By Horace McQueen
November is coming up fast—and what cattle folks have on tap for winter has to be addressed. What grass most of us have left is going fast. Winter pasture programs are few and far between. Moisture is the limiting factor. And for our producers the cost factor and timing doesn’t work out. The cost of fertilizer and seed is just too much of a gamble. High dollar hay and added protein in the form of cubes or molasses blocks or lick feeders will see lots of use. If the hay is exceptional quality—10% protein or more—it can carry a cow through tough times. But if the cow is nursing a calf, store-bought protein has to be added.
Sale barns are recording big runs of cattle. At the same time feedlot buyers are backing off on their price offers on yearlings. Then there is the problem with what looks to be a severe lack of wheat acres for winter grazing. Those lighter weight calves that would normally be bought for wheat grazing have lost a lot of their allure to buyers in recent weeks—with some calves down as much as 20-cents a pound from a month ago. One thing for sure is that the number of cows will be limited at least for 2023-24. That could well result in some high dollar breeding cattle over the next three years. Some folks are planning to keep raising cattle while others are getting ready to clear the pastures of bovines. Regardless, we will have a smaller cow herd and a reduction in the number of ranchers as we move forward.
For producers who want to see a top notch set of Brahman cattle, the Cow Country Congress is coming up this Friday, Oct. 21. The multi-county event takes place at the Windy Hill Ranch at 3414 FM 1452 just outside Madisonville. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The cost is $20 a person and a chuck wagon lunch will be served. Program topics are the economic outlook for the cattle business, agricultural law issues, embryo transfer technologies in a drouth and lots more. After lunch a tour of the ranch is on the agenda. Call the Madison County Agents office to reserve your place at 936-348-2234.
And this about Texas A&M and the record number of students enrolled this fall. The report is that 74,829 students are signed up. The A&M enrollment is the largest in the state of Texas and one of the largest in the nation.