Wise County Crop and Cattle Report

Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for June 22, 2020

Well after almost 4 weeks without any moisture (since Memorial Day) we finally received some good rains this past weekend and this morning.  It started Friday evening with 1-2-inch rain totals, mostly closer to 2, throughout the County.  Then Sunday morning early it came another round that lasted most of the morning and dropped from half  to 1 inch on the south and western side of the county and about 1 to 1.5 inches in the Northeast quarter of the county.  Then early this morning another round of storms dropped another .5 to 2 inches before clearing out by 8am.  The southern half of the county got from half to an inch and the Northern half got from 1-2 inches.   All total from Friday to Monday we received anywhere from 2.5 to 5.5 inches depending on your location in the County.  I personally poured out of my gauge on the East/middle side of the County  a total of 4.9 inches, Friday was 1.8, Sunday was 1.5, and this morning 1.6 and it was still raining lightly when I left for work.  All in all, it was a God send as conditions were deteriorating fast before these rain events.

Pastures and hayfields were starting to go south in a hurry and especially the corn and milo was hurting for a drink.  The timing all worked out tho,  the 4 week break between rains gave the Wheat farmers a chance to get their crops in,  and it gave  the hay producers the opportunity to get their hay baled and a lot of hay was rolled up in the County.  I noticed a lot of sudan/haygrazer was cut and rolled last week and most everyone beat the rain, so this moisture will be just right for a second cutting on that too.   The hay crops this spring was a little light on the first cutting and some second cuttings, but now everyone should get a second or third cutting to make up for the lower poundage produced so far.   The Corn and milo should be perked up by now as it was in dire need of some moisture and this might hold it to harvest.

All the cattle look fat and happy  with all spring calves worked and branded,  fall calves weaned and either held and backgrounded, or shipped off to market, and bulls are busy making next year’s calf crop for you, and possibly your neighbors. Ha!  A lot of our farmers and ranchers have signed up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and some have even received a check by now.  Please contact the Farm Service Agency if you have not signed up for the CFAP program, at 940-627-2268 Ext 2 or Susan.sherwood@usda.gov   For information, trainings and forms visit  https://www.farmers.gov/cfap . Holler at me if you have any questions or need help with anything at marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu  or give me a call.

  In the cattle market as of 6-20- Well slaughter steers just keep falling lower and were down $3 last week at $102, down to $98 on some sold.  Feed yard closeouts were at $210 in the red.  The June live cattle futures are down in the $94’s.  Aug Feeder futures were up a hair at $132.55.   Good 750 lb. TX Feeder steers were down $1 at $128, while 550 lb Stockers were up $1 at $149.   Decatur Livestock Market LLC– Not many weaned calves coming to town this time of year – higher ratio of milk fat, bawling calves, which in this heat, are not very desirable. Compared to last week, 5-7 weight steers were $5-$8/cwt cheaper; lighter steers and heifers were steady. Not enough take-home kind of breds and pairs to test the market.  5-6 weight steers averaged $1.20, while heifers averaged $1.14.   Packer cows were steady to $3 higher; bulls $5-$8/cwt higher.  High Yield Packer cows($68-76) and bulls($93-104).  Hay Report: Coastal Bermuda: Premium Small Squares: FOB: 8.00-10.00 per bale; Large Rounds: FOB: Good to Premium: 60.00-70.00 per roll

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service       marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for June 1, 2020

Well we received a good rain on Memorial Day last Monday!   I poured out 1.8 inches at my house.  I think 1 to 1.5 inches was pretty general over the entire county.  It was nice cooking steaks on the back porch and listening to it rain in one ear and the Grandson in the other.  That boy never shuts up.  Ha!  I think the good Lord sends those all-day rains to force us to stop, rest, and smell the roses (rain).  I know I needed it!   I did get up early and get out the Crop & Cattle Report that morning tho.

The rain was good for pastures and hayfields but it held up our wheat and oat harvest a few days.   Our farmers haven’t been able to get in the field but a few days each week so far.   We now have a 50% chance of rain for Tuesday so it may be another 3-4-day week for them.   Early reports are that wheat is making 60-70 bushels/acre average and some oats have been windrowed and about ready.  What Corn we have is looking pretty decent but a little behind from all the moisture.  Boy howdy the Sudan/Haygrazer patches look real good this year with timely rains and should make some good grazing or hay.

Coastal Bermuda and other hayfields are green and finally looking normal after a slow start this year.   Everyone was complaining their grass just didn’t look right and wasn’t doing much to start with.  Grasshoppers are bad in places so keep an eye out.   Everyone got a decent first cutting of mostly winter grasses with a little bermudagrass mixed in.   This second cutting should be pretty decent now with the winter grass off of it.

