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November November2013— 2013—Issue Issue 2

Something rotten in Texas

How to prevent and treat foot rot in cattle PAGE 12

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

JAMES THOMPSON COTTON SOFT

JAMES ON, AH, THOMPSON ... IN THE CASE

PAGE 3

PAGE 9 3

JAMES D.C. GETS THOMPSON IT RIGHT

JAMES THOMPSON AGRICULTURE VISION

PAGE 5 3

PAGE 21 3

Straight warn Experts from of thepossible horse's cotton mouth.glut next year.

Straightinititiative USDA from the horse's benefitsmouth. South Texas ranchers.

Straight from “Creative” workshop the horse's teaches mouth. sausage making.

Straight Plant Protection from theAssociation horse's mouth. plans 25th meeting.


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November 2013— Issue 2 

The Land & Livestock Post


A

From the General Manager

By Blair Fannin Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Cotton producers are advised to stick to fundamentals when looking ahead to future prices, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service cotton economist. John Robinson of College Station, said on the recent Ag Market monthly conference call that despite recent news headlines, the fundamentals of supply and demand is a good compass for forecasting future prices. “I expect this year’s December and next year’s harvest time futures contracts to continue to trade in their current ranges,” Robinson said. “I want to point out the current spread of December 2014 is about a nickel below December Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo 2013, which implies there is al- Cotton farmers who do decide to plant ready an expectation of a Chi- cotton need to think about forward pric• For more information about content or advertising, contact nese unwinding some of their ing or hedging because the risk will conJesse Wright at jess,wright@theeagle.com. tinue to be to a downside. See COTTON, Page 4

November 2013— Issue 2

There are also two important items in this issue you are going to be sure to take advantage of. First, we have our Annual Ag Directory coming up and this could be your last chance to get your free listing. Submissions are due by Nov. 27. There is a form in this issue you can fill out and mail or fax in, or you can go to landandlivestockpost.com and click on the link to submit your entry. We also soon will be launching an electronic newsletter that will be sent out twice a month. We are very excited about this, and you can sign up to receive it by going to our website, landandlivestockpost.com and entering your email address. There’s even a chance to win a prize. We’re still working on the details, but it should be something pretty good so make sure you sign up. I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and thank you for reading. And I will accept any leftover cajun-butter-injected fried turkey you may have taking up space in your fridge. ’Til next time,

s we near Thanksgiving, it is easy to get caught up in the shopping, sales, football games and cajun-butter-injected fried turkeys that surround the season. But it is important to remember that the holiday revolves around agriculture. That’s a point I probably don’t have to preach to many readers of this paper, and I’m thankful I work in an industry that appreciates the hard work and dedication it takes to put food on the table. I guess one of the things I’m thankful for this year, besides the rain and friends and family, is my ability to make good segues in my introductions. It’s not always easy, but somehow I manage always to be able to transition from a personal anecdote into some horrifying subject such as foot rot. I don’t know how I do it or where the inspiration comes JESSE WRIGHT from, but I’m thankful for this ability. In this issue we look at foot rot — a terrible condition that can affect the productivity of your cattle. We tell you what to look for and how to prevent it, as well as what to do if you find your cattle have a case of it. We also have some news from Texas AgriLife Extension service about upcoming events as well as some news from Beverly Moseley and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Extension expert advises cotton producers to follow fundamentals

The Land & Livestock Post

News

Brazos Valley Livestock Commission 16th Annual Fall Stocker Cow Sale

Highway 21 East • Bryan, Texas • Saturday December 7, 2013 • 11:00 AM

Good Young Pairs, Bred Cows & Heifers • Charolais & Angus Bulls CALL TO CONSIGN QUALITY CATTLE TO THIS REPUTATION SALE All cattle are young and screened for quality. Call us to consign your quality females

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 2013— Issue 2

News LIVESTOCK MARKET REPORT Brazos Valley

Results of the Brazos Valley Livestock Commission’s Oct. 29 sale: Head: 981 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $215$245; 300-400 lbs., $197-$240; 400-500 lbs., $185-$230; 500600 lbs., $154-$195; 600-700 lbs., $145-$166; 700-800 lbs., $145-$158. Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $195$220, 300-400 lbs., $179-$210; 400-500 lbs., $162-$200; 500600 lbs., $140-$171; 600-700 lbs., $130-$152; 700-800 lbs., $130-$141. Slaughter cows: $65-$85. Bred cows: $1,050-$1,575.

