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Winterizing The Ranch, Plus Marketing Spring Calves

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What preparations do you make on your operation to get ready for winter?

We’re in a mad scramble around our place to finish the last of our winter preparations. The western part of the state was hit by a freakishly early storm in early October, but with November now here, steady inclement weather could be here to stay anytime now.

Among our last-minute preparations are a new fence and final work on a windbreak. We got started late on these projects due to state fairs, harvest, weaning and preg-checking, and this has been our first chance to get rolling with new fencing plans. We also spent the weekend baling cornstalks, which we’ll use to bed our cattle this winter.

Next on the list is making sure all the electric waterers are working in the lots, moving the last of the hay bales from the field to the home place, and figuring out which cows will need to be sorted off first once calving starts around the end of January.

There’s much to be done in preparation for Mother Nature’s most challenging season, but we’ve got a pretty good system in place now to deal with whatever she throws at us. What preparations do you take to get ready for winter?

 

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Last week, we gave away10 pairs of Heat Holders® socks by asking readers a series of questions. In case you missed the previous conversations, here they are for you to review and join in:

What Makes A Cull Cow?

• What Do You Look For At A Cattle Sale?

• Which Forages Do You Utilize In The Fall?

• When Do You Market Your Calves?

Thursday’s discussion talked about the best time to market spring-born calves. Three final winners were chosen to take home a pair of Heat Holders® socks. Our winners are Doug, Flatrock Farms and Jim Holder. Congratulations!

Doug writes, “The best feeder sale in my area is the day after Thanksgiving. If I am going to sell that is the day. If I sell my calves are weaned for a minimum of 2 weeks, crimped, vaccinated and tagged. I usually keep them over winter but with feeder prices this year I am leaning towards selling in November.”

Flatrock Farm says, “A group of 10 of us will sell our calves in July for November 1st pick up. They are weaned early September, vaccinated 2 rounds of shots & bunk broke. We average 40 head each but together the feedlots & buyers will talk to us & they must be Angus & Gelbveih cross(50-50) with heavier influence of Angus if not. They are weighed at the farm twice, then weighed on truck scales then into the pots. We go off of the November future price for the contract.”

Jim Holder adds, “I check Harlan's and others yearlings price prediction for next year, long range moisture prediction, recall the nuisance trait of tending yearlings and then flip a coin?”

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s conversations. I hope to hear from you on upcoming blog topics. Thanks again!

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 1

Sara Schubert (not verified)
on Nov 4, 2013

Pretty much the same as you. We have some pens to build, would like to put up fence to make some calving paddocks, dig in water line for new pens, preg check and wean calves. We still have hay on the fields but we can do that in the snow if we have to. Lots for 2 people to do!! With any luck, my parents will be able to come up for a visit Thanksgiving week and maybe Dad can help us while Mom feeds us!!

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

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Amanda Radke

A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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