Dale Watson
Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist
University of Missouri Extension




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Please send your comments and sund suggestions to Dale Watson, Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, 111 N. Mason, Carrollton, MO 64633, call 660-542-1792, or send messages by e-mail to: watsond@missouri.edu.
For the Week of
June 15, 2000

304 and Counting

As of July 1 we will be left with 304 days until May 1, 2001. This is the date many beef cattle producers throughout the Midwest count on to start the summer grazing season. Hopefully we will have a better possibility for water supply and grazing potential when compared to the spring of 2000. This may seem like a long time off right now, but we can count the number of large bales of hay and estimate the weight of them for a very accurate estimate of the available forage we have for next winter.

The following method can be used for estimating the amount of feed needed for wintering the beef herd. First you need to estimate the average weight of your cow herd. Normally we consider a 1000 lb. cow will consume 25 lbs. of air-dried feed or 2.5% of body weight per head per day. Larger individuals will consume slightly more and smaller individuals slightly less. One cow weighing 1000 lbs. will consume approximately 750 lbs. of air-dried feed per month (25 lbs. X 30 days = 750 lbs.)

Keep in mind that the type of forage and the quality of the forage play a very important role in the nutritional value of the daily ration. Forages having 50% or more legumes cut at the optimum stage of maturity provide a large portion of the protein needs. However if we are dealing with late-cut fescue or wheat straw, then the amount and type of supplementation is considerably different.

Questions relating to late summer and early fall seeding of small grains are being asked. Planting small grains in August has been done successfully. Several individuals have used this method in previous drought years, especially 1988. Getting the small grains planted and having soil contact plus moisture is the key for providing fall grazing.

Several individuals are marketing portions of their herd. The lack of water is the major factor in making this decision rather than not having forage. If you are considering selling your seed stock, keep in mind the tax problems you can create. Generally we can reduce the size of the cow herd through culling and not affect the previous or future marketing plans. However, a large income from a complete dispersal needs consideration prior to making this decision.

University of Missouri ExtensionDale's Country Trails - June 15, 2000
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/DCT/CT061500.html -- Revised: April 20, 2004