As the summer starts to wind down we’re moving forward on a couple of issues that have taken precedents.
As some of you may have heard, there was a temporary disruption in the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program (CFTEP) by the Texas Ag Commissioner, Sid Miller. The use of the chemical product Co Ral in spray boxes, used to treat cattle on landowner premises, came into question because of the perceived lack of ventilation and Texas Animal Health Commission’s (TAHC) unauthorized use of the product.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through theAnimal and Plant Health Inspection Service(APHIS) has an exemption to use the product at a higher strength because of the immunity that the ticks have built up over the years. There is now an effort to approve a memo of understanding, giving TAHC and their employees the ability to use the product, as they are instrumental in assisting APHIS in the duties of the ongoing treatment of cattle in the CFTEP.
Because of the critical nature of continuing treatment, it is important for the livestock producer to have the use of the spray boxes, which prevents the need to transport cattle to cattle dipping vats.
STPRA supports their use, but also believes that the cattle industry should support and promote USDA Animal Research Service’s (ARS) ongoing efforts in alternative methods and field trials of products, such as the natural chemical, Essentria, electrostatic spray wands and nozzles for use in the spray boxes; as well as oversee research for the parasitic wasp that kills the cattle fever tick.
We have been asked to testify before the State Veterans and Border Security Committee the end of August concerning the State’s ongoing Carrizo Cane and Salt Cedar eradication program along the Rio Grande River. STPRA has supported the eradication of Carrizo Cane and Salt Cedar (both invasive species) along the river banks of the Rio Grande since 2008. See attached Border Security Statement. Not only does eradication support water conservation, it improves the line of sight for Border Patrol and the Tick Riders, who are tasked with pushing back Mexican livestock that make it over the river to the U.S. side.
We also believe that selective brush clearing along the river could help the landowner and the other three prospects and aid in alternative border security efforts.
If you haven’t already, please mark your calendar for October 11th and join us as we celebrate our 13th Annual Meeting and Fundraiser. Experts in their fields will share information on several of our priority issues and will educate you on what is currently happening and how you are and will be affected. Then relax and unwind as our feature speaker Wyman Meinzer shares his story and photos of the San Antonio Viejo Ranch of Texas, just a short jaunt from the event sight.
We look forward to seeing you there!