Buffalo

Results of the Buffalo Livestock Marketing’s Oct. 26 sale: Head: 1,883 Steers: 150-200 lbs., $200$265; 200-300 lbs., $195-$255; 300-400 lbs., $190-$250; 400500 lbs.,$175-$230; 500-600 lbs., $165-$197; 600-700 lbs., $145$175; 700-800 lbs., $140-$156.

Heifers: 150-200 lbs., $190$245; 200-300 lbs., $180-$240; 300-400 lbs., $175-$235; 400500 lbs.,$155-$220; 500-600 lbs., $145-$180; 600-700 lbs., $135$192; 700-800 lbs., $125-$150. Slaughter bulls: $82-$96. Slaughter cows: $55-$87. Bred cows: $975-$1,560. Cow/calf pairs: $1,000-$1,510

Caldwell

Results of the Caldwell Livestock Commission’s Oct. 30 sale: Head: 545 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $220$250; 300-400 lbs., $200-$245; 400-500 lbs., $180-$210; 500600 lbs., $160-$190; 600-700 lbs., $150-$170; 700-800 lbs., $135-$145. Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $180$215; 300-400 lbs., $170-$230; 400-500 lbs., $160-$210; 500600 lbs., $150-$175; 600-700 lbs., $140-$165; 700-800 lbs., $127-$147. Slaughter bulls: $77-$89. Slaughter cows: $57-$85. Stocker cows: $675-$1,200.

AUCTION AUCTION NOvember 23, 2013 • 10:00 am

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Groesbeck

Results of the Groesbeck Auction and Livestock Exchange’s Oct. 31 sale: Head: 289. Steers: 300-400 lbs., $200$252; 400-500 lbs., $185-$220; 500-600 lbs.,$165-$188; 600-700 lbs., $160-$177. Heifers: 300-400 lbs., $185$230; 400-500 lbs., $170-$195; 500-600 lbs.,$160-$175; 600-700 lbs., $145-$170. Slaughter bulls: $94-$101. Slaughter cows: $60-$86. Stocker cows: $850-$1,650. Cow/calf pairs: $1,000-$1,200.

Milano

Results of the Milano Livestock Exchange’s Oct. 29 sale: Head: 409. Steers: 300-400 lbs., $132$241; 400-500 lbs., $120-$219; 500-600 lbs.,$125-$197; 600-700 lbs., $110-$165. Heifers: 300-400 lbs., $130$219; 400-500 lbs., $125-$205; 500-600 lbs.,$117-$171; 600-700 lbs., $111-$161. Slaughter bulls: $85-$88. Slaughter cows: $60-$87. Stocker cows: $900-$1,325.

400-500 lbs.,$120-$205; 500-600 lbs., $115-$172.50; 600-700 lbs., $115-$157.50. Slaughter bulls: $75-$99. Slaughter cows: $60-$82. Stocker cows: $750-$1,500. Cow/calf pairs: $1,200-$1,750. — Special to The Post

Cotton, from Page 3

stocks.” Robinson said the absence of daily, weekly and monthly U.S. Department of Agriculture market information during the government shutdown “was like a metaphor for what’s been going on for a couple of years. “Namely, fundamental inforResults of the Navasota Livestock mation is subordinate to policy Auction Co.’s Oct. 26 sale: interventions (with Chinese Head: 1,813. stockpiling being the continuSteers: 150-300 lbs., $150- ing main intervention),” he said. $280; 300-400 lbs., $150-$265; “A projection of upper-70-cent 400-500 lbs., $125-$250; 500- futures for December 2014 cot600 lbs.,$120-$205; 600-700 lbs., ton means growers first need to question whether that is an af$115-$172.50. Heifers: 150-300 lbs., $135- fordable enough price to plant $230; 300-400 lbs., $130-$210; cotton.”

