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      Extension discusses maintenance of crops and cattle

      More than 100 farmers and ranchers met at the Kuhlman Extension Center Tuesday for the 35th Annual Randall County Ag Show and Crops Tour.

      Food and awards were provided as speakers from different branches of agriculture gave insight on topics like the wheat and small grains market, Corn Moth trapping and wheat variety results.

      Also discussed was the already-popular topic of feed and cattle management during the drought. Beef Cattle Extension Specialist Ted McCollum focused on providing farmers and ranchers with information about this very issue.

      "First of all, how do we protect our range and pasture resources so that when it does begin raining again, we know where it's covered," asked McCollum. "But then how do they survive and maintain productivity and health on their animals in lieu of not having the forage they've grown on the pastures?"

      McCollum addressed the issue of high-priced feed: Is it best to pay high prices for the rare forage needed to maintain cattle or is it best to sell off the cattle?

      "Our forage markets for hay and ruffage are very stretched. Our prices are extremely high and, so, it's not only that they had to purchase feed, but they're purchasing relatively high-priced feed at this time."

      According to Randall County Extension Agent JD Ragland, the show is the highlighted agriculture event of the year.

      "The main focus here this morning is to provide producers with educational information that will hopefully have a positive impact on their agriculture production for the upcoming 2012 growing season," said Ragland.

      The event ended with a tour of the Caviness Packing Plant in Hereford.