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The precipitation we started getting going back to last spring has certainly helped put grazing lands in better shape. But not all the grass has had livestock put out on it, and Donley County Extension Agent Leonard Haynes says that could be a concern.
"There's always the risk of the wildfire issue," Haynes said. "We turn off dry because we do have that fuel load sitting out there in our pastures where cattle have just not been reintroduced."
Right about now farmers are strategizing on what to plant to this year, and with demand for sorghum continuing to grow, Sorghum Checkoff CEO Tim Lust says the early indication is that sorghum acres will increase this year.
"Producer profitability, as growers are looking at the numbers, they're not excited about the numbers compared to the past couple of years," Lust said. "From a profitability standpoint, I think sorghum's coming out in many operations as being the best choice and getting a nod to have an increase in some acres."
As we hear in our forecast, we are looking at more precipitation come Friday and Saturday. That’s good to hear. But Hemphill County Extension Agent Andy Holloway told KGNC that farmers in his county are still celebrating last week’s precipitation event, which provided a booster shot to a wheat crop that was starting to decline.
"We did not get the amount of moisture out here that the western part of the Texas panhandle received but we did received enough that once it does warm up, wheat will begin to grow again and be potentially some good grazing, particularly in late winter, early spring," Holloway said.
The dairy industry in Texas continues to grow, with much of that occurring here in the KGNC listening area.
The latest report form USDA says – in December 2014 – Texas milk production was up by 9.7% over December 2013, with an additional 30,000 cows and an increase of 50 pounds of milk per cow per month. Hereford dairyman and KGNC contributor Mike Schouten says the good weather in Texas played a role in all that.
"The production per cow is totally related, but the whopping 30,000 additional cows means that any facilities that were empty are probably now full and as far as I know there aren't any additional facilities being built at this time but that Texas number is starting to get the interest of the nation," Schouten said.
Farmers are faced with some difficult decisions related to their participation in various Farm Bill programs, most notably Price Loss Coverage and Agricultural Risk Coverage. Information about PLC, ARC, base reallocation, and yield updates is available here
For more information from the Agricultural & Food Policy Center at Texas A&M, cllick here
And for cotton-specific information from the National Cotton Council, go here http://www.cotton.org/issues/stax-farm-bill-meetings.cfm
The KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour is your daily opportunity to hear from agriculture newsmakers from around the region. The program airs Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. on KGNC-AM.
In addition to bringing you the insights of ag experts from around the High Plains region, our show also offers up-to-the-minute market information, veterinary news, wildlife reports, and features that explore the daily endeavor of those good people – the farmers and livestock producers – who provide us with the food and fiber we all need.
If you are unable to listen to the Agribusiness Hour live, remember you can hear recordings of past programs in podcast form by going here: http://multimedia.kgncam.com/audio/ag.htm