The cows are in dang good shape with calves growing good, with improved and native pastures producing well now with higher daily temperatures reaching up there close to 90 degrees or over.  I tell you it has been a very pleasant spring this year with the May rain total from 9-15 inches depending on your location (with a few areas near 20), but summer is right around the corner and I do not look forward to those 100 plus degree days.  Lets just hope it keeps on raining enough to keep our grasses and crops producing, while allowing our farmers to get out their wheat and oats.  Some of the stocker calves have been shipped now that the winter pastures have played out while others are holding them on grass or sudan grazing hoping the market goes up.   Some folks held their weaned fall calves for the same reason, but how long they can hold them before they get into the grazing meant for cows will determine when they hit the market more than what the market is doing price wise.  I tell you this cattle market has been rough and a lot more risk management has come into play this year!

Give us a call if we can help you and remember to sign up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for direct relief from the CARES Act to all you farmers and ranchers.  Email the Farm Service Agency to sign up at Susan.sherwood@usda.gov  as the office is still closed for walk ins.  They are very busy so be patient and they will get to you when its your turn.  Its first come first serve and email is the best way to contact them.  If you need help contact them or give me a call and we can help you figure it all out!  Forms/details at  https://www.farmers.gov/cfap

 

  In the cattle market as of 5-29  Slaughter cattle were around $118 average.  Feed yard closeouts were $22 in the red.  The June live cattle futures were up past $1 but slid back to $99.72 by closing Friday.  Aug Feeder futures were up $7 at $135.   Good 750 lb. Feeder steers were steady at $128, as were 550 lb Stocker at $152.

Decatur Livestock Market LLC– Widespread rain made it hard for some folks to get cattle out to bring to town, so we experienced a lighter than normal run for Memorial Day. Because of all the rain, lightweight calves were a tough sale. Lots of bull calves on hand versus steers with prices reflecting that fact. 5-6 weight heifers were steady to $2 cheaper. Packer prices $4-$6/cwt cheaper on cows; not many high yield bulls to test the market.

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service     marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for May 25, 2020

Well we received from 2-6 inches depending on your location last week and its raining again this morning as I am writing this, and more rain in the forecast for the entire week.  Friday night brought a Tornado to our neighbors in Bowie, TX along with up to a foot of rain in that area..  We have all been praying for those folks over the weekend and hope they get back on their feet soon.   County Judge J.D. Clark has made a neighborly offer of help from Wise County to our friends up there.  We are blessed to have such an amazing man as our County Judge who loves this county and its citizens, and also loves Texas and our Country, and works above and beyond to better all.

Here in Wise County folks north of Hwy 380 received from 3-6 inches and south of 380 they got 2-3 inches.  Needless to say there was a lot of flooding with already saturated soil from the big rain the week before last.   All creeks are bank full or out of bank as the area lakes are above flood stage and Lake Bridgeport was closed to boats all this weekend because of all the high water.

Wheat and oat farmers had gotten started with harvest the prior week and was working in between the storms when dry enough to get in the field, which here lately those days have been very limited.   It looks to be a half decent harvest if they can get it out.   So far, we have dodged most of the hail storms but with the high water and wind some lodging has occurred.  Some are windrowing their oats in hopes of saving it from hail or lodging.  The corn was looking good but I am sure there will be some yellowing now with all this moisture here lately. With the good rain a  week ago it has made the pastures turn dark green and sure enough take off.   Coastal Bermudagrass and some other improved grasses had been little slow to come on earlier, and didn’t look right, but they sure are green and coming on now.   The Sudan/haygrazerl patches look great and really taking off and should make some dang good hay.

The cattle are all fat and happy and belly deep in grass  as the rains have been welcomed out in the pasture.   Calves are looking the best they have looked all year and putting on weight.  We should be able to run a good many stockers this summer with all the grass we should have, but as we know here in Texas it can change in a heartbeat, to dry as a bone.   Lets hope that don’t happen this year and with all the rain in the forecast for the next 10 days lets hope our farmers get their wheat and oats harvested.  If the grasshoppers didn’t get washed down the river visit our website at https://wise.agrilife.org/ and look under ANR/Pasture Management tab for insecticides that are best to use.  I have a lot of good information there as well, so check it out.

In the cattle market as of 5-23  Slaughter cattle were up a little this week depending on negotiating skills at $115-120.  Feed yard closeouts were $18 in the black.  The live cattle futures for June were steady at $97.   June Feeder futures were at $128.   Good 750 lb. Feeder steers were steady at $128.50, and so were 550 lb Stocker steers, steady at $152.  Decatur Livestock Market LLC– With the much needed, widespread rain this past weekend, the run was a little lighter than normal this time of year – but buyers were on hand and actively bidding. Calves/yearlings were steady on most classes with 4 weights experiencing a slight downward market. There were a lot of good, young to mid age bred cows and pairs with high demand; prices were $50-$125 higher than last week. Packer cows and bulls steady.. High yielding Packer cows at $67-76 while packer bulls were at $92-106.  Six weight steers averaged $117-133, while same weight heifers were $108-116.

