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Copyright © 2015
Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

February 09, 2015

USDA Announces Funding to Support Research, Education and Extension at 1890 Land-grant Universities

USDA’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Joe Leonard announced Feb. 9 the availability of more than $18 million to strengthen the research, teaching and extension capabilities at 19 historically black land-grant colleges and universities in an effort to recruit and train students for careers in agriculture. Leonard made the announcement during a visit to Prairie View A&M University.

“This support for the 1890 land-grant universities is an example of the Obama administration and Secretary Vilsack’s commitment to the 1890 Institutions,” Leonard said. “This funding will continue to positively impact students, professors and institutions for future generations.”

The funding is being made available through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) 1890 Institution Research, Extension and Teaching Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Program. NIFA provides support to historically black colleges and universities that were designated as land-grant universities in the Second Morrill Act in 1890. Grants to these 1890 universities support research, extension and teaching in the food and agricultural sciences by building the institutional capacities of these schools.

The 1890 CBG Program strengthens the linkages among the 1890 universities, other colleges and universities, USDA, and private industry. It focuses on strengthening research and extension programs at the 1890 institutions and advancing cultural diversity in the scientific and professional workforce by attracting and educating more students from underrepresented groups.

Full applications for the 1890 CBG program are due March 26, 2015. Please see the request for applications for specific program requirements.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future. For more information, visit

USDA Announces More Than $9 Million to
Support Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers
and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers

Feb. 6, Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced more than $9 million in grant funds will soon be available for outreach and technical assistance to minority and veteran farmers and ranchers. This funding will enable community-based organizations, eligible higher education institutions and tribal organizations to work directly with these groups to successfully acquire, own and operate farms and ranches and to access all USDA programs and services. These funds are being provided through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the “2501 Program.”

Through the 2501 Program, outreach and technical assistance is provided to minority and veteran farmers and ranchers through partnering organizations, including 1890 Land-grant Institutions, 1994 Land-grant Institutions, other American Indian Tribal community colleges and Alaska Native cooperative colleges, Hispanic-serving and other institutions of higher education, Tribal governments and organizations, and community-based organizations.

“To stay competitive, America’s farmers and ranchers must be diverse in experience, background and skills. Every farmer and rancher has something to contribute to America’s agriculture. Community partnerships can help farmers and ranchers reach their full potential,” said Harden. “As we celebrate the first anniversary of the 2014 Farm Bill, programs like these are evidence that an investment in all of America’s farmers and ranchers is an investment in our future.”

Applications for the 2501 program must be submitted through More information about the 2501 Program, including forthcoming grant notice and application deadlines is available at:

The deputy secretary also announced the formation of a Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center dedicated to collecting and analyzing data, developing policy recommendations, and evaluating policy concerning socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers including minorities, veterans and Native Americans. This one-time competitive program is open to any eligible 1890 Land-grant Institution interested in hosting the Center.

For more information, please view the full release here.

Blackland Producers Urged to Watch for
Sugarcane Aphid this Growing Season

Blackland producers should be mindful of the sugarcane aphid, which infested grain and forage sorghum crops in parts of Texas in 2014 and can pose another threat with the upcoming crop season, said Allen Knutson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist in Dallas.

Knutson gave an update on the sugarcane aphid at the Blackland Income Growth Conference in Waco recently. The conference is sponsored by AgriLife Extension and the Waco Chamber of Commerce.

The sugarcane aphid was first reported in the United States in Florida in 1977 on sugarcane. According to Knutson, the insect was first found feeding on sorghum in the Beaumont area in 2013, and this new sorghum-feeding biotype soon spread to the Rio Grande Valley and northward through Texas.

“Sugarcane aphids feed on plant sap, causing sorghum leaves to turn purple and yellow and reducing yield,” Knutson said. “This aphid also produces great quantities of sticky honeydew which collects on leaves and stalks. At harvest, these sticky plants clog up combines and reduce harvest efficiency.”

Sugarcane aphids are gray to tan or light yellow and feed on the underside of sorghum leaves. Greenbugs also feed on the underside of sorghum leaves, but are light green with a dark green stripe down the back. Also, Knutson said, the new aphid should not be confused with the corn leaf aphid, which is a dark green aphid found in the whorl of the sorghum plant.

Sugarcane aphids are not expected to survive the winter in north Texas, where sorghum and Johnsongrass are killed by freezing, Knutson said, but they do survive in south Texas, where volunteer sorghum and Johnsongrass can remain green during the winter. In the spring, winged sugarcane aphids are carried by the wind into north and West Texas. All sugarcane aphids are females and have a high reproductive rate.

“That’s why it’s important for farmers to scout fields and identify the sugarcane aphid infestations as soon as possible,” Knutson said. “Infestations can increase very rapidly, so frequent field inspection is critical. An infestation of 50 aphids per leaf can increase to 500 aphids per leaf in two weeks, given favorable conditions.”

Knutson said research studies found that an insecticide applied when there is an average of 50-125 aphids per leaf is most effective in preventing yield loss in grain sorghum.

The insecticide Transform® was labeled for sugarcane aphid control in grain and forage sorghum in 2014, and the Texas Department of Agriculture has again requested a Section 18 for Transform in 2015. Also, the insecticide Sivanto® was recently registered for control of sugarcane aphid in sorghum.

“Screening trials have identified several breeding lines of sorghum that have good resistance to sugarcane aphid.” he said. “With time, hybrid sorghums with tolerance to sugarcane aphid should be on the market and will be very helpful in managing this new pest.”

For more information, please view the full release here.

NMSU to Host Workshop at Acoma Pueblo
for Beginning Cattle Producers

The New Mexico State University (NMSU) Southern Pueblo Beginning Farmer/Rancher Program will host a workshop on business planning and bull testing 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Acoma Tribal Auditorium, 33A Pinsbarri St. in the pueblo. The workshop is free to the public.

Steve Lucero, NMSU Sandoval County Extension agricultural agent, will discuss the importance of fertility testing and trichomoniasis testing.

“At the price calves are bringing right now, the loss of a calf or a reduced calf crop is a tremendous economic loss to the cattle producer,” Lucero said. “So spending $100 for a breeding soundness exam and trich test on a bull before the start of the breeding season is a cheap investment compared to the loss from not producing a calf.”

Judy Finley, NMSU Extension agriculture and small business development agent, will discuss business planning and marketing strategies.

“Participants in the business-planning portion of the workshop will gain skills needed to develop a marketing strategy for their business plan,” Finley said. “Producers will receive basic information on how to define and identify their customer or target market and tailor their product pricing, distribution and promotion strategies to satisfy that market.”

For more information, please view the Angus Journal Virtual Library calendar of upcoming events here.


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