Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Archive for the ‘Cattle’ Category

Caterpillars eating more than Cattle

Posted by romeethredge on August 28, 2014

Cattle price is too good to let the caterpillars eat up the grazing. Armyworms are doing a number on area pastures and hayfields. A Deacon at church called me on Saturday to come see what was eating up the churchyard and yes it was fall armyworms. They were on the sidewalk by the dozens as we exited the church on Sunday, we were afraid someone might slip down because of them.

2 growers recently told me they checked hayfields on a Friday about noon and by Sunday afternoon there were just stems left. These caterpillars can do a lot in 2 to 3 days. Call your county Extension Agent for control recommendations.



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Posted by romeethredge on August 21, 2014

I like this article by Dr. Lee Jones,UGA Vet, in the Southeast Cattle Advisor blog. Here’s the link to the blog with the full article.

Stockmanship, Dr. Lee Jones, UGA College of Veterinary Medicine | Southeast Cattle Advisor

“Stockmanship, like sustainability, is a commonly used word that many might find hard to clearly define in a few words. Stockmanship has been defined as the knowledgeable and skillful handling of livestock in a safe, efficient, effective, and low-stress manner and denotes a low-stress, integrated, comprehensive, holistic approach to livestock handling (Stockmanship Journal). However, stockmanship is more than just handling. It is concerned with the whole life of the animal in our care. We used to call it animal husbandry or stewardship. First and foremost, stockmanship is livestock centered. By that I mean, we must consider the natural behavior and needs of the animal or group. There are 3 essential elements of good stockmanship: an environment that provides protection and comfort appropriate for the species; adequate, well designed facilities that enables low stress handling; and a comprehensive, herd health management program……….

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Stockmanship and Resources

The good stockman knows his/her resources and is a good business manager. Bud Williams was fond of telling folks that “ranchers have 3 things in their inventory: money, grass and animals. You can never have too much money or too much grass but you sure can have too many animals.” It’s beyond the scope of this article to go into a lot of detail but good stockmen manage grass and soils and let the cows harvest the grass. To some degree herds on understocked pastures can increase production (calf weaning weights) to make up the difference but herds on overstocked pastures not only don’t reach their full potential the overall herd production is severely diminished, soils become depleted or degraded, future pasture health is compromised and cow herd fertility suffers as well as calf weights and calf health. Calves from overgrazed pastures are more likely to experience health problems after weaning. Good stockmanship means knowing what the carrying capacity is of the pastures and stocking appropriately.

Principles of Cattle Handling

Slower is better. Obviously this has its limits but for the most part slower is better and faster than getting in big hurry. Pressure from the side and only when cattle see where to go. When cattle are pressured from the rear they are likely to turn around to face the pressure. Cattle want to see you. Once cows can see the opening and are facing that direction then we can push them in that direction from their side behind the point of their shoulder. Cattle must be comfortable to go by you and stay straight. Cattle naturally face any threat. If cattle feel threatened by you they won’t walk straight or go by you. When working cattle in an alley, going with the flow slows them down and going against the flow speeds them up. This seems counter intuitive at first but it works. Try it and see. Cattle can only process one thing at a time. Many folks like to talk to their cattle. If cattle are used to this then it probably won’t cause problems. However, multiple stimuli including sight, sound and touch creates confusion for cattle and thereby increases stress and the flight response. Cows work best when they are ready; it’s up to us to get them there.

Simply put, I think good stockmen are students of their cattle. Good stockmanship is like a timely rain, sunshine and hybrid vigor; it doesn’t cost anything extra but the benefits to cattle health, welfare and performance are tremendous.”

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Beef and Forage Field Day

Posted by romeethredge on August 16, 2014

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Pasture Caterpillars

Posted by romeethredge on July 29, 2014

Foliage eating caterpillars have been serious in pastures and hayfields for a while now and maybe worse the last week or so.  I looked at 2 Tift 85 Bermudagrass fields today that are infested with fall armyworms. They feed very quickly, often with in a few days they can leave stems, no leaves.

