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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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Genetically Modified Products

Updated: 01/25/2007 - Crop technology in agriculture started advancing when different lines of corn were crossed to come up with new hybrid varieties, and that began over one hundred years ago. The ability to select for specific traits has enhanced the yields of various crops and technology advancements must continue if we are to feed the world’s growing population.

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Genetically Modified Products

Updated: 01/18/2007 - Breakthroughs in biotechnology have allowed the creation of genetically modified organisms, commonly referred to as g-m-os, and have generated controversy all over the world. After consuming gmo products directly or indirectly in the u.s. for the last 10 years without any negative results, it appears the technology is here to stay.

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Cotton Seed Research

Updated: 01/11/2007 - It’s been known for years that cotton seed is very rich in protein, but it also contains a toxin named gossypol that makes unsuitable for consumption by most animals other than cattle. In the 1950s a cotton plant that didn’t produce the toxin was developed, only to discover that the plant needed the chemical to protect itself from insects. It appears scienists at Texas A&M have come up with a solution.

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Reflections on 2006

Posted: 01/08/2007 - Unfortunately, the drought we experienced in 2005 carried over into 2006, and as with many years, the weather wreaked havoc on agricultural producers across our state. Bob French looks back at this past year, and Brazos Valley agriculture’s battle with Mother Nature.

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Feeding Cattle

Updated: 01/03/2007 - The ethanol industry continues to drive a high demand for corn, creating the best outlook for growing grain farmers have seen in many years. While that’s good news for farmers, it’s bad news across the board for people in the cattle business, where grain is a major input cost.

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Planting More Corn

Updated: 12/21/2006 - With the price of corn at a ten year high, and an ethanol industry driving the increased demand, analysts are expecting an increase in the amount of corn planted, with record-breaking levels of production, barring any weather catastrophes in the Midwest. We talked with a Brazos Valley farmer who says while corn prices are high, and the profit margins will be better than normal, they’re not really good enough for him to change what he’s planting.

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Corn Prices

Updated: 12/14/2006 - When you take the expanding ethanol industry and add to it increased export demand for corn, you get prices that have only been at this level a few times in our history. One of the basic characteristics of these price spikes has been that they’ve always been temporary. We talked with an economist who says falling corn prices don’t seem to be anywhere on the horizon.

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Investing in Improved Pastures

Updated: 12/12/2006 - In dry periods like we experienced for the last couple of years, an investment in improved pasture grasses pays dividends to ranchers who need forage to feed their cattle. We talked with one rancher who strives to make his land as productive as possible, and for him that means growing all the grass he can.

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Grass Farming

Updated: 12/01/2006 - In beef production circles the “what came first, the chicken or the egg” question is, “are you a rancher, or are you a grass farmer?” Most producers who have weathered a drought answer quickly.

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Feeding Cotton Seed

Updated: 11/27/2006 - The Brazos Valley is cotton country and most cotton farmers hope that in most years the cotton seed produced that season will pay for the ginning of the fiber. Cotton seed is sold to cotton seed mills that press the oil out of the seeds and sell it to be used in baking and other food processing. We talked with an area rancher who says that cotton seed is also an excellent cattle feed.

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Cow/Calf Drought Adjustments

Updated: 11/16/2006 - Most area ranchers are heading into winter with a fraction of the hay usually available to them and some of that hay will be of lesser quality. The drought that has plagued the Brazos Valley for the last two years has forced agricultural producers to take a close look at the efficiency of their operations.

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House Bill HR 503/Slaughtering Horses (Part II)

Updated: 11/14/2006 - There is a bill that has been passed in the U.S. House that would stop the slaughter of horses in the U.S. by prohibiting the transport of horses for the purpose of slaughtering. We talked with a Texas A&M veterinarian who says that misinformation about this subject is rampant, even within the walls of the U.S. congress.

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House Bill HR 503/Slaughtering Horses

Posted: 11/09/2006 - Currently there are three plants in the U.S. along with plants in Canada, Mexico, and several South American countries that export horse meat primarily to Western Europe and Japan. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill designed to stop the slaughter of horses in the United States. For the bill to become law it will have to be passed by the senate or attached to the agriculture appropriations bill and signed by the president.

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U.S. Animal ID Plan/Pete Scamardo

Posted: 10/27/2006 - One of the big question marks remaining in the on-going discussion about a national animal identification program for cattle is how an animal that isn't tagged with an ID gets tagged before it enters the marketing system where it will change hands several times before it becomes a finished product. Some have said that animals tagged with IDs will bring a premium in the marketplace, but one sale barn owner we talked to says that just isn't happening yet.

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Diversification/Texas Yes/Susan Combs

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Texas Agricultural Commissioner Susan Combs was in town Monday for a town hall meeting, and one of the topics she discussed was a program to help rural Texas towns diversify their economies.

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Late Cotton Harvest/David Stratta

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Rain, flooding, hail, damaging winds, more rain, and more flooding. We talked with a Brazos Valley cotton farmer who fought everything but snow this past May and June.

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Pesticide Use

Posted: 10/27/2006 - THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY WAS CREATED IN PART TO REGULATE PRODUCTS LIKE RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDES COMMONLY UTILIZED BY AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS. IN RECENT YEARS, THE TEXAS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION HAS TAKEN A CLOSER LOOK AT THE URBAN SECTOR IN RELATION TO PESTICIDE SAFETY EDUCATION.

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