individuals perceive leases as complicated and approach the topic with hesitation. Education, however, allows one to become more comfortable with the lease process and more confident in knowing what one wants to occur under an individual lease. Leasing can be advantageous, depending on one’s operational goals, resources and negotiating ability. Benefits to an owner include property care and income without owner participation. Tenant benefits include an opportunity for expansion or management on a trial basis without capital investment. Owners must overcome the fear of losing control, and tenants should evaluate the risk of leases not being renewed. When leasing, everything is negotiable, and a lease can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Leases often are written from the owner perspective, but tenants also should be knowledgeable about leasing practices. Traditionally, the tenant pays operating expenses (e.g., fence repairs), while capital

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improvement expenditures (e.g., new fence construction) are incurred by the owner. Remember, however, that everything is negotiable – the key is to negotiate in a fair and equitable manner. There are multiple types of leases. Two types commonly used in the Southern Great Plains are cash and crop share leases. Cash leases are usually the most straightforward of all lease agreements; property is rented for a cash value (e.g., tenant pays owner $20 per acre for pasture rent). A crop share lease occurs where property is rented and a percentage of the crop harvested is received as payment. The percent received as payment depends on the percent each party contributes to the production process (e.g., owner provides 40 percent of all operating expenses, including an assumed land rental value, and receives 40 percent of the crop as

payment). Hay and pecans are two activities commonly managed using crop share leases. Be advised, lease type can affect your material participation status and ability to qualify for government aid programs. A g L e a s e 1 0 1 ( w w w. aglease101.org) is an excellent resource for information about what to include in a lease. The document library contains educational publications and lease templates, while the FAQ section contains short videos. Here, Oklahoma State University Assistant Professor Shannon Ferrell, an attorney, discusses “Five Reasons Why You Should Have a Written Lease” and “Five Things Every Lease Should Include.” At minimum, each lease should be written and include the name of each party, description of the property rented, beginning and ending lease dates, rental rate agreed upon and payment method, and signature

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crop prices have increased the value of forage and crops. If unable to negotiate for the price desired, consider in-kind payments (i.e., trade labor or services in lieu of payment). In-kind payments especially may be favorable for individuals who find themselves short on equipment, knowledge or capital. The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not to be misconstrued as legal advice. Knowledge is beneficial during the lease process; however, you should contact an attorney competent in agricultural leases prior to signing any lease agreement. Also contact a tax advisor before entering any lease agreement since doing so may result in unexpected tax consequences. Prepare yourself with selfeducation and professional assistance prior to entering agricultural lease agreements.

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of all parties. Additional clauses may be included, allowing the owner an opportunity to protect property by restricting the actions of potential tenants (e.g., no haying). Likewise, additional clauses can be included that protect the interests of the tenant (e.g., 90-day written notification of lease termination). It is best to review a variety of lease publications to identify clauses not previously considered. Please review local land grant university lease publications since they may reference specific cultural practices and/ or state laws relative to your region. Oklahoma State University provides recent rental prices paid for cropland and pasture in Oklahoma (pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/ Get/Document-5994/CR230web08-09.pdf). This is great information to use when pricing a lease, but keep in mind that the recent droughts and high

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2013 Master Marketer series planned in El Campo

South Plains cotton abandonment estimated at 40 percent By roBert Burns Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

The official survey numbers haven’t been released yet, but a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert estimates South Plains cotton abandonment will be about 40 percent. “It’s hard to tell, as we’re all over the board here, but that’s what I’m hoping will be the most,” said Mark Kelley, AgriLife Extension cotton specialist in Lubbock. Only a couple of months ago, it was looking much worse, Kelley said. Like most of Texas, the region had a cooler-than-normal spring and late freezes, while remaining locked in the stranglehold of drought. There was also hail, high winds and blowing sand that knocked out fields. Many dryland and re-plantings of hailed-out or blown-out fields were late. Kelley noted there hasn’t been anything resembling “typical” for years, but typical abandonment rates are about 25 percent.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin

