Well my oh my, good ol’ Texas weather! A cool front blew through here Sunday night — it didn’t deliver much in the way of moisture, but it did lower the temps a smidgen. It’s going to feel like fall out there this week and that’s fine by me.
The first half of the year all we talked about was all the rain we were getting and now I guess we can talk about how dry it is. We have not received much in the form of moisture over the last 26 days. Sunday night, we received from sprinkles to almost half an inch, but it was sure spotted, and only the chosen few got anywhere close to that half-inch mark. Thank goodness August was good to us in the rain department, as it kept our pastures and hayfields greened up and doing well. The ones having the trouble are the wheat farmers that run stockers! They are about ready to pull their hair out in frustration.
Most wheat fields have been planted twice now thanks to the hard rain we got in the middle of September which caused fields to crust over and prevent the majority of the wheat from coming up. The wheat that came up has just been sitting there needing a rain, and fall armyworms did affect some of it, but they have not been as bad this fall as in the previous two years. The majority of wheat farmers that plant seed wheat to harvest have held off planting because of the dry weather and the threat from insects. One of our best farmers said that as long as he can get it in the ground by Thanksgiving, it’ll work fine.
The summer stocker calves are on grass pastures for now and some producers were hoping to transition them to wheat pasture but that looks like it might not work this year, or at least anytime soon. Grass is playing out fast with the dry weather, and especially the freeze last week that killed or stunted more grass in certain areas around the county.
A lot of ranchers are busy weaning calves and preg-checking cows this time of year. Some calves will go straight to town to be sold, while others will be weaned on the ranch and enter a preconditioning program. Be sure to choose a value-added program that will work for you and put some extra money in your pocket. You should already have a plan in place for giving the right vaccinations, de-wormers and other health protocols. The most important part of the value-added plan is the marketing of your calves. Do your homework on all angles to better position yourself for a larger profit from all your hard work. There is nothing worse than leaving money on the table. Take care of business! You’re the boss!
In the markets as of Oct. 19 — The cattle future market was up $1 on fats but down 50 cents on feeders. Slaughter cattle traded up a $1 at $108; October live cattle was up $1 at $110.50 while October feeder steers were 50 cents lower at $143.50. Feedyard closeouts didn’t bleed as much red ink this week at $100. In Oklahoma, seventruckloads of good 624-pound weaned #1 steer calves sold for $1.54.50 (unweaned calves $1.44). Two potloads of good 630-pound weaned #1 heifers were at $1.43 (unweaned $1.34). Slaughter cows were down $4 with good average yielding 1,200-1,300-pound cows going for $53-62 and 1,800-pound bulls sold steady at $78-84. Good long-bred heifers were $900-1,125. Young long-bred cows were at $1,000-1,200,
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.