What Calving Season is Best for Your Bottom-Line?

These graziers focus on calving with nature to reduce inputs and make more money. But while May-June is great for them, it doesn't fit for everyone. I've updated this article so we can revisit it together, paying attention to the principles at work. You're invited to tell us what works for you and why. How do these principles work for you? Your fellow graziers can learn from your experience! Listen to the seven ranchers in this video and you'll hear the same reason for calving in May/June: Profit, Profit, Profit. What's the Principle at Work Here? Local climate influences calving success, infrastructure needs (barns, shelters, etc.) and feed for the herd. Adjusting to the climate improves success and profit. As these ranchers report, their gross margins are better because they don't have to spend money on infrastructure to support wintery calving conditions. As Keith Reuer says, if you're building a barn because calving in a blizzard is no fun, then maybe you should rethink something. They also say that infrastructure size limited how many cattle they calved. But now, thanks to calving on grass, they can have larger herds. This video is part of a series on "Alternative Calving " dates from the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. The 25-video series features ranchers from across South Dakota who have discovered the

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7 thoughts on “What Calving Season is Best for Your Bottom-Line?

  1. A good time to revisit this is 3rd week of July when it is time bring on the bulls with a blast from snowy past.

      1. Is there a space somewhere between a $50k calving barn and turning them loose to see what happens?

        1. Good question. What do you think? I’m sure you can imagine adaptations that would work for your operation. As an example from this article, Doug Sieck describes how he used to calve: “It used to be that I had to calve in by the trees or in by the yard because if I had a cow that I wanted to get in, I wanted her close so it was easier to get her in.”

          I don’t think these ranchers would describe their calving technique as “turning them loose to see what happens.” They all seem to have some kind of facilities for when things don’t go well on pasture. But we’ll delve further into that in upcoming articles from this series.

          Also, you might be interested in participating in one of their Tuesday night live Zoom meetings where these ranchers will be available to answer questions. The link for next Tuesday’s Zoom meeting is in the body of the article.

          1. Kathy, why do you have to be such a facilitator? Can’t you just let me be a crabby old curmudgeon and let it go at that?

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