Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211


Agricultural News

Preserving Genetics of Utmost Importance During Drought

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 15:56:46 CDT

Preserving Genetics of Utmost Importance During Drought
Headed into its third year of extreme drought in northeast Kansas, Barb Downey of the Downey Ranch says they have compiled some solid strategies for dealing with Mother Nature.

"As a cow-calf operation, our primary interest is in, A) preserving our resources and making sure we have that grass in a good state to recover when we do start getting rain and our second priority is preserving that cow herd and preserving that genetic investment we've worked so hard to make over the last many years."

In an effort to keep as many mature cows as possible, she says, last fall they weaned calves three months earlier than usual.

"What that does is remove pressure on the grass; the cow's energy demands go down by about a third. Her grazing pressure does indeed go down and, of course, her water consumption goes down."

The last resort is culling from the pool of cows that have already passed every test. Downey's many years of individual performance and progeny carcass data only makes each culling decision more difficult now.

"We've tuned up the average cow into what is our ideal cow. So we've invested a heck of a lot of time and effort and labor and thought time in getting this cow. So our interest is to absolutely preserve this genetic base."

They usually background all calves at home and retain ownership through the finishing phase, but the most recent calf crop was sold outright. What little harvested feed was stockpiled is reserved for the mature herd that will, somehow, get even better.

"If there is an upside, the upside is this is an opportunity to put some heavy selection pressure on those cows," Downey says.



WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • 5 State Beef Conference Comes to Beaver, Oklahoma on October 4   Wed, 28 Sep 2022 11:29:11 CDT
  • USDA's Proposed Regulations Under the Packers and Stockyards Act Raises Concerns from NCBA  Wed, 28 Sep 2022 09:25:18 CDT
  • NCGA Calls on Farmers to Contact EPA Regarding Atrazine  Wed, 28 Sep 2022 09:16:46 CDT
  • USMEF Statement on Advancement of Under Secretary for Trade Nomination  Wed, 28 Sep 2022 09:12:48 CDT
  • Record Turkey Prices Expected as Thanksgiving Approaches  Wed, 28 Sep 2022 09:10:50 CDT
  • Checkoff-Funded Research Network Celebrates 35-year Anniversary  Wed, 28 Sep 2022 09:07:52 CDT
  • Intense drying Conditions have Prompted a notable Increase in wildfire activity across Oklahoma  Wed, 28 Sep 2022 08:35:21 CDT
  • Certified Angus Beef Takes Fine Dining to New Heights to Connect with Consumers  Wed, 28 Sep 2022 08:31:28 CDT

  • More Headlines...


    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma Beef council Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment Oklahoma City Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.


    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2022 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.