Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211

advertisements
   
   
   
   
   

Agricultural News


Hughes Abell on the Lasting Effects of Winter Storm Uri

Tue, 04 May 2021 14:25:44 CDT

Hughes Abell on the Lasting Effects of Winter Storm Uri Hughes Abell, president, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association writes in an editorial for TSCRA about the lasting Effects of Winter Storms..

It seems odd to still be discussing Winter Storm Uri in May, more than two months after it battered Texas, but that is what the Texas Legislature is doing.

The storm caused severe electrical and natural gas disruptions that crippled transportation and supply chains. It impacted almost every region of Texas and every walk of life. Cattle producers were no exception and faced even higher stakes. In addition to caring for ourselves and our families, we had the added responsibility of protecting our livestock.

We were braving treacherous conditions during the worst of the storm to rescue newborn calves that needed to stay warm to survive. We were breaking ice to ensure our cattle had adequate water, and we were delivering hay and feed to cattle.

A lack of electricity, natural gas, and diesel also created new challenges on the ranch.

Without natural gas, the feed suppliers we rely on had trouble running the equipment necessary to supply that feed. We also had fuel and transportation challenges. Many of us had off-road, dyed diesel on our property, sitting in storage tanks for tractors and off-road equipment, but had trouble fueling our on-road vehicles like pickups and grain trucks due to significant supply disruptions and impassable roads.

Without an exemption, it is illegal to use dyed diesel on the highway, so we were left with the prospect of breaking the law or not being able to reach our livestock to deliver food, water, and care. Fortunately, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association requested a waiver, but it was not granted until Friday after almost a week had passed.

Throughout the storm, the leaders and staff of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association heard from many of our members who experienced these losses and hardships firsthand. Only weeks later, I relayed that information directly to Texas lawmakers in testimony before the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock.

I explained the great lengths we went to during the storm to care for our livestock and all of the challenges we faced along the way. I concluded my testimony saying:

“This legislature’s work to ensure the power and gas stay on in any future winter storms is vital to all Texans, but especially to those of us who have the added responsibility of raising our food supply.

“On behalf of TSCRA’s more than 17,000 individuals, families, and ranching operations, I ask that all of you continue to keep rural Texas at the forefront of those discussions to mitigate the impacts if and when we should ever face a similar challenge.”

They listened.

The very next day, Representative DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne), Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, filed two bills to address concerns he heard the previous day.

H.B. 4296 would place an automatic exception in statute to allow the on-road use of dyed diesel during a declared disaster. The bill applies to those of us who are already able to use dyed diesel and have it available, but it will ensure that we can continue to care for our cattle even if clear diesel isn’t available at the pump without fear of breaking the law.

H.B. 4548 would allow for increased truck weights on state roads to deliver agricultural products during a disaster, ensuring producers can move livestock, hay and feed in the quantities necessary to mitigate the effects of future disasters.

As cattle producers, we owe Chairman Burns a debt of gratitude for hearing and acting on our concerns. With less than a month left in the 87th Texas Legislative Session, I am hopeful both bills will be passed and enacted by the Governor.

Farmers and ranchers will always face added hardships during times of disaster, but even seemingly small measures such as these can play an outsized role in helping us endure and provide the food Texans need.


   

 

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI

 


Top Agricultural News

  • Thursday, May 13, 2021 Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Thu, 13 May 2021 13:56:23 CDT
  • USDA-NIFA, CDC and Cooperative Extension Team Up for Vaccine Education in Rural America  Thu, 13 May 2021 10:35:15 CDT
  • Dallas, San Antonio and Oklahoma City to face 'nasty' Severe Weather  Thu, 13 May 2021 09:28:28 CDT
  • Oklahoma Ag Secretary Blayne Arthur Says There is a Positive Dynamic in The Oklahoma Ag Industry Today  Thu, 13 May 2021 08:59:57 CDT
  • Don't Bug Me: Pest Control  Thu, 13 May 2021 08:57:25 CDT
  • New Southern Plains Perspective Blog On Offsetting the Carbon Footprint of Eating Beef   Thu, 13 May 2021 08:45:52 CDT
  • ALSS Secures $7M Series B Funding To Commercialize Novel Vaccine Delivery System For Poultry Industry  Thu, 13 May 2021 08:29:58 CDT
  • Gov. Stitt Enjoys Grilling Hamburgers Beneath Peta Billboard Calling Him a Meathead  Thu, 13 May 2021 08:49:37 CDT

  • More Headlines...

       

    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment Oklahoma City Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.

    Our Road to Rural Prosperity sponsors!

    Banc First OPSRC ORWA TPAOO TPAOO

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com


       
       
    © 2008-2021 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.