It’s hard to argue with win-win situations in life. Even better are win-win-win situations. Preconditioning (PC) calves fits the win-win-win scenario.
The first win of PC is the calf’s health and welfare. The research studies are solid on the health and welfare benefits to PC calves – there’s less morbidity and less mortality in the feedlot....More
Over the past 10 months, I’ve presented strategies to make most ranches more profitable. Among them are: planned, time-controlled grazing; utilizing heterosis with composite or hybrid bulls to simplify mating plans and facilitate grazing management; calving in sync with nature, which most likely will differ from one location to another; increasing grazing days and minimizing or eliminating feeding days; using strategic or selective supplementation to just take the roughest edges off the natural environment; and selecting cows to fit your environment....More
The Maddux family has been ranching in the Nebraska Sandhills for four generations. Along the way, they learned a thing or two about innovation and genetic improvement, which earned the Wauneta, NE operation the honor of being named the 2012 Beef Improvement Federation Commercial Producer of the Year....More
While the tradition of calving season can be enjoyable, even nostalgic, for those who take part in it year in and year out, there's another side to the season, as well: one of industry and economics....More
Fostering baby calves within a single herd is the best option because bringing new calves in from an outside herd carries the risk of introducing disease says SDSU Extension Veterinarian, Russ Daly during a recent iGrow Radio Network interview....More
It has been demonstrated that using estrous synchronization and artificial insemination (AI) can improve reproductive efficiency, productivity and profits of beef cattle operations. Producers should consider using these reproductive technologies in their herds this spring....More
If you look at some of the research that’s been done on the value of supplementing cows, you could get the idea that it’s not all that profitable, says Rick Funston, a University of Nebraska reproductive physiologist in North Platte....More
If there were a lottery for cattle producers, Keith Sistad just won it.
One of the Red Angus beef cows on his ranch near Fosston, MN, gave birth to four calves, all of which are healthy.
“I’ve never heard of quads before in cattle,” says Sistad. “And to have all the calves doing well makes it so much better.”...More
For generations cattlemen have heeded the advice of their fathers and changed the time they feed their cows as calving approaches. It's believed by feeding in the evening, the majority of cows will give birth during daylight hours, easing human labor needs and boosting calf survival....More
A summer of excessive moisture and good grass growth followed by record-high temperatures and record-low precipitation this winter provided many Northern Plains cattle producers with the opportunity to extend their grazing season well beyond normal....More
As a farmer and rancher, Jeff Raymer spends his days doing hard physical labor. As an amputee missing his right leg 4 in. above the knee, Raymer needs a prosthetic leg that can handle tasks like feeding cattle, harvesting crops or driving a tractor....More
John Koski is itching to pick up his rifle after losing dozens of cows to hungry wolves on his farm in Michigan's Upper Peninsula — and it appears he'll soon get his chance.
A legal shield that has protected gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region for nearly four decades has now disappeared, as the animal is no longer on the federal endangered species list. With that milestone, a primal struggle that was waged in this rugged backcountry for more than a century will resume, although in a more restrained fashion....More
It is generally accepted that adequate supervision at calving has a significant positive effect on reducing calf mortality, which has been of in-creasing importance with the use of larger beef breeds and cattle with larger birth weights....More
Calves have a better chance of staying healthy their first weeks of life if they ingest an adequate amount of good-quality colostrum soon after birth. But, preventing calfhood disease is a combination of many factors, including a clean environment and well-nourished, healthy mothers with strong immunities. Vaccinating cows ahead of calving can help build those peak antibody levels in colostrum, but timing is critical....More
It seems so simple. Just increase the weaning rate – the percentage of calves weaned per cow exposed – within a cowherd and production increases, thereby diluting costs. From an industry standpoint, based on the Jan. 1 beef cow inventory of 30.864 million head, an increased weaning weight of every additional percent means the equivalent of 308,640 additional calves....More
A short calving season is the first herd management practice that a cow-calf producer should either have in place or work to develop, says Jim Neel, University of Tennessee Extension beef specialist and professor of animal science....More
This is one of those weeks when I sat down to write my weekly thoughts and I struggled for something to say. So I started looking for inspiration by ticking off the things happening at home. The strange weather is number one – bitter cold followed by unseasonable warming. And, of course, there is the calving season getting started....More