2013 Master Marketer workshop topics include development and implementation of a marketing plan, basic and advanced marketing strategies, fundamental and technical analysis, marketing discipline and weather impact on market prices. tions and speakers are: • Session I— Sept. 18-19. “Review of Market Basics and Legal Issues.” Speakers, all with AgriLife Extension, will be Welch; Stephen Amosson, economist-management in Amarillo; and Wayne Hayenga, professor emeritus and economist. • Session II — Oct. 2-3. “Technical Analysis and Crop Insurance Strategies.” Speakers will be Alan Brugler, president of

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The 2013 Master Marketer series conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will include four two-day workshops during September and October at the El Campo Civic Center and Museum, according to coordinators. The center and museum is located at 2350 N. Mechanic St. in El Campo. he workshops are aimed at enhancing marketing skills, said Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension grains marketing economist. “The approach is from a realworld standpoint using numerous case-study examples and simulated problems,” Welch said. Topics include development and implementation of a marketing plan, basic and advanced marketing strategies, fundamental and technical analysis, marketing discipline and weather impact on market prices. Scheduled dates, presenta-

mist, Vernon; and Rob Hogan, AgriLife Extension economist, Fort Stockton. A no-cost leveling workshop will be Sept. 17 before Session I for individuals who are not at the intermediate-to-advanced level in using futures and options. Workshop registration is $340 and can be done online at agriliferegister.tamu.edu/AgEco. For more information, call 979-845-2604.

professor, University of Tennessee; and Danny Klinefelter, AgriLife Extension Service economist, College Station. • Session IV — Oct. 30-31. “Livestock Fundamentals, Marketing Plans and Discipline.” Speakers will be David Anderson, AgriLife Extension Service livestock economist, College Station; Darrell Holaday, private marketing/management consultant, Kansas; Stan Bevers, AgriLife Extension econo-

By Blair Fannin Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

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Brugler Marketing and Management LLC, Omaha; and Art Barnaby Jr., agricultural economics professor at Kansas State University. • Session III — Oct. 16-17. “Weather, Grain Fundamentals, Cotton Fundamentals and Financial Management.” Speakers will be S. Elwynn Taylor, Extension climatologist, Iowa State University; Robert Wisner, agricultural economics

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The Land & Livestock Post  August 19, 2013

News

Vaccine is an affordable way to stop West Nile Virus against West Nile are very effective,” he said. “There are very few documented cases where the horse has still gotten it. Each horse’s immune system is different, but the percentages are up in the high 90s of protecting these horses. It’s effective and cheap.” Though prices vary depending on where the vaccine is purchased and how it is administered, Clay Cavinder, a horse owner and assistant professor of equine sciences at Texas

By Brooke Conrad brooke.conrad@theeagle.com

In 2012, there were 627 confirmed cases of equine West Nile Virus across 41 states — the greatest number of cases in five years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Texas was hit the hardest, with 120 confirmed cases. The virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, can lead to severe impairment or death, but a simple vaccine can protect against the virus and potentially save horse owners quite a bit of money. In Brazos County last year, one horse and one alpaca were hit with West Nile Virus, said Mark Johnsen, environmental health specialist with the Brazos County Heath Department. Johnsen said the number of cases the health department sees varies from year to year, but most are seen in the fall and winter months. A horse in Grimes County was diagnosed with the virus in early spring — the only local case so far this year, he said. “There’s no actual antidote for it,” Johnsen said. “If they get it, they will go into treating the symptoms, making the horse comfortable. Of course, there’s always the possibility of the horse dying. A horse is a large investment, so its death can be a heavy economic burden.”

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Clay Cavinder, assistant professor of Texas A&M equine sciences, washes his horse Harley in a barn at the FreemanArena onThursday.Harley has received theWest Nile vaccination,which doctors say nearly guarantees that a horse won’t get the disease. Dr. Terry Hensley, assistant agency director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, said some horses will show symptoms of the virus, but others won’t. “The ones who do go on to develop symptoms will become unsteady on their feet, depressed, they won’t eat and can run a fever,” Hensley said. “There’s a lot of other subtleties that go in to it.” The more symptoms show, Hensley said, the worse the

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The Land & Livestock Post

News

Here, my deer

August 19, 2013 AP photos

Shooting for the right-sized herd

A

By RoBeRt FeaRs Special to The Post

ldo Leopold (1887–1948), considered the father of wildlife management in America, listed five tools used to destroy wildlife habitat and stated that these same tools can be used to restore and maintain it. Leopold’s list included the ax, cow, plow, fire and gun. In this article the gun as a deer management tool is discussed. The gun is a required management tool for controlling deer herd size, so the population doesn’t increase beyond natural carrying capacity of the habitat. In addition to deer numbers, management of sex ratio and age structure may be important for productivity and heard health. For example, a proper sex ratio can result in earlier and shorter fawning periods, which can improve fawn survival.

