As 2014 draws to a close, the snow begins to fall, and various opportunities for extending the grazing season are ending, it is a good time to consider the opportunities that exist to manage your current feed inventory and minimize feeding costs during the coming winter. With cattle at record prices and grain prices declining markedly relative to the past few years, it may be tempting to become complacent about minimizing feed costs, but this would be ill advised. This may in fact be the best time to invest in new practices and technologies to help weather the next, inevitable downturn in the cattle cycle.
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.
I had a one of a kind Grandpa. Well, maybe we all say that about people that we admire who have lot of knowledge. Sometimes we would get to work together in the corncrib with Grandpa and my uncles on the day the corn sheller would come to Grandpa’s farm. This was a great workout because my job was to rake the ears of corn in the gigantic corncrib into a drag that would take the ears of corn to the sheller. The corn sheller would shell the corn off the cobs. The corn would go into wagons and the cobs would go into a pile that looked like a mountain to me - or maybe I was just really little. The remaining cobs were used for many purposes in those days.