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November 15, 2012

Driving expenses down To apply or not to apply?

Tips on keeping feeding costs low XXXXXXXXXXXXXX PAGE 12

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 15, 2012

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From the General Manager

Special to The Post

Fort Worth — The U.S.Panama Trade Promotion Agreement went into effect on Oct. 31, signifying an end to a 5-year push to solidify three free trade agreements that are expected to boost beef exports by $3 billion. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement took effect March 15, followed by the Colombia Free Trade Agreement on May 15. “Texas ranchers have worked for nearly five years to see these agreements become reality,” said Joe Parker Jr., rancher and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association president. “Families, both at home and abroad, want Texas beef on their tables, and now we will be able to help meet that demand. This is a win for consumers overseas and producers here in the U.S.” Among other things, im-

plementation of the Panama Free Trade Agreement results in the immediate repeal of the 30 percent tariff on prime and choice cuts of U.S. beef and begins to phase out all remaining tariffs. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, the three trade agreements will increase U.S. exports by at least $13 billion and add $10 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Additionally, exports of U.S. goods generate an estimated 8,000 jobs for every billion dollars shipped overseas. Parker said that, while implementation of the three free trade agreementss is a good thing for Texas beef producers, there is still increasing potential for beef exports in other countries including China, Japan, Taiwan and the European Union. “With the demand for beef rising, it is crucial that U.S. beef producers have a seat at

the international table and that we aggressively pursue expanding market opportunities in other countries,” Parker said. “Our global competitors are already negotiating agreements with other markets. If we don’t beat these countries to the punch, U.S. producers will be at a severe disadvantage,” Parker said. “With 95 percent of the world’s population living outside of the U.S., we simply cannot afford to not have increased market access.”

November 15, 2012

cattle. In our cover story, we take a look at feeding expense and what you can do to keep it under control. We also have a column from Dr. Steve Wikse on trace mineral deficit and reproductive problems. We have these stories and more along with some of our regular features, so you are sure to find something you like. And, it being that time of year, I just wanted to thank all our readers, contributors and advertisers for helping us put out this paper. I’m very fortunate to work in such a wonderful industry with such great people. I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving. ’Til next time,

never was that big a fan of turkey until I found out you could inject it with Cajun butter and deep fry it. This process changed my entire perspective on the Thanksgiving holiday. Also, when you deep fry a turkey, there is always the danger of a huge fire breaking out, so that just adds to the excitement. I know some of you may think it blasphemous to be talking turkey within the pages of a publication that is so heavily built around beef. I’m sorry about that, but, I’m eating turkey on Thanksgiving. I don’t think it’s going to hurt the beef industry, and those who know me know that I’ll eat more than my share of steak and burgers to make up for it. But enough about feeding me, let’s talk about feeding your

U.S. Panama Trade Promotion Agreement should help boost beef exports by $3 billion

The Land & Livestock Post

News

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 15, 2012

News

Drought-weakened trees susceptible to pests, disease By Kathleen PhilliPs Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

The drought of 2011 appears to be fading as far as rainfall totals go, but less obvious impacts may continue for years as weakened trees fall victim to pests and disease, tree experts note. “One thing that most people don’t realize is that this drought is going to have an impact on the trees that were damaged in 2011 for probably five to seven years from now,” said David Appel, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service plant pathologist. “And that’s assuming that we get normal rainfall. If we have another drought, that could set them back even further.” Appel, who specializes in trees, said certain diseases are going to be on the increase because of the drought. The Texas A&M Forest Service estimates 301 million rural trees and 5.6 million urban trees died from the 2011 drought and its impact. “The visual manifestation of the drought includes limb dieback, the crown is going to be asymmetric or lopsided, growth is going to be reduced and there will be smaller, more yellow leaves,” Appel said of stressed trees. “All of this is a sign that the trees were depleted of their carbohydrate reserves during the drought, and they just aren’t able to carry on the normal growth that they would in normal years.” He said tree owners also may see infection by certain kinds of fungi, which can be dangerous. “These infections may reduce

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the structural integrity of the tree,” Appel said. “You can start to have these limbs and branches fall off, and they can hurt people.” Knowing whether a tree is dead or dying can be hard to tell, he noted, and one may want to wait until next spring to examine leaves and overall health or call a tree expert before cutting. He said, however, there are a few simple things one can do to test tree health. “Do a twig test. Take the twigs and bend them. If the twig is pliable, then you know it’s still alive and it’s just going through normal senescence,” Appel said. “However, if the twig breaks then you can be sure that that twig is dead and those are the kinds of branches that need to come out of the tree.” One disease having an impact currently is Hypoxylon canker, he said. “You might see this on a water oak where the bark sloughs off and it has this light gray coating just underneath the outer bark,” Appel explained. “If that’s coming out, then the tree is dead, and it definitely should come down. Once this fungus starts growing into the wood, it greatly reduces the structural integrity and the tree can become dangerous.” He said this is also showing up on sycamore — with large black marks on the trunk — and some other types of trees. “Generally we recommend to get an expert up there not only because they know what to look for and take out, but always there is also the safety concern of having people climb around

