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December 2011 Articles

Plant trees now through midwinter
USDA and Feld Entertainment, Inc., Reach Settlement Agreement
Statement by Bob stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding
Winter, early spring are good times to prune most trees, shrubs
Cattle on Feed Report Trends are a Key
Effect of Supplemental Trace Minerals From Injection on Health and Performance o
EPA's Crushing Regulatory Burdens Threaten Family Farms
Tight Stocks, Strong Demand continue for Corn Market
2011 Food and Health Survey - Consumer Attitudes Towards Food Safety, Nutrition
GIPSA Rules
Compare Cost of Raising Replacements Versus Purchasing
Corn research pays dividends for La. Farmers
Vow not to gain weight over the holiday season
LSU AgCenter nutritionist gives advice about diabetes
American Tree Farm System
Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding
Agricultural Secretary Vilsack Highlights the 150th Anniversary of USDA
AFBF: Farm Youth Labor Rule Overreaches DOL Authority
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces $50 Million for Gulf Coast Restoration
Notes from Germany
Cutting Corners
Just Rambling
Inaugural WTC agricultural committee meets in New Orleans
Just Rambling
Scholarship Donkey
Horse owners advised to be on the lookout for infectious disease
Early wheat harvest helps farmers avoid floods
FORAGE UPDATE: HAY STOCKS AND PASTURES:
Blueberries offer health benefits
Arkansas Agriculture Newsletters Livestock Market News - Situation and Outlook
La. farmers face huge losses from flood, drought damage
Bring butterflies with buddleias
AFBF Estimates 3.6M Ag Acres Hit by Floods
AFBF: 3% Withholding Tax Needs Repeal
Replacement Heifers - A Strategy for Success
Statement by Boy Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding
Ninth annual Water Fest draws 300 students
New rules facing catfish industry
USDA changes safe pork cooking temperatures
Corn Supply Tight Despite Projected Record Crop
Stay Away from high-calorie, caffeine-containing drinks in hot weather
Air Quality and the Broiler Industry
Turkey gnats pose nuisance to people, but threat to chickens
Coping with Drought
DROUGHT AID AVAILABLE FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS
Cutting Corners: Summer Smoothies
Just Rambling
Horse Expert Lists Benefits of Horse Ownership
Micellaneous Horse Trivia
La. cattle producers vote to continue checkoff
TAHC to Discontinue Brucellosis Testing at Markets
Drought bigger concern than flood for agriculture 2011
Saddle Pad Tips
2011 Food and Farm Facts Now Available
Insect, disease control critical to successful pecan production
Lantanas offer summer flowers, attract butterflies
Azalea problems answered
Verses by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Gulf seafood remains safe, expert says
Great Orators
Keep hydrated, keep safe during hot weather
Weater Challenges Reflected in Latest USDA Crop Report
Proper watering is important during dry weather
Armadillos don't have to ruin your landscape
Tracking Milk and Egg Trends
Energy Cost Run-up Drives Retail Food Prices in Second Quarter
Common Diseases Affecting Small Poultry Flocks
Drought Likely to Impact Cattle Markets for Years
Horse Pasture, Seeds Help Your Pasture Management
Why some people are mosquito magnets
Cutting Corners: Squash Fritters
Just Rambling
Just Rambling
Trichomoniasis in Cattle
Tractor Safety
10 Tips for Preventing Clinical Exacerbation of heaves in Horses
AFBF Outlines Steps to Ease Regulatory Nightmare
Heat Stress in Livestock
Avoiding Heat Stress in Youth Livestock Projects
Biodiesel workshop shows how it's done
Hay bale load restrictions waived to help Texas ranchers
Why We Say the Things We Say
Year-to-Date U.S. Cattle Slaughter Rate
Approval of Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act Urged
America's Heartland Launches Seventh Season on Public TV
Feeding the Herd through a Drought
Higher Energy Prices Hitting Farmers' Bottom Line
Tight Supply Situation Still Driving Corn Market
Horse Facts:
Fig trees can enhance landscapes
Horse Trivia:
Another Look at Production Records
National Poultry Inprovement Plan (NPIP)
Don't let poison ivy get you
Trivia:
Love him or loathe him, he nailed this one right on the head.......
Cutting Corners: Santa Fe Rice Salad
Just Rambling
Students participate in summer institute
Cook meats carefully to avoid illnesses
"Signs of Planting"
Take care of your crape myrtle trees
Drought may affect deer
3 LSU AgCenter administrators to receive honorary FFA degree
Trees need special care during drought
August USDA Report Confirms Tight Corn Crop
AFBF Pleased by DOT Guidance on Ag Transportation
Blackleg May be a Concern in Drought Conditions
Cull Cow Strategy for the Fall
The Things I Know
Sweet potato growers learn latest at LSU AgCenter field day
Arkansas Agriculture Newsletters Livestock Market News - Situation and Outlook
Valuation Measures for Forage
OUTLOOK IS FOR FEEDSTUFFS TO REMAIN VERY EXPENSIVE
Livestock Market News - Week Ending August 26, 2011
Did You Know?
The First Year - LSU AgCenter Hill Farm Research Station Broiler Demonstration H
Strain: LDAF is more efficient
Drift roses offer new landscape options
Cutting Corners: Banana Pudding Cupcakes

(120 articles found)

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Plant trees now through midwinter

 Plant trees now through midwinter By LSU AgCenter Horticulturists Dan Gill, Kyle Huffstickler and Allen Owings Source: LSU AgCenter

November, December and into mid-January are excellent times for planting trees in Louisiana. During this period, the soil is still warm, encouraging vigorous root growth, and trees will have several months to get established before summer’s heat.

At the same time,... read more


USDA and Feld Entertainment, Inc., Reach Settlement Agreement

 USDA and Feld Entertainment, Inc., Reach Settlement Agreement Source: www.usda.gov

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2011—The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Feld Entertainment, Inc., doing business as Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Feld), have reached a settlement agreement in which Feld has paid a civil penalty of $270,000 for alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dating from June 2007 to August 2011.... read more


Statement by Bob stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding

  Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Passage of Withholding Tax Repeal

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 17, 2011 – “The American Farm Bureau is pleased that the House yesterday passed H.R. 674, to repeal the 3 percent withholding tax, as already passed by the Senate. The resounding vote of 422-0 demonstrates that Americans have had enough of extraneous taxes.... read more


Winter, early spring are good times to prune most trees, shrubs

 Winter, early spring are good times to prune most trees, shrubs By Dan Gill LSU AgCenter Horticulturist

Pruning is one gardening job that often neglected because gardeners are not exactly sure what to do. There is a great deal of confusion about how to prune, when to do it and even why pruning is done. As a result, pruning is often delayed until radical and extensive pruning is required. Now is an excellent time to evaluate your landscape for pruning that needs to be... read more


Cattle on Feed Report Trends are a Key

 CATTLE ON FEED REPORT TRENDS ARE A KEY: Source: www.aragriculture.org

Even with year-over-year increases in the number of cattle on-feed, trends in the USDA-NASS Cattle on Feed report numbers paint a more positive price picture. Trends within the report over a period of months and the context of those numbers are easily overlooked or underestimated, but are important. Of course, there have been very positive trends on the demand side of the cattle business, especially increasing... read more


Effect of Supplemental Trace Minerals From Injection on Health and Performance o

 Effect of Supplemental Trace Minerals From Injection on Health and Performance of Highly Stressed, Newly Received Beef Heifers Source: (Richeson and Kegley, University of Arkansas)

The Professional Animal Scientist 27 (2011): 461-466

Injectable trace minerals administered on arrival to highly stressed beef calves may improve health and performance during the critical receiving period. Crossbred beef heifers (n = 90; initial body weight = 439 lb) were... read more


EPA's Crushing Regulatory Burdens Threaten Family Farms

  EPA’s Crushing Regulatory Burdens Threaten Family Farms Source: www.fb.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 17, 2011 – In just the last three years, the Environmental Protection Agency has set in motion a significant number of new regulations that will significantly change the face of agriculture. The coming changes threaten the continued operation of family farms and ranches, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.... read more


Tight Stocks, Strong Demand continue for Corn Market

 Tight Stocks, Strong Demand Continue for Corn Market

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 9, 2011 – The U.S. corn market continues to be characterized by tight stocks and strong demand as farmers wrap up this year’s harvest and look to next year’s crop, according to economists with the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Agriculture Department... read more


2011 Food and Health Survey - Consumer Attitudes Towards Food Safety, Nutrition

 2011 Food and Health Survey – Consumer Attitudes Towards Food Safety, Nutrition and Health

The International Food Information Council Foundation Food & Health Survey provides ongoing insights into how consumers view their own diets, their efforts to improve them, their understanding of food components in their diets and safe food preparation.

