We have been running British Whites here, on our ranch in northwestern South Dakota for years. They are truly a wonderful breed of cattle. I realized recently, however, that these unique animals have a very desirable trait that I’d overlooked or just not thought about. Now I call them “Timesavers.”
Cattle people are constantly trying to improve their herds. It’s automatic. When the shadows get long in the evening, and the cattle are grazing so placidly, we stop by and critique and evaluate mothers and the offspring there at their side. We want them to be prospering happily under our management and maybe even making us a little more money.
There are many obstacles to overcome when putting up quality hay, silage or fermented grains. These include: crop maturity, packing density, humidity, oxygen and plant moisture content. Silo-King®, a forage and grain treatment additive helps protect feedstuffs from these obstacles, while enhancing digestibility and feed efficiency.
There are two main goals when making fermented feeds: 1) rapid fermentation for maximum preservation of nutrients which happens at the beginning of fermentation; 2) providing a stable product during storage and feed out occurring at the back end of fermentation. Several different technologies are required to accomplish these goals from start to finish.
As we look forward to the current and future political landscape, one of the critical concerns for cattlemen and women, and for all small businesses nationwide, is a stable tax code. A stable tax code allows businesses to plan and manage profits and losses efficiently. The absence of a stable tax code, further adds uncertainty to an already volatile economy and commodity market. And while progress in this legislative session has been slow, at best, there may be momentum yet in 2014. This year, a number of tax provisions, important not only for the cattle industry but for the business community as a whole, expired. We lost key provisions like bonus depreciation, taking away our ability to accelerate depreciation schedules, and the Conservation Easement Tax Credit.
Traditionally, most cow-calf producers consider feeding total mixed rations (TMR) only during calving and early lactation, as well as perhaps, ideally, during late gestation. However, there are a number of other opportunities during the fall for supplemental feeding with a vertical TMR mixer that can be used to extend the grazing season, as well as improve calf health and growth performance post-weaning.
Every winter cattle producers across the Snowbelt face the challenges of the harsh conditions that the winter season brings. It’s tough on both the cattle and the producers who work diligently to keep their herd in the best condition possible. As below-freezing temperatures set in, animals need additional feed and water to replenish the energy they expend to keep warm. In this food/water equation, it is their water consumption that helps keep everything in balance.
As many cattlemen and women know all too well, one of the greatest threats our industry faces is regulation from Washington, D.C. And for many years now, the industry has braced for a rule-making by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers that would substantially impact all uses and users of land, not just farming and ranching. That rule-making came this spring in the form of the EPA and Corps’ Waters of the United States proposed rule, or WOTUS.
In today’s world, every successful business is concerned about the bottom line, and how to improve it. For most businesses, increasing sales and income is the best option. However, at Grand View Dairy Farm, located in Brillion, Wisconsin, they view the bottom line from several different perspectives. The owners, Bruce and Corey Schmidt have the belief that one of the most overlooked assets on a farm is its inventory. If you make poor quality feed, you’re stuck with it for a year and vice-versa, with good feed, you reap benefits for an entire year.
As previously stated “the objective of feeding a total mixed ration (TMR) is to provide a consistently uniform mix, with the intended ingredient and nutrient composition, across the entire length of the feedbunk with every batch.” And while a number of factors such as ingredient variability and moisture content, consistency of mixing procedures, operator error, and weighing system variability contribute to batch-to-batch variation, it is the characteristics of the mixer itself that essentially control within batch variation, and uniformity across the feedbunk. In this article we will discuss TMR mixer characteristics that affect mix uniformity and a sieving technique that can be used to evaluate it and make adjustments to improve animal performance.
Few families have influenced the livestock handling industry as significantly as the Priefert family from Mount Pleasant, Texas. For half a century, the Prieferts have been designing, building, and marketing cattle handling equipment, and, in the process, changing the way the American rancher handles cattle. Marvin Priefert founded Priefert Manufacturing in 1964 with the invention of the first fully front-opening headgate. 50 years later, Marvin’s son Bill, and his grandsons, Eddie, Nate, and Travis, still own and operate the family business, with the goal of continuing to improve upon the design and functionality of today’s livestock handling equipment.
For 46-year-old Brian Weidner cattle producer and farmer near rural Newton, Illinois, he is living the dream of his childhood. “As a kid, I was always plowing in the sandbox,” Weidner says with a chuckle. “My dad always had livestock, and all I ever wanted to do was raise cattle and be a grain farmer.”