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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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Winter Pastures

Updated: 12/10/2007 - In past years, when you take a drive in the country in late fall, winter, or early spring, you've probably noticed some pastures that are the greenest you've ever seen. That's because they've been planted with the hopes of having enough forage for winter grazing… and as is the rule in agriculture, the rancher is struggling to get along with mother.

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Ginning Cotton

Updated: 12/18/2007 - Cotton harvest was late this year, and the month of November finds most Brazos Valley cotton having been picked and local cotton gins running full force. We talked with a local gin operator about the ginning process, and the yields he was seeing from local cotton farmers.

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Beef Quality

Updated: 11/08/2007 - When beef began to lose market share in the late 1970s, the beef industry reacted and began to employ selective genetics to improve their product. We talked with a local processor who said there’s a definite difference in today’s beef.

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Beef Consumption

Posted: 11/02/2007 - About 30 years ago changing tastes of consumers forced the beginning of changes industry wide in beef production. Research continues today, to insure that the best possible product makes its way to the meat case in your supermarket, or to your favorite restaurant.

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Expected Progeny Differentials

Updated: 10/25/2007 - Producing beef for today’s consumers demands attention to detail from the rancher, and in this edition of From the Ground Up, we take a look at some of the technology the beef industry uses to make breeding decisions.

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Commercial Bull Selection

Posted: 10/18/2007 - When enjoying a good steak, very few of us think about what went into producing it. We talked with a couple of breeders about the decision-making that goes into selecting a bull for a commercial cowherd.

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Cotton Harvest

Updated: 10/11/2007 - So far, area cotton farmers have dodged two threats from Tropical Storms that could have reeked havoc during their harvest. Yield results are beginning to be tabulated, and if the dry weather continues, it appears this year’s crop will be a good one.

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Milo Harvest

Posted: 10/04/2007 - While the rains we received during this year’s growing season were beneficial for most farmers, how the rain would affect Milo yields remained a question until harvest, because Milo doesn’t require a lot of water. Results are now in from Brazos Bottom Milo producers.

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Cotton Harvest

Posted: 09/27/2007 - It’s been an interesting year for Brazos valley agriculture. The rains we received for the most part were beneficial, except for some problems that they created for hay producers. Area cotton farmers are starting to pick, or at least get their crop ready to pick. The abundant rainfall grew big cotton plants, and we’ll soon know how it affected lint and cotton seed production.

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Corn Harvest

Updated: 09/20/2007 - There’s an adage in agricultural circles that “rain makes grain”, and this year’s wet growing season certainly put it to the test. The results are in, and with the corn yields produced by Brazos Valley farmers in 2007, it’s not hard to understand where the old saying came from.

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Pasture and Cattle Conditions

Posted: 09/13/2007 - Almost a year ago to the day, we were talking about the lack of any timely rains on Brazos Valley pastures which had resulted in a lack of spring and summer forage, and over grazing of the little forage that was available to Brazos Valley cattle. Going into the fall, pastures were in bad shape. Oh, what a difference a year can make.

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Bio-terrorism Threat To Agriculture

Posted: 09/07/2007 - After the attacks on September 11th, many facets of the American economy have been looked at more closely as conceivable targets of terrorism. The possibility of diseases being brought unintentionally into the country has always existed, but today agriculture faces the threat of a bioterrorist attack.

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Fuel Independence vs. Food Independence

Updated: 08/30/2007 - Record prices on corn, mostly a result of the increase in ethanol production, have caused some to ask whether 0r not U.S. agriculture can meet the current demand for the commodities it produces.

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Emerging Markets For Beef Producers

Updated: 08/23/2007 - There are many small cow/calf operations that contribute to the overall production of beef here in the U.S. As is the case in a lot of industries, small producers don’t have the volume to get the leverage that is sometimes required to earn a premium for their product. This month at Texas A&M’s beef short course, one of the speakers told producers that some markets are being developed that could change that.

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Short Term Future For Beef Production

Updated: 08/16/2007 - From 1999 thru 2004, demand for beef grew 25%. In the last two years, demand has flattened out, but it appears there will be an increase in demand of between 2% and 3% for 2007. We asked a cattle marketer about the short-term future for beef producers.

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