Southern Livestock

Weighing the market

Heavier carcasses weigh on prices Cash calf and feeder cattle prices returned to near-record levels in May as buyers scrambled for dwindling supplies. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) increased this year’s expected annual average feeder steer price (750-800 lbs., Oklahoma City) by $1, compared to the previous month’s forecast, to ...

Registration opens for 70th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course

The 70th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course on Aug. 5-7 in Bryan-College Station is open for registration. The event is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Animal Science. The event is the largest beef cattle educational event in the world, ...

Rangeland conditions vary across state based on moisture, precipitation outlook

Rangeland conditions across the state vary as producers contend with an abundance of precipitation in the east and little, if any, in the west, according to experts with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Texas is home to roughly 100 million acres of grazing lands, which include native rangelands and non-native pastures. ...

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Corpus Christi celebrates 50 years serving Coastal Bend

From cotton boll weevil eradication to aquaculture genomics to advancing digital agriculture and artificial intelligence, the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Corpus Christi has spent the past 50 years working to benefit area agricultural producers and agribusinesses. The center celebrated its 50th anniversary and significant contributions to agricultural research ...

Texas Side of Things

Although the calendar claims that the first day of summer is officially June 20th, I personally feel like summer has already begun. Summertime…I remember it as a kid, so excited for the last day of school and finally hearing the bell ringing for the last time that year and releasing us to freedom. I remember wearing cutoff shorts ...

Two Farm Bill proposals boost reference prices

LITTLE ROCK — Despite their differences, the Farm Bill proposals led by U.S. Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow both contain some first-in-a-decade updates to critical farm safety net programs. Thompson, of Pennsylvania, is chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, and Stabenow, of Michigan, chairs the ...

American International Charolais Association names Brett Spader as executive vice president

Kansas City, Missouri – The American International Charolais Association (AICA) announced recently that the association’s board of directors has appointed Brett Spader as executive vice president, effective May 12th. Most recently, Spader served as co-founder and CEO of Livestock Launch, a digital and data agency serving the beef and ag industry.  With ...

Texas Trails

Apocalypse on the San Saba Visitors to the Hill Country town of Menard might see the ruins of the old presidio, San Luis de las Amarillas, just outside of town, right next to the golf course and think that’s the site of the old San Cruz de Saba mission. They’re ...

Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas to Celebrate 50 Years

(LOCKHART) - The Independent Cattlemen's Association of Texas (ICA) will host its Annual Convention & Tradeshow this July 1-3, 2024, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Marcos Hotel Conference Center. Established in 1974, ICA serves as the voice for independent Texas cattle producers in Austin and Washington, D.C.  The ...

Just your standard bull

The date is May 21st, and it’s a great day! Why you ask? It’s because three major things have successfully culminated within the last 30 days. I’m happy! And if I’m happy, that means that those around me are happier too!             First of all, as I currently reside as president ...

Texas Trails

One of the first things buffalo hunters on the Texas plains did when they got to the Panhandle in the early 1870s was to create a hunter’s camp. The hunters were down from Kansas, where the buffalo and, by extension, buffalo hunters were a thing of the past. They called ...

Grilling season kicks off with high but stable meat prices

A report by Texas A&M Department of Agricultural Economics experts indicated a mixed bag of slight price increases and decreases for beef, pork and poultry throughout grilling season. Consumer costs for primary beef and pork offerings like ground beef, chuck roasts, sirloin steaks and pork chops are expected to increase around 1% ...

Frustrated Fed not likely to cut interest rates in June

LITTLE ROCK — The U.S. economy still hasn’t slowed to the Federal Reserve’s satisfaction, so don’t expect the Fed to cut interest rates at its June meeting, said Ryan Loy, extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.   In a news conference at the beginning of ...

Agricultural losses from Texas Panhandle Wildfires top $123 million

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economists project the Panhandle wildfires caused $123 million in preliminary agricultural losses, making it the costliest on record. More than 1.2 million acres burned beginning Feb. 26, making it the largest wildfire in Texas history. The losses include more than 12,000 cattle deaths, lost grazing values ...

Looking ahead

Here is a look at the latest summer outlook from the various models and the Climate Prediction Center. EURO Seasonal Model Precipitation Anomaly Forecast  June/July/August EURO Seasonal Model Temperature Anomaly Forecast  June/July/August NMME Model Precipitation Anomaly Forecast  June/July/August NMME Model Seasonal Model Precipitation Anomaly Forecast  June/July/August For comparison, here is ...

2024 National Feeder and Stocker Receipts Down 6 percent from 2023

The number of feeder and stocker cattle sold during the first 19 weeks of 2024 was about 6 percent below the number sold during the same period in 2023 according to data from the USDA-AMS National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary. The combination of fewer cattle and  better pricing opportunities have ...

The Texas Side of Things

If you will recall, in the March 15, 2024 issue of this paper, I wrote about how proud I was to be a part of the agriculture sector and explained all of the wonderful ways the agricultural family comes to the aid of those who need help. In this week’s issue, I want to acknowledge the teachers, especially the ag teachers, for what they do bypreparing the next generation for what’s to come. This is a picture of my college roommate, Glen Hughes, who has taught ag for 32 years. It was an honor for Vicki and me to attend the ...

Texas Trails

Wrong Way Corrigan There is a right way to do something and there is a wrong way, but sometimes the wrong way is the only way. Thes saga of Daniel “Wrong Way” Corrigan, who made a transatlantic flight from New York to Dublin in 1938 by flying the wrong way, is ...

Carcass weights add price pressure

Heavier fed cattle carcass weights continue to weigh on cash fed cattle prices and wholesale beef values. March fed steer dressed weights were record large at 923 lbs., 9 lbs. heavier year over year, according to Josh Maples Extension livestock economist at Mississippi State University, in a recent issue of Cattle ...

USDA now accepting farm loan payments online

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that most farm loan borrowers will now be able to make payments to their direct loans online through the Pay My Loan feature on farmers.gov.  Pay My Loan is part of a broader effort by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to streamline its processes, ...

Texas Crop and Weather Report April 30th

CENTRAL A wide range of rainfall amounts were recorded over the past week and soil moisture was good. Two tornadoes were confirmed in Navarro County and hail scattered throughout the district. Pastures had improved, although weeds were prevalent. The winds caused lodging in wheat in some areas and caused significant ...

Use heifer pre-breeding exams as a culling tool and to prepare for breeding season

STOCKTON, Mo. – “As cattle producers rebuild their cattle herds, the focus may be to retain heifers as replacements,” says Patrick Davis, University of Missouri Extension livestock field specialist. Breeding season will soon be upon us, and it is important to retain heifers that are good breeding prospects. Therefore, Davis ...

Corn crop conditions improve as acres and prices decline

Corn prices are down, and acres in Texas and across the U.S. are expected to follow as improved overall growing conditions could deliver above average yields, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Mark Welch, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension grain marketing economist in the Texas A&M Department of Agricultural Economics, Bryan-College Station, ...

Answering the cattle nutrition protein question

Knowing exactly how beef cattle utilize protein is important to answering many nutrition questions producers and industry nutritionists pose to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists like Jason Smith, Ph.D., Amarillo. Smith, an AgriLife Extension beef cattle nutritionist and associate professor in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Animal Science, ...

Wheat leaf rust and stripe rust an emerging problem statewide

While recent rains have been a boon to many crops in the state, they have also presented an unfortunate emerging issue with wheat rust development throughout the state, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists. After years of drought, the moisture from recent rains coupled with warm winter temperatures has created ...

Texas Trails

Arthur Stilwell and his brownies There was something contrary to ordinary about Arthur Edward Stilwell, the man who founded Port Arthur, Texas and for whom the city is named. People said he was “pixilated” but they only said that because Stilwell said it first.  An old Funk and Wagnall’s dictionary ...

Just Your Standard Bull

                  Tomorrow will be Tuesday, April 22. I will be boarding a plane to Kansas City at 9:30 am to attend meetings for the American International Charolais Association (AICA) on Wednesday and Thursday. I am currently serving as president and to say there is a lot going on there would be ...

King Ranch®, Inc. announces strategic investment into Cobalt Cattle

HOUSTON - April 9, 2024 - King Ranch, Inc. announced today that it has acquired a 50% stake in Cobalt Cattle, the nation's fourth-largest cattle feeding operation with six feedyards in Colorado, Kansas and Texas. "We are excited about this opportunity and what it means for King Ranch's long-term commitment ...

Where we stand with drought

Fortunately as I sit here and type this, a lot of the region is in pretty good shape. However, as you can see below there are some areas that are still struggling with dryness and drought. The past several weeks have been the most kind to eastern areas. The map ...

Considerations for building cow inventories at current prices

Calf prices are encouraging cow-calf producers to increase cow inventories to have more calves to sell. Consider the following points when evaluating growing the cowherd. Contribution margin Is the operation fully stocked on owned land or on land leased by the acre? What are the current overhead costs including labor ...

USDA, USAID deploy $1 billion for emergency food assistance

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will deploy $1 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funding to purchase U.S.-grown commodities to provide emergency food assistance to people in need throughout the world, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USAID Administrator ...

South Texas Beef and Forage Field Day set for May 8 in Beeville

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host the South Texas Beef and Forage Field Day on May 8 in Beeville. The field day will be held from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Twisted Ranch Events and Design, 3360 U.S. Highway 59, and at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station at Beeville, ...

Hotter-than-expected economy deflates chances for interest rate cuts

Don’t expect to see the Fed cut interest rates soon. Ryan Loy, extension economist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the April 5 jobs report and Consumer Price Index both showed a still-hot economy, despite the Federal Open Market Committee’s efforts to tame inflation with four ...

Texas fruit growers cautiously optimistic about yields

Texas Crop and Weather Report - April 2, 2024 While it is too early to tell about the impact of chill hours for fruits grown in higher chill areas of the state, current conditions are good for the low-to-mid chill areas, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. The importance of chilling ...

Wheat crop shaping up better than past two years, but prices are low

Wheat production across Texas looks better than in years past, providing producers some optimism despite low wheat prices. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists said several opportunities could exist for cashing in on good forage. Mark Welch, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension economist-grain marketing in the Texas A&M Department of Agricultural Economics, said while the U.S. ...

New guide helps beef producers maximize the value of cull cows

A new resource developed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and CattleFax helps cattle producers maximize profitability from their culling decisions. “Right Way. Right Time. – A Guide to Cull Cattle Management” is now available at www.ncba.org.  “The purpose of this guide is to draw the producer’s attention to quality ...

Weighing The Market

Avian Influenza adds market uncertainty Supply fundamentals remain bullish despite recent pressure on Cattle Futures tied to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in dairy cattle (see below). Cattle price expectations continued to rise in March as cattle numbers decline. Compared to the previous month, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) increased ...

