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

  • OKFB's Steve Thompson Says August Area Meetings will Tackle Important Topics for Producers   Sun, 01 Aug 2021 12:02:12 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 p.m, Friday, July 30  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 14:11:55 CDT
  • Friday, July 30, 2021 Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 14:09:38 CDT
  • US Wheat Associates Weekly Harvest Report for July 20, 2021  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 11:35:12 CDT
  • Oklahoma State’s Leon Spicer awarded National Animal Science Honor  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:41:47 CDT
  • Request for Information on Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern for Research Initiative  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:22:12 CDT
  • Individuals and Great Plains Kubota Recognized for Achievements at 2021 OCA Convention  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:20:15 CDT
  • Research Is Finding Solutions For Human/Black Bear Coexistence  Fri, 30 Jul 2021 10:17:07 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 Tulsa Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.

    Our Road to Rural Prosperity sponsors!


    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2021 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.