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service         marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for May 18, 2020

Well we received some nice rains last week and with the bulk of it coming Friday night and all-day Saturday.  Totals coming in were steady over most of the county at 4-5 inches, with Saturday producing 3-4 inches of that total, with a some flooding occurring.   It sure was a welcomed sight for our farmers and ranchers as grass and crops were beginning to show signs of stress.   There was a couple of areas near Alvord and Chico that received an additional inch on top of the 4-5-inch totals for the County.   I poured out 4.8 inches Sunday morning and that was for the entire week.  This will sure make some good hay as we have a lot of hay produced here in the county.

Coastal Fields are already greening up this morning and the Hay grazer/Sudan patches I drove by this morning had grown a foot seemed like, since Friday.  I visited with one of our Wheat producers this morning and he said they started harvesting a little wheat the last dry spell and have a lot more to go, of course it is too muddy today.  He said wheat will be pretty decent considering all the rain and the freeze we received after Easter.  He didn’t get any hail or wind damage to speak of so that was good news.  A little lodging but he thought he could get it harvested okay.  He is also trying to cut some of his hayfields too when it dries out a little, so he is busy as a beaver.

The cattle will be belly deep in grass here shortly and that is nice to see.  Wheat and winter pastures have just about played out for the most part but now summer grass will be coming on strong if ranchers have a mind to hold their calves or stockers a little longer.   The cattle market has rebounded a little this last week and that is some good news for all of us.  Let’s just hope it keeps going up this week so our producers can make a little more money on their fall and stocker calves and at least break even.   It’s been a tough row to hoe these last several months in the cattle markets for obvious reasons.  Spring calves are looking good and will sure enough put on some pounds now that the pastures are fertilized and had a good drink.

I noticed a lot of fertilize buggy’s going up and down the highway last Monday before the rain so hopefully everyone got their pastures fertilized before all this rain.   I was in the southern part of the county last week and a lot of producers had made a good first cutting of mixed grass hay on their Coastal Bermudagrass hay fields.  Now that the hayfields are cleaned up they should really make some good clean Coastal hay.  Just got a call at 7am this morning about, and yep you guessed it, Grasshoppers!  The little buggers are a dime a dozen so visit our website at https://wise.agrilife.org/ and look under Ag & Natural Resources/Pasture Management tab for insecticides that are best to use.  I have a lot of good information there as well, so check it out.

In the cattle market as of 5-16 Slaughter cattle remained steady last week at $115.  Feed yard closeouts were only $41 in the red.  The live cattle futures for June were up $2 at $97 and currently up a buck sixty five here on Monday afternoon.  May Feeder futures were $3 lower at $125, but currently up almost $2.  Good 750 lb. Feeder steers were steady at $129, while 550 lb Stocker steers were off 3 dollars at $152 here in Texas.  Decatur Livestock Market LLC– 2 weight calves experienced the largest gain compared to last week with prices being $20/cwt higher. Bred cows and pairs were the hottest commodity with prices steady to $150 higher. Packer cows were steady to $5/cwt higher at ; $65-75 while packer bulls $6-$15/cwt higher at $95-105.  Six weight steers averaged $120-133, while heifers were $108-114.  In the weaned segment a set of 615# steers brought $133, and set of 505# steers brought $143.

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service   marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for May 11, 2020

Well we received a couple of cool fronts last week with a little rain amounting to around a half inch on Monday and again on Thursday for a weekly total of half to one inch depending on your location.   This time of year, an inch doesn’t go very far with all the grass and wind sucking moisture out of the soil.  I tell you what it’s dry, and we could sure use a good 2-3-inch rain this week, and there are some decent chances in the forecast if the weatherman doesn’t change his mind like they tend to do on a hourly basis.  Ha.

Winter grasses are making seed and going kaput, so the battle for available moisture is coming to an end for the warm season grasses.   It will be your fault if your spring grass is having to battle weeds for moisture, that is if you could have sprayed and failed to.  Some of us have pastures that are just too rough to get a spray rig into, so of course you may have some unwanted weeds.  There have been a lot of folks cutting and baling wheat and other winter grass pastures the last couple of weeks and it’s making some good hay.  Some are baling hay off Bermudagrass hay fields to clean it up, while others who have other improved grass pastures and hayfields are also trying to eliminate competition for their summer grass.  Wheat & oats for harvest is mostly in the late dough stage now and we have been dodging hailstorms here lately and only received some small peas size hail in a few locations.  I have not heard of any severe damage, but the strong winds here lately have caused a little lodging.

The cattle are fat and happy and doing well with calves making some decent gains here lately.  A lot of cattle were worked during branding the last couple of weeks and I suspect everyone should wrap that up here in the next couple weeks if they have been putting it off.   The temperatures have been pleasant for the most part and look to be this week as well, so get it done because it will get turn off hot soon enough.  Quite a few fall calves have been weaned the last month and that should be finished up by end of May.  Some are leaving calves on a little longer this time because of the downed cattle market.   While others went ahead with weaning but had some pasture to hold them on for a while.  A lot more folks this year are holding their calves to background/precondition which is a great idea, and I think a practice that should be done every calf crop.  When done right it can add a lot of value to your calves and increase your bottom line, which we all need every year, but especially this COVID-19 kind of year.

