The disruptions in the beef processing sector caused by COVID-19 continue to interfere with the orderly marketing of finished cattle. While we all hope that the situation is resolved quickly, the reality is that because the shipment of so many harvest-ready cattle has been delayed, there will be increased numbers of heavier cattle on feed for the foreseeable future.
Spring mud and poor drainage are two of the biggest production drags associated with feeding cattle outside. Summer months represent an opportunity to address and correct any problems that might be present in open lots.
Recently, the South Dakota Grassland Coalition and SDSU Extension held workshops across the State focused on sharing information from experienced livestock producers who have switched to a calving date more in sync with nature.
The use of estrous synchronization with natural service provides an opportunity to utilize the benefits of synchronization. However, the first question producers ask is, “How many more bulls do I need?”
With spring turnout to grass here for some ranchers and just around the corner for others, proper livestock grazing distribution is a key aspect of a comprehensive grazing management plan.
During times of belt-tightening, it’s imperative to make sure all the resources of the ranch are being utilized as efficiently as possible. Conducting a complete ranch inventory is a perfect time for ranch managers to take an in-depth look at their operation.
As farms and ranches across South Dakota continue to endure increasing costs of production while receiving less cash for grain and livestock marketed; ranch managers must be extra diligent when implementing new range improvements and grazing systems on their ranches.
April 2018 and 2019 blizzards caused stress to the region’s cowherds, and for some herds changed the calving distribution. 2020 brings a chance to re-establish a preferred calving distribution.
Reproductive performance of an operation is important to the overall success and bottom line of that operation. Benchmarking may be beneficial as it can help focus limited management time on critical areas of an individual’s beef cow business.