McGregor Research Center Field Day set for May 1

Texas A&M AgriLife Research will host the McGregor Research Center Field Day on May 1 with topics to cover nutrition, rebuilding the cow herd and utilizing technology in production practices. The field day will be from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the center, located at 773 Ag Farm Road. There is no ...

Texas Side of Things

As I have often claimed, “Castell, Texas is the Center of the Universe”, and once again, I am correct! This past Monday, a once-in-a-lifetime event happened when the total eclipse traveled over Central Texas around 1:32 p.m.  and lasted for approximately four minutes.  Locals in the Hill Country didn’t really know what ...

Texas Trails

Close call in Camp Wood An airplane landed in the middle of the little community of Camp Wood, in the Texas Hill Country, in 1924. This was one of the biggest events in the history of that little town, but the wider world didn’t pay a bit of attention until ...

CDC confirms bird flu in one person; poultry, ruminant experts warn of avian influenza outbreak

LITTLE ROCK — On April 1, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a human case in Texas of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, commonly known as H5N1 bird flu. According to a release from the CDC, the “person had exposure to dairy cattle in Texas presumed to be ...

Texas Trails

The Saga of Doak Good Just after the demise of the great buffalo herds and the Comanches, but before towns or vestiges of civilization popped up on the Llano Estacado, a few hardy individuals claimed that vast and lonesome land as their own. Doak Good was one of those people. ...

Surging cull cow prices

Cull cow prices have surged in recent weeks, along with calf and feeder prices. Southern Plains auction prices for 85-90 percent lean cows jumped from $85 per cwt to $105 per cwt over the last two weeks. National average cutter quality cows hovered around $100 per cwt. Cull cow prices ...

Protecting farms and ranches from wildfires

Wildfires affect America’s farms and ranches, damaging and destroying homes, barns, agriculture production facilities, crops and livestock. Much of this damage can be avoided, or at least minimized, if a few precautions are taken to minimize the risk and spread of wildfires. Before Precautions should be taken long before a fire ...

Just Your Standard Bull

March 25—I am writing to you today from unsunny North Central Arkansas at the beautiful Chimney Rock Cattle Co, Concord, Arkansas. My clean clothes are running low and my bracket is busted, but in a few more days, I’ll make it home for Easter weekend.             If you missed the Texas ...

Managing feeder cattle price risk

Futures prices have rallied to around $265-270/cwt. However, weather, global conflict, or other factors could negatively impact the 2024 market. Prices were relatively high throughout 2014 in response to a drought-induced decline in cow numbers, but during the fall of 2015 prices declined rapidly. While market fundamentals may currently be stronger in 2024 ...

Atascosa County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent recognized by Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association 

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 24, 2024) – Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association announced Dale Rankin, an Atascosa County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent, as the 2024 Outstanding County Extension Agent – Beef at the 2024 Cattle Raisers Convention & Expo held in Fort Worth March 22 – 24. The ...

Safety Tips for watching solar eclipse in Texas

The total solar eclipse is a large-scale natural phenomenon that Texans have not seen since 2017. Something so rare and intriguing is one that will certainly draw the attention of people far and wide within the coming weeks, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.As people begin to make plans to ...

Here’s the latest

The latest sea surface temperature anomaly map. You can see the El Niño weakening, and the evidence of La Niña building. There is also quite a bit of cooling in the north Pacific and from the Baja to Hawaii. That "cold horseshoe" is likely going to mean a PDO (Pacific ...

Egg prices increase ahead of Easter holiday

Egg prices are on the rise as Easter approaches, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert, but they are lower than what consumers may have paid at the grocery store earlier in the year. Consumers — and the Easter bunny — may have noticed the price of eggs increasing recently ...

Ranchers Helping Ranchers

As we go to press, it’s been a little over two weeks since the Texas Panhandle became the heart-wrenching scene of fast moving and destructive fires. The Smokehouse Creek Fire, which started in Hutchinson County, has burned upwards of 1,075,000 acres and has been declared as the largest in Texas ...

Weighing the Market

Cattle prices crawl higher Tightening cattle supplies continue to boost cash cattle and futures prices to their highest levels since last fall and the highest of this year.  USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) increased the forecast weighted average five-area direct fed steer price for the remainder of this year, in ...

Texas Trails

One of the first great aviation events in Texas was the arrival of a flying contraption known as the Vin Fiz Flyer, which landed in Fort Worth on Oct. 17, 1911, as part of what became the world’s first Atlantic-to Pacific airplane flight.  A wealthy and rambunctious young adventurer named ...

Texas Side Of Things

Back in the fall of 1976, I began classes at Texas A&M University. Now, when you talk about a country boycoming to town, I was the poster child of what they were talking about. One of my very first classes that I remember was called Ag 101 and it was taught by Dr. Curtis Lard, the assistant dean of agriculture. It was a simple one-hour class that all freshmen were required to take, introducing them into the college of agriculture. I remember in the very first class,Dr. Lard said, “Look around. You and the other students sitting around you will one day be responsible for feeding theworld.” At the time, I was fascinated ...

USDA announces next major step in promoting competition in agriculture under Packers and Stockyards Act

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the finalization of Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act. The final rule will be effective 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. The final rule Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and ...

Chasing the elusive second calf

Getting first time mother cows bred for the second time is probably one of the strongest challenges for most beef producers. It can be extremely frustrating at the time of pregnancy diagnosis to find a high percentage of those young cows, the future of the cowherd, to be open. More ...

Calf health following calving

While calving season is oftentimes the most exciting time of the year for producers, it can have a dark side when sickness and death occur. Ensuring cows are in an adequate nutritional status (body condition score of 5 or 6) and not overfed can help reduce concerns of dystocia, as ...

Jim S. Williams to be inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Gallery

Jim S. Williams, Boling, Texas has been named the 2024 inductee of the prestigious Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Gallery. His portrait will be unveiled at an induction banquet, Nov. 17 during the North American Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. Williams will be the 379th member added to this historic gallery of ...

January Placements Above Expectations, but Total On-feed Inventory is Dropping

The feeder cattle market has been on a run since late 2023. For perspective, I am writing this on March 1st and the March CME© feeder cattle futures contract has increased in value by more than $25 per cwt since the first of the year. As has been the case a ...

Just Your Standard Bull

            March 1—and here begins the run of spring production sales. With the January-February rainfall, and the recent stretch of warm weather, optimism for a strong spring is very high.             In this issue of the Southern Livestock Standard, you will see the results of the 33rd Annual San Antonio All Breed Bull ...

Largest wildfire in Texas history continues 

Texas A&M Forest Service encourages caution, prevention as wildfire potential increases over the weekend  The largest wildfire in Texas history is actively burning today with additional threats going into the weekend. The Smokehouse Creek Fire that started in Hutchinson County has burned a total of 1,075,000 acres across Texas and ...

Texas Trails

Tales of Old Tascosa Tascosa was the kind of Old West town where a man could get killed over most anything, even a duck. This was true despite the fact that the town’s first sheriff, Cape Willingham, imposed an early form of gun control by making it illegal to carry ...

Rates are likely impacting producer interest in expansion

USDA’s cattle inventory report confirmed that the U.S. cowherd continued to get smaller during 2023. Higher input costs, regional weather challenges and hay supply issues, strong cull cow prices and several other factors have contributed to a prolonged liquidation phase of this cattle cycle. Despite the fact that calf prices ...

Minerals: Too much of a good thing

Minerals are an essential nutrient for beef cattle which means, like protein and energy, minerals must be supplied in the diet. However, minerals make up a very small portion of the total diet. Many feedstuffs are deficient in one or more essential minerals which is why mineral supplementation is a ...

Managing and developing young beef bulls

There are as many ways to feed and develop young beef bulls as there are seedstock producers. There are many and varied reasons that bulls are managed and fed the way they are. Whether bulls are developed on the ranch, in a commercial facility, or at a central bull test, ...

South Texas citrus poised for a comeback

South Texas citrus poised for a comeback By Paul Schattenberg, Texas AgriLife Today The Texas citrus crop quality and quantity was better than expected following multiple seasons of weather-related setbacks, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Texas is the third largest citrus producer in the U.S., with the total ...

10 tips to bulletproof your beef operation

Beef producers can use a window of profitability to make their farm business more bulletproof. University of Missouri Extension agricultural economist Joe Horner says successful beef producers can make small changes in three areas to make their farm less vulnerable to risks: plants, animals and business. Being good in just ...

Bull selection criteria and cost

The spring bull sale season is underway. Producers are studying catalogs, comparing EPDs and individual animal performance numbers, and choosing which bulls will be the next herd sires. This article addresses some of the things producers should consider before heading to the sale. Hint: It's more than just the lunch ...

Active market and quality cattle offering combined for successful San Antonio All Breeds Bull and Commercial Female Sale

The 33rd Annual San Antonio All Breed Bull and Commercial Female Sale hosted another large crowd thatwitnessed a very active market as producers began to build back their herds with a quality offering of cattle. This year’s event was held on February 13th & 14th in conjunction with the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo and sold 54 bulls and 493 females to gross $1,870,250 and average $3,419. The 54 bulls, representing 10 breeds, brought a gross of $327,000 for an average of $6,056, while 493 femalessold for a total of $1,543,250 for an average of $3,130. Of the females, 229 open heifers sold for an average of $2,634; 75 bred heifers sold for an average of ...

Drought worries again

I know I have spent plenty of time dissecting El Niño and what will be the transition to La Niña. However, let’s do a little recap of who this El Niño has helped, and who it hasn’t helped. Here is a look at the last year, in terms of total ...

Hay, feed, fencing supplies needed to support Texas Panhandle wildfire victims

Donations of hay, feed, fencing supplies, cow feed and milk replacer are needed to support livestock owners impacted by the devastating wildfires that have scorched ranchland across a large portion of the Texas Panhandle. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is establishing Animal Supply Points in several locations in the region to ...

Hay supplies remain tight for Texas cattle producers

Hay supplies may be better than last year, but they remain extremely tight as costs for winter feeding continue to mount for Texas ranchers, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. Jason Cleere, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension statewide beef cattle specialist and professor in the Texas A&M Department of Animal Science, Bryan-College Station, ...

Texas A&M AgriLife research included in global drought study

A first-of-its-kind international study, which includes research from Texas A&M AgriLife, has found that the effects of extreme drought on grasslands and shrublands have been underestimated. Researchers simulated extreme short-term drought – commonly called “100-year drought” – at 100 sites across six continents. The results were recently published in the prestigious Proceedings ...

Founder of Buc-ee’s named Grand Marshal of Downtown Rodeo Parade

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is excited to announce that Buc-ee’s founder and CEO, Arch “Beaver” Aplin III, will help kick off the 2024 rodeo by serving as grand marshal of the Downtown Rodeo Parade. A tradition since 1938, the annual parade celebrates Western Heritage and marks the beginning ...

