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Helping cattle producers manage high input costs, drought

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Gill

Ron Gill, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist, conducts the cattle handling demonstration at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course in 2021.

Organizers of the 68th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course are stacking the educational program with experts to help guide beef cattle producers facing higher input expenses and drought in how to make better management decisions. The short course will be held Aug. 1-3 in Bryan-College Station.

The tentative conference schedule is now available at https://beefcattleshortcourse.com/ for planning purposes. The event is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Animal Science.

“The 2022 Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course will be filled with topics that ranchers have identified as a priority this year, and as a result, we have had a great number of early registrations for the event,” said Jason Cleere, conference coordinator and AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist in the Department of Animal Science.

Cleere said they also will continue the virtual option this year because they realize not everyone can make it to College Station for all three days.

“The virtual option of the BCSC is a great opportunity for ranchers to attend the event even if they can’t make it in person,” he said. “I had a rice farmer tell me last year that he finally was able to attend because of the virtual option. He could drive his tractor while listening to the sessions live.”

To register for both in-person and online attendance, go to https://beefcattleshortcourse.com/. The cost is $240 for in-person attendance and $160 for online if registered by July 27. A $40 late registration fee will be charged after that date. Call 979-845-6931 for more information.

The short course will include 20 sessions within the Cattleman’s College, which will be offered concurrently. There also will be live demonstrations.

“Also, our trade show this year is lining up to be back to the size it was pre-COVID,” Cleere said. “Companies are allowing their sales representatives to be back out with customers, and we are seeing a larger number of vendors this year compared to last. The 2022 Short Course is shaping up to be one of the best ever.”

Cleere said with the struggle with high input prices and drought conditions in mind, coordinators have pulled together a forage management session covering grazing management and dealing with high fertilizer prices, seed prices, hay prices, fuel prices and other inputs.

Along those lines, in one session, speakers will address nutrition, how much feed cows need for their body size, forage quality and feeds available. In another, experts will advise how to “do the best with what you have” when properly managing rangelands.

Other topics include:

Cattle breeding and selection

Beef cattle health — getting the most from your veterinarian

Landowner rights

Marketing commercial calves

Reproductive management

Flies, gnats, ticks — parasites that steal your profit

As is tradition, Cleere said, producers will be able to pick up as many as nine Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide continuing education units, CEUs, and 22 veterinary CEUs.

Cleere said the event will kick off a day early on Sunday with veterinarian continuing education training and a ranch horse management daylong training.

Wrapping up the event will be the following live demonstrations:

Fence-building

Brush busters

Beef cattle business management

Beef carcass value determination

Beef cattle reproduction testing and management

Cattle handling demonstrations and chute-side working

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