Navasota

Jordan

Results of the Jordan Cattle Auction Market Oct. 31 sale: Head: 2,540 Steers: $150-$247.50. Heifers: $140-$220. Slaughter bulls: $84-$97.50. Slaughter cows: $70-$120. Stocker cows: $930-$2,225. Cow/calf pairs: $1,185-$2,725.

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Irrigation water helps to produce the quality forages, such as KR Bluestem and bermuda grass, that support the Ramirez’s cattle operation. Ramirez Jr. and Jose Ramirez to distribute water efficiently III, continue to make their living where it is most needed, while optimizing the rate of water usfull time from the land. Water is a precious natural age on forages. Recently, the two received firesource to ranchers. Irrigation water is critical to grow- nancial assistance through the ing the quality forages, or food USDA StrikeForce for Rural for cattle, such as bluestem and Growth and Opportunity initiabermuda grasses. To survive, tive to install irrigation pipeline it’s important for producers to on 42 acres. have efficient and affordable ways to use water. “We’ve hardly got any water,” Jose Ramirez III said. “We need every drop of water to benefit from it.” To maximize each drop of water, the father and son have worked closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service on installing irrigation pipeline on their improved forage pastures. This enables them

• Beverly Moseley is a public affairs specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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November 2013— Issue 2

Some Texas farmers and ranchers are relieved that much needed rains have fallen across the state recently, helping to alleviate this year’s persistent drought. But in South Texas at the Mexico border, the struggle against Mother Nature for producers continues. Driving from Southeast Texas this summer to Hidalgo County along the order, dry stock tanks, bare pastures and cracked soils were constant reminders of the drought’s devastating effects. Despite recent rains, Hidalgo County continues to suffer under moderate to severe drought conditions. “Rain has been real spotty,” said Oz Longoria, a district conservationist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “In some areas it’s rained moderate from very little to none. Because of the drought, irrigation water availability is very limited. Irrigation reservoirs are not filled to capacity to allow farmers and ranchers to utilize that water for production.” In Hidalgo County, it’s along the Rio Grande River, which separates Texas from Mexico, where generations of the Ramirez family have farmed and raised cattle. Today, the father-and-son team of Jose

ers put conservation practices on the ground. “The StrikeForce funding was earmarked for rural economic growth and opportunity in Texas,” Longoria said. “It’s another tool that we can use from the field office standpoint to assist these producers in implementing conservation practices in the field.”

“I don’t know if we could be productive without help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service,” he said. “I really don’t. It’s just tough.” The national initiative addresses high-priority funding and technical assistance needs in rural communities in 16 states, including Texas, with a special emphasis on historically underserved communities. The conservation service has provided more than $1.2 million to help Texas farmers and ranch-

By Beverly Moseley Special to The Post

The Land & Livestock Post

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 2013— Issue 2

News

Experts look to opportunities ahead for beef cattle ed in the current cattle market, said David Anderson, AgriLife Extension livestock economist in College Station. Anderson provided a cattle market outlook, highlighting several trends currently affecting beef cattle prices. Live cattle prices hit record levels recently at $1.32 per pound. High cattle prices appear to be a trend that won’t go away anytime soon, as the U.S. cow inventory is at a level not

By Blair Fannin Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

BRENHAM — Though some Washington County ranchers were baling hay, there were plenty of beef cattle producers on hand at the recent South Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic in Brenham. Many of the beef producers in the audience heard an optimistic outlook about future cattle prices and the opportunities ahead for the industry from several speakers. “We have benefitted greatly from the rain and that has supplied our ponds with plenty of water going into the winter season,” said Larry Pierce, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Washington County. “The rain has lifted the spirits of our local producers.” The cow-calf clinic was held at the Washington County Fairgrounds sales facility. Like a

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin

Cattle prices are projected to remain strong heading into 2014 due to lack of supply. lot of Texas ranching communities, drought has cut deeply into cow numbers throughout the county, Pierce said. “We’ve noticed a trend as these beef cattle producers are getting older, many of them are getting out of the business, con-

verting their land over to wildlife management.” Though the cow numbers are down, Pierce said it is expected to change as ranchers begin to build back herds with more available forage. That’s certainly being reflect-

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seen since the 1950s, he said. “We’ve got really tight supplies because of fewer cattle,” Anderson told attendees. “I think we will see fewer cows in 2014 than we’ve seen in 2013,” Anderson said. “That will lead to higher prices in 2014 and into 2015 as well. We simply have fewer cows and calves. The rebuilding process has not occurred as soon as many have thought due to continued drought.”

