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November 2018 – Issue 1

KEEPING COWS PREGNANT Cows that don’t produce a live calf cost the producer money PAGE 16


Prepare now to protect your herd for when disaster strikes. PAGE 8

ASIAN VEGGIES Study to determine if Texas can grow Asian vegetables. PAGE 11


Industry leaders learn about advances in turfgrass. PAGE 23

EATING GOOD AgriLife researcher makes cottonseed edible for humans. PAGE 25




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November 2018 — Issue I

The Land & Livestock Post



From the General Manager

heard something recently that I thought was profound: If you are wondering if you are young or not, fall down in public. If you are young, people will laugh, if you are old, they will rush to help. Well, I’ve actually tested this theory a few times recently, not on purpose, and am pleased to say that I am still very young. The first fall wasn’t really my fault. I came in to work, coffee in hand and was heading toward my desk. In the walkway there is a section that is part tile, part carpet and I was walking right along the edge where the two join. Next thing I know I’m off the ground, looking at the ceiling and it is rapidly getting farther away. I JESSE WRIGHT laid there for a second, trying to figure out how this came to be, as this spot on the floor was not my intended destination. Just then the pest control guy came around the corner, spraying willy-nilly and turning the walkway into a Slip-N-Slide. I gave him a good glaring as I got up. It must have been a spectacular fall because I didn’t immediately hear laughter. The people who saw it had suppressed smiles as they asked if I was OK, and then once it was determined I was fine, they let loose and let out the chuckles they had been holding in. I guess I could have sued, but the only thing injured was pride and I don’t think that pays much. I did have the humble brag that I did not spill a drop of coffee. If that response to my fall confirmed my youth, then the response I got from my fall last month should solidify any doubts. I was at my desk, and I pushed out my chair to get up and go do something. Just as I stood up, an e-mail came through, and I clicked it to read it. It was a longer e-mail than expected, and one I decided to reply to immediately, so I decided to sit

back down to give it my full attention. Well, that e-mail got every bit of attention, so I didn’t notice my chair was not in the same spot, and about the time I realized that was the same point when I expected my butt to be in a chair. It was not in a chair, or anywhere near one, and on instinct I flailed for purchase to catch myself, which only resulted in knocking things around on my desk and creating a clamor so everyone in the office took note. I hit hard, and was immediately met with laughter and derision, a co-worker even had her phone at the ready to try to capture the moment for all eternity. Upon seeing the phone, I quickly hopped up and proceeded to tell everyone who missed it that I fell at my desk — you have to get ahead of these things. Each person who heard the news was quite amused and there was little concern for my well-being. No matter what the age of your cattle, you are concerned for their well-being, because their well-being can affect your bottom line. The cow’s number-one job is to produce calves, and if she can’t do her job, then that is a problem. In our cover story, we take a look at reasons why a cow may not be able to do her job,and what you can do about it. In this issue we also have news from around the ag industry as well as information about upcoming events and sales. Hope you enjoy it, and as always, thanks for reading. ’Til next time,


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Trump to lift ban on high-ethanol fuels in summer By KENNY WILEY

President Donald Trump recently announced his plans to lift a federal ban on summer sales of high-ethanol fuel blends, a move that likely would benefit Texas corn producers but could impact cattle ranchers negatively, according to Texas A&M Agri-

Life extension economists who follow grain and cattle trends in the state and nationwide. The plan directs the Environmental Protection Agency to initiate the process that would allow E15, or gasoline with 15 percent ethanol, to be sold year-round, possibly as soon as summer 2019. Sale of the higher-ethanol fu-

The Land & Livestock Post

el mixture currently is banned between June 1 and Sept. 15 because of ozone-related health and environmental concerns. “This is a long range, longterm adjustment to ethanol policy and ethanol availability in this country,” said Mark Welch, a Texas A&M AgriLife Exten-

See ETHANOL, Page 4

November 2018 — Issue I

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News Ethanol, from Page 3

Photo illustration courtesy of the Foundation for Economic Education

sion economist who specializes in grain markets. “It is friendly to the biofuel industry and something the industry has wanted for a long time.” Welch said he expected the proposed move to be supportive to the price of corn, but that its impact would not be dramatic in the near term. He said the proposed ethanol policy shift would not be an E15 mandate, and that consumer demand would play a large role in its ultimate impact. Welch’s colleague, fellow AgriLife Extension economist David Anderson, urged a “wait and see” approach to those following the proposal’s impacts and progress. “The announcement has been made but nothing has really happened yet,” Anderson said. The E15 proposal must go through formal notice and public comment processes, which the president said he hopes to fast-track to implement the shift

by June. Numerous oil interest groups denounced the proposal. Last month, a bipartisan group of lawmakers that included U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas sent the president a letter to express “strong opposition” to an expansion of high-ethanol gas sales. “A one-sided approach to addressing concerns related to the Renewable Fuel Standard that favors only one industry stakeholder is misguided,” the letter reads in part. American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers also expressed his organization’s opposition to the proposed policy shift. “Putting a fuel into the marketplace that the vast majority of cars on the road were not designed to use is not in the best interest of consumers,” he said in a release.

See CORN, Page 6

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November 2018 — Issue I

The Land & Livestock Post

The Land & Livestock Post

November 2018 — Issue I


News Corn, from Page 4 Corn producers, including the Texas Corn Producers Association, praised the decision. “This is timely support for the state’s corn farmers and the greater U.S. economy that relies on a strong agricultural backbone,” Corn Producers President Joe Reed said in a release. Welch said the three-and-ahalf-month blackout period challenged some retailers because of the financial costs of changing pumps and warning labels at the start and end of each summer. The move is likely to raise corn prices, Welch said. “Using more ethanol means using more corn to make ethanol because we’ve increased demand,” Welch said. Welch said most corn grown in Texas goes toward livestock feed, and that aside from some ethanol plants in the Texas Panhandle, much of the state does not produce ethanol. Texas produces more than 300 million bushels of corn a year, according to the Texas Corn Producers Association, which is significant, though much less than the top-producing Midwestern states of Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska. Nationally, Welch said, corn used for transportation fuel is the crop’s largest use, closely followed by corn for feed use for livestock. Corn used for ethanol production also is used to make a co-product called distillers grains, which commonly is fed to livestock. “Something to remember is that as a state, we cannot produce all the feed that we use. Texas brings in a substantial amount of grain from other states.” A rise in corn prices negatively may impact cattle ranchers in Texas and elsewhere, Anderson said. He said the 2005 Renewable Fuel Standard, which required renewable fuel to be blended into transportation fuel, created a much larger demand for ethanol. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 expanded and extended its influence, he said. “The Renewable Fuel Standard was great for corn and soybean


farmers and was a disaster for livestock producers,” Anderson said. He said it drove corn prices higher to the detriment of the livestock ranchers, and added that the economic shift toward ethanol led to a number of bankruptcies, especially for poultry farmers. Current corn prices, however, are low, according to Anderson. “We have a lot of corn right now,” he said, and added that expanding ethanol use has been unpopular in the livestock rancher community. Cheramie Viator, an industry expert and the marketing manager at Westway Feed Products in Tomball, said she hopes beef producers will not suffer longterm collateral damage because of higher feed prices. She said her cattle operation would gravitate toward more molasses-based liquid feed or other co-product based feed for the winter supplements if corn prices rose dramatically as a result of the proposed policy shift. “Any time there is an increase in corn or any grain price, it will negatively affect ranchers because their annual feed costs and total production costs will increase,” Viator said. “Typically, feed and labor costs are two of the highest costs we as beef producers have on an annual basis.” Viator also said that exports and trade are big drivers in cattle prices. Anderson said the U.S. exports about 11 percent of its beef, and that its “big four” export markets are Japan, South Korea, Canada and Mexico. Mexico is also the biggest buyer of U.S. corn and wheat, Welch said. The U.S., Canada and Mexico came to an agreement Sept. 30 on a revised trade deal, the USMCA, that could replace NAFTA. Viator, Anderson and Welch each encouraged members of the agriculture industry to follow U.S. trade news because of its impacts on various industry markets. “I hope that the trade negotiations will enable us to maintain export markets and eventually increase beef demand,” Viator said.