DC News

11th circuit ruling on Florida’s foreign-owned law may spur similar lawsuits FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. —  The successful appeal of an attempt to stop a Florida law restricting foreign ownership of real estate may be the vanguard of legal actions against similar laws in other states, said Micah Brown, staff attorney for ...

U.S. beef cattle herd smallest since 1951

The Texas beef cattle herd could be on its way to a rebuild after hitting its lowest numbers in a decade, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. David Anderson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics, and Jason Cleere, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension statewide beef cattle specialist in the Department ...

CattleFax forecasts continued producer profitability with herd expansion on the horizon

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2024) –The popular CattleFax Outlook Seminar, held as part of the 2024 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, shared expert market and weather analysis today.  The smallest beef cow inventory in the last 50 years, coupled with historically strong demand, led to the ...

RODEOHOUSTON® announces inaugural Hall of Fame honorees

The Houston Livestock Show and RodeoTM announced today the RODEOHOUSTON Hall of Fame and the inaugural class of 2024. A total of three individuals will be inducted during the RODEOHOUSTON finals on Sunday, March 17, 2024. The 2024 inductees are Mike Cervi, Charmayne James and Bob Tallman. “We are thrilled to ...

Reviewing the January Cattle-on-Feed Report

January has brought a steady stream of reports for livestock market analysts to digest. This began with hay stocks the second week of the year and culminated on January 31st, with USDA release of their inventory estimates for 2024. As I write this week’s article two days ahead of that ...

Texas A&M AgriLife research included in global drought study

A first-of-its-kind international study, which includes research from Texas A&M AgriLife, has found that the effects of extreme drought on grasslands and shrublands have been underestimated. Researchers simulated extreme short-term drought – commonly called “100-year drought” – at 100 sites across six continents. The results were recently published in the prestigious Proceedings ...

Texas Trails

Uncle Dick’s Toll Road The Goodnight-Loving Trail wasn’t the longest, oldest, or most heavily traveled of all the old cattle trails, but it was as drenched in legend and lore as any of them. Named for pioneer Panhandle rancher Charles Goodnight and his best friend and partner in commerce, Oliver ...

Tips to stretch short hay supplies

Below are a few tips to consider stretching limited hay supplies. For additional information contact your local Extension agent. Inventory hay – know how much hay you have available; weigh a few bales to get an average weight or estimate the weights based on available information from Extension publications. Minimize ...

Weighing The Market

Cattle market poised to strengthen Negotiated cash fed cattle prices and cattle futures reached their highest levels in three months the second week of February, helped along by severe winter weather in January disrupting packer production and reducing carcass weights, as well as declining cattle numbers. USDA increased the forecast ...

Keys to a prosperous start for newborn calves

A main economic driver of a cow-calf operation is the number of calves weaned per cow exposed. Two subsequent drivers are weight and phenotype. For these reasons, outstanding calf health is a directly correlated variable to calf growth and performance, and—ideally—profitability.  Prenatal cow care for calf success Sound calf health ...

2024 marks 33rd year for San Antonio All Breeds Bull & Commercial Female Sale

This year's San Antonio All Breeds Bull & Commercial Female Sale will be the 33rd annual event as even Covid didn't stop the sale with its three plus decade history from happening. The offering will include 58 bulls representing several breeds and over 500 high quality, hand picked commercial females. ...

Wagyu: The beef to beat

Dale Woerner, Ph.D., is a meat scientist with years of experience researching the composition of Wagyu beef. “I think it’s pretty fair to say we’ve accumulated some pretty good data in favor of Wagyu. We’re looking at a product that is, in fact, superior in terms of eating experience, not ...

Texas Trails

The Aurora Incident In April of 1897, several people reported seeing a strange cigar-shaped airship gliding over Texas. There were dozens of sightings in mostly North and North Central Texas, including multiple sightings in Hill, Tarrant, Fannin, Ellis, Grayson, Bowie, Collin, Hunt and Johnson counties.  Accounts varied somewhat from one ...

January USDA Cattle on Feed Report assessment

The USDA Cattle on Feed Report released on Jan. 19 with new information regarding what happened in the cattle feeding sector during December was decidedly neutral. All the main pieces of information were very much in line with pre-report expectations. Placements are the most important piece of information in the ...

Just Your Standard Bull

I recently had a lengthy discussion with a long-time friend and colleague in the cattle business about what we call legacy ranches. Our discussion centered around the seedstock industry. He and I, along with others we work with have now spent 40 plus years in this business. It has been ...

USDA to kick off the National Agricultural Classification Survey

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2024 – Already preparing for the 2027 Census of Agriculture, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct the National Agricultural Classification Survey (NACS) starting Jan. 24. The survey, an important step in determining who should receive a 2027 Census of Agriculture questionnaire, will go to approximately 250,000 ...

McClure named Santa Gertrudis Breeders International Executive Director

KINGSVILLE, Texas (Jan. 29, 2024) – Santa Gertrudis Breeders International (SGBI) announces Chris McClure as its executive director, effective immediately.  “SGBI welcomes Chris McClure as our new executive director,” says SGBI President Adolfo Sanchez. “He brings tremendous beef industry knowledge to the Santa Gertrudis breed as well as strong business experiences.” As ...

Risk Management Strategies

We make important decisions about our cattle operations and don’t always immediately know the result of those decisions. The time it takes to observe the result of our decision is referred to as a time lag, and it is driven by the biology involved in raising livestock and growing forages. ...

What to feed when there’s not anything

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Many beef producers found themselves trying to pull a rabbit out of the hat as they rang in 2024 with low hay supplies, says University of Missouri Extension beef nutrition specialist Eric Bailey. Bailey says post-drought feeding woes leave producers challenged with “what to feed when there ...

Agricultural economics report

Despite recession warnings and adverse precursors in 2022, the United States economy performed better than predicted in 2023. Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics experts annually provide insights into the national economy, trade, policy, and food prices for the year. These findings were recently published in the Purdue Agricultural Economics ...

Drought loosens grip on Texas agriculture

Drought continues to linger in patches of the state, but Texas agricultural producers face much better cropping outlooks going into spring, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.  AgriLife Extension agronomists Jourdan Bell, Ph.D., Amarillo; Reagan Noland, Ph.D., San Angelo; and Ronnie Schnell, Ph.D., Bryan-College Station, agreed that soil moisture conditions ...

Evaluating post-partum interval and calving rates

Let’s talk about ways to positively impact post-partum interval (PPI) and pregnancy rates. Consider the following criteria for an efficient beef cow herd: Calving interval (number of days between calves) is 365 days or less. Females raise a calf to weaning. Cow mature weight and milk production fit the resources ...

What if cows could talk

You may not know it, but cows share information every time they burp, moo, and chew that speaks volumes about their health and welfare.  Through the work of researchers in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, we may soon know more about what cows are “telling” us and be ...

Can we compete?

Do you know what it costs per pound of beef produced from your operation? How much does it cost to maintain a cow annually? How has the increase in inputs impacted your beef operations profitability? The old saying of you can only manage what you measure still holds. One cannot ...

Beef export forecast lowered slightly

October beef exports totaled nearly 242 million pounds, almost 21 percent lower year over year and 11 percent below the 5-year average. Monthly exports to nearly every major market were lower year over year with the exception of Taiwan and Mexico. October exports to Taiwan were nearly 11 percent higher ...

Texas ranchers urged to remove livestock from low-lying areas

Flooding to impact Liberty, Victoria, Montgomery, Lavaca and Calhoun counties Emergency management officials are advising landowners in five Texas counties to remove livestock from flood-prone areas due to excessive rainfall upstream over the last three days. Counties impacted are Liberty, Victoria, Montgomery, Lavaca and Calhoun. “Runoff is occurring from heavy ...

Weighing the Market

Cattle markets entered the new year with a sense of renewed optimism as wholesale beef prices and Cattle futures appeared to etch a bottom, moving beyond the year-end estimates of increased production and lower 2024 prices. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) lowered forecast feeder steer prices (750-800 pounds, Oklahoma City) ...

Texas Trails

We could marvel at the life and times of Milt Hinkle even without references to Old West legends like Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Just accepting the fact that he was born on the XIT Ranch in Bovina, Texas in 1881, the son of George ...

Lower prices and higher volatility

Guiding principles for managing price risk are to act when prices are high or profitable, when volatility is low, and before it is too late. These will be addressed in reverse order based on recent conditions. Hedgers sometimes have little choice about when they ultimately market cattle. Pastures can run ...

Texas Side of Things

Happy New Year to all of you and I hope all your holiday events went well! What a way to start off 2024 with freezing temperatures covering pretty much all of Texas, the Midwest and beyond and not only cold winds but also some ice and snow in some areas. ...

Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch online course now registering

The Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch 12-week online course is open for registration. The program, offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, takes place Jan. 29-April 21. The course fee is $300, and online registration is required at https://tx.ag/GenNext. The course includes expert instruction on everything from starting a new ...

Finding a balance between biggest and best: Moving a cowherd toward optimum productivity

The use of genetic selection tools by cattle breeders has resulted in significant changes within the majority of major breeds over the last 30 years. With a few exceptions, the overwhelming genetic trend has been for more milk, higher weaning weight and bigger mature weight. Without question, the use of ...

Despite rising wage rate, agriculture dependent on H-2A program

According to data analyzed in a recent Market Intel report, H-2A usage reached new highs in fiscal year 2023, despite an increase in the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR), which outpaced the hourly wage growth rate of all private employees. This increase in both demand for workers and wage rate ...

Answering the cattle nutrition protein question

Knowing exactly how beef cattle utilize protein is important to answering many nutrition questions producers and industry nutritionists pose to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists like Jason Smith, Ph.D., Amarillo. Smith, an AgriLife Extension beef cattle nutritionist and associate professor in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Animal Science, ...

10 tips to bulletproof your beef operation

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – Beef producers can use a window of profitability to make their farm business more bulletproof. University of Missouri Extension agricultural economist Joe Horner says successful beef producers can make small changes in three areas to make their farm less vulnerable to risks: plants, animals and business. Being ...

Was 2023 a reminder to be more aggressive pricing cattle in 2024?

As I traveled in November and December, a lot of discussion centered around what happened to the cattle market from mid-September to mid-December. Feeder cattle markets steadily climbed higher for about 9 months before dropping sharply in the fourth quarter. My Extension travel slowed for a couple weeks around Christmas ...

Prepare for winter weather

Winter weather with sub-freezing temperatures is forecasted throughout much of the state over the next week. Here are some tips from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts on how to protect your plants, pipes and pets from the cold. The AgriLife Extension Disaster Education Network also has multiple resources for Texans to access and ...

Just Your Standard Bull

            I survived another New Year’s Day and birthday. I have officially made it to 64 years of age! Yes, I’ll need to sign up for Medicare this year which will mean big savings on my health insurance. So, I have that to look forward to…             Each year on my birthday, ...

