Calf prices seem to be in a freefall here lately. If we look at what CattleFax has for their summary of five and six-weight calves this week compared to last year, we see a fifty dollar per CWT decline, with 15 dollars in the last week. Certainly the market is adjusting to all the red ink in the feeding industry.
Thankfully, the drought conditions that most of the US was struggling with is turning itself back around, the western US being the exception of course. Forage is starting to come back and quality is improving, water sources are nearly back to normal. However, one thing that I know I’ve never thought about is what are the lingering effects of drought?
Critical Timing for Trace Mineral Status
The old adage of “Timing Is Everything” is very true when it comes to weaning. Often the timing of management interventions do not line up perfectly with the biology of the animal. I have heard many people say weaning success is all about having the right weather. If the weather changes to cold and wet right after weaning, most likely we will have more health issues. Weather can be a big factor, but the real issue is the stress of weaning occurs at the lowest point of trace mineral status for our calves.
With Labor Day behind us we are headed directly into the fall season. A preparation for your cow-herd winter nutrition program begins with knowing the forages that you have to work with. Now is a good time to inventory the forages available and determine how best to match them to your herd. Some factors to help manage through the winter are listed below.
I was fortunate to be able to attend the Joint Annual Meeting for the American Animal Science and Dairy Science Societies this past July. It was an excellent opportunity to hear top researchers from all over the world. One fascinating study conducted in Kentucky examined how predicted climate change would affect pasture quality and forage output. Climate experts predict that Kentucky and others in the temperate transitional zone will experience increased ambient temperature and precipitation in the coming years. Let me briefly tell you about the study and its implications.