November 2018 — Issue I

The Land & Livestock Post


Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Blair Fannin

The renovation team has been working hard with Genomics and Bioinformatics Services Director Charlie Johnson,far left,on relocation efforts of the center’s new facility,located at 1500 Research Parkway in the Centeq Building in College Station.

AgriLife Research’s Genomics and Bioinformation Services gets new home By Blair Fannin Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Genomics and Bioinformatics Services, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, is relocating and expanding to accommodate growing needs in human, plant and animal genomic research. The new facility, located at 1500 Research Parkway in the Centeq Building in College Station, will provide more than 6,000 square feet of state-of-the-art sequencing facilities and office space. Construction will be complete in spring of 2019. Building on its recent partnership with PerkinElmer, the new facility will utilize state-ofart gene sequencing and robotic technology in servicing Texas A&M University System faculty and scientists across the globe. “This renovation and expansion will allow the lab to go from processing 50,000 samples a year to more than 150,000 samples annually, putting Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Research at the forefront of technology,” said Charlie Johnson, director. “We have also been recognized by PerkinElmer as a Center of Excellence.”

The new laboratory will feature an advanced climate control system and glass panels throughout to allow visitors and students to view the activities throughout the lab. Cloud-based data will be stored in a new server facility. The lab also features the latest DNA sequencing technology. Johnson’s team of seasoned senior scientists have worked with faculty across the Texas A&M System, providing sequencing and bioinformatics support for grants dedicated to genomic research over the last eight years totaling $135 million. “Currently, we have an annual operating budget of $4 million, primarily from research grants and other collaborative research projects,” Johnson said. “Over the last 24 months we have seen a large increase in number and scale of projects. This reflects the growth of genomic research across Texas A&M.” Johnson said he anticipates the lab growing at a greater rate along with improvements to operations and additional hiring this year. “We focus on providing qual-

See RESEARCH, Page 14

The Land & Livestock Post

November 2018 — Issue I


News When disaster strikes: Planning ahead for your livestock operations By Brandon dominguez Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences


ayne just got his horse unsaddled and watched from the barn door as the storm blew in. He had little warning that the river was rising, but with the help of his neighbor was able to get most of the cattle to higher ground. He was missing 10 first-calf heifers that just wouldn’t come through the gate. Would he be able to get to them after the storm? Would they be flooded in? Could he get feed to them? Would they even survive? The thoughts clouded his head as the rain beat on the tin roof. How often do those of us in agriculture deal with adversity dealt our way by Mother Nature? Small profit margins, threats introduced by a global economy, increasing competition for land usage and a society whose understanding of agriculture decreases the likelihood of an agricultural entity surviving the effects of a disaster. In many cases, the unexpected disaster is an insurmountable threat to what I consider our nation’s most resilient citizens, its farmers and ranchers. The threat of disaster also has serious implications on a much larger scale in which adverse circumstances can spread to our entire nation through disruption in our food supply system. Backyard egg producers to vertically integrated farms, our livestock bring value through food on the table, winnings at the competition, money in our wallet, or the enjoyment of rural life, and that value adds to the economy of families, communities, states and the


Vet’s Voice country. Livestock producers are in a business — regardless of the species they raise, it is a business. The key to surviving unexpected disasters lies in having well-thought-out continuity of operations plans. States and communities have been mandated to include companion animals in emergency plans. This requirement does not extend to livestock, though, so producers, much like other business entities, are required to develop their own plans for survival. Developing continuity of operations plans can be a complicated process as there are many issues to consider, starting with identifying those hazards that are most likely to impact the area of production. These are typically well-known to ranchers as they tend to be long-time community members with a sound knowledge of their surroundings. There are other issues to consider as well. These include developing a plan for evacuating livestock before the disaster occurs, regaining containment if fences, barns or stables are lost as a result of either the disaster itself or the response to the disaster, overcoming a loss of infrastructure that compromises meeting the nutritional needs of the animals, or considering

See FLOODS, Page 9

Photo courtesy of Texas Animal Health Commission

Cows wade through floodwaters in Wharton County during Hurricane Harvey. Producers should be prepared for disasters.

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November 2018 — Issue I

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The Land & Livestock Post

News Floods, from Page 8 how vehicles and people safely can enter and exit properties without spreading disease in the event of an infectious disease outbreak. The reason to write out your continuity of operations plan is threefold: • It stimulates thought and conversation among those involved in the operation. • It serves as a resource for family, friends and employees to use in a disaster. • It signifies to emergency managers, first responders, bankers and insurance representatives that you have given thought to protecting effectively your business. It also provides a mechanism to convey your intentions to those who you need to rely on effectively to protect your financial investment and the health, well-

being and welfare of animals under your care. Including the contact information of all you need to communicate with in an emergency or disaster is a great tactic to ensure that you are able to get a hold of the right help when needed. Finally, plan for recovery. Identify those things that will need to be in place so animals can come back and your operation can get back to operating. Fences and barns may need to be rebuilt, feed and hay may need to be delivered, and insurance payments and loans may need to be sought. If you were to need to rebuild, how would you do it differently? As with the heifers at the beginning of this article, time will tell if you survive. Do what you can on the front end to be prepared to face that which may impact your operation.

Ranchers Leasing Workshop planned for Waco By Blair Fannin Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

WACO — A half-day Ranchers Leasing Workshop set for Nov. 8 in Waco will cover all aspects of leasing, including grazing, hunting and livestock. The free workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the McLennan County Community College Emergency Services Education Center, 7601 Steinbeck Road in Waco. Lunch will be sponsored by Ag Workers Insurance. “Many Texas landowners and livestock producers are in leasing relationships, either as landowners or tenants,” said Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, AgriLife Extension agricultural law specialist in Amarillo. “This workshop offers an op-

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blair Fannin

A recent Ranchers Leasing Workshop in Bryan attracted a full room of attendees. The next workshop is set for Nov.8 inWaco. portunity to discuss the law related to leasing, tips for what should be included in a lease and a discussion of landowner liability. We focus on offering practical, real-world information that people can take home and implement in their own operations.”

