Colorado Rancher Ryan Noble Talks about to to Enterprise Your HeifersTue, 27 Aug 2019 18:05:07 CDT
A business focus continues to pay for itself on Colorado’s Noble Ranch. Let’s see how lessons learned in a ranch management course paved the way for new enterprises.
Sometimes you have to get creative. For one Colorado rancher, that meant an investment in learning and then applying what he learned.
“With our continuing education of Ranching for Profit, we sit down at least quarterly and figure out our gross margins which really gives us the economic snapshot of current enterprises and maybe future enterprises that we need to look at," said Ryan Noble, Colorado rancher. “We'll factor in a little bit of labor. Is it too much labor to have all cows? Or is it too much risk to have all breeding heifers?”
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The two main economic players for the Nobles are their cow-calf and heifer-development enterprises, the latter branching out to serve other customers of their Angus bull supplier in Montana.
“A lot of these heifers, when they come to us, so the ones for the Basin customers, will have had the GeneMax™ testing already performed on them. So they've already been through one sort while they were on the ranch.”
On the Colorado plains, the development program starts with a customized backgrounding phase.
“If you want them turned out and roughed a little bit, we can do that. If you want them brought along in the grow yard, we can do that. Then we have a pretty good source of grass to graze in the summertime. We're not just a feedlot, so it's very real-world conditions for all these cattle.”
Working with a nutritionist and heifer owners, Noble draws up breeding plans from target weights to clean-up bulls—even ways to gather data on open heifers at a Nebraska feedyard.
“Then we go ahead and go through this entire protocol when these heifers are developed and we'll identify the cattle that are bred and the rest of them will go to Chappell Feedlot, where they get fed. All the carcass data is analyzed and it really gives a producer a great snapshot of where their herd is at and where it's going.”
The program quickly gained momentum with Basin Angus Ranch customers.
“If you put all these cows together, between the eight or 10 cow herds, it's about 6,000 to 6,500 head of cows. It's really fun to bring all these genetics from Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Colorado. We get them all here and they're very similar.
That lets the heifer partners focus on managing their cows and developing their own mix of enterprises.
“They don't have to mess around and feed heifers on a daily basis. They don't have to take 3 or 4 days to AI in the spring. All they need to do is just run their cows," Noble said. “They'll actually have some other cattle, their contemporaries from different herds to compare them against in Chappell Feedlot, and I think it really helps them to streamline their operations too.”
Source: Certified Angus Beef
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