In this file:


         Drought, forage shortages bring tough culling decisions

         OSU's Mark Johnson Provides Beef Cow Culling Criteria



Drought, forage shortages bring tough culling decisions

A 50% cut ahead of fall forage growth may allow stockpiling pastures for winter grazing. That cuts feed buying but depends on a return of rainfall.


Source: University of Missouri Extension

via Beef Magazine - Aug 02, 2022


With dry weather and short pastures, Missouri cow-herd owners face tough culling decisions. One way to match cows' needs to available grass is to sell cows. However, University of Missouri Extension Beef Nutritionist Eric Bailey says give careful thought to which grass eaters go first. Under drought stress, identifying those cows becomes urgent.


The first cut is simple, Bailey says. Even the best herds have poor performers that need to be culled. Sell cows that are not pregnant or nursing. There is no feed for freeloaders when forage is short.


"Next, cull lactating cows with bad disposition, bad eyes, bad feet or bad udders," Bailey says. "Now's time to remove cows with blemishes or poor-doing calves."


Everyone has a cull list, he adds, "but they hesitate to act if a cow has a calf." Some culling helps even in good years. Culling poor cows improves herd averages.


The goal he says is to keep the best genetics in the herd as long as feasible. A lack of feed or water forces a move.


Downsizing goes beyond simply getting rid of bad cows, Bailey says. Early weaning and selling calves can cut feed demand. That provides needed cash but can hurt annual income.


Another strategy calls for splitting a herd into young and old females. Sell one of the groups. Two- to 4-year-olds may have superior genetics, but older cows show success in the farm's management. Overall, culling depends on forage outlook for summer, fall and winter feeding...





OSU's Mark Johnson Provides Beef Cow Culling Criteria


Oklahoma Farm Report 

02 Aug 2022


Mark Johnson, Oklahoma State University Extension Beef Cattle Breeding Specialist, offers herd health advice as part of the weekly series known as the "Cow Calf Corner" published electronically by Dr. Peel, Mark Johnson, and Paul Beck. Today, Johnson is talking about criteria for culling beef cows.


As we continue to deal with drought and extreme heat, pasture conditions across Oklahoma are deteriorating rapidly. Low hay inventories and high feed cost are forcing cow-calf operation to make some hard decisions. Reducing your cow inventory may be the best option to reduce stress on your grazing system and help stretch your feed/forage resources as long as possible. If you find yourself in this situation right now, consider the following culling criterion.


1. Open cows/pregnancy status ...


2. Cull old cows/keep your young cows ...


3. Cull on bad disposition ...


4. Non-conforming/unsound ...


5. Finally, if all your cows are bred, due to calve within a 30-day window, have a calm temperament, perfect udders, feet and legs, are 4 years old, etc. . and you must reduce inventory, take a look at cow production records...


more, including video [5:30 min.]