By Rayford Pullen
Summer has arrived, and with it comes a rapid decline in forage quality, milk production, breed back and overall lower gains for both calves and mature animals.
Getting females to breed this time of year is also a challenge, especially for first calvers, and the only way to help this process is to supplement protein that is now lacking in our grass and hope it’s not too hot for the semen quality to decline below what is needed for conception.
I realize many parts of the state are enduring droughts of varying degrees at this time, but in North Texas we have been beyond fortunate in receiving enough moisture to keep our pastures going. Seventy-five percent of our forage growth occurs by July 15 on the average each year, so if you are behind now, you may need to start making plans regarding stocking rates, cow numbers, hay, etc.
We were honored to host a tour group in June from the World Meat Congress, which is headquartered in Paris, France, and had its annual meeting in Dallas. This group had attendees from continents all over the world including Europe, South America, Central America, Asia, Australia, etc.
When asked about how we raise cattle, I was able to tell them how we have replaced antibiotics in our rations, how we vaccinate to minimize injection lesions, how we do use antibiotics if animals become sick, low stress handling, etc. In my opinion, when folks see how passionate we are about producing a wholesome product, and that, yes, we care what our customers both foreign and domestic want and try to respond accordingly, they can take this information back with them and respond accurately when negative issues arise regarding our product, which is beef.
To read more pick up a copy of the July 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.