Turning cows into cash
“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.
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.