As summer comes to a close, I hope each of you has experienced a good year in forage production and been able to put up enough hay for the coming winter months. Also, this time of the year you should turn your attention to how to supplement that hay to keep your cattle or horses in the best body condition during the upcoming winter months. I again encourage pulling a forage sample to be analyzed at this time. With this information, you can make the best and most economical decision for your winter supplementation program. Your county Extension agent or local Quality Co-op store employees can assist in pulling these samples. I will be more than happy to discuss the results with you and help you develop a good, sound nutritional program for the winter.
I would also encourage you to attend a producer meeting this fall. Each fall, several of our stores hold producer meetings to allow farmers the opportunity to gain valuable information as well as giving them the opportunity to purchase products at a discounted price. Presentations concerning products, nutrition and animal performance will benefit even the most seasoned producer. Producers will also have the opportunity to ask questions and to purchase products at a discounted price. On these nights, most stores will be selling products at the lowest cost of the year. Whether it’s animal health supplies, blocks, minerals or feed, you can be assured of the quality of the product and the service of the company who is promoting the product. If you are unsure if your Co-op will be holding a producer meeting this fall, contact them and inquire.
I would also encourage you to spend this time of the year and evaluate your cattle herd. This is also a very good time to consider culling older cows; cows with bad feet, udders, or eyes; slow rebreeders and cows with bad dispositions. Consider culling any older cattle that lose considerable body condition each winter. Cattle that get thin in the winter stand a greater chance of raising smaller calves, rebreeding at a slower rate and getting sick during the cold, rainy nights of winter. It is much better to cull those cows right now while they are in better body condition and the market is strong versus waiting until this winter.
I look forward to talking to you and seeing you at some of the producer meetings I will be attending this fall.