Get em in the truck, slam the door, wait for the check. How much planning goes into your cattle marketing? Across the country, it varies from long-term contract holders to those who cut out a few head now and then to pay bills. Either extreme can leave money on the table.
Demand for beef is down. Can you blame the recession? Not entirely, but its a darned inconvenient coincidence. Its hard to argue that beef quality was too low, because production of every class of premium beef has been trending up for some time.
Cows cant do math, but their owners should at least do some counting. From financial balance sheets to stocking rates, a precise inventory is a must. Beyond that, you need cows that are worth owning. Cows that matter, that count because of what they can profitably produce.
While your calves are frisking in the sun, the last thing on their minds should be the first thing on yours. The fact that your cows gave birth to calves creates a wellspring of opportunity that can trickle along toward sale day or grow to a profitable river.
Most North American cowherds calve in the ?spring,? very broadly defined as January to May because folks contending with wind chill don?t want to admit they calve in the winter. Spring continues for the first three weeks of June, but we tend to call that summer calving.
These are penny-pinching times. Thermostats and consumer spending are down. People are traveling less and doing without frills. Cattlemen often embrace this conservative spirit, even in the good years. We know that the cattle cycle turns, and favorable prices can only last so long.
As the trailer door clangs shut on a disappointment, there’s time
for a final explanation: “You are a good-looking cow. Your sire
is the most popular, balanced-trait bull we could find. We paid more for
your momma than any other animal on the farm, and you were our son’s
prize 4-H project. But it’s data that counts. With the lowest