Texas A&M Forest Service photos

Above, ips beetle galleries carved into a pine tree leave it likely to die after last year’s Texas drought. Right, a dead soapberry tree weakened by the drought and unable to survive. in their trees without the proper equipment,” he added. Otherwise, Appel suggested, continue to watch trees until

See TREES, Page 10

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How to tell if your trees will survive the drought Texas A&M Forest Service

Definitely Dead

It is easier to make this call for pines, Ashe junipers (cedars) and other needle-bearing, conifer trees. The determination can be more difficult for hardwoods, which are more commonly thought of as shade trees. In most cases, a red pine is a dead pine, Billings said, explaining that the same can be said for cedars with red needles. Once all or most of the foliage of a pine or cedar tree turns red or brown, the tree is incapable of recovering. Pine trees in this stage probably already are infested with tree-killing bark beetles and eventually will harbor wood-

November 15, 2012

See DAMAGE, Page 6

Texas remains mired in one of the worst droughts in state history and it’s creating disastrous effects on trees and forests across the state. After one of the driest years on record, many shade trees went into dormancy as early as August, dropping their leaves and branches in a desperate act of self-preservation. Meanwhile, pine trees with normally thick, green crowns ended up cloaked in red, dead needles while foliage on cedar trees turned completely brown. The sight has created a dramatic effect on the Texas landscape and left many landowners wondering whether or not their tree is dead — or if it might recover and produce new leaves next spring. Assessing trees damaged or killed by drought can be tricky, according to Ronald Billings, Texas A&M Forest Service for-

est health manager. He suggests grouping the trees into three different categories: definitely dead, likely to live and questionable — to help with the task.

The Land & Livestock Post

News

Texas A&M Forest Service photo

These hardwood trees were stressed severely by the Texas drought and it is questionable if they will survive.

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 15, 2012

News Damage, from Page 5 boring insects, termites and other critters. Such trees should be cut down and removed, particularly if they are likely to fall on homes, buildings or power lines. Shade trees — such as water oaks, for example — that have lost all their foliage and are beginning to drop limbs or lose large patches of bark are most likely already dead and should be removed. Hypoxylon canker, a fungus that appears as gray or brown patches on the trunk of the tree, is another sign of a dead shade tree.

Likely to Live

This category includes shade trees with at least some green or yellow leaves still attached to the limbs. In fact, even those that have dropped all their leaves still may be alive. Some native shade trees, such as post oaks and live oaks, are more drought resistant than others such as water oaks or elms. You can use a scratch test to determine if the tree is dead

or just dormant. If you scrape the bark off a small branch or limb and find green, moist tissue underneath, the tree is still hanging on, waiting for the next rain. That means you may need to wait until spring to see if the tree makes a recovery — unless the tree starts to drop large branches and patches of bark, which is a sign of death. If there is no green, moist tissue, the tree likely is dead. An exception is the baldcypress, also is known as a cypress tree. The tree is a conifer, but unlike pines and cedars, its foliage generally turns red and drops from the tree in the fall or during periods of drought stress. Cypress trees usually will re-sprout in the spring. If in doubt, apply the scratch test or wait until spring to be sure. Pines with a few yellow or red needles scattered throughout an otherwise green canopy have a good chance at survival. Pine trees typically shed a large portion of their older needles every year as winter approaches, and then put on new needles in the spring. Though it’s not as feasible to

water your forest, any yard trees that show signs of life (green inner tissues or green foliage) should be watered deeply to reduce lingering drought stress.

Questionable

Questionable trees are those that appear to fit somewhere between the Definitely Dead and Likely to Live categories. A pine that is topped with brown or red needles but still has green foliage in its lower branches is alive, but likely eventually will die. That’s because bark beetles likely will invade the lower trunk at some point, killing the tree in stages. When inspecting a questionable pine tree, look for popcornsized masses of resin (pitch tubes) or brown dust in the bark fissures. These are early signs of attacks by pine bark beetles. The foliage of the infested pine may still be green, but the tree is doomed. This is particularly true if you find bark beetle galleries or trails beneath the bark. Pines with these signs of bark beetle attack should be removed as soon as possible. In the case of shade trees,

those that have many dead or dying limbs or mostly bare branches may or may not survive. A few green, yellow or red leaves may remain for awhile as the tree slowly dies, or it may recover when rains return. It’s important to note that not all trees may be stressed from the drought alone. Some trees may also be suffering from insect infestations, disease or other forest health problems. If you’re unsure or have any questions, visit the Texas A&M Forest Service website at texasforestservice.tamu.edu or check with a certified arborist, forester or tree care professional.

Deciding whether to remove a questionable tree can be a tough decision for both property owners and professional tree care experts. Removal should be considered if a severely droughtstressed or fire-damaged tree is close to a house or other structure on which it might fall. If it is away from such areas, it may be more feasible to wait and see if the tree makes a comeback.

