November 27, 2021

From the Barns: Cattle on move

Over the past three mornings, southern Illinois has received significant, killing frosts. I think we were ready for it and maybe fall is here to stay once and for all. Moisture has been plentiful these last two to three weeks. With warm temps, this really aided the grass and cereal rye we had sown. Have really good stands and are looking forward to grazing the rye in about 10 days. The downside has been making pen conditions muddy this early in the season and hope it is not a foreshadowing of a wet winter. We have had a dry week and next week looks dry, as well, so we are taking advantage of doing some pen cleaning.

We have started getting in some calves from local producers with many more to come in over the next couple of weeks. The vast majority of these are sired by bulls that we raised, and we work with these local guys to buy back their calves, which we will end up feeding to finish and then collect back the carcass data and share with these folks so they can see the quality of cattle they are raising. So far has been a win-win for all involved.

We continue to bring in other feeder cattle, as well. Lately we have been receiving thin, 4-weight heifers and now have several hundred head that we will background with the goal to have them ready to sell late winter/early spring. They can often be a challenge to get started eating and keep in good health, but overall I would say we are getting along very well with them. The next few weeks should also see us shipping out three loads of bigger heifers that we have had about 60 days.

Fall calving ended recently and closed out pretty good. Calves seem thrifty and going strong. We will begin breeding their mothers next month. We have 40 heifers that we will also be breeding and we have them dewormed and vaccinated, ready to go. Have been doing some preg checking on spring breds and have another group that we will check in about 10 days.

Shipped out a couple of loads of fat cattle over the past month and have started a few other pens that we have committed to take to finish. Transitioned them over from the grower ration to the finisher and intakes are high and they seem to be adjusting just fine.

Hoping for a long fall with many dry days and comfortable temperatures. Is that too much for a cattle guy to ask for? We will be pleased and blessed with whatever the Lord sends our way. Hopeful that everyone stays safe and works hard.

Jeff Beasley

Jeff Beasley

Creal Springs, Ill.