Author Archives: greg.baker

Signup for COVID-19 relief payments could begin soon

The White House Office of Management and Budget on Friday, May 15, completed its review of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) plans to provide farmers with $16 billion in direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. That approval means USDA could announce signup for the COVID-19 relief program any day. Although the program signup is not currently open, USDA is urging farmers and ranchers to begin several steps of the application process ahead of time. Under the CARES Act, USDA will distribute $16 billion to farmers… Read More →

Coronavirus and USDA Assistance for Farmers

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19. About the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance program on April 17, 2020. CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA… Read More →

Grow Food, Give Food

If you’re a gardener, you already know that nothing beats the taste and nutrition of fresh-picked vegetables. Growing your own garden can improve your health, save you money, increase the sustainability of your lifestyle, decrease your carbon footprint, and—perhaps most importantly—help a lot of people in need. That idea is what inspired Jeff Lowenfels, a garden writer from Anchorage, Alaska, to begin the Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR) program in 1994. He asked local gardeners to grow food for an Anchorage soup kitchen by planting an… Read More →

The Value of Reproduction KRIRM faculty describe one method of evaluating the value of reproduction in the cow calf business.

By: Jason Sawyer, PhD, and Rick Machen, PhD; appearing in the Spring 2020 KRIRM Newsletter In cow-calf operations, reproductive rate is the foundational productive function of the enterprise. Obviously, if cows do not become pregnant, then no calves are produced for revenue generation the following year. Revenue from culled cows is not a result of production; it is the liquidation of an asset that must be replaced (usually at a higher price), if production is to continue. Pregnant cows must successfully produce a live calf, and live calves… Read More →

USDA APHIS Establishing Coordination Center to Assist Producers Affected by Meat Processing Plant Closures

APHIS established a National Incident Coordination Center (NICC) to provide direct support to producers whose animals cannot move to market as a result of processing plant closures due to COVID-19. For more information please visit:

It’s only natural

Heading into the fifth month since COVID-19 was first reported, many of us have come face-to-face with a sobering realization: sometimes, nature is actively seeking to harm us. But it’s nothing personal. In fact, it’s only natural. Diseases are about as natural as they come. Bacteria and viruses evolve or mutate over time in order to s Bubonic plague, Spanish flu, measles, polio…there hasn’t been a time in history untouched by a devastating, widespread illness. But we live in the 21st Century. Faced with the first global pandemic… Read More →

USDA unveils plans for coronavirus funding

U.S. farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus could receive at least some aid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture by the end of May. On April 17, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and President Donald Trump announced a $19 billion program made up of two parts. “First, there will be $16 billion in direct payments to our farmers and ranchers who have experienced unprecedented losses during this pandemic,” Perdue said. “For this portion of the program, our economists and USDA evaluated commodity specific losses occurring during… Read More →

Live webinar on COVID-19 economic relief programs – FREE for all Texas farmers

Given the extraordinary financial stresses affecting producers, many farmers are hoping that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) new loan programs established in the CARES Act may help keep their businesses in operation. The implementation of these economic relief options has generated many questions that Texas Corn Producers (TCP) aims to help the state’s farmers answer. The webinar is at 11 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, April 22. Participants must pre-register for the online event. Click on the link below and scroll down for more information and to register.… Read More →

Pesticide Applicator CEU’s, Training and Testing. (Important updates) COVID 19

Pesticide Applicator and Course Provider Update – COVID 19 Hello ! I hope all are doing well during this time of national pandemic. Agriculture as we know it is rolling along at good pace, at least here on a local level in Calhoun County. Those who are needing CEU’s or the actual Pesticide Applicator License, some of these procedures have changed for the time being. The following link is an update on renewal and ceu requirements during this time. Pesticide Applicator and Course Provider Update – COVID 19… Read More →

Prescribed burning beneficial to Texas Lands – Prescribed Burn School Offered

Prescribed burning is one way to fight wildfires with…well, fire. While controlled burning can rid forested areas of excess leaves and other highly flammable material, it’s also a way to improve rangeland, restore prairies and manage wildlife habitat. More Texans are taking note of the management practice. A recent Texas A&M Forest Service survey showed more than 400,000 acres were treated by prescribed burns in 2018, an increase of nearly 50,000 acres over the previous year. “Folks are starting to understand that prescribed fire is not just a… Read More →