January 2014

Circle A Angus

Circle A Angus Experience. Reputation. Profitability. Service. Since its inception, over two decades ago, Circle A Angus has focused tirelessly on improving the profitability of high-quality beef genetics. In 1991 Dave Gust and his family purchased 600 acres in Iberia, Missouri. Today, Circle A spans over 25,000 acres in three Missouri locations, runs nearly 7,000 cows and operates a 5,000 head feeding operation.

Calving Checklist

Calving season are two words that should bring some excitement to everyone’s mind. Now hopefully that excitement is only due to the new calves hitting the ground and finally seeing your careful planning starting to pay off, and not due to a disaster in progress. While we can’t control a lot of the things that happen during calving, a little forward planning can make the whole process a little more calm.

Beef Prices

For beef cattle prices to continue their record run, the 2014 U.S. corn crop will have to produce record yields, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist. That aside, the 2014 beef cattle market outlook is poised for another historic run as lack of supply will continue to fetch strong bids on calves.

“Look for continued high prices,” said Dr. David Anderson at the recent Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic at the Milano Livestock Exchange. “Tight supplies are underpinning the market. I think we are going to have higher calf prices than we did in 2013 and higher prices in 2015 than we did in 2014.”

TMR Corner

Vertical TMR Mixer Lowers Beef Cow Feed Cost - In the previous issue we shared our vision of the goals and objectives for this column. In this issue we will explore the benefits of vertical TMR (Total Mixed Ration) mixers for feeding beef cows during different stages of the production cycle. Due to the high cost of forage, and feed production in general, as well as ever decreasing profit margins, cow-calf producers are increasingly recognizing the benefits of owning a TMR mixer, especially a “vertical” TMR mixer that is capable of processing baled forages to decrease feed waste and increase animal performance.

Forage Selection Meets Requirements, But Creates Waste:

Ranching In a World of Technology

Herd management — those two words are huge for cattle producers as they work to keep their business profitable. More than ever before, herd management has entered the field of technology with software programs designed to provide a record keeping system to track cattle and help producers make sound decisions. For many producers, these software programs can be daunting so it is important to choose one that is user friendly with built-in support that’s only a tap or phone call away. Over the years there has been no shortage of choices of herd management programs for ranchers and most of these have come and gone with hardly a handful withstanding the test of time. To cattle producers, time is money, so the question becomes “Which one?”

Nutrition - TMR Corner

It is often said that the introduction of the TMR (Total Mixed Ration) mixer has played a pivotal role in improving animal performance, and at the same decreasing feed cost. Yet little authoritative information has been written, nor public research conducted, regarding this important tool for cattle feeding since its inception more than 40 years ago. Thus, today we are launching a new, regular column called TMR Corner. Here you’ll find information regarding how TMR mixers function, how to optimize the TMR and mixer operation on your farm, TMR mixer tips, industry developments, and other related items. In this issue, we will introduce our regular columnist, Dr. Alan S. Vaage, and provide some insight why we feel such a column is warranted, and how you, our readers, can participate.

Stop Wasting Hay

John Deere B-Wrap™ Offers New Way to Preserve Bale Quality

Store round bales outdoors, through the winter, and you’ll likely get hit with a hefty “fine.” According to research from Oklahoma State University, round bales can lose between 5 and 20 percent of their dry matter just by sitting outside through winter. Ouch! And those dry-matter losses increase even more if the bale sits outside for a full year or more.

Losing 20 percent is like tossing every fifth bale you make into a manure pile. But those losses are not really all that surprising when you consider that 20 percent of the dry-matter in a 6-foot diameter bale is in the outer four inches of the bale.