Compared to previous years, more Americans (approximately half) perceive their overall diet as “somewhat” healthful.... read more


GIPSA Rules

 GIPSA Rules Ross Pruitt, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Louisiana State University AgCenter

There has been much buzz about the apparent finalization of the GIPSA rule after nearly a year and a half of discussion since the rule was initially released. The exact form the rule will take has not been released by USDA or the Office of Management and Budget as of yet, but initial implications suggest it will have little initial impact on the markets. This owes to the fact that the... read more


Compare Cost of Raising Replacements Versus Purchasing

 COMPARE COST OF RAISING REPLACEMENTS VERUS PURCHASING

Many producers are now facing or have recently faced a decision on whether to sell all or part of their herd due to diminishing feed supplies, primarily pasture and hay, and corresponding increases in feed prices. If a producer has invested their time, effort, and money into the development of a cow herd with the genetics desired, the heifers typically will be the more advanced and valuable than the cows from a genetic standpoint.
read more


Corn research pays dividends for La. Farmers

 Corn research pays dividends for La. Farmers Source: LSU AgCenter


After the investments in land and equipment, two of the largest costs corn farmers have each year are fertilizer and seed. That’s where Rick Mascagni’s research benefits Louisiana corn growers.

Mascagni, a researcher at the LSU AgCenter’s Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph, conducts trials with nitrogen fertilizer on corn and coordinates the AgCenter’s statewide corn hybrid testing... read more


Vow not to gain weight over the holiday season

 Vow not to gain weight over the holiday season

Many people face the holiday season afraid they will gain weight. And that is a fear with some merit, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Beth Reames.

There are temptations galore, and many people gain a pound or two – but usually not any more.

“The problem is that any weight gained during the holiday season tends not to come off the rest of the year, unless the person makes a commitment to weight loss,” she said.read more


LSU AgCenter nutritionist gives advice about diabetes

 LSU AgCenter nutritionist gives advice about diabetes

Diabetes is now considered an epidemic in the United States, and nearly 26 million children and adults are living with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Beth Reames.

Another 79 million people have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 if current trends continue.

“In Louisiana,... read more


American Tree Farm System

 American Tree Farm System

As your voice in Washington, D.C., the American Tree Farm System advocates for policies that provide Tree Farmers and other family forest owners with the tools to keep your forest healthy and productive, for current and future generations. Below is a summary of the latest happenings on policy issues that impact Tree Farmers and other family forest owners.

2012 Tree Farm Fly-in -- March 13-14, 2012 -- Washington, D.C.

Meet with your Members of Congress in... read more


Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding

 Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Russia’s Accession to the World Trade Organization

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 10, 2011 – “The American Farm Bureau Federation believes that Russia’s successful accession into the World Trade Organization will lead to increased trade between our two nations. Russia’s entry into the WTO was 18 years in the making and the result of often difficult, on-again and... read more


Agricultural Secretary Vilsack Highlights the 150th Anniversary of USDA

 Agricultural Secretary Vilsack Highlights the 150th Anniversary of USDA Source: www.usda.gov

Nov. 2, 2011 – Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the Old Illinois State Capitol to announce the year-long celebration of USDA's 150th anniversary in 2012. Secretary Vilsack was in the hometown of USDA's founder – President Abraham Lincoln - who signed into law an act of Congress establishing the United States Department of Agriculture in 1862.... read more


AFBF: Farm Youth Labor Rule Overreaches DOL Authority

  AFBF: Farm Youth Labor Rule Overreaches DOL Authority Source: www.fb.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 2, 2011 – Responding to proposed child labor regulations, the American Farm Bureau Federation this week filed comments on behalf of more than 70 agricultural organizations in response to a proposal by the Labor Department that would limit youth employment opportunities on farms and ranches. AFBF also filed separate comments on its own behalf supplementing its views on the DOL proposal.... read more


Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces $50 Million for Gulf Coast Restoration

 Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces $50 Million for Gulf Coast Restoration

Agricultural Producers in Five States Will Help Improve Ecosystem Health of Gulf Coast

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2011 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is launching an innovative water and wildlife conservation effort along the Gulf Coast of the United States. This action is part of the Obama Administration's efforts through its Gulf Coast... read more


Notes from Germany

 Notes from Germany:

Boy, does time go by fast. I find it hard to believe that it is already December, and that I have been living here in Germany for three whole months. I still have a great deal of time left on my Fulbright scholarship—seven months, to be exact—and yet, with each passing day, I feel my stay here growing shorter and shorter. Fortunately, though, I have been able to travel a good bit throughout Europe, as well as teach the children at my German school, and have experienced... read more


Cutting Corners

Juanita's Cheese Ball


2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese

1 small pkg pecan pieces

3 green onions

1/2 cup mayo

Strawberry preserves


Mix everything except Strawberry preserves. I like to shape my cheese ball into a Christmas Tree.

Cover with Strawberry Preserves and serve with crackers.



 


 

... read more

Just Rambling

 Just Rambling: This past Saturday morning, December 3, I was busy working on this month’s Ag Trader USA. I was calling people concerning their classified ads, to see if the items they had advertised had sold. In some cases I had to leave a message asking them to return my call and let me know whether to continue their ads. I spent most of the afternoon feeding cattle and when I came back into my office that evening I saw my message light flashing on the phone. I immediately pushed the button to hear the message and... read more


Inaugural WTC agricultural committee meets in New Orleans

 Inaugural WTC agricultural committee meets in New Orleans

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., told a group of Louisiana exporters gathered for the inaugural meeting of the World Trade Center of New Orleans’ Agriculture Committee that agricultural exports will continue to play a major factor in the economy of the future.

“This year, our agricultural exports will be greater than $138 billion & creating a trade surplus of more than $42 billion in this sector,”... read more


Just Rambling

Just Rambling: I attended the Bi-District Cattlemen’s Meeting in Delhi on June 2, 2011. This meeting was planned by Terry Boone—District 6 Vice President and James Arceneaux—District 9 Vice President with the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association providing the meal. Also in attendance was Robert Joyner, Executive Vice President for the Louisiana Cattlemen Association, Wesley Ridgedell—President of Louisiana Cattlemen Association, and Vendall Fairchild, President-elect of Louisiana Cattlemen Association. Lastly,... read more


Scholarship Donkey

This picture is of a “scholarship donkey” that was donated and sold at Louisiana Tech University Agricultural Sciences 41st annual Scholarship Auction. Animals including dairy heifers, beef cattle, swine, sheep and horses are usually sold at this auction. The purpose of this livestock sale is to raise scholarship funds for the current and incoming Louisiana Tech agricultural sciences students to help them further their educational experiences at Tech, as well as to raise money to keep the current Livestock units at Louisiana... read more


Horse owners advised to be on the lookout for infectious disease

Horse owners advised to be on the lookout for infectious disease

Source: LSU AgCenter Horse owners should be alert for equine herpes myeloencephalopathy – or EHV-1 – in their horses, according to veterinarians with the LSU AgCenter and the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.

An outbreak of EHV-1 has been traced to horses that attended the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah, on April 30-May 8. Horses who participated in this event may have been exposed... read more


Early wheat harvest helps farmers avoid floods

Early wheat harvest helps farmers avoid floods Source: LSU AgCenter Much of Louisiana’s wheat acreage sat in the path of flood waters, but farmers were able to harvest the state’s wheat crop ahead of schedule this year. LSU AgCenter wheat specialist Ed Twidwell said because of the warm, dry spring, the crop matured early, which has been a big advantage for wheat growers.  “We were anywhere from 10 to 14 days ahead of time from where we normally are, which has really been a benefit because of the potential for flooding,”... read more


FORAGE UPDATE: HAY STOCKS AND PASTURES:

FORAGE UPDATE: HAY STOCKS AND PASTURES: The May 1 hay stocks data were released recently in the USDA-NASS monthly Crop Production report. Overall, U.S. hay stocks were up 6 percent (1.3 million tons) from last May, which was a little surprising considering the winter endured by some of the regions. Out of the 48 states in the continental U.S., year-on-year stock increases and decreases were roughly split; 22 states had more stocks on farms and 26 states had less. Generally, the Southern Plains, upper Midwest and Corn Belt states all showed increases... read more


Blueberries offer health benefits

Blueberries offer health benefits With improved health on the minds of many Americans, right now is a good time to discover how important blueberries are in maintaining good health, according to LSU AgCenter nutrition specialist Heli Roy. “Foods with a lot of color also have high levels of anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that help keep us healthy,” Roy said. These antioxidants help the body by keeping blood vessels strong, killing cancer cells, regulating glucose and insulin values and killing different microbes in the intestinal tract,... read more


Arkansas Agriculture Newsletters Livestock Market News - Situation and Outlook

Arkansas Agriculture Newsletters

Livestock Market News - Situation and Outlook Week Ending May 27, 2011 According to Tim Petry, Livestock Economist, North Dakota State University Extension Service: Dry Weather Continues to Force Cattle into Feedlots. USDA-NASS released the May Cattle on Feed report on May 20. Cattle continued to pour into feedlots in April, with cattle and calves on feed in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaling 11.2 million head on May 1, up 7.4 percent from last year. The trade had estimated a 6.5 percent increase... read more


La. farmers face huge losses from flood, drought damage

La. farmers face huge losses from flood, drought damage

Earlier in May, corn and soybeans planted in the Morganza floodway sat parched. Farmers were anxious for a rain. Today, water covers these same crops, drowned by the opening of the spillway.