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Six minerals necessary for cattle reproduction

Q

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It happens when cattle are not fed iodine in their mineral supplement. It’s critical to feed a trace amount of iodine to cattle no matter where you ranch in Texas. In the past, it was thought that ranches along the ocean did not need to supplement with iodine. Research found that to be false. Even Ireland, a small island surrounded by sea, has problems with iodine deficiency in cattle. • Manganese deficiency — Manganese deficiency supposedly leads to lack of estrus cycles. Anestrus due to manganese deficiency has not been diagnosed in Texas. Forages in Texas are sometimes low in manganese, however, so it’s important to include in your trace mineral supplement. • Selenium deficiency — Selenium deficiency in cattle can result in low conception rates, abortions, weak calves,

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sudden deaths of calves from white muscle disease and retained placentas. I have seen these conditions because of selenium deficiency during my veterinary career, but not in Texas. White muscle disease is fairly common in New Mexico, but rare in Texas. Mineral concentrations are classified as normal, marginal or deficient in laboratory reports. All is well when most results are in the normal range. Lower production is certain if most results are in the deficient range. Some herds may have lower production if most results fall in the marginal range. Blood concentrations of selenium in cattle sampled along the Gulf Coast and East Texas often have marginal concentrations of selenium. • Zinc deficiency — Zinc deficiency causes impaired fertility in bulls. It may not be necessary for fertility in cows. In

women, it results in prolonged labor. A report from Australia documented prolonged labor in replacement heifers with low concentrations of zinc, but we have never recognized that in U.S. cattle.

Bottom Line

Several trace minerals are important for optimal reproductive performance. It’s extremely rare for herds to be severely deficient in any of those minerals. Thus, my answer to your second question is reproductive losses in Texas cattle from trace mineral deficiencies is probably not a major problem. It is likely, however, that some herds have a marginal status for one or more of these minerals and suffer some losses. They are likely of low magnitude and hard to recognize, but sometimes eco-

November 15, 2012

the dark as far as the cobalt status of Texas cattle. The two tests to measure animal cobalt status — serum vitamin B-12 and serum methylmalonic acid — are not routinely performed by diagnostic laboratories. • Copper deficiency — Although many have tried linking copper deficiency with impaired reproductive performance, it has only been definitely proven to happen Dr. STEVE in cattle that WIKSE are deficient in copper secondary to an excess of molybdenum in the diet. This is actually molybdenum toxicity. Dennis Herd, retired Texas AgriLife Extension beef cattle nutritionist and I encountered this situation in a response trial we conducted in Santa Gertrudis replacement heifers on the Gulf Coast. We found the same pregnancy rate in copper-treated heifers as untreated heifers, but average conception 14 days earlier in copper-treated heifers. No difference in pregnancy rate makes the earlier conception date seem a subtle improvement, but it’s important to understand that subtle reproductive improvements can be very profitable. In this instance, a 14-day-older calf at weaning would easily weigh about 30 pounds more and bring in 50 more dollars at today’s prices. • Iodine deficiency — Iodine deficiency will result in abortion, stillbirths and weak calves. I have encountered it in two states, but not in Texas.

uestion: “Did you see the August issue of Beef? It had an article on non-infectious causes of pregnancy loss. The article mentions nutritional stress due to deficiencies of the trace minerals copper, manganese and selenium. Do we have reproductive problems in Texas due to deficiencies of these three minerals?” Answer: Yes, I read that article, too. I thought it was very useful because it skipped our usual overemphasis of infectious reproductive problems and focused on other causes of reproductive losses. There has been quite a lot, but not enough, basic and applied research on the impact of trace mineral deficiencies on reproductive performance in cattle. Many cattle nutritionists add cobalt, iodine and zinc to the three above minerals in their list of trace minerals that are needed for efficient reproductive performance. Those six minerals are necessary for function of important enzymes needed for uterine involution, initiation of estrus cycles, ovulation, conception and maintenance of pregnancy. Reproductive performance may drop if cattle do not consume required amounts of trace minerals. I would like to give you some basic information on the trace mineral/reproduction situation before I answer your question on whether we have reproductive losses in Texas due to deficiencies of trace minerals. • Cobalt deficiency — Cobalt deficiency supposedly results in impaired fertility of cattle. We are pretty much in

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 15, 2012

News

Texas Section Society for Range Management awards By KAY LEDBETTER Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

FREDERICKSBURG — Individuals and teams made up of landowners and government agency personnel were recognized with awards at the Texas Section Society for Range Management annual meeting held recently in Fredericksburg. Highlighting the meeting’s theme, “Building on our Heritage to Prepare for the Future,” presentations were made at the awards luncheon to recipients of the Outstanding Rangeland Stewardship, Outstanding Rangeland Management Fellow and Outstanding Contribution to Rangeland Management awards. The awards were presented by Ken Cearley of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Ser-

