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Livestock briefs, March 8, 2012

Forage specialist advises Texas cattlemen to hold off

A Texas AgriLife Extension Service forage specialist is advising state beef producers not to get too enthusiastic about recent rainfalls, which followed many months of record drought.

“After the drought, remain destocked,” Dr. Larry Redmon says in an AgriLife release. “Just because you see green in the spring doesn’t mean you should load up with cows again. Consider drought management as part of your overall strategy.”

“It will take three to four inches a month and, depending on the species, an entire year for pasture recovery,” Redmon said. “Obviously, there will be no recovery with no rainfall. Folks, we killed cedar with the drought in the Hill Country. We can’t expect recovery to our pastures without rainfall.”

Redmon reminded producers of the state’s unpredictable weather patterns.

“Remember this description of Texas weather, ‘It is prolonged drought interrupted by periodic flooding events.’”

Azerbaijan opens borders to cattle

Staff / Canada could soon be exporting dairy heifers to Azerbaijan following a new agreement to open trade in cattle, the federal government has announced.

The deal announced last week by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast opens what is expected to be a new market for the Canadian genetics industry, said Rick McRonald, executive director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (CLGA) in a release.

“We expect that the first potential Azeri live cattle buyers will be in Canada next month. This could result in initial sales of 2,000 dairy heifers,” he said.

Canadian agri-food exports to Azerbaijan averaged more than $2.1 million per year from 2009 to 2011. Pork is Canada’s primary export to Azerbaijan, with an average annual export value of $1.7 million. Other Canadian exports include beef, poultry and pulses.

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