Well, that “fantastic, wonderful” hog killing bait touted by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has bit the dust — for now! There are lots of issues about use of the Kaput hog bait — and many of those are valid. Opponents of Kaput use on Texas soil want more research on the product. For example, would eating a wild porker killed by Kaput have any health hazards? And what about wildlife that might consume the bait —how would they be affected? Too many questions, and not enough answers! The company that makes the bait — and the bait delivery equipment — says they are no longer planning to market the product in Texas. Reason given is that the company owners worry about lawsuits over the potential harm caused by the bait. One of these days we should have something available to landowners whose land is being ravaged by the troublesome swine. But, not now!

Several members U.S. Congressmen have introduced bills to stop the forced collection of millions of dollars from our farmers and ranchers. Under the guise of “helping” our beef, corn, soybean, dairy and many other commodity producers the “checkoff” industry is finally being questioned by political leaders. Whether $1 or $2 a head from sellers of cattle or so many cents per bushel of grain or gallon of milk, the compulsory checkoff programs are under fire, and rightly so! Most farmers and ranchers are willing to promote their products — but not by government edict. Simple way to solve the problem is for all agricultural checkoffs to be truly voluntary and give producers a chance to dictate the spending of their contributed dollars.

Farmers are gearing up for hay season. Many have already made their first cutting especially where ryegrass was abundant. Only problem some of these early harvesters ran into was getting the hay dry between rains. Fertilizer trucks and buggies are out in force. Still several farmers are backing water when it comes to applying the nutrients a pasture or hay meadow needs. Result will be poor quality hay and pastures that don’t provide a lot of forage. The old adage that “fertilizer doesn’t cost — it pays” is still true!

Horace@valornet.com