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Guy Fipps, left, is presented the Merriam Improved Irrigation Award at the U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage national conference in Denver. Bryan Thoreson, president of the committee, presents the award. in 1950 as the leading scientific, tury,” Thoreson said. technical and not-for-profit, “The Merriam award is given non-governmental organiza- to a member of the U.S. committion. Through its network of tee who has made meritorious professionals spread across contributions to the advancemore than a hundred countries, ment, understanding or attain[the committee] has facilitated ment of the goals and objectives sharing of experiences and of [the committee], the Internatransfer of water management technology for over a half cen- See AWARD, Page 10

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DENVER — Guy Fipps, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service engineer in College Station, recently received the Merriam Improved Irrigation Award from the U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage at its national conference in Denver Oct. 23. The award was presented by Bryan Thoreson of Davids Engineering Inc. in Davis, Calif., president of the committee. “[The committee] was pleased to present Guy Fipps with the award in recognition of his many contributions to improving irrigation practices in Texas, the U.S. and throughout the world,” Thoreson said. The committee is a member of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage. According to the international committee’s website, the organization was “established

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 2013— Issue 2

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‘Creative’ sausage workshop draws participants from across U.S. By Blair Fannin Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Blair Fannin

November 2013— Issue 2

the meat industry in “helping solve problems, implementing new technology and improving the quality and safety of their products.” Participants had both classroom and hands-on experiences, learning many aspects of sausage making from meat selection, ingredients, casings, stuffing, equipment and processing to the final finished product. Each individual had the opportunity to manufacture his or her own sausages, both smoked and fresh, and take some home. “We had people who came from out of state,” he said. “Participants came from Massachusetts, California and a good many from Texas. We are so happy they came and shared their interest in making good sausage. I think all of them went away learning something new and can be very proud of the sausage they made.” Each individual workshop attendee had the opportunity to manufacture their own sausages, both smoked and fresh.

Making good sausage was the focus of Texans and out-of-state enthusiasts at a recent “creative” sausage workshop held at Texas A&M University. Hosted by the department of animal science at Texas A&M, attendees went home with a wealth of knowledge about making their own sausage, according to organizers. “We took each of the participants through the grinding and mixing process, teaching them how to make sausage with the actual equipment found in their own kitchen,” said Wes Osburn, associate professor in the meat science section of the department and a Texas A&M AgriLife Research meat scientist. The workshop was open to beginning and novice sausage makers. Osburn said attendees used tabletop grinders, KitchenAid mixers, hand-cranked

sausage stuffers and natural or artificial casings. “This workshop was generated from previous brisket boot camps run several times already,” Osburn said. “Some attendees said they had an interest in learning how to make sausage at home. “Dr. Davey Griffin and I got together and decided to develop a creative sausage course. We wanted to show the basics of sausage making and use equipment you would find in the kitchen versus the commercial production methods. “What we had at the workshop was something you can actually get and use in your home, food processors and hand-cranked stuffers that you can find at a retail outlet,” Osborn said. Osburn currently teaches undergraduate and graduate students the concepts and practice of developing quality food systems and graduate students in the principles and science of processed meats. He also conducts research working with

The Land & Livestock Post

News

Wes Osburn,associate professor in the meat science section of the department of animal science at Texas A&M and a Texas A&M AgriLife Research meat scientist, guided participants through the sausage making process.

Nov. 26 – 14th Annual Taste of Brazos Valley Ag Breakfast. Bryan, TX 979-260-5200

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Events Calendar November Nov. 14 - Advertising Deadline for the Land & Livestock

Post

Nov. 16. - World Series of Brangus Bull Sale. Palo Pinto, TX.

