Rebuilding beef herd training to be held Nov. 20 in Paris

AgriLife Extension agent: Emphasis is on the long-range view

Cattle fed hay

With uncertain weather, herd numbers low and replacement costs high, livestock producers have some difficult decisions to make in coming years, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns)

Writer: Robert Burns, 903-834-6191,

PARIS — Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel will conduct a training, “Rebuilding the Beef Herd: Planning to capture opportunities,” Nov. 20 in Paris.

“When you go back to the historic drought of 2011, a lot of our producers sold cows. I’ve heard estimates of herds being cut from 30 percent to 50 percent, even more in some cases, ” said Mike Morrow, AgriLife Extension agent for Lamar County.

Since 2011, herd numbers remain low, Morrow said, and the drier than normal conditions have often prevailed.

“Whatever happens with the weather this winter, producers need to devise a long-range plan to rebuild herds and to take advantage of opportunities that may arise from recent changes in cattle and feed grain markets. That’s what the Nov. 20 program is designed to do,” he said.

Held at the Love Civic Center, 2020 S. Collegiate Drive, registration is $40 per person, includes lunch, and must be paid by Nov. 15, Morrow said.

To register, make checks payable to “Lamar Ag Fund,” and mail them to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, 4315 Bonham St., Suite A, Paris, TX 75460. The program is a joint effort of AgriLife Extension offices in Lamar, Delta and Red River counties.

“But we’ll also welcome producers from surrounding counties and Oklahoma where conditions have been similar,” Morrow said.

Speakers will include Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton; and Dr. Jason Banta, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, Overton; Stan Bevers, AgriLife Extension economist, Vernon; and Hugh Aljoe, Nobel Foundation specialist, Ardmore, Okla.

The general session will start at 8:30 a.m., with the presentation, “Beef, Better — and Different — Times Ahead,” followed by “Forage Recovery and Pasture Restocking.”

“This discussion will focus on the art and science of balancing grazing pressure and forage supply,” Corriher-Olson said. “When it rains, drought-stricken warm-season forages must be allowed to rebound either from root reserves or seed while resource managers begin to restock with cattle.”

At 10:30 a.m., a talk will be given on “Evaluating Replacement Options.”

The presentation will review critical considerations such as mature size, environmental adaptability, market acceptance and health issues, Banta said.

After lunch, the discussions will include “Flexibility in Resource Use;” and “Leased Grazing—What, Why and How;” and “Can a $2,500 Cow Break Even?”

The training will adjourn at 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Morrow at 903-737-2443,; Lynn Golden, AgriLife Extension agent for Red River County, 903-427-3867,; or Cody Maxwell, AgriLife Extension agent for Delta County, 903-395-4400,

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