In the cattle market as of 5-9-20 Well finally some good news this week as slaughter cattle took a $10 jump to $115 for some but there were wide price ranges last week.  Feed yard closeouts were only $49 in the red.  The live cattle futures for June were limit up a couple times last week, and then settled near $95.  May Feeder futures were also up $10 to $128.  750 lb. Feeder steers were up $9 at $129, while 550 lb Stocker steers were only up a dollar at $155 here in Texas but a little lower nationally. Decatur Livestock Market LLC – The combination of industry wide uncertainty and grazing land drying up due to lack of rain makes for a hard sell of lightweight calves with their prices $5-$10 lower on average.  Feedyard ready cattle were steady to $5 higher. Six weight steers averaged $120-130, while heifers were $108-113.  In the weaned segment 13-602# steers brought $141.50, 17 weighing 543# brought $150. Good young to mid age bred cows and pairs still in good demand with not enough supply. Packer cows were $4-$7/cwt higher averaging $65-75 while bulls were steady to $10 lower averaging $78-88.

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service  marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for May 4, 2020

Well we received from half to an inch of rain over the County last Monday night into Tuesday morning.  I poured out six tenths at my house on the east side of the county.  I did not hear any reports of hail but there could have possibly been a little in certain locations by the looks of the radar.  The rain was a welcomed site as we were drying out a little, I just wish it had been more, but we will take what we can get!  In a perfect world about an inch every week would be just what the doctor ordered.

All the winter pastures and grasses have headed out and on the downhill slide.  Well wheat is in the dough stage now and according to producers approximately twenty percent of the wheat crop for harvest was damaged from the last freeze so we will see when we get into harvest in a month or so.  It’s always something seems like.   The corn crop is “coming along” as one producer put it, with hardly any signs of freeze damage in most fields.  There has been some good wheat and oat hay baled up the last week or two with good tonnage per acre yields, real nice quality hay.  A good amount of rye grass and winter grass mixes have been rolled up as well.  The quality depends on several factors like how leafy it was, how much fertilizer was applied if any, but hey even the worst of it is better than feeding a snowball, as my ole buddy would always say.  Warm season grasses are coming on good, but that last freeze sure slowed them down for a while.  There has been a lot of fertilize and weed killer put out the last few weeks as folks manage their pastures for grazing or haying.

The cattle look real good as grass has gained some strength to it and it shows.  Calf gains on the cow are increasing rapidly as we transition from winter pasture to green warm season pastures that are coming on now.  The cattle market remains in the tank and producers are making hard decisions on how to manage the downed markets and stay in business.  A lot of ranchers are holding their fall born calves especially if they have the grass and capital to do so while others are forced to sell or put on feed, of which both are not a good option in this market.  The oilfield industry is suffering tremendously, and Wise County is feeling the effects since we have a lot of oil and gas production here.  All our businesses are suffering as well, and I was tickled to hear that most of them can open back up now with a 50% occupancy this week!

I pray this COVID-19 goes away quickly so everyone can get back to work and our economy will get rolling again!  I realize this is a farm report, but I know how everyone is hurting right now and you are all in our prayers daily.  Lets all remember to be diligent in practicing safe hygiene by keeping our distance, wearing a mask, washing our hands and most of all be kind to one another.  We are all in this together so let’s do our part okay!

In the cattle market as of 5-2-20 The slaughter cattle remained steady at $95.  Feed yard closeouts were a horrible $314 in the red.  The live cattle futures for June were up $5 at $87.  May Feeder futures were steady at $118.  750 lb. Feeder steers were off $ at $120, while 550 lb Stocker steers remained steady at $154.50.  Decatur Livestock Market LLC– Compared to last week, steers experienced $2-$6 lower prices on average; heifers were $5-$10 lower. Quality of cattle were a big factor in the drop in price, comparable quality cattle sold about the same as last week. Good bred cows and pairs still in high demand – just not seeing many of them come to town. High yielding packer cows were steady to $5 cheaper at $63-68 while bulls were steady to $4 higher at $88-96.   Six weight steers averaged $126-134, while heifers were $109-115.

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service   marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for April 27, 2020

Well we haven’t had a good rain in a couple of weeks now, but we have slight chance today and a 40 percent chance tomorrow.  This time of year, with all the grass growing it doesn’t take long to dry out, and this is the time of year we could use an inch every week.  Pastures and hayfields are really coming on nice except for those areas that the freeze affected right after Easter.   Especially the ranchers in the north half of the county who reported that the freeze burned their warm season grasses back, but given time it will recover and take off again.  Grazing wheat looks good and winter pastures are all going to head, but cattle are looking pretty good now, but enjoy because it will play out soon enough. I have heard of a few that are baling their winter pastures especially in Bermudagrass fields where they want some good quality Coastal hay. It is a good idea to get the winter grass off to eliminate competition for your improved grass hayfields.

