Tag Archives: Joe Paschal

African Swine Fever outbreak could devastate US swine herd

By Joe Paschal African Swine Fever (ASF as it is commonly referred to) has been in the news recently as a result of an outbreak in China. It is a major health threat to swine production in many countries, but fortunately it is not in the United States. ASF is a highly contagious viral disease that causes death in domestic and wild pigs of all ages. Symptoms include high fever, decreased appetite and weakness, red, blotchy skin or skin lesions; diarrhea and vomiting; and coughing and difficulty in… Read More →

Texas has the largest cow herds in the US

By Rolan Rodriguez Now  beef cattle numbers in the state are the largest in the country for the first time in years. Unfortunately for those who love steak and hamburgers, the expanding herd size hasn’t translated into dropping the retail prices. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist Dr. Joe Paschal says Texas has the largest cow herd in the U.S., including cattle, calves, and dairy cattle. He estimates the total at about 94 million head. “Right now, based on the number of heifers that are entering the feed… Read More →

Bull selection includes muscle potential

By Dr. Joe Paschal, j-paschal@tamu.edu, 361-265-9203 The mesquite is beginning to leaf out and that has always been a sure sign of one thing – spring. Spring in South Texas and the Gulf Coast is when most of our herds calve and when many of us buy replacement bulls (actually I bought mine in December but hang with me here). Most of us still sell our calves at weaning so besides a sound footed, fertile, and easy calving bull, well-muscled bulls are always in high demand. In the… Read More →

Stretching limited hay supplies

By Dr. Joe Paschal, j-paschal@tamu.edu, 361-265-9203 It seems counterintuitive that you might need to consider a strategy to stretch your hay supply this winter considering all the moisture we have had recently, but a lot of hay was fed early this past summer and not much made since then. My colleague in east Texas, where the dry spell was more severe, recently wrote two bulletins about doing just that. Jason Banta, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Beef Cattle Specialist in Overton, sent them to me, and for some… Read More →

7 Things Every Small Cattle Producer Should Know

By Dr. Joe Paschal, j-paschal@tamu.edu, 361-265-9203 The other day, I was reading a paper written by a former colleague, Rick Machen titled “Seven Things Every Small Producer Should Know,” and I thought it was worth covering the points he made here. It can be accessed at beef.tamu.edu under “Publications.” Size is relative in Texas. According to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture, the most recent survey, almost half of the state’s cowherd is in herds of 100 head or more, but they represent less than 10 percent of farms and… Read More →

Cow with better body condition has stronger calving process

Writer: Dr. Joe Paschal, 361-265-9203, joe.paschal@ag.tamu.edu Body condition scoring refers to evaluating the amount of body fat in a cow (or any other animal). Under normal grazing conditions, cows carrying more body fat are more efficient because they are more adapted to their environment. Cows (and bulls) that are more adapted to their environment are more fertile and productive. The value of body condition scoring has been known since at least the early 1960s when Dr. J. N. Wiltbank reported that cows in better body condition, or that were… Read More →

Horn flies can damage cattle skin, need to be controlled

Writer: Dr. Joe Paschal, 361-265-9203, joe.paschal@ag.tamu.edu The other day when I was turning out the cows to a rested pasture full of green grass and winter weeds, I noticed many of them had several horn flies and other cows had quite a few. I guess it is going to be an early season. The horn fly, which seems to be a misnomer since they congregate on cattle without horns, too, were introduced to the U.S. from Europe in the late 1800s. They were called horn fly because they clustered… Read More →

The forgotten goat has grown in popularity

Writer: Dr. Joe Paschal, 361-265-9203, joe.paschal@ag.tamu.edu As I drive up and down the roads of South and Central Texas, I often see a pasture with goats, mostly Boers now. In the late 1980s, when I was still a young extension specialist, C. Wayne Hanselka, extension range specialist (now retired), and I decided to compile as much information about meat goat production as possible from folks in the business at that time. Other than dairy breeds and Angoras, goats back then were called “Spanish.” The Boers (“Boer” means “farmer” in… Read More →

Ranchers learn about the injection-site blemishes, value of beef carcass

Writer: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, b-fannin@tamu.edu Contact: Dr. Joe Paschal, 361-265-9203, joe.paschal@ag.tamu.edu FORT WORTH – A team of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists demonstrated how much injection–site blemishes can diminish the value of high-end cuts from the beef carcass at the recent Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Convention in Fort Worth. Dr. Joe Paschal, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist from Corpus Christi, was joined by Dr. Dan Hale, AgriLife Extension meat specialist, and Dr. Tom Hairgrove, AgriLife Extension beef cattle veterinarian and food animal specialist, both from College Station, who… Read More →

Winter supplementation affects calving

Writer: Joe Paschal, 361-265-9203, j-paschal@tamu.edu It doesn’t get as cold for as long in the South as it does farther north, but the change in season and cooler if not wintry weather affects grass growth and quality all the same. Depending on when you calve, you might have pairs on the ground already or possibly some mid- to late-bred cows (or for some of you, a mix). At any rate, with the onset of cooler weather or possibly even a frost, grass growth has ceased, and the quality… Read More →