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
December 10, 1998

Pasture Planning and Marketing Pays Off

The season known as the Holidays is rapidly approaching. November 1998 has been very gracious in regard to the weather. We will be hard pressed to find a November with the total number of days with sunshine and warm temperatures we have seen in 1998. Pastures have provided excellent forages for grazing, which in turn has reduced the amount of hay required to date for many of the beef producers.

The fall calving season has progressed extremely well and both observations and conversations indicate the positive gains and health of this management group. Thanksgiving week provided an opportunity when many producers initiated the fall breeding process. Both artificial and natural service has progressed under the excellent pasture conditions.

Now is the time to think about how you can improve management for 1999. Both forage for grazing and how you plan to market the 1998 fall calves compared to just selling them will have a financial impact throughout 1999.

First let's consider the type of forage you have and how you can improve it. If you plan to interseed legumes now is the time to think about which to use and where the fertility level is on the areas being considered. It is much easier to collect soil samples when the ground is not frozen compared to having to use an ax or pick to get a representative soil sample. This information is valuable when making interseeding considerations.

This fall we have seen a considerable variation in the price of feeder cattle. This is why it is important to consider how and when you plan to market rather than just sell your fall born calves in the spring or summer of 1999. There are numerous market decisions to be considered. The University of Missouri Commercial Ag Focus team is currently working with a co-mingled co-consignor group of producers who are trying to develop a marketing procedure.

Various auction companies are trying marketing methods that require certain procedures to be completed on the calves prior to certain dates. This system is working quite satisfactorily for many producers.

Health is always an important part of any beef cattle marketing schedule. How, when and where the immunization are given are more important today then any time in the past. Make sure immunizations are given in the neck area, reducing the potential of carcass trimming from the higher valued cuts from the carcasses.

Keep in mind that reputation marketing is one of the best tools for the future. It doesn't take long for individuals who purchase your livestock to determine their source, and they will know if they experienced problems with their purchase that could have been eliminated through your management procedures.

University of Missouri ExtensionDale's Country Trails - December 10, 1998
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/DCT/CT121098.html -- Revised: April 20, 2004