Author Archives: greg.baker

Beef industry task force releases long-range plan

To ensure its goal of increasing demand for U.S. beef is met, the Beef Industry Long-Range Task Force recently unveiled its plan for 2021 through 2025. The long-range plan establishes a common set of objectives and priorities to ensure the long-term prosperity of the beef industry. “We want beef to be the protein of choice, and we want the entire U.S. beef industry to be trusted and respected for its commitment to quality, safety and sustainability,” Kim Brackett, leader of the task force and a rancher from Idaho,… Read More →

Sept. 30 deadline to update farm safety net crop yields

Farm owners have a one-time opportunity to update Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program yields for covered commodities on the farm. The deadline is Sept. 30, 2020, to update yields, which are used to calculate the PLC payments for 2020 through 2023. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials also encourage farmers who elected Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) to consider updating their yields. Cited from and for more information click on the link below. https://texasfarmbureau.org/deadline-approaches-to-update-safety-net-program-crop-yields/ mailto:greg.baker@ag.tamu.edu

Asian Giant Hornet About the ‘murder hornet’ or Vespa mandarinia

The Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, or AGH, is a large, predaceous hornet native to Asia, most commonly found in Japan and South Korea. The AGH is the world’s largest hornet, slightly larger than the cicada killer wasp common in Texas. It was discovered for the first time in North America in August 2019 in British Columbia, Canada, and was located and eradicated in September 2019. Two specimens were also collected near Blaine, Washington, in the northwest corner of the state. Efforts are underway this spring to trap… Read More →

African horse sickness on Texas A&M, industry radar

African horse sickness is not in the U.S., and it is important it stays that way. Texas A&M AgriLife faculty, various state and federal agencies and the U.S. horse industry are already monitoring the situation, ensuring surveillance and determining practices to prevent the deadly horse disease from crossing our borders. African horse sickness comes out of Africa and is common from Morocco down to the middle of the continent. But it has escaped the African continent several times, most recently into Thailand, where it is believed to have… Read More →

Severe summer wildfire season could be in store

Wildfires are increasing across the state as drought intensifies in some areas and accelerated drying of native grasses and forage occurs in others. Typical summer drying has accelerated this year, according to Brad Smith, Texas A&M Forest Service Predictive Services department head. Rainfall predictions for the next month-and-a-half indicate the situation is likely to continue. Translation? A severe summer wildfire season could impact the Lone Star State. “The dryness we are currently seeing across portions of the state is generally what we would be experiencing in mid- to… Read More →

Legislation to help more farmers tap into PPP loans

The Paycheck Protection for Producers Act (H.R. 7175, S. 3918), which was recently introduced in the U.S. House and Senate, would help more farmers and ranchers participate in the Paycheck Protection Program. “Even as the economy gradually begins to reopen, farmers and ranchers continue to encounter enormous volatility as markets and supply chains rapidly react to the impact of the pandemic,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a letter thanking the bills’ sponsors. While the PPP is providing vital assistance to farmers and ranchers who… Read More →

Uncertain, slightly volatile future ahead for Texas ag

The road ahead for Texas agriculture is paved with uncertainty amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but farmers and ranchers try to remain optimistic about the future. During a Texas Farm Bureau (TFB)-hosted webinar, The Road Ahead for Texas Agriculture, speakers addressed the impact of the global pandemic on Texas and American agriculture. Please click on the link below to watch this discussion.   The Road Ahead for Texas Agriculture mailto:greg.baker@ag.tamu.edu

Rural Texans still need better broadband access

It’s no secret that when it comes to broadband access, rural residents are far behind their urban counterparts. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, nearly 40 percent of rural Americans lack access to high-speed internet connections. The Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott have been working to find solutions and improve access since a bill was passed last May creating the governor’s Broadband Development Council. Helping in those efforts is South Texas cattle rancher and Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) member Lindsey Lee. She was appointed by Abbott… Read More →

USDA issues first Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved more than $545 million in payments to farmers and ranchers who have applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. FSA began taking applications May 26, and the agency has received more than 86,000 applications for the program…. Farmers and ranchers will receive 80 percent of their maximum total payment upon approval of the application. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid at… Read More →

Private Applicator Training June 24, 2020 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

  The Calhoun County office of the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service will be offering a Private Applicator Training Course to assist those interested in obtaining a license. If interested, please stop by the Calhoun County Extension office to purchase your study materials at a cost of $40 (cash or check only). There is also a $10 registration fee (cash or check only) the day of training. 186 Henry Barber Way Port Lavaca, Texas 77979 Phone:361-557-9747 Cell:979-429-7456 mailto:greg.baker@ag.tamu.edu A private pesticide applicator is someone who uses or supervises… Read More →