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The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
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September 8, 2011     The Perkins Journal
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September 8, 2011
 

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J,i A14 - THE PERKINS JOURNAL, Thursday, September 8, 2011 Back Page Extension Corner By Payne County Extension Educators Nathan Anderson, Agriculture Educator Dea Rash, FCS Educator Brett Morris, 4-H Youth Development Stan Fimple, Horticulture Educator Suzette Barta, Rural Development http://oces.okstate.edu/payne AG NEWS What to Expect From Feeder Cattle Markets This Fall August feeder cattle prices are usually near the seasonal peak with prices dropping from through the remainder of the year. At least, that is how feeder Frilces have averaged 0~r the last 10 years. In Oklahoma, 525 pound ~lium/Large Number 1 steers are currently about SL40.00/cwt. The ten-year average price index would suggest a November low about $10-$12/cwt lower than current prices, Heavier feeder steers (727 pounds) are currently ayeraging $137.00/cwt. and would drop seasonally by $4-5/ cwt. into November. Can we expect typical seasonal price pattems this fall? There are several factors that may modify this seasonal price pattern. First is that seasonal price patterns may be changing. Over the past 10-15 years, feeder price patterns have changed from spring peaks to summer peaks in sea- sonal prices. The seasonal peaks in calf prices this year were in the spring, although heavy feeders have peaked in price this summer. Over time, one of the impacts of high feed prices is likely to shift the industry back to spring price peaks. The next factor is corn prices. Feedlot ration costs are very close to a level where feeder cattle have to trade at even money to fed cattle in order to have a feedlot breakeven. This won't necessarily happen immediately, but over time, continued high prices of corn will limit feeder prices, especially at heavier weights. A spike in corn prices this fall could push feeder prices lower, not for normal seasonal reasons but lower never- theless. The third factor is the drought. The southern drought has changed both supply and demand pros- pects for the fall. The dry conditions at the current time limit any prospects for wheat pasture this fall and winter. Normally, this lack of demand is bearish to stocker prices. However, the drought has also caused significant early marketing of calves in the Southern Plains. There will likely be a significantly smaller fall run of calves, which may offset the lack of wheat pas- ture demand. Thus, it is not clear whether the net impact on prices will be positive or negative. My expectation at this time is for little or no seasonal price pressure on calves and stockers this fall beyond the pressure already noted on stocker prices in this region. The final factor is some sig- nificant region differences due to variable weather across the country. Calf prices in Oklahoma are currently about 10 percent lower than in Nebraska, which is a larger than normal spread between the two regions. This no doubt reflects the additional pres- sure from the drought in the south compared to the excellent forage conditions in the northern half of the country. The difference in heavy feeders is more typical, about 3-4 percent higher in Nebraska com- pared to Oklahoma. With regionally larger supplies in the north, one might expect more of a seasonal tendency in prices this fall but abundant forage sup- plies and the continuing incentive for forage based gains may increase stocker demand in the north that offsets the lack of stocker demand in the south. The bottom line is that seasonal price pressure should be less than normal this fall, especially for calves. Vitamin A Can Be Defi- cient in a Drought Vitamin A is rarely a concern in range cattle nutritional programs because it is readily syn- thesized from carotene that is common in green growing plants. However, in drought situations where plants become dead or dor- mant, the carotene content becomes practically devoid and may lead to a deficiency of the precursor to vitamin A. Carotene is very low in mature, weathered forages, SO, HOW DID YOUR AIR CONDITIONER DO DURING THE GREAT HEAT WAVE? BE READY FOR THE NEXT ONE... Country Comfort wants you to be ready for the next ridiculously hot - or cold- weather, whenever it is. Buy a new Trane high efficiency/high comfort cooling and heating system and take your choice of three great offers: Up to a $1250 Instant Rebate, or 36 months No Interest Financing, or Special 5.9% APR financing on qualifying systems Call us today for details. i( (405) 547-5046 ~O HEATING & AIR CONDmONING Service and Repairs RfaWL~BWB~Ym~BT, C~amm~THE"m~ 0 Tk~J#//CN]M License # 62204 It~ Hont To ~ A 7n~" Call now for service or a free home comfort consultation grains and many crop residues. Carotene will be lost in stored hay crops over extended periods of time. Therefore if hay that was stored throughout all of last fall and winter is to be fed in the upcoming winter, the vitamin A con- tent will be considerably less than when that forage was originally harvested. In addition some scientists have suggested that high nitrate forages common in drought years can exagger- ate vitamin A deficiencies. Deficiencies of Vitamin A usually show up first as weak, blind or stillborn Calves. Other signs are scours, respiratory prob- lems, poor gains and poor reproduction. Fortunately, the fiver of cattle is capable of storing vitamin A for long periods and frequent supplementa- tion is not necessary. A singular injection of one million International Units (IU) of vitamin A provides sufficient vitamin for 2 to 4 months in growing and breeding cattle. A word of caution: Vitamin A and A,D, and E injections have been found to on rare occasions cause a severe reaction to the vaccine. Please consult your vet- erinarian about the use of these products. Because the daily require- ments of beef cows range from 30,000 to 50,000 IU. depending on size, stage of production, and level of milk production, supplements can be forti- fied with vitamin A to supply the minimum daily requirement. Depending on the quantity of range supplement being provided, vitamin A can be added to supplements at the rate of 5000 to 10,000 IU per pound of feed. Managing Ponds during Drought The majority of Okla- homa ponds were built as means of storing water for livestock. In an average year they support cattle well and provide fishing and other benefits as a bonus. However, during a drought, decreasing water volume, shrinking pond surface area and worsening water quality may become issues. Part of the proper design of a pond involves deter- mining if the size of the watershed is sufficient to fill and maintain the pond. The Natural Resource Con- servation Service advises landowners on watershed requirements and all other factors involved in success- fully building a pond. When a pond's volume shrinks significantly and cattle are wading or loaf- ing in the immediate area, decreases in palatability of the water, followed by lower water consumption or even direct harmful effects to livestock can occur. In some cases this scenario can be avoided or delayed by fencing to exclude livestock and pumping water up into a temporary watering trough. A livestock water test can be conducted through your county Extension office to determine if water remains suitable for consumption. The weight of fish that can be supported in a pond is determined by the surface area of the pond. Monitor the body condition of fish by "hook and line" sampling. Skinny fish in a shrinking pond will prob- ably benefit from increased harvest. Low oxygen fish kills are also possible as nutrients become concen- trated causing algae growth to increase. In some cases low oxygen kills can be averted by using a pump set to aerate water when fish show signs of gulping or "piping" at the surface. A more reliable way of reducing the risk of a fish kill is to harvest an "at risk" pond heavily and fill your freezer. The silver lining is that droughts offer three opportunities for possibly needed maintenance work. Edge slumping and cattle traffic can produce shal- low edges and ideal con- ditions for the growth of cattails, bulrush and other generally unwelcome pond plants. Low water levels can allow access by equip- ment to rebuild the slope to a more desirable 3 to 1 slope. Ponds with a black, sulfurous smelling layer of organic matter on the bottom will benefit from complete draining and drying until the bottom cracks. Ponds with carp, bullheads, stunted crappie or other undesirable fish can be "renovated" by eliminating all fish and restocking.