When you see fields of white cotton this time of year, it means the cotton plant has been sprayed with a defoliant to make it drop its leaves so the cotton can be picked. What a cotton farmer doesn’t want during his harvest is the rain we’ve been experiencing over the last two weeks. John Malazzo grows cotton in Burleson County.
During the pandemic, beef has accounted for well over half of the meat market sales and despite high prices, retail beef sales are up twenty-one per cent from where they were at this time last year. Richard Wortham is executive vice-president of the Texas Beef Council.
Our local beef industry is just one of many affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With many restaurants closed or limited to take out and delivery, consumers are now going online to get their beef fix.
There is a storyline companies offering plant-based meat substitutes are pushing that suggests beef production is harming our environment. There is science that refutes that storyline. Ron Gill is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension professor and livestock specialist.
Managing a cattle operation requires moving the animals from time to time whether it’s gathering them out of a pasture, running them through a working corral or through processing areas, or loading them into trailers to go to or from auction markets.
This part of the summer usually brings us hot dry conditions and even sometimes triple-digit temperatures. While many of us have pets that we go to great lengths to protect from these conditions, ranchers must keep a close look on their cattle.
Here in our part of the state we have some crops that are irrigated and some that rely on Mother Nature for their moisture called dryland crops. Cotton is a crop that thrives in Texas summer heat, but to do so requires water, and this time of year without rain dryland cotton gets stressed by the heat and will begin to shut itself down.
When we think about farmers, particularly here in the Brazos Valley, we normally think about producers who grow cotton and grain, and or maybe even the produce that we find in our local Farmers’ Market.
When you’re an agricultural producer, you face challenges every year, but with this year’s growing season only about half over, and a damaging hailstorm already on the books, many are anxious about what adversity they could be facing next.
Two weeks ago, when a hailstorm hit our area, roofs were damaged, trees had their leaves knocked off, and vehicles were dented. But on its way to town, it wreaked havoc on crops in the Brazos River Bottom.
The slowdown in pork processing is causing problems for U.S. pork producers, not the least of which is that pigs are still growing and are still being born every day. Producers are being forced to make some very tough decisions.
The slowdown in beef processing around the country due to the Coronavirus has caused a slip in calf prices that has put many ranchers plans to market their calves on hold. For those beef producers the question becomes how long do I wait to sell or sometimes how long can I wait?
Over the last twenty years, the Beef Industry has pushed for a higher quality more consistent product because that’s what consumers wanted. Today when you shop you may have noticed more of the higher UDSA grades available at your grocery store. That’s also what consumers want.
Since the nation’s beef cattle herd had already hit its peak as far as the size of the herd, cattle prices were projected to slowly rise this year, but that was prior to the coronavirus. Since the first of the year prices have dropped almost three hundred dollars per calf, even though demand for beef remains good. But markets don’t like uncertainty.
To say that over the last twenty years farming has become more complicated is a bit of an understatement. When you couple the technology that is required to put in a crop today with the marketing expertise it takes to sell a crop it’s easy to see why farmers would take exception to a politician claiming that he could teach anyone to be a farmer.
The coronavirus outbreak in China has not only caused health concerns worldwide, but it’s resulted in China putting much of its economy on hold and that is having negative effects in a variety of business sectors around the globe. Agricultural commodity markets are no exception.
The Ag Industry encourages its producers to talk with consumers and tell their story to try and bridge the disconnect that exists between the two groups, but it’s also important that producers engage with their elected representatives.
Predictions of a rebound in corn production in the Midwest coupled with rising competition from Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, and Russia, and a steady but static demand, along with the expected record supply of corn suggests that there will be significant downward price pressure at some point this spring or summer.
John Sharp, the Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System made headlines recently when he sent a letter to Harvard University’s president claiming that some of Harvard’s faculty had engaged in an unethical campaign to discredit Texas A&M over its involvement in a study on red meat.
Some experts are optimistic about the prices ranchers may be receiving for the calves that they sell this year. Part of what’s fueling this optimism is a strong demand for U.S.beef, both here at home and abroad
Precision agriculture allows farmers to use new technologies to help them increase crop yields and hopefully profitability by lowering inputs like land, water, fertilizer, herbicides, and insecticides.
Most people in agriculture will tell you every year is different with different challenges than the year before. 2019 certainly bore that out. Most old-timers we talked to couldn’t remember a year that had started so wet due to continuous rains in the fall and then remained wet for so long through the winter and spring.
Our traditional Christmas celebrations wouldn’t be possible without production agriculture. Everything from the trees we decorate, to the tables we gather around, to many of the gifts we give originates on a farm or ranch.
While the use of Artificial Intelligence in agriculture is relatively new there are some applications that are currently being utilized in Ag machinery and a lot more that look very promising moving forward.
While Ag experts don’t see any day soon when a machine is able to run a farm, there is huge potential for using them to help with some of the management decisions farmers must make during a growing year.
Ranchers, just like farmers are always hoping for better prices next year, and a strong demand for beef here at home along with some optimism about increased exports has many industry experts encouraged for 2020.
When most of us go grocery shopping we just assume that whatever we’re looking for will be there, giving little thought to the fact that none of the traditional favorites that we enjoy during holidays originate at a grocery store.
This year we had a frost that came about three weeks early and that means that ranchers’ summer pasture grasses have gone dormant and even if winter grasses have been planted, they’re fairly slow-growing until we get into late winter or early spring. Hence it’s up to ranchers to provide their cattle the nutrition necessary to sustain themselves.
This time of the year finds most farmers attending meetings with representatives from seed companies and gathering data on new varieties that might be under consideration for the upcoming planting year.
After two years of excessive rains at harvest time, this year cotton farmers are counting their blessings. They had good weather conditions for picking this year’s crop although it was really late due to exorbitant rains we received that started last fall and didn’t let up until late last spring.