We’ve been reading about it, we’ve experienced it, we’ve denied it and we’ve accepted it. Calf prices are off significantly from where they were the last two years. This seesaw of a cattle market over the past couple years has made for a lot of optimism and grief, depending on which side of the seesaw you sit.
Safety is a big part of the culture at Ridley. We have a safety tip before every meeting, there is a safety huddle at the start of every shift at the plants and employees write a personal safety plan. All this attention to safety goes a long way towards prevention and that is reflected in our safety record. I share this with you to lead in my main point of creating a culture of safety on the farm.
Parts of the country are fortunate to have excellent pasture conditions. Large portions of the Eastern and Southeastern US are well above normal for rainfall which has kept pastures conditions in the good to excellent range for most of the grazing season. I have not seen this much grass in mid-August in the area I travel in several years. For the most part producers have built up hay inventories. Other parts of the country have not been as fortunate and will need to begin feeding hay earlier than desired.
While there are many parts of the country dealing with flooding and excessive rains right now, others are dealing with drought or dry conditions. Additionally, weather forecasters are saying that the La Niña weather pattern will increase chances for drought in late summer and fall even areas that are wet now. Whether you’re in drought now or preparing for drought later, don’t wait to form a plan.
There are many additives fed to improve or alter rumen function and gut health. Yeast cultures, prebiotics, probiotics and fermentation extracts of these compounds are gaining more attention and finding more application.