Nov. 16 – 1st Annual Fall Ag & Construction Equipment

Auction. Bryan, TX. 888-300-0005

Nov. 16-19 – American Angus Association Annual

Meeting. Louisvillie, KY.

Nov. 19 – ECUAFARM Dispersal Auction. Cleburne,

TX. 616-822-0101

Nov. 27 - Advertising Deadline for the Land & Livestock

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December Dec. 6 - Lone Star Angus Alliance Bull Sale. Hallettsville,

TX.

Dec. 7 – Brazos Valley Livestock Commission’s 16th

Annual Fall Stocker Cow Sale. Bryan, TX. 979-272-3109

Dec. 7 - Special Replacement Female Sale. Jordan Cattle Auction, San Saba, TX. Dec. 8 – 21st Stockman’s Special All Breed Bull and Female Sales. Industry, TX, 979-885-2400

Dec. 10-11 - Texas Plant Protection Association Conference. Bryan, TX. http://tppa.tamu.edu

Dec. 19 - TSCRA Ranch Gathering. Brenham, TX

Nov. 22-24 - 3rd Annual ABBA Membership

Convention. Biloxi, MS. www.brahman.org

Nov. 23 – Caldwell Livestock Commission Replacement Female and Premium Bull Sale. Caldwell, TX. 979-820-5349 Nov. 23 – Collier Farms Beefmasters Performance Bull Sale. Brenham, TX. 979-251-4175

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Nov. 23 - Cox Ranches Inaugural Sale. Weatherford, TX.

Do you have a sale or event you’d like listed? Call Jesse Wright at (979) 731-4721 or email jesse.wright@theeagle.com

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 2013— Issue 2

News Award, from Page 7 tional Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, and/or the Fund For Furthering Flexible Irrigation,” according to the award documentation. In Texas, Fipps is known for his development of a combination of tools, including the TexasET Network and website, geographic information, land surveys and databases that are used by irrigators to improve efficiency and reduce irrigation water losses, according to Charles Swanson, AgriLife Extension specialist who works closely with Fipps. Fipps earned his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from The University of Texas in 1977, a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University in 1979, and master’s and doctorate deg rees from North Carolina State University in 1984 and 1988, respectively. He has been an AgriLife Extension specialist and a Texas A&M faculty member since 1988. Internationally, Fipps’ work has targeted improvement of irrigation — including surface irrigation — through project

consultation/advisory efforts and educational program development and support in Iraq, China, Mexico, Jordan, Peru and Jamaica, Swanson said. Other major honors Fipps has received include the Award for the Advancement of Surface Irrigation from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers in 2012, the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage Best Paper Award in 2011 and AgriLife Extension’s award for Superior Service in 2009. He helped found the Texas Agricultural Irrigation Association and served as a director from 1991-1992. He also served as associate editor for the “Journal of Applied Engineering in Agriculture” from 1995 to 1997. He was the founding director of the Texas A&M Irrigation Technolog y Center. In addition, Fipps held a temporary appointment with the U.S. Department of State and served as the senior advisor for Water at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2005-2006. Fipps is a member of numerous professional organizations.

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 2013— Issue 2

News

Putting the best foot forward How to prevent and treat foot rot

By RoBeRt FeaRs Special to The Post

B

enefits of drought aren’t numerous, but it may reduce foot rot. The disease is caused by bacteria that require constant wet skin or abrasions between the toes of a cow in order to cause infection. During the 1960s, it rained more often and as a ranch hand, I saw a lot of foot rot. A rancher I worked for on the Gulf Coast had converted rice fields to pasture. The levees haad not been removed, resulting in poor pasture drainage. Following a rain, cattle would stand in water for two or three days and we continually doctored foot rot. Small, thick brush was mowed during the summer leaving sharp-edged stems sticking about three or four inches above the ground. Either injuring their feet on the brush stems, standing in water, or both events could have caused the foot rot in the cattle. Another ranch where I doctored foot root is in the Bryan area. The rancher had a pond outside the corrals that drained into a seep area. His cattle stood in the seep outside the corral waiting to be let in for feed. This rancher was also notorious for leaving trash in his pastures — old baarbed wire, discarded metal feed buckets, equipment parts and anything else that fell on the ground and no longer was wanted. Either of these conditions could have been responsible for the disease.