Participants will be able to interact with Lashmet and Greg Kaase, AgriLife Extension economist in College Station. They also will receive a copy of the Rancher’s Agricultural Leasing Handbook, which contains checklists and sample lease language. Lashmet said more than 750 Texans have attended these workshops over the past two years, and surveys have indicated 100 percent of attendees would recommend the workshop to a friend. RSVP is requested by calling 806-677-5681 or emailing Lashmet at



Nov. 7 • Buffalo Livestock Pre-Conditioned Calf & Yearling Sale, Buffalo, TX

Dec. 1 • Jordan Cattle Auction December Replacement Female Sale, San Saba, TX

Nov. 8 • Jordan Cattle Auction Special Bull Offering, San Saba, TX

Dec. 1 • 44 Farms Abilene Christmas Angus Bull Sale, Abilene, TX

Nov. 9 • Double Creek Angus Bull Sale, Clifton, TX

Dec. 1 • Stockman Special All Breed Bull & Female Sale, Industry, TX

Nov. 9 • Briggs Ranch/Tri Star Santa Gertrudis Bull & Female Sale, Bloomington, TX

Dec. 1 • Brazos Valley Livestock Fall Replacement Sale, Bryan, TX Dec. 1 • Watson Ranch Complete Cattle Dispersal, Mart, TX

Nov. 10 • Lesikar Angus Bull Sale, Athens, TX Nov. 10 • Cattleman’s Top Cut Replacement Female Sale, Navasota, TX

Dec. 6 • Jordan Cattle Auction Special Stocker & Feeder Sale, San Saba, TX

Nov. 14 • Jordan Cattle Auction Special Bull Offering Barber Ranch Herefords/

Dec. 7 • Lone Star Angus Alliance Bull Sale, Hallettsville, TX

Express Angus, San Saba, TX

Dec. 8 • Texas Angus Assn. Performance Tested Bull Sale, College Station, TX

Nov. 16 • Double Creek Angus Female Sale, Clifton, TX Nov. 17 • Collier Farms Beefmasters Performance Bull Sale, Brenham, TX Nov. 17 • 4-States Limousin Assn. Sale, Mt. Pleasant, TX Nov. 17 • Mid-Tex Livestock Customer Appreciation Sale, Anderson, TX

Dec. 8 • Taste of Texas Wagyu Sale, Anderson, TX Dec. 10 • Jordan Cattle Auction Special Stocker & Feeder Sale, Mason, TX Dec. 13 • Jordan Cattle Auction Special Bull Offering, San Saba, TX

Nov. 17 • Caldwell Replacement Female & Bull Sale, Caldwell, TX

Dec. 15 • Griswold Cattle Classic Angus Female Sale, Stillwater, OK

Nov. 30 • Watson Ranch Complete Equipment Dispersal, Mart, TX

Dec. 28 • Evans Farms Angus Bull Sale, Proctor, TX

Do you have a sale or event you’d like listed? Call Jesse Wright (979) 731-4721 or email

The Land & Livestock Post

November 2018 — Issue I


News Rancher risk management tool offered; sign-up deadline Nov. 15 By Kay LedBetter Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

AMARILLO — Pasture, Rangeland and Forage insurance can be a way to protect Texas landowners’ perennial forage for livestock and manage the risks of a constantly changing weather environment, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist in Amarillo, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency offers the Pasture, Rangeland and Forage program and policies covering the 2019 calendar year through crop insurance agents until Nov. 15. Premiums are billed on Sept. 1, 2019. “Conventional crop insurance doesn’t offer much for ranchers, but they need to focus as much on risk management as farmers do,” Jones said. With the pasture insurance, producers are not required to insure all their acres for the entire 12-month period, she said. They can choose the acres and months most important to their grazing and/or haying operations. Payment is not determined by individual damages, but rather area losses based on a grid sys-

tem, she said. Producers can select any portion of acres to insure, but they must select between 11 of the two-month intervals outlined, choosing at least two and not more than six. Coverage levels between 70 and 90 percent are available, Jones said. Once coverage is selected, the producer also chooses a productivity factor between 60 and 150 percent. The productivity factor is a percentage of the established county base value for forage. The base value is a standard rate published by the Risk Management Agency for each county. It is calculated based on estimated stocking rates and current hay prices. Jones said the program uses a rainfall index to determine potential indemnity payments. Additionally, she said alfalfa and other irrigated hay can be insured under a Pasture, Rangeland and Forage policy at different coverage levels and higher base values. A decision-support tool to help producers determine coverage levels and intervals can be found at For more information about the insurance and how it fits into a risk management plan, contact Jones at 806-677-5600 or dljones@

Ground broken for biological safety facility By BLair Fannin Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Ground was broken Oct. 25 for the new Biological Safety Level-II research facility at the Texas A&M University Poultry Research Center, 1202 Harvey Mitchell Parkway S. in College Station. Merck Animal Health and Tyson Foods have provided gift funding for the new research fa-


cility, which aims to solve healthrelated challenges facing the poultry industry. The facility will encompass research and education activities by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and teaching faculty within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M. “Having this type of research

See SAFETY, Page 14

November 2018 — Issue I

The Land & Livestock Post

News Asian vegetable trial to determine market, production viability By AdAm Russell Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension photo by Adam Russell

OVERTON — Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service have teamed up for a year-long trial to test the feasibility and profitability of growing Asian vegetables in Texas. Trials will be held at AgriLife facilities in El Paso, Overton, Uvalde and Weslaco. The study will include Genhua Niu, AgriLife Research horticulturist in El Paso; John Jifon, AgriLife Extension plant physiologist in Weslaco; Daniel Leskovar, AgriLife Research vegetable physiologist in Uvalde; Gregory Torell, AgriLife Research environmental and natural resources economist in El Paso; and Joe Masabni, AgriLife Extension horticulturist in Overton. The total budget for the trial and economic assessment for cool- and warm-season vegetables is about $50,000, Niu said. The scientists will assess the vegetables in unimproved soil, in high tunnels and in greenhouses dur-

Katherine Barthel,a biology student atThe Univsersity of Texas at Tyler, left, and Joe Masabni,AgriLife Extension horticulturist in Overton, plant one of several varieties of bok choi as part of a state-wide Asian vegetable trial. ing the trials. They will include fall and spring plantings to test cool-season varieties such as bok choi, tatsoi and Chinese celery, as well as warm-season varieties to include Asian eggplant, yardlong beans and smooth luffa. “We’re doing the research because demand for Asian vegetables is increasing due to changing demographics and consumer awareness,” Niu said. “Asian vegetables are proven to be profitable crops in other states, but farmers in Texas aren’t familiar with how to grow them and whether they can be profitable. So, we want to look at market demand around the state and field test a range of Asian vegetables in four locations to see if they are a fit for Texas producers.”


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Bok choi is among several Asian vegetable varieties undergoing a year-long trial at AgriLife facilities in El Paso, Overton, Uvalde and Weslaco.

The Land & Livestock Post

November 2018 — Issue I



Study: Fumonisin not detrimental to beef cattle diets By Kay LedBetter Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

AMARILLO — Increasing levels of dietary fumonisin do not adversely affect feedlot cattle performance, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist in Amarillo. After a tumultuous 2017 corn season resulting in grain price discounts due to fumonisin, Jenny Jennings, AgriLife Research beef nutritionist in Amarillo, conducted a controlled beef cattle feeding study to determine the dangers of the mycotoxin in feed corn. Fumonisin primarily is produced by two species of Fusarium fungi and can be toxic to livestock and humans at high levels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration set guidance levels in 2001 for the amounts corn and feed may contain. Jennings said a lack of scientific literature on ruminant exposure to levels between 25 parts per million and 120 parts per million led the Food and Drug Administration to choose a “conservative” limit of 60 parts per million as the guideline for corn fed to cattle in a feedlot. The guideline is corn with 60 parts per million fumonisin levels cannot make up more than 50 percent of their ration. Fumonisin contamination in corn can be found around the world, said Jourdan Bell, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist in Amarillo. Yearly levels vary due to environmental conditions, hybrid susceptibility and management. In 2017, fumonisin levels were elevated due to environmental conditions that favored fusarium infestation and fumonisin development in Texas High Plains’ corn, Bell said. “Last year was an educational year,” Bell said. “It prompted regional research that will benefit both the corn producers and cattle feeders.” With the majority of the Texas


Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Jenny Jennings

In Jenny Jennings’ Texas A&M AgriLife Research study, corn fed to steers had four levels of fumonisin contamination. High Plains’ feed corn production going to the cattle feeding industry, Jennings’ study should have wide-reaching effects in both industries, she said. There are approximately 770,000 acres of corn grown in the High Plains and more than 2 million cattle on feed in the region. Bell said there were many unanswered questions about the guidance levels, testing procedures, discounts at the elevator and feeding within the beef industry. “A local feeder approached me last year and asked if we could answer this question with science,” Jennings said. “I was amazed at how many entities came together and supported the research. Everyone just wanted answers.” B o t h Je n n i n g s a n d B e l l stressed this study does not change the implications of other livestock feeding regimes. But Jennings hopes her findings will contribute to updating the guidance levels for beef cattle. The cattle used for the study were provided by a local feeder, and research funds were provided by AgriLife Research, local beef nutrition entities, ethanol producers, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association and Texas Corn Producers Board. Jennings fed 49 steers a dry, rolled corn-based finishing diet. The rations were targeted to contain less than 5 parts per million total dietary fumonisin as a control, with other rates of 15, 30, 60 and 90 parts per million. The actual daily levels averaged 8.1 parts per million up to 108.8 parts per million because the corn fed was naturally infested with fumonisin, so levels varied. The cattle were followed through harvesting and processing, where she monitored

See FUMONISIN, Page 13

November 2018 — Issue I

The Land & Livestock Post

News A Cowman’s Best Friend at Calving Time! Now available with digital scale!

Easy and Safe Catching!

Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Jenny Jennings

Steers fed during theTexasA&MAgriLife Research study by Jenny Jennings had individual feed bunk space to eat the specified rations from.

Fumonisin, from Page 12 marbling score, rib eye, quality and yield grade, and livers were examined for abnormalities. No difference in performance, carcass or liver characteristics were observed in steers fed dietary levels of fumonisin ranging from 8-108 parts per million for 110 days prior to harvest, Jennings said. Her results were similar to a study done in 1993 that showed no difference in body weight,

Vegetables, from Page 11 Niu said Texas has the thirdhighest Asian population in the U.S. and Asian vegetables are one of the most profitable crops for producers on the East Coast based on market prices. “The p roduction costs for Texas farmers is unknown, and a great deal of the study will be focused on determining the economics of these crops as it relates to prices, demand and how pro-

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average daily gain or dry matter intake among calves fed three treatments of dietary fumonisin for 31 days, followed by 30 days on a control diet, Jennings said. “The results of our study support the theory of reduced susceptibility of beef cattle to the effects of fumonisin and suggests that this reduced susceptibility may hold true for cattle fed to heavier final weights and for longer feeding periods, such as in a commercial feedlot setting,” Jennings said.

ducers can access those markets and be profitable,” she said. “So, we are looking at market opportunity and potential consumers as well as crop performance.” Niu said the scientists are looking for external funding to expand the field trials into the future. “We have such a wide range in climates that planting dates, growing environments and availability of resources will be different,” she said.

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November 2018 — Issue I






Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Blair Fannin

The new Genomics and Bioinformatics Services facility, located at 1500 Research Parkway in the Centeq Building in College Station, will provide over 6,000 square feet of state-of-the-art sequencing facilities and office space. Completion is expected in spring of 2019.

Research, from Page 7 ity data for Texas A&M faculty,” he said. “What we do may seem easy with all of the sophisticated technology, but it’s not. It is time consuming and challenging considering the enormous amount of data that is generated and processed. In much the same way that landing an aircraft on a ship is routine for the U.S. Navy, sequencing has become common place, but it still requires considerable skill and experience to

Safety, from Page 10 facility will allow Texas A&M AgriLife to help develop new technologies to further protect the state’s multibillion-dollar poultry industry and meet future health challenges,” said Patrick Stover, vice chancellor for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M and director of AgriLife Research. “We are uniquely positioned to provide not only cutting-edge research, but also education outreach through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and utilize broad-based faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M.” Texas’ poultry industry con-


consistently generate quality results. “What took 13 years to sequence the first human genome in barn-like rooms filled with machines, we can now sequence 48 human genomes in 48 hours on one machine,” Johnson said. “We live in exciting times and the future only looks brighter for sequencing and genomics research across Texas A&M with our new lab coming online in early 2019.” For more information, visit

tributes more than $3 billion to the state’s economy with broiler production accounting for more than $2 billion in cash receipts. Identifying antibiotic and diet alternatives will be part of a comprehensive research plan. “This will be a unique facility for Texas, Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife,” said David Caldwell, department head for poultry science at Texas A&M. “Having a research facility with these capabilities will allow us to identify new control strategies for common intestinal pathogens, assist animal health companies with developing efficacious vaccines and provide in-

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November 2018 — Issue I

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News Holloway receives range management society Grass Roots Award state and national level such as stock shows, judging teams and leadership. He helped one 4-H member go to the Youth Range Workshop in Junction and on to the national meeting of the Society for Range Management in Reno in 2018, where the individual was elected president of the Youth Range Forum. The nomination also highlighted Holloway’s efforts to provide

By Kay LedBetter Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

LUBBOCK — Andy Holloway, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agriculture and natural resources agent in Hemphill County, received the Grass Roots Award — Extension Agent given by the Texas Section Society for Range Management. The award was presented at the society’s recent annual meeting at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock. Holloway has reignited interest regarding improved rangeland-based beef production in his and surrounding counties through active agriculture outreach and education, said Tim Steffens, AgriLife Extension range specialist in Canyon, in his nomination. “Since coming on board in late summer 2013, Andy has used his experience and industry relationships as a range beef cattle producer, seedstock marketer and promoter to develop programming that provides both breadth and depth of knowledge to the ranchers in his and surround-

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Published by Bryan-College Station Communications, Inc., P.O. Box 3000, Bryan,Texas 77805. E-mail: All offices are located at 1729 Briarcrest Drive Bryan,Texas 77802. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Eagle, P.O. Box 3000, Bryan,Texas 77805-3000 The Post is printed in part on recycled paper and is fully recyclable.

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Andy Holloway, right, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent in Hemphill County, receives the Texas Section Society of Range Management Grass Roots Award from Brian Hays, society president and Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute program director in College Station. ing counties,” Steffens said. “He has shown that producers are hungry for education that will help them gain in-depth information and formulate strategies that can be managed adaptively to meet their lifestyle, livelihood and landscape goals.” Some of the highlights of Holloway’s programming include the Mini-ag Conference, which started in 2015 to bring cuttingedge knowledge to bear on ranching issues including rangeland, genetics, marketing, climate and nutrition. Attendance at these conferences has averaged almost 60 people from six to eight counties in the area each year. Holloway’s annual beef conference brings in nationally recognized leaders, along with local and AgriLife Extension/university experts to provide a comprehensive program. These have attracted crowds that have grown

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from 86 in 2015 to 311 attendees from 11 states and 36 counties in Texas in 2017. He also helped promote an indepth grazing and ranch management school for producers that attracted 29 participants the first year. This school uses a systems approach to provide detailed information on grazing livestock economics, rangeland ecology, livestock nutrition and reproduction, and grazing management. In 2017, an additional 22 new participants enrolled, with four repeating the school. He has also been instrumental in helping with the beef conference “alumni association” created to help participants successfully implement the concepts and guidelines they learned in the schools. Holloway also supports youth 4-H participation at the county,

November 2018 — Issue I

support and organized relief to help ranchers recover after the wildfires in the spring of 2017. “His outgoing personality and natural talent for promotion has helped make the Grazing Management schools I work with him on a phenomenal success, and his generosity helping other agents has helped spread their popularity beyond the county borders,” Steffens said.