Miles Brashier, LSU AgCenter county agent in Point Coupee Parish, said about 10 percent of parish’s crops were located within the flood zone.

“That’s a lot of money,” Brashier said, standing near a field of corn and soybeans.  “We’re talking... read more


Bring butterflies with buddleias

Bring butterflies with buddleias By LSU AgCenter Horticulturists Dan Gill, Kyle Huffstickler and Allen Owings

Buddleias, known by most home gardeners as butterfly bush, are becoming increasingly popular in the home landscape. These perennials are highly regarded by butterflies as a nectar plant. Butterfly bushes are available in an increasing array of sizes, flower colors & foliage characteristics. They have fragrant blossoms & can be used for cut flowers. Buddleias are winter hardy in Louisiana & can be used for annual color in the landscape.... read more


AFBF Estimates 3.6M Ag Acres Hit by Floods

AFBF Estimates 3.6M Ag Acres Hit by Floods Source: www.fb.org WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2011 – After learning firsthand from state Farm Bureaus about recent flooding devastation in the southern United States the American Farm Bureau Federation now estimates that nearly 3.6 million acres of farmland has been impacted by the natural disaster. On a Farm Bureau nationwide call late last week, states also reported an estimated 40 percent of this year's rice crop has been affected. Arkansas topped the list with a million acres affected, including 300,000 acres of rice and... read more


AFBF: 3% Withholding Tax Needs Repeal

AFBF: 3 % Withholding Tax Needs Repeal WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/27/2011 – A new 3 % withholding tax on government payments for goods & services has the potential to erode funds for conservation purposes, have negative impacts on rural health care availability & create serious cash-flow challenges for farmers & ranchers, according to a statement by the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a statement submitted this week to the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting & Workforce regarding 3 %t Withholding Tax, AFBF said it would oppose the new withholding... read more


Replacement Heifers - A Strategy for Success

Replacement Heifers - A Strategy for Success Source: University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Brett Barham
Traditionally, many cattlemen have selected replacement heifers based largely on which heifers look the best.While this selection practice emphasizes genetics for growth and tends to pick heifers from the earliest-calving cows, it may not result in sufficient focus on genetics for expressed fertility, calving ease, optimum levels of milk production, sensible maintenance requirements and adequate longevity. Present-day genetic information affords producers the ability... read more


Statement by Boy Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding

Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding 2012 Budget Proposal by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan Source: www.fb.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 6, 2011 – “America’s farmers and ranchers are willing to do their part to help balance our nation’s budget and cut our crippling federal deficit. Farm Bureau applauds efforts to put our nation back on a path toward a more responsible federal budget, but we are concerned about cuts that might impact the safety net that supports our farmers. It must be pointed out that... read more


Ninth annual Water Fest draws 300 students

Ninth annual Water Fest draws 300 students Source: LSU AgCenter

HOMER, La. – Three hundred sixth-graders from seven Claiborne Parish schools heard how certain practices can conserve water at the ninth annual Water Fest held May 5-6 at Lake Claiborne State Park. One lesson on Mississippi River flooding came from Theron Phillips of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. He said the area from Monroe to Vicksburg flooded in 1927 and told the students that water levels at Vidalia and Natchez, Miss., are projected to be the highest since 1937. Claiborne is one... read more


New rules facing catfish industry

New rules facing catfish industry Source: LSU AgCenter The U.S. catfish industry is facing new rules & regulations in animal health & product safety as a result of legislation included in the 2008 Farm Bill. Previously under the oversight of the Food & Drug Administration, catfish farmers & producers will soon find themselves regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The changes can be far-reaching, said Lucina Lampila, a seafood technology expert with the LSU AgCenter. USDA requirements for meats are more stringent & far-reaching than FDA regulations for fish,... read more


USDA changes safe pork cooking temperatures

USDA changes safe pork cooking temperatures

Just in time for the unofficial kickoff to the summer grilling season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has updated its recommendation for safely cooking solid cuts of pork.

USDA has lowered the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160 degrees to 145 degrees and added a three-minute rest time, said LSU AgCenter nutritionist Beth Reames.

“USDA recommends cooking all whole cuts of meat to 145 degrees as measured with a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat,... read more


Corn Supply Tight Despite Projected Record Crop

Corn Supply Tight Despite Projected Record Crop Source: www.fb.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 11, 2011 – The Agriculture Department projects a record U.S. corn crop this year, but despite the expected increase in production, American Farm Bureau Federation economists emphasize that stocks are still tight and corn farmers will need strong yields to meet demand and build supplies to more comfortable levels. USDA released its May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates today which pegs U.S. corn production at 13.5 billion bushels in 2011. If realized, this would be the largest... read more


Stay Away from high-calorie, caffeine-containing drinks in hot weather

Stay away from high-calorie, caffeine-containing drinks in hot weather During this hot, dry weather, stay hydrated with beverages that are good for you, and stay away from high-calorie, caffeine-containing drinks. These drinks, though enticing, come at a high cost healthwise, says Heli Roy, extension nutritionist with the LSU AgCenter. Some of the most heavily promoted drinks are the specialty coffees. Their sales have been increasing about 20 percent a year, Roy says. Though refreshing, an iced mocha coffee with whipped cream can have as many calories as a malted milk. “Some of these specialty... read more


Air Quality and the Broiler Industry

Air Quality and the Broiler Industry

Theresia Lavergne, Ph.D., P.A.S.

Associate Professor, LSU AgCenter

Public concern for air quality issues linked to poultry and livestock production has increased over the last 15 to 20 years. Air quality regulations are being imposed despite the lack of baseline air emissions data, as well as the lack of reliable methods for estimating air emissions from poultry and livestock operations. Over the past ten years, agricultural engineers and animal scientists have been working to evaluate air emissions and to decrease air pollution... read more


Turkey gnats pose nuisance to people, but threat to chickens

Turkey gnats pose nuisance to people, but threat to chickens Source: LSU AgCenter This is the time of the year when a tiny black fly known as the turkey gnat appears and becomes a nuisance to poultry, especially caged or cooped poultry. These gnats can cause death of poultry and other captive birds because of the toxins in the saliva of the feeding gnats, according to Theresia Lavergne, LSU AgCenter poultry specialist. She said the swarming of these gnats can disturb poultry and cause them to injure themselves or pile up on each other, which can lead to suffocation and death. “These gnats are a problem... read more


Coping with Drought

Coping with Drought

It is hard to believe that while much of the southern part of Louisiana is concerned about flooding, northwest Louisiana is still concerned about continuing drought conditions. As of May 19th, the Shreveport area was at 60% of normal rainfall for the last 14 months according to the National Weather Service. Other locales were in a similar situation with Natchitoches at 53%, El Dorado, Arkansas at 60%, Texarkana, Arkansas at 66%, and Longview, Texas at 55%. The rains of the last few days, while welcomed, will not likely change these values greatly. These data verify what beef producers... read more


DROUGHT AID AVAILABLE FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS

DROUGHT AID AVAILABLE FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS

Livestock producers in Lincoln, Union and Jackson Parish could be eligible for a payment due to drought conditions. The 2008 Farm Bill authorized the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) to provide compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses for covered livestock on land that is native or improved pastureland with permanent vegetative cover or is planted specifically for grazing. The grazing losses must be due to a qualifying drought condition during the normal grazing period for the parish, according to Chuck Hixon, Acting... read more


Cutting Corners: Summer Smoothies


Summer Smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to cool off and can be a great weight loss tool. When used in replacement of breakfast or for afternoon snack they can keep you feeling full for hours. You can use any type of frozen fruit, just remember you must drink them when made, since they will not taste good once they melt. Basic recipe

