The season is considered late fall, but it seems more like mid winter here at Slykhuis Farms. November has brought a yo-yo of weather conditions, with much of it on the cold side. The early snow we had about mid month was a surprise to us all, including the brood cows. The growing season came to an abrupt halt. Our stockpiled fescue has held out about as long as it could, and we are supplementing hay to most all the herd. The winter hay supply will be really tight this year. We are hoping for an early spring.
The open cows all received embryos this past month. The cull cow market has really went to the pooper. It is less than half of what it was last year. I seldom never ever carry over an open cow. As cheap as they are, this might be an exception on some of them, especially the younger ones that have a chance to catch up with the absent calf. There are several factors that influence what to do with open cows; feed supply, space, cost of feed supply, age, and production history. I was reading in the December issue of Progressive Cattleman an article entitled “How to Not Go Broke Ranching”. This was written by Walt Davis at the 2017 Texas Grazing Conference. One factor he included in his synopsis was “Getting in Sync With Reality”. As producers we are always at the mercy of the cattle market. Timing of when we sell is always key, but sometimes we don’t have a choice. It all comes down to what makes the most sense and is possible for management.
The finishing cattle in our monoslope are cruising along and are currently transitioning to their final ration. They are really starting to bloom and should be on track for harvest in about 60 days. Angela has been slaving away at our Freezer Beef business, getting orders together before the end of the year. The live cattle market has been in a tranquil state for most of the 3rd and 4th quarter. We are all hoping for a rally after the holidays.