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Paying their way Keep the cow herd pregnant


By RoBeRt FeaRs Special to The Post

n a cow-operation, the cow pays her annual maintenance costs by delivering a calf every year. If she doesn’t, the animal becomes an overhead cost rather than a profit generator. For a female to deliver a calf on an annual basis, she must rebreed within an 80-day period after calving. There are several conditions that might keep this from happening, including genetics, lack of immunity to disease, stress and toxins. Insufficient nutrition also can cause reproduction problems, but is not discussed in this article due to the depth of the subject. “One of the biggest economic losses on a cow-calf operation is early embryonic mortality,” said John Cothren of North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. “Early embryonic mortality is a term used when cows abort a pregnancy within 42 days after conception and it accounts for greater than 90 percent of the abortions. At least three-fourths of these early abortions occur the first 17 days of pregnancy.” Due to the lack of visual signs, early embryonic mortality is hard to detect. The best indications are when a cow is open after breeding season or she calves more than three to four weeks later than she did the previous year.


Photo by Robert Fears

Heat stress can cause a cow not to deliver a calf.

In contrast, late pregnancy is visible either by an aborted fetus or a cow with placenta hanging from her rear.


These losses include defects in DNA that terminate pregnancy very early

“Losses due to genetic causes are nature’s way of dealing with defective offspring that cannot survive.

November 2018 — Issue I

See COWS, Page 17

The Land & Livestock Post

News COWS, from Page 16 as well as some abortions and stillbirths,” said Barry Blakley, doctoral toxicologist at the University of Saskatchewan. “Genetic defects can arise from chromosomal abnormalities during egg maturation, or after egg fertilization when embryo cells are multiplying,” said Bruce Carpenter of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. “Sometimes lethal genes are expressed and sometimes necessary genes are not expressed. At times, the uterine environment does not allow acceptance of the embryo.” Cows that calve late in the season or remain open during the entire breeding

season are good candidates for culls. Ahmed Tibary of Washington State University said that in some situations the bull-cow genetic combination may lead to increased early embryo loss. Keep good breeding and calving records so bull performance and female production are monitored.


“Production practices that affect the immune system primarily include stress, nutrition and vaccination,” Carpenter said. “There are about 17 known pathogens plus many species and serovars that can cause abortion, so it is critical to work

See HERD, Page 18


Small Farm Innovations Photo by Robert Fears Vaccination is important for maintaining the immune systems in cattle. Cows must be in good health to reproduce successfully.

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November 2018 — Issue I

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News Herd, from Page 17 with your veterinarian to establish herd health and biosecurity plans unique for your ranch. The most common abortion-causing diseases are lepto, vibrio, IBR, BVD and trich.” Lepto — bovine leptospirosis — is spread by bovine urine, infected drinking water and healthy carrier animals. Bloody urine is one of the symptoms. The disease can cause early abortion, sometimes as early as five to seven weeks after conception. A possible indication of disease presence is open or late-bred cows. Late abortions also can occur about seven weeks of pregnancy. There are five common

serovars of lepto that are controlled with a 5-way lepto vaccine. A sixth type, Leptospirosis hardjo-bovis, occasionally occurs in some parts of Texas, usually East Texas. “Vibrio or campylobacter is a venereal disease. The pathogen can infect both cows and bulls, but bulls do not show any symptoms. “Best indication of disease presence is open cows and repeat breeders (late-bred cows). The pathogen causes abortions in the fourth and seventh months of pregnancy and aborted fetuses are sometimes found,” Carpenter said. “There is a lepto/ vibrio combination vaccine available with Vibrin vaccine providing the longest lasting immunity.”

BVD — bovine virus diarrhea — is a common respiratory disease with many symptoms. Weaned calves especially are susceptible to respiratory problems caused by the disease. In addition, the pathogen causes abortions and weak or deformed calves. It is spread primarily by chronically or persistently infected animals, but non-persistently infected animals can spread the virus as well. IBR — infectious bovine rhinotracheitis — is similar to BVD except the pathogen does not create persistently infected animals. A vaccination is very important for preventing BVD, IBR and other prevalent respiratory diseases. “Trich — trichomonia-

sis — is a disease you don’t want,” Carpenter said. Trich is a neighborhood disease because it often is transmitted between pastures when fences don’t contain the cattle. Prevention is the best cure. “Trich is a venereal disease caused by protozoa that lives in a bull’s sheath and in

the cow’s reproductive tract. Due to the sites of infestation, it is very hard to get vaccine to the infection. “The disease does not cause any visible signs in bulls or cows. Symptoms are repeat breeders, open cows and late breeding cows. The disease also causes early

See DISEASE, Page 19 ww

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November 2018 — Issue I

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News Disease, from Page 18 abortions at 50 to 70 days of pregnancy and sometimes through the fifth month of pregnancy. Bulls and some cows are life-long carriers of the organism. Older cows will eventually develop some immunity, but persistently infected bulls and cows are always a source of re-infection.” If trich is discovered in the herd, try to manage the problem. First test all bulls twice and sell all positive animals for slaughter. Replace the culls with virgin yearling bulls, bulls from certified trich free herds or bulls that have passed a trich test. Make sure that all bulls have also passed a breeding soundness exam. Sell all open and short-bred cows or quarantine and vaccinate them. Palpate and monitor breeding patterns in subsequent years. There is a vaccine for trich, but it is very expensive and offers only three to four months immunity. The vaccine sometimes is used to clean up trich infected herds by vaccinating twice prior to the breeding season and then every three to four months, if the breeding season is extended. Another use of the vaccine is in high-risk herds where neighbors have trich in their herds. The protocol for this situation is two vaccinations during the first year — the first at two to four weeks before putting bulls with cows and the second is given two weeks later. Then an annual vaccination is required two weeks before breeding. “Vaccination helps maintain an animal’s immune

Photo by Robert Fears

The bull-cow genetic combination may lead to increased early embryo loss.

system, if label and veterinary recommendations are followed,” Carpenter said. “Altering the immune system at the wrong time and in the wrong way can lead to pregnancy loss. Vaccinating gestating cows and open cows prior to breeding is a safe practice if it is done under the guidance of a veterinarian and by following the manufacturer’s recommendations.”


Stress can come in several different forms such as heat, transportation and handling. Heat stress can cause early embryonic mortality by inhibiting follicular development or chromosome cell division. It also can cause a reproductive hormone imbalance and fetal mortality. “Cold stress can occur in extremely harsh winters which causes cattle to expend more energy to maintain body temperature. Effects of cold stress on cows includes abortions, weak calves, retained placentas, low fertility during the subsequent breeding season and longer postpartum intervals prior to rebreeding. Proper nutrition during the gestation period is very important for preventing cold stress,” said Kevin Shaffer of West Virginia University. “Time of year in which calving occurs has a large impact on temperature stress,” Carpenter said. “Supplementation is needed during winter (December, January and February) calv-

See CALVING, Page 31

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November 2018 — Issue I

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News Sheep and Goat Production Conference set Nov. 14 in Lamesa Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units — two general and one integrated pest management — will be offered. Topics and speakers will be: • General Health/Nutrition — Reid Redden, AgriLife Extension state sheep and goat specialist in San Angelo. • Cropping Forages — Nick Voss, Hugoton, Kansas, producer. • Parasite Control — Redden. • Production Calendar — Jake Thorne, Texas A&M AgriLife Research farm manager in San Angelo. • Fencing Option — Chad Raines, owner of Key Farms Inc. in Lamesa. • Marketing — Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist in San Angelo, and Redden. • Predator Control — Thorne. • What I Wish I Knew When I Got Started — producer panel. The event is expected to end by 4:45 p.m.

