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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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Brazos Valley Grape Harvest

Updated: 08/28/2007 - Just a few years ago the Texas Wine Industry had a somewhat modest 200 million dollar impact on our state’s economy. There are now 143 wineries and about 450 vineyards statewide that contribute to a staggering one billion dollar impact on the Texas economy. Local vineyard Messina Hof will finish this year’s grape harvest in the next couple of weeks.

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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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