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Ag News and Views: July 2008

2008 Farm Bill Details

After much time and deliberation, H.R. 2419, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 became law on May 22, 2008. A congressional news release urged the government to "ensure that the entire farm bill is enacted into law swiftly" after clerical errors occurred involving the trade title. The 5-year bill totaling approximately $300 billion is set to expire in 2012.

Antlers Get Better With Age

Most land managers interested in white-tailed deer management are ultimately interested in producing deer with large antlers. Previous work, including that at Texas Parks and Wildlife's Kerr Wildlife Management Area in Kerrville, determined that antler quality is influenced by a combination of factors, the main components being age, nutrition and genetics.

Cattle Management Practices for Difficult Times

I can't remember a time when the grass has been as green, the cows have been as fat, ponds have been as full, and producers have been as worried about their future and the future of agriculture as a whole. The really frustrating part about the predicament we find in mid-2008 is that so many of the contributing factors are beyond our control. Seemingly, the only silver lining is that calf prices have stabilized and are staying relatively strong.

Cool-Season Legumes for Southern Pastures

Legumes can improve the production and nutritional value of pastures while reducing nitrogen fertilization requirements.

Give Your Lawn a SIP

Recently, Al Sutherland, OSU Mesonet agriculture coordinator, introduced me to another tool the folks at Mesonet have developed to assist homeowners and professional groundskeepers. This new tool, known as SIP, "Simple Irrigation Plan," was created to answer the most commonly asked questions when it comes to irrigating turfgrass. When should I water? How long should I run it?

Preparing for the Future on Noble Research Farms

One of the strengths of the Noble Research Institute's research programs is having access to the seven different research farms that make up over 12,000 acres. These farms represent very different resource bases that are used for many research projects and agricultural enterprises.

Weed Control in Wheat for Grain

With current commodity prices, there is much more interest in growing wheat for grain. This means that the cool-season annual grasses that were used as forage when fields were grazed and/or hayed are now weeds that need to be controlled.