By Kay LedBetter Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

LAMESA — A Sheep and Goat Production Conference hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Dawson County will be held Nov. 14 at the Forrest Park Community Center, 814 S. Houston Ave. in Lamesa. Registration for the conference will begin at 8 a.m. and the cost is $20. Lunch will be provided. Preregistration is requested by Nov. 12 to allow for planning. To register, contact the AgriLife Extension office at 806-872-3444, email, or go to and fill out a registration form. “This conference will address everything a producer needs to know when it comes to raising sheep and goats in this region, from health to markets to best management practices,” said Gary Roschetzky, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Dawson County.

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Things to consider as your CRP contract expires By Kay LedBetter Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

AMARILLO — As Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, contracts expire, landowners must decide if they should reenroll acreage, convert it back to farmland or leave it in permanent cover for wildlife and/or grazing, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist said. An AgriLife Extension publication, “After the Conservation Reserve Program: Economical Decisions with Farming and Grazing in Mind,” can help landowners make the necessary decisions, said DeDe Jones, an agency risk management specialist and publication co-author. Jones and Tracy Fischbacher, U.S. Department of AgricultureNatural Resources Conservation Service conservation agronomist in Amarillo, outline the pros and

cons of each option in the sixpage document, which can be found at The Conservation Reserve Program began in 1985 to protect topsoil. Highly erodible land is taken out of crop production and permanent vegetative cover is established in its place, Jones said. Several million acres of land highly susceptible to erosion with relatively low fertility were planted with native and introduced grasses. In the 2014 farm bill, the maximum CRP acreage was reduced from 32 million to 24 million acres, she said. As a result, landowners with expired contracts may find it difficult to re-qualify for program eligibility. If they don’t re-qualify, many producers are choosing to return their grass acres to crop production, Jones said. Growers who elect to put CRP acreage back

into production should consider factors such as chemical applications, crop selection and tillage options. Crops raised on converted CRP land usually are farmed dryland due to lack of water or irrigation equipment, she said. This means available soil moisture will be a major consideration in crop selection. Also, soil moisture will determine the length of fallow necessary to rebuild soil moisture after grass kill-off, Jones said. Wheat and grain sorghum fit well into dryland rotation programs and often are grown on former CRP land. Similarly, dryland cotton is an option, depending on the farm’s location and current operation, she said. Producers should ex-

pect lower yields in the first year of production after CRP, but this also depends on the amount of rainfall and existing soil moisture levels. When it comes to economics, she said converting to dryland wheat or grazing can run between $100-$125 per acre. The cost depends on the amount of tillage and chemicals applied. The cost for converting CRP land to dryland grain sorghum should range between $150-$175 per acre. Converting to livestock grazing will cost $30-$50 per acre using burning and fertilization, Jones said. Also, fencing and the development of a water source may be needed. “Expect to pay around $975 per mile for one-strand and $1,223 per mile for two-strand electric

fencing,” she said. “Barbed wire fencing will cost approximately $10,500 per mile, including gates and corner posts. A well with a solar submersible pump ranges between $13,525 and $23,676, depending on the depth required.” Jones said there are many other considerations to factor in and those are outlined in the publication. Before making decisions, a producer should analyze the situation completely, focusing on his or her individual operation and figuring the numbers accordingly. Local Natural Resources Conservation Service field offices can aid in understanding the issues of conversion and offer insight into any financial cost-share programs available to help offset expenses, she said.

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Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo

Feral hog control will be one of the topics addressed during the Feral Hog Program on Nov. 8 in Georgetown.

AgriLife plans feral hog program in Georgetown By PauL SchattenBerg Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

The program will be at the Williamson County EMS Training Room at 3189 S.E. Inner Loop.

GEORGETOWN – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Williamson County will present a Feral Hog Program from 8 a.m. to noon on Nov. 8 in Georgetown.

Topics covered at the program will include biology and control of feral hogs, diseases, feral hog transportation, population dynamics and agricultural regulations


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November 2018 — Issue I

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News Industry leaders examine the latest in turfgrass developments By GABE SALDANA Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

DALLAS — More than 150 green industry professionals and enthusiasts converged in Dallas last month for a showcase tour of the latest Texas A&M AgriLife developments in resilient lawns, sports fields and landscapes. The annual Texas A&M Turfgrass and Landscape Field Day is held in a different location each year by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and Texas A&M University alongside a number of public and private event sponsors.

On display

The 2018 event featured presentations by 16 Texas A&M AgriLife researchers, professors and extension specialists. They reviewed the latest research and

sustainable management practices for optimal turfgrass and landscape performance. “It’s a valuable event for gaining current insights on producing better turfgrasses and where the market is headed,” said Ambika Chandra, AgriLife Research associate professor and lead turfgrass breeder in Dallas. “We showed our latest initiatives in breeding for high-performance varieties that use less water, fewer inputs and stand up to adverse climate conditions.” Chandra held presentations on breeding for turfgrass with shade, cold and drought tolerance as well as large-patch disease resistance. She guided visitors through research greenhouses and field plots at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas. “The turnout today reflects a high level of enthusiasm and support for this work,” said Lindsey Hoffman, AgriLife Extension

Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Gabe Saldana

Texas A&MAgriLife Research horticulturist Patrick Dickinson discusses best practices in landscape water efficiency at theWatersense Labeled House — a demonstration installation at theAgriLife center in Dallas. turfgrass specialist in Dallas. Hoffman, also lead field day organizer, took attendees through turfgrass evaluation field plots at the Dallas center. She discussed new zoysiagrass and St. Augustinegrass varieties under review by the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program.

Presentations and presenters

Other field day presentations covered disease diagnosis, landscape water efficiency, turfgrass health, insect pests, weed management, irrigation and fertilization. The field day agenda with information on each presenta-

See TURFGRASS, Page 24

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Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sarah Pyatt

November 2018 — Issue I


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News Ag production drops in Syria

Turfgrass, from Page 23 tion is available at “We were really able to bring together some of the leading experts in this field,” Hoffman said. “And our sponsors can take pride in a valuable contribution to healthier lawns and landscapes, and to healthier people as a result.” A barbecue lunch and trade show featuring event sponsors rounded out the afternoon inside the new “water education building” — one of two new buildings on the reconstructed Dallas center campus. A photo album of the 2018 Texas A&M Turfgrass and Landscape Field Day is available at com/agrilife. A list of event sponsors is available at

Associated Press

BEIRUT — The U.N. food agency says extreme weather in Syria has caused domestic agricultural production to hit its lowest point in three decades. Wo rl d Fo o d P r o g r a m m e spokesman Herve Verhoosel said late last month that Syria’s wheat production this year fell to a 29-year low of 1.2 million tons, about two-thirds of last year’s levels. He said the drop is due to an extended period of dry weather early in the season followed by heavy, out-of-season rain. Analysts say an extended drought may have helped fuel Syria’s 2011 uprising and civil war.

Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sarah Pyatt

Ambika Chandra,TexasA&MAgriLife Research associate professor in Dallas, leads a discussion on her team’s latest turfgrass varieties and breeding initiatives.


