If the rationale for winter grazing is to limit costs, expenditures for supplemental feed should be minimized.
I haven't consulted the “Drought Monitor” website at all this year – a reflection of the favorable growing conditions we've enjoyed! More than one rancher I've visited with this summer has assessed pasture conditions with a statement along the lines of, “I could've run twice as many cows in this pasture.”
Providing feed for the cowherd represents the largest expenditure in a cow-calf operation and winter feed is the single largest expense in most operations. In light of this season's favorable growth, what management strategies could be employed to reduce winter feed expenses with a view to improve profitability? Grazing is generally the least expensive way to harvest available feed, so the opportunity to expand the harvest of this year's abundant supply is worth considering.
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