USDA signs agreement with Agriculture Future of America to prepare young people for careers in agriculture

WASHINGTON,-U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Agriculture Future of America (AFA), formalizing a partnership to promote the common goals of strengthening the future competitiveness and sustainability of the U.S. agriculture industry by preparing more young people for careers in agriculture. ...

Gene-edited calf may reduce reliance on antimicrobials against cattle disease

Cattle worldwide face major health threats from a highly infectious viral disease that decades of vaccinations and other precautions have failed to contain. Federal, private-sector and Nebraska Husker scientists are collaborating on a new line of defense, by producing a gene-edited calf resistant to the virus. If follow-up research confirms its ...

Reviewing 2023 and looking ahead to 2024

The U.S. cowherd reached a 60-year low in 2023. Some of this decline is driven by efficiency in the beef industry. We produce more with less. As such, it would be misleading to compare today to 60 years ago. It still does speak to how significant the recent declines in ...

Texas Trails

Phillip Nolan and all the pretty horses Not only could wild horses not keep Philip Nolan away from Texas in the 1790s, but they were also the reason he kept coming back here and the reason he died here. Some historians have suggested more nefarious motives as the real reasons for his ...

Beef cow slaughter and cow culling trends

Fall is the time of year when beef cow culling peaks as producers decide which cows to carry or not to carry through the winter months. The beef cow slaughter data can be used as an indicator of the level of cow culling. The backdrop of beef cow slaughter numbers ...

2024 Cattle Raisers Convention & Expo registration now open

Fort Worth, Texas (Dec. 29, 2023) - Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association announced registration for the 2024 Cattle Raisers Convention & Expo taking place March 22-24, 2024 in downtown Fort Worth opened Jan. 1. The three-day event is expected to draw more than 4,000 cattle raisers from around the ...

2023 weather recap

Hope you all have had a great holiday season! It’s always amazing how quickly the year goes by… Here is a look at the total precipitation anomaly measured in inches, that was observed for 2023. As you can see, there were some very dry areas across parts of Texas, the ...

Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic set for Jan. 11 in Cameron

The annual Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic will be Jan. 11 in Cameron. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in Milam, Robertson, Bell, Burleson, Falls and Williamson counties will host the event. The Jan. 11 Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic in Cameron will feature topics such as cattle market updates, herd health and ...

Cattle market outlook featured at 62nd Annual Blackland Income Growth Conference

Beef producers will learn more about the 2024 cattle market outlook at the 62nd Blackland Income Growth Conference Jan. 9-10 at the BASE Extraco Events Center, 4601 Bosque Blvd., in Waco. The event is sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Jason Johnson, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist, ...

Healthy Habits for Immune Support

Many factors play into keeping us free from sickness, it is no secret that eating a well-balanced diet helps keep us healthy by supporting our immune system. Keeping our immune system strong is especially important during cold and flu season. Eating a regular diet that includes the following nutrients can ...

Reminder: Agriculture tax exemption holders need to renew their numbers by Dec. 31

Renewal only rolls around once every four years, so the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is reminding all agriculture producers that the Agricultural and Timber Exemption numbers they currently hold will expire on Dec. 31. Agriculture operators are reminded to renew their Agricultural and Timber Exemption tax numbers prior to Dec. 31. ...

Texas Trails

The Poet Ranchman of Texas One cold December night in either 1885 or 1887, a traveling salesman and freelance newspaper reporter from New Jersey named William Lawrence “Larry” Chittenden found himself in the tiny West Texas town of Anson. He was a guest at the Star Hotel where a Christmas ...

Weekly Livestock Comments for December 8, 2023

Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee FED CATTLEFed cattle traded $4 to $5 lower on a live basis compared to last week with live prices mainly between $169 and $171 while dressed prices were mainly $269 to $270. The 5-area weighted average ...

COWGIRL Magazine honors women of Texas A&M AgriLife

Five “women to watch” in the western industry, as recognized by COWGIRL Magazine, have ties to Texas A&M AgriLife. The COWGIRL 30 Under 30 list recognizes women under the age of 30 who are rising stars and leaders in their industry. All the women will be formally honored the weekend of March 8 ...

Cattle markets treading water

More fed cattle and beef production than previously expected continued to cap cattle prices in November. ERS increased forecast beef production for next year by 535 million pounds (+2.1%) compared to the previous month at 25.8 billion pounds. That was based on more expected steer and heifer placements — ultimate ...

Sales timing pushes cattle on feed inventory higher

The timing of feeder cattle sales led to higher year-over-year November 1st inventories of cattle on feed despite tighter overall cattle supplies this year. Total cattle on feed was reported at 11.9 million head on Nov. 1 which is 1.7 percent above a year ago. This increase might seem at odds ...

Weaning weight versus reproductive efficiency

Economic analysis of cow-calf operations shows a strong relationship between profitability and both percent calf crop weaned per exposed female and pounds weaned per exposed female. This “economic analysis” discussion often leads to a debate of what has more value to the profit potential of a commercial cow-calf operation that ...

USDA invests nearly $28M to support beginning farmers and ranchers

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced an investment of $27.9 million across 45 organizations that teach and train beginning farmers and ranchers, including programs for U.S. veterans who are entering into agricultural careers and starting new farming businesses. “The next generation ...

Research looks to transform manure into protein

Can you turn manure into a cow, chicken or fish? Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists are looking to do just that, in a roundabout, circular economy, kind of way. A three-year, $618,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture is funding a study by scientists in the Texas A&M ...

The Texas Side Of Things

As we come to the end of the year, I’m trying to think of the best song title I’ve ever known that is appropriate for how 2023 turned out. The best one I can think of, and hopefully you will agree, would be, “Looks Like We Made It,” to describe ...

BattleGround to Breaking Ground taking applications for Cohort 15

Applications are being accepted through Dec. 8 for Cohort 15 of the BattleGround to Breaking Ground program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The BattleGround to Breaking Ground project is a four-phase educational program available to veterans, active-duty military and their families, as well as beginning farmers and ranchers. “This project provides online education, ...

Kicking off family Christmas with the perfect tree

Texas Christmas tree production continues to hold strong despite impacts from extreme drought, according to a Texas A&M Forest Service expert. Fred Raley, Ph.D., Texas A&M Forest Service tree improvement coordinator, said he is expecting another year of high demand for Christmas trees. “Christmas trees are usually planted through November and March, ...

New CEW project exposes the realities of lab-grown meat 

Washington, DC – The Center for the Environment and Welfare (CEW) announced Dec. 4th, the launch of LabMeat.com, a new website to educate the public about the technology behind lab-grown meat. The website marks the beginning of a sustained education campaign to address consumer concerns surrounding this product, which was recently approved ...

Global supply, seasonal shift lead to lower cattle market prices

After an impressively bullish first half of the year, market prices for beef cattle have fallen in recent months, owing in part to reports reflecting an increased supply. Prices for the January 2024 CME© feeder cattle contract, for example, fell from a high of $268 per hundredweight in mid-September to ...

Mistletoe: Is the Christmas plant friend or foe?

Mistletoe may be a welcome holiday sight when hung over a doorway if a loved one is near, but, it can be an unwelcome intruder when found in your trees, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist. “Mistletoe is a hemiparasite – a semi-parasitic plant,” said Allison Watkins Schwarz, AgriLife Extension ...

NALC’s Rollins: WOTUS legal roller coaster may slow, but it’s not stopping

The term waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, is crucial to understanding which water bodies are protected by the Clean Water Act, but defining the term has been an ongoing challenge. That trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon, according to Brigit Rollins, staff attorney for the National ...

Just Your Standard Bull

On this day, Tuesday, November 21, 2023, I hereby declare my candidacy for the head football coach position at Texas A&M University. Furthermore, I will be seeking fully guaranteed compensation for a period no less than 10 years in the amount of $5 million dollars per year. Yes—we’re talking about ...

Texas peanut production up this season

Back-to-back seasons of drought continue to impact planted peanut acres making it another tough year for Texas peanut growers, according to a  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Emi Kimura, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension state peanut specialist, Vernon, said producers who were able to keep their crop under irrigation throughout the drought ...

Texas Trails

No count Saligny and the pigs As a Republic, Texas was hard to get along with. The Mexican government learned this the hard way. The French government discovered the same thing when it sent Alphonse Dubois de Saligny to Austin in 1840 to help determine if France should recognize the ...

Mouthfeel of food determines whether people go back for seconds

Are you a sucker, cruncher or chewer … maybe even a smoosher? Think about it: how do you taste your food? Texture has been one of the trends in food product messaging for several years, said Rhonda Miller, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow and meat science professor in the Texas A&M College of ...

Cattle economics: cattle production cost

What does it cost to carry a cow? What is the cost of production in the cattle business? These are questions that arise on occasion, but few people actually take the time to calculate their cost of production. There are annual budgets available through the land grant universities that provide ...

Building a veterinarian recruitment toolbox for rural Texas

In communities throughout Texas, the veterinarian serves as the cog of livestock and animal care, yet many rural areas are experiencing a historical lack of veterinary service. A collaborative pilot effort between the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases and the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is underway to enhance recruitment ...

More El Niño thoughts

Here is a look at the latest model forecast strength and duration for this El Niño event. Focus on the mean forecast bar graph on the bottom of the charts, as it is the most responsible estimate of strength and duration: As you can see, the event peaks from December-February, ...

2023 USDA Land Values summary

Earlier this fall, the USDA released its annual Land Values Summary for 2023.   Not surprisingly, the report indicates increasing values nationwide over the past year.   For “farm real estate value,” which takes into account the value of all land and buildings on farms, the U.S. average value was $4,080, up ...

Texas A&M begins construction on Animal Reproductive Biotechnology Center

Texas A&M AgriLife Research hosted leaders from across The Texas A&M University System in a groundbreaking ceremony of the new Animal Reproductive Biotechnology Center at Texas A&M-RELLIS, a 2,400-acre applied research campus in Bryan. The $13 million facility is a joint construction project of AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life ...

Digital agriculture, genetics, forages featured at Beeville station field day

With a rich history of research and developing innovative, profitable practices for beef cattle producers in South Texas and abroad, the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station at Beeville showcased emerging technologies in cattle production systems during a field day Nov. 2. Researchers at the event also announced a $25,000 gift to the ...

Applications open for Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Collegiate Conference

FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 8, 2023) –  Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association opened the application window for the inaugural 2024 Cattle Raisers Collegiate Conference Jan. 5-7 in Fort Worth. The three-day conference is geared towards college students interested in advancing career opportunities within the beef industry. Attendees will be provided ...

Texas Side of Things

This past weekend, I, along with several hundred thousand other Texas deer hunters, headed to our blinds to either to kill a deer or just escape everyday life. I’m not sure about the rest of the state, but in the hill country the hunting was tough. There are so many live oak and post oak acorns lying on the ground that most of the deer I saw didn’t even ...

