Well dang, here it is already September! My how the time flies when you’re having fun, right?
We received more rain this week with totals on Monday and Tuesday anywhere from half to 2 inches, and then we got hammered Friday beginning late morning and lasting to the middle of the afternoon as the bottom fell out! Rain totals on Friday ranged from half an inch in the southeastern part of the county to 1-2 inches over much of it with some 2.5 to 3-inch pockets around and north of Lindsay all the way to the Red River. The heavier rain was north of U.S. 82 and west of I-35. It sure was nice and I can hear the grass growing out there.
Well the wheat crop was good this year, averaging around 60-70 bushel-per-acre yields. The corn crop was good, averaging around 140-150 bushel-per-acre yields, and the verdict is still out on the milo crop but it looks good so far with early milo making 3,500 to 5,500 pounds per acre. Farmers need some dry weather with low humidity so they can get the rest of it harvested. The rain will be good on the double-crop soybeans but what early planted beans we had were pretty much a wash this year.
There are lots of round bales dotting the horizon and it has been an excellent year for making hay. The prices vary depending on the crop, bale size and quality, but on average good coastal hay is going for $65-75 per round bale ($8-10 for squares) and good mixed hay is going for $50-65 per bale.
As for cattle, the cow-calf sector is doing good with calves making decent gains so far this year. Time will tell this fall when calves are weaned just how good but I suspect they will be above average. As with every year we have a battle with horn flies and this year was no exception, but not as bad as we normally see. Those that invested in fly tags were ahead of them. Reports are that the summer stocker calves are looking pretty good and making decent gains. They should really take off when the grass gets to popping after all this rain, especially if it was fertilized more than once. It will be washy for a few weeks but then get some strength to it going into fall.
Start looking out for fall armyworms as I am sure they will be rearing their ugly heads soon enough. If you need some help deciding which insecticide to use, visit our website and look at the fall armyworm fact sheet for a list of chemicals to use or give me a call and I will be happy to point you in the right direction. We have a good cost per acre spreadsheet on insecticides you can use too. They can wipe you out fast so stay on top of it. You’re the boss!
In the markets as of Aug. 31 — Slaughter cattle traded at $103. September live cattle were at $105 while September feeder steers were at $132. Feedyard closeouts were a dreadful $218 in the red. On a light test, six weight #1 steers calves were $1.46 ($1.40 unweaned) and same weight #1 heifers were $1.32. Slaughter cows and bulls were mostly steady on a very light test at all markets. Good average yielding cows were going for $60-62 and 1,600-pound bulls were around $84-88. Local cash price on corn and milo is $3.40 and $6 respectively.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.