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Cull Cow Checklist
by Kindra Gordon
With increased incidence of drought across much of cow-calf country during the past few years, culling cows to lighten the load on forage resources has been top of mind for many ranchers. And even if you’re not being pressured by drought to downsize the herd, chances are you still have a few head that need to “go to town.”
Demand For Age & Source-Verified Calves Creates Opportunity For Producers
Public concern over food safety has spawned a new niche market for cattle producers: age- and source-verified cattle. Florida cattle producers can earn substantial premiums by age- and source-verifying their calves, which qualifies beef from their animals for sale to Japan and other export markets.
One company helping ranchers take advantage of this opportunity is Okeechobee Livestock Market. Florida’s largest livestock market is selling truckload lots of age- and source-verified cattle over the Internet through Producers Cattle Auction LLC, an online cattle auction company based in Mobile, Alabama.
“Retailers are paying premiums for age- and source-verified cattle, and there’s no need for the feedlots and the packers to be the only ones in the production chain that are getting them,” said Todd Clemons, president of Okeechobee Livestock Market. “Our aim is to help ranchers take care of age and source verification on their end so they can keep more of the money in their own pockets. The cow/calf producer is the only person who can verify the age and source of feeder calves.”
Take Care of Bull Battery during Drought Conditions
by: Dr. Glenn Selk
Oklahoma State University, Reproductive Specialist
The drought continues to cause concern about which cows to sell and which to keep. Of course feed and water supplies for the cowherd are huge concerns. However, we must still keep in mind that half of the herd’s genetics and half of the fertility is penned up in the bull pasture. Therefore, it is important to remember to take good care of the bull battery during the drought.
After the breeding season, bulls become a necessary evil or unwelcome visitor. Many producers might like to forget about them for the balance of the year and some almost do. While it is true that bulls during the post breeding season don’t require much management, adequate planning and care can help ensure that bull costs will be kept within reason and that bulls will be ready to go again the next time they are needed.
In most spring calving herds, the breeding season will commence in the spring or early summer and extend for two to three months. If a 60 day prebreeding conditioning period is allowed, this leaves a post breeding season of about seven months, usually coming in the fall and winter. Goals for this period are basically as follows: Keep feed costs at a practical minimum, BUT keep the bulls in moderate condition and allow growth of young bulls.
BeefTalk: Source and Age Verification Are Two Different Concepts
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist
NDSU Extension Service
Source and age verification are becoming a product of the marketing environment. The entrance into the marketplace is an indication of recognition by those buying cattle that a need exists for source- and age-verified calves. This is good.
The premise of a free market suggests supply and demand drive the marketplace and determine the value of the product. In this case, the demand side is starting to perk up as indicated by marketing organizations soliciting and labeling calves as source and age verified. The supply side is stepping up to the challenge. Source- and age-verified calves are starting to sell. What does that claim mean?
2007 Beef Industry Scholarship Program
Monday, September 18, 2006, 3:39 PM
by Dave Russell, Brownfield Network
Young people pursuing careers in the beef industry are being encouraged to apply for one of twenty scholarships being awarded by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in the 2007 Beef Industry Scholarship Program. Graduating high school seniors or full-time undergraduate students enrolled at a two-year or four-year college are eligible for the $1,500 scholarships. The application deadline is October 10, 2006.
For a full description of the scholarship program
Branding still seen as first line of defense for cattlemen
Special to The Monett Times (MO)
By MELONIE ROBERTS
That was one of the topics at the 44th annual Field Day, recently hosted by the University of Missouri Southwest Center near Mt. Vernon.
According to Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with the University of Missouri Extension in Mt. Vernon, noted with recent reports of cattle thefts in the area, this particular method of identifying cattle may well see an increase in popularity.
Cole noted that there are two types of branding methods used, freeze branding, or the Old West-style hot branding.
While either method is adequate, Cole suggested that the materials needed for freeze branding may be difficult to obtain and maintain during the lengthy process.
In Missouri, as well as many other states, brands must be registered, at a cost of about $35, and must be renewed every five years. Brands must have two or more characters, and be at least three inches in height. Desired branding locations are primarily on the hip or shoulder area of the animal.