1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup 1% milk
1 cup frozen fruit ( strawberries, blueberries, etc)
1 scoop vanilla whey powder
6 ice cubes
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until all is smooth.
You can add a banana to any smoothie for... read more


Just Rambling

Just Rambling: Remember back to December of 2008 when Pilgrim’s Pride Poultry Company declared bankruptcy. At that time, many of us felt that the bankruptcy would never happen, but to our dismay it did. Remember a little later in February of 2009, when Pilgrim’s Pride announced they were idling both the El Dorado, AR and the Farmerville, LA processing plants. Even earlier, they had announced the idling of the Clinton, AR processing plant. The shock of these announcements reverberated through Central and Southern Arkansas to North Louisiana. These areas in both states had been rich in poultry production for the... read more


Horse Expert Lists Benefits of Horse Ownership

Horse Expert Lists Benefits of Horse Ownership Source: LSU AgCenter Horse ownership can be very exciting and rewarding. The primary reasons for horse ownership are companionship, recreation and relaxation, says LSU AgCenter animal science professor Dr. Clint Depew. "Many young people have developed their confidence and self-esteem through horse ownership," the LSU AgCenter equine expert says, noting that horse projects tend to be a family activity, which yields many benefits because of family interaction. "Horse ownership is a very desirable and positive self-enhancement activity," Depew says. The responsibility... read more


Micellaneous Horse Trivia

Miscellaneous Horse Trivia

The wild horse of ice age Europe-basically the same animal as the Przewalski horse– was hunted for food by ice age humans. A major kill site during the Upper Paleolithic (about 40,000 years ago) was at Solutre’, near Lyon, France. Massive quantities of horse bones have been found there. There is some evidence that the process of domestication had began by this time. A horse head carved out of bone has engraving on it that looks like a rope halter. It was found at St Michel d’Arudy, Bassess-Pyre’ne’es, France, in 1893. In the 1950s an Upper Paleolithic carving of a... read more


La. cattle producers vote to continue checkoff

La. cattle producers vote to continue checkoff Source: LSU AgCenter

Louisiana beef producers overwhelmingly voted to continue a 50-cents-per-head assessment on all cattle marketed in Louisiana for the next five years, according to LSU AgCenter officials.

In a referendum held May 31, 80 percent of the cattle producers voting favored continuing the assessment, which supports education, promotion and research in Louisiana, said LSU AgCenter beef specialist Karl Harborth.

The funds are administered by the Louisiana Beef Industry Council board, which represents producers, the Louisiana Cattlemen’s... read more


TAHC to Discontinue Brucellosis Testing at Markets

TAHC to Discontinue Brucellosis Testing at Markets

AUSTIN - The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has announced that effective August 1, 2011, government subsidized Brucellosis testing at all Texas livestock markets will be discontinued, due to a lack of funding available to pay for future testing. The TAHC will no longer enforce the requirement that all test eligible (adult) cattle be Brucellosis tested for a change of ownership within Texas.

After diligently working to eradicate Brucellosis "Bangs" from cattle for almost 50 years, on February 1, 2008, the USDA declared Texas Brucellosis free. "The... read more


Drought bigger concern than flood for agriculture 2011

Drought bigger concern than flood for agriculture 2011 The drought and heat are turning out to be more of a problem for Louisiana farmers than the flood. Although it’s too early to predict the effects on crop yields and livestock production, 2011 is definitely not going to be as good as 2010. “There’s still time for some of the later-planted crops such as soybeans, cotton and sugarcane,” said Kurt Guidry, LSU AgCenter economist. “They’re a little more drought-resistant than corn and grain sorghum.” Flooding from the Mississippi River was expected to be much worse than it turned out to be, although it has... read more


Saddle Pad Tips

Saddle Pad Tips Source: MyHorse.com Tips 1. Saddle pads can’t correct an ill-fitting saddle 2. Use only as much padding as you need 3. Keep the pad and your horse’s back clean 4. Place it correctly and smoothly on the horse’s back 5. Always peak the saddle pad in the gullet of the saddle

 

... read more

2011 Food and Farm Facts Now Available

2011 Food and Farm Facts Now Available The 2011 Food and Farm Facts book and map poster, produced by the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Public Relations Department, is fresh off the press. “Today’s farmers and ranchers work hard to provide a variety of food choices to meet consumer demand while using fewer resources,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Anyone interested in telling agriculture’s story will find Food and Farm Facts to be a useful resource to add to their toolkit.” Color photographs and charts/graphs are used to illustrate interesting facts about agriculture’s shrinking environmental... read more


Insect, disease control critical to successful pecan production

Insect, disease control critical to successful pecan production SHREVEPORT, La. – Ninety pecan growers from seven states gathered at the LSU AgCenter’s Pecan Research and Extension Station field day on June 16 to hear about the latest information on how to have successful production. Control of insects is essential, said Mike Hall, LSU AgCenter entomologist. Common problems in controlling pecan insect pests are mistiming of insecticide application, selecting the wrong insecticide, using the wrong rate, and poorly maintained and incorrectly calibrated spray equipment.  With the costs associated with making insecticide applications,... read more


Lantanas offer summer flowers, attract butterflies

Lantanas offer summer flowers, attract butterflies Lantanas continue to be one of the most popular herbaceous perennials for Louisiana landscapes. Many varieties – some old and some new – offer a multitude of growth forms and flower colors. Lantanas can be added to the landscape from now through summer for great color into late fall.

Lantana growth habits include trailing, mounding and upright.

Trailing types are scientifically called Lantana montevidensis and typically reach a height of 18 inches. Foliage texture is finer, and flower colors are white, lavender and purple. Common older varieties of this type... read more


Azalea problems answered

Azalea problems answered By LSU AgCenter Horticulturists Dan Gill, Kyle Huffstickler and Allen Owings

Azaleas either do great in Louisiana, or they do poorly. The LSU AgCenter regularly receives questions on azalea issues this time of year, but more inquiries than usual have come this spring.

Many azalea problems this summer suggest drying foliage with partial to whole-canopy dieback. A number of reasons may be responsible for this. The weather from April through early June was dry enough for drought-stress symptoms to be appearing on azaleas that weren’t adequately watered.

On the other hand, over-irrigation... read more


Verses by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Verses by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Root for your team to win, not for the other team to lose

Set limits on the amount and content of television your children watch

Stand up when an elderly person enters the room

Become a serious student of American history

Choose work that is in harmony with your values

Call a radio talk show with an opinion

Be forgiving of yourself and others

 

... read more

Gulf seafood remains safe, expert says

Gulf seafood remains safe, expert says Source: LSU AgCenter

The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico produce nearly 30 percent of domestic seafood in the United States.

Due to its diet of phytoplankton, our wild-caught seafood is more heart-healthy than farm-raised warm-water seafood from other parts of the world, said LSU AgCenter seafood specialist Lucina Lampila.

Fish, shrimp and oysters from the Gulf of Mexico “are the most scrutinized seafood in the United States in the past 20 years,” Lampila added.

For the past year or so, the FDA and the National Marine Fisheries Service as well as the Louisiana... read more


Great Orators

Great Orators 

  "One man with courage makes a majority." -  Andrew Jackson 

  "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." -    Franklin D. Roosevelt  

  "The buck stops here." -  Harry S. Truman 

  "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." -   John F. Kennedy 

 

... read more

Keep hydrated, keep safe during hot weather

Keep hydrated, keep safe during hot weather

Excessively hot weather can lead to an increased risk of dehydration, especially in older adults. Dehydration – the reduction of total body water – may result from an insufficient intake of fluids and/or fluid loss. “Older people are at high risk for developing heat-related illness because the ability to respond to summer heat can become less efficient with advancing years,” says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Beth Reames. “Studies show senior citizens may not drink sufficient fluids, and they also may be taking medications, such as diuretics for high blood pressure, which cause fluid... read more


Weater Challenges Reflected in Latest USDA Crop Report

Weather Challenges Reflected in Latest USDA Crop Report A challenging weather year for farmers and ranchers all across the country is clearly reflected in today’s crop report released by the Agriculture Department with drops shown in production, stocks and acreage forecasts for corn compared to the May report. And with the expected drops in both production and supply, USDA is forecasting record prices not only for corn but also for wheat and soybeans. Prices for all three commodities were moved upward from the May estimates due to weather challenges. The cotton price remained the same as the May estimate, but it is still a record. “There is no doubt that... read more


Proper watering is important during dry weather

Proper watering is important during dry weather By Dan Gill, LSU AgCenter Horticulturist

Dry weather has been common around the state since spring started, and most of us have received less than the typical amount of rain this year. We don’t know how much rain will fall this summer, but we can be fairly certain that there will be at least some periods of hot, dry weather when we will need to water our landscapes.

