Cowchip - May 29, 2020

Dates to Remember


  • 10 Deadline for ryegrass and twine orders

Bulk Twine

Your association continues to make every effort to reduce your cost of doing business. We are once again going to offer a bulk twine program. This is the ninth year for this program and it has resulted in several dollars per roll advantage previously.

We are taking orders for sesil and biodegradable twine. Due to the poly twine being sold on a per roll basis and sesil being sold as a bundle of two rolls, we will do business on a per roll basis for the sake of consistency. Remember this when making your deposit.

If interested, please fill out the form below and return it with a deposit of $5.00 per roll of twine by June 10. Make checks payable to VPCA (Vermilion Parish Cattlemen’s Association). Once the amount needed is determined we will take bids from local vendors and price will be established.

Call 898-4335 if you have any questions.

Ryegrass Orders

It is time to take orders for ryegrass seed. This is the 40th year we have booked bulk ryegrass seed. The program continues to allow for price advantages to participants.

Due to high nitrogen fertilizer costs and the benefits of clover, the Cattlemen’s board voted to offer Durana White Clover Seed to producers. Durana is more productive than LAS-1 and more persistent than

ladino type clovers like Osceola. White Clover comes in 25 lb. bags so you must order in 25 lb. increments. Seeding rates are 3 lbs./acre in a mixture with ryegrass or 5 lbs./acre if planted alone.

For a deposit of $10.00 per 25 lbs. of clover seed you will be guaranteed that amount and for a deposit of $5 per 100 pounds of ryegrass seed, you will be guaranteed that amount. All seed not booked will be available on a first come, first served basis; however, this will be a very limited amount. If you want seed through the program, then you should put a deposit on the amount you desire.

Please indicate which variety you prefer on the order blank. Be aware that Prine or Nelson Tetraploid is generally 10¢/lb. more than Gulf. Prices are not final at this time. We will accept bids on Prine and Nelson Tetraploid and accept the lowest bid on either of them. Performance on these two are similar.

Last year those who booked seed with us paid .68/lb. for Gulf and .79/lb. for Prine and $137.25/25 lbs. for Durana White Clover.

If you wish to be guaranteed ryegrass seed and/or clover in this year’s program, then fill out the form enclosed and send it to Andrew Granger, 1105 W. Port St., Abbeville, LA 70510 along with a check made payable to the Vermilion Cattlemen's Association and in the amount needed to guaran­tee your seed. Deposits are due by June 10th. Deposits will be non-refundable after July 15th.

A Look at Bahia Grass

Bahia grass is a sod forming warm season perennial. It is popular in the southeast gulf coast region because it is well adapted to a wide range of soil conditions. It forms a dense sod so it resists weeds. It yields well on low fertility soils. It’s planted by seed and can withstand heave grazing.

Bahia grass can be used for hay. When fertilized and harvested on time, it will produce a moderate quality hay. Bahia grass pasture is best utilized by cattle when not allowed to mature, mowing and heavy grazing pressure to keep it producing fresh growth will increase consumption.

There are several varieties available and some offer some unique advantages over the others. One of the problems with Bahia is it is slow to establish. Tifquik, a selection out of Tifton 9, has been shown to germinate more rapidly and establish earlier. UF-riata provides more growth during cool weather. It can green up earlier in the spring and grow longer into the fall. While yield is similar to Tifton 9, it did show a production advantage, over Pensacola and Argentine in tests in Georgia and Florida.

Tests in Louisiana have compared Tifton 9, Argentine and Pensacola and results have varied from year to year. Likewise, quality differences were minimal when looking at TDN and Crude Protein. Because yield and quality differences appear to be similar for these three varieties farmers should base variety selection on seed availability and price.

Bahia grass offers several advantages and should be considered when developing a permanent pasture. If you have any questions or need help in getting a new pasture started give me a call at 898-4335 or email me at

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Livestock eligible for CFAP include cattle, lambs, yearlings and hogs. The total payment will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the payment rate per head.

CFAP Payments for Livestock

A single payment for livestock will be calculated using the sum of the producer’s number of livestock sold between January 15 and April 15, 2020, multiplied by the payment rates per head, and the highest inventory number of livestock between April 16 and May 14, 2020, multiplied by the payment rate per head.

Producers must provide the following information for CFAP:

  • Total sales of eligible livestock, by species and class, between January 15, 2020, to April 15, 2020, of owned inventory as of January 15, 2020, including any offspring from that inventory; and
  • highest inventory of eligible livestock, by species and class, between April 16, 2020, and May 14, 2020.

