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Horse owners: See a brand inspector when traveling, buying or selling

Be sure to get a brand inspection if you are heading to a rodeo, horse show or buying/selling a horse.

This time of year sends many Coloradans outside to enjoy our warm days and cool evenings; horseback riding is often a favorite summer activity and the Colorado Department of Agriculture reminds horse owners that state statutes require a “brand” inspection if they plan on buying, selling or transporting horses.

Horse owners can purchase permanent horse travel permits for horses that are shipped frequently more than 75 miles within Colorado or across state lines. This can be a great financial savings, since the permit is good for travel purposes for as long as the applicant owns the horse.

“The department typically sees an increase in the number of horses being bought and sold this time of year,” said CDA Brand Commissioner Chris Whitney. “There has also been an increase in the number of horses in urban communities and folks need to remember to contact us for a transfer of ownership inspection.”

In 2012, approximately 4,400 permanent horse travel cards were issued and 36,300 brand inspections were performed for horse sales statewide. Inspections include identifying the animal and certifying that the shipper or seller is the legal owner prior to issuing a certificate.

The Division of Brand Inspection’s primary responsibility is to protect the livestock industry from loss by theft, illegal butchering or straying of livestock. The division is assigned five principal regulatory responsibilities:

1. Record and administer livestock brands.

2. Inspect livestock and verify ownership before sale, transportation beyond 75 miles, transportation out of state, or slaughter.

3. Inspect packing plants, livestock sale rings, and inspect all consignments before sale to verify ownership.

4. License and inspect alternative livestock (elk and fallow deer) facilities.

5. Prevent and return strayed or stolen livestock and investigate reports of lost or stolen livestock.

In FY11/12, division personnel traveled in excess of 1.2 million miles and inspected approximately 4.6 million head of livestock. In addition, they identified ownership of lost, stolen, or strayed and questionably owned livestock valued at over $60 million.

For more information on the Division of Brand Inspection, visit www.colorado.gov/ag/brands<http://www.colorado.gov/ag/brands>.

What is that noise?

If you have been hearing singing, clicking or buzzing sounds coming from your trees, don’t panic, it’s probably coming from male cicadas making a variety of sounds to attract females. Cicadas are the largest Colorado insects with the largest, the “dog-day cicada” over two inches long. Although abundant, cicadas are far more often heard than seen. Most commonly heard is loud, often shrill buzzing with several individuals often synchronizing their songs. Most cicadas have a pair of tymbals or domed, drum-like organs on the sides of the abdomen. They alternately contract and release muscles to make the tymbals resonate. A large air sac in the abdomen acts as an echo chamber that greatly amplifies the sound. Others produce sounds by clicking together their wings, somewhat like certain grasshoppers and crickets.

Despite their large size, cicadas cause little injury. The immature stages (nymphs) develop slowly underground and feed on roots but cause no detectable harm to the plants. The greatest injury occurs when large numbers of certain cicadas, such as the Putnam’s cicada, insert eggs into stems of trees and shrubs which can cause twig dieback.

No effective controls for Colorado cicadas have been developed nor are any likely necessary. High value plants, particularly younger trees that are still getting established, may be protected by covering them with netting to exclude adults.

For more information on cicadas, visit the CSU Extension website at www.ext.colostate.edu and download Fact Sheet No. 5.590 Cicadas.

Calendar

June 13 — Mountain View Homemakers, noon.

June 13 — 4-H Cooking Project meeting, 10 a.m.

June 13 — 4-H Poultry Project meeting, 4 p.m.

June 13 — 4-H Leaders meeting, 5:30 p.m.

June 14 — BUNCO fund-raiser, 6 p.m.

June 15 — 4-H Dog Agility Project meeting, 10 a.m.

June 17 — 4-H Scrapbooking Project meeting, 10 a.m.

June 17 — 4-H Sewing Project meeting, 3 p.m.

June 18 — 4-H Sewing Project meeting, 3 p.m.

June 19 — 4-H Sports fishing Project meeting, 6 p.m.

June 20 — 4-H Sewing Project meeting 3 p.m.

June 21 — 4-H Wolf Creek Wonders Club meeting, 2 p.m.

June 25 — Extension Advisory Committee meeting, noon.

This story was posted on June 13, 2013.