How often we need to water varies, depending on such factors as temperature, rainfall, humidity, season, plants and light intensity. You need to irrigate more frequently, for instance, when temperatures are high, plants are growing... read more


Armadillos don't have to ruin your landscape

Armadillos don’t have to ruin your landscape Source: LSU AgCenter

Though there are no repellents or poisons registered for armadillo control, there are several options for those plagued by this nuisance animal.

The species of armadillo found in the United States is the nine-banded armadillo. This animal is classified as an outlaw quadruped, making it legal to kill armadillos throughout the year, according to LSU AgCenter wildlife specialist Don Reed. 

“Shooting is one method that is legal in Louisiana. With recent changes in the night-hunting regulations, armadillos can be hunted with the aid of artificial lighting,”... read more


Tracking Milk and Egg Trends

Tracking Milk and Egg Trends www.fb.org For the second quarter of 2011, shoppers reported the average price for a half-gallon of regular whole milk was $2.31, up 6 cents from the prior quarter. The average price for one gallon of regular whole milk was $3.62, up 16 cents. Comparing per-quart prices, the retail price for whole milk sold in gallon containers was about 25 percent lower compared to half-gallon containers, a typical volume discount long employed by retailers. The average price for a half-gallon of rBST-free milk was $3.18, down 5 cents from the last quarter, about 40 percent higher than the reported retail price for a half-gallon of regular milk ($2.31). The average price... read more


Energy Cost Run-up Drives Retail Food Prices in Second Quarter

Energy Cost Run-up Drives Retail Food Prices in Second Quarter WASHINGTON, D.C., June 9, 2011 – Retail food prices at the supermarket increased during the second quarter of 2011, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $51.17, up $2.10 or about 4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011. Of the 16 items surveyed, 14 increased and two decreased in average price compared to the prior quarter. The total average price for the 16 items was up about 8 percent compared to one year ago. “The effects of continued raw energy cost increases... read more


Common Diseases Affecting Small Poultry Flocks

Common Diseases Affecting Small Poultry Flocks, Theresia Lavergne, Ph.D., P.A.S., Professor – Poultry LSU AgCenter

The following are some of the diseases that commonly affect small poultry flocks. This is a description of diseases, how they are transmitted, symptoms of the diseases, and treatment of the diseases.

Fowl Pox

Chickens with fowl pox will have scab-like lesions on their combs and wattles (on unfeathered parts of their body). Fowl pox can occur in any age of chickens, and may result in decreased egg production, reduced growth rate, and poor feed conversion.

Fowl pox is caused by a virus. The virus is slow spreading and can... read more


Drought Likely to Impact Cattle Markets for Years

Drought Likely to Impact Cattle Markets for Years Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist

The on-going drought in the Southern Plains and surrounding regions is having immediate market impacts and, with each passing day is increasingly likely to have multi-year impacts in the future.  It is difficult to determine the exact impacts of the drought but some indications are emerging.  The contrast between beef cow slaughter nationally and in the drought region clearly indicates that the impacts are significant.  For the year to date, beef cow slaughter is down 4.4 percent nationally, while beef cow slaughter in Region 6, which... read more


Horse Pasture, Seeds Help Your Pasture Management

Horse Pasture, Seeds Help Your Pasture Management Story by Heather Smith Thomas Weeds often plague horse pastures, especially areas that are overgrazed or trampled by horse traffic, such as near water sources, shade or gates. Horse pasture seeds may help rebuild your pasture when weeds take over. It doesn’t take much grazing pressure to change the dynamics of a plant population within a horse pasture, especially during drought. Horse pasture management requires constant vigilance to balance grazing use with grass growth, making adjustments depending on weather (rainfall or drought) or availability of irrigation water. Poisonous plants, problem weeds, and vegetation that crowds out desirable... read more


Why some people are mosquito magnets

Why some people are mosquito magnets Some folks seem to be magnets for mosquitoes, while others rarely get bitten. What makes the little buggers single you out and not the guy or gal you're standing next to at the Memorial Day backyard barbecue? The two most important reasons a mosquito is attracted to you have to do with sight and smell, says Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach. Lab studies suggest that 20 percent of people are high attractor types, he says. Mosquitoes are highly visual, especially later in the afternoon, and their first mode of search for humans is through vision, explains Day. People dressed in dark colors -- black, navy blue,... read more


Cutting Corners: Squash Fritters


Squash
Fritters

1 cup left over squash
1 egg 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup corn meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Chopped onion

Mix all ingredients, drop in hot grease and fry until brown.
Enjoy.
 

... read more

Just Rambling

Just Rambling: Shipping Day on Riser’s Family Farms Riser Family Farms sell the majority of their calf crop over video through Superior Livestock Auction. Rabun Smith is the Representative for Superior Livestock Auction that handles the Riser’s cattle. July 28th was the first shipping date for their 2011 calf crop. My daughter, Blair, who is a participant in the Louisiana Young Ag Producers Program through the LSU AgCenter took part in this shipping day on Riser’s Family Farm. Bob and Judy Riser are Blair’s mentors for the coming year with the Louisiana Young Ag Producer Program and Blair is anxious to learn more about the cattle business during the coming year from Bob and Judy.... read more


Just Rambling

Just Rambling: July 21, 2011 was a good night for those that were able to attend the poultry growers meeting held at the Willie Davis Recreational Center in Farmerville. Doors opened at 5 pm for an hour of fellowship with coffee and cookies furnished by Ag Trader USA. The meeting began at 6 pm with a big welcome by Farmerville Mayor Stein Baughman followed by a short presentation by Sam Cooper, Representative for Southern Ag Credit who was our lead sponsor for this event. A meal of barbeque chicken and brisket with all the trimmings was then enjoyed by all in attendance. After the meal, catered by BBQ West, Dr. Mike Strain, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, spoke about the positive things... read more


Trichomoniasis in Cattle

Trichomoniasis in Cattle

Dr. Jeremy Powell, Associate Professor and Veterinarian

Dr. Tom Troxel, Professor, University of Arkansas Introduction Trichomoniasis, commonly referred to as “trich,” is a venereal disease of cattle caused by a protozoa organism, Tritrichomonas foetus. This small, motile organism is found only in the reproductive tract of infected bulls and cows. Infected cattle can lead to major economic losses due to infertility, low pregnancy rates, an extended calving season, diminished calf crops and occasional abortions in pregnant cows and heifers. It can also be very costly to eradicate from a herd. Trich is not a human health issue, but it is currently... read more


Tractor Safety

Tractor Safety (Dr. Tim Page) LSU Ag Center

Farm safety should be a year-round priority. Sometimes we neglect to keep it at the forefront. Agriculture can be a dangerous business if we do not take the proper safety precautions. Every year we hear about tractor accidents with our producers. We should take

every opportunity to remind them in order to keep them safe. This subject is near and dear to my heart. My mother lost her leg in a tractor accident when she was 12 years old. I found the 10 Commandments of Tractor Safety somewhere years ago. I do not remember where I got it but I thought it was time I shared it with everyone. Make sure all tractors have fully operational rollover protective... read more


10 Tips for Preventing Clinical Exacerbation of heaves in Horses

10 Tips for Preventing Clinical Exacerbation of Heaves in Horses (Dr. Christine Navarre) LSU Ag Center

Lais R.R. Costa, M.V., M.S., D.A.C.V.I.M.; Equine Health Studies Program; School of Veterinary Medicine; Louisiana State University equine@vetmed.LSU.edu

Heaves is an asthma-like disease of horses initiated by exposure to allergens such as molds and dust, resulting in coughing, nasal discharge and difficulty breathing. In the southern United States, it occurs principally in horses housed on pasture in the summer

(pasture-associated), and clinical exacerbation is often associated with high environmental temperature and humidity. In more northern areas of the United States, the disease... read more


AFBF Outlines Steps to Ease Regulatory Nightmare

AFBF Outlines Steps to Ease Regulatory Nightmare Source: www.fb.org Congress must help alleviate the burden of an ever-increasing array of federal environmental regulations on agriculture, according to Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers, who testified today before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. Representing the American Farm Bureau Federation, Rogers told the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy that the breadth and extent of the regulatory challenges facing U.S. agriculture are tremendous. According to Rogers, the regulations cover a broad range of issues, including: Clean Air Act requirements, Clean Water Act permitting and other requirements, restrictions on pesticides and other farm in-puts and... read more