I have had several people send me pictures of True Armyworms on their place last week so be on the lookout for them, and the bermudagrass stem maggot.  We have had perfect weather for the True Armyworms but unlike the Fall Armyworm they don’t do near as much damage and usually you don’t have to spray for them in most cases.  The density of armyworms (4-5/sq. ft.) sufficient to justify insecticide treatment depends on the stage of crop growth and value of the crop, so you be the judge.  The stem maggot causes the death of the top two to three leaves while the rest of the plant remains green. This gives a stand of Bermuda grass the appearance of frost damage. Also, the discolored top leaves are easily pulled from the leaf sheath, and plant growth is stunted, so keep an eye out because I don’t look for another frost this year. The experts say you can have a yield loss of up to 10 pounds of grass/acre so it might not even pay to treat stem maggots.  And you may not even have them but they have been found north of us the last couple of years.

I have heard of few reports of grasshoppers so that will be next.  I have a lot of good information on spraying for all these pests so let me know if you need some help.

There is not much milo or corn planted in Wise County anymore.  Most of the corn is in the east and southeastern section of the county and it looks like it survived the freeze after Easter with little to no damage. Most of the combined wheat is in the northern part of the county and it did get some damage from the freeze.  One producer said the freeze damaged roughly 20 percent of his wheat crop, any damage is not good but heck I was thinking it could have been a lot higher number.   We were right on the borderline of 32 degrees, so it was hit and miss but of course the lower areas did see the most damage.  Even though we are locked up we are still working hard for you 24/6.

 In the cattle market as of 4-18 Oh my goodness will the market ever bounce back?  The slaughter cattle took another $10 hit from the previous week and ended at $95.  Feed yard closeouts were a horrible $306 in the red.  The live cattle futures for April were $10 lower at $84.97, with June and August down $3-4 as well.   April Feeder futures were steady at $119.80, but May and Aug were $2 lower.   750 lb. Feeder steers were up $3 at $121, while 550 lb Stocker steers were up almost a dollar at $154.

Decatur Livestock Market LLC– We experienced a better market on most classes than what we have been seeing the past couple weeks. Feeder steers were steady while heifers were $2-$10/cwt cheaper on average. The 500-600# heifers $117 and same weight steers $136.50. Six weight steers averaged $125 while heifers were $110.   Packers cows and bulls were higher, with high yield cows at $67 and bulls at $89 on average.  Last week’s cattle slaughter was estimated at 469,000 head was down from 642,000 head a year ago because of the suspended plant operations.

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for April 13, 2020

Well it’s a little chilly this morning with the winds howling out of the north.  We received another half to one inch of rain on Saturday, and the bottom fell out on me while I was over in Krum.  It rained so hard I could barely see the road, and for a good while.   Farmers trying to make a final ditch effort to get corn and milo in the ground were given a small window of opportunity last week.  With this recent rain, that was their last shot to beat the insurance planting deadline of April 15.  Most of the wheat to be combined has headed out in the last few weeks and what I saw last Friday doesn’t look to shabby, so we’re hoping for decent yields, despite the challenges of too much moisture.  Grazing wheat will hopefully yield a little more grazing for stockers on its way out.

Spring Pastures are finally waking up and starting to come on.  I looked at some Coastal Bermudagrass fields last week and its starting to pop.  Some farmers went ahead and put out some fertilizer and weed killer in between the wet periods, while others are waiting for this Easter spell that blew in yesterday to get past us.  Some of the early germinating broad leaf weeds were out, but quite a few weeds are just starting to come on, depending on your location and soil type.  I would advise to spray for weeds when they are 4-6 inches tall to get the best kill.  We have good recommendations for you whether it is pasture or lawns, so shoot me an email or give me call and I will be glad to help you.

Spring Calving season is almost over for most folks, and should be, but there are still a few with late calving cows.  Cows look decent out chasing the green stuff with a little hay still being kept out for some of them.   Fall calving herds are coming out of winter in decent shape with near average weight gains on calves depending on winter pastures, hay quality and how much supplements were fed.  With the cattle markets in the tank some producers with the means, plan on holding onto their weaned fall calves in hope of better prices down the road.  While others not as fortunate, will need to go ahead and sell in this down market and take their beating.  I just looked on the CME futures board and both live and feeder cattle are down close to the limit as of noon today.  The expanded limit on live cattle is $4.50 and feeder cattle is $6.75.  That means they can only drop this dollar amount in a given day.  They do this to try and keep the market from being too volatile and not reflecting true supply and demand.  It gets complicated and I sure ain’t no expert on Economics, but we have Economic Specialist that are experts if you have any questions on your mind, we’ll find answers!

