At one time, a tag and scale were all the tools needed to start a beef cattle production record system. The tag was placed at birth and the mother and birth date were recorded in the free notebook from the local livestock business.
We expect our perception of the world to follow us, so that becomes the heart of our current dilemma. Recent news articles have been very pointed at a food industry that has tried and continues to try to meet the demands of a mobile, demanding client..
A land mapping of ecosites in pastures is helping producers determine stocking rates. This mapping process identifies potential forage production for all the individual ecosites to determine the number of acres needed to provide the nutritional requirement for a cow for a month.
In food production, things are never the same because many variables come into play on a daily basis. The other day I noticed the raspberry bushes were full of raspberries. Most would say that they are supposed to be. However, the real answer is that the raspberries are not supposed to be there because the birds always eat them.
Four things beef producers might want to think about are food safety, seamless regionalized calf-tofeedlot health connectivity, implementation of improved RFID (radio frequency identification) technology, and value capture for the producer. Realized or not, these four points have a significant impact on the beef industry.
Management generally implies input followed by discussion, decision and implementation. The amount of input generally reflects the seriousness of the topic. Recently, the Dickinson Research Extension Center discussed the allocation of cattle resources. Believe me, everyone sat up at the table.
How does one capture value? That is not an easy question to answer. As a boy, I remember visits to the farm by some big city cousins who did not have the advantage of growing up on the farm. They wanted to help, and one particular point that stands out was the feeding exercise.
Usually, when businesses buy and sell inventory, one of three things happens. Under option one, the item sells for more than it was purchased for and one has the opportunity to make money. The second is the break-even option. This is when an item sells for the same as the purchase price.
The first set of cows averaged just more than 1,400 pounds at spring turnout on crested wheatgrass. They are part of a study involving cropping rotations and range systems harvested by grazing cow/calf pairs and early weaned calves. The second set of cows averaged 1,060 pounds when turned on crested wheatgrass this spring.
The cattle business is a profession that requires considerable education and experience. In other words, the managerial inputs need to be well thought out so that the ramifications or consequence of doing or not doing something has the desired outcome.
The beef business never has been short on opinions. Good opinions and the willingness to share those opinions are the core to any dynamic, independent business. For beef producers, independence is manifested in the concept, I need to get the work done.
Managerial changes require a review of both the positive and negative. Previous discussion on changing the calving date has resulted in two major points: reducing the cows winter feeding costs and lowering the death loss among newborn calves. Both significantly affect the bottom line.
North Dakota Beef Cattle Improvement Association (NDBCIA) members have recorded an average daily gain of 2.52 pounds for calves on summer pasture. This means the 70,000 calves measured through NDBCIAs Cow Herd Appraisal Performance Software (CHAPS) program cumulatively gain on a daily basis 176,400 pounds, 1,764 hundredweight, or roughly 88 tons.
The beef industry is struggling with data and data tracking. This statement, while met with a wide range of pro and con reaction, does point to the fact that there is slippage occurring. There is a lot of very good data collected, processed and utilized within the beef industry.
The other day was difficult. The discussion centered on the horse industry as the Dickinson Research Extension Center was reviewing program costs. As the horse program was discussed, the updated costs were noted. Based on a five-year average, the annual cost (direct and overhead expenses) for maintaining a producing mare and nursing foal was $764.
The pass is open is an expression that is used by residents and travelers in mountainous areas. This year, the saying, the interstate is open would ring a bell, especially given all the changes in travel agendas in the past three to four months.
There was a pleasant view as I went to the auction barn the other day. The semitrailer truck was sitting in the parking lot with a load of alfalfa hay. Under many situations, no one would really notice, but the long, drawn-out winter has many producers checking their hay inventory as frequently as the weather forecast.
Calving time is imminent. This is easy to see as the cows settle into the final weeks of gestation. Cows are a bit slower to get up. Their movement is not as decisive and the placement of feet is more careful. There is a noticeable decrease in the willingness to jockey for the pecking order.
A troubling event occurred this past week at an auction barn. There was a feeling of ?not wanting,? but also a feeling of ?that is the way it is.? The auction barn is known as a social center and a place to sell cattle. People share stories and experiences that go along with an industry that is speckled with considerable individualism.