March is calving season for many farmers and ranchers, but March is also a topsy-turvy weather month.
Calves born in winter and early spring face difficulties that they wouldn`t face in warmer months, but many ranchers still plan their calving seasons early.
"They calve early because they want the most pounds when it comes to selling time. That`s really the bottom line," explains Larry Schnell, partner of Stockmen's Livestock Exchange.
A newborn calf faces the possibility of frozen ears, feet and even tails when they are born in the cold, but it is also tough on the mother.
"Increase feed necessary for lactating cows in the winter time because she`s not only producing milk, but because of maintenance requirements because she has to stay warm," says Dickinson State University Agriculture Department Chair Chip Poland.
It may seem like a good idea to move calving season to the warmer months, but many farmers and ranchers in North Dakota have both crops and cattle, which forces them to set a specific schedule.
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