Maybe there will be some wheat pasture this year, after all. The 30-day rainfall record from NOAA shows much of the country typically devoted to winter stocker grazing has had beneficial rains since the first of September—and especially last week. This map shows much of the country from central Kansas south through Oklahoma and into Central Texas has had enough rain to at least get fall-planted crops sprouted and up.
Now to see what happens next. As Ted McCollum at Texas Agri-Life Center points out, folks looking to pasture their wheat in his part of the country like to get it in and—more importantly, UP—by the middle of September. Only the optimists had dusted it in.
This is important stuff if you’re in the cattle business. In a decent year, the Texas Panhandle and surrounding areas provides demand for a million or so stocker cattle.
Another million head of so may be needed farther south in Texas, where the rains came earlier and have been more abundant. Oat pasture of winter rye oversown onto Bermuda pastures in that country should be off to a nice start—and winter comes later.
It will be interesting to see how the rains impact calf prices. McCollum says he’s heard of what little wheat pasture is being leased in the region going at 60 to 90 cents per pound of gain. Both sound pretty high to old-timers, but you can sure make an argument it’s worth that with the price outlook.