Posted: 10/27/2006 - Most of the gas in the U.S. that has an ethanol extender in it is an e-10 blend, meaning its 10% ethanol. An 85% ethanol blend is the way most ethanol enthusiasts would like to see the industry move, and as congress debates u.s. energy policy, the question is being asked why u.s. automakers haven’t produced more vehicles that can utilize e-85.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - A renewed interest in ethanol as a fuel has the potential of increasing the value of grain produced by our nation’s farmers. While a local plant producing ethanol would create a larger demand for grain locally, the plant wouldn’t be necessary to increase the price of the grain produced by Brazos Valley farmers.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - There’s a saying in agriculture circles that ag producers are the only sector of our economy that pay retail for their production inputs, sell the product they produce wholesale, and on top of that have to take whatever a buyer’s willing to give them for it. That hasn’t really changed much, but marketing agricultural products sure has.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - 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. No, milk, cheese, and ice cream don’t come from the grocery store, they all begin at a dairy, and we talked about life on a dairy with a family just down the road in Navasota.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - June is National Dairy Month, and last week we looked at a Grimes county dairy that’s been surrounded by the growth that’s occurred in Navasota. Now, Joe Brown takes a look at the only cow dairy in Robertson county, run by a family forced out of the Houston area.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - Five years ago a farmer growing watermelons in the valley began an experiment to see if watermelons could be successfully grown commercially here in the Brazos Valley. Today he works out of a distribution center here that ships watermelons all the way to New York City, Chicago, and even Canada.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - Growing watermelons commercially has almost become a high tech venture with drip irrigation and weekly lab analysis of the vines to detect any micronutrient deficiencies. The growing techniques are a stark contrast to harvesting procedures. Harvest is completely done by hand.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - If you do any driving through the rural areas of the Brazos Valley at this point in the year, you’ll notice it’s harvest time. If you’re involved in production agriculture, you’re usually always wishing for something from Mother Nature. Ranchers need a rain, and right now rain is the last thing a farmer trying to bring in a crop wants.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - This time of the year, there are two segments of production agriculture that are wishing for opposite things. In our part of Texas, harvest has begun, and the last thing a farmer needs when he trying to bring a crop in is rain. Ranchers, on the other hand are usually desperate for rain in august, and even though cattle prices have remained strong, the lack of rain has taken a toll.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - What does a farmer do when the prices of traditional crops that he produces are so low it’s hard to make a profit? Obviously, a farmer tries to make the best yields he possibly can, but we talked with one Brazos Valley farmer who looks for a few other things he might grow to help bring in a little extra money.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - If you polled Texans and asked what insect had been the biggest pest when they were trying to enjoy the outdoors, it’s a safe bet the fire ant would be at or near the top of the list. We talked with a texas cooperative extension entomologist who said there are some good baits available that can help you manage your outdoor environment satifactorly.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - For agriculture, the timeliness of rainfall is as important as the amount of rainfall that’s received. Ranchers rely on grass pastures to feed their cattle in the spring and summer and many feed hay in the winter. The absence of moisture this year has taken its toll on pastures and hay production, and is forcing many beef producers to reduce the size of their herds.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - In 2005, Brazos Valley hay production levels were 40 to 45% of usual annual production rates. There was no hay produced in the fall, hay inventories were depleted, and the drought continued. At this point in the growing season, local hay producers have a short window to make a fall hay crop.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - A major part of growing beef in Texas is the winter pasture. That’s the beautiful lush green grass you see growing in the late fall, winter, and early spring. With Brazos Valley ranchers having faced hay shortages caused by back-to-back droughts in 2005 and 2006, winter and early spring forage for grazing will be very important in the upcoming months.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - The heavy rains we experienced at the beginning of this week would have been very damaging to Brazos Valley cotton waiting to be picked, but Andy Scamardo, co-owner of the Mid Valley Cotton Gin in Steele Store, says nearly all of their customers had their crops harvested before the big storm hit.
Posted: 10/27/2006 - It’s not necessary for today’s average American urbanite or suburbanite to give agriculture much thought, since they’re able to pick up most everything they need at the grocery store. Consequently, many of America’s children don’t know where their food really comes from. The Texas cooperative extension service is trying to change that.