Eligible cattle and rate are as follows:

  • Feeder cattle less than 600 pounds - $102/head for sold cattle, $33/head for cattle on hand
  • Feeder cattle more than 600 pounds - $139/head for sold cattle, $33/head for cattle on hand
  • Slaughter Cattle cull cows - $92/head for sold cattle, $33/head for cattle on hand
  • All other cattle - $102/head for sold cattle, $33/head for cattle on hand

Applying for Assistance

Producers can apply for assistance beginning on May 26, 2020. Additional information and application forms can be found at Producers of all eligible commodities will apply through their local FSA office. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested. FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed. Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020.

The Impact of COVID

By Darrell Peel from Drover’s

The latest USDA Cattle on Feed report shows the dramatic impacts of COVID-19 on fed cattle markets. The May 1 feedlot inventory was11.2 million head, down 5.1 percent year over year. April marketings were down 24.3 percent from last year, a decrease of 433,000 head year over year. Decreased marketings reflect the severe disruptions in cattle slaughter in April and continuing into May. This follows a 13.1 percent year over year increase in March feedlot marketings.

The average year over year change over March and April together was a 6.4 decrease in marketings. The slowdown in April marketings and resulting backlog of fed cattle in feedlots would have been more severe without the strong March marketings that pulled some cattle ahead. The backlog of fed cattle continued to build in May.

April placements were down a sharp 22 percent year over year and follow a 23 percent placements drop in March. Combined March and April placements were down 867,000 head from last year. This suggests that a significant drop in expected feedlot marketings starting mostly in September and into October. Of course, the delayed placements from March and April will show up starting in May and will be heavier but the delay will help feedlots have a chance to get current.

The feedlot industry will spend much of the summer working through the backlog of fed cattle but the hole from March and April feedlot placements should provide a marketing window to catch up by this fall if not before.

Packing plant disruptions due to COVID-19 began in early April with a 19.3 percent year over year decrease in steer and heifer the week ending April 11. Year over year slaughter totals decreased for four weeks culminating in a 41.2 percent year over year decrease in steer and heifer slaughter the week ending May 2.

The beef packing industry appears to have made significant progress in restoring capacity the past three weeks with estimated total cattle slaughter this past week down 14.2 percent from year ago levels.

Calf Outlook from Cattle Fax

The feeder cattle futures have been in a correction phase for the last two weeks. That may continue for another week. But the Feeder Cattle Index has rallied since mid-April. This was expected as there are premiums in the deferred live cattle futures. The cash feeder market rally will likely take a breath over the next week or two, before resuming the uptrend. Producers are encouraged to look at futures market protection levels on both feeder cattle and calves in the upper $130’s to low $140’s on at least a portion of their inventory.

Feeder Cattle:

June: The beginning of the month will see the last remaining winter grazing cattle. Sharp decline in supply will be noted. Prices likely to trend steady to modestly higher. An Index value at $125 or better is anticipated.

July – September: Supplies will be abundant throughout this period with cattle moving off summer grass. Deferred live cattle futures will dictate price. Demand will be high due to extended lower placements. The cash market should rally. Mid-$130’s to low $140’s index levels are expected.


June: Demand and supply will decline. Prices are expected to remain stable. U.S. average 550-pound steers should receive strong support in the low $150’s.

July – September: Bulk of the spot trade will be out of the southeast. If conditions get dry, some early weaned calves may be available. This will also be the time period for summer video sales and will provide a good test for the fall calf market. Troy Applehans


Andrew Granger
County Agent
Vermilion Parish

Return to the following address by June 10:

Andrew Granger
1105 W. Port St.
Abbeville, LA 70510

Name _____________________________________

Address __________________________________ City ___________________ ZIP _________________

Phone ______________________________ Cell _____________________________

I would like to order

_____ rolls of sesil twine x $5.00 = __________

_____ rolls of biodegradable baling twine x $5.00 = __________

_____ rolls of net wrap x $25.00 = _________ Size __________ Brand ________________________

Make check payable to VPCA.


Return to Andrew Granger, 1105 W. Port St., Abbeville, LA 70510 by June 10.

Name _____________________________________

Address __________________________________ City ___________________ ZIP _________________

Phone ______________________________ Cell _____________________________

Amount of Ryegrass Seed _______________ x $5/cwt.

Amount of Clover Seed ____________________ x $10/25 lbs. (order only in 25 lb. increments)

Amount of Deposit = _______________

Type of ryegrass you prefer:  Prine or Nelson Tetraploid  Gulf

Make check payable to VPCA.

6/2/2020 5:44:39 PM
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