Texas Trails

Daniel Edwards: Hero and Hoax Alvin C. York had nothing on Daniel Edwards, other than, perhaps, an abiding sense of honesty. Both men were awarded the Medal of Honor in recognition of their gallant actions in World War I, but York’s legacy has endured longer and stronger, partly due to ...

Arkansas 1st to take enforcement action on foreign-ownership law

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas became the first in the nation to enforce a state law banning certain foreign entities from owning agricultural land when its attorney general on Oct. 17th ordered a Chinese-owned company divest itself of farmland in Craighead County. “This is the first time that we’ve seen some ...

Still pulling cattle forward

Cattle markets began November, recovering from the October Cattle on Feed report. It surprised many with 6% more September placements than the previous year and significantly more than expected. Cattle futures took it on the chin, as did some cash prices, albeit at historically high levels. “It likely reflects producers ...

Livestock guardian dogs: Unsung heroes of the livestock protection business

Livestock guardian dogs are rockstars in the canine world, even if most people never see them perform live. These unique animals are so important to the ranching industry that the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in San Angelo created an entire program dedicated to these livestock protection professionals. Livestock guardian ...

Part 2-The BVD Virus in cow/calf operations-How do I test for BVD Virus?

If a calf tests negative, then the dam can be assumed negative. “BVD” or “Bovine Viral Diarrhea” virus is one of the most common and costliest viruses affecting cow/calf herds and backgrounding operations. Control of the BVD virus is best accomplished through implementation of three equally important practices: 1) surveillance ...

Timely rainfall helps cool-season crops establish before winter

Recent rainfall and cooler temperatures allowed producers across the state to plant cool-season crops and get root systems established before winter, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.  Outlook brighter coming out of drought Throughout the last week, different areas across the state other than the Far West and Panhandle regions, ...

Texas Trails

The chickens were the real heroes of the “war” named in their honor – the Chicken War. They came out of the fray with more dignity than the dignitaries, soldiers and empire builders who made the war, if not necessary, at least possible. They were also the only ones that ...

Part 1: The BVD Virus in Cow/Calf Operations-What does it look like and where did it come from?

“BVD” or “Bovine Viral Diarrhea” virus is one of the most common and costliest viruses affecting cow/calf herds and backgrounding operations. Control of the BVD virus is best accomplished through implementation of three equally important practices: 1) surveillance testing to detect and remove infected cattle, 2) vaccination to increase herd ...

Recent rainfall could cause spike in the fall armyworm population

Many producers throughout Texas are noticing an increasing fall armyworm population in their rangelands and forages in areas after receiving rainfall over the last few weeks. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts recommend producers be prepared to protect their valuable forages. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension forage specialist and professor in the Department ...

Right to farm and ranch set as Prop 1 on November ballot

(WACO, Texas)—The right to farm and ranch in Texas is set as Proposition 1 on the Nov. 7 General Election ballot. The proposition is supported by Texas Farm Bureau (TFB). “It’s great to have a proposition number for the right to farm and ranch constitutional amendment. There are 14 propositions ...

Just Your Standard Bull

I apologize for the brevity of this column because of being behind. In fact, the column is mainly about being behind! Running out of time, money and options seem to be the theme of this fall. First, as I write this column, I am sitting in a KOA RV site ...

Federal budget woes delay new Farm Bill progress

The 2018 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, 2023, as government officials focused on passing 45-day continuation of the federal budget. Amy Hagerman, an associate professor of agricultural economics and Oklahoma State University Extension agricultural policy specialist, said the expiration will have limited impact in the short term but could have long-term ...

Balance of trade has shifted as beef production has decreased

While the vast majority of beef produced in the U.S. is consumed domestically, international markets are a significant piece of the U.S. beef system. For perspective, the U.S. exported the equivalent of about 12.5% of its beef production during 2022, while importing roughly 12%. This was a fairly typical balance ...

Agricultural irrigation workshop set for Nov. 10 in Caldwell

Agricultural producers in Milam and Burleson counties are invited to an agricultural irrigation workshop Nov. 10 in Caldwell, hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District. Participants in the Nov. 10 agricultural irrigation workshop in Caldwell will learn about the latest irrigation technologies and ways ...

Weather Wise

Winter thoughts My thinking is that the upcoming winter could be pretty rough for parts of the Plains. The closest analog I can find, which I have shared with you many times, is 1972-73. This is the last time we had a strong east-based El Niño with a negative PDO. ...

Ensuring a safe and memorable hunting season

From the Coastal Bend to the Panhandle, hunters across private and public lands will take to the field as general white-tailed deer hunting season opens Nov. 4 in Texas. While the thrill of the hunt and anticipation of a successful harvest sits at the forefront of every hunter’s mind, Jacob ...

Beneficial rainfall leads to above-average fall planted wheat

Timely rainfall in some areas has been highly beneficial for the fall wheat crop, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.  Jourdan Bell, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Amarillo, said she expects to see above average acres planted in the northern High Plains region as a result of improved soil moisture conditions, ...

AgriLife Research field day to cover new tech in cattle systems Nov. 2 in Beeville

The Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station at Beeville will host a field day Nov. 2 featuring a broad overview of new technology used in beef cattle production systems. Cow herd sustainability will be one of the presentations by faculty in the Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Department of ...

Reviewing cow-calf share and cash lease agreements

The trend in cattle prices over the last year has been dramatically toward the upside. Prices have risen higher and faster than many market analysts thought possible for 2023. These changes in market value are having an impact on beef cow share and cash lease agreements in determining what is ...

Foreign-owned acres of U.S. farmland may be underreported

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hampered by an antiquated paper-based and loophole-riddled reporting system, the number of foreign-owned acres of agricultural land in the United States may be undercounted, witnesses told the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.       While the issue of foreign ownership of farm- and forestland in the United ...

Advancing sustainable land management and resilience across the Great Plains

Texas A&M AgriLife researchers are looking at a one-two punch to restore rangeland health and support sustainable livestock production today.       Historically, human-made and naturally occurring fires shaped the prairie landscapes and the movement and habits of grazing animals such as bison and pronghorn across the Great Plains. In turn, the successional patchwork ...

Demand for CHOICE beef strengthens

Could PRIME become the standard grade of beef in the future? The Choice Select spread has received little attention in this column, but it deserves a few comments as production of Choice grade beef dominates the production side and demand for Choice beef has strengthened over the past decade.        From ...

USDA’s insurance option offers first of its kind risk management tool for cow-calf producers

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Weaned Calf Risk Protection, a new insurance option for livestock producers in several states. This policy, offered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), offers Actual Production History (APH) coverage for beef cow-calf producers to insure revenue from their spring calving ...

Texas pumpkin yields hurt by heat and drought

Texas Crop and Weather Report – Oct. 3, 2023       Texas pumpkin producers experienced another season of yields well below average, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.        Mark Carroll, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Floyd County, said this year’s pumpkin production yields are down 20%-40% due to ...

Texas Trails

Some enterprising Chinese alchemists invented gunpowder in the 9th century. The formula is simple: saltpetre, sulfur and charcoal.  It helps if you have millions of bats because guano (dried bat feces) breaks down into saltpetre—  or potassium nitrate to you chemists.  Texas has millions and millions of bats and hundreds of bat caves. ...

Texas Side of Things

I know there comes a time in life when we all have to say goodbye, but it is never easy. Last Saturday, my familyhad to say goodbye to the matriarch of the Banner family. My mother, Drucilla Faye Banner, was very special to me because she was my inspiration and up to the day she passed, she still called me her little boy. She had the prettiest,authentic smile and a huge warm heart and if you look at the picture in her obituary, you will see what I mean. I have thanked God many times for giving me someone so special to be my mother ...

Best practices for vaccinating cattle, handling vaccines and caring for animal health equipment

Fall weaning and transportation can be a high-stress period for calves that may be transitioning from one operation to another. As animal care providers, it’s our job to take that into consideration and do all we can to reduce the stress load on these animals.       First, let’s think of the ...

Multi-county Southwest Texas Soil Testing Campaign set for Oct. 16-Nov. 2

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is hosting the Southwest Texas Soil Testing Campaign event Oct. 16-Nov. 2 at agency offices in Uvalde, Dimmit, Frio, Kinney, Medina and Zavala counties. The event will allow landowners to send soil samples to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory to be analyzed ...

High cattle prices face varied pressure

Cattle futures softened in recent weeks encumbered by seasonal weakness and negative outside markets tied to worries about higher interest rates and the potential impact on consumer beef demand.       For instance, Feeder Cattle futures lost an average of $10/cwt. across all contracts over the course of two weeks ending Oct. ...

Five reasons you need your veterinarian more than ever during a drought

During drought, beef producers might find a best friend in their local veterinarian, says University of Missouri Extension veterinary toxicologist Tim Evans.       “Although veterinarians always provide a valuable service to animal owners, their value to livestock producers becomes increasingly important during drought, high heat and limited forage availability,” says Evans. ...

Safety and preparedness tips for the solar eclipse

With six years since the last solar eclipse, state officials are warning Texans to prepare for the Oct. 14 event as it is expected to draw thousands to the Lone Star State. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Disaster Assessment Recovery, DAR, unit, along with state emergency preparedness officials, urge individuals to ...

Ranch Management University set for Oct. 23-27 in College Station

The award-winning Ranch Management University, scheduled Oct. 23-27 at Texas A&M University in Bryan-College Station, is open for registration with seating limited to the first 50 enrolled. The workshop is a collaboration of the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Department of Animal Science and Department of Agricultural ...

Management of bull preputial injuries

Preputial injuries in bulls can cause considerable economic loss and significantly impact a producer's breeding plans. Understanding the severity of a prepuce injury is critical to the outcome of the condition.        Bulls with pendulous sheaths and polled breeds have a high incidence of preputial injuries. A significant relationship appears to ...

Sporadic rainfall brings relief to parts of Texas

Recent rainfall helped relieve some areas across Texas, but more is needed to escape drought conditions, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.        After receiving above-average rainfall in May and June, the state was hit with extremely hot and dry conditions throughout July and August.        Over the past week, the Panhandle, ...

Just your Standard Bull

In my last column in the Sept. 1 issue, I had stated that as of Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, the temperature reached 100 degrees or hotter in San Antonio for the 60th time in 2023. This had surpassed all previous records. Well, according to the Houston Chronicle, as of Sept. 10th, ...

Texas Trails

A couple of alleged incidents       Two of the most famous incidents from America’s gunfighter era might or might not have taken place and involved (or didn’t involve) some of the most iconic names of the Old West: Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, notorious Texas gunslingers John Wesley Hardin and Clay ...

Wildfires wipe out income for Louisiana forest landowners

WESTPORT, Louisiana -- In west-central Louisiana, where wildfires have ravaged thousands of acres of drought-stricken forests in recent weeks, more has been lost than just trees.       For many people, the towering pines that define the landscape of this rural region represent family inheritances, years of investment and hopes for the ...

