Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic set Jan. 5 in Cameron


The 37th annual Central Texas Cow/Calf Clinic will be Jan. 5 at the Milam County Youth Exposition Building, 301 S. Houston St. in Cameron. The program is presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices in Milam, Robertson, Bell, Burleson, Falls and Williamson counties. Registration will be from 7:30-8:30 a.m. with presentations to begin at 8:30 a.m and conclude at 3 p.m. Three hours of Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units – one integrated pest management and two general – are offered for pesticide applicators license holders.

The cost is $20, and lunch is included. Attendees should RSVP to the AgriLife Extension office in Williamson County at 512-943-3300 or in Milam County at 254-697-7045 by Jan. 3 to ensure an accurate meal count.

“Beef cattle production has faced its share of challenges over the last five years with drought, feed costs and input costs,” said Floyd Ingram, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, Milam County. “Beef prices, which previously had hit the highest they’ve ever been, have been on a steady decline over the past two years and have now become some of the lowest in many years. Producers now face what could be a dry, mild winter and an uncertain market in the new year.”

Ingram said the Central Texas Cow/Calf Clinic is one of the longest running AgriLife Extension programs in the state and is renowned for its success in meeting the needs of both large- and small-scale cattle producers throughout the region.

Topics and presenters for the morning portion of the program will include:

— Current market trends, predictions and considerations for 2018: Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station.

— Cattle evaluation, including desirable and undesirable characteristics, body condition scoring and identifying candidates for culling: Dr. Jason Cleere, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, College Station.

— Pasture management and weed control methods, including alternatives to 2,4-D application:  James Jackson, AgriLife Extension range management specialist, Stephenville.

After lunch, a live demonstration on managing herd health will be given by Cleere, Ron Kramer of Idexx Laboratories and Marvin Willis, special ranger for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. The demonstration will focus on practices such as pregnancy testing via blood sample, bovine viral diarrhea testing, and herd identification and handling techniques.

The afternoon portion will wrap up with a presentation on external parasite control by Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Stephenville.