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Agriculture Today


Cottonseed prices nearly double




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AgriLife Extension Service
December 14, 2011 | 4,163 views | Post a comment

By Robert Burns

COLLEGE STATION -- With cotton production down and the need for supplemental feeds high, cottonseed prices are nearly double that of an average year, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

Despite rains, by the last week of October the entire state remained in one stage of drought or another, with more than 70 percent under severe to exceptional drought conditions, according to the U.S drought monitor.

Though the rains greened up pastures and rangeland, and gave winter wheat producers some hope, forage and hay remained scarce throughout the state, according to AgriLife Extension county agent reports.

As a result, livestock producers are looking more to alternatives such as whole cottonseed, said Mark Brown, AgriLife Extension agent in Lubbock County.

A lot of producers today would be glad to pay $340 per ton -- if they could find it at that price, said Dr. Ellen Jordan, AgriLife Extension dairy specialist based in Dallas. It’s all about supply and demand, and the drought.

Regional feed prices in Comanche were $398 and $393 per ton in Friona on Oct. 26-27, Jordan noted.

On an average year, when demand isn’t so high and there’s a better cotton crop, prices usually hover around $200 per ton, she said.

There is a limit to how much cottonseed can be safely fed to a large ruminant such as a dairy or beef cow, Jordan cautioned.

“If you feed more than about eight pounds per cow per day, there can be some reproductive and other issues,” she said. “Those are the levels that we put as the maximum for dairy cattle, but all cattle will have issues with feeding too high a level of cottonseed. We usually feed it at a rate of about five pounds (of whole cottonseed) per head per day.”

Robert Burns has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about agriculture and agricultural-related research and works with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
 

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