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"Brazos Valley Hay Production"

Updated: 07/17/2009 - The drought we’re experiencing is taking a toll on area cattlemen. Even good market prices won’t support a rancher having to buy hay to feed during the summer months when cattle should be grazing pastures. Add to that very little local hay production, and it paints a pretty bleak picture that could extend all the way into next year’s growing season. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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'Agriculture on Defense"

Posted: 07/10/2009 - The Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association had a meeting recently to discuss issues affecting the beef industry, and at the top of the agenda were proposed regulations that could negatively impact ranchers. It may surprise you where one rancher placed the blame for some of the legislation being proposed. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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"Agriculture and Politics"

Posted: 07/06/2009 - With only about two per cent of our country’s population involved in production agriculture, it’s no surprise that the number of political voices that speak for agriculture, both on the state and federal levels, have also continued to shrink. Politicians and agricultural producers alike are saying that it’s time for agriculture to get more engaged politically. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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"Agricultural Regulations/Producer Uncertainty"

Posted: 06/29/2009 - As production agriculture continues its ongoing battle with Mother Nature, while striving to meet the demand for food from a growing population not only here at home, but around the world, producers look to the future with uncertainty because of political discussions that could impede production as we know it today. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Regulations and Agriculture

Posted: 06/11/2009 - Legislation being passed like California’s Proposition 2 that bans modern housing of livestock animals illustrates the additional challenges being faced today by production agriculture. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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"Dairy Month" - David Liere

Updated: 06/04/2009 - June is National Dairy Month and we thought it would be appropriate to talk with a local farmer about the challenges involved in running a family dairy. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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California’s Proposition 2

Posted: 05/27/2009 - In November of 2008, Proposition 2, or the Standards For Confining Farm Animals appeared on the ballot in California, where it passed with 63.5% of the vote. This legislation is predicted to have a huge negative impact on pork, veal, and egg production in the state. Bob French has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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The Effects of Land Fragmentation

Posted: 05/22/2009 - Results from a recent study indicate significant losses in agricultural land acreage in Texas between 1997 and 2007. You might be surprised to learn that fragmentation of rural land can lead to much more than just a loss in capacity to produce food and fiber. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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The Texas Legislative Session Part 4

Posted: 05/14/2009 - In a typical session of the Texas legislature, agricultural interests spend most of their time playing defense, looking for bills that would harm agriculture, most with unintended consequences. However, there are instances when bills are passed that actually help agriculture. One of the first orders of business this session was to reintroduce private property rights legislation vetoed by Governor Rick Perry after the last session was over. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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The Texas Legislative Session Part 3

Posted: 05/07/2009 - Last year Hurricane Dolly and Hurricane Ike took quite a toll on our state. Both storms blew boll weevils, major pests for cotton producers, north into areas that were pretty much free of infestation due to the Boll Weevil Eradication programs enacted all over the state. Senator Steve Ogden says that the legislature will find the money to re-start the program that is universally accepted as having been successful. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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The Texas Legislative Session Part 2

Updated: 05/03/2009 - For several years now, when the Texas legislature is in session, the board of directors from Producers Cooperative has gone to Austin for a day to meet with state senators, representatives, and other elected officials to try and stay abreast of anything our state government is doing that might effect agriculture. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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The Texas Legislative Session

Posted: 04/22/2009 - With the Texas Legislature in session our cameras went to Austin to see what might be happening that could impact agricultural producers in our state. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Alpacas

Posted: 04/16/2009 - As you’ve driven through rural areas of Texas you may have seen some exotic animals that you thought were llamas, but they very might have well been Alpacas. Alpacas are much smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas were not bred to be beasts of burden, but were bred specifically for their fiber. Joe Brown visits with some Grimes County Alpaca breeders in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Cattle Markets

Updated: 04/10/2009 - With a severe drought and high production costs, it was no surprise that when the inventory report came out in January, there were over 700,000 fewer beef cows in the U.S. than a year ago. Even when all that is considered, the state of the economy is having the biggest impact on cattle prices. Beef supplies continue to contract, and they also continue to be sold at lower prices, as Joe Brown tells us in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Animal I.D.

Updated: 04/02/2009 - After the outbreak of hoof and mouth disease in Great Britain in 2001, discussion of an animal I.D. plan began in the United States. The goal was to have a program in place that would allow a 48 hour trace back to any geographic stops a diseased animal made as it moved through the production system and to ultimately be able to locate the farm or ranch where the animal’s journey originated. In March, Congress held hearings asking how effective the current voluntary program was working with only about a third of producers participating, and speculated as to whether or not it should be mandatory. The debate continues, as Joe Brown tells us in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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New Rules For Meat Packers

Updated: 03/26/2009 - In July of 2007 the USDA put rules into effect that required any cattle that became non-ambulatory at a packing plant prior to slaughter be reviewed by a veterinarian on a case by case basis, before the processing could proceed. A ruling this month has changed that. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Rain Water Harvesting

Posted: 03/20/2009 - The harvesting of rainwater certainly isn’t a new idea. Different techniques date back as far as the ancient Romans, and for years ranchers have dug stock tanks designed to catch rainwater and runoff to hold water for livestock to drink. With water becoming a natural resource that’s ever increasing in value, different applications and techniques are being developed to be able to store some of the water that comes with a rain. Bob French has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Planting Decisions For Irrigated Land

Updated: 03/12/2009 - Most Brazos Valley farmers who were going to plant corn this year are standing by with their planters hooked up just waiting to see if we’re going to get enough rain to risk putting corn and fertilizer in the ground. The vast majority of the Brazos River bottom is able to irrigate, and most irrigation systems are for flood irrigation. We asked if it was possible to water up a crop that was planted under drought conditions. Bob French has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Dry Land Corn Planting Decisions

Posted: 03/06/2009 - With a group of Texas legislators again trying to bring destination casinos to the state of Texas, gambling has been alive and well, year and year out, for years on our local farms. Brazos Valley farmers are in the middle of the window for planting corn, and the earlier they plant the more likely they’ll be able to take advantage of cooler temperatures, but the drought complicates a planting strategy. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Farm Bureau Check Out Day

Updated: 02/26/2009 - Last week an unusual group of folks showed up at one of our local supermarkets asking some of the shoppers if it would be O.K. if they paid for their groceries. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Beef Producers Reaction to Drought

Updated: 02/19/2009 - While recent showers were welcomed by both farmers and ranchers alike, the Brazos Valley is still a long way from having the drought broken, and if the dry weather continues, area ranchers will be forced to make some tough decisions. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Drought Impact on Beef Production

Posted: 02/12/2009 - While farmers near the opening of the planting window for corn with no relief from the drought in sight, area beef producers are faced with their own set of problems. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Drought Planting Decisions

Posted: 02/05/2009 - Continuing dry weather conditions are perpetuating the drought, and moisture is desperately needed to fill the farm soil profiles before spring planting can begin. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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"Drought"

Posted: 01/29/2009 - There are two major drainage ways for the Brazos River bottom in Burleson County and the absence of any substantial rains producing run-off has created circumstances that haven’t been seen in over 50 years.

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Producing Show Calves Part 2

Updated: 01/22/2009 - If those calves were sent to market last spring when they were about 6 months old, they would have brought between five and six hundred dollars a head, and we would have sold them by the pound. We’re not selling performance here, we’re selling a confirmation, a look, so to speak.

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