May 4 program in San Antonio will address rebuilding a beef-cattle herd

March 29, 2012

By: Paul Schattenberg, 210-467-6575,

SAN ANTONIO – A Texas AgriLife Extension Service program specifically designed to help beef-cattle producers plan for rebuilding their beef herd will be held May 4 at the Auction Barn on the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo grounds, 3201 East Houston Street in San Antonio.

“The reduced cow inventory combined with high input costs, competing uses for land, prices of competing meats and the radical changes in grain use are reshaping the beef business,” said Dr. Rick Machen, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist in Uvalde and program presenter. “Those with serious intent to enter, rebuild or expand their operations can’t wait for rains and greener pastures. They need to develop a plan they can have in place when opportunity presents itself.”

Machen said the “Rebuilding The Beef Herd” program in Bexar County is part of a statewide AgriLife Extension educational initiative.

A Texas AgriLife Extension Service program specifically designed for producers interested in rebuilding their beef-cattle herd after last year's drought will be held 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. May 4 at the Auction Barn on the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo grounds. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The program will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a general session including the topics “Beef – Better (and Different) Times Ahead,” “Forage Recovery and Pasture Restocking” and “Evaluating Replacement Options.”

Lunch will be at noon, followed by the 1 p.m. presentation “Can a $2,500 Cow Break Even?” From 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., there will be two afternoon breakout sessions – one on flexibility in resource use and the other on leased grazing. These two sessions will be repeated from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., with program adjournment at 5 p.m.

“Since this is primarily an urban county, it’s a little more difficult for people replenishing their beef-cattle herds to find replacement stock,” said Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agent, Bexar County. “In particular, many small landowners in this area had to sell their entire herd during the drought, so this program will be useful for them in trying to rebuild. This program will give them an opportunity to learn how to identify and buy better quality cattle for improving their herd.”

Registration is $40 per person and includes lunch.

To register, go to and type “beef” into the keyword field.

For the past two decades, there has been a continual decline in cattle numbers within the state, and the historic drought of 2011 has dramatically accentuated that trend, according to Dr. Ron Gill, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist and associate department head for animal science at Texas A&M University, College Station.

Gill said recent surveys indicate that as many as 25 percent of producers who have sold cattle due to drought do not intend to go back into beef production, and another 10 percent to 15 percent indicate they may seek alternative livestock enterprises if they do go back into production.

“This will have long-term implications on the future of the Texas beef cattle industry,” he said. “The cattle industry brings billions of dollars to the state economy, but with the cowherd at such a critically low level, Texas will start to lose infrastructure if cow numbers do not increase soon.”

Gill said this and other programs being offered by AgriLife Extension throughout the state are intended to provide information producers need to adequately plan toward rebuilding their herd.

For more information on beef-herd rebuilding, go to


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