"It's been a long time since beef producers had this good of chance of offsetting their production costs," says Dr. Monte Rouquette, Texas A&M AgriLife Research forage scientist.
But those new to the business can still find it a money pit if they don't have the proper training, Rouquette adds.
A three-day intensive class in East Texas on March 26-28 at Overton is designed to do just that: to give those new to the business the prerequisite training to be successful in the beef cattle business, he says.
Rouquette is optimistic about the chances of success for novice and experienced beef producers because of unusually high prices for weaned calves. Though production costs remain high, a current prices, it's possible to gross $500 to $1,000 for a weaned calf, he said.
Returns vary so widely because lighter calves—those in the 500-pound range—are selling for as much as $1.40 to $150 per pound, while heavier calves have been fetching about $1.10 per pound.
Another reason is tied to fertilizer prices, Rouquette says. Though they remain high since a surge in prices from 2008 through 2010, they haven't climbed much since, while calf prices have risen dramatically.
There are other trainings on pasture management available, but the Pasture and Livestock Management Workshop, more commonly known as the "Grazing School for Novices," goes into a lot more in-depth and basic information than is possible in a one-day school, Rouquette says.
"We're not in competition with one-day trainings by any means," he emphasizes. "We supplement them. We can give beef producers, particularly novices, information that will make further trainings more valuable."
Registration for the course is $350, and registration may be done online at overton.tamu.edu/grazing-school-2013/. A full program agenda may be found at the same URL. Or you may call Jennifer Lloyd at 903-834-6191 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org.