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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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Private Property

Posted: 01/31/2008 - “There’s a number of issues facing Texas agriculture. This is one of them. This is one that our board, the Texas Farm Bureau, has identified as being our number one issue in the state.”

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Property Rights

Updated: 03/03/2008 - After the Legislature adjourned in 2007, Governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill that he believed would cost Texas Taxpayers too much money when the state needed to condemn property for road expansion and projects like the Trans Texas Corridor. Senator Glenn Heagar’s amendment to the bill triggered the Governor’s veto.

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Private Property Rights

Posted: 01/17/2008 - In June of 2007, governor Rick Perry vetoed a bill dealing with private property rights that was overwhelmingly passed by the legislature. One of the governor’s objections was a part of the bill that dealt with a landowner’s diminished access to his property after condemnation procedures. We talked with the author of that portion of the legislation.

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Private Properties Rights

Updated: 01/10/2008 - The Texas Transportation Corridor has sparked a lot of dicussion, most of which has to do with 600,000 acres of land it is projected to take, purchase or condemnation procedures. Compunding the issue is a 2004 Texas Supreme Court decision that stripped away some importatnt rights held by private landowners. Add to that a veto of a bill by Governor Rick Perry that would have restored those rights, and you have a recipe for some pretty serious political jawboning.

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Reflections on 2007

Posted: 01/03/2008 - In 2007, after two years of drought, farmers went into the spring concerned about moisture needed for planting, moisture was abundant. When summer arrived, the worry was that the rains would stop, but they didn't. 2007 proved to be an interesting year forBrazos Valley agriculture.

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The Farm Bill

Posted: 12/28/2007 - The 2007 Farm Bill was the last pice of legislation being considered by the House and Senate this year, and while the press is usually focused on one part of the bill that a safety net for agricultural producers, we talked with an econmist who says that portion of the legislation is even more important for consumers.

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Farm Bill

Posted: 12/20/2007 - The U.S. House of Representatives passed it's version of the 2007 Farm Bill in July, and last week the Senate followed suit. The bill goes to conference committee to recouncile any differences between the two. We talked with a Texas Cooperative Extension economist who told us that while the bill is referred to as "The Farm Bill", the majority of the legislation has nothing to do with farmers.

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Thanksgiving Abundance

Posted: 12/18/2007 - Thanksgiving celebrations here in the United States are all bound together by one common thread... They all include a feast of some kind, and while some of us may have some sort of kitchen duty preparing food, it's a safe bet that most of us didn't have much to do with producing the food.

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Boll Weevil Eradication

Updated: 12/18/2007 - About five years ago, a program was put into place with the goal of eradicating the Cotton Boll Weevil from our part of the state. Farmers were losing the battle fighting the destructive little pestd on their own, so a coordinated spraying effort was put into place. It's not only resulted in less spraying, but in less Boll Weevils. That in turn has translated into about a twenty per cent increase in yeilds for our local cotton farmers.

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Soil test

Updated: 12/18/2007 - Most ranchers know that to be successful, they need to be good grass farmers, and some would even argue that beef is a by-product of grass. A grass plant is not unlike other plants we grow. It requires a supplementation of nutrients to achive it's full potential.

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