Vet, from Page 9 nomically substantial. Providing a balanced salt/ trace mineral to the cow herd at all times is a management practice that could raise production a few percentage points and increase profits on many ranches. Dennis Herd’s AgriLife Extension Service bulletin “Minerals for Beef Cattle in Texas” offers good general recommendations for the composition of salt/trace mineral supplements under different feeding situations. Special attention should be given to copper, iodine and selenium in Texas. More research is needed on trace minerals vs. reproduction in Texas cattle. Recommendations may change as we gain a better understanding of this area of nutrition. Formulation of diets that meet mineral require-

vice in Amarillo, Texas Section Society president; Jeff Goodwin, first vice president, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service in Gatesville; and John Walker, second vice president, Texas A&M AgriLife Research in San Angelo. The Outstanding Rangeland Stewardship recognition went to Frank and Sims Price Ranch, Sterling City. The Outstanding Rangeland Management Award went to Werner Ranch, Ken and Rebecca Fine of Schneider Brahmans, Boerne. The Fellow Award went to Reggie Quiett, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Vernon, and the Outstanding Contribution to Rangeland Management Award was presented to Dale Rollins, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in San Angelo. ments can be very complex because of breed differences in requirements and interactions between minerals. Breeds listed according to increasing copper requirements include Shorthorn, Angus, Hereford, Charolais, Galloway and Simmental (with Simmental requiring twice as much copper as Angus). In many areas of Texas interactions between copper, molybdenum, iron and sulfur make it difficult to meet the copper requirement of cattle. For these reasons it’s important to involve your veterinarian or beef cattle nutritionist in the formulation of your herd’s mineral supplement. • Dr. Steve Wikse is a retired professor of large-animal clinical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M.

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Selected as incoming officers and directors were: Cody Scott, Angelo State University, San Angelo, second vice president; and directors Dandy Kothmann, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Junction, and Jim Ansley, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Vernon. Other award winners: • Technical Publication — “Improving Estimates of Rangeland Carbon Sequestration Potential in the U.S. Southwest,” Joel Brown, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Las Cruces, N.M.; Jay Angerer, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Temple; Shawn W. Salley, Jornada Experimental Range, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.; Robert Blaisdell, retired, Center for Natural Resources Information Technology, Texas A&M University, College Station; and the late Jerry W. Stuth, Texas A&M AgriLife Research. • Popular Publication — “Drivers of Vegetation Change

on Texas Rangelands,” Ansley and Charles Hart, formerly of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Stephenville. • Special Publication — “Shining Light on Manure Improves Livestock and Land Management,” Walker; Doug Tolleson, Arizona Cooperative Extension, Tucson, Ariz.; Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, San Angelo; and Phyllis Benge, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, San Angelo. • Natural Resources Conservation Service — Mandi Ligon, Sweetwater. • AgriLife Extension Agent — Robert Pritz, Abilene. • Ag Science Teacher — Terry Baize, Hamilton. • Outstanding Achievement Award — Jay Whiteside, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Corsicana. • Outstanding Young Range Professional Award — Megan Clayton, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Corpus Christi. • S p e c i a l Re c o g n i t i o n

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Trees, from Page 4 next spring, and the next spring and the next spring, because there isn’t a lot that can be done for trees in this condition. “Research has shown that the carbohydrate reserves in these trees are still depleted to five, six, seven years after the drought occurred, even if we get good weather and rain,” he said. “So it takes a while for the trees to come back before they’re going to be able to resist all the insects and fungi that normally do them no harm and before they’re going to get back to normal growth.”

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Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Robert Burns Clark Neely oversees harvesting of bio-energy sorghum plots at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center near Overton. Texas farmers and is an orga- tegrity.” Neely said he will use his dinization I will be proud to represent,” Neely said. “The state verse agricultural background has many traditions and values to bring a unique perspective to that should be considered when the job and to connect producdeveloping innovative farming ers with applied research that is methods that improve food se- directly related to their produccurity and environmental in- tion systems.

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COLLEGE STATION – Clark Neely has been named Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Servic state small grains and oilseeds specialist, according to Travis Miller. “This position is vital to our vast small grains industry, as it transfers and demonstrates emerging technologies on Texas farms and ranches,” said Miller, AgriLife Extension program leader and associate department head for soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station. Neely, who will begin the position in April after completing his doctoral work at Texas A&M, also will be an assistant professor in the department of soil and crop sciences, Miller said. He will fill the position formerly held by Rob Duncan. “Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides a powerful leadership role in educating

yields while enhancing soil organic matter and limiting nitrogen fertilizer rates, essential for environmental viability. “With increasing concerns of water shortages, soil health and production costs, diversity is an essential component of any sustainable cropping system, including small grains,” Neely said. “Oilseeds can be an attractive rotation crop for small grains producers because of similarities in equipment and cultural practices.”

