Cowchip - May 16, 2019

Dates to Remember:


1 Vermilion Parish Cattlemen’s Barbecue

10 Deadline for baler twine orders

10 Deadline for wooden line post orders

10 Deadline for ryegrass and clover seed orders


The 2019 Annual Cattlemen’s Barbecue will be held on Saturday, June 1 at the Woodman of the World in Abbeville (319 W. Woodman Road).The festivities start at 6:00 p.m. and include dancing, food and an auction.A cash bar will be available.

We hope to see you there and bring a friend.

Bulk Twine:

The Board of Directors Asked Me to Re Advertise The Bulk Twine And Fence Post Offerings.The New Deadline Is June 10th.

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 eighth 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.


The Board of Directors has asked me to offer wooden fence posts to our members in an effort to cut your costs.The cheapest 3” X 6½ foot wooden line posts we could find are $3.30/post.To participate, fill out the enclosed form and mail to Andrew Granger with full payment by check made out to VPCA (Vermilion Parish Cattlemen’s Association) by June 10.We will hold all checks until delivery of posts.At least one truckload (2,000 posts) must be ordered for us to proceed.

Ryegrass Orders:

It is time to take orders for ryegrass seed.This is the 39th 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.

Managing Bulls During Breeding Season:

Most ranchers in south Louisiana have started their breeding seasons.Bull management is not completeeven if you did all the right things leading up to the season like having your bulls pass a breeding soundness exam, making sure your bulls were vaccinated and wormed and getting them to a body condition score of about 5 and a half.

Once bulls are out with the cows they need to be monitored.Checking on the libido of bulls should be carried out.Make sure each bull is actively checking cows for heat, following cows and mounting normally and effectively.Injuries or foot rot will affect a bull’s ability and willingness to breed and should be taken care of immediately.

Body condition scores should be monitored closely especially on young bulls.It is not unusual for bulls to lose 100-200 lbs. during the breeding season.If a bull becomes too thin replacing him should be considered because his ability to breed may be affected. Make sure you give special care and nutrition to recovering thin bulls once their breeding season is complete.

One should observe and record a bulls instances of breeding.Write down breeding date and cow identification on at least a few instances.Then find those cows in 18 to 23 days to make sure they are not returning to heat.

If you use two or more bulls in a breeding pasture it is important to manage dominance.A first step would have been to pasture bulls together during the off season.Bulls will establish social dominant – submissive relationships and this is best determined before the breeding season.Putting similar aged bulls together if possible.Young bulls with young bulls is better than mixing ages.If a rotation of bulls is planned put the older bulls out first then the younger bulls in the last third of breeding season.

Even if you only have two bulls it is just as important to manage dominance.A good plan may be to turn the bulls out together if they’ve been pastured together in the offseason.Remove the dominant bull from the herd after a month, or sooner if he has dropped a full body condition score.Leave the other bull alone with the cows for at least two weeks.Turn the dominant bull back out once he has regained some condition.Both bulls can clean up for the rest of the breeding season assuming the body condition of both bulls remains acceptable.Make sure to monitor both bulls success in settling cows.A dominant bull will continue to exert his dominance even if he is failing to settle cows and should be removed to assure acceptable conception rates.

Once the breeding season begins it is of vital importance to monitor the bull’s performance and condition.It is a key to acceptable calf crops.

Fed Steer Marketings Ramp Up Seasonally:

David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

“In the Cattle Markets”

Steer slaughter has begun to ramp up, seasonally, over the last month. Slaughter is up about 9 percent from mid-March to mid-April. The almost 30,000 head per week increase is relatively close to the increase in slaughter seen over the last five years, on average, and last year.

One of the interesting notes in the cattle market over the last year has been the relatively low level of steer slaughter. While the cow herd and the calf crop have continued to grow, steer slaughter over the last 52 weeks is 1.5 percent below the previous 52 weeks. So far this year, steer slaughter is about 2.7 percent below a year ago. Over time, steer slaughter should, roughly, match the growth in the calf crop. Unlike heifers, there's not much else to do with a steer.

Steer dressed weights normally decline until late May to early June. Weights this year have followed that seasonal pattern, but have been below last year's weights until the last couple of weeks. Weights averaged 857 pounds for the last reported week, about same as last year. The cattle on feed report has indicated more cattle on feed than a year ago and extremely large numbers on feed longer than 120 days. With some good weather, it's likely that weights will outpace last year's level, adding to beef production. The quarterly cattle on feed report did indicate fewer steers on feed on April 1, 2019 than a year ago. But, steer slaughter ramping up seasonally and heavier weights does imply growing beef production into the summer.

Increases in beef production have come from heifer and cow slaughter. Fed heifer slaughter is 11 percent higher than a year ago over the last four weeks, and 9 percent higher for this year. Driven by the financial wreck in the dairy industry, dairy cow slaughter has been the highest since the dairy herd buyout days of the 1980s, at over 70,000 head per week in March. Dairy cow slaughter has finally resulted in milk production falling below a year ago providing some hope for higher milk prices.

Over the next few weeks watch for increasing steer slaughter and increasing steer and heifer dressed weights. Reduced dairy cow slaughter and higher cow beef cutout values may provide some hope for higher cull cow prices in coming weeks.


Andrew Granger
County Agent
Vermilion Parish

It is the policy of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, or disability.

Return to Andrew Granger, 1105 W. Port St., Abbeville, La 70510 By June 10.

Name _____________________________________

Address __________________________________ City ___________________ Zip Code _________________

Phone ______________________________ Cell _____________________________

I would like to order

_____ rolls of sesil twine x $5.00 = __________

_____ rolls of biodegradable baling twine x $5.00 = __________

Make check payable to VPCA.


Return to Andrew Granger, 1105 W. Port St., Abbeville, La 70510 By June 10.

Name _____________________________________

Address __________________________________ City ___________________ Zip Code _________________

PHONE ______________________________ CELL _____________________________

I would like to order:

_____ 3” x 6½ foot line posts x $3.30 = __________

Make check payable to VPCA.


Return to Andrew Granger, 1105 W. Port St., Abbeville, La 70510 By June 10.

Name _____________________________________

Address __________________________________ City ___________________ Zip Code _________________

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.

5/27/2019 7:55:56 PM
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