Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


Texas Department of Agriculture

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With Water in the Spotlight, Texas Agriculture Stakes Its Claim

When the 2013 Texas Ag Water Forum met today, it was no coincidence it met just a few blocks from the State Capitol. As lawmakers grapple with how to fund the State Water Plan, agricultural groups worry that their water needs might be sidelined this legislative session. There is an emerging consensus among legislators that […]

Texas Lawmakers Push For Lactose Tolerance

If a group of Texas lawmakers gets their way, buying and selling raw milk in the Lone Star Stare could become easier to digest. A bill introduced by Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, would allow raw milk producers to sell in farmers markets or fairs. The bill also permits the delivery of raw milk directly to […]

Water and the Land: Where Texas Ag Goes From Here

We recently sat down with a panel of land experts at the Texas Tribune‘s Oct. 29 summit on water to discuss agriculture and state water management. The panel featured Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, David Langford of the Texas Wildlife Association and Laura Huffman of The Nature Conservancy of Texas. You can watch it in full […]

The State of Texas Irrigation: More Efficiency Amid Less Water

Texas irrigation is a big deal. The state is home to more than 10 percent of the irrigated acres in the country. Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension looked into Texas’ agricultural water use in a recent report. It examines Texas’ economic dependence on irrigation, improvements in state-wide irrigation efficiency, and problems the state faces as water reserves dwindle. Urban […]

After Drought, Some Texas Ranchers Wary of Rebuilding

It’s been a tough couple of years for Texas ranchers, but as the rain falls, financial clouds are begining to clear. Increased rainfall has improved conditions for livestock production after ranches were devastated in the 2011 drought. But despite the improvement, ranchers remain hesitant to start replenishing their herds, according to the latest crop and […]

Here’s a New Way to Keep Your Cattle STD-Free

They don’t prepare you for this kind of story in journalism school, but here goes: Texas cattle have an STD problem. This month the Texas Animal Health Commission announced new regulations on how to test for a venereal disease among cattle called Tricomoniasis. Dr. Dee Ellis, Executive Director of the Commission, and Texas State Veterinarian estimates […]

Feds Help Fund Biofuel Producers in Texas

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced payments for more than one hundred biofuel producers across the country this week. The payments came from the USDA’s Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels, which funds producers of biofuels made from renewable biomass sources. Four Texas companies receiving the funding are Agrobiofuels, Green Earth Fuels of Houston, Element […]

Feds Open Up Conservation Land To Drought-Stricken Ranchers

Farmers and ranchers will be allowed to graze cattle and grow hay on land typically reserved for conservation under an initiative announced by the US Department of Agriculture on Monday. US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told reporters that the move aims to increase the food supply for cattle in parts of the country gripped […]

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