October 26, 2018 | Vol. 11 : No. 10



Fall Herd Considerations

Fall herd management tips for increased profitability.

Fall brings cooler weather and plenty of management considerations to prepare for profitability.

Profitability of cow-calf operations is largely determined by cow reproductive performance. Calf-crop percentage and average weaning weight are primary factors influencing both total income and cost of production. Consequently, the goal for most herds is to have a high percentage of cows wean a calf and for most of those calves to be born early in the calving season.

Prevent Livestock Theft

Special agent offers tips to prevent livestock theft.

A sheer moment of dread grips your stomach as it drops like a tower amusement park ride. The gate lock has been cut. You count the cows and find the count is off. You know something is wrong immediately, so you call the police. They alert the state’s livestock and brand investigation unit, who come out to your place.

Investigators are able to find dually tire tracks, a gas station receipt that fell out of the outlaw’s truck, and a paint swatch along the gate post. Now there are clues to look for as they contact all area livestock markets. There is a much greater chance the cattle will be found and outlaws apprehended.

On Target

Too much, too early.

Fall- and spring-calving herd managers don’t often find themselves facing the same decision as those who buy calves for backgrounding, but this is one of those times. Should you implant the calves? If so, what product should be used? Answers will vary, of course.

It’s simple if increasing gain is the singular goal. Given adequate nutrition, the return on investment to growth-promoting implants makes it one of the best dollars you can spend. However, let’s examine that given.

Control Weeds to Aid Drought Recovery

With weeds out of the way, grasses reestablish more quickly.

Moisture alone can’t overcome drought stress on pastures and rangeland. Recovery requires a strategic approach, and fall is an opportune time to speed the process.

“Weeds are opportunistic and quickly appear with moisture,” says Pat Burch, field scientist with Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. “Change happens fast. The voids left by declining grass from drought and grazing pressure are prime spots for invasion.”

Mind the Details

General considerations for implementing an artifiicial insemination program.

When implementing artificial insemination (AI) and other reproductive technologies, cattle producers would do well to remember that things done well will not compensate for mistakes. Rather, the mistakes can cancel out all of the things done well. That point was emphasized by South Dakota State University reproductive physiologist George Perry during the Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle Workshop hosted Aug. 29-30 in Ruidoso, N.M. Perry discussed mistakes producers need to avoid making before, during and after implementing an AI program.

Producers should not assume that all heifers and cows are suitable candidates for an AI program. Perry advised his audience to give careful consideration to heifer selection, emphasizing the importance of physical and physiological maturity. Prior to breeding, heifers should have reached a suitable target weight and a reproductive tract score (RTS) of 4 or 5.

Is PRF Insurance An Option for You?

Rancher risk management tool offered, sign-up deadline Nov. 15.

Pasture, Rangeland and Forage (PRF) insurance can be a way to protect landowners’ perennial forage for livestock and manage the risks of a constantly changing weather environment, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist in Amarillo, said the USDA Risk Management Agency offers the PRF program and policies covering the 2019 calendar year through crop insurance agents until Nov. 15. Premiums are billed Sept. 1, 2019.

Angus Advisor

Our team of Angus advisors offer regional tips for herd management for the month of November.