Symptoms

12

“Foot rot refers to a condition more accurately called ‘infectious pododermatitis,’ and is an active bacterial infection of the skin and deeper tissues between the toes of cattle,” said Dr. Russell Daly, Extension Veterinarian at South Dakota State University. “The bacteria, usually Fusobacterium necrophorum, are found just about anywhere there’s mud, manure or dirt. It takes some sort of insult to the skin between the toes in order for the bacteria to start causing damage. This type of insult most commonly occurs when cattle are standing for prolonged periods of time in water, mud or manure.” Once the bacteria gain entrance

Photo by Robert Fears

Provide pasture shade in an attempt to keep cattle from standing in the pond for long periods. into the cow’s foot, they start working on tissue between the toes. Initially, swelling of the foot directly above the hoof occurs. The swelling may extend up into the pastern or fetlock in severe cases, but it will not go higher. “Swelling in a joint without any swelling below that joint isn’t due to foot rot,” Daly said. “Such cases often turn out to be severe sprains or joint infections. As the swelling commences from foot rot, the animal begins to limp, possibly to the point where she is hardly bearing weight on the affected limb. The skin between the toes breaks open and exposes a foul smelling wound. These characteristics — the swelling right above the hoof and the open smelly wound between the toes — are the di-

agnostic hallmarks of foot rot.” “Cattle with foot rot will be reluctant to move and will have a reduced appetite,” said Dr. Grant Dewell, Extension Veterinarian at Iowa State University. “Often the animal will have a lowgrade fever. If the disease is allowed to progress, the infection will invade deeper tissues of the foot and can lead to chronic arthritis. Diagnosis of foot rot is made by observation of the animal and careful examination of the foot. Other causes of lameness include foreign bodies (nails or wire), hairy heel warts, corns, toe or sole abscesses, or a fracture of the foot bones.”

Prevention and treatment “Environmental hygiene is a key component in preventing foot rot,”

On the cover: It is best to constrain an animal in a squeeze chute to make it easier to diagnose the correct cause of lameness. Photo by Robert Fears

Dewell said. “Preventive measures include minimizing abrasive surfaces and wet areas, especially around feeding and watering sites. Lots should be well drained and manure removed regularly. “Concrete slabs along feed bunks and water troughs will reduce muddy conditions in areas where cattle spend a lot of time. Mounds of soil or composted manure can be utilized to channel water away from wet areas and to provide cattle a dry place to lie down,” Dewell said. “Good nutrition is important in

See PREVENT, Page 14


Maryland agriculture law group formed to aid farmers

See LAW, Page 21

November 2013— Issue 2

Gordon Feinblatt’s successful representation of farmers Alan and Kristin Hudson against allegations by nonprofit environmental group Waterkeeper Alliance Inc. that their farm and Perdue Farms Inc. had polluted the Pocomoke River and Chesapeake Bay. George F. Ritchie, the Hudson family’s lead attorney, said the case is an example of how farmers are increasingly facing litigation due to more government regulations on the environment. “I think now is a unique time compared to 10, 15 years ago,” said Ritchie, who is a co-chairman of the agricultural law group. “Environmental groups are finding litigation is a more effective way of pursuing their agenda, and farmers need a de-

BALTIMORE (AP) — Gordon Feinblatt LLC has started an agricultural law practice group during a time when attorneys say there is an increased demand in the farming community for legal representation. Few, if any, Baltimore-area law firms appear to advertise practice groups focused on agricultural law, but it is a field that has promise in the state, attorneys said. “I think it’s safe to say that this is a growing area with a lot of demand,” said Michael Pappas, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law assistant professor. “Agricultural communities, rural communities don’t necessarily have a lot of great diversity of lawyers.” The momentum to form the group partially stems from