Cornstalks can fill forage gaps during drought

COLUMBIA, Missouri – Grazing cornstalks or drought-stricken corn can fill feed gaps during drought, says University of Missouri Extension beef nutritionist Eric Bailey.       There are some nutritional concerns, and producers must commit to moving cattle to new pastures to successfully use cornstalks as feedstuff, but there are benefits.       Cows are ...

Cattle reproduction: effect of calving difficulty on reproductive performance

Fall calving season is upon us and what happens during this time can affect our breeding season results. Dystocia is the proper name given to when there are any problems during birth, i.e., calving. It can be associated with a plethora of reasons such as a calf that is larger ...

History repeats in weather

What is an analog year? Years in the past with weather patterns similar to the current weather pattern and those projected by the weather models for the next several months. Basically, using history to help forecast the future… I always like to share with you some analog years for the ...

Effects of government shutdown would ripple through agriculture to consumers

Editors Note: Congress did pass a six week extension to current federal government funding on Sept. 30th. LITTLE ROCK — A  government shutdown could remove price and revenue safety nets for farmers and mean higher food prices for consumers, said Ryan Loy, extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division ...

Safety and preparedness tips for the solar eclipse

With six years since the last solar eclipse, state officials are warning Texans to prepare for the Oct. 14 event as it is expected to draw thousands to the Lone Star State. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Disaster Assessment Recovery, DAR, unit, along with state emergency preparedness officials, urge individuals to ...

Drought and fewer water sources not adversely affecting Texas wildlife

Texas wildlife received the right amount of rain at the perfect time for the crucial growing stages of 2023. In spite of worsening drought conditions, wildlife populations have prevailed, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. White-tailed deer and other wildlife were not adversely affected by the drought as the ...

Will you capitalize on increasing cow value?

What a difference a year makes when it comes to cow prices!  Whether it is weigh up cows at $1.10 per pound or young bred heifers and cows pushing $2,500 - $3,000 per head, the recent rise in prices has been dramatic. Many cow-calf producers will sell calves this fall ...

Beef exports face continuing challenges; export forecast lowered

U.S. beef exports continue to face a multitude of economic headwinds and have fallen significantly from last year’s record levels. On top of fewer exportable supplies due to lower domestic production, U.S. beef is more expensive on the global market due to the combination of higher domestic beef prices and ...

Webinar on white-tailed deer management set for Oct. 5

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present the webinar “White-tailed Deer Management” on Oct. 5 from noon to 1 p.m. White-tailed deer will be the focus of an Oct. 5 webinar talking about population, habitat and diet. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Michael Miller) The webinar is part of the ongoing Texas ...

Private pesticide applicator training course set Sept. 26 in Waco

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in McLennan County will be holding a private pesticide applicator training course on Sept. 26 in Waco. The course is from 8 a.m.-noon at the AgriLife Extension office in McLennan County, 4224 Cobbs Drive. Cost is $70 and is payable by check or cash only. To ...

USDA grant supports study of melatonin use in pregnant cows grazing toxic fescue on calf growth

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — With support from a $300,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station is continuing research on the use of a common sleep aid for humans to improve weight gains of calves whose mothers grazed toxic fescue while pregnant.       Tall fescue is the most common ...

Drought across Texas worsens 

High temperatures and drought conditions have persisted throughout the summer months in Texas, with little rain to provide relief.       While tropical storm Harold brought some relief along the coast of Texas, according to the Texas state climatologist, much of the state has witnessed above average temperatures — 4 to 8 ...

Seasonal price weakness likely muted

Cattle price increases slowed or stalled last month, pressured by extreme heat limiting cattle movement and packers reducing production in an effort to boost wholesale beef values. Heading into fall, prices typically come under seasonal pressure, although dwindling cattle numbers will likely lessen the impact.  “Cattle prices are trending higher ...

Weighing the Market

Seasonal price weakness likely muted Cattle price increases slowed or stalled last month, pressured by extreme heat limiting cattle movement and packers reducing production in an effort to boost wholesale beef values. Heading into fall, prices typically come under seasonal pressure, although dwindling cattle numbers will likely lessen the impact.  ...

The sleep tight policy

Being a seedstock producer often requires making a big investment in new genetics – a new herd bull or top-notch donor cow can run into the tens of thousands, easily. And because your investment is a living, breathing animal that will be walking around on four legs out in the ...

Texas Trails

Indianola: Gone with the wind Indianola already had a great future behind it when a hurricane blew it away in 1886, 40 years after its founding as Indian Point on Matagorda Bay. The U.S. Army established a base there because it was the nearest port to San Antonio, where the ...

Saddle & Sirloin honors Jarold Callahan

What do purple banners, board room gavels and steno pads have in common? They’re all items that epitomize Jarold Callahan’s significant influence on the beef industry. Aptly, the Edmond Oklahoma cattleman has been chosen as 2023 inductee into the Saddle & Sirloin Portrait Gallery.       Largely considered one of the highest ...

DC News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The highly anticipated new waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule released by the Environmental Protection Agency will remove scores of water bodies from regulation under the Clean Water Act.       Absent from the new rule is the “significant nexus” test which had been part of WOTUS since the ...

Texas Side of Things

Hopefully, it looks like we have finally made it through the summer of 2023. This past week, a cool front, not acold front, made it into Texas and dropped the temperatures down from 108 into the high 90’s which is a welcome relief for most of us. In fact, we received anywhere from a half inch to over an inch of rainin the Hill Country but it’s still not the measurable rainfall we desperately need before our first killing freeze, which hopefully won’t occur until the end of November. I’m 65-years-old and I can honestly say, I’ve never seen a year likethis! In Llano and Mason counties, we were green and lush at the beginning of July and in 60 days without anyrainfall, no cloudy days whatsoever and over 100 degrees every day…it dried out faster than I’ve ever seen it. The Llano ...

Fall pasture management program Sept. 19 in San Antonio

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County will present the Fall Pasture Management program Sept. 19 in San Antonio. The program will be held from 9 a.m.-noon in Suite 208 of the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge. Registration is $20 both at the door or in ...

2023 update on Texas pecan production, prices and pests

Although prices remain steady, consumers should pay extra attention to early pecan harvest production, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Drought may affect pecan production this year, but prices should remain steady. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie) Larry Stein, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Uvalde, said pecan production ...

CAB launching new direct marketing program

Could your freezer beef carry the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) brand logo? Perhaps. With the launch of a new program, Angus farmers and ranchers have the option to market their beef directly to consumers as CAB product. Ranch to Table, a direct partnership program between CAB and cattle operations using Angus genetics, ...

East Texas Wildlife Expo set for Oct. 6 in Jasper

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host the East Texas Wildlife Expo on Oct. 6 in Jasper. White-tailed deer will be one of the topics discussed at the Oct. 6 East Texas Wildlife Expo in Jasper. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Michael Miller) The expo will begin with registration at 8 ...

Spring 2024 Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association internships now open

FORT WORTH, Texas (Sept. 5, 2023) – Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association today opened the application window for 2024 spring internship programs. These exceptional internship programs offer students the chance to broaden their network and collaborate with Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association personnel and leading industry figures. Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association ...

Nuisance wildlife management program set Sept. 19 in Georgetown Topics: Removal techniques, safety concerns, laws and regulations SEPTEMBER 5, 2023 The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will hold a Nuisance Wildlife Management Program on Sept. 19 from 4-6 p.m. in Georgetown. Bee swarming behavior and wasp issues are an increasing nuisance in ...

CenTex Cattle Symposium set for Sept. 22nd in Riesel, Tx

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in McLennan County will host the 2023 CenTex Beef Cattle Symposium in Riesel on Sept. 22. The event will be held from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Moreno Ranches, 948 Farm-to-Market Road 2037. The fee is $25 and payable at the door by either check ...

Texas citrus continues to bounce back from freeze

Texas citrus growers appear to be back on track after Winter Storm Uri caused significant setbacks to many growers two seasons ago, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.       Before Winter Storm Uri delivered week-long ice and sub-freezing temperatures to much of the state in February 2021, Texas citrus growers ...

Not your standard bull

On Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, the temperature reached 100 degrees or hotter in San Antonio for the 60th time in 2023. This surpasses all the previous years recorded in history. AND IT’S JUST AUG. 27! This is not the kind of record you want to break. A popular record people seem ...

Pinkeye in cattle: Combating an expanded list of viruses and bacteria

Pinkeye is a well-known bacterial infection that cattle producers watch for each year. The number of cases often increase during the summer and into the fall. The bacterium Moraxella bovis is most associated with pinkeye infections. However, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System veterinarian said there are other viruses and bacteria that labs ...

Texas Trails

J.O. Langford’s Hot Springs J.O. Langford was sickly and despairing when he made his way from Midland to Alpine in 1909. He had forsaken his native Mississippi for Texas because he suffered frequent bouts of malaria in his home state and he thought the arid West Texas air might be ...

A No. 2 pencil is a beef producer’s best tool

COLUMBIA, Missouri – One of the most important tools for livestock producers is a sharp No. 2 pencil.       The pencil and some basic arithmetic can help take the emotion out of desperate measures to find feed. When you do the math, buying grain or other alternative feeds may be the ...

Fewer Cattle on Feed and lower placements

The latest Cattle on Feed Report was released on Aug. 17 and delivered a bit of surprise in the number of cattle placed on feedlots during July. The broader takeaway from the report is tighter feedlot supplies and plenty of support for cattle prices. However, there were some interesting details under the ...

Biden administration announces funding for high-speed internet in rural areas

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced nearly $700 million in grants and loans to connect thousands of rural residents, farmers and business owners in 22 states and the Marshall Islands to reliable, affordable high-speed internet through the ReConnect Program, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan ...

Consumer demand and high prices prompt cattle producer optimism

Optimism greeted beef cattle producers from around the country attending the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course recently for two primary reasons — high cattle prices and continued consumer demand, despite the higher beef prices.       Unlike in previous decades, Americans today eat higher-grade beef and pay a premium for it. Beef cattle ...

A&M Board of Regents approve Animal Reproductive Biotechnology Center construction

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved construction of the new $13 million Animal Reproductive Biotechnology Center at their meeting on Aug. 16. Construction is expected to begin in September with substantial completion scheduled for January 2025.       This initiative is a joint effort among the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life ...

Long range model update

Last month, I showed you what was up with the developing El Niño. This month, we’ll look at the various long range models and what they are projecting for the next few months. First, let’s look at the EURO Seasonal Model… September - November Precipitation Forecast While the three month ...

Corn basis following Mississippi River levels downward

LITTLE ROCK — Corn basis is sinking along with the levels of the Mississippi River as drought grips the upper reaches of the river and many of its tributaries. At Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday, the river was at minus 4.1 feet and was expected to drop to minus 5 feet by Sept. ...