Heat Stress in Livestock

Heat Stress in Livestock Dr.Christine Navarre We are in the midst of heat stress season. High daytime temperatures in combination with high nighttime temperatures and high humidity can be deadly. Heat stress can be a primary disease, causing illness or death. It also can be a subclinical disease causing reduced productivity and suppression of the immune system which makes animals more susceptible to other diseases. Heat stress can cause females to abort and males to become infertile. Heat stress-induced infertility can be permanent, so breeding soundness exams each year on breeding males are essential to make sure they have recovered. Non-heat-adapted males in excess body condition and animals with other health problems (either... read more


Avoiding Heat Stress in Youth Livestock Projects

Avoiding Heat Stress in Youth Livestock Projects Dr. Karl Harborth Even though summer does not officially arrive for a couple more weeks, summer temperatures have definitely arrived in the southern United States. Most of us are not comfortable when the temperatures soar into the upper 90s and higher, but the livestock projects that we have chosen to care for are much less comfortable than we are and are very susceptible to heat stress during this time period. It would not be an uncommon sight to drive by a pasture on a summer morning and a see a herd of cattle fighting for a spot in the shade or at the watering hole. This can make the dog days of summer very stressful for livestock, even when they are roaming in their natural habitat.... read more


Biodiesel workshop shows how it's done

Biodiesel workshop shows how it’s done Source: LSU AgCenter

Interest in biodiesel is growing, and people are flocking to classes to learn how to make used vegetable oil into fuel.

The LSU AgCenter has been conducting one-day sessions on making biodiesel for several years, and interest continues to grow, according to Bill Carney, LSU AgCenter environmental educator and director of the AgCenter’s W.A. Callegari Environmental Center in Baton Rouge.

Carney’s classes show people how to convert used vegetable oils into biodiesel using equipment that costs in the neighborhood of $1,000.

“We’re taking the mystery away from producing biodiesel,” Carney said... read more


Hay bale load restrictions waived to help Texas ranchers

Hay bale load restrictions waived to help Texas ranchers

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said an executive order has been issued waiving size restrictions and permit fees on oversized loads of hay enroute to Texas.

Strain said the state departments of Transportation and Development, Public Safety, and Revenue will allow vehicles transporting round hay bales to be loaded side by side across trailers up to twelve feet in width and fourteen feet in height.

Texas has experienced an extended drought that has severely affected their hay production, Strain said. Some hay producers in Louisiana may be able to help cattle producers over there and lifting the restrictions and waiving the... read more


Why We Say the Things We Say

Why We Say the Things We Say by Karlen Evins


Blackmail

If there is such a thing as blackmail, is there such a thing as whitemail? The answer is “ You betcha!”

The origin of a word that otherwise suggests extortion or something threatening you to silence, can be traced back to Scottish farmers of the mid-16th century, who were said to have paid their landlords in either silver (whitemail) or produce from their farms (blackmail).

As the latter was the least preferred, some of the greedier landlords reportedly forced their cash-strapped tenants to pay far more in goods than they would have paid in silver.

From this, our word blackmail garnered the negative connotation... read more


Year-to-Date U.S. Cattle Slaughter Rate

Year-to-Date U.S. Cattle Slaughter Rate, Dr. Ross Pruitt As 2011 began, expectations in the beef cattle industry were to see stabilization in the number of U.S. beef cows as producers held back heifers for replacements. It will be late July before indications of the heifer retention rate are known, but fewer beef cows have gone to market so far in 2011 compared to 2010. Through the first 20 weeks of the year, beef cow slaughter is down 4.4% from last year. However, year-to-date beef cow slaughter is 14.4% higher than the 2005-09 average. In order for there to be any expansion in the beef cow herd this year, everything had to go right, which has not been the case in 2011. The hardest-hit area by drought in 2011 has been the Southern Plains, and... read more


Approval of Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act Urged

Approval of Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act Urged Source: www.fb.org WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2011 – The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging support for the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (H.R. 2018), a bipartisan bill that restores the balance between the states and the Environmental Protection Agency in regard to regulating the nation’s waters. The bill was passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on June 22. In a letter this week, AFBF joined a coalition of 121 organizations representing a broad cross-section of the economy, in support of the bill, which is up for consideration later this week. The bill would reaffirm the decades-old, state-federal relationship set out in the Clean Water... read more


America's Heartland Launches Seventh Season on Public TV

America’s Heartland Launches Seventh Season on Public TV Source: www.fb.org WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2011 – America’s Heartland, the award-winning national television series celebrating American agriculture, begins its seventh season on public television and the RFD-TV cable and satellite channel starting the week of September 5. The American Farm Bureau Federation is the program’s only “legacy sponsor” that has supported the show during each of its seven seasons. In addition to AFBF, two new sponsors – Farm Credit and the United Soybean Board – have thrown their support behind the program for season seven. AFBF has supported the series since its launch in 2005, and this year its sponsorship aligns... read more


Feeding the Herd through a Drought

Feeding the Herd through a Drought

Nutrition becomes the number one concern when cattle producers deal with drought conditions. Typically the first thing we try to do is buy more hay which isn’t always the easiest or economical thing to do. If you are purchasing hay try to buy it on a value basis rather than volume. In other words purchase hay on weight and nutrient composition rather than by the quantity of bales. While this is easier said than done you can save yourself supplement cost in the long if you can buy higher quality hay.

We also need to feed hay as efficiently as possible. This can be done by reducing wastage feeding accurately. Something as simple as using a hay ring can reduce hay wastage drastically.... read more


Higher Energy Prices Hitting Farmers' Bottom Line

Higher Energy Prices Hitting Farmers’ Bottom Line Source: www.fb.org WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2011 – While farmers are benefiting from positive commodity prices, rising production costs remain a concern, according to economists with the American Farm Bureau Federation. “These are encouraging times for the U.S. farm economy,” said AFBF Chief Economist Bob Young. “Higher prices for corn, cotton, wheat and soybeans are helping farmers, but higher energy prices are impacting profit margins. It’s important to remember that farming is still a very capital intensive occupation and that high input costs affect the bottom line, even in good times.” AFBF economist Matt Erickson outlined the impact of high energy prices... read more


Tight Supply Situation Still Driving Corn Market

Tight Supply Situation Still Driving Corn Market Source: www.fb.org WASHINGTON, D.C., July 12, 2011 – The Agriculture Department forecasts higher corn stocks in its July crop report released today compared to its June report, but economists with the American Farm Bureau Federation stress that corn supplies are still very tight and a big crop is needed to meet strong demand and build reserves to a more comfortable level. USDA’s July World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates peg corn stocks at 870 million bushels for the 2011/2012 marketing year, up 175 million bushels from the June stocks estimate. Todd Davis, AFBF crops economist, said the increase is due mostly to USDA raising its harvested corn acreage estimate to 84.9 million acres in... read more


Horse Facts:

Horse Facts: The horse was domesticated late in prehistoric times, after such animals as sheep and goats. Horses adapt their behavior to the environment, rapidly shedding all traces of domestication when released to the wild. In the wild, foals will suckle until they are a year old, even longer in some conditions.

 

... read more

Fig trees can enhance landscapes

Fig trees can enhance landscapes By LSU AgCenter Horticulturists Dan Gill, Kyle Huffstickler and Allen Owings

Home gardeners around Louisiana frequently have fruit trees in their landscapes, and the fig is certainly one of the most popular. Ficus carica is a native of Asia and was imported into the United States in the 16th century. The fruit is tasty and can be eaten fresh, made into preserves and jams, or used in baking. Figs make nice additions to landscape plantings.

Figs are commonly grown in all of Louisiana and have the potential to produce an early crop, called the breba crop, on last year’s wood in the spring, a main crop on the current-season wood during the summer and a third crop in the fall. These different crop... read more


Horse Trivia:

Horse Trivia: Approximately 90% of all Thoroughbreds can trace back to Eclipse, a stallion brought to England in the early 1700s. Eclipse was so named because he was foaled during a solar eclipse (April 1, 1764). He died in 1789. Eclipse, a liver chestnut with a blaze and one hind stocking, was by Marske, out of Spilette by the Godolphin Arabian.

