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Brown County Livestock and Wildlife Producer’s Association to meet Jan. 26

Brownwood Bulletin
Scott Anderson

If you are involved in livestock/wildlife production or have an interest in natural resources management, you understand that protecting your animals is critical and death loss is expensive. Just last year Brown County producers indicated that livestock/wildlife dollar losses to predators cost them over $2 per acre minimum.

Predator and nuisance wildlife numbers continue to increase. What can you do to minimize these losses? Individually you can make some progress if you are knowledgeable and diligent. However, if there are a group of folks all focused more headway can be made.

With that in mind the annual meeting of the Brown County Livestock and Wildlife Producer’s Association will be Tuesday, January 26, 2021. It will be held at the Brown County Youth Fair Barns at 6:00pm.

You do not have to be a member to attend. New members are always welcome. Now is your chance to be a part of a group addressing this issue. There is no cost to attend this meeting.

For more information contact Scott Anderson, CEA-AGNR Brown County at 325-646-0386.

Soil testing

Now is the ideal time to consider pulling some soil samples and submit them for analysis. If you do it now the testing labs are not overrun with samples and you should receive the results back fairly soon. If you want to send your samples to the Texas A&M Soil Testing Lab a quart size ziplock bag full of soil is enough for each sample. The standard test costs $12 per sample. Forms to submit with the sample can be picked up at the Brown County Extension Office located at 605 Fisk Avenue in Brownwood or you can download your form by going to soiltesting.tamu.edu.

Highways critical to American agriculture

Nearly every agricultural product or good travels on an American highway for at least a portion of its journey, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The report shows the nation’s highways are the critical first and last mile connections in a long link of freight movement that includes railways, rivers, and oceans.

That means a well-maintained highway infrastructure is critical to agriculture’s continued success.

Agricultural freight movement is essential for moving goods from the farm to the consumer’s table. Efficient transportation helps keep food prices low for consumers and enables the U.S. agricultural industry to compete in a global marketplace.

Farmers and ranchers are the single largest user of freight services, comprising 17 percent of freight movements across all transportation modes in dollar value and 33 percent of all ton-miles. In 2017, 2.9 billion tons of agricultural products valued at $2.5 trillion were moved through the American freight network.

The study also found 80 percent of domestic agricultural commodities travel on 17 percent of U.S. highway mileage. These “high-volume domestic agriculture highways” (HDAH) are vital to U.S. farmers and ranchers and the various businesses associated with agriculture.

Through modeling and analysis, USDA and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) researchers projected future roadway conditions and proposed projects to anticipate challenges and benefits for 17 HDAH corridors.

Several state departments of transportation, including Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), provided stakeholder information for the USDA report.

Despite being the fifth-largest agricultural-producing state in the nation and having more than 80,000 miles of roadways, which is more than any other state, Texas is crossed by only three of what USDA considers HDAH.

This could be due to Texas’ well-established Farm to Market (FM) road system, the largest secondary highway system in the U.S. Other states rely more heavily on state highways to transport goods and have not invested funds into paving or constructing roads in key agricultural areas.

In 2019, USDA published another report documenting the role of barge transportation for agricultural goods and commodities. That report is available here.

Together, the two reports can be used to identify important infrastructure investments, drive updates to state freight plans and long-range transportation plans, inform policy discussions and help identify priorities for future research.