Texas dairy industry energized

Texas dairy industry energized

Return to March 2022 newsletter

Texas dairy industry energized

By Darren Turley
TAD executive director

The High Plains Dairy Conference was held in Amarillo in early March, and the dairy community showed up in a big way. This year’s event was the largest ever with a record attendance of 420 individuals taking part in the two-day conference.

Texas dairy farmers and industry personnel heard information on beef related to dairy breeding programs, methane-capturing markets and business decisions involved in starting a methane project, and a panel on robotic milking with Texas Association of Dairymen (TAD) board member Adam Wolf discussing his new robotic dairy operation.

That so many were eager to gather was a sign of the vibrancy of the Texas and region’s dairy industry. The continued growth in processing and production keeps the dairy market very strong in the High Plains. In addition, producers were eager to participate in numerous discussions about harvesting methane gas from dairy waste and share their concerns regarding the financial future of their operations.

After the conference, producers, industry representatives and researchers met to discuss the current research and the future research needs of the industry. This meeting spotlighted research from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Tech University and New Mexico State University. Researchers continue to explore ways to mitigate the decreasing water supply in the High Plains. This includes planting strategies and crop choices for dairies with a shortage of water.

Dairy farmers discussed the methane capturing projects both underway and proposed across the region.  This led to a discussion of a new series of research topics that will be needed as these projects are implemented. The High Plains continues to be a center for research in cropping and water advancement, and, in the future, we also may see carbon sequestering technology studied.

Also recently, TAD monitored the March primary elections, which saw some dairy-friendly legislators have close races. The full breakdown and analysis of these elections is provided by TAD’s governmental relations team in this newsletter. The team continues to watch a number of races headed to runoff elections in May, and then it’s on to the general election in November.

Even though spring is around the corner, we continue to have cold snaps and much of Texas desperately needs some moisture. This dry climate has gotten so severe that it is sparking wildfires across the state.  The old timers used to tell me that a drought means you’re “one day closer to rain.” I hope they’re right and that a good, soaking rainy day – or days – is close at hand. Texas needs a rain to grow feed so our cows can produce that nutritious milk we all need.

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