 

... read more

Another Look at Production Records

Another Look at Production Records

Brett Barham, Associate Professor, University of Arkansas Many articles have been written about the importance of keeping production and financial records in a beef cattle operation. I usually encourage record keeping to help increase production efficiency, but records have other uses also. In case you have not heard, Arkansas has had an increase in prevalence of trichomoniasis in beef cattle. Trichomoniasis, commonly referred to as “trich,” is a venereal disease of cattle caused by a protozoa organism, Tritrichomonas foetus. This small, motile organism is found only in the reproductive tract of infected bulls and cows. Infected cattle can lead to major economic losses due to infertility, low pregnancy... read more


National Poultry Inprovement Plan (NPIP)

National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)

Theresia Lavergne, Ph.D., P.A.S. Professor – Poultry LSU AgCenter

All poultry producers (commercial producers, hobby producers, 4-H and FFA members, etc.) have the responsibility of raising and maintaining healthy, disease-free birds. Disease prevention is necessary to produce a safe and wholesome food in the form of eggs and meat. Also, disease prevention is essential in protecting poultry flocks from catastrophic diseases that would result in high mortality or having to sacrifice entire flocks (commercial or hobby).

Therefore, the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) was developed in the 1930’s to prevent poultry diseases and to improve poultry and poultry products... read more


Don't let poison ivy get you

Don’t let poison ivy get you By Dan Gill, LSU AgCenter Horticulturist

I recently came across some poison ivy as I was working in an out-of-the-way area of my landscape. Poison ivy is abundant in urban, suburban and rural landscapes. I keep a sharp eye out for this plant because I’m quite allergic, and I promptly and ruthlessly deal with any as soon as I see it.

Recognizing poison ivy

Poison ivy is a tall, climbing vine that is leafless – or deciduous – in winter. As it climbs tree trunks, wood fences or other flat structures, the stem produces many small roots that cling to the surface. This is a good identifiable characteristic of the vine in case you can’t easily see the leaves. Plants are very... read more


Trivia:

Trivia: Human hair and fingernails and horse hoofs are made from the same protein ( which explains why hoof dressing works so will as a human nail conditioner).

 

... read more

Love him or loathe him, he nailed this one right on the head.......

Love him or loathe him, he nailed this one right on the head..........

By Rush Limbaugh:

I think the vast differences in compensation between victims of the September 11casualty and those who die serving our country in Uniform are profound. No one is really talking about it either, because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September 11. Well, I can't let the numbers pass by because it says something really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country. If you lost a family member in the September 11 attack, you're going to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million.? If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the... read more


Cutting Corners: Santa Fe Rice Salad

Santa Fe Rice Salad

Dana won the 4-H rice cookery contest with this salad

2 or 3 cup cooked rice

1 T oil

2 bell peppers, chopped 2 onion, chopped

2 cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed

2 cans Mexican-style corn, drained

6 cups shredded lettuce

 1 16 oz jar salsa

1 10 1/2 oz bag tortilla chips

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Sour cream


Heat oil over medium heat, add peppers and onion, cook

until tender. Add salsa, beans, corn and rice; cook until thoroughly heated. Place lettuce on plate surround with chips. Top with warn mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top. Garnish with sour cream.

 

... read more

Just Rambling

Just Rambling: James 14:4—“For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Do you ever think about this scripture in James? I find myself thinking more about this scripture each day as I get older and as my children are getting older. I so often reminisce about my childhood and my children’s childhood, wondering how did the years pass so fast. My thoughts on the brevity of life have really dominated my thinking during the past few weeks. These thoughts were provoked by a combination of events. First, my wife and I put our son, Cody, on a flight to Freiberg, Germany where he will teach for a year without opportunity to come home during his year of teaching. Next, my daughter, Dana, will move back into her... read more


Students participate in summer institute

Students participate in summer institute Source: LSU AgCenter Twenty-three youth from around the state participated in the 2011 Louisiana Young Ag Producers Program Summer Institute held July 18-22 on the LSU-Baton Rouge campus, according to LSU AgCenter program coordinator Bradley Leger. The one-year, intensive classroom and hands-on, mentor-based experience introduces high school juniors and seniors to the options available to them in the areas of food and fiber production and to encourage them to enter careers in agriculture, Leger said. “Participants have demonstrated a sincere interest in entering a career in production agriculture, agree to attend one-week summer institutes and complete 50 internship hours with a qualified mentor during the school term,” Leger... read more


Cook meats carefully to avoid illnesses

Cook meats carefully to avoid illnesses Source: LSU AgCenter

Raw and undercooked meat may contain harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness, and cooking meat and poultry to recommended temperatures will kill bacteria and decrease the risk of foodborne illness, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist and food specialist Beth Reames.

“Bacteria are everywhere in our environment,” Reames says. “Any food of animal origin can harbor bacteria that cause foodborne illness, such as Salmonella and E. coli. These bacteria cannot be seen or smelled.”

Using a food thermometer is the only sure way of knowing if your food has reached a temperature high enough to destroy foodborne bacteria.

Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and... read more


"Signs of Planting"

“Signs of Planting”

Never Plant on the 1st day of a New Moon.

 

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Take care of your crape myrtle trees

Take care of your crape myrtle trees By LSU AgCenter Horticulturists Dan Gill, Kyle Huffstickler and Allen Owings

Home gardeners need to know and be aware of how to care for and manage crape myrtle trees in our landscapes. These are the most popular of our flowering trees, and questions abound regarding proper care and maintenance. Keys to success with crape myrtles include correct sunlight, ideal soil pH and drainage, proper pruning, regular fertilization, proper mulching and insect control.

Crape myrtles need full sun in order to perform the best, grow the best and bloom the best. This means eight hours or more of direct sun daily. Less than eight hours of sunlight daily isn’t sufficient for ideal crape myrtle performance. Many of us underestimate... read more


Drought may affect deer

Drought may affect deer Source: LSU AgCenter

BOSSIER CITY, La. – Natural deer food may be in short supply this year because drought is causing acorns to drop early, and hogs are competing for them.

That’s the word from LSU AgCenter wildlife specialist Don Reed, who talked about establishing and maintaining food plots and managing and enhancing native browse plants for deer at a deer management meeting Aug. 22. 

What you plant has to be palatable, Reed said, adding that the moisture content is important in taste.

Cowpeas, a warm-season forage, are fairly drought-tolerant, and corn husks on the ground are still attractive to deer, he said. “The best warm-season forage plant is soybeans, but you have to plant enough... read more


3 LSU AgCenter administrators to receive honorary FFA degree

3 LSU AgCenter administrators to receive honorary FFA degree

Three LSU AgCenter administrators have been selected to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree.

LSU AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson, Vice Chancellor Paul Coreil and Associate Vice Chancellor Dwight Landreneau will receive the award, which is given to those who advance agricultural education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment.

The three will receive the honors during the 84th national FFA Convention on Oct. 19-22 in Indianapolis.

Richardson was cited for his leadership in Louisiana’s FFA program when the Louisiana office was transferred from the Louisiana Department of Education to the LSU AgCenter.

Coreil received the award in recognition of... read more


Trees need special care during drought

Trees need special care during drought Source: LSU AgCenter

SHREVEPORT, La. – Just because a tree has turned brown or dropped leaves during a drought does not mean it is dead.

“Before you cut, make sure the tree is dead,” LSU AgCenter forester Hallie Dozier said. “If it is alive, irrigate and protect the root zone.”

LSU AgCenter horticulture agent Denyse Cummins concurs with not cutting down trees that have defoliated. “It happens in very dry summers, and it’s looking like fall in some areas right now,” Cummins said.

Drought in Louisiana has lowered the soil water content to the point where plants, including trees, cannot extract enough water to support normal growth and maintenance, Dozier... read more


August USDA Report Confirms Tight Corn Crop

August USDA Report Confirms Tight Corn Crop

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 11, 2011 – As expected, the Agriculture Department lowered the corn production forecast in its August crop report released today due to heat stress over much of the Corn Belt. Economists with the American Farm Bureau Federation continue to stress that tight supplies mean the U.S. needs every bushel of corn that farmers can produce this year. “Analysts were expecting to see a drop in both average yield and production compared to the July report, but the yield and production numbers actually came out lower than what market watchers were anticipating,” said Todd Davis, AFBF crops economist. “This tells us we still have a very tight supply situation in corn this year. We will need a good harvest... read more


AFBF Pleased by DOT Guidance on Ag Transportation

AFBF Pleased by DOT Guidance on Ag Transportation Source: www.fb.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 10, 2011 – The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration listened to farmer and rancher concerns regarding changes to agricultural transportation regulations and commercial drivers license provisions. As a result of comments received from AFBF and others, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today that the FMCSA has no intention to propose new regulations governing the transport of agricultural products, and that the agency has released guidance to states so they clearly understand common-sense exemptions “to allow farmers, their employees, and their families to accomplish their day-to-day... read more


Blackleg May be a Concern in Drought Conditions

Blackleg May be a Concern in Drought Conditions - Jeremy Powell, DVM Associate Professor—Veterinarian, Uof A