He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural extension and education from The Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in plant science from the University of Idaho. Most recently, he has worked as a graduate research assistant within the Texas A&M University System. His research projects have focused on legume-based cropping systems for sustainable agriculture production in East Texas, with a goal to maintain

By Kay LedBetter Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

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November 15, 2012

Control cow herd feeding expenses

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By RoBeRt FeaRs Special to The Post

C

ow-calf producers cannot control cattle prices, but we can control costs. The big expenses on which to concentrate are the three “Fs”: feed, fertilizer and fuel. Rick Machen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service livestock specialist suggested seven ways to control cow herd feeding expense during the 2012 Beef Cattle Short Course. Most of the information presented in this article is taken from Machen’s presentation. The first three suggestions warrant consideration by all producers, regardless of operation size. Suggestions four through seven may not be applicable to smaller producers. 1. Use an appropriate stocking rate Without question, pasture forage is the least expensive type of feed. To capitalize on these lower costs, manage stocking rates and pasture rotations in a manner to provide a year-round supply of forage. Do not allow cattle to eat more than 50 percent by weight of the plant foliage. Only supplement grazing cattle when it is necessary to correct a nutrient deficiency in their diet. 2. Match cow nutrient requirements with environment productivity “The genotype and environment interaction is a critical management consideration with significant impact on the success of a supplement program,” Machen said. “Results of a Nebraska study indicated that with abundant feed and/or a stress-free environment, larger heavier milking cows were more efficient than moderate-size cows. When feed supply was restricted and/ or animals were otherwise stressed, moderate-size and moderate milking cows were more efficient producers. Cows with smaller nutrient demands have a greater chance of achieving their biological production potential in any given environment.” A second way to control feed costs is to select genotypes that positively interact with your ranch environment. If your ranch is subject to drought you

Photo by Robert Fears

There are seven ways producers can control the expenses of feeding their cattle. Proper planning can help reduce such costs. want to either cull for or purchase animals that can produce good calves on minimum amounts of forage without substantial supplementation. 3. time calving and lactation to coincide with periods of the greatest expected nutrient availability “Normally forage maturity and quality are inversely related, while maturity and quantity are directly related,” Machen said. “Warm-season native range forages are of highest quality during spring and early summer which is one of the reasons that a large portion of the cows in the Southwest calve during this time of year. In the first 60 to 80 days post calving a cow’s nutrient demand is the greatest it will be during the production year. During this period, cows are trying to recover from calving, reach and maintain peak lactation, cycle and rebreed. “Management decisions that ignore this nutrient supply demand relation-

ship may result in a need for greater amounts of supplement. Production and/or marketing objectives for summer, fall or early winter calving programs may compensate for the higher feed costs.” 4. sort cows by age and physiological condition Different aged cows in different physiological stages of their reproductive cycles have different nutrient requirements. If possible, sort cows by age and expected calving date to improve supplementation efficiency and to reduce feed costs. Implementing a 90 to 120 day breeding season greatly facilitates this sorting process. Heifers with their first calf have special feed demands if high conception rates for second calves are a priority. Body condition adjustments are most efficiently made during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. This is why it is more efficient to feed heifers

separately from the older cows. 5. Have a plan for beginning and ending the supplementation program “Deciding when to begin and end the supplementation program is critical,” Machen said. “A frequently asked question is ‘When should I start feeding?’ The theoretical answer is as soon as the cows begin to experience a nutrient deficiency. Maintaining body weight is tough enough — attempting to replace lost weight and subsequently improve body condition is economically inefficient. In reality, if cows are in ‘better than necessary’ condition, some weight loss is tolerable and will result in feed savings. Tardy initiation or an unwarranted continuation of supplementation increase costs.” “Relatively new computer modeling technology developed at Texas A&M

See FEED, Page 13


See FORAGE, Page 15

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Protein is often the most limiting nutrient for cattle grazing dormant forages or consuming poor quality hay.When compared to energy, protein is often the more expensive component of a supplement. Feed purchasing decisions should be based on cost per pound of nutrient (usually protein), not simply on the cost per hundredweight or ton. cent Crude protein, $320 per forages or consuming poor Feed, from Page 12 ton) and cottonseed meal (44 quality hay. When compared University helps cattlemen percent crude protein, $460 to energy, protein is often the estimate the nutritional status more expensive component of of grazing cattle,” Machen ATS IRRIGATION a supplement. Feed purchassaid. “The program, called ing decisions should be based LAND & LIVESTOCK POST NUTBAL (Nutritional Balance on cost per pound of nutrient Analyzer), uses fecal analysis art#: 00338901 (usually protein), not simply to predict nutrient intake and on the cost per hundredweight order#: 00338901 compares this intake with calor ton. Comparing two feeds 3 X 5.75 culated requirements to yield of differing nutrient content an estimate of the grazing aniProcess strictly on the basis of price mal’s nutrient balance.” per unit weight is like compar6. Feed the right suppleing apples and oranges. ment Cost per unit of protein Machen said that nutrient usually decreases as percent content of the supplement has crude protein in a feed ina significant impact on the creases. Comparing extremes observed response. Protein is on a cost per unit of protein often the most limiting nutribasis, the difference between ent for cattle grazing dormant whole shelled corn (10 per-

supplementation programs. In contrast, starchy high energy supplements, such as cereal grains tend to reduce forage or hay intake and digestibility, a phenomenon referred to as a negative associative effect. The net effect can be a reduction in performance. Energy supplements (10 to 18 percent crude protein), when fed daily at 0.7 to 1.0 percent of body weight, can be used to extend a limited forage supply without reducing perfor-

per ton) can be as large as 300 percent. The cost per pound of crude protein in corn can be as much as three times higher than for cottonseed meal. High protein supplements (more than 30 percent crude protein) fed at 0.1 to 0.3 percent of body weight per day, stimulate forage or hay intake. Research indicates the intake improvement can be as large as 60 percent. Increases in forage intake provide a large boost in energy and demonstrate why correcting a protein deficiency is usually the first priority in

