Five for Fall! or Herd Headliners
Plan for Profit. Is Your Marketing Plan In Place?
Are your calves weighed to calculate your lbs. of product and profit? Use your Sire and Herd EPD's to advertise the growth, marbling and yield potential of your calves. Are loading chutes and corrals in good repair before you start to process calves and cows?
Preg check those cows? Ship the open ones. Use the live market or do you have enough to make a load on the rail? Market late-breds to fit another producers' calving cycle?
Health Plan for Cows - in place and completed? Discuss with your Vet if this is the best time to vaccinate and apply parasite control or would it be more cost effective in the spring?
Fat Fall Feeding
Dry cows will pack on the weight if you supply the groceries. It's cheaper and easier to put weight on in the fall and then let the cow use it during the winter and early lactation.
Check the Body Condition Score (BCS) of the bred and first calf heifers, before they start competing with the cows for calories. Supplementing can be as easy as giving them the best pastures or letting them lead graze in a field followed by the older ladies (similar to creep grazing).
Test and inventory your feeds now! It lets you dole out the poorer feeds in the fall and try to save the better forage for late gestation and lactation. Testing will let you balance the feedstuffs and perhaps cut back in some areas. Also if you have the information now you can be on the market early looking for supplements if needed. Sometimes there are some good buys coming off the combine.
Get your records processed. Then read them don't just file them.
Make sure the bull and heifer calves you kept are moving you toward your goals. Is the cow herd living up to expectations; in both production and profit? Is keeping your own replacements working out? Or should you be considering a purchasing arrangement. Start shopping now for next years herd sire. List your wants and check out the bull calves on test early - remember you sell his offspring at that age.
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