Landowners’ conference set for Sept. 12 in Bastrop

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Bastrop County will host a Managing Your Piece of Texas landowners’ conference on Sept. 12 in Bastrop. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the American Legion Post 533, 3003 Loop 150. Registration is $10 before the Sept. 5 deadline and $20 ...

Texas A&M Forest Service opens emergency grant applications for wildfire disaster declaration

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Emergency grant applications are now open for volunteer fire departments included in Governor Abbott's wildfire disaster declaration.       “Volunteer firefighters are our first line of defense against wildfires in Texas,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “During this active summer season, these firefighters are ...

More than just mortgages: Interest rate hikes affect farming too

LITTLE ROCK — Expect one more interest rate hike before the end of the year, says Ryan Loy, extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. In his newly released fact sheet “How are Interest Rates Influenced?” Loy discusses the rationale behind this year’s interest rate increases, ...

Northeast Texas Panhandle Beef Conference set for Sept. 7 in Lipscomb

The Northeast Texas Panhandle Beef Conference will be hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service on Sept. 7 at the Wolf Creek Heritage Museum in Lipscomb. The program will begin at 1:30 p.m. Registration is $10 and payable at the door. “After several years of drought and selling off some or ...

Women In Ag Conference set for Sept. 12-13 in Fort Worth

The inaugural Women in Agriculture Conference will be held on Sept. 12th and 13th in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth, Texas.       The two-day event is designed to assist farm and ranch women with problem solving, record keeping and decision-making skills. The conference will cover topics designed to help them with ...

QuickBooks Online Training for farmers and ranchers goes live

Producers needing to learn better record-keeping practices no longer have to wait for a training in their area, as the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is now offering a Beginning QuickBooks Online Training for Farmers and Ranchers. The primary goal of the online version of this training course is to help farmers and ranchers ...

Texas Side of Things

    Last week I attended my favorite annual cattle event, the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course (BCSC).  It’s always good to go back to College Station and see all the new facilities under construction and to see and learn about the most up-to-date information concerning the cattle industry. Once again, my ...

Texas timber finding added value in new markets

The Texas timber sector has experienced ebbs and flows of supply and demand and other market forces, but new products and opportunities are adding value to trees, said a Texas A&M Forest Service expert.       Fiber grown, managed, harvested, processed and manufactured around the state continues to play a big role in Texas’ ...

What will you do with profits?

      Cow-calf producers are looking at the potential for significant profits for 2023 due to high calf prices. This income may give cow-calf producers the rare opportunity to invest capital back into the ranch.       The following are options, in no particular order, to consider when thinking about and planning for investments ...

Drugstore cowboys

A lot of what we can say about Clark Stanley or Charlie Bigelow would come off today as a left-handed compliment or even a downright insult. Where’s the glory in being history’s best-known snake oil salesman, or even the original Drug Store Cowboy? Stanley and Bigelow have been called both ...

NCBA slams presidential overreach in latest Antiquities Act Designation

WASHINGTON (Aug. 8, 2023) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) slammed President Biden’s use of the Antiquities Act to put sweeping federal designations on over a million additional acres of land in Arizona, amounting to yet another presidential land grab.       “This kind of use of the Antiquities Act is one ...

Cattle plus extreme heat equals a bad combination

This summer’s extreme heat has been and continues to be brutal on cattle. When the temperature at night remains above 80 degrees, it’s really hard for cattle to cool down.       During an average year, August is the worst month for heat stress in cattle. But this year, high temperatures arrived ...

Mathis selected to lead Texas A&M Department of Animal Science

Clay Mathis, Ph.D., has been named the new head of the Department of Animal Science, making a return to the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, beginning Oct. 1.       Mathis, a native of New Braunfels, Texas, is no stranger to the department as he earned both his bachelor’s in animal ...

OSU researchers awarded NSF funds to study rural resilience

In so-called flyover states across the U.S., rural communities face issues that most people never see.        One major issue is water. The water resources on which these rural communities depend are often threatened by changing land management and climate.        While these ongoing changes may disproportionally impact rural communities, the majority ...

Herd expansion on hold

Notwithstanding the weekly push and pull of grain market wonderments and beef packers reining in production to boost boxed beef prices, cattle prices continued beyond the expectations of many last month. The already bullish outlook grew even brighter. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) increased projected feeder steer prices (750-800 lbs. ...

McLennan County Small Landowner Educational Series starts Aug. 21 in Waco

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in McLennan County is kicking off its McLennan County Extension Small Landowner Educational Series on Aug. 21 in Waco. The series will be held from Aug. 21-Sept. 25 from 6-8 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension office in McLennan County, 4224 Cobbs Drive. Registration cost is ...

Texas Hunting, Fishing Licenses on sale Aug. 15

AUSTIN— It’s August, which means kids are back in school and the fall hunting and fishing seasons are quickly approaching. Before packing your favorite tackle and camo for trips, be sure to purchase an annual fishing and hunting license for 2023-24. Current-year Texas hunting and fishing licenses (except the Year-from-Purchase ...

Big Country Beef Cattle Conference set Aug. 24 in Abilene

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host the Big Country Beef Conference on Aug. 24 at the Taylor County Expo Center in the Big Country Hall, 1700 Texas Highway 36, Abilene. The event will run from 8:15 a.m.-4:15 p.m., with registration and coffee starting at 7:45 a.m. Call the AgriLife Extension office of Taylor ...

New Hereford magazines champions heterosis

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The American Hereford Association (AHA) launched a new publication in August — Baldy Advantage — highlighting the experiences and insights of commercial cow-calf producers using Hereford-sired baldy cattle to their benefit. “Heterosis is tough to beat and harder to ignore in commercial cow-calf production,” says Bill Goehring, AHA president. ...

Fire danger high across parts of state this week

The Texas A&M Forest Service has raised the State Wildfire Preparedness Level to Level 4 due to the recent increase in wildfire activity statewide and growing potential for wildfires to become more severe and harder to control.“The decision to move to a Preparedness Level 4 indicates that the complexity of wildfires across ...

Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch online course now registering

The Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch 12-week online course is open for registration. The program, offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, takes place Aug. 21-Nov. 12.       The course fee is $300, and online registration is required at https://tx.ag/GenerationNext2023. Because enrollment is limited to 100 registrants, those interested in participating ...

Just Your Standard Bull

The last time I wrote to you was during our family trip to Maine. For those of you who didn’t read it, I will remind you that we have a motor coach and drove there and back. Google Maps says that from our storage facility near Boerne, to Freeport Maine ...

War in Ukraine continues to cause havoc in wheat market

      Recent aggression in the war between Ukraine and Russia propelled roller-coaster wheat prices last week.       Mark Welch, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service grain economist, Bryan-College Station, said continued conflict and/or escalation is likely to further contribute to volatile global wheat prices and influence U.S. production in 2024.       Russian and Ukrainian farmers ...

CDP Brangus announces a new fall production sale date and location for Nov. 15–16, 2023

El Dorado, Arkansas – CDP Brangus is excited to announce the move of their fall cattle production sale to El Dorado, Arkansas. The new sale location marks a significant milestone for the livestock industry in the region, providing ranchers, cattlemen, cattlewomen, buyers and sellers with a cutting-edge marketplace to conduct ...

Reduce loss when storing bales outside

How we store hay makes a difference in the potential for winter forage losses. It is estimated that unprotected round bales of hay stored outside can experience four to eight inches or more of spoilage loss on the outside of the bale over the course of the winter.       A weathered ...

Cattle producers praise congressional resolution supporting Beef Checkoff

WASHINGTON (July 13, 2023) - Cattle industry leaders praised the introduction of a bipartisan congressional resolution recognizing the importance of commodity checkoff programs, including the Beef Checkoff.       "As a cattle producer who invests in the Beef Checkoff, I know how important this program is to the continued success of America’s cattlemen ...

Cattle inventory updates from July’s Cattle, and Cattle on Feed Reports

Two key reports were released on July 21st that give the latest insights on cattle herd dynamics. USDA-NASS released the mid-year Cattle report and the monthly Cattle on Feed report. While there is plenty to digest in each report, we note a few key points in this article.       For the 2014-present cattle cycle, July cattle ...

Animal Agriculture Alliance and National Institute for Animal Agriculture announce working partnership

July 26, 2023 – The Animal Agriculture Alliance (Alliance) and National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) announced a working partnership between the two organizations to maximize areas of expertise to ensure sound scientific information about animal agriculture is being communicated effectively to key audiences.         As part of the working relationship, ...

A fiddler’s redemption

Very few guitar players came to Texas in the early days of Anglo settlement. Guitars were too big to carry. Pianos were out of the question. Fiddles, however, didn’t take up much space, nor did banjos, and those were the instruments – along with harmonicas, of course – that early ...

Eating tendencies of Brahman steers can affect meat tenderness

The dependence of residual feed intake on growth and tenderness of Brahman cattle, a common breed chosen for crossbreeding cattle along the southern U.S., including Texas, was the focus of a cattle feeding study published in Applied Animal Science journal.       The study, “Relationships of residual feed intake and residual average daily gain ...

El Niño update

Time to check in on our old friend, and see what he is up to… The graphic below shows current sea surface temperature anomalies. A couple of things to note, before I show you what it looked like earlier this year: 1) The warmest water in the ENSO region is ...

Women In Ag Conference set for Sept. 12-13 in Fort Worth

The inaugural Women in Agriculture Conference will be held on Sept. 12th and 13th in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth, Texas.       The two-day event is designed to assist farm and ranch women with problem solving, record keeping and decision-making skills. The conference will cover topics designed to help them with ...

Texas rice crop conditions mixed amid volatile global market

Weather conditions delivered a mixed bag of yield and quality results for Texas rice producers, but volatility in the global rice market could help growers, according to Texas A&M AgriLife experts. Texas rice acres were down compared to last year, and yield numbers and quality have not lived up to the spring-time ...

2023 Honorary Angus Foundation inductees announced

Whether it is the glaring passion of the Jenkinses or the subtle smile of the Pollards, there is an indisputable dedication to supporting the future of Angus in this year’s inductees of the Honorary Angus Foundation. Milford and Peggy Jenkins of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Dr. Barry and Roxanne Pollard of Waukomis, Oklahoma, were ...

Cattle producers direct NCBA action on cell-cultured products

WASHINGTON (July 26, 2023) - Today, the members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) passed a directive at the NCBA Summer Business Meeting to continue the association’s advocacy efforts on transparent labeling and inspection of cell-cultured protein products. “Cattle producers are not afraid of a little competition, and I know ...

How to manage drought-stressed ponds

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Drought combined with high temperatures can have devastating effects on fish ponds, but pond owners can take steps to alleviate these effects. During a drought, pond waters can drop to dangerous levels, increasing aquatic plant growth, decreasing water quality and stressing fish, making them more vulnerable to ...