In the cattle market- Well hopefully the cattle market has bottomed out now and we can bounce back to a price we can all make a little money at, like fast!  Mid-day 4-13, April live cattle futures are getting near limit down from Thursdays close of $94 holding at $91 and feeders also near the limits at $115, down from $119.50.  Feedyard closeouts are $163 in the red.  Slaughter cattle are on a roller coaster ride up and down as they are at $105, down $7 from the previous week of $112, and $5 behind a month ago.  750 lb. Feeder steers took another $9 hit to end up at $116, while 550 lb Stocker steers only lost $2 to $157.  Decatur Livestock-“Things were pretty grim as cattle producers face yet another week of downfall in the cattle market. With the continuing yo-yo effect of the stock market, the cattle futures are having a hard time finding any ground. Sure will be nice when we have something more positive to report for the market” As a result, our market was $10-$20/cwt lower on all classes of calves/yearlings. Packer cows and bulls were $15-$20/cwt lower as well.  5 weight steers $128, and heifers $111

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service  marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for April 6, 2020

Well the cool front blew in Friday morning and brought us more rain along with some chilly temps that were down in the 30’s.  Was this our Easter spell?  Lord I hope so!  As for crops and establishing grass, so far field work has been very limited this year because of soaked soil.  I did notice a Bermuda King sprig planter going down the road last week, but I am not sure whether he was putting some in the ground or just out driving around whistling dixie.

It’s that time of year for sprigging Bermudagrasses if you can find a dry spot.  You can sprig up into May, but you better hope it rains right.  I spoke with a couple producers this morning and they said the wheat is looking decent with some heading out, and even some flowering.  The wheat that was grazed and pulled off of is looking pretty good too.  One farmer said it would be a decent crop if we don’t get a freeze on it, but not near as good as last year’s crop.   A lot of the wheat here is grazed out and it’s hit and miss depending on location and soil type.  There is a little corn planted but stands are not good, either too wet or bad seed quality, so most will be prevented acres.  One said the corn planted south of Ft Worth towards Waco has excellent stands and looks great, but north of Ft. Worth its terrible.   They didn’t know of any milo planted so far; it’s just been too wet.  The pastures are sure enough green with winter grass doing half decent if it is not sitting in water.  Higher ground there is decent growth of the winter grasses, but most folks still have some hay out.   Some warm season grasses like Bermudagrass is starting to break dormancy and come on.   All we need is to dry out a little and get some prolonged sun and it would take off.   There are a few early germinating weeds rendering their ugly head and more coming soon so have a plan when the time is right.

Cow/calf herds look half decent, and the grass is getting stronger as we go, but calves look a little drawed this morning after the cold wet spell this weekend.  More hay and supplements were being fed last week to make up the difference on nutrition and for the change in weather.  Stocker cattle didn’t have much of a chance this year with sorry wheat pastures and crashing markets, not a good time to be in the stocker business here unless you had some cattle hedged.   Some operators are holding their calves while others sent them on to the feedyards.  What to do?  With cattle markets in the tank there really is nowhere to make any money, and most are just trying to figure out how they can stay afloat and survive this down market.   The packers in the meantime are making record profits but they better wake up and let the rest of us make a little money or they will not have any product to make money on!  It will not be the same as normal, but I pray everyone has a Blessed Easter this coming Sunday, at home of course!  God doesn’t care where you worship from, just as long as you worship!  Right!

  In the cattle market- My goodness when will this cattle market ever bottom out?  This morning 4-6, April live cattle futures are limit down again to $83.82 and feeders holding steady so far at $108.  Limit down at $4.50 and $6.75 sounds like a broke record here lately.  Feedyard closeouts are $85 in the red.  Slaughter cattle are on a roller coaster ride up and down as they are at $112, down $8 from the previous week of $120, and $1 behind a month ago.  750 lb. Feeder steers took a $9 hit to end up at $125, while 550 lb Stocker steers lost $6 to $159.  Decatur Livestock up from previous sale, had weighted average for 6 weight steers at $125 and heifers at $112.  Packer cows were $60-77 while bulls were $90-97

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service  marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for March 16, 2020

Well I know I sound like a broken record each week, but yeah, it’s raining, again! 4 plus inches of rain and more on the way! I was supposed to be at the Houston Stock Show until the 17th but as you all know they shut it down Wednesday 11th because of the Coronavirus scare. I came home Thursday as they let us finish the Sheep and Goat Show that day, and it wasn’t over until very late Wednesday night. It wasn’t the officials at the Houston Stock Shows fault, so don’t lay the blame there. Whether you agree or disagree with the decision it’s history now, so, no use beating a dead horse. The Austin Stock show and Rodeo has also been cancelled, so major show season is over for our Youth. I sure hate that a lot of seniors will not get to show at Houston and Austin, but safety-first, right. Many other venues and events are being canceled daily as well. Due to concerns about COVID-19 and grand efforts by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to protect the health of our customers and staff, our agency has mandated all face to face meetings, events and programs be canceled this week (March 16-20). They will re-evaluate at the end of the week and see if this will extend into the following week as well.

