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Farm bill decision-aid workshop set for Jan. 21 in SanAngelo

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By: Steve Byrns

Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, [email protected]

Contact: Bill Thompson, 325-653-4576, [email protected]

SAN ANGELO – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a farm bill decision aid-workshop from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Region 15 Education Center, 612 S. Irene St. in San Angelo.

“This workshop is specifically tailored to producers who don’t have Internet access, are uncomfortable with the data entry process or with interpreting the generated results from that data entry,” said Bill Thompson, AgriLife Extension economist at San Angelo and the workshop’s main speaker.

The new farm bill eliminated many of the commodity programs producers were familiar with and had used for years, Thompson said. This new program gives producers the ability to choose between three distinctly different commodity programs in addition to possibly reallocating crop base acres and updating program yields.

“The details of these programs can be complex to comprehend and very difficult to work through to determine which program best addresses the risk-management need of each farm,” Thompson said. “This is why the Agriculture and Food Policy Center in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University has developed an online producer decision aid, specifically for helping producers with these options. The decision aid is available at https://usda.afpc.tamu.edu/ .

“The decision aid also requires a lot of historical data, which is readily available from their crop insurance agent and the FSA office. The data entry process is relatively simple and the results are available almost instantly, allowing producers to run multiple scenarios quickly to determine which option best fits their respective operation.”

Thompson said through this hands-on workshop, producers will enter actual production data and begin to evaluate their choices from among the Price Loss Coverage, or PLC, program and two distinctly different Agricultural Risk Coverage, or ARC, programs. With this information, Thompson said producers will be able to sign up their farms at their respective Farm Service Agency office.

The workshop is free, but participants are asked to RSVP by Jan. 20 by calling the AgriLife Extension office in Tom Green County at 325-659-6524. More information is also available by calling the county office or by contacting Thompson at 325-653-4576, [email protected] .

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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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