The Cow-Calf Manager-Coping with Drought
Dr. John B. Hall Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, VA Tech
Moderate to severe drought continues in Southside and Southwest Virginia. In many other parts of the state two weeks of hot dry weather could throw beef farms into a drought situation. Carry-over hay stocks in a majority of the state are low to nonexistent. With severe drought in a number of Southeastern states, feed supplies are tight and expensive. One of the best ways producers can reduce feed costs, improve calf gains, and maintain cow condition is to early wean calves.
Early weaning is a scary concept for most producers. The idea of weaning 120-150 old calves is foreign to most of us. It takes a little more planning and technique than loading the calves up in November and taking them to the market. However, once you know the steps early weaning is not that hard.