Why the gun is important

The importance of hunting in deer management is explained clearly by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. It says, “Some people oppose hunting because they feel that by preserving wildlife, it will increase. Wildlife, however, is a resource that cannot be stockpiled. “If any annual overabundance is not harvested, nature often takes over in a cruel and harsh way. Weather, more than any other factor, often decides the fate of wildlife. Just as wildlife will flourish under ideal weather conditions — mild winters and bountiful springs — the opposite is true when seasons are harsh.

“In a harsh winter, when oversized white-tailed deer herds deplete all available food, merciless death by slow starvation is inevitable. Predators attack the young and hunger-weakened stragglers while disease and parasites add to the toll. Most often, the end result is a weak, unhealthy herd with far fewer deer than would be present if hunters had taken a reasonable surplus in the fall during hunting season. “Research shows that a healthy white-tailed deer herd, reasonably sized to make the most of available habitat, can be reduced each year by as much as 40 percent with no ill effect on the future population. Hunters in most states rarely take more than 15 percent of the herds. “If left alone, a white-tailed deer herd can double in size in only two years, quickly deplete available food supplies and face certain mass die-offs. “It is apparent that hunting is a useful part of today’s wise game management practices. By teaming habitat improvement with carefully regulated hunting seasons and bag limits, our professional conservationists ensure that hunters take only the surplus of wildlife populations.”

Harvest the right deer

Hunting is a form of culling and should be exercised in compliance with a management plan. A good reference for deer surveys and harvest strategies is the Texas Parks and Wildlife publication WhiteTailed Deer Management in the Rolling Plains of Texas written by Calvin Richardson, Jim Lionberger and Gene Miller. Most of the following information is taken from this publication. Deer management, like any other ranch enterprise, should be executed from a plan that contains

a realistic, specific set of goals. The first item in the plan should be the reason you want to manage deer. In addition to maintaining herd health, what else do you want to accomplish? Do you want to enjoy watching healthy wildlife, provide hunting opportunities for the family, operate a hunting enterprise or a combination of these activities? Management goals may include a desired deer density, a

specific qualityclass of bucks with details about antler and body size,

See HERD, Page 12

11


The Land & Livestock Post  August 19, 2013

News Herd, from Page 11 and/or more subjective interests concerning recreational experience quality. Landowner goals should serve as a constant guide for every decision regarding harvest strategies and habitat management activities. Collection and analysis of survey data and harvest records will help the manager determine overall status and condition of the deer herd. Baseline information, such as deer numbers, age structure, sex ratio, nutrition and productivity, allow a manager to make informed decisions and develop a harvest strategy that will help accomplish deer management goals. More importantly, harvest and survey data can be used to annually evaluate progress toward deer management goals and to adjust harvest strategies and other management practices. A popular new way to determine deer numbers recently

has been deemed reliable by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. According to the department, digital cameras and infrared sensors are a viable resource when determining deer populations, especially on smaller tracts of land. In addition to estimating herd composition and density, the camera technique allows hunters and managers to determine the age structure and antler quality of bucks in order to decide which bucks should and should not be harvested. The number of deer that should be harvested each year depends upon carrying capacity of the habitat, fawn production, fawn survival, adult deer mortality and the buck-to-doe ratio. Low fawn survival through their first summer limits the number of deer that are recruited into the herd and may require a conservative harvest strategy to maintain herd productivity. Many hunters are interested in harvesting mature bucks