Opportunities and challenges ahead in the cattle business

Looking back at 40 years of advances in the beef industry and toward the next 40 years of opportunities and challenges will be the highlight of the general session during the 69th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course in Bryan-College Station set for Aug. 7-9. The largest event of its kind, ...

Native rangelands recovering, but drought remains

Early summer and subsequent rains helped Texas’ native rangelands bounce back from drought.  However, Texas A&M AgriLife experts warn ranchers that the more than 100 million acres of statewide grazing land they rely on may still be recovering.  Bill Fox, Ph.D., director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Center for Natural Resource Information Technology and Texas ...

Producer-minded research, outreach drives new face of Texas A&M McGregor Research Center

The Texas A&M McGregor Research Center, one of the largest cow-calf facilities tied to a land-grant university, is on its way to becoming the go-to research facility for area livestock producers to look for answers under the direction of Ryon Walker, Ph.D.       Walker was hired in late 2021 as the first onsite ...

Pork exports highest in two years; beef exports below record large, year-ago totals

Led by another outstanding month in Mexico and robust demand for variety meat, exports of U.S. pork continued to gain momentum in May, according to data released by USDA and compiled by USMEF. While well below the record-large volume and value posted in May 2022, beef exports improved from April ...

Texas Trails

A timeless tune A.P. Carter, patriarch of the first family of country music, the Carter family, spent much of his adult life combing the hills and hollers of the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond for songs. Many of the songs he found are among the classics that took the music ...

The Texas Side of Things

     I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to fly commercially as much as I used to.  Back in the 80’s and 90’s, I flew often on my way to cattle sales in the southeastern states. But then things changed and eventually I had enough auctions in Texas that I ...

Finding the cause for abortions and stillbirths in cattle- Why is it still so difficult?

Determining the cause of abortions and stillbirths in cattle remains a significant challenge for veterinary diagnostic laboratories, despite vast improvements in the tests used to detect infectious organisms. Most studies find that only 20-50% of abortion cases submitted are “solved”, meaning the first initiating event resulting in the death of ...

Drought in the Corn Belt is concerning

The June Acreage report released the end of June by USDA-NASS brought some good news for livestock producers. The report places the total U.S. planted corn acreage at 94.1 million acres. USDAs latest estimate for 2023 corn acreage is 2.3% higher than their previous estimate and 6.2% percent higher than the last year’s ...

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension expands statewide disaster network

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Disaster Assessment and Recovery (DAR), unit is expanding its statewide disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts following the  appropriations to support the “Keeping Texas Prepared” initiative in the 88th legislative session. “The expansion of AgriLife Extension Service’s Disaster Assessment and Recovery unit will benefit the entire state,” ...

EPA to issue new WOTUS rule by September

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers plan to issue a revised definition of waters of the United States, or WOTUS, by Sept. 1, the EPA said in a court filing on Monday.       The action follows the May 25 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court ...

Cattle prices continue record pace

Although higher cattle prices were expected by many to increase as supplies contract, the pace through mid-July continued hotter than many originally anticipated. Feeder steer prices (600-700 lbs.) at the start of July were $61-$71/cwt. higher year over year on a regional basis — up 30-40% — according to USDA’s ...

United States cattle inventory down 3%

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2023 – There were 95.9 million head of cattle and calves on U.S. farms as of July 1, 2023, according to the Cattle report published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).Other key findings in the report were:Of the 95.9 million head inventory, ...

Ranch technology to be spotlighted at Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course Aug. 7-9

The 69th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course in Bryan-College Station will offer some cutting-edge ranch technology, along with basic beef cattle production information.       The annual event is set for Aug. 7-9, with more than 1,900 cattle producers expected to come to the Texas A&M University campus, making it the largest event of ...

Beef 706 set for Aug. 14-15 on Texas A&M campus

Beef producers considering marketing directly to consumers or just wanting to know where the value is in their beef can attend Beef 706 on Aug. 14-15 at the Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center, 488 Olsen Blvd., College Station. The goal of Beef 706, hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension ...

Cutouts jump higher

Not to be outdone by record fed cattle prices, cutout values have jumped higher.  While the cutout out is dramatically higher, it is not at record highs.  The Choice cutout hit $337.43 per cwt on June 12th, up $23 over the last week and up $30.99 since June 1st.  It ...

House committee votes to restrict foreign land purchases

Recently, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted to adopt an amendment restricting the purchasing of U.S. agricultural land by the Chinese Communist Party, Russia, North Korea, or Iran. The vote tallied 34-26. The amendment to the Agriculture and Rural Development Appropriations bill was introduced by Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and comes ...

Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course set for Aug. 7-9

The Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course Aug. 7-9 is expected to bring almost 2,000 cattle producers to the Texas A&M University campus. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie) The 69th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, the largest event of its kind in the nation, dates are set ...

Beefenomics: Cattle market update, resilient beef demand

Grilling season has begun in earnest. Beef price data suggests beef demand is strong during this important sales period. Retail prices for the month of May jumped by three percent compared to last month, are five percent above last year, and well above the previous 5-year average. Recent weekly beef ...

A new era for Cavender Ranches

Joe Cavender, Cavender Ranches, Tyler, Texas recently announced the decision to become an independent Brangus and Charolais cattle producer. “I have made a lot of close friends and have enjoyed working with and respect our partners in both Genetrust and Cavender-Draggin’ M and Partners. However, I feel like the time ...

Acclaimed Oklahoma rancher Terry Stuart Forst headlines September Women in Agriculture Symposium

Terry Stuart Forst will be a featured speaker at Women in Agriculture in Fort Worth, Sept. 12-13. Photo by Clay Forst. Waurika, Oklahoma rancher and National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree Terry Stuart Forst will be a featured speaker for Women in Agriculture, an educational symposium hosted by Tarrant County ...

The Branch Ranch Purchases Williams Brangus Herd

Tommie Rogers, owner of The Branch Ranch, with locations in Mansfield and Natchitoches, Louisiana has announced the purchase of the Williams Brangus Cowherd in its entirety. The herd has been moved to Giddings, Texas where Branch Ranch will maintain a Texas division. “We have been purchasing Williams’ genetics since the ...

The rubbing doctors of West Texas

The Milling Brothers—Roscoe and George— billed themselves as rubbing doctors and utilized elements of massage therapy, magnetic healing and hypnosis in their respective practices. They eventually added mineral water to their list of treatments at a number of popular West Texas sanitariums in the early 1900s.  Both brothers were profoundly ...

Sympathies extended to Hodde and Verstuyft families

Betty Linda Hammond Verstuyft of Von Ormy, Texas, passed away peacefully on June 6, 2023 in her home surrounded by loved ones at the age of 77. Verstuyft faced a sudden and brief battle with pancreatic cancer. She was born Nov. 20, 1945, in Kansas City, Kansas, to Richard Hammond ...

Texas cotton crop outlook uncertain

Texas cotton production has taken a hit from the weather and losses could impact U.S. cotton production. The uncertainty surrounding Texas cotton could influence cotton prices throughout the season. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft) Texas Crop and Weather Report – June 27, 2023 Texas cotton growers whose crops ...

Rainfall… How are we doing?

Time to take a little stock in regard to how much rain we’ve had over the past 60 days. The map below shows totals since late April… Here is that represented in terms of above or below average… You can see that most of Texas is doing ok. There are ...

Rocket mail

One sweltering summer afternoon in July of 1936, patrons of the U.S. Bar in Reynosa, Mexico were nursing their beers and tequila, hiding from the afternoon heat, when a rocket fired from the American side of the Rio Grande River plowed into the bar under a sign that read: “The ...

Pasture conditions and market update

USDA-NASS begins releasing pasture and range conditions in May each year and the charts below show conditions in the Southeast and Southern Plains regions as compared to a year ago and the five-year average from 2017-2021. These charts show the percentage of range and pasture that is classified as “poor” ...

The Texas Side of Things

 Isn’t it a great time to be in the cattle business?   The grass is green, wildflowers are brilliant and pretty, the cows are all fat and lazy and the calf market is going crazy. Speaking of wildflowers, in the Hill Country when it rains like it has been doing ...

UTIA investigates beef price spread relationship with processing capacity utilization

USDA grant funds a closer look at price spread concerns Source: University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Researchers from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and Mississippi State University teamed up to investigate the interaction of national slaughter and price spread — the difference between the ...

Meat prices up, down as grilling season kicks off

Consumers are likely to see a mixed bag when it comes prices on beef, port and poultry cuts this grilling season. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie) Texas Crop and Weather Report – May 31, 2023 Grilling season has begun, and consumers should expect a mixed bag when it ...

Do heifers have more potential value than steers?

When going out to tag calves, most cow-calf producers would prefer to find a new bull calf rather than a heifer. This is logical given that the bull calf, which in most cases will become a steer, will weigh more, and bring more money per pound when selling at weaning ...

Women In Ag Conference set for September in Fort Worth

The inaugural Women in Agriculture Conference will be held on Sept. 12 th and 13 th in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth, Texas.The two-day event is designed to assist farm and ranch women with problem solving, record keeping and decision-making skills. The conference will cover topics designed to ...

Nancy Pruitt passes

Nancy Pruitt, nationally recognized cattle photographer, passed away on May 13, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas, following emergency brain aneurysm surgery. Pruitt lived in Springtown, Texas at the time of her death.She was a 1976 graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in agricultural journalism. In 1977, she joined ...

Anthrax quick facts: Bacterial infection, bovine anthrax or just anthrax: A concern for herbivores

As we enter summer months, livestock producers and outdoor enthusiasts across the state, especially those in South Texas, have more to think about than rising temperatures. Anthrax, sometimes incorrectly referred to as bovine anthrax, is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which occurs naturally in soil. The Texas A&M Veterinary ...

Supreme Court WOTUS ruling narrows definition of wetlands, but what about levees?

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on May 25th narrowed the definition of what is considered “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act. But there remains room for discussion on wetlands separated by levees for flood control and dry creek beds, said the National Agricultural Law Center’s ...

Does beef supply impact consumer demand?

A question was asked recently concerning beef supply and demand. From an economics perspective, supply and demand are calculated based on quantity and price. The general public uses these terms a little more loosely and sometimes confuses demand with quantity demanded and the same on the supply side. However, the ...

Fed cattle prices surge higher

Supply and demand fundamentals, and good old-fashioned leverage, were on glaring display the last week of May as negotiated cash fed cattle prices jumped $3-$9/cwt. week to week on a live basis, from $175-$180/cwt. in the Southern Plains to $183-$188 in the North. For broader perspective, the weekly weighted average ...

Genetics can improve livestock grazing in South Texas

Milt Thomas, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research beef cattle systems leader at Beeville, looks over the herd with a student, Ambree Sandell. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Carlos Serna) Improving beef cattle systems is priority at Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at Beeville Using new fitness traits like heat tolerance ...
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