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November 2013— Issue 2

The Land & Livestock Post

News

Photo by Robert Fears

Help prevent foot rot by keeping fences in good repair. Avoid leaving barbed wire and fence staples lying on the ground. been used to treat and prevent Prevent, from Page 12 foot rot. There are vaccines approved for foot rot prevention, maintaining healthy feet and skin,” Dewell said. “Vitamin A but cost effectiveness has not is essential for skin cell health. been established for female Organic iodide can reduce foot animals,” Dewell said. “It is generally recommendrot incidence and it can be ined that bulls be vaccinated becluded in salt or feed mixes at cause the cost of vaccinating label doses. individual bulls is less than an “Although the action mechentire herd, and the potential anism is unclear, zinc has

negative impact of a lame bull during the breeding season is tremendous,” he said. “Footbaths have been used for sheep and dairy cattle but are usually impractical in range or feedlot conditions,” Dewell said. It is important to know whether an animal’s lameness is due to foot rot or to some other cause, because a correct diagnosis determines the treatment. Foot rot in its early stages is quite responsive to antibiotic treatment such as long-acting tetracycline or penicillin. Another reason for determining whether a case of lameness is actually foot rot is to allow implementation of effective prevention efforts. “ When more than one case is diagnosed in a group of animals, it behooves the producer to look for causes, whether it’s animals spending too much time in the stock pond, or requiring them to navigate a rocky patch of ground to get to the water trough,” Dewell

said. Accurately diagnosing lameness in cattle on pasture is often a challenge,” Daly said. “Because an animal that’s limping is an animal in pain, we need to try to provide relief through appropriate treatment when possible. “Restraining an animal in a chute allows careful examination. Early cases of foot rot are obvious by the lesion between the toes. Such examinations are also beneficial because other causes of lameness such as sand cracks, toe abscesses, and penetrating foreign bodies

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can be detected.,” Daly said. “Proper and prompt diagnosis of foot rot provides the animal an excellent chance of recovery with antibiotic treatments,” Daly said. “Treating other causes of lameness with antibiotics is often unrewarding. Letting a foot rot case go untreated means prolonged pain for the animal and a greater chance of the infection settling in a joint and becoming chronic. “Contact your veterinarian for advice about how best to diagnose and treat foot rot.” Daly said.

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 2013— Issue 2

News

Production comes after restoration of rangeland By Kay LedBetter Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

VERNON — A healthy agroecosystem is critical to productive, stable rangeland. Land managers trying to restore an ecosystem and productivity must understand it requires a different process of allocating resources under differing situations, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research ecologist. Richard Teague, AgriLife Research rangeland ecology and management scientist in Vernon, is developing a database that can aid producers in calculating how different management techniques will provide the best and most sustainable resource and economic results. In his study, Teague is measuring and documenting the effects of different range management strategies on critical natural resources. To improve their situation, he said, landowners first must understand what is necessary to make changes. “We are studying how conservation award-winning ranch managers do it,” Teague said. “In the process, we are also finding that ranchers who have improved the condition of the range vegetation and soils have increased productivity and have been less impacted by the bad drought we are currently experiencing.” The Texas section of the Society for Range Management recently presented the conservation ranch award to a rancher

Texas A&M Research photo by Richard Teague

A healthy ecosystem is necessary for ranch productivity,according to RichardTeague, TexasA&MAgriLife Research rangeland ecology and management scientist inVernon. who uses a very simple fourpasture management strategy with a growing season rest every three to four years, Teague said. The rancher achieved good conservation, productivity and economic results despite the bad drought – an excellent example of successful use of planned, time-controlled graz-

ing that every rancher would find very easy to manage. “If you look at successful managers, the leading people exceed the average by a margin and they do that by the way they allocate resources, use different techniques and adapt as things change,” Teague said. He said his studies, which are

on the landscape level instead of the small plot level, are taking place on ranches with similar vegetation — most east of Wichita Falls. Ranches in three contiguous counties with award-winning management were selected. The study is examining the impacts of changing key management elements and planning ahead to decrease the impact of different circumstances such as dry or wet seasons, wildfires and changing weather patterns. It is designed to answer questions such as: “How good is any management option ecologically, economically and socially?” and “Within what context is it most likely to be successful?” Teague said his study aims to determine what combination of management choices yields superior results. “We want to test the impact of different grazing management strategies at the scale of commercial ranches by studying impacts on neighboring ranch-

