Turlock Livestock Auction Yard

Dairy replacements were steady at the Turlock Livestock Auction Yard.

Dairy replacement sales result from Jan. 31:



#1 Hol Springers: $1700-$2175

#2 Hol Springers: $1300-1$675

# 1 Jer Springers: $1200-$1585

# 1 Jer x Springers: $1100-$1500


Holstein Open Heifers



Jersey Open Heifers


A special dairy heifer sale will be held Friday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m., with  500-600 fresh heifers, springers, bred and open heifers expected.


CDFA board to get Farm bill, immigration updates

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss the pending 2014 Farm Bill and agriculture immigration issues at its upcoming meeting on Feb. 4, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., in Sacramento, Calif.

Invited speakers include: Donald Grady, Office of Congressman Jim Costa; Sandra Schubert, California Department of Food and Agriculture; Rachel Kaldor, Diary Institute; Linda Patterson, California Department of Social Services; Michael Dimock, Roots of Change; Craig Regelbrugge, Agricultural Coalition for Immigration Reform; Diane Charlton, University of California, Davis; Cornelius (Corny) Gallagher, Farm Foundation/California Bankers Association; and Joseph McIntyre, Ag Innovations Network.


West Texas weather: More of the (dry) same

The new year has found many Texas farmers and ranchers in West Texas and the Coastal Bend regions facing the same conditions they have experienced over the last three years: drought.

Without timely or above-average rainfall this spring and early summer, crop production in many parts of Texas is likely to be at best “marginal” in 2014, said Dr. Travis Miller, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist and Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences associate department head, College Station. (audio link)

“And long-range climatic forecasts find no clear pattern to suggest above or below normal precipitation, with the exception of Far West Texas, which shows a significant probability of below-normal precipitation over the next three months,” he said.

East Texas and the Blacklands region are in pretty good shape as far as soil moisture profiles are concerned, but the Rolling Plains, much of the Panhandle and Far West Texas, the South Plains, Coastal Bend, and South Texas remained far behind in rainfall, Miller said.

More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force website at http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/.


TAHC adopts cattle movement, traceability rules    

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) adopted several cattle rules that go into effect Feb. 4:

• Chapter 50, Animal Disease Traceability, Cattle Identification: This amendment establishes identification requirements for adult cattle being sold within the state of Texas. The rule states that all adult breeding cattle, except cattle going directly to slaughter, shall be permanently identified within seven days of change of ownership. Untagged adult cattle have seven days after purchase to be delivered to a slaughter facility, resold through a livestock market, or have acceptable permanent official identification applied at an "Approved" tagging facility. Slaughter type cattle that will be put on feed prior to slaughter shall also be permanently identified within seven days of purchase.

• Chapter 38, Trichomoniasis, Test Exceptions: This rule allows untested adult bulls to be purchased without a current Trich test, if moved under TAHC permit with official permanent identification. The permit will expire seven days from the date of issuance. The bull cannot be commingled with female cattle during the seven days. At the end of the seven days the buyer must agree to have the bull tested, resold through a livestock market, or deliver it to a slaughter facility.

• Chapter 41, Fever Ticks, New Authorized Treatments: These amendments add new treatment options for the cattle fever tick and expands the TAHC's authority to inspect and treat deer on premises adjacent to infected pastures.

To view details of these rules that were adopted, visit http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/regs/code.html  .

A number of potential new rules were also proposed and open to public comments for 30 days beginning Jan. 31. A detailed explanation of the rule proposals will be available on the TAHC website at http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/regs/proposals.html.



Curtimade Dairy honored by EPA for solar power use

Curtimade Dairy Inc., Tulare County, Calif. has been selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Pacific Southwest Region 2013 Environmental champion. The dairy used underutilized land on its property to install a 719 kilowatt solar tracking system, one of the biggest dairy solar units in the U.S. It is estimated the system will reduce facilities greenhouse gas emissions by 27,000 tons in the next 25 years.

Curtimade Dairy was the only agribusiness EPA environmental champion. The EPA recognized six other projects in California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

“We’re honored to receive the award and raise the profile of all California dairy families with EPA,” Curti said. “The 1,500 dairy families in this state work every day to protect the environment, and our sustainability story is very much like other dairy families, in that we’ve been farming for generations on the same piece of land. We’re proud of that accomplishment and committed to many more generations of environmental stewardship on the dairy.”

Looking to reduce its overall energy use and related costs, Curtimade Dairy used land that could not be used for feed production or to house animals. On t3.5 acres they installed a 719 kW, $2.9 million system, among the biggest of just a handful of dairy solar units in the U.S.

The solar installation produces enough electricity to power 130 average American homes per year and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 27,000 tons over the 25-year warranted life of the solar panels, which is the equivalent to removing 192 cars from the road yearly. In addition to offsetting fossil fuel use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the dairy also sees a savings of approximately $18,000 per month in energy costs.

Source: Western United Dairymen


Feb. 21 deadline for $3.5 million in San Joaquin River water quality funding

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has announced that $3.5 million is available to dairy producers east of the San Joaquin River in Merced and Stanislaus counties for water conservation and water quality improvements. This financial assistance is being made available through the Bay Delta Initiative (BDI), which was created in 2011 to help farmers in California’s Central Valley apply enhanced water quality-improvement practices on their land through a multi-year process.

Western United Dairymen, together with Sustainable Conservation, applied to bring this additional funding to California to improve water quality. BDI is one of a dozen national initiatives aimed at assisting farmers to put added conservation practices on the ground using a landscape-level approach. Applications are due Feb. 21. Contact the Merced and Stanislaus County NRCS offices for additional information.

Source: Western United Dairymen