Connect with us

Farm & Ranch

Report: U.S. beef cow inventory increased 2 percent from 2014

Published

on

By: Blair Fannin

Rebuilding gaining momentum

Writer: Blair Fannin, 979-845-2259, [email protected]

Contact: Dr. David Anderson, 979-845-4351, [email protected]

COLLEGE STATION – U.S. beef cow inventory increased 2 percent from a year ago, signaling expansion among herds across the nation, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service cattle report.

“I thought the report showed more beef cows added than I expected,” said Dr. David Anderson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock specialist, College Station. “But record prices in the last half of 2014 will do that.”

Anderson said prior to the report, industry experts had the mindset the current rebuilding phase will be longer and slower.

“It might have to be re-thought,” he said.

Seven percent more beef cows were reported in Texas on Jan. 1 compared to the same time last year. When the final numbers come in, Anderson said it could potentially be the largest year-over-year percentage increase in Texas beef cows since 1972-1973 when the cowherd grew 14 percent.

The number of Texas beef cows remains the fewest since 1959 and 1962 for the entire U.S., not counting 2014, Anderson said.

Texas has almost 4.2 million beef cows compared to 3.91 million in 2014 and 4.2 million in January 2013. Heifers retained for breeding cows have gradually begun increasing as Texas ranchers look to restock herds following devastating drought in 2011. That year, drought caused a record $7.62 billion in agricultural drought losses, the costliest drought of all time for Texas. Livestock losses were $3.23 billion resulting from feed expense and market losses.

“In absolute numbers, the 270,000 head cowherd increase this year is the largest since 1993-1994. Heifers held for beef cow replacements were also up, nationwide, 4 percent and 7.6 percent in Texas.”

According to the report, there were 89.8 million head of cattle and calves on U.S. farms.

For stocker cattle producers, Anderson said the number of calves on small grain pastures in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas was reported up 300,000 head from 1.6 million in 2014 to 1.9 million in 2015. More stockers on pasture may indicate a larger number coming to market in the March-May period than last year, Anderson noted.

The 2014 U.S. calf crop was estimated at 33.9 million head, up 1 percent from 2013, according to the report. Calves born during the first half of 2014 were estimated at 24.6 million, up slightly from 2013.

Other findings from the January USDA report were:

– The number of milk cows in the U.S. increased to 9.3 million.

– U.S. calf crop was estimated at 33.9 million head, up 1 percent from 2013.

– Of the 89.8 million cattle and calves, 39 million were all cows and heifers that have calved.

– All cattle on feed increased to 13.1 million, up 1 percent from 2014.

Anderson said the cattle inventory increase is a good reminder that “record high prices and high profits are the market incentives to increase production, and that markets work.”

Anderson said market prices should remain historically high in 2015 as tight supplies of cattle continue along with good consumer demand for beef. That’s despite record retail prices for beef.

-30-

Continue Reading

Farm & Ranch

Mammals and Avian Influenza

Published

on

By

By Barry Whitworth, DVM

At the writing of this article, High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has been detected in more than 83 million domestic poultry in the United States. The outbreak includes commercial and backyard flocks.

Most people are aware that poultry may succumb to Avian Influenza but may not know that other animals can be infected with the virus. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a variety of mammals have been infected with Avian Influenza H5N1 in the U.S.

The list of more than 200 mammals includes bears, foxes, skunks, coyotes, etc. Even marine animals such as dolphins and seals have been found with the virus. Current Avian Influenza H5N1 infections in poultry, mammals, and livestock in the U.S. can be found at the Detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza website at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/livestock-poultry-disease/avian/avian-influenza/hpai-detections.

Recently, ruminants have been diagnosed with Avian Influenza H5N1 in the U.S. The World Organization for Animal Health reported that neonatal goats displaying neurological clinical signs and death were positive for Avian Influenza.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

Continue Reading

Farm & Ranch

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…

Published

on

By

By Rayford Pullen | [email protected]

When May arrives, we start thinking about weed control. With two years of drought under our belts, grass grazed short and hay stocks depleted, what we do now will influence our forage conditions for the entire year. With 75 percent of our annual warm season forages made by July 15 in North Texas, we need to get the grass growing while the sun shines.

Speaking of the sun shining, the biggest deterrent to growing lots of grass is restricted sunlight, and the biggest sun blockers we have are weeds.

Have you noticed weeds are normally just slightly taller than your grass and are probably blocking 90 percent of the sunlight from reaching the grass itself? So obviously, we need to improve conditions, so sunlight reaches the plants we want to grow.

With grass extremely short, more sunlight is hitting the soil surface now, which in turn results in more weed seed germinating. With the moisture we have received, we expect an abundance of weeds this year.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

Continue Reading

Farm & Ranch

Land Market Report: March Land Sales

Published

on

By

By Jared Groce

Rural land sales are continuing on a steady pace for early spring, with prices holding very strong with the sell-to-list price ratios remaining very high, even on properties that have been on the market for a longer than usual time period. The total number of transactions are picking up once again as the spring selling season kicks off, and the average acreage continues to decrease.

Larger acreage properties seem to be in higher demand than smaller properties currently, with many buyers simply parking cash in real estate to hedge against inflation. Interest rates seem to have settled down and most experts agree that rates will be reduced by the fed this year. Some lenders have programs in place that allow the buyer to reduce their rates without having to go through a full refinance ordeal.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

Continue Reading
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad

Trending