Often white cattle egrets are seen in  problem fields, eating on the worms. Unfortunately they don’t eat enough to control them.

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Cattle Prices still Good

Posted by romeethredge on June 27, 2014

Given the record-high feeder cattle prices we are experiencing, many cattle producers may be interested in ways to manage their price risk.  To help aid in this thought process, three new extension bulletins dealing with beef cattle marketing and risk management have recently been published.  They are:

All of these publications are written with the intent of helping you learn more about feeder cattle risk management and include several examples of how to use these tools.

Thanks to Curt Lacy , UGA Extension Ag Economist.

We went by the sale at Seminole Stockyard on Wednesday, photo below, and there were lots of mama cows for sale and some calves and others too. They are still selling high.


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Beef Cattle Conference Coming up

Posted by romeethredge on May 29, 2014

This is the link for more information about this conference.


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Cattle Prices High

Posted by romeethredge on March 8, 2014

   I went by Seminole Stockyard this past Wednesday, Sale Day, and things were really hopping as they usually are.  Edwina and Wanda were in the back totaling things up, talking to customers and answering phones. Mr. Bryant was all around the sale area, touting the attributes of the cattle coming into the ring. The auctioneer and clerk were busy with the auction calling out the bids, keeping things straight.

There was something different though…the prices cattle are bringing. They are very high, and they were high last week too. And UGA economists say that they will be high for a while. I saw lots of steers and heifers sell for  a dollar and a half and a dollar seventy five a pound. That’s good money, if you are selling and you would say… expensive cattle if you are buying replacement heifers for your farm, for instance.

At the bottom of this post I have a link to the Georgia auction prices that you can go to, to get a good rundown on prices here in Donalsonville and  across Georgia.



Here’s a cattle update submitted by UGA writer  Clint Thompson.

Georgia cattlemen are struggling to feed their herds and fighting the affects of poor quality forages. With calf prices at a high, selling off stock may be the best option, says one University of Georgia expert.

“For cattlemen that are in the situation where they’re having trouble feeding their cows and the calves are big enough to sell, that’s probably a real smart move for them to go ahead and move those calves right now,” said UGA Extension livestock economist Curt Lacy.

Calf prices are extremely high, with 300-400 pound steer calves fetching $2 to $2.25 per pound or around $700 per head. Calves weighing 500 pounds are selling between $1.50 to $1.70 per pound or around $800.

Cattle prices are highly tempting for cattlemen due to an extreme short supply, which has been declining for the last six years. Several factors have contributed to the smaller number of cattle, including drought and high commodity prices for other commodities.

Cattlemen are also taking land out of pasture production and putting it into other crops, so fewer small calves are available to be bought. Lacy said the supply is the lowest since 1951.

Another supporting factor to the cattle market is low corn prices, which are hovering in the $4 to $4.50 range, considerably less than last year’s $6 mark.

By selling their calves early, cattlemen accomplish two goals: They get money in their pocket and relieve the nutritional burden from the cow.

With their calves sold, cows do not have to worry about producing enough milk to feed a calf and can focus on maintaining their own body weight and getting in good physical shape for the upcoming breeding season.

While selling early is a viable option, Lacy cautions against acting too hastily.

“If they want to sell now, they can. Nobody would fault them for going ahead and selling some of those calves now,” Lacy said. “If cows are in good condition, though, they may want to just keep them on the cow and sell them when they normally would sell them.”

Due to the short supply and high demand for cattle beef, Lacy believes cattle prices will be high for the next several years.

