Emergency farm loan applications being accepted

March 21, 2018

Applications for emergency farm loans for losses by drought are being accepted at the Farm Service Agency office.

Terry County is one of 60 primary counties in Texas recently named by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue eligible for loans to cover part of actual production and/or physical losses resulting from drought occurring November 14, 2017 and continuing.…

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Does an Early Fungicide Application Pay in Wheat?

March 19, 2018

by Dr. Clark Neely, Statewide Small Grains Extension Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Dr. Tom Isakeit, Extension Field Crops Pathologist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Rust levels appear to be low at this time for most of the wheat acres in the state. However, I still receive questions on whether a topdress or pre-flag leaf application of fungicide is a good idea.…

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National Groundwater Awareness Week March 11-17, 2018

March 14, 2018

South Plains Underground Water Conservation District (SPUWCD) joins the National Groundwater Awareness Week (#GWAW2018), an annual observance established to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of water. Established in 1999, National Groundwater Awareness Week provides an opportunity for people to learn about the importance of groundwater and how the resource impacts lives.…

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Dry conditions continue to hamper wheat progress

March 13, 2018

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas AgriLife Extension

As wheat comes out of dormancy across much of the state, the crop is suffering and expected to see reduced yields, even if some timely rains do fall, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.

“If you average out the state, wheat is not great,” said Dr.…

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Texas Cotton: row spacing, seeding rates focus of new studies

March 5, 2018

Kay Ledbetter, Texas AgriLife Extension

New and returning cotton producers may want to carefully consider row spacing and seeding rates when they get ready to put seed into the ground in the next few months, according to two Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomists.

Drs. Jourdan Bell in Amarillo and Emi Kimura in Vernon recently released the results of two cotton trials dealing with row spacing and seeding rates.…

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Budget proposal another blow to family farmers

March 5, 2018

An opinion piece by Texas Farmers Union

The White House has released its proposed fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget.

Over the next decade, the $4.4 trillion budget would severely cut many programs that family farmers and ranchers and rural Americans rely on, including $48.6 billion from Farm Bill programs, $3.7 billion from the U.S.…

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Ag committee sends letter to budget chair

March 1, 2018

Letter to The Honorable Steve Womack, Chairman Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives
(Below is the letter drafted by the House Agriculture Committee with its budget views and estimates for fiscal year 2019 to the House Budget Committee.)

Dear Chairman Womack:

Pursuant to section 301(d) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and clause 4(f) of House Rule X, we are providing below the recommendations of the Committee on Agriculture with respect to the mission areas within the Committee’s jurisdiction.  The Committee on Agriculture appreciates the opportunity to share its views and estimates for fiscal year 2019.   

In our letter to the Committee on the Budget last year, we acknowledged the difficult task before your Committee each year as you seek our shared goal of putting the nation’s fiscal house in order.   

We also wrote of the extremely trying times in rural America with our nation’s farmers and ranchers struggling to cope with a more than 50 percent drop in net farm income, the steepest drop since the Great Depression.   

We further observed that, despite these economic conditions, the current Farm Bill is on target to contribute more than $100 billion to deficit reduction over a 10-year period, four times what was pledged by our Committee during the legislation’s development and passage.…

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Don Shurley: Basics of new seed program

February 26, 2018

Effective with the 2018 crop, “seed cotton” is now a covered commodity under Title I of the 2014 farm bill and eligible for PLC (Price Loss Coverage) payments. For purposes of the legislation, “seed cotton” is unginned upland cotton—a combination of both cotton (lint) and cottonseed. Seed cotton is eligible for both PLC and ARC (Agricultural Risk Coverage).…

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It all starts with the right cut

February 14, 2018

If you go out to the local vineyards today, you won’t find much in the way of greenery. In fact, what you will find is what appears to be dead vines with lots gnarled limbs and vines wrapped around. So how does it go from looking like a big mess in February to sprouting with new growth in May?…

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President Trump proposes 33% cut in crop insurance

February 14, 2018

By Chuck Abbott for Successful Farming

Five weeks after he told the largest U.S. farm group that he supports “a [farm] bill that includes crop insurance,” President Trump asked Congress to slash the taxpayer-subsidized program by a third. The $26-billion cut over a decade was part of a fiscal 2019 budget package that called for the eradication of USDA’s first green-payment program and for denial of crop subsidies and land stewardship payments to people with more than $500,000 in adjusted gross income.…

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