It was quiet and hot last week. After the good rains on Aug. 30 the grass has sure greened up and so have the Sudan patches. It looks like in some of those fields will make another cutting before long, though it may be shorter than normal, so not as much quantity, but the quality should be OK. Several farmers have already made multiple cuttings off of their Sudan patches, just like all the grass farmers. I noticed more hay being rolled up last week and look for more to be cut and baled in the coming days.
We went through a little dry spell this summer but it’s been a dang good year for the most part. A lot of hay was made this year and we’re not done yet. If you have all the hay you need for the winter you might consider leaving the grass as standing forage to graze into the winter. You’d be surprised how well cattle will do on it and it will save you some time and money on baling that last time. But then you take a chance of the fall armyworms destroying it, or having to treat them so they don’t. So what to do?
Who said farming and ranching was easy! You never know when we’re going to have a really bad winter, but I think most folks have an ample supply of hay put up right now. Good clean top quality Coastal Bermuda grass horse quality hay is $10 for square bales and 4x5 or 5x5 rolls are $65-75. On cow hay, Coastal and mixed hay in 5x5 rolls are averaging from $45-60 per roll, depending on grass mixture. Be sure to test your hay for protein and energy. It’ll pay off in the long run.
The milo harvest is decent and should wrap up this week with reports of yields all over the board at 2,800-5,500 pounds per acre and test weights around 55-57 pounds per bushel. Again it’s like all the other crops this year in that yield depends on how much rain it had and whether fields were poor draining and water stood for longer periods, therefore lowering yields. In good draining fields, yields were at or above average.
The soybean harvest on early beans should begin this week, if not already started this past weekend. The double-crop beans are in the process of putting beans in the pod and some report lower pod counts than normal, but will need another rain to make average yields of 25-30 bushels per acre.
Cows are doing very well with ample grass while calves are healthy and making good gains. It’s been a good year for the cow-calf man on the ranch except for the low cattle prices, which are depressing. We need those near $2 per pound prices to make a go of it. Some stocker calves were shipped to the feedyard in the last couple weeks and reports are that gains were real good averaging over two pounds per day.
Some folks are busy getting some wheat and oats in the ground for winter grazing. Remember to keep an eye out for fall armyworms and stay on top of it because they can wipe out your grasses in no time at all. Visit our website for more information or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the markets as of Sept. 7 — Slaughter cattle traded at $100, October live cattle at $95 while September feeder steers were $133. Feedyard closeouts were a dreadful $265 in the red. On a light test six weight #1 steers calves were $1.43 (unweaned) and same weight #1 heifers were $1.36. Slaughter cows and bulls were mostly steady on a very light test at all markets. Good average yielding cows were going for $58-63 and 1,600-pound bulls were around $84-85. Local cash price on milo was hanging around $6 per hundredweight.
Visit the Cooke County AgriLife Extension website at cooke.agrilife.org for events and updates.
Marty Morgan is Cooke County Ag Agent for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Reach him at 940-668-5412 or email@example.com.