Even with drought and high input costs putting pressure on beef cattle inventory throughout the U.S., the market outlook is positive over the next several years, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist.

“Current beef-cow numbers nationally are way down and economists are expecting calf prices to be high over the next three to five years,” says Jason Cleere. “Drought has caused a lot of producers to reduce their cow-herd size. I think we are also pretty positive from a beef demand standpoint. Consumer demand, both domestic consumption and export markets, continues to be strong. Overall, things are looking really positive for the beef industry here on out.”

These issues and more will be covered at the 2011 Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, sponsored by AgriLife Extension and scheduled for Aug. 1-3. The annual event is one of the largest beef education workshops in the country, attracting more than 1,300 cattle producers.

The general session on Aug. 1 will feature a cattle market outlook by Brett Stuart, economist with CattleFax.

“Another area that’s on the minds of producers is how to add value to a calf crop,” says Cleere. “We will be giving live cattle demonstrations, plus presentations on nutrition and supplemental feeding options. The goal of the short course each year is to provide the most cutting-edge information needed by beef cattle producers, and this year is no exception.”

Participants can receive a Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator’s license during the short course, and can earn at least 10 pesticide continuing education units if already licensed.
An industry trade show will feature more than 110 agricultural businesses and service exhibits.

Registration is $140 per person and includes educational materials, a copy of the 600-page Beef Cattle Short Course proceedings, trade show admittance, admission to a prime rib dinner, meals and daily refreshments.

Producers can register online at http://beef.tamu.edu or contact Cleere’s office at 979-845-6931.