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es to check for consistency of response across multiple counties,” Teague said. He said superior results in terms of range improvement, productivity and profitability also have been regularly obtained by ranchers who use many more paddocks per herd with shorter periods of grazing and who are adaptively changing recovery periods and other management elements as conditions change. Teague said good managers are dealing with complexity and not being overwhelmed by it. “I’ve developed five different sets of decision rules that result in five different levels of management complexity. We are trying to find the minimum number of key decisions that will result in the most satisfactory resource and economic results. “We compare the results of these sets of decision rules with results achieved by ranch-

See RESTORE, Page 18 NEWS YOU CAN USE RIGHT IN YOUR MAILBOX

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The Land & Livestock Post November 2013— Issue 2

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 2013— Issue 2

News Restore, from Page 16 ers who have made these different sets of decisions to make sure we are incorporating local knowledge and experience,” he said. An important tool that recently has been refined is using aerial monitoring of ranch landscapes, Teague said. Landscape data have been available for about 20 years via the NASA LANDSAT program, “so we can examine the impacts of different ranch management decisions retrospectively over whole ranch landscapes. “You can’t just monitor management impacts on an ecosystem over a couple years. You need to go through at least two wet and two dry cycles before you can begin to understand what impacts that management really causes, and three would actually be better,” he said. “These retrospective analyses will enable us to see how neighbors who manage differently were impacted during both dry and wet years relative to each other. This is particularly important so we can check what

management decisions result over the years in a rancher being able to minimize the impacts of droughts while taking advantage of the good years when they happen.” Teague said a prominent conservation rancher at a recent workshop was asked why his ranch was still operating so well in the drought. “His reply was that he had been managing over the previous 25 years to make sure his forage was dominated by the most productive grasses and had the deepest roots possible,” Teague said.

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November 2013— Issue 2

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 2013— Issue 2

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fense on that front.” Pappas said farmers in the state more often are seeking help as they grapple with modern issues, such as leasing rights for hydraulic fracturing — extracting natural gas from shale — or the installation of wind turbines on rural farms. “You find there are pressures that have increased and continue to increase the need for services in the legal community,” Pappas said. Gordon Feinblatt has formed an eight-attorney practice group

focused on such legal problems facing farmers as succession planning and how to structure farms as businesses. “Farmers are really just another type of people who do business in Maryland, and we can help them with a variety of issues they face,” said Margaret M. Witherup, a co-chairwoman of the agricultural law group. A large aspect will be helping farmers understand environmental regulations. “We think this is an underserved market,” Ritchie said. “It seems clear to us the regulations of the farm industry in

biotechnology, equipment and more throughout the two-day conference. Murray said in addition to learning about trends and gathering new ideas, the conference also offers an opportunity to network with agricultural leaders and to discuss the latest from the industry with key industry professionals. Registration is $85 before Nov. 18 and $100 after. To register and for more information about the conference, go to tppa.tamu.edu.

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Law, from Page 13

Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Blair Fannin A poster session is held showcasing the latest in agricultural research as part of the Texas Plant Protection Association annual conference.

The Texas Plant Protection Association celebrates its 25th year Dec. 10-11 with its annual conference at the Brazos Center in Bryan. Each year, the association’s conference features numerous presentations from throughout the agricultural industry addressing timely topics, said Seth Murray, association president and Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist in College Station. “It’s everybody coming to the table from the public and private sector, meeting to discuss the latest research and information pertaining to all aspects of

agriculture,” Murray said. The theme of this year’s conference is “A Vision for Texas Agriculture.” Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, will open the conference Dec. 10. Other featured speakers the opening day of the conference are Craig Nessler, director of AgriLife Research, and Doug Steele, director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Representatives from various companies throughout the agriculture industry also will be featured speakers during the opening day. Discussions will focus on historical and future uses of herbicides, fungicides, insecticides,

The Land & Livestock Post

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