July Rains Have Producers Shifting Gears for the Future, Peel SaysTue, 06 Aug 2013 15:35:25 CDT
Ample rains across large portions of the Southern Plains have cattle producers wondering if the recent drought may be at an end. If it is, a change in strategy is in the offing, says Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Derrell Peel. He spoke recently with Radio Oklahoma Network's Ron Hays at the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association convention and trade show. (Click on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story for the full conversation.)
"Certainly here in Oklahoma the rain we've had has tremendously changed the situation," Peel saiys. "It's come early enough that we're going to see some forage production. It's certainly been a better year."
Peel says producers are cautiously optimistic that we've moved past the drought, but we won't know for some time yet. Still, the state is in its best shape in about three years. The rains will influence a lot of decisions this fall for producers, but, given the lateness of the season, Peel says he doesn't think things will change drastically with regard to animal numbers just yet. He says producers will be laying the groundwork, however, for what will happen in 2014 if the drought is truly broken. He says herd liquidation will likely taper off as producers look to retain heifers to rebuild their herds. With such a young herd base, Peel says, rebuilding could happen quite rapidly.
Though rebuilding will begin rather quickly, the numbers are so low currently that it could take until 2016 or 2017 just to regain lost ground before thinking of expanding the herd, Peel said.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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