Photo courtesy of RJ Consulting

A proper sex ratio can result in earlier and shorter fawning periods, which can improve fawn survival. with quality antlers, which requires a hunting ranch manager to use a harvest strategy that allows bucks to reach 5½ and 6½ years old. Managing for mature bucks typically involves harvesting only 15 to 20 percent of the buck segment

See DEER, Page 13

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Deer, from Page 12

 August 19, 2013

annually. This strategy allows a conservative harvest of does at 5 to 15 percent in low deer density areas. In areas where deer numbers are approaching or have reached the habitat’s carrying capacity, a moderate to liberal doe harvest of 20 to 30 percent may be required. Producing quality antlers depends not only on bucks reaching maturity but also on quality habitat management. This requires balancing the forage supply with deer and livestock numbers. The buck-to-doe ratio of a deer herd is influenced by several factors, including the sex ratio of fawns at birth, natural mortality of males and females in all age classes, and hunting pressure on the buck and doe segments of the population. The percent of bucks in the fawn crop generally ranges from 40 to 60 percent. Appropriate buck-to-doe ratios in most management systems

are approximately one to two in areas with relatively high deer numbers and approximately one to three in areas with fewer deer. These ratios will provide an optimum number of bucks, while maintaining an adequate number of does for herd replacements. Ethical hunters and wildlife managers are good marksmen. They make clean kills which means that death is instant and the animal does not suffer. The use of guns in wildlife management is more humane than letting animals starve to death. Fees collected from hunters help the landowner pay habitat conservation costs.

The Land & Livestock Post

News

Digital cameras and infraed sensors are a viable resource when determining deer populations.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Tolson

Sept. 14 - 4-States Limousin Assn. Sale. Mt. Pleasant, TX

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The Land & Livestock Post  August 19, 2013

News Lab-made meat could solve demand for beef From Page 3 the whole experience tremendously,” he told The Associated Press. He said he was pleased with the reviews: “It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start.” Post, whose team at Maastricht University in the Netherlands developed the burger over five years, hopes that making meat in labs eventually could help feed the world and fight climate change — although that goal is probably a decade or two away, at best. “The first (lab-made) meat products are going to be very exclusive,” said Isha Datar, director of New Harvest, an international nonprofit that promotes meat alternatives. “These burgers won’t be in Happy Meals before someone rich and famous is eating them.” Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, announced that he funded the $330,000 project, saying he was motivated by a concern for animal welfare. “We’re trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger,” he said in a videotaped message. “From there, I’m optimistic we can really scale up by leaps and bounds.” Scientists agreed that improving the flavor probably won’t be hard. “Taste is the least (important) problem since this could be controlled by letting some of the stem cells develop into fat cells,” said Stig Omholt, director of biotechnology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Adding fat to the burgers this way probably would be healthier than getting it from naturally chunky cows, said Omholt, who was not involved in the project.

He called the Aug. 5 tasting a publicity stunt — but not in a bad way. He said it was a smart way to draw public attention, and possibly investor funds, to efforts to develop lab-grown meat. Post’s team made the meat from shoulder muscle cells of two organically raised cows. The cells were put into a nutrient solution to help them develop into muscle tissue, and they grew into small strands of meat. It took nearly 20,000 strands to make a single 5-ounce patty, which for the Aug. 5 event was seasoned with salt, egg powder and breadcrumbs. Red beet juice and saffron were added to help the burger look more meat-like; Post said the lab-made patty had a yellowish tinge. “I’m a vegetarian, but I would be first in line to try this,” said Jonathan Garlick, a stem cell researcher at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. He has used similar techniques to make human skin but wasn’t involved in the burger research. Experts say new ways of producing meat are needed to satisfy growing carnivorous appetites without exhausting resources. By 2050, the Food and Agriculture Organization predicts global meat consumption will double as more people in developing countries can afford it. Raising animals destined for the dinner table takes up about 70 percent of all agricultural land. The animal rights group PETA has thrown its support behind the lab-meat initiative. “As long as there’s anybody who’s willing to kill a chicken, a cow or a pig to make their

meal, we are all for this,” said Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s president and co-founder. “Instead of the millions and billions (of animals) being slaughtered now, we could just clone a few cells to make burgers or chops,” she said. If the product is ever ready for market, national food authorities likely will require data proving the lab meat is safe; there is no precedent. Some experts said officials might regulate the process used to make such meat, similar to how they monitor beer and wine production. Only one patty was cooked Aug. 5, and the testers each took less than half of it. Post said he would take the leftovers home so his kids can have a taste.

