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5 ways agriculture play in the Superbowl

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By Julie Tomascik
Chicken wings. Peanuts. And you can’t forget the pigskins, give or take a few pounds of air. Those can mean only one thing. Super Bowl weekend.
The biggest game of the year is just a few days away.
And while New England Patriots fans pray for good passes from Tom Brady and Seattle Seahawks fans hope Russell Wilson can run the ball, I’m pulling for agriculture.
Wait. That’s not a team.
Agriculture may not get much recognition–if any–but it’s a major player in the game. And Texas agriculture is part of that role, even if the game isn’t in Texas this year.
So how exactly is agriculture involved?
Footballs. They’re made from leather. And Texas leads the nation in cattle numbers with nearly 11 million head.
Peanuts. The Lone Star State grows more than 423 million pounds of this popular snack. That’s a lot of nuts!
Land. A football field, including the end zones, takes up a pretty big chunk of land. About 1.3 acres. To compare, Texas is home to more than 130 million acres of farmland. That’s about 100 million football fields.
Chicken wings. Super Bowl weekend is unquestionably the biggest time of year for wings. Texas grows more than 100 million chickens each year, ranking sixth in the nation.
Cotton. Texas is a major cotton state. And 3.5 million bales of cotton were produced in 2011. Need a Super Bowl XLIX championship shirt? They’re made from cotton!
And maybe agriculture will make it in another commercial this year, too.
So, while I’ll be enjoying my fair share of wings, picking my favorite commercial and cheering loudly, I’ll also be rooting for agriculture.
What are your plans for the big game?

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Farm & Ranch

Mammals and Avian Influenza

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By Barry Whitworth, DVM

At the writing of this article, High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has been detected in more than 83 million domestic poultry in the United States. The outbreak includes commercial and backyard flocks.

Most people are aware that poultry may succumb to Avian Influenza but may not know that other animals can be infected with the virus. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a variety of mammals have been infected with Avian Influenza H5N1 in the U.S.

The list of more than 200 mammals includes bears, foxes, skunks, coyotes, etc. Even marine animals such as dolphins and seals have been found with the virus. Current Avian Influenza H5N1 infections in poultry, mammals, and livestock in the U.S. can be found at the Detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza website at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/livestock-poultry-disease/avian/avian-influenza/hpai-detections.

Recently, ruminants have been diagnosed with Avian Influenza H5N1 in the U.S. The World Organization for Animal Health reported that neonatal goats displaying neurological clinical signs and death were positive for Avian Influenza.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Farm & Ranch

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…

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By Rayford Pullen | [email protected]

When May arrives, we start thinking about weed control. With two years of drought under our belts, grass grazed short and hay stocks depleted, what we do now will influence our forage conditions for the entire year. With 75 percent of our annual warm season forages made by July 15 in North Texas, we need to get the grass growing while the sun shines.

Speaking of the sun shining, the biggest deterrent to growing lots of grass is restricted sunlight, and the biggest sun blockers we have are weeds.

Have you noticed weeds are normally just slightly taller than your grass and are probably blocking 90 percent of the sunlight from reaching the grass itself? So obviously, we need to improve conditions, so sunlight reaches the plants we want to grow.

With grass extremely short, more sunlight is hitting the soil surface now, which in turn results in more weed seed germinating. With the moisture we have received, we expect an abundance of weeds this year.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Farm & Ranch

Land Market Report: March Land Sales

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By Jared Groce

Rural land sales are continuing on a steady pace for early spring, with prices holding very strong with the sell-to-list price ratios remaining very high, even on properties that have been on the market for a longer than usual time period. The total number of transactions are picking up once again as the spring selling season kicks off, and the average acreage continues to decrease.

Larger acreage properties seem to be in higher demand than smaller properties currently, with many buyers simply parking cash in real estate to hedge against inflation. Interest rates seem to have settled down and most experts agree that rates will be reduced by the fed this year. Some lenders have programs in place that allow the buyer to reduce their rates without having to go through a full refinance ordeal.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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