Expectations For 2011 - From the Ground Up

After a pretty successful 2010, local agricultural producers are beginning to implement their strategies for the new year, and as usual, everything revolves around the weather. Ashley Batey has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

“The end of the year, we were anticipating a little more moisture, and we haven’t gotten that, and that’s put us for a little set back beginning 2011.”

Ranchers who count on winter pastures to feed their cattle have come up short so far.

“We were planning on planting some winter pasture, did as a matter of fact, and it’s been sitting out there ever since, hardly got any of it to germinate.”

“Grain prices keep creeping up, and so we’re having to rethink some of those strategies without the rye grass to help us out with that.”

“It looks like if it doesn’t rain, and significantly rain in the real near future, we’re looking at heavily culling cows.”

There will have to be a definite change in our weather pattern to encourage ranchers to increase the size of their beef cattle herds.

“I think we’re going to be a little shorter on numbers of livestock, number of cattle, and the recent price gains that we’ve had should hold pretty steady through the early part of the year anyway.”

Hoping that cattle prices don’t get too high is uncharted territory for most ranchers.

“There is a real connection between the retail price of our beef and the demand for it.”

“And that is so true. Not only the consumer here in the United States, but at some point we’re going to drive the consumer away in the rest of the world.”

“I would really like to see some stability in the prices of everything. If we could plan a little better as to what our costs are going to be and what our income’s going to be, I think that we could possibly do a better job as a producer.”

As is true every year, weather holds the key to a successful 2011 for agriculture. I’m Ashley Batey, looking at Brazos valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.

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