By Rayford Pullen
If you’re ready for 2018 to become a memory, raise your hand. What a wreck for those of us who are at the mercy of the weather and markets to make a living. Being an eternal optimist, I must admit my optimism was wavering a bit at times during the hot dry months of summer, the low price of cull cows and the wettest October on record, but as the clock ticked away the last few seconds of 2018, I couldn’t help but think and hope that 2019 would serve us better, and here’s hoping it does.
I’ve worn out a few pencils the past few months trying to make heads and tails of the cards we’ve been dealt in the cattle business and trying to figure out what we can do to ensure our future financially.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the commercial or seed stock business, spending less than we are making can be a challenge. My observation is that doing everything we are told is the best for our cow herd, may not always be the best thing for us from a profitability stand point. We can spend ourselves into oblivion doing the “right things” when doing just the necessary things would be sufficient.
Around our place we deworm and vaccinate our calves for blackleg when they are two to three months old, while our cows will receive a vibrio-lepto vaccination at the same time. Is that enough? It just depends on who you talk to or where you are getting your advice on what is essential or not.
Around here, that is about all we believe we need to do, and with calving and weaning percentage around 90 percent or so, we don’t think the extra things recommended by some folks would be cost effective.
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