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Pigs and Politics

Posted: 11/17/2008 - Less than two per cent of the U.S. population produces over one hundred per cent of the country’s food and the overage is exported to feed people all over the world. Pork is the most widely consumed meat globally, but the pork industry, as well as the entire agriculture industry in the U.S., faces the big challenge of educating consumers.

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Show Pigs

Posted: 11/05/2008 - In years past, there was a lot of pork produced in the Brazos Valley, but even with the very successful “Pork: the other white meat” campaign that ran nation wide, and exports that have broken records every year for the past 17 years, the volume of pigs produced in our area, and in Texas as well, has declined.

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Where Do Bacon And Ham Come From?

Posted: 11/03/2008 - People in the U.S. have become so far removed from agriculture that when you ask where hamburgers come from they’re apt to give you the name of their favorite fast food joint. In this week’s From The Ground Up, Joe Brown says if you’re asked where your upcoming Holiday ham is coming from and you answer with the name of your favorite grocery store, that’d be wrong too.

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October Cotton

Posted: 10/23/2008 - The last time we checked in with local farmers, many had cotton still in the field, had just weathered Hurricane Ike, and were surveying the damage that had been done to this year’s crop. We know less cotton was produced in the Brazos Bottom this year, but as it turns out we still don’t know exactly how much because there’s still cotton that hasn’t been picked.

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Risk

Posted: 10/09/2008 - There’s been a lot of talk this year about the high prices of commodities, and the record high input costs it took to grow them, but one thing you don’t hear discussed a lot is something that’s hard to put a dollar amount on, and that something is risk.

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A Farmer-The Eternal Optimist

Posted: 10/02/2008 - Most years, if you make you’re living as a farmer, a positive approach to the challenges you face is required to help make it to the finish line. There’s no better example than this year’s harvest that took place before and after Hurricane Ike.

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Cotton Losses From Hurricane Ike

Updated: 09/26/2008 - When Hurricane Ike started being talked about as a possible threat to the Texas coast, local cotton farmers had to make a decision to either terminate their crop and try and get it picked before the storm hit, or to ride out the storm in hopes of getting more bolls matured to help with their yields.

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Cattle Losses From Hurricane Ike

Posted: 09/18/2008 - While people surrounding Brazos County are in the midst of recovering from Hurricane Ike, our neighbors in some coastal counties to the southeast are dealing with much worse issues.

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Brazos Valley Cotton’s Future

Posted: 09/11/2008 - Most commodity prices have been at an all time high this year, but the price for cotton, a crop that’s grown extensively here in the Brazos Valley has remained low. Some have speculated that in a few years cotton will be grown for the oil and protein rich seed that it produces, and that the lint will become a secondary bi-product.

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Cotton Harvest

Updated: 09/05/2008 - Until mid-August, local farmers experienced drought like conditions that forced some of the most costly irrigation on record, and now that it’s time to harvest this year’s cotton crop, they’re trying to dodge any excessive rains that could have damaging effects.

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Possible Changes in the Beef Industry

Posted: 08/28/2008 - The United States produces more beef than Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay combined, but there has been a decline in cattle numbers globally, whether in the U.S., South America, or Europe. The European Union can’t produce enough beef to keep up with demand and the high cost of inputs related to energy products has affected all beef producers, but there’s another problem producers everywhere are also facing; A race for acres.

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Global Competition in the Beef Industry

Posted: 08/21/2008 - Depending on whom you talk to, many people are of the opinion that cow/calf producers are in for a rough ride for at least the conceivable short term.

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Corn Harvest

Updated: 08/15/2008 - Last year abundant rain in the Brazos Valley produced record yields of corn with very little or no irrigation. This year Mother Nature couldn’t have acted any more differently.

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Harvest Begins

Posted: 08/07/2008 - Last year Brazos Valley Farmers had received rain every time they needed it throughout the growing season. This year couldn’t have been any more different, and as the 2008 harvest begins, Joe Brown takes a look at this year’s milo crop.

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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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