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mance. In between the high protein and energy supplements are the “general purpose” feeds, of which the 20 percent crude protein formulation is perhaps the most popular. Feeds of this type are an excellent choice when attempting to maintain forage intake and improve performance or body condition. Recommended feeding rates are 0.3 to 0.5 percent of body weight per day. 7. Make good purchasing decisions Machen said that good purchasing decisions and efficient supplement feeding also can reduce costs. Traditionally, feed prices are the lowest in mid to late summer and highest in the winter. Contracting feed in late summer for use the following winter can result in substantial savings. A review of feed prices during a typical feeding season would indicate increases of $40 to $50 per ton from late summer to the following spring. Forward contracts usually are available only for large volumes of feed and may not be appropriate for smaller operations. In addition, cash flow restrictions may prohibit some cattlemen from forward contracting winter supplements.

Handling feed in bulk reduces labor and may reduce costs $5 to $20 per ton over sacked prices. Again, bulk handling may not be applicable to smaller operations and does require some up-front investment in storage and feeding equipment. “Costs can be reduced by reducing feeding frequency,” Machen said. “Research from several universities indicates little or no difference in performance of cows supplemented two or three times per week compared to those fed daily. Recent studies indicate that feeding even once a week may have the same results as feeding more frequently. Feeding less frequently saves labor, fuel and equipment wear. High protein supplements (more than 30 percent crude protein) perform well when offered infrequently. Highenergy supplements (10 to 18 percent crude protein) perform best when offered frequently and in small amounts. Infrequent feeding of large amounts of grain or other high energy feeds can cause serious illness. Cost effective supplementation, when combined with a sound herd health program, is a requirement for achieving performance goals and surviving economically.

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President - Crystal Dupré .....................................................Ext. 4613 Publisher and Editor- Kelly Brown.........................................Ext. 4656 Advertising Director - Joanne Patranella............................... Ext. 4740 Advertising Sales/General Manager - Jesse Wright ...............Ext. 4721 Financial Director - Rod Armstrong .......................................Ext. 4605 New Media Director - Mike Albin ..........................................Ext. 4663 Production Director - Mark Manning.....................................Ext. 4671 Circulation Director - Jack Perkins .......................................Ext. 4752

Published by Bryan-College Station Communications, Inc., P.O. Box 3000, Bryan,Texas 77805. E-mail: thepost@theeagle.com All offices are located at 1729 Briarcrest Drive Bryan,Texas 77802. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Eagle, P.O. Box 3000, Bryan,Texas 77805-3000 The Post is printed in part on recycled paper and is fully recyclable.

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Typically, the development of an El Niño begins with warmer ocean temperatures, at least about 1 degree Fahrenheit, above normal, which is what climatologists were seeing during the summer, he said. The situation, once it begins, usually results in a “feedback situation” that further raises ocean temperatures and magnifies the effect. “As the warm temperatures spread across the Pacific, the winds weaken, allowing the warm water to remain at the surface longer before losing any of its heat,” NielsenGammon said. “However, the feedback failed to develop, and now we are expecting a neutral situation,” he said. “Neutral situation,” means there are now equal chances of either a wet or dry winter, Nielsen-Gammon said.

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El Niño has fizzled, and you can forget the forecasts of a wetter, cooler Texas winter, said the state climatologist. Though many agricultural producers may be disappointed in not having a wet winter to replenish soil-moisture levels, there’s some good news mixed with the bad, said John Nielsen-Gammon, state climatologist and regents professor at Texas A&M University. As recently as late August,

forecasters, including those at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, were expecting a stronger-than-average El Niño to develop in the tropical Pacific, he said. The earlier prediction of a strong El Niño was good news for drought recovery for most of the state, Nielsen-Gammon said. Though an El Niño’s effects are usually stronger in the southern parts of the state and along the Gulf Coast, it generally leads to wetter, cooler weather for the entire state.

