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Rain Problems For Hay Producers

Updated: 08/28/2007 - Anybody with a lawn knows that the rains we’ve experienced this year grow grass, and during June and July in numerous Brazos Valley locations there have been many more rain days than sun days. While grass continues to be plentiful for grazing cattle, to date, the consistent rain patterns have taken the biggest toll on area hay producers.

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Rain Problems For Cotton Producers

Updated: 08/28/2007 - Normal local weather patterns have helped make cotton king in the river bottoms of the Brazos Valley, but this year our weather patterns have been anything but normal. That could threaten this year’s cotton crop.

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Rain Problems For Corn Producers

Updated: 08/28/2007 - There’s an old saying in agricultural circles that “rain makes grain”, but this year many farmers have spent more time looking for the sun than they have a rain shower. Excessive rain has caused pollination problems for some Brazos Valley corn producers.

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Rain Problems For Cattle Producers

Updated: 08/28/2007 - With all the rainfall we’ve received, one might think that ranchers are able to sit back and enjoy the break in the drought, but a Texas A&M veterinarian say extensive rains have set up conditions for two types of serious parasites that can have devastating effects on beef cattle.

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Managing Lakes and Ponds

Updated: 08/28/2007 - If you own property that has water on it, there are some things that water attracts that may require your attention to ensure you can enjoy your lake or pond to the fullest. Joe Brown takes a look in this edition of From the Ground Up.

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Managing Lakes and Ponds

Updated: 08/28/2007 - If you enjoy fishing, whether you fish small ponds or big public lakes, most likely somebody sometime did some work stocking the lake or pond to make it what it is today. We talked with a biologist who grows sport fish for private lakes and ponds.

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National Dairy Month

Updated: 08/28/2007 - June is National Dairy Month, and while it probably isn’t an event that’s on your party calendar, it does deserve at least a little thought about where some of those dairy goodies we all enjoy come from.

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Blue Bell Creamery

Updated: 08/28/2007 - We finish our look at the dairy industry in the Brazos Valley with a trip to the Blue Bell creamery in Brenham. Blue Bell has come a long way since opening its doors in 1907, now shipping its products to 17 states, and achieving a number three ranking among ice cream brands nationally. It takes 50,000 cows to make the milk Blue Bell uses every day. Bob French gives us a tour of Blue Bell in this edition of From the Ground Up.

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Kettler Dairy/Grimes County

Updated: 06/26/2007 - June is National Dairy Month, and the dairy business is changing with small family dairies becoming a thing of the past. In the 1950s, Washington County boasted 150 dairies, and in 1982 Grimes County still had 65 dairies, but today only a handful remain.

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Cellulosic Ethanol Conversion

Updated: 08/28/2007 - Barring any weather catastrophes, a record amount of corn will be produced in the U.S. this year, trying to meet the increased demand brought about by ethanol production. Plant breeders and geneticists are busy improving other crops to make them better suited for eventual conversion into ethanol.

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Horse Hay

Updated: 08/28/2007 - Back-to-back droughts have left most barns empty because there hasn’t been any carry-over of hay due to the strong demand and weak supply. With adequate rainfall this spring a lot of grass will be cut that won’t be what’s classified as horse quality hay.

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Hay Prices

Updated: 08/28/2007 - Back to back droughts have produced severe hay shortages for area ranchers and although this year’s rainfall has gotten hay production off to a good start, we talked with a hay producer who says he sees no relief in sight for record high forage prices.

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Spring Hay Production

Updated: 08/28/2007 - The production of forage in the Brazos Valley has been severely limited for the last two years, but with the rains we received over the winter and for the last two months we may have an opportunity to produce a pretty good hay crop.

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Ag & The Legislature

Updated: 08/28/2007 - About two weeks ago a group of Brazos Valley agricultural producers got together and made a trip to the state capitol to visit with Texas legislators about how agriculture was faring in the 2007 legislative session.

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Building Reservoirs

Updated: 08/28/2007 - The Texas legislature has funded a water plan to increase the amount of fresh water that is available across the state. Building a reservoir usually creates some controversy because it nearly always involves condemnation of property. We talked with some legislators who were concerned about the preservation of private property rights.

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Horse Processing

Updated: 08/28/2007 - On March 1, bills were introduced in the U.S. House and Senate that would amend the horse protection act to prohibit the transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, selling, or donating of a horse or other equine to be processed for human consumption. We talked with officials in Austin who fear unintended consequences should the bills become law.

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Raising Show Chickens

Updated: 08/28/2007 - This time of the year you’ll find many kids involved in 4-H, Competing with the animals they’re raised in big city shows as well as their own county shows. We talked with a Bryan High School senior who has raised a few chickens during her stint in 4-H.

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The Broiler Industry

Updated: 08/28/2007 - Every spring many 4-h members submit their projects for judging at local youth livestock shows. Many of these projects involve raising chickens that would be the kind of animal sought by the broiler industry. Chickens grown today are a lot different than they were even a few years ago.

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National Ag Week

Updated: 08/28/2007 - This week is National Agriculture Week. It celebrates the tremendous efficiency that U.S. agriculture exhibits while producing a food and fiber supply unparalleled by any nation in history. But unfortunately, most of us don’t ever give it a second thought.

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Fragmentation of Agricultural Land

Updated: 08/28/2007 - In 2005 legislation was passed in Texas to establish the Texas Farm and Ranch Conservation Program that set up a council to develop a program that could be used to purchase land development rights in the state. It was intended to provide the framework for a willing buyer and willing seller that both recognize that a piece of farmland, ranchland, or forestland would be better left undeveloped.

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Planting Corn

Updated: 03/02/2007 - After two years of drought it’s spring planting time here in the Brazos Valley. The big question is whether or not the fall and winter rains we received were enough to have a significant impact on subsoil moisture.

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Demands on Agriculture

Updated: 02/23/2007 - Sustained record prices on corn, largely due to the boom in ethanol production, have caused many to ask in the production of fuel in the u.s. is on a collision course with the production of food, fiber, and feed. For maybe the first time in our history, the question seems to boil down to whether 0r not U.S. agriculture can meet demand for the commodities it produces.

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Bio-Energy

Updated: 02/15/2007 - Prices of oil, diesel, and gasoline stay in the headlines, making any search for an alternative to fossil fuels an attractive story line. The Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station joined forces last July to form the Texas A&M Agriculture and Engineering Bioenergy Alliance to spark the bioenergy revolution.

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Alternative Uses For Animal Manure

Updated: 02/12/2007 - Agricultural operations like feed yards that have a large concentration of animals in their facilities produce manure that must be removed and disposed of, but research being done at Texas A&M suggests that this by-product could have its value enhanced.

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Pesticides

Updated: 02/05/2007 - Breakthroughs in biotechnology have allowed today’s agricultural producers to use much less pesticide than was ten years ago. Individuals with applicator’s licenses are required to attend continuing education classes to remain in compliance with the regulatory requirements.

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