Beef Cattle Management in Uncertain Times
Courtesy of Alabama Extension
Cattle markets have been extremely volatile recently in the wake of COVID-19, and many Alabama stockyards have temporarily suspended operations to keep their staff and customers safe. All this has left many cattle producers considering alternative management options for cattle they were planning to sell now or in the near future, with the very real possibility that those cattle will need to stay on the farm longer than expected.
Keeping cattle longer than planned has the potential to put great strain on existing resources, but now is not a time for panic. Cattlemen and women are extremely innovative, so now is a time to improve the overall production efficiency of your operation by focusing on the following 12 basic principles for managing an efficient beef cattle operation to make the best use of existing resources.
For example, improving soil health and fertility will increase forage yields and, combined with an effective rotational grazing and integrated pest management program, can increase overall stocking rates. By-product feeds may be an option for some, and the addition of ionophores and adequate mineral supplementation can improve feed efficiency, health, and production.
- Improve Soil Health in Hayfields and Pastures
- Manage Water Resources Effectively
- Perform Forage and Feed Analyses
- Improve Forage Management
- Consider Alternative Feeding Strategies
- Consider Economical Supplementation Strategies
- Consider Including Ionophores in Cattle Diets
- Provide Adequate Mineral Supplementation
- Control Hayfield and Pasture Insect Pests
- Control Weeds in Pastures and Hayfields
- Safety When Applying Chemicals
- Reproductive Management