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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Monthly Archives: November 2015

The 2016 conference is scheduled Jan. 5-6 at the Waco Convention Center. The conference will be held a month earlier to give producers and growers more time in advance of their planting season to incorporate much of the information shared at the conference, said Ron Woolley, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service regional program leader in Stephenville.

For the past 53 years, the Blackland Income Growth Conference, also known as BIG, has provided producers with the latest information on new technology and cropping methods to boost yields and profits, said  Woolley.

According to the Horticulture session co-chairmen Dr. Shane McLellan and Fred M Hall, both AgriLife Agriculture Extension agents, this year’s horticulture program on January 5  will cover more topics than in the past. “We’re using a shotgun approach,” says Hall, “This year we will cover eight topics that everyone on the planning committee has had questions on with short bulleted programs.” he continued.

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Consumers have good news to chew on this Thanksgiving as food prices continue to drop. A traditional, Texas-style Thanksgiving dinner for 10 will cost $46.48 this year, down 31 cents from last year, according to the special Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Thanksgiving Meal Report.

The survey records the cost of 10 holiday staples—including turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pecan pie. The 2015 report shows the average cost of this year’s holiday dinner declined from $46.79 last year.

It’s the second consecutive year for lower prices during the holiday season.

“Preparing large holiday meals can be expensive,” said Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) President Russell W. Boening. “But this year, Texans can budget a little less for the traditional Thanksgiving meal.”

Despite reports suggesting a decrease in turkey supplies due to avian influenza earlier this year, Texas shoppers shouldn’t feel the pinch at the cash register. Survey shoppers found the price of a 16-pound, frozen, self-basting, young tom turkey to be just under last year’s price.

The one-cent per-pound decrease can be attributed to lower fuel and grain prices.

In addition to the turkey, eight other items decreased in price: whole milk (down 13.28 percent); 9-inch pie shells, frozen (down 7.33 percent); green beans, frozen (down 7.19 percent); cubed stuffing, herb seasoning (down 5.97 percent); whipping cream (down 4.62 percent); brown and serve rolls, 12 per package (down 3.35 percent); sweet potatoes, fresh (down 1.06 percent); and cranberry sauce, jellied (down .72 percent).

A large, global supply of wheat is a driving factor in low prices for wheat-derived products. And dairy prices have decreased as production has increased.

“It’s been a mixed year for Texas agriculture. Grain and livestock prices have remained steady or decreased throughout the year, but many input costs farmers and ranchers have to pay have not lessened. Some crop prices are very low right now,” Boening said.

Texans will pay more for one Thanksgiving staple this year—pecans, as shelled and halved nuts were up 11.07 percent. Increased exports for the popular Texas nut are the reason for price increases.

TFB’s fourth quarter Grocery Price Watch survey, taken in conjunction with the 2015 Thanksgiving Meal Report, also indicated a slight decrease for household staples. Results from the quarterly survey of 16 common food products decreased seven cents from $47.49 in the third quarter to $47.42 in the fourth quarter of this year.

TFB’s Thanksgiving Meal Report and Grocery Price Watch prices were reported by 39 volunteer shoppers at grocery stores statewide from Nov. 5-12. TFB has released its Grocery Price Watch survey quarterly since March 2009.

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The Texas Corn Producers Board (TCPB) will hold elections in three of its five voting regions to elect five board members where current members’ seats are expiring. The nomination period to be on the ballot started on Nov. 23 and closes Dec. 23. The TCPB election is conducted by voting regions and will be held from Jan. 9, 2016, until Jan. 23, 2016.

There is one seat open for election in voting region three, which includes Tarrant County.

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Texas Peanut Producers Board (TPPB) announces that elections are to be held in all 254 Texas counties for the purpose of electing three TPPB board members, two members from TPPB Voting Region One and one member At Large. There will be a total of nine TPPB voting board members.

There is one seat open for election of an “At Large” TPPB board member. The “At Large” member may be from any of the 254 counties in Texas so long as they meet the requirements below.

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Training for Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) private pesticide applicator licenses will be held at the Tarrant County Extension office on Wednesday, December 2, 2015. Training begins promptly at 5:30 p.m. and will be completed by 9:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required by calling the Tarrant County Extension office at 817.884.1946 or on-line at http://agrilife.org/urbantarrantag/program-registration/.

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With low commodity prices predicted through next year, many farmers are looking to trim costs.  For fertilizer, don’t simply trim overall costs but rather producers need to selectively maximize economic returns to fertilizer expense.  Tarrant County Extension is conducting a workshop for those wanting to understand soil tests and fertilizer recommendations.  “We will take a step-by-step approach on understanding what to test for, how labs provide test results, and how to turn those results into fertilizer rates that will maximize returns”, says Fred M. Hall, the new Tarrant County Agriculture Extension Agent.

The registration begins at 5:30 p.m. and the evening program starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1. The program will be held at Russell Hall located at 5708 Jacksboro Hwy in Fort Worth. The registration fee is $15 and includes all handouts and one general continuing education unit for those holding a Texas Department of Agriculture applicators license.

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Producers and growers in Tarrant County will have the opportunity to earn five continuing education units at the Tarrant County Ground Management Conference on Wednesday, November 18 in the Dorothea Leonhardt Lecture Hall at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden says the new Tarrant County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Fred M. Hall. Registration can be made on -line at https:// agriliferegister.tamu.edu or by calling 979.845.2604. The registration fee is $30.

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