GettingThe Most Out Of Your Cattle

Published on Saturday, 27 July 2013 18:45 - Written by By Chad Gulley Smith County Extension Agent

Texas ranks first in the nation in cattle numbers with more than 14 million heard. Texas also has the broadest spectrum of producers and variation in production environments. The beef cattle industry is by far the largest sector in the Texas agriculture industry.

Assets minus liabilities equal profit. In the beef cattle industry, one way to reach profitability is to increase revenues while maintaining the same expense level. Another way is to decrease expenses while maintaining the same revenue. A third way is to maximize revenues and decrease expenses.

Good management practices help producers be profitability. These practices increase reproductive efficiency through breeding programs, maintaining body condition, vaccinations, de-worming and reducing cost by determining production unit costs.

Reproductive efficiency is important. The herd that produces more calves per exposed female cattle increases revenue by selling more calves. Producers should perform a breeding soundness exam on bulls annually and a pregnancy check on the cow herd. Non-productive cattle should be replaced with fertile, productive cattle.

Body condition is another important factor. Maintaining body condition of cattle, especially during winter, helps reduce input costs while increasing fertility of cows. It is easier to maintain body condition during winter months than to put weight on cattle. Are you raising hay or purchasing hay? What supplementation will be needed according the quality of hay used?

Get with a local veterinarian to establish a vaccination program for the cow herd. A good vaccination program reduces costs from treating sick cattle later. Determine a vaccination program for the calves produced and how you intend to market calves.

Reducing production costs allows managers to get through bad times and take advantage of the good times.

Stocking rates of pastures is important in drought conditions. Prepare for drought as part of managing a herd. Stocking pastures at proper levels, creates less stress on livestock. Avoid overgrazing is hard on the field and livestock.

Some people are looking to buy cattle that were liquidated as a result of the recent drought. Some are doing so cautiously while others are changing gears and getting into a different production level.

Workshops educate producers on production levels. The 59th Annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course is set for Aug. 5-7 at Texas A&M University. The TAMU Beef Cattle Short Course offers 22 cattleman’s college sessions beef.tamu.edu/

Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.