Anthrax, Market App, and the Expo
For me, this summer has been fast, furious, and full of excitement. Travel for work and family (mostly baseball) has kept me extremely busy and I rarely have had a chance to be home or in the office for more than a day or two. “Sorry, it has taken so long for me to get back to you” has been a frequent starter to most of my emails.
In June, I had the opportunity to travel to England to get an in-depth look at the British sheep industry. It was an amazing experience and I am very grateful to the British Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board for hosting us. They have a very progressive sheep industry, look for details about what I learned across the pond in future articles.
Sadly, Anthrax is wreaking havoc on ranches in certain parts of Southwest Texas this year. Our hearts go out to those who have been impacted. It is a terrible feeling to see your livestock and wildlife dying a horrible death, and our sympathies are with those who are dealing with this outbreak, in many cases for the first time. Texas Animal Health Commission has reliable information about this disease on their website: www.tahc.texas.gov. It is advised to not move unvaccinated animals from this region to other areas until the disease outbreak subsides to prevent the disease from spreading.
We have just launched a new iPhone app to help West Texas sheep and goat ranchers make informed lamb and goat marketing decision. A team of people with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Angelo State University developed the Lamb and Goat Market Forecast app. Producers can input weights of lightweight slaughter lambs or kids and an estimated cost of gain (if ownership is retained) and then see predicted profit or loss based on future dates of sale. The predictions are based on over 1 million animals sold from 2010 through 2018 at Producers Livestock Auction. The app is titled “Lamb and Goat Market Forecast” and is available in the AppStore at https://apps.apple.com/app/id1467220182 (sorry Android folks, we’re working on it).
Back by popular demand, we will be hosting the Texas A&M Sheep and Goat Field Day the morning of August 16 at the San Angelo Research and Extension Center, which is a free event. Immediately following, over at the Spur Arena, is the Texas Sheep and Goat Expo, which will start at noon on August 16. Day two of the Expo runs 7 a.m.-1 p.m. on August 17. If registered before August 13, the Expo is $50 per adult.
Between the two events, there will be dozens of speakers covering most all sectors of the Texas sheep and goat industry. It is truly a program for everyone. To find out more about the event and to preregister go to: https://agrilife.org/agrilifesheepandgoat/.
Immediately after the Expo, we will be hosting a sheep sale highlighting performance based genetic selection. I am a firm believer that profitable ranches must have productive, healthy, and environmentally adapted genetics. Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) via the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) are one of the best tools to help us identify the right animals for your ranch. A catalog for the sale can be found at: https://sanangelo.tamu.edu/performance-tests/ram/
In closing, Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Reflect on these words of wisdom and make it a priority to investigate strategies that could make your herd healthier, more productive, and more profitable.
To provide feedback on this article or request topics for future articles, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 325-657-7324. For general questions about sheep and goats, contact your local Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county office. If they can’t answer your question, they have access to someone who can.