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 15, 2012

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Southeast could become ‘Saudi Arabia’ for biofuels By Blair Fannin Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

COLLEGE STATION – Bill McCutchen sees the potential for the Southeast to become the “Saudi Arabia” for production of dedicated energy crops. “It’s the Bioenergy Belt,” said McCutchen, executive associate director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, at the Growing Texas Conference held in College Station recently. Attendees heard from numerous experts discussing future water and energy needs in Texas. McCutchen provided attendees an overview of research done by the agency in developing potential dedicated energy crops for biofuels. Whether it’s energy sorghum or algae, McCutchen said too much emphasis has been placed on corn, as it is needed for both food and livestock feed production. “What we are going to see is an emergence of cellulosic-

based conversion facilities, and when this infrastructure is in place, we will see a new set of dedicated energy crops that will complement food and fiber crops. We are starting to see the deployment of cellulosic and biomass conversion facilities for biofuels being put into place.” McCutchen said the Texas Gulf Coast to the eastern U.S. border is the “sweet spot” for biofuel production and growing dedicated energy crops that are also drought tolerant. “We should have ample rainfall to grow these new crops on a consistent basis in these areas,” McCutchen said, pointing to a slide depicting a map of Texas and its eastern portion. “We are now working with BP, Chevron, Ceres and others to make this a reality for Texas and the Southeast.” McCutchen said the agency’s corporate research partnership strategy was developed five years ago and has grown to $50 million dedicated to research

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and development. “Overall, our bioenergy research goal is for these energy crops not to compete with food and feed,” he said. “Corn is not the way to grow our biofuels industry.” The bioenergy research program is driven partially by the federal renewable fuel standard. Adam Helms, AgriLife Research assistant director for corporate relations bioenergy programs, said the thrust of the program is designing purposebuilt germplasm for specific biofuel conversion processes. Energy sorghums, energy canes and high biomass pennisetum Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Blair Fannin grasses represent the bulk of Bill McCutchen,executive associate director ofTexasA&MAgriLife Research,said the AgriLife’s bioenergy grass deTexas Gulf Coast to the eastern U.S. border is the “sweet spot”for biofuel production velopment program. “We are using plant breeding and growing dedicated energy crops that are also drought tolerant. coupled with next-generation Helms said if you have a ing two plants. sequencing to expedite germ- trait controlled by 20 genes, the “With the application of plasm development,” he said. chance of moving all of those marker assisted-breeding, that “This is also known as marker- genes into an offspring is great- gets dropped down to one in 20,” assisted breeding, which allows er than one in a billion. There he said. “This technology allows our plant breeders to quickly are about 2 billion corn seeds breeders to bring new products identify and advance traits of planted in the U.S. annually, so to the market for producers interest.” this would be equivalent to find- faster.”

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The Land & Livestock Post  November 15, 2012

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Report sheds light on agricultural water use in Texas Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts recently released a report, “Status and Trends of Irrigated Agriculture in Texas,” highlighting the current status of irrigation in Texas. “Irrigation is critical to our food production and food security and is a vital component of Texas’ productive agricultural economy,” said Kevin Wagner, associate director of the Texas Water Resources Institute and lead author of the report. Wagner said because of drought conditions and watersupply concerns, Texans are looking to improve water conservation and management strategies across the board. The content in the report was drawn primarily from data and reports published by Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas

AgriLife Extension, the Texas Water Development Board and the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. “The report aims to be a concise survey of the most current body of knowledge on irrigated agriculture in Texas,” he said. “Over the past several decades, significant advances have been made in irrigation efficiency, as many irrigators now use high-efficiency advanced irrigation technologies, such as lowpressure center pivot sprinkler systems or subsurface drip irrigation,” said Dana Porter, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agricultural engineering specialist in Lubbock, who contributed to the report. “However, challenges remain and there are opportunities for continued improvements in water use efficiency through application of situation-appropriate efficient irrigation technologies and best management practices, including irrigation scheduling, and through use of

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gone from 60 percent to 88–95 percent in much of the state today, allowing Texas to get much more value and agricultural output from its water. • As of 2008, center pivot sprinklers are used on nearly 80 percent of Texas’ irrigated acres, and 87 percent of those acres are using highly efficient low-pressure center pivot sprinklers. The report can be viewed online at bit.ly/R2fmyn.

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drought-tolerant crop varieties and integrated crop and pest management practices.” Highlights from the report include:

Come See Us at the Producers Co-op Expo, December 8th!

Boyd Industries, Inc.

Phone: (800) 611-3540

Fax: (940)-433-8540

www.BoydBuilt.com


Livestock market reports Brazos Valley

Results of the Brazos Valley Livestock Commission’s Oct. 23 sale:

Results of the Buffalo Livestock Marketing’s Oct. 20 sale: Head: 1,604 Steers: 150-200 lbs., $225$240; 200-300 lbs., $190-$240 300-400 lbs., $185-$225; 400500 lbs., $165-210; 500-600 lbs.,

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Results of the Caldwell Livestock Commission’s Oct. 17 sale: Head: 415 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $200$220; 300-400 lbs., $195-$210; 400-500 lbs., $175-$180; 500600 lbs., $145-$165; 600-700 lbs., $128-$148; 700-800 lbs., $122-$130. Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $170$210; 300-400 lbs., $150-$180; 400-500 lbs., $140-$170; 500600 lbs., $130-$160; 600-700 lbs., $125-$140; 700-800 lbs., $108-$130. Slaughter bulls: $75-$92.

