Cow Calf Days highlight health and profit improvement in beef cattle

Cow Calf Days highlight health and profit improvement in beef cattle

LE CENTER, Minn. (KEYC) — University of Minnesota Extension hosted its Cow Calf Days seminar and trade show in Le Center on updating producers on market and health trends in beef cattle herds.

Proper maintenance of beef cattle and the appropriate time frame for calving can vary based on location.

Experts suggest those living in southern Minnesota calve out earlier to prevent illness and putting stress on the cows and calves.

“And the reality is we’ve worked on prevention and treatment measures for many, many years and they haven’t really helped all that much and so I think moving forward, I think the cow/calf deal in Minnesota is really going to have to focus and restructure how we calve out cows in Minnesota,” said Eric Mousel, University of Minnesota Extension beef educator.

Paying attention to the efficiency of an operation can improve profits with slight structural changes.

“In Minnesota, anyways, we’re looking at about an 85% efficiency, which is pretty tough to have a lot of profit margin when we’re that inefficient, so there’s some things we can do in terms of making these calves more valuable,” said Mousel.

Planning ahead starts at home, but also at the sale barn by letting the sale barn know what you're bringing in advance.

"So whether it's uniformity, weight, frame size, all those different things play into the value of these calves at the sale barn so am I doing the management things to bring a product to the sale barn that these buyers are looking for because they're willing to pay for it if it's there."

Documentation of management conducted and being present at the sale barn was also stressed for proper marketing.

“Being a smaller producer may be real key if you can co-mingle with your neighbors, bring your cattle, selling in larger groups, I think that’s a real good, key thing,” said David Jones of Jones Farms.

The Minnesota Beef Council’s 2019 Annual Report said international trade of U.S. beef with Japan has been solidified and exports to South Korea and Taiwan continued to expand through 2018 and 2019.

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