November 2018 — Issue I

The Land & Livestock Post

News A&M researcher finds way to use cottonseed to feed millions Ground into flour, cottonseed provides a valuable source of needed protein breakthrough and the journey through the regulatory process: “Gossypol in the leaves and stalks of the cotton plant serve as a pest deterrent, but its presence in the seed serves no purpose,” Wedegaertner said. “The more widespread use of cottonseed as a livestock feed and even for human consumption has been stymied by the natural levels of gossypol in the seed. As we progress through the regulatory review, the ability to utilize the protein potential in the seed gets that much closer.” The recent USDA action confirms that TAM66274 and any cotton lines derived from

By Kay LedBetter Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service


ottonseed ground into flour to deliver protein to millions of people, a project to which Keerti Rathore has devoted more than half his professional career, is one step closer to reality. Rathore, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant biotechnologist in College Station, received word that Texas A&M’s “Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status for Ultra-Low Gossypol Cottonseed (ULGCS) TAM66274” has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS. Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp, who oversees Texas A&M AgriLife Research along with 11 universities and seven state agencies, said Rathore’s work will have a dramatic effect across the world. “The work and dedication of Dr. Rathore has paid off,” Sharp said. “He and his team exemplify the values of the Texas A&M System, and because of them, more than half a billion people across the world may have access to a new form of protein, and our farmers will be able to earn a much better living.” Through a project funded by Cotton Incorporated, Rathore and the Texas A&M team have developed a transgenic cotton plant — TAM66274 — with ultralow gossypol levels in the seed that maintains normal plantprotecting gossypol levels in the rest of the plant. Kater Hake, vice president of agricultural and environmental research at Cotton Incorporated, said it has been a decades-

crosses between TAM66274 and conventional cotton or biotechnology-derived cotton granted non-regulated status by APHIS are no longer considered federally regulated articles, he said. Only six months after starting to work with Texas A&M in 1995, Rathore, who had never seen cotton growing in a field prior to coming to Texas, decided something needed to be done about the underutilized protein in cottonseed. For the past 23 years, he has been determined to create cotton plants that produce seeds


Texas A&M photo by Lacy Roberts Keerti Rathore, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant biotechnologist in College Station, received word that Texas A&M’s “Petition for Determination of Non-regulated Status for Ultra-Low Gossypol Cottonseed (ULGCS) TAM66274” has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS. long journey. “Gossypol suppression in cottonseed has been part of our funded research portfolio for over 30 years,” Hake said. “It took time to tap the innate protein potential in the seed;

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time for the right technologies to develop; and time for the right research team to come along.” Tom Wedegaertner, director of cottonseed research and marketing at Cotton Inc., underscores the potential of the

November 2018 — Issue I


News Cottonseed, from Page 25 containing gossypol well below what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers safe levels while maintaining normal levels of gossypol and related chemicals in the foliage, floral parts, boll rind and roots. Gossypol, while toxic to humans and monogastric animals such as pigs, birds, fish and rodents, is useful to cotton plants for defense against insects and pathogens. Therefore, cottonseed containing gossypol is used mainly as ruminant animal feed, either as whole seed or cottonseed meal after oil extraction. “Biotechnology tools that made the ULGCS technology successful had just become available when I started looking at the potential to make this new source of protein available to hundreds of millions of people,� Rathore said. “I also realized the value to cotton farmers everywhere of removing gossypol from the cottonseed because such a product is likely to improve their income without any extra effort on their part or additional input,� he said. “Such a product can also be important from the standpoint of sustainability because farmers will produce fiber, feed and food from the same crop.� Cotton-producing countries with a limited supply of feed protein can realize great benefits by utilizing this seed-derived protein as a feed for poultry, swine or aquaculture species, Rathore said. These animals are significantly more efficient in converting plant protein into high-quality meat protein, he said. Egg and broiler production could become the most efficient use of any available feed protein source, including the ULGCS. Despite the obstacles, failures and lack of funding at times, Rathore said it was the dedication and loyalty of his team and supporters such as the late Norman


Texas A&M AgriLife photos by Devendra Pandeya Left, seeds containing gossypol have glands showing up as black specs. Right, the glands are still there, but are much lighter, reflecting the very low levels of gossypol in the deregulated cottonseed.


Borlaug, who was known as the “father of the Green Revolution,� that kept him going on this project. “Dr. Borlaug was the biggest supporter of this project and during the lean times when I was struggling to get funding and after the failed attempts — there were many — it was his words of encouragement that provided the inspiration to continue,� Rathore said. Rathore said cottonseed, with about 23 percent protein content, can play an important role in human nutrition with the gossypol eliminated, especially in countries where cereal/tuberbased diets provide most of the calories but are low in protein content. Rathore said for every pound of cotton fiber, the plant pro-

See PROTEIN, Page 28

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November 2018 — Issue I


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November 2018 — Issue I



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Texas A&M photo by Beth Luedeker Keerti Rathore, left, discusses the ultra low gossypol cotton with his team, Devendra Pandeya and LeAnne Campbell.

Protein, from Page 26 duces about 1.6 pounds of seed. The annual global cottonseed production equals about 48.5 million tons. “The kernels from the safe seed could be ground into a flour-like powder after oil extraction and used as a protein

Poultry, from Page 14 sight into effective, non-antibiotic means of disease control for the commercial industry.” “Animal health is people health,” said Scott Bormann, vice president, North America operations for Merck Animal Health. “Consumers, more than ever, want food choices that are safe and healthy. The cuttingedge research that will come from this facility will educate future leaders and shape Merck Animal Health’s product and service offerings designed to ensure a healthy food chain.” “We’re proud to support this


additive in food preparations or perhaps roasted and seasoned as a nutritious snack,” he said. Rathore said cotton will continue to be grown as a source of natural fiber, but the adoption of the ultra-low gossypol varieties by farmers has the potential to make the seed just as valuable as the lint. new research facility and the innovative work by Texas A&M that benefits the poultry industry as a whole,” said Chip Miller, vice president for live operations, Tyson Foods. “The center is an extension of our efforts to advance animal welfare and we look forward to seeing the positive results of its research.” The 4,800-square-foot research facility is estimated to cost approximately $900,000 and will be completed in spring of 2019. The building was designed by Singleton Zimmer Haliburton Architecture and the contractor for the project is Quad-Tex Construction Inc.

(979) 778-0904

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November 2018 — Issue I

The Land & Livestock Post

News LIVESTOCK MARKET REPORT Anderson Results of the Mid-Tex Livestock Auction’s Oct. 11 sale. Head: 1,144 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $145$220; 300-400 lbs., $145-$200; 400-500 lbs., $140-$190; 500-600 lbs., $130-$163; 600-700 lbs., $125-$153; 700-800 lbs., $115-$135 Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $120$200; 300-400 lbs., $125-$185; 400-500 lbs., $120-$170; 500-600 lbs., $120-$160; 600-700 lbs., $111.50-$135; 700-800 lbs., $110-$128 Slaughter bulls: $55-$80 Slaughter cows: $23-$56 Bred cows: $600-$1,200

Brazos Valley Results of the Brazos Valley Livestock Commission’s Oct. 16 sale. Head: 387 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $174$205; 300-400 lbs., $165-$195; 400-500 lbs., $150-$184; 500-600 lbs., $135-$155; 600-700 lbs., $130-$145; 700-800 lbs., $134-$138 Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $150$175; 300-400 lbs., $135-$161; 400-500 lbs., $130-$146; 500-600 lbs., $122-$128; 600-700 lbs., $117-$132; 700-800 lbs., $118-$122 Slaughter bulls: $66-$74 Slaughter cows: $36-$62.50 Bred cows: $650-$1,025

