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Selecting Commercial Bulls

Posted: 10/27/2006 - When enjoying a good steak, very few of us think about what went into producing it. We talked with retired extension beef specialist and commercial cattleman Bill Turner about the decision making that goes into selecting a bull for a commercial cow herd.

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Holiday Shopping

Posted: 10/27/2006 - The food and fiber sector, or agriculture, makes up 16% of our country's gross domestic product, and is responsible for 15% of the jobs in Texas. We have a strong agricultural base here in the Brazos Valley, and if you want a close look at agriculture, all you need to do is take a trip downtown or to the mall and go Christmas shopping.

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Selecting Commercial Bulls

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Producing beef today demands attention to detail from the producer. This week's From the Ground Up, we take a look at expected progeny differences, or EPD's, some of the tools commercial beef producers use to make decisions about the bulls they use in their cow herds.

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Challenges from Mother Nature in 2004

Posted: 10/27/2006 - During the parts of any year, agriculture finds itself at odds with mother nature, but 2004 presented an unusual number of challenges.

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Hybrid Vigor in Beef Production

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Breeds of cattle like hereford, angus, and charlolais that originated in Europe hundreds of years ago have long been heralded as superior beef producers. Why then do almost 85 percent of commercial cattlemen in the U.S. use crossbred cows in their beef herds?

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Reflections of a Rancher

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Ranchers have enjoyed record prices for their cattle for the last year, but we talked with one Brazos Valley rancher who was quick to point out that the good years keep agriculture producers in business.

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Value Added Crops

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Most farmers have programs that allow them to grow what they grow best. We talked with a Brazos Valley farmer who says the search value added crops and nitche markets is a very important part of many successful farmers marketing strategies.

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Culling As A Ranch Management Tool

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Beef Producers use many tools to help them put a good product on our plates. Culling inferior animals is an important part of the decision making process in managing a beef cattle herd.

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Irradiation Technology

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Irradiation has been used for years to sanitize everything from the items in the space program, hospital bandages, and contac lenses to feminine products, gel caps, and spices. Until three years ago, irradiation required the use of a nuclear energy force or a radio isotope like cobalt. Since then, simple electricity has been used fro irradiation at the National Center of Electron Beam Food Research at Texas A&M.

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Rural Land Pressures

Posted: 10/27/2006 - The state of Texas is under increased pressure from population growth every year. The director of research for Texas A&M's real estate center says land developers and agricultural producers are on a collision course.

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Rural Land Pressures Part 2

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Increased growth and development in the state of Texas has also fueled increases in the value of rural real estate, but the decision to sell or not to sell a piece of property is not always dictated by economics.

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Agriculture's Future

Posted: 10/27/2006 - For generations, American farmers have shared their technology with foreign countries all over the world. Agriculture now leads the trend of off-shoring jobs and production to areas outside the United States.

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2004 Recovery

Posted: 10/27/2006 - 2004 was a challenging year for many local agricultural producers, but for many the year ended on a more positive note than it began.

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Opening The Canadian Border

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.

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BSE and Food Safety

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.

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Boll Weevil Eradication part 2

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.

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Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Systems

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.

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Stress in Cattle

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Stress has a negative impact on the health of human beings so it's not surprising that it would have some of the same effects on livestock, and that is becoming an area of concern for beef producers.

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The Texas Legislature In Session

Posted: 10/27/2006 - The Texas Legislature is in session and although school finance is capturing most of the headlines, there are a lot of issues on the table. We talked with Governor Rick Perry and Texas Ag Commissioner Susan Combs about how Texas agriculture was faring.

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The Texas Legislature In Session

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.

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The Texas Legislature In Session

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.

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The Texas Horse Industry/Economic Impact

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.

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Cutting Horses

Posted: 10/27/2006 - Smart breeders of any type of animal usually try to start with good genetics, but when it comes to developing a superior cutting horse, genetics is only the beginning.

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Horse Racing

Posted: 10/27/2006 - We continue our look at our state's horse industry by turning our attention to horse racing, which is one of the sectors of the industry that makes the horse business big business in Texas.

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Horse Racing

Posted: 10/27/2006 - In this From the Ground Up, we take another look at horse racing. Many people spend a lifetime looking for that one special horse with an often intangible characteristic that makes it a winner.

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