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Turning cows into cash

Milano clinic emphasizes bottom line, market sense
By MIKE BROWN
Reporter Editor


Hey, not so glum! Cattle prices are excellent, according to Steven Lastovica of Milano Livestock Exhange, where 130 producers attended the 2011 Cow-Calf Clinic. 
Reporter/Mike Brown Hey, not so glum! Cattle prices are excellent, according to Steven Lastovica of Milano Livestock Exhange, where 130 producers attended the 2011 Cow-Calf Clinic. Reporter/Mike Brown Dr. Jason Johnson, Agrilife extension economist and keynote speaker for the 2010 Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic, is a bottom line kind of guy.

“Don’t name your cows,” he told an audience of 130 gathered in the Milano Livestock Exchange Friday. “Gertrude may not ever ride that trailer (to the slaughterhouse) but I’ll bet No. 22 will.”

Dr. Johnson’s program “Economics of the Livestock Market: Where to Trim, Invest and Not Leave Money on the Table” was full of bottom-line tips.

It was one of five programs presented during the day which earned attendees two continuing education units for pesticide license holders and 1.5 hours for beef quality assurance producers.

‘IN THE CASINO’—Dr. Johnson acknowledged that cattle prices are excellent.


‘Sell them when they’re market ready and don’t give them names,’ part of the advice from Dr. Jason Johnson of Texas A&M. ‘Sell them when they’re market ready and don’t give them names,’ part of the advice from Dr. Jason Johnson of Texas A&M. That assertion was backed up by someone who should know, Steven Lastovica, Milano Livestock exchange co-owner.

Dr. Johnson encouraged cattle raisers to sell their stock once they become market ready.

“ Don’t let t he high pr ices encourage you to retain ownership,” he said. “Don’t leave that money ‘in the casino’.”

“Don’t incur expenses for special programs without getting a sale premium,” he added.

MARKET CONDITIONS— Dr. Johnson urged his audience to let the cattle market, not years of tradition, determine their thinking.

He said the Johnson family had raised Angus cattle since 1883.

“Then I brought in a Hereford bull,” he said. “It was kind of like a Texas A&M family whose kid decided to attend UT,” he joked.

“Don’t stick with something because it’s what your grand-dad did,” he said. “The market will tell you what to do.”

He polled the audience on their methods of castration, then asserted “at the weight you’re going to be selling them” there’s little price difference between bulls and steers.”

“Don’t assume a risk for no economic benefit,” Dr. Johnson said.

HAY, HORSES—Dr. Johnson, who travels extensively in Texas, shook his head over storage practices he sees in many hay fields, which he said ruins the hay for use.

“ They take all the time and energy to produce hay and at the end of the day all they’ve got is backstops for archery practice, he said.

Dr. Johnson showed slides of proper storage.

He’s also not a fan of raising horses.

“Minimize your investment in horses,” he said. “Of course the further west I go (to hold programs), the less I mention that.”

Other programs presented during the clinic were:

• “Assisting Difficult Calving Operations,” Dr. Buddy Faries.

• “New Weed Control Options,” Dr. Paul Baumann.

• “Practical Animal Health,” Dr. Steve Schultz.

• “Pesticide Safety, Sprayer Calibration and ‘Does Calibration Pay’?” Mark Matocha.

The clinic was sponsored by the Texas Agrilife Extension Service in Milam, Bell, Burleson, Falls, Robertson and Williamson counties.


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2011-01-13 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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