Questions About Cattle Health?

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Submit your questions to:

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Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo

Dennis Klesel, Agent

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension offices in Bastrop and Travis counties will present a winter forage workshop Aug. 23 in Austin. AgriLife Extension forage specialist, College Station. • Pesticide Laws and Regulations, Beau Whisenant, regional education specialist, Texas De-

partment of Agriculture, Leander. • Fertilizers and Soil Testing, Mark McFarland, AgriLife Extension soil fertility specialist,

August 19, 2013

PROTECTING JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING YOU COULD RAISE ON A FARM.

AUSTIN — Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in Travis And Bastrop counties will present a Winter Forage Workshop from 9 a.m.3:45 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Hornsby Bend Bio-Solids Management Plant, 2210 South F.M. 973 in Austin. “This workshop will be helpful to those ranchers wanting to ensure adequate winter forage production and nutrition for their cattle,” said Julie Ansley, AgriLife Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources in Travis County. “It’s important to begin to prepare now toward securing sufficient forage for the coming winter.” Program registration will begin at 9 a.m. with presentations starting at 9:30. Topics and speakers will be: • Small Grains and Legume Varieties, Lar ry Redmon,

Travis County at 512-854-9610 or Bastrop County at 512-581-7186 by Aug. 21 to ensure an accurate count for lunch and refreshments. Three hours of continuing education units — one laws and regulations, and two general — will be offered for those maintaining a Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator’s license. Ansley said attendees with licenses must have their pesticide applicator number with them.

College Station. • Fall Herd Health, Dr. Buddy Faries, AgriLife Extension veterinarian, College Station. There will be a program wrap-up from 3:30–3:45 p.m. Lunch is included with the registration fee of $25 per person, payable by check or money order at the door to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service #280100-60020. No cash will be accepted. Attendees should RSVP to the AgriLife Extension office in

By Paul SchattenBerg Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

The Land & Livestock Post

News Winter Forage Workshop slated for Aug. 23 in Austin

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Saltcedar, from Page 16

 August 19, 2013

the beetles is one of the most successful examples of biological control of noxious plant species in the U.S., according to Vitanza, who said the beetles are host-specific and safe around anything that’s not a saltcedar or Athel tree, which belongs to the same plant genus as saltcedar. “You can rest assured that the saltcedar leaf beetle will not damage any plant species other than saltcedar and Athel, both in the genus Tamarix,” he said. “The beetles will not hurt people or pets or attack other insects. Generally, when they run out of saltcedar to eat, they simply starve to death.” The one exception is athel, said James Tracy, a graduate research assistant in Texas A&M University’s department of entomology. Tracy said there have been some isolated instances in the El Paso Valley of the beetles eating Athel, an ornamental tree which is a close relative of saltcedar, but the browning of the leaves is only temporary. “The athel trees are not dead,

but should resprout new leaves in a month or so,” he said. Saltcedar beetles prefer saltcedar over athel, so damage to athel usually only occurs when beetle numbers are high. Defoliation of athel should be less once the larger beetle populations move upriver.” Mark Muegge, AgriLife Extension entomologist at Fort Stockton, said homeowners who want to save athel or even saltcedar trees in their landscape can protect the trees from the beetles by treating them with insecticide. For more information, see today.agrilife. org/2010/08/27/saltcedar_beetle/. “Attacked trees turn brown as larvae consume leaves and girdle small branches,” Knutson said. “Control of saltcedar occurs only after repeated defoliations, which weaken the trees, and they eventually die due to starvation, followed shortly by the beetle, once their food supply is exhausted.” For more information about salt cedar control see: • bc4weeds.tamu.edu/. • insects.tamu.edu/feature/ saltcedar_program.

The Land & Livestock Post

News

Photos by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Above, a close up of saltcedar, an invasive species that chokes Texas waterways. Above right, saltcedar was introduced in the 1890s as an ornamental plant.

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