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Rebuilding the Cattle Herd

Updated: 04/15/2010 - Last year’s drought may have been declared officially over, but the impact it had on agricultural producers will take a while to overcome. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Beef Supply and Cattle Prices

Updated: 04/09/2010 - Typically when prices for finished cattle coming out of U.S. feed yards go up, it’s an indication of a higher demand or shrinking supply of beef. When the supply of beef goes down, the usual thought is that it’s due to smaller numbers of cattle being shipped to the feed yards. In this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown tells us that over the last two months prices have gone up, but it’s not due to less cattle being fed.

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Planting Corn

Updated: 04/01/2010 - Three or four weeks ago we were wondering whether or not local corn farmers were going to be able to get their crops planted because of the almost non-stop rainfall we have received for the last six months, but in this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown says, for the most part, all of the moisture is going to be a plus for local ag producers.

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Expansion Decisions For Beef Producers

Posted: 03/25/2010 - Past history says that when the national beef herd shrinks, calf prices go up, and the herd begins expanding again, but in this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown tells us there are other factors in the mix currently that could keep that from happening.

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National Beef Cattle Numbers

Updated: 03/18/2010 - The USDA’s cattle inventory came out at the end of January and indicated that the number of beef cows in the U.S. was the fewest since 1963, and the fewest total cattle count since the 1950s. Bob French has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Managing Production Agriculture Risks

Posted: 03/11/2010 - For the last couple of years there’s been a lot of talk about the high prices of commodities, but a whole lot less talk about the record high input costs it took to grow them. These costs put farmers at record levels of risk that the supposed safety net in the current farm bill doesn’t address. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Planting Corn

Updated: 03/04/2010 - Weather wise, the last 6 months has been just about as different from the previous 6 months before that as anyone could imagine. We went from being extremely hot and dry to extremely cool and wet, getting precipitation in about every form there is. Bob French tells us how this is affecting local farmers in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Forward Contracts and Futures Markets

Posted: 02/25/2010 - With historically high grain prices during the last couple of years, one would think that grain producers and grain elevators that accumulate large amounts of product to sell on future’s markets would have been able to reap huge benefits. In this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown says marketing grain isn’t as simple as you might think.

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The Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab

Posted: 02/18/2010 - The Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory was formally opened in College Station in 1969. Over the years services have expanded to include over sight for drug testing for the pari-mutuel horse and greyhound racing industries as well as providing diagnostic services for aquaculture and animal agriculture. Today it’s one of the busiest labs in the world, as Joe brown tells us in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Broadband Initiative In Rural Texas

Updated: 02/11/2010 - Texas agriculture is as productive as it is because of science, research and technological break-throughs that can be applied in a commercial way, but as advanced as it is, there’s still one area where the industry as a whole is lagging behind. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Cap & Trade & Agriculture

Posted: 02/04/2010 - With only about two per cent of our country’s population involved in production agriculture, it’s no surprise that the industry continues to fear new laws and regulations at both the state at both on the state and federal levels that could negatively impact their future. Recent legislative maneuvers in Washington have certainly garnered the attention Texas agricultural producers. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Beef Grades and The Bottom Line

Posted: 01/28/2010 - Ranchers, like most businessmen, are constantly looking for ways to improve their bottom line. That’s one of the goal’s of Texas Agrilife Extension’s Beef 706 Course. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Grading Beef Carcasses

Posted: 01/21/2010 - There are 8 different grades of beef, but the top three most of us are familiar with are the USDA stickers we see that are either select, choice, or prime. What most of us don’t know is that there’s also a carcass yield grade from 1 to 5, and together these two grades determine the value of the animal to a producer. At Agrilife Extension’s recent Beef 706 Short course, ranchers were learning how to grade live animals to predict their value. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Beef 706 Continuing Education

Posted: 01/14/2010 - Contrary to what some may think, there’s a little more to beef production than turning a bunch of cows out into a pasture and gathering their calves once a year. A group of ranchers from across the state were in town this week to attend Texas Agrilife Extension’s Beef 706 Continuing Education course. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From the Ground Up.

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Looking Towards 2010

Posted: 01/07/2010 - In 2009, agricultural producers experienced a year of excesses; excessive dryness, excessive heat, and then finally excessive moisture. This time of the year farmers usually have their business plans in place, their land ready for planting, and are waiting for different crop planting windows. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Reflections From 2009

Posted: 12/31/2009 - 2009 was a year full of irony for Brazos Valley agricultural producers. The first 8 months of the year no one could beg a rain, and then when the rains finally did come, harvest was delayed for weeks because and the fields were so wet they couldn’t support the necessary picking equipment. Forage was short for ranchers and fall rains left many hay fields to wet for a fall cutting. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Christmas & Agriculture

Posted: 12/24/2009 - So what would Christmas be like without our country’s strong agricultural base? The first thought that comes to mind is of all of the great food we celebrate holidays with, but in this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown says without agriculture, Christmas would be different in many ways.

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Climate Legislation (Part 3)

Posted: 12/17/2009 - While the debate on climate change continues, more information continues to come out on how proposed legislation would impact different sectors of the economy. Joe Brown has more in the week’s From The Ground Up.

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Climate Legislation (Part 2)

Updated: 12/10/2009 - Congressional hearings were held last week with a variety of experts discussing the impact of climate legislation that is currently being considered. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Climate Legislation

Posted: 12/03/2009 - Currently, there is climate legislation being drafted in Congress that would have far reaching effects on American agriculture as well as the world food supply. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Thanksgiving

Posted: 11/27/2009 - When most of us go grocery shopping we just assume that whatever we’re looking for will be there, and give little thought to the fact that none of the food we enjoy on holidays originates at a grocery store. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Chamber of Commerce Ag Breakfast

Posted: 11/19/2009 - Every year the Bryan College Station Chamber of Commerce hosts a breakfast to recognize the role that agriculture plays in not only our local economy, but in the national economy as well. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Picking and Ginning…Finally

Updated: 11/12/2009 - If you happen to be driving through the Brazos River bottom between around 11am and 9pm, you’ll see a flurry of activity. Local farmers are working as fast as they can to harvest their cotton crops. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Soybean Harvest/Fall Planting

Posted: 11/07/2009 - Jay Wilder has a crop of soybeans next to his cotton crop and the harvest of both has been delayed by the heavy rains over the past few weeks.

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"Cotton Harvest"

Posted: 10/30/2009 - Late in August and throughout September is normally the time that most Brazos Valley cotton farmers are harvesting their crops. Seventeen to twenty two inches of rain over the last seven or eight weeks has nearly ninety per cent of the local cotton crop in a holding pattern that becomes more damaging with every passing day. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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