I’m proud of AgriLife Extensions leadership role in trying to curtail the Coronavirus and making top priority the safety of all citizens and employees! It means we had to cancel our Pasture Management Strategies Workshop on Thursday, March 19 and our pesticide training on Friday the 20th. But no big deal, folks understand completely! We hope to reschedule the workshop soon or incorporate it into another program down the road. The Private Applicator Training has been tentatively rescheduled for Friday, April 3 here at the office, but If we must move the date further down the road, we will do so as this is the last class before spring. Well the wheat & winter grasses are finally taking off now and livestock are beginning to paint the fences green! I love this time of year as the manure begins to smell like money to me. Too bad the stock market and cattle market are in the tank or it would smell even better. With everything that is going on now days and all the madness associated with it, one must fight to keep from getting depressed. As my Dad always said, “I’m laughing to keep from crying”. So, Laugh a Little!!!

In the markets as of Monday 16- Well the Coronavirus has had all the markets in an uproar here lately. Like many of you my Investment funds are taking a big hit. The same can be said about the cattle & grain markets with fats and feeders limit down three days in a row. It’s the pits! Since January live futures have fell over $30, a $400 per head dip! Feeder cattle have fell over $30 as well. Live Fed Steer Prices are down to $109 from Jan’s $127. Current feed yard closeouts were $104 in the red last week. The live cattle futures for April are at $91 as of noon today, while March Feeder futures were at $1.09 at noon. Hold on tight, the live futures we’ll likely go down to mid-80’s according to most analyst and feeders below $1.00! Decatur Livestock Auction said it best “Several variables – 4+” of rain, forecast for more rain, stock markets in the tank, cattle futures closing down the limit every day for past several days, coronavirus scare – all combined make for a tough market. Amen to that folks!!!

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for February 2019

Well, here we are again, bogging around in the mud! Dang it was a pretty Thursday after Wednesday’s all-day rain event! The sun was shining, 69*, light wind, heck of a nice day! Today is supposed to be a repeat but more rain is in the forecast for next week. The old timers always say one extreme follows another and it has been extremely wet this winter so what will the spring bring us? I hope not! We received 1-2 inches with the latter being in the extreme North and NW of the county. Radar showed where Jack, Clay and Montague Counties come together they got up to 6-8 inches of the good stuff. Winter pastures have greened up but not producing much grazing yet, so everyone is still feeding lots of hay. I always had a sacrifice pasture where I would calve and feed hay most of the winter so as not to ruin my other pastures from the cows treading on it and making ruts feeding. If you have your place cross fenced with multiple pastures, use a pasture that is your lowest producer of forage, and on high ground where the water drains good. It could mean that you have to haul your hay a little further, but I know you will like the tradeoff come spring. Most ranchers use hay rings and that is better than nothing and works for smaller herds. If you have large herds, I know you will be much better off unrolling your hay. But it all depends on how much time you have and whether you want to unroll hay every day or two as it is more labor intensive, and it takes more room. From my experience if you unroll quality hay, they will clean it up real good but junk hay no. And if you unroll your hay you need to know the approximate average weight of the bales so you can do a little calculating on how many bales to put out. And that is after you figure out your nutritional requirements for the kind and type of cattle you are feeding. There is more involved in rolling out your hay than just sitting it out there and forgetting about the cows for several days, but it is well worth it in large herds and almost a must in groups of cows over 200 head. Common sense goes a long way in figuring out what works best for your operation. It’s up to you to figure it out because, You’re the Boss!

In the markets- Well the Coronavirus has had all the markets in an uproar here lately. Like many of you my Mutual funds are taking a hit. The same can be said about the cattle markets with fats and feeders limit down or close to it several times over the last couple of weeks. Slaughter cattle are down to $113. Current feed yard closeouts were $41 in the red. The live cattle futures for April are at $109(June $102), while March Feeder futures were at $1.34 (April at $1.33) Local Prices at Decatur Livestock Auction-Slaughter cows and bulls $1-4 lower with good hi yielding cows at $53-68, while hi yield bulls were at $84-96. 5-6 weight steer beef calves averaged $1.49 and heifers averaged $1.29. Grains-Mar 20 CBOT Wheat is at $5.18 Corn is at $3.93

