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Texas Ag Daily
Boost in feedlot cattle numbers, but with fewer heifers

While the latest U.S. Cattle on Feed report shows total inventory in U.S. feedlots with capacity for 1,000 or more head 1 percent higher on Jan. 1, 2015 compared to last year, total inventory of heifers was down 2 percent during that time, according to Drovers CattleNetwork.

On Jan. 1, the report indicated 6.94 of the 10.7 million head were steers and steer calves, a 2 percent increase from 2014. Steers accounted for 65 percent of total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves, meanwhile, totaled 3.67 million head, down from 3.73 in 2014.
This decline is an indication that beef producers are retaining more heifers for breeding purposes rather than sending them to feedyards.
Click here for a complete report.

Drought takes toll on Texas groundwater

Most of Texas has emerged from multi-years of drought, but scientists at the University of Texas Austin's Center for Space Research insist the amounts of water stored in the ground are still greatly below normal.

The El Paso Times reports the analysis of satellite data indicated that the state lost 84 million acre-feet of water during the peak of the drought, but had only recovered about 10 percent as of earlier this month.
Texans in 2012 used just over 16 million acre-feet of water for all purposes, according to the Texas Water Development Board. The storage deficit detected by the satellites represents almost five years' worth of the water used in the state.
The data used in the analysis were gathered by twin satellites launched in March 2002 as part of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) Mission operated by NASA and DLR, the German national space agency.
“Moisture in much of Texas' topsoil has recovered, but there hasn't been enough rain to make up for losses in reservoirs and deep in the ground,” said Dr. John Nielson-Gammon, Texas State climatologist.

Weed control is focus of AgriLife’s Texas Range webinar, Feb. 5

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service (AgriLife) hosts Texas Range webinar series scheduled the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m.
The Feb. 5 webinar’s topic is “To Spray or Not to Spray” and relates to the best weed control practices, including weed identification, proper timing and herbicide selection, such as Sandbur control with the use of the post-emergent Pastora, according to AgriLife Today.

Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units may be earned for participants who pay a $10 fee on the website; otherwise, the webinar is free.
Access the webinar at http://naturalresourcewebinars.tamu.edu, or for more information contact Pete Flores at Pete.Flores@ag.tamu.edu.

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