With the drought conditions that cattlemen are currently dealing, one should remain mindful of potential herd health problems with blackleg. As cattle graze on shorter and shorter forage, the chances of picking up soil-borne pathogens that cause blackleg will increase. Blackleg is a disease that affects cattle worldwide and is caused by the infectious bacteria Clostridium chauvoei. Cattle may become exposed to blackleg from contact with bacterial endospores in the soil. Although blackleg can occur in very young calves, the disease typically affects animals between six months and two years of age. Rarely, losses may also be seen in adult cattle. Blackleg generally affects calves... read more


Cull Cow Strategy for the Fall

Cull Cow Strategy for the Fall

Ross Pruitt, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, LSU AgCenter

As we approach the fall of run cattle, the question over whether to cull brood cows now or later comes to the forefront.  Drought conditions add a different dynamic to discussion of this topic as some cows may have been culled earlier than anticipated in order to maintain forage availability for more productive brood cows.  With concerns about another La Nina developing this fall, the ability to hold cows until after the first of the year may not be feasible. Like calf prices, cull cow prices weaken substantially in the 4th quarter as seasonal supplies increase.  Depending on the region and class of cull cows sold, prices can be 90% of the yearly average... read more


The Things I Know

The Things I Know Dr. Tom R. Troxel Source: UofA

With the creation of new knowledge in an always-changing world, the things we know or thought we knew often are challenged or even proven to be incorrect. At this point in time anyway, these are the things I know:

There is a lot of volatility in the cattle business. This volatility exists on the selling price and input cost side. From 1990 to 2010, the average selling price for a 500-pound Arkansas steer calf was $100 to $110 per hundredweight. That average increased to $112 to $120 during 2000 to 2010. Selling price average continued to increase from 2005 – 2010 ($115 to $125). In 2011 prices reached topped out in March at $160 and have dropped to $133 in July. Input cost for feed, fertilizer and fuel continue to increase, which... read more


Sweet potato growers learn latest at LSU AgCenter field day

Sweet potato growers learn latest at LSU AgCenter field day

OAK GROVE, La. – Researchers from the LSU AgCenter’s Sweet Potato Research Station showed growers how to optimize production at a field day on the Lee Jones and Sons Farm on Aug. 24.

Chris Clark, LSU AgCenter plant pathologist, said a sweet potato variety similar to Evangeline but with even better tolerance to field flooding is slated for release this fall.

Other characteristics of the new variety are red skin and deep orange flesh, less bent roots than the Beauregard variety, high sugar content, excellent plant production and resistance to disease.

Clark said the LSU AgCenter screens all breeding lines for various diseases.

“Around the world, 30 viruses occur in sweet... read more


Arkansas Agriculture Newsletters Livestock Market News - Situation and Outlook

Arkansas Agriculture Newsletters

Livestock Market News - Situation and Outlook

Week Ending August 12, 2011

According to James Robb, Center Director, Livestock Marketing Information Center: A Look Back and Forward.

This year, fed cattle prices will average about 18% above a year ago, while calf prices surge about 30%. The only real beneficiaries of record high cattle prices in 2011 will be cow-calf producers and breeding stock providers in non-drought regions. After a few good months in early 2011, cattle feeding began to record huge losses. Even with higher fed cattle prices this fall, the red ink will continue on feedlot closeouts for at least the balance of 2011.

Cattle feeders pocketed good profits during the first four months of the year, but... read more


Valuation Measures for Forage

Valuation Measures for Forage Ross Pruitt, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, LSU AgCenter

Valuation of any good can be a difficult proposition since there are at least two individuals trying to reach an agreement.  There are two ways to start the process of valuing a good: cost-based and market based.  With the ongoing drought in Louisiana, how much is too much to pay for a bale of hay?  While every operation that produces hay will have different costs, knowing what it costs your operation to produce hay will be beneficial in the valuation process.  These costs should include the variable cash costs as well as the fixed overhead costs due to the need to generate a high enough return to provide for replacement of equipment at obsolescence.    read more


OUTLOOK IS FOR FEEDSTUFFS TO REMAIN VERY EXPENSIVE

OUTLOOK IS FOR FEEDSTUFFS TO REMAIN VERY EXPENSIVE On August 11th, USDA-NASS lowered their 2011 crop production forecasts for major feedstuffs and the WAOB raised USDA’s price forecasts. The estimated national average corn yield was reduced to 153 bushels per acre, a decline of nearly 6 bushels from the month-earlier forecast and below industry expectations. The national average sorghum yield was reduced by nearly 11 bushels per acre compared to one month ago, due to drought in the Southern Plains. For soybeans, the national yield was reduced by 2 bushels per acre over the last month. USDA-WAOB raised their national average corn price for the 2011-12 crop marketing year dramatically to a record-high range of $6.20 to $7.20 per bushel, an increase of 70 cents per bushel. Sorghum prices were raised by 90 cents... read more


Livestock Market News - Week Ending August 26, 2011

Livestock Market News—Week Ending August 26, 2011 Source: www.aragriculture.org According to John D. Anderson, Ph.D., Senior Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation: August Cattle on Feed. USDA released their monthly Cattle on Feed (COF) report last Friday. Key numbers from the report, along with pre-report expectations are shown in Table 1. Table 1. August Cattle on Feed Summary: Actual vs. Pre-Report Figures


  % of Previous % of Previous Pre-Report Estimates Pre-Report Estimates

  1,000 head Year  Average Range

On Feed August 1 10,626 107.6 107.5 103.8 – 109.2

July Placements 2,153  122.5 116.9 106.4 – 126.6

July Marketings 1,908 100.4 96.3 94.7 – 98.0



  *Source:... read more


Did You Know?

Did You Know: Through the years, a combination of folklore and interpretations from the almanac has been used to determine the most desirable time to carry out various farm chores. The almanac provides a guide for each day of the month through the twelve signs of the zodiac. All twelve signs appear for two or three days in each month. The signs are known as earthy dry, barren, moist, watery, fiery, airy, fruitful, very fruitful and feminine or masculine.

 

... read more

The First Year - LSU AgCenter Hill Farm Research Station Broiler Demonstration H

The First Year – LSU AgCenter Hill Farm Research Station Broiler Demonstration Houses

Theresia Lavergne, Ph.D., P.A.S. Professor – Poultry, William Owens, Ph.D. Professor, Hill Farm Research Station

The LSU AgCenter’s Hill Farm Research Station Broiler Demonstration Houses have completed the first year of production! Four flocks have been grown in the demonstration houses, and the fifth flock is in the houses now.

The average performance of the first four flocks is:




Average flock age 62 days

Average weight 8.77 pounds

Livability 94.9%

Mortality 5.1%

Feed conversion (feed:gain) 2.09



The first demonstration: A demonstration on the use of radiant tube heaters... read more


Strain: LDAF is more efficient

Strain: LDAF is more efficient

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the reduction of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s operating expenses over the last three years is largely because of his decision to end the departments involvement in construction program.

The LSAF is no longer in the construction business, Strain said. Building construction was a drain on the departments financial resources and not an efficient allocation of LDAF manpower.

In addition, the implementation of an aggressive safety program cut our risk management cost by 22%.

Strain said he reduced the debt load of the LDAF and the Louisiana Agriculture Finance Authority (LAFA) from $97.7 million to $62.8 million, a decrease of nearly to 36%.
read more


Drift roses offer new landscape options

Drift roses offer new landscape options By LSU AgCenter Horticulturists Dan Gill, Kyle Huffstickler and Allen Owings

The new Drift series roses were created in response to increased consumer demand for smaller, everblooming plants. Drift roses fit a special niche in the shrub-rose market. These roses are from Conard-Pyle/Star Roses, the same folks that gave us the Knock Out series of low-maintenance landscape roses.

Drift roses are a cross between full-size groundcover roses and miniatures. From the former they kept toughness, disease resistance and winter hardiness. From the miniatures, they inherited their well-managed size and repeat-blooming nature. The low, spreading habit of Drift roses makes them perfect for small gardens and combination planters.

The first colors available in... read more


Cutting Corners: Banana Pudding Cupcakes

 


 


Banana Pudding Cupcakes


Cake:


1 yellow cake mix,

Plus all the ingredients listed to make cake

3 bananas, mashed up

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 t banana extract

1 pkg banana cream instant pudding


Filling:


1 pkg instant vanilla pudding

2 cups cold milk

1 banana

vanilla wafers


Buttercream:


1/2 c butter

1/2 c shortening

1 t vanilla

4 c powdered sugar


Instructions:


Mix all cake ingredients and bake cupcakes according to directions on cake mix box. Bake and cool 24-26 cupcakes in liners. Once cool, cut out center of cupcake for filling. Mix pudding... read more


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