Georgia Cattle Auctions Report website;jsessionid=DPFSH3IGHW5WKCQKAFOSFEQ?paf_dm=full&paf_gear_id=4300008&startIndex=1&dr=1&rowDisplayMax=25&commodity=CATTLE&sub_commodity=FEEDER+REPLACEMENT&sub_commodity2=AUCTION&publication=any&state=Georgia

Posted in Agriculture, Cattle, Forages, Livestock | Leave a Comment »

Flown on Forage update

Posted by romeethredge on November 14, 2013

Here’s an update on the wheat that was flown onto some soybean fields a few weeks ago. Link here to that blog post. Grazing Flown On

Now, the soybeans have been harvested last week and the wheat looks pretty good. There were some weeds present that hard cold will kill out and in some spots the litter from the soybean harvest was a little heavy, but overall it looked good.



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Small Grains for Cattle Grazing

Posted by romeethredge on November 1, 2013

Small grains being grown for grazing are looking good. They are needing water in most cases, and some fields have needed caterpillar sprays but there are even some where the cattle are feeding already.  This field of rye looks like a carpet, except for the scattered corn plants.


This calf is waiting to be soon moved from the Bermuda ,with her mama, to the lush winter grazing nearby. He had a good, built in mask for Halloween last night.


Here’s some information partly from Bobby Smith of UGA Extension:


is probably the most popular small grain for winter annual pastures in Georgia. It is the earliest maturing and most cold-hardy small grain species. Seedlings are more drought and heat tolerant than wheat or oats and fall forage production is superior to wheat. Rye has generally matured and is ready to till by mid to late April in the Coastal Plain. This early maturity makes rye an excellent winter forage on cropland that will be planted to corn next spring. A minimum of two bushels of rye should be planted per acre.


is another popular small grain for winter forage production. Seed can be cheaper than rye, but this varies from year to year. Wheat is also a cold hardy species and is later maturing than rye; however, wheat produces less fall forage than rye or oats. One problem with planting too much wheat for grazing or cover crop is that you can build disease that may affect future wheat grain crops. Peanut and cotton fields can be planted in wheat without interfering with spring planting. At least two bushels of wheat should be planted per acre.


are also an option for winter grazing. Oats are highly palatable, but are the least cold tolerant of the winter annuals. Stands can be thinned or lost in cold weather which can limit the productivity of oats in northern areas of the state. Risk of forage losses from winter kill can be minimized by mixing oats with more cold hardy small grains like wheat or rye. Oats are similar to wheat in maturity. Four bushels of oats should be planted per acre.

Annual ryegrass

is the latest maturing of the winter annual grasses and can be grazed until early June in some areas of the state with favorable moisture. This late spring production results in excellent overall forage yield, but can delay greenup of Bermuda grass. If spring ryegrass growth is not managed, Bermuda grass stands can be severely thinned from shading. Ryegrass may generate a small amount of forage in late fall when planted on clean-tilled land, but this production is extremely dependent on favorable rainfall and temperature. Ryegrass can be damaged in cold weather, and cold tolerance varies among varieties.  If a row crop will follow ryegrass it may be a problem to burn down. Twenty to thirty pounds of ryegrass should be no-till planted or broadcast per acre.

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Deep South Stocker Conference

Posted by romeethredge on June 19, 2013

August 8-9, 2013   Athens, GA

The  fifth annual Deep South Stocker Conference is headed to Georgia.  This year’s conference will be held August 8-9, 2013 in Athens and Watkinsville.  Click on the location tab to the left for location details.  This conference is a  joint effort between the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Mississippi State University Extension Service, and the  University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

This year’s conference will be a two-day event with live animal demonstrations and hands-on opportunities on Thursdays, August 8, and  educational seminars Friday, August 9.  Additionally, this year’s conference will be held in conjunction with Georgia Grazing School ( This will give producers an opportunity for up to three days of hands-on, demonstration, and classroom learning opportunities. Registration for each event is separate.  The Deep South Stocker Conference registration will cost $125/person and will cover all seminars, events, meals, and handouts for the two-day event.  Additionally, a trade show will be held in conjunction with the conference to allow stocker operators the opportunity to network with industry professionals and to become aware of products and services that can improve their profitably and product quality.

Go to this site for more info.

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