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The value of weed control

The value of weed control

By Gary Joiner

Weeds are not welcome on the farm.

Unfortunately, in Texas this year, they’ve arrived in big numbers. Weather conditions opened the door wide. Farmers now must deal with them. And they really don’t have a choice.

A new national study by weed experts explains why. The research focused on corn and soybeans. It determined that more than half of corn production and value across North America would potentially be lost with weeds left uncontrolled. Ditto for soybeans. The loss figure for that crop is nearly half, if weeds were left uncontrolled.

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Kicking off Sunday with agriculture

Kicking off Sunday with agriculture

By Gary Joiner

The biggest game of the year is just days away. About 115 million folks—myself included—will turn on the TV for Super Bowl 50.

The Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will battle it out on the field.

But Texas chicken growers will be among the big winners Sunday. Because the food of choice for many is chicken wings. And a lot of them. More than 1.6 billion chicken wing portions will fly through the fingers of football fans across the country. That’s about 14 wings per viewer.

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Ag exports important to all Texans

Ag exports important to all Texans

By Mike Barnett

What’s more boring than talking about international trade?

Watching paint dry. Maybe.

But it’s a subject that should grab attention. From farmers and consumers.

Because it directly affects you. Exports add value to Texas agriculture. All Texas crops and livestock were sold for $20 billion in 2012, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture. About a third of that was exported to other nations. Over $6.5 billion worth in 2012. That’s not pocket change.

Those dollars flow into rural Texas. To support local businesses. Fund local schools. Maintain rural infrastructure.

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Biotech is here to stay, in medicine and food

Biotech is here to stay, in medicine and food

By Gene Hall

When we go to the doctor, we tend to listen, aware of the training, knowledge and expertise behind those letters.

“M.D.” We say, “Make me well.”

It would never occur to us to say, “Make me well the way doctors did three generations ago.” Medicine’s come a long way since then.

Biotech research in cows has yielded positive results in changing the properties of milk for human consumption.
It may be possible to cure deadly diseases as a result of similar bovine genome research.

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10 things you should know about Texas agriculture

10 things you should know about Texas agriculture

By Mike Barnett

Everything’s bigger and better in Texas. Even agriculture.

Most Texans know our ranchers herd more cattle and farmers grow more cotton than those in any other state. But you are probably not aware of many other fascinating aspects of agriculture in the Lone Star State.

Here’s my Top 10, gleaned from the 2012 Agriculture Census .

10) Fun on the farm.

Texas farms and ranches account for 19 percent of agri-tourism and recreation dollars in the U.S.  That means $133 million flows into rural areas as Texans enjoy wineries, hunting, ranches and other experiences.

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GMO state labeling initiatives are shut out

GMO state labeling initiatives are shut out

By Gene Hall

There were two mandatory labeling issues for GMOs on state ballots Tuesday. Both were defeated.

In Oregon, the labeling measure was barely turned back with a 51 percent “no” vote. In Colorado, it was much more decisive with a 66 percent “no.”

In Hawaii—Maui to be exact—there was a local initiative to ban growing GMO crops altogether. It passed. As yet unexplained is the rationale, because these votes are not based on anything rational. GMO papaya is resistant to ringspot virus, and the non-GMO kind probably can’t be grown there. But hey, that’s someone else’s problem, right?

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