Category Archives: Livestock

Summer drought affecting livestock producers in the Big Country

ABILENE, Texas — The State of Texas is the largest producer of livestock in the United States. Much of the State of Texas is dealing with drought conditions right now, but how is this affecting livestock in the Big Country? Dr. Jason Sawyer is an Associate Professor of Animal Sciences and Beef Management at Texas A&M University, and he believes that this summer’s drought could have an impact on cattle prices. “We typically see cattle prices decline a modest amount as people take older stuff to market and… Read More →

5 things to consider when working cattle

By Burt Rutherford Have you ever videoed yourself working cattle? Ron Gill says it can be instructive—humbling, but instructive. That’s one of the many, many golden tidbits that around 100 people took away from a recent Stockmanship and Stewardship program at Colorado State University. It was one of several held around the country. Gill, a longtime Extension beef specialist with Texas A&M University, teamed with Curt Pate, a Montana rancher and cattle handling expert, and Dean Fish, who ranches on Arizona’s border with Mexico, to give a cattle handling demonstration…. Read More →

Anthrax a growing concern as Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory confirms 20th case

By Susan Himes SAN ANGELO — Anthrax continues to be a growing concern in Texas, especially through the “anthrax triangle” region, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist. The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, TVMDL, has now confirmed 20 positive cases of anthrax in animals, the Texas Animal Health Commission announced in their fifth situational update report. The first case was confirmed June 21 and the most recent case was confirmed Aug.13. In an average year, TVMDL diagnoses two to three cases. However this year’s wet… Read More →

Nitrate toxicity becomes a factor during hot, dry conditions

By Lacey Newlin When the rain stops, the heat persists and the plants start to stress, nitrate toxicity concern starts to creep to the surface. “With nitrate toxicity, the plant will either absorb nitrate or ammonia from the soil,” explained Jason Banta, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist. “In the case of nitrate, when the plant is absorbing it through the roots and if, for some reason, the plant stops growing normally, then it will not convert that nitrate to amino acids and then protein so we… Read More →

Protecting Penned Animals from Fire Ants

By: Molly Keck and Bastiaan M. Drees The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), poses serious threats to many small and young animals. While true for animals that roam free or are confined in a large corral or pasture, animals that are even more confined are at a higher risk of attack. Confined livestock (such as chickens, goats, pigs, rabbits, and sheep) for 4-H or FFA programs, pets in kennels, horses in stables, and exotic animals in zoos are just a few of the many… Read More →

Increased Oversight for Antibiotic Use

By Todd Carroll When the first antibiotic, penicillin, was developed in 1929, discussions began about different bacteria being able to become resistant to the drug. Those discussions continue today for the different antibiotics used to treat human beings as well as animals, and the FDA is now talking about increasing the oversight that veterinarians have in the use of antibiotics to treat animals. Thomas Hairgrove is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension veterinarian. “There’s a five-year plan that FDA’s talking about and one of the things in that five-year… Read More →

Managing a calving and breeding season without removing bulls

By: Dr. Bruce Carpenter & Dr. Thomas Hairgrove “A cow should have a calf every year.” For most cow-calf producers this is a true statement because the cow costs the same amount of money to keep – whether or not it raises and weans a calf to sell. Based on the most recent Texas A&M AgriLife Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA) database, it costs the average Texas producer $796 to keep a mature cow around for a year. Of course, not everyone is “average.” The lowest-cost-quartile producers only spent… Read More →

Feedyard Technician Program for high schoolers earns TEA certification

By Kay Ledbetter AMARILLO — The Texas Education Agency has added the Feedyard Technician Program for high school students to its certified Career and Technical Education list. The program is jointly sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Cattle Feeders Association and West Texas A&M University The Career and Technical Education program ensures Texas students are prepared for in-demand, high-skill, high-wage careers, according to TEA. About 200 industry-based certifications for public school accountability were approved for 2019-2020. Brady Miller, Texas Cattle Feeders Association director of market, membership… Read More →

AgriLife Extension grass-fed beef conference May 30-31

By Blair Fannin COLLEGE STATION – The popular grass-fed beef conference is scheduled May 30-31 and will provide a comprehensive look at grass-fed beef production and marketing opportunities in Texas, according to organizers. This Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service conference provides in-depth instruction and is hosted on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station. “There will also be information and demonstrations presented on carcass fabrication and determining beef cutout value. Overall, this program allows attendees to take home a lot of information and put it to work.”“This… Read More →

US cattle inventory continues to build

By Blair Fannin FORT WORTH – As the nation’s cattle inventory continues its expansion, consumer demand is increasing at a steady clip, according to experts speaking at the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Convention in Fort Worth. For Texas producers, the year is off to a good start with above-average rainfall and green forage on pastures for grazing. “We are wet,” said Randy Blach, CEO of CattleFax, looking at a U.S. drought map during his CattleFax beef outlook presentation. “There’s not much red on the map.” Blach said… Read More →