by Jason Garrett, UT Extension Agent
It always seems this time of year Spring just can’t get here fast enough. Even though the dreary weather prevents many Overton County beef producers from doing tasks they need to perform or enjoy doing, there are still management practices that need to be implemented before Spring arrives to ensure your operations productivity. Listed below are a few tips that Overton Extension recommends to implement and perform this time of year on your beef operation.
• Continue providing high mag mineral. If you have not been doing this start asap! Continue this practice until daytime temperatures are constantly above 60 degrees.
• Watch for calf scours.
• Try to feed cattle in new areas when the mud gets deep. Mud can be a bad enemy on beef production.
• Watch cows closely that are planning on calving. Wind, mud, and freezing temperatures can cause a newborn calf to chill, limiting its ability to get and nurse.
• In wet and cold conditions I like to occasionally unroll a bale or two of hay for cattle to bed on. This gets them off the wet and cold ground.
• When cold, windy weather is predicted feed cattle out of the wind.
• In freezing weather conditions, I like feeding hay next to my automatic waterers. This keeps cattle close, keeps water flowing by constant use, and them using it prevents the waterer from freezing.
• Vaccinate calves that are 12 weeks or older for blackleg and respiratory if not done already.
• Cull old and unproductive cows. Don’t waste hay on a cow that won’t breed or maintain a calf. Also, winter is a great time to visually evaluate older cows and their body condition. When old cows start going downhill, sell them before something happens to them.
• Soil test. Fertilizer is high, so test your soil before the Spring fertilizer rush. Testing your soil can save you money on the fertilizer bill. Also, the test will tell you if one needs to apply lime. Soil P.H. is important for your fertilizer dollars to work.
• Plan on hay feeding area renovation.
• Clovers can be sown by broadcast method February 15-March 1st. Two pounds of white clover, and 4 pounds of red clover recommended.
• Winter weeds can be sprayed when temperatures are above 60 degrees for 3 continuous days.
These are a few tips one can do and think on before Spring arrives. Any questions on beef production call Jason at Overton Extension at (931) 823-2735.
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