What Do I Do If I Don’t Have Enough Winter Feed For My Livestock?

You did your best to prepare for the winter and ensure that you could feed all your stock.  But sometimes things go wrong. What do you do if it turns out you don’t have enough feed? Should you try to buy and bring in extra feed given how expensive that is and how it will affect your bottom line? Or is there another option? With the livestock markets the way they are and the cost of any purchased feed or hay, take a very close look at the animals you have right now and decide if you can justify feeding those mouths. Almost every meat animal is valuable today and that actually creates a double-edged sword when you consider culling. Livestock prices, especially cattle prices the last few years have been good, really good. This has created opportunities for some retirement age producers to step out of the business on top. As a result, cattle numbers have dropped to 1950’s levels. Low numbers and high demand makes it hard to save back heifers because they are needed to meet feedlot quotas. This slows down herd rebuilding and building new herds. Meanwhile, the price consumers are willing to pay for a good piece of meat has a limit too. The last quarter of 2013 gave us a sample of a possible new trend--more poultry consumption, less beef, as well as the potential for more imported beef to meet demand and reduce cattle prices. These market factors are im

All the grazing management tips you need

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