Posted: 10/27/2006 - Since May of 2003, there has been a ban on all imports of live beef cattle from Canada. On Monday, the border is scheduled to be re-opened for live cattle less than 30 months of age. This has fueled a lot of discussion about what the effect will be on the price of domestic beef.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - The delay in re-opening the U.S.-Canadian border to the transport of live cattle has sparked more discussion about mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy. We talked with a meat scientist at Texas A&M who says the USDA has done a good job responding to the BSE threat to insure the safety of our domestic beef supply.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - The Boll Weevil eradication program that began in the Fall of 2002 has been, by almost all measures, a resounding success, but while the numbers of weevils have been significantly reduced, the insect has not yet been eradicated. Farmers in the southern blacklands zone have a vote coming up on whether or not to continue the program.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - Principles used in food safety today employ a number of ideas that date back to when canning became popular, but the first hazardous analysis and critical control point systems were developed by NASA to use when astronauts began spending extended lengths of time in space. Haccp (pronounced Hassip) is a process control system for preventing food safety problems before they become issues.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - With the Texas legislature in session, over five thousand bills have been filed, several dealing with animal rights or cruelty to animals. We talked with state representative Rick Hardcastle, whose house committee on agriculture and livestock will decide if any of these bills make it to the house floor.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - Water has been a big issue in the last two legislative sessions and 2005 is no exception. Representative Robert Puente, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources says ground water districts all over the state are making decisions on whether or not water can be moved from their districts. He also said that one thing he found out in the last session was that the legislature needed to know more about water to be able to write good legislation.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - As of January 1st, 2005, there were 743,000 registered horses scattered across Texas. When you factor in the grade or unregistered horses, it brings the state's estimated horse population up to approximately 1.2 million head. We talked with with Pete Gibbs, a horse specialist with Texas Cooperative Extension about the economic impact the horse industry has on Texas.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - The Texas Beef Council was created as a result of the 1985 Beef Promotion and Research Act and is made up of a 20 member board representing nine different Texas cattle and beef organizations. One of the beef council's chief responsibilities is to insure compliance with the beef check-off program that requires that one dollar be collected from the proceeds of the sale of every beef animal, and that money be pooled to enhance the markets for U.S. beef.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - Last year theft investigators for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association recovered a little over four million dollars worth of stolen property that included about twenty five hundred head of cattle. Out of the approximately five million head of cattle in Texas, one and a half million are located in the region that includes and surrounds Brazos county, and apparently the old art of cattle rustling is alive and well.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - Extreme heat, cold, drought, floods, sleet, or hail. These are all part of the bag of trials and tribulations mother nature can throw at agricultural producers. Last May parts of the Brazos bottom received 11 inches of rain. This past May some the same places didn't get any.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - The National Animal Identification System is being developed to identify specific animals in the United States and record their movement over their lifespans. Its goal is to enable 48-hour traceback of any diseased or exposed animal. The most recent case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE has put a spotlight on animal ID.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - Part of the challenge of working in agriculture is the adversity Ag Producers face year end and year out. Farmers and ranchers alike battle disease, insects, and of course the weather, all frequent topics of discussion. One growing problem we've not touched on is the feral hog.