Expanding the Herd: Why livestock experts are keeping a close eye on forage

While this month’s Cattle on Feed report showed promising numbers, livestock analysts say forage will play a big role in any future expansion of the U.S. cattle beef herd.

“The cow-calf operator’s returns have been relatively good, you know, for the recent past, there should be some if they have grass, there might be some incentives to expand, but again, it’s a question of whether or not they have the forage to carry their animals over the winter for breeding in the spring,” said Shayle Shagam.

Nearly a third of this year’s winter wheat crop was left abandoned, but weather experts say El Nino could come nearly next year, which is good news for wheat growers, but potentially bad news for spring calving. In places like Missouri, more than half of pastures are in rough shape after dealing with months of ongoing drought.

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Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.