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Erosion of Cotton Acreage

Posted: 07/31/2008 - Traditionally, Brazos Valley Agriculture has been dominated by the three Cs, Cotton, Cattle, and Corn, but some economic realities could change our local agricultural landscape, at least in the short term.

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Brazos Valley Cotton

Posted: 07/24/2008 - As wet as it was in the Brazos Valley last year, all of our agricultural producers didn’t benefit from 2007’s abundant rainfall. Constant wet conditions wreaked havoc on local hay fields, and certain row crops can get too much of a good thing.

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Brazos Valley Row Crops

Posted: 07/17/2008 - Last year farmers got a rain every time they needed one. We even talked with a seasoned veteran who, for the first time in over 40 years of farming, didn’t irrigate any of his crops, not even once. You don’t have to be involved in agriculture to know that this year, it’s a different story.

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Beef Export Markets

Posted: 07/10/2008 - Agricultural products are a very important part of U.S. trade internationally. In this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown looks at current U.S. beef export markets, and some potential bright spots for beef producers, at a time when the beef industry is working through challenges it faces due to government mandates for the production of ethanol.

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The Ethanol Debate Continues

Posted: 07/03/2008 - In this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown takes a final look at the current debate taking place on whether or not the government should have mandated the production of ethanol, and as we’ll see, there’s anything but concensus on this issue.

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Ethanol Producers Versus Beef Producers

Updated: 06/19/2008 - With growing economies in India, China, and Russia, competiotion for a bushel of corn has never been greater. Add to that U.S. Government mandates for the production of corn based ethanol, and you have a scenario that has pitted several groups against one another.

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Texas Ag Forum

Posted: 06/12/2008 - The Texas Ag Forum is a group of ag leaders and representatives from across Texas that provides an open forum for public discussion of problems and issues facing agriculture. Monday in Austin, the food versus fuel debate was the topic.

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Feral Hogs

Updated: 06/05/2008 - Part of the challenge of working in agriculture is the adversity ag producers face year-in and year-out. Farmers and ranchers alike battle disease, insects, and of course, the weather. One growing pest is the feral hog, an with an estimated population of 3 million plus, just in the state of Texas, it’s not a problem that’s going away.

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Food Security vs. Energy Security

Updated: 05/30/2008 - With ethanol mandates taking a big part of domestic corn production here in the U.S., grain prices have increased and supplies of grain for food and animal feeds have been reduced. This has led to a debate on whether or not we’re trading food security for energy security.

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The Race For Acres

Updated: 05/22/2008 - With corn, soybean, wheat and rice prices at historical highs, there’s been unprecedented competition among buyers of commodities that’s been described as the race for acres. With most planting decisions having been made across the country, we talked with an agricultural marketing consultant about projected winners and losers in 2008.

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The Renewable Fuel Standard

Updated: 05/15/2008 - There’s little doubt that global demand for grain is having an effect on grain prices, and a weak U.S. dollar makes U.S. products more attractive overseas, but the use of corn for ethanol production has a lot of people questioning the wisdom of government subsidies for producing the fuel. In late April, Governor Rick Perry asked the Federal government to cut by 50% a national standard that boosts ethanol at the pump, a move endorsed by Ag Commissioner Todd Staples.

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Wheat - pt. 3

Updated: 05/09/2008 - Wheat is an important crop in the state of Texas, and this year we’ve seen a little more Brazos Valley wheat than usual. In this week’s From The Ground Up, a local producer says this year’s wheat crop should be a good one.

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Wheat

Updated: 05/01/2008 - Wheat production has never really been a staple for Brazos Valley farmers, but in this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown tells us there are several opportunities wheat offers to producers, and it’s not only the price.

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Wheat

Posted: 04/24/2008 - The Brazos Valley agricultural community is noted for what’s referred to as the three c’s…cotton, corn, and cattle. With the race for acres that took place among all grain commodities, this year finds a few more farmers with amber waves of grain…at least in May when the wheat is harvested it will be.

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Fire Ants

Posted: 04/17/2008 - Some of us can remember catching horny toads when we are kids, or even seeing a few quail here is the Brazos Valley, but today a lot of people attribute the absence of these two species along with many more to the invasion of our area by fire ants. In this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown says there are two sides of the story.

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Planting Corn - Part 2

Updated: 04/10/2008 - Most of the corn that is to be planted in our area this spring has been, and many farmers who plant cotton are in the midst of getting those seeds in the ground. In this week’s From The Ground Up Joe Brown tells us what’s keeping local farmers busy in the Brazos bottom.

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Planting Corn

Updated: 04/03/2008 - With the price of corn at a historical high, and an ethanol industry going full throttle, local farmers who weren’t able to take advantage of the price surge that occurred late in the season last year, have hopes of producing a good corn crop this year, and cashing in on the increased demand for their product.

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Resistance In Cattle

Posted: 03/27/2008 - It been said to be successful as an agricultural producer, one must be a jack-of- all-trades. Ranchers need to be thoroughly acquainted with what it takes to grow grass in their pastures, the types of nutrients beef cattle require, and have at least the expertise of a veterinarian assistant to help them care for their cattle.

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Strategically Worming Cattle

Posted: 03/26/2008 - In the U.S., every year consumers become more removed from agriculture and the details that are involved in the production of the safest and most abundant food supply the world has ever seen.

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Possible Changes In Cow/Calf Operations

Posted: 03/13/2008 - With record high oil, grain, and fertilizer prices that don’t seem to be letting up any time soon, speculation has begun on what kind of changes cattlemen are likely to make to try and keep their operations profitable, and that’s what’s being looked at in this week’s From The Ground Up.

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Feed Yards

Posted: 03/06/2008 - At the cost of getting into the cow/calf business, we’re probably going to see a steady decline in the cow herd.

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Cow/Calf Producers

Posted: 02/28/2008 - CONSISTANTLY RECORD HIGH OIL PRICES HAVE SUSTAINED A DEMAND FOR ETHANOL PRODUCTION THAT HAS RESULTED IN A RACE FOR ACRES OF ALL GRAIN COMMODITIES, THE LIKES OF WHICH WE’VE NEVER SEEN. WITH GRAIN PRICES BEING AT HISTORICAL HIGHS, THE ECONOMICS INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION OF BEEF ARE DICTATING CHANGES BE MADE IN THE BEEF INDUSTRY, STARTING WITH THE COW/CALF PRODUCER.

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Calf Prices

Posted: 02/21/2008 - “If I’m a cattle feeder, I have to buy the calves and I have to buy the feed, and I know that, or at least I have a estimate of what the price I’m going to get for that animal at the end is. We have a future’s market for live cattle, for fed cattle.”

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Forward Production Contracts

Posted: 02/18/2008 - “Usually we’re looking at this time of year, trying to lock in the least loss, and then now we’re looking at alternatives among all the grain crops and even cotton what cotton prices have done, of which is going to make us the most profit.”

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Planting Decisions

Posted: 02/07/2008 - IT’S OFTEN SAID THAT TO BE A GOOD FARMER, YOU HAVE TO LIKE TO GAMBLE. FARMERS GAMBLE WITH THE WEATHER, WITH INSECTS, AND ON WHAT THE ULTIMATE PRICE FOR THEIR PRODUCT WILL BE, AND OF COURSE, ON WHAT THEY PLANT. WE TALKED WITH A LOCAL AG PRODUCER ABOUT PLANTING DECISIONS.

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