Peel Says Herd Rebuilding Could Go Either Way in 2015Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:44:14 CDT
Herd rebuilding got underway aggressively in 2014 for the Southern Plains region of Texas and Oklahoma. That's according to the nation's cattle inventory report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in late January. Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel said the region could have another good year of expansion in 2015, but a lot hinges on the weather conditions over the next 60 - 90 days.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Peel on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
The Southern Plains region had the biggest deficit of cattle numbers during the peak of the drought. In looking at the big picture, Peel said it was surprising the beef cow herd number grew by two percent last year, but he isn't confident that will be repeated in 2015.
"I'm not so sure we have as good as chance to maintain that this year, even if we continue forward with herd expansion," Peel said."Because of the limited forage conditions, even if we have decent rains from here on in the southern plains, we need some time to recover."
Peel anticipates there will be less herd growth in the eastern half of the country because of the loss of pastureland in the region. Even with favorable weather conditions, he anticipates herd expansion will take place at a moderate pace. If the drought redevelops in the Southern Plains, Peel is concerned that herd expansion will halt or even reverse.
In looking at the conditions in Texas, Peel said herd expansion has taken place in eastern into central Texas. With adequate moisture, herd numbers have increased in that part of the state. Peel continues to monitor a growing area of drought in central to western Texas, as well as western Oklahoma and the Panhandle. Peel said conditions have improved into New Mexico and southern Colorado, but the generosity of Mother Nature will determine if herd rebuilding can continue to move forward this year.
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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