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

“Currentbeef cow numbers nationally are way down and economists are expectingcalf prices to be high over the next three to five years,” said Dr. Jason Cleere. “Drought has caused a lot of producers to reduce their cow herd size. Ithink we are also pretty positive from a beef demand standpoint.Consumer demand, both domestic consumption and export markets, continuesto be strong. Overall, things are looking really positive for thebeef 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 scheduledfor Aug. 1 to 3. The annual event is one of the largest beef educationworkshops 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.

“Anotherarea that’s on the minds of producers is how to add value to a calfcrop,” Cleere said. “We will be giving live cattle demonstrations, pluspresentations on nutrition and supplemental feeding options.”

“The goal of the short course each year is to provide the mostcutting-edge information needed by beef cattle producers, and this yearis no exception,” he said.

Participantscan receive a Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator’slicense during the short course, and can earn at least 10 pesticidecontinuing education units if already licensed, Cleere added.

An industry trade show will be held during the event, featuring more than 110 agricultural businesses and service exhibits.

Registrationis $140 per person and includes educational materials, a copy of the600-page Beef Cattle Short Course proceedings, trade show admittance, admission to the prime rib dinner, meals and daily refreshments.

Registrationinformation and a tentative schedule were mailed to previous participants in June, but can also be found on the short course websiteat http://beef.tamu.edu.

Producers can register online athttp://beef.tamu.eduor contact Cleere’s office at 979-845-6931.