The annual fall cattle feeder projections for 2020 have been compiled. Projected sale prices were estimated by looking at futures contract prices and taking into account seasonal and cyclical trends in addition to current placements and animal breed influence on prices. These projections are intended to serve as an initial guide.
Feed cost is usually ranked as the highest expense in animal production. Proper management of feed storage can prevent feed shrink – or the loss of feed. Reducing feed shrink in storage can help decrease the cost of production.
Culling decisions are a routine part of beef cow-calf herd management. Producers should make culling decisions based on what is best for their farm’s profitability, and what is best for animal well-being. This article covers some of the decisions every beef herd needs to make.
Preconditioning is a management practice that many producers implement to increase buyer interest and add value to their feeder calves by building the health status of calves and training them to feed bunks and waterers post weaning.
If your pastures have an abundance of biennial or perennial weeds like spotted knapweed, wild parsnip, thistles, Canada thistle, and horsenettle, then fall is a good time to get a handle on these tough to control weeds.
There are various castration methods, and it is recommended that castrations be performed in calves at the youngest age possible, preferably within three months of age. Using a proper castration procedure on a young calf can add more beef value at the time of marketing.
Horned cattle are discounted in beef markets. Using polled genetics is the best way to avoid having to remove horns. Beef genetics are often polled, but cross breeding with dairy cattle may result in horns. Monitor beef or beef x dairy crossbred calves during their first six weeks of life for the growth of horn buds and disbud immediately as they are identified.
Respectable preconditioning programs focus on health AND nutrition. The goal of these programs is to help calves succeed during their next phase of production at the feedlot, stocker, or heifer development facility.
The UW-Madison Division of Extension provides resources to better understand and calculate the amount of meat to expect from a finished animal.
Now is the time, before the snow flies, to take inventory of your farm’s forage supply and determine how well it meets the herd’s needs. Knowing your feed inventory and needs early allows you to purchase now, rather than wait to purchase during the winter when forages are usually priced higher.