Down the cow path
“Corn, beans and Florida” is an expression I have heard about farmers for years. While it may ring true for a few grain farmers, it certainly does not for most livestock farmers. Once the crops are in and the fall field work is done, there is plenty to do on a cow-calf operation that does not include going to Florida for the winter!
Of course there are meetings of all sorts — new chemicals, new corn and bean hybrids, farm bill, crop insurance, farm succession and planning to name a few. Farmers are also spending the winter months working on or updating their machinery and delivering corn and beans that have been sold.
Once we got our cows pregnancy-checked and culled the open or late calvers, we focus on the nutritional needs of the cows through the winter. The cows must be kept in good body condition for when they calve in March or April. The first step was actually taken at pregnancy checking. The cows we kept were vaccinated to help the cows pass immunity to their calves against bacterial viral respiratory diseases and also to help prevent diarrhea in the calves. We also treat the cows to control internal and external parasites.
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