Winter is coming. It’s not just a phrase on a popular premium cable TV show, it’s a fact. The leaves on the ground, the frost in the morning and the calendar tell us it’s inching closer. Whether your winter means a snow pack or grazing rye grass, the common denominator for all of us is what to do about supplementing.
The reduced cow herd and strong demand for fewer calves creates an optimistic outlook for the cow calf producer for the next several years. This is if you have both forage and cows. The drought in the Southwest is making it tough to maintain cow numbers in that region. One would assume the Southeast and Midwest would grow their cow numbers. However, the lack of affordable pasture is making that decision difficult. Using a dry lot feeding program for part of the year is a viable option; however, making the assumption that expensive feeding equipment is necessary can greatly reduce the income potential. The investment of tractors, feeder wagons and feed bins has to be paid for by pounds of beef sold.
We have all heard sayings like “a little dab will do ya”, “less is more”, “a little ______ goes a long way” or a number of others that refer to how a very small input can result in a large output or response! If you are interested in exploiting this concept when evaluating your inputs for the beef cow herd, there is no doubt you either are a low-moisture block (LMB) supplement customer currently, or should consider LMB supplements as an option for delivering supplemental nutrition.
There’s always been a lot of attention to supplement cost.Some will argue it’s more true now than ever with higher input cost for beef production, but I don’t recall a time ever in the past when feed and supplement cost was NOT a factor.Earlier bog topics the past several months by my colleagues and I have addressed many cost and value topics pertaining to feed and beef production.