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 31, 1998

No Mud So Far

The winter of 1997/98 still lingers in the minds of many producers. The continuous amount of mud caused havoc with feedlots, cow/calf units and backgrounding operations. Livestock producers respond very rapidly and positively when discussing the question of solid ground surface compared to the soft surface of last winter.

With the difference in ground surface two areas of livestock management are very positive. A considerable amount of hay has been saved and continues to be saved due to the open winter we have experienced. The hard feeding surface of the ground virtually eliminates forage waste. Many producers stated last winter their livestock was tramping more feed into the mud than was being consumed. This added expense resulting from extra forage being required has been saved so far this winter simply due to a more favorable feeding environment.

The saving of forage means added dollars for the beef cattle enterprise simply due to a reduction in feed cost for the year. This is a positive thought to many producers who are involved in the swine production business since cost reduction from other enterprises is a welcome sight.

Body condition of beef cows is definitely up by at least one and possibly as much as one and a half scores for many herds compared to the start of 1998. This is very positive and presently means that 1999 has a jump on the breeding season of 1998 simply due to body condition of the beef cow alone. Maintaining the condition of the beef cow is very significant and needs to be remembered by producers. If supplementation is required and you feel the cost is excessive relate to the first three months of 1998. I am sure this will bring back recollections of nutritional needs that can be easily met this year either through conventional feeds or incorporating co-products in your rations.. This is a very important key for a successful calving and breeding season for 1999. You may think it is early to be thinking of the 1999 breeding season, but that time of year is just around the corner for many producers.

We certainly hope all agriculture producers will experience a more pleasant calendar year for 1999. Producers are certainly due for an improvement in profit which will in turn reflect a positive atmosphere for many small business operation throughout the Midwest.

University of Missouri ExtensionDale's Country Trails - December 31, 1998
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/DCT/CT123198.html -- Revised: April 20, 2004