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for February 18, 2020

Well its dang sure wet here in Wise County with water still standing in many fields and pastures. Winter pastures for the most part is just sitting there wishing for a chance to dry out and hoping for some much-needed sunshine. With rain in the forecast this week and into the weekend I don’t see that happening in the near future. Grass pastures standing forage has been exhausted for the most part and lots of hay being fed, along with protein supplements. Cattle are in decent shape although there are those that look a little rough especially some of those that are calving now. Calving is in full swing and will continue for the next month or two. Cows with fall calves are being sucked down and body condition on those are being kept in decent shape with lots of good hay and supplements. If you haven’t worked your fall calves yet that should sure be on your mind. A good herd health program will benefit you greatly so give your fall calves a 7 or 8-way Clostridial (Blackleg)(I always got along good with Vision 7, 2ml subQ, but there are others such as Ultra Choice 7, Caliber 7, Alpha 7) and while you’re at it give them a 5 or 6 way respiratory shot—good SubQ 2ml products are Triangle 5 (my favorite), CattleMaster Gold FP5, and Vira Shield 6 can be used but it is a 5ml dose. If calves are lousy you could hit them with a dose of Synergized DeLice pour on, however it may not do much good for very long if the cows are lousy too. The last thing I would recommend is to implant the calves with a growth implant unless your selling them as all natural. Implanting suckling calves and stocker cattle offers one of the highest benefit-to-cost ratios. I have tried them all and I am a Ralgro fan in beef calves, and yes you can use them in heifers too. They make a big deal about antibiotics and implants these days but as we all know in the cattle business antibiotics are out of their system in a short amount of time if you follow the withdrawal times on the bottle, AND, USDA inspectors test carcasses for antibiotic residue and if found in the carcass it is condemned and never enters the food chain. And growth implants are just estrogens or androgens which are already naturally present in the calf’s body and do no harm to them, or us according to research and the FDA. Wheat grazing is pretty much nonexistent although there are some stocker calves running on wheat but calves per acre is low in most cases. Everyone is tired of bogging around in the mud and looking forward to spring and some green grass. Hang in there!

In the markets as of Feb 15- Slaughter cattle traded steady at $119. Current feed yard closeouts were $9.40. The live cattle futures for Feb are at $121(April $120), while Mar Feeder futures were at $1.38 (April at $1.41) Average prices here in Texas for 750 lb feeder steers were at $1.37 and 550 lb. stocker steers were at $1.67. Local Prices at Decatur Livestock Auction-Slaughter cows and bulls steady with good hi yielding cows at $57-70, while hi yield bulls were at $88-97. 5-6 weight steer beef calves averaged $1.50 and heifers averaged $1.35. Not enough breds/pairs to test the market. Grains-Mar 20 CBOT Wheat closed down at $5.43, Mar 20 KCBT Wheat closed down at $4.66.

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341


Wise County Crop and Cattle Report for January 21, 2020

Well we have received 8-10 inches of rain for the month of January with over 5-6 inches in one evening that produced major flooding for most of the county. Winter pastures and crops are saturated, and growth is slow to none, with wet conditions and limited sunshine. Wheat has not looked good and provided very little to no grazable forage the entire season so far.
Limited producers have stocker calves and those that do are feeding mostly hay and a protein supplement and hoping the wheat pastures will take off soon. Cow calf producers are busy with the start of calving season during the latter half of January, or getting ready to start, and will continue into April, with a few late calvers in May. Those that have fall calves on the cow are hoping for some relief from feeding hay with some winter grass growth soon. Fall calves look ok but gain has been hindered with wet weather lately and bogging around in the mud. County Veterinarians report quite a few cases of respiratory diseases in all classes of cattle this winter, along with some foot problems from the muddy conditions. Cows look to be in decent shape with the majority of last fall’s standing forage gone, most ranchers are getting into the hay stack rather heavy and feeding some extra protein and energy sources to balance out the required nutrients, that is if the hay does not meet the cow’s needs.
If you do not test your hay for protein, energy and ADF level(maturity), I would recommend doing that before each winter to see where you stand. There is no use wasting money on expensive supplements if your hay test high enough to meet the nutrient demands of your cattle. On the flip side of that, thinking your hay is good enough to meet requirements, when it really is lacking adequate levels, means your cheating your cattle on important nutrients they need for maintenance and growth, thus robbing pounds, especially on your calves. We have the test forms here at the office for you to pick up or I can email them to you. We have forms for Soil, Forage, Water and Biosolid/manure testing. We also provide free soil sample bags for your soil testing. It’s up to you to get it done! After all, You’re the boss!

In the markets as of Jan 25- Slaughter cattle traded steady at $124. Current feed yard closeouts were $83.75. The live cattle futures for Feb are at $125(April $124), while Jan Feeder futures were at $1.42 (March at $1.40) Average prices here in Texas for 750 lb feeder steers were at $1.41 and 550 lb. stocker steers were at $1.74. Local Prices at Decatur Livestock Auction-Slaughter cows and bulls steady with good hi yielding cows at $57-65, while hi yield bulls were at $78-85. 5-6 weight steer beef calves averaged $1.54 and heifers averaged $1.36. Not enough breds/pairs to test the market. Grains-Mar 20 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.73 1/2, down 7 cents, Mar 20 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.86, down 6 1/4 cents

Marty Morgan, Wise County Ag Agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

marty.morgan@ag.tamu.edu or call 940-627-3341

Comments are closed.