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Texas Grain Producer Indemnity Fund referendum ahead

Texas Grain Producer Indemnity Fund referendum ahead

By Gary Joiner

Texas farmers purchase crop insurance to protect against losses in the field. It’s a critical management tool.

But there’s also risk after harvest. At the first point of sale. If a grain buyer fails to pay the farmer due to bankruptcy or theft of grain, the grower is left holding the bag.

A great solution to manage this risk is the Texas Grain Producer Indemnity Fund. The program mitigates 85 percent of the financial losses suffered by growers of corn, sorghum, soybeans and wheat when grain buyers fail to pay for grain.

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C’mon, America! We can do better.

C’mon, America! We can do better.

By Gary Joiner

The presidential election has a lot of us worried. We’ve never had two presumptive nominees for president with such high negative ratings among the public.

Can the country rally behind the November winner? It’s a good question. Some aren’t so sure of the answer.

What’s losing in all of the election hype? Free trade. And it’s losing big. That’s not good for Texas farmers and ranchers. Or our country.

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Change is coming with the Veterinary Feed Directive

Change is coming with the Veterinary Feed Directive

By Julie Tomascik

Own livestock? Do they occasionally get sick? How you treat them will look differently in 2017. All because of the VFD—Veterinary Feed Directive.

That one acronym will carry a lot of weight.

What exactly does it mean for farmers and ranchers?

The end of over-the-counter sales of medically important antibiotics that are mixed into feed or water. More steps in the process of purchasing medicated feeds. And, in some cases, finding a different feed to suit your needs.

There are many new changes. But the biggest of all? The veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR).

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Foreign labor a must for Texas agriculture

Foreign labor a must for Texas agriculture

By Gary Joiner

There’s a labor shortage on America’s farms.

Many growers who need workers to plant, tend and harvest crops can’t find local residents to fill the jobs. They’re simply not interested. Maybe the work is too hard? Too demanding? Or it could be the stigma associated with farm work. The are other options that are easier for most.

So farmers in Texas and across the country turn to foreign farmworkers. It’s called the H-2A program. It provides access to a stable and legal workforce when the program works properly.

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What to believe these days

What to believe these days

By Gary Joiner

Don’t confuse public opinion with public understanding.

This is especially evident when it comes to food and science.

Recent polls show that 80 percent or more of consumers support labeling GMOs. It’s likely most know little about the issue.

Case in point. A survey conducted in January on food preferences by Jayson Lusk of Oklahoma State University asked more than 1,000 Americans about an absurd hypothetical policy mandating labels for foods containing DNA. Eighty percent supported the idea, he said.

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Missing Justice Scalia

Missing Justice Scalia

By Gary Joiner

The sudden passing of Supreme Court of the U.S. Justice Antonin Scalia sent shockwaves through our country’s political and legal communities.

And through agriculture.

Much is at stake right now for America’s farmers and ranchers at the nation’s highest court. There are important challenges to the expansive reach of federal agencies. These court rulings will impact everyday agriculture.

One case involves the Chesapeake Bay. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is challenging the EPA-led cleanup plan for the Bay. There’s no doubt opponents to the plan were counting on Scalia’s support in arguing the massive EPA blueprint infringes on states’ rights to determine land use.

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