Brenham Results of the Cattleman’s Brenham Livestock Auction’s Oct. 12 sale. Head: 1,686 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $150$220; 300-400 lbs., $145-$214; 400-500 lbs.,

$138-$198; 500-600 lbs., $120-$168; 600-700 lbs., $115-$156; 700-800 lbs., $113-$146 Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $146$222; 300-400 lbs., $144-$207; 400-500 lbs., $138-$212; 500-600 lbs., $127-$156; 600-700 lbs., $118-$152; 700-800 lbs., $105-$128 Slaughter bulls: $55-$79 Slaughter cows: $22-$54 Bred cows: $600-$1,300 Cow/calf pairs: $850-$1,500

Buffalo Results of the Buffalo Livestock Commission’s Oct. 13 sale. Head: 2,110 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $145$198; 300-400 lbs., $140-$196; 400-500 lbs., $135-$180; 500-600 lbs., $130-$165; 600-700 lbs., $120-$152; 700-800 lbs., $115-$148 Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $140$190; 300-400 lbs., $130-$180; 400-500 lbs., $120-$169; 500-600 lbs., $115-$150; 600-700 lbs.,$110-$137; 700-800 lbs., $105-$130 Slaughter bulls: $75-$92 Slaughter cows: $25-$60 Bred cows: $750-$1,625 Cow/calf pairs: $875-$1,150

$125-$131; Slaughter bulls: $66-$75 Slaughter cows: $35-$66 Bred cows: $525-$1,100 Cow/calf pairs: $1,075-$1,175

Groesbeck Results of the Groesbeck Auction and Livestock Company’s Oct. 18 sale. Head: 126 Steers: 300-400 lbs., $170$200; 400-500 lbs., $160-$185; 500-600 lbs., $150-$170; 600-700 lbs., $130-$155 Heifers: 300-400 lbs., $150$180; 400-500 lbs., $140-$170; 500-600 lbs., $130-$150; 600-700 lbs., $120-$140 Slaughter bulls: $70-$80

Slaughter cows: $28-$62 Bred cows: $700-$900 Cow/calf pairs: N/A

Jordan Results of the Jordan Cattle Auction’s Oct. 18 sale. Head: 1,146 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $170$190; 300-400 lbs., $170$190; 400-500 lbs., $150$178; 500-600 lbs., Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $140$150; 300-400 lbs., $140-$150; 400-500 lbs., $135-$148; 500-600 lbs., $125-$135; Slaughter cows: $40-$55.50 Bred cows: $700-$1,010 Cow/calf pairs: $1,000-$1,125

Navasota Results of the Navasota Livestock Commission’s Oct. 13 sale. Head: 2,254 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $115$212.50; 300-400 lbs., $115-$200; 400-500 lbs., $115-$181; 500-600 lbs., $110-$158; 600-700 lbs., $110-$145; Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $115$195; 300-400 lbs., $115-$170; 400-500 lbs., $115-$160; 500-600 lbs., $110-$155; 600-700 lbs., $105-$140; Slaughter bulls: $55-$82 Slaughter cows: $30-$60 Bred cows: $700-$1,100 Cow/calf pairs: $850-$1,275 — Special to The Post




Caldwell Results of the Caldwell Livestock Commission’s Oct. 17 sale. Head: 219 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $155$175; 300-400 lbs., $170-$187; 400-500 lbs., $160-$177; 500-600 lbs., $150-$145; 600-700 lbs., $142-$149; Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $165$187; 300-400 lbs., $140-$179; 400-500 lbs., $138-$147; 500-600 lbs., $130-$152; 600-700 lbs.,

The Land & Livestock Post

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November 2018 — Issue I


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Call 776-SELL (7355) November 2018 — Issue I

The Land & Livestock Post

News Calving, from Page 19 ing, but there is a chance of improved cool season forage in many parts of Texas during this period. Winter calving offers the best chance of good quality winter forage during a spring (March, April and May) breeding season. Winter cold stress is not a problem on calves in most regions of Texas.” Spring calving is not recommended for most regions of Texas because it requires a summer (June, July and August) breeding season. Bull and female fertility are low during the hot summer months and can result in reduced calf vigor. Separate bulls from females so that no breeding occurs after midMay. Early fall (August, September and October) calving is possibly OK in some regions of Texas and some cool season forages may be available. Spring calving can result in selling calves in the fall when prices are normally lower. “Hauling and handling stress causes a release of PGF2a and small dosages of the substance can cause embryo toxicity. The greatest opportunity for embryo loss from PGF2a toxicity is from five to 45 days of pregnancy,” said Carpenter. “To help prevent this loss, haul or handle females within five days of breeding or wait until after 45 days.”


There are approximately 106 toxic plants in Texas with 12 listed as potentially causing abortion. One of the plants is broom snakeweed that grows in most of Texas and across the west to Cali-

fornia. It causes the most problems in West Texas and New Mexico. The weed’s toxin can affect pregnancy in all stages of gestation. Don’t graze pregnant animals on heavy snakeweed infestations in winter or early spring to avoid cattle reproduction problems. “Locoweeds are a problem in West Texas during winter following precipitation,” Carpenter said. “It takes 90 percent of an animal’s body weight of consumption for a two-month period to cause abortion, weak calves or deformed offspring. “Narrowleaf sumpweed is found in all of Texas, except in the Panhandle. Fortunately it is unpalatable to cattle, but if eaten, it can cause abortion at four to eight months of pregnancy.” There are other plants that are toxic due to ergot fungus or nitrate accumulation. Ergot and nitrate potentially restrict blood flow or oxygen to the placenta. Plants that are prone to contain ergot fungus in their seedheads are tobosa grass, ryegrass and dallisgrass. Consumption of plants with accumulations of nitrates usually results in sudden death of the cow. Sometimes they live to abort at five to seven days after exposure. Some of the nitrate accumulator plants are careless weed, tumble weed, Johnsongrass, kochia and lambsquarters. The best way to avoid reproduction losses from toxins is to know the plants and the conditions for potential problems.

Complete Dispersal of


friday, November 30th and saturday, December 1st Offering:

• 255-Hereford Pair with J.D. Hudgins sired F-1 Calves • 30-Hereford First-calf Pair with Brangus sired Calves • 206-Hereford Cows Bred to J.D. Hudgins Brahman Bulls • 187-Hereford Heifers Bred to Williams Ranch LBW Brangus Bulls • 48-F-1 Brahman X Hereford Bred heifers • 60-Brangus & Brangus Baldy Bred Heifers • 70-F-1 Brahman X Hereford Open Heifers • 60-Brangus & Brangus Baldy Open Heifers • 21-Brahman Bulls/J.D. Hudgins • 17-Brangus Bulls/Williams Ranch • 49-Spring Calving Crossbred Cows

equipment sale at the ranCh in mart, tX Friday November 30th 10:00 AM Grant & Minchew Equipment Info: 903/388-6002 License #15035

Cattle sale at GroesbeCk livestoCk auCtion Saturday December 1st at 12:00 Noon

For Further inFormation contact:

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Tom Johnson 440 FM 246 Wortham, TX 76693 (903)599-2403 Mobile (817)291-5121

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The Land & Livestock Post

November 2018 — Issue I


When you need to get the most from your winter forages . . . Let us help. Overseeding ryegrass

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November 2018 — Issue I


The Land & Livestock Post

Land and Livestock Post  
Land and Livestock Post