Groesbeck

Results of the Groesbeck Auction and Livestock Co.’s Oct. 25 sale: Head: 932. Steers: 300-400 lbs., $185$225; 400-500 lbs., $180-$210; 500-600 lbs.,$150-$175; 600-700 lbs., $140-$155. Heifers: 300-400 lbs., $170$185; 400-500 lbs., $140-$160; 500-600 lbs.,$135-$145; 600-700 lbs., $120-$133. Slaughter bulls: $87-$97. Slaughter cows: $62-$79. Stocker cows: $700-$1,500. Cow/calf pairs: $950-$1,100.

Jordan

Results of the Jordan Cattle Auction Market Oct. 25 sale: Head: 1,940 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $200$242; 300-400 lbs., $190-$209; 400-500 lbs., $170-$202; 500-

600 lbs., $155-$175; 600-700 lbs., $123-$137; 700-800 lbs., $120-$132. Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $180$225; 300-400 lbs., $160-$192; 400-500 lbs., $1450-$170; 500600 lbs., $130-$154; 600-700 lbs., $125-$134; 700-800 lbs., $118-$133. Slaughter bulls: $80-$93. Slaughter cows: $63-$80. Stocker cows: $810-$1,475. Cow/calf pairs: $950-$1,450.

Milano

Results of the Milano Livestock Exchange’s Oct. 23 sale: Head: 303. Steers: 300-400 lbs., $152$210; 400-500 lbs.,$150-$197.50; 500-600 lbs., $129-$172.50; 600700 lbs., $110-$144. Heifers: 300-400 lbs., $130$195; 400-500 lbs., $125-$190; 500-600 lbs.,$117-$156; 600-700 lbs., $111-$137.50. Slaughter bulls: $86-$92. Slaughter cows: $60-$75.50. Stocker cows: N/A. Cow/calf pairs: N/A.

Navasota

Results of the Navasota Livestock Auction Co.’s Oct. 20 sale: Head: 1,860. Steers: 150-300 lbs., $150$280; 300-400 lbs., $150-$220; 400-500 lbs., $125-$215; 500600 lbs.,$120-$175; 600-700 lbs., $115-$145. Heifers: 150-300 lbs., $135$260; 300-400 lbs., $130-$190; 400-500 lbs., $120-$177.50; 500600 lbs.,$115-$160; 600-700 lbs., $115-$132. Slaughter bulls: $80-$96. Slaughter cows: $50-$82. Stocker cows: $850-$1,160. — Special to The Post

November 15, 2012

Buffalo

Caldwell

Slaughter cows: $55-$85. Stocker cows: $900-$1,600 Cow/calf pairs: $1,200-$1,350

Head: 589 Steers: 200-300 lbs., $195$245; 300-400 lbs., $185-$225; 400-500 lbs., $155-$210; 500600 lbs., $140-$174; 600-700 lbs., $124-$150; 700-800 lbs., $128-$141. Heifers: 200-300 lbs., $165$190, 300-400 lbs., $152-$176; 400-500 lbs., $137-$160; 500600 lbs., $124-$148; 600-700 lbs., $114-$130; 700-800 lbs., $121-$127. Slaughter bulls: $85-$92.50. Slaughter cows: $60-$80. Bred cows: $1,050-$1,300. Cow/calf pairs: N/A.

$135-$180; 600-700 lbs., $125$150; 700-800 lbs., $120-$143. Heifers: 150-200 lbs., $175$235; 200-300 lbs., $155-$225; 300-400 lbs., $150-$215; 400500 lbs.,$135-$197; 500-600 lbs., $125-$169; 600-700 lbs., $118$160; 700-800 lbs., $110-$124. Slaughter bulls: $75-$92. Slaughter cows: $55-$80. Bred cows: $925-$1,375. Cow/calf pairs: $1,000-$1,600.

The Land & Livestock Post

News

December

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Events Calendar

November

Nov. 17 – Collier Farms Performance Bull Sale. Brenham, TX. 979-251-4642

Dec. 1 - Jordan Cattle Auction Special Replacement Female Sale. San Saba, TX. Dec. 6 - Jordan Cattle Auction Special Texas Brangus Breeders Association Bull Offering. San Saba, TX

Dec. 8 – 8th Annual Fall Female & Nov. 17 – 2012 Fall Replacement Bull Replacement Sale. Navasota, Female Sale. Caldwell, TX. 979-820- TX. 936-825-6545 5349 Dec. 8 - 20th Annual Stockman’s Nov. 17 – Barber Ranch Annual Bull Sale. San Saba, TX

Nov. 19 – Pied Piper Farms Bull Sale. Raywood, TX. Nov. 20 - Feral Hog Community of Practice meeting on disease issues. San Antonio, TX. 210-467-6575

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Nov. 29 - Advertising Deadline for the Land & Livestock Post

Special All Breed Bull & Female Sale. Industry, TX. 979-885-2400

Do you have a sale or event you’d like listed? Call Jesse Wright at (979) 731-4721 or email jesse.wright@theeagle.com

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Nov. 15, 2012 Land and Livestock Post  

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