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

A New Year's Resolution for Cow-Calf Producers

Mon, 03 Jan 2022 12:12:24 CST

A New Year's Resolution for Cow-Calf Producers Weekly, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Derrell Peel offers his expertise in the cattle industry. This is a part of the weekly series known as the "Cow-Calf Corner" published electronically by Paul Beck. Today, Peel talks about marketing forage for the highest value.

Cow-calf producers are constantly managing many production and marketing challenges. However, as we consider the coming year, one that deserves special attention is to produce and market forage for maximum value. Cattle producers are frequently reminded that they are really in the forage business and that cattle are a means to harvest and market forage. There are numerous considerations to market forage for the highest value.

In part, marketing forage involves considering cattle production and marketing alternatives that represent higher value for forage. For cow-calf producers, this includes considerations for marketing calves at weaning or retaining calves for backgrounding/stocker production as well as marketing cull breeding animals. The market environment in 2022 may provide more possibilities with reduced cattle numbers favoring weaned calf production and marketing yet, at the same time, higher grain prices and elevated feedlot cost of gain increase the value of added forage-based weight gain on feeder cattle. Producers will have more options and potential to add value and planning now can improve returns to cattle and forage production later.

Feed costs are the largest cost component for cow-calf production. Part of managing forage for increased value is to utilize grazing better to reduce cow feed costs. Grazing is the least expensive feed for cows, so this means managing pastures for maximum quantity, quality and duration of grazing and having cows do most of their own feed harvesting. Early planning is necessary to plan annual forage production and grazing management. This must be done in conjunction with plans for cow-calf production, retained stockers and forage use as part of cull cow marketing.

Feeding harvested forages (hay) is at least twice the cost of grazing. The goal should be to minimize hay use with grazing management. To the extent that hay use cannot be avoided, manage hay for reduced waste and to decrease hay expense. Test hay to know the nutritive value and how the hay will contribute to meeting cattle nutritional requirements. This is done on a pound basis, so it is important to know the weight of round bales. Evaluate the economics of hay versus supplemental feeds to provide needed protein and energy relative to the cattle stage of production at different times and any available grazable forage.

Store hay to maintain quality and reduce waste. As Iím driving, I see lots of rounds bales from last year or the year before which are now melted into the ground with little or no feed value. Plan hay storage relative to how long the hay might need to be stored. The longer hay must/will be stored, the more you can justify investment in storage facilities (sheds, coverings, pads and drainage). Feed hay to reduce waste and know exactly how much cows are consuming. Think about how much hay cows need and how much they are getting. Round bales are more convenient and save labor but do require feeding management otherwise they can add significantly to annual cow costs.

With generally rising input costs, cow-calf producers need to put additional effort into cost management. Managing feed costs will be a key to minimizing cow costs and capitalizing on better cattle market conditions in 2022. Itís not too early to plan the next year of forage management and grazing.

Check out Dr. Peel discuss this topic on SUNUP, below.



WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • 2022 Cattlemen's Congress Laid the Groundwork for a Major National Beef Cattle Show to be a Fixture in OKC Each Janaury  Sat, 22 Jan 2022 09:32:30 CST
  • In Memory of Terry Peach- the Man Who Brought Together Oklahoma's Ag Groups  Sat, 22 Jan 2022 08:51:14 CST
  • Friday, January 21, 2022, Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Fri, 21 Jan 2022 15:13:37 CST
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2 p.m. Friday, January 21, 2022  Fri, 21 Jan 2022 15:05:26 CST
  • Oklahoman Steve Kouplen Appointed to Serve in Key Role at USDA  Fri, 21 Jan 2022 15:02:42 CST
  • Farm Bureau Seeks Revision to Cattle Transparency Act  Fri, 21 Jan 2022 14:01:45 CST
  • A Look Back at 2021: Building Resilience in the Face of Natural Disasters   Fri, 21 Jan 2022 13:28:19 CST
  • Crafting of the 2023 Farm Bill is Ramping Up  Fri, 21 Jan 2022 13:12:59 CST

  • 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.