January 18, 2022

From the Barns: Hoping for dry days

Seems like this month has gone by quickly and somewhat surprising since for the most part it was uneventful. Not much has changed here, pretty much maintaining the status quo at the farm. Cattle numbers have for the most part stayed the same since we have not shipped any cattle since Dec 1.

We did buy a nice group of local calves to add to our inventory of heifers to breed this summer and steers that we will feed out. We just received a quality load of black steers out of Missouri that we are going to custom background for a feedlot in Iowa. This past week we calfhood vaccinated over 90 heifers of outstanding quality that are out of our genetics that we will be breeding this summer. They will make a really nice set of replacement heifers.

It is hard not to talk about the weather when we see so many contrasts within one month. We have had some days into the low 70s, and some down into single digits. More days of rain than we need this time of year, but yet have had some strings of nice, sunny days. Yesterday we got our first snowfall of the season, but just an inch or two. As usual, hoping for lots of dry days the next couple of months.

AI breeding wrapped up and went well for both cows and heifers. All are out with bulls now and will be awhile before we know what kind of results we got. Our spring calving won’t begin until March, but as I look at the calendar, that is not that far away. We will focus on third trimester nutrition and start thinking about plans to get us ready for new calves. Dad has continued to sell quite a few bulls recently and they are moving into Tennessee, Kentucky and southern Illinois.

As mentioned previously, we still have a sizable number of cattle on feed. That requires a lot of feed and we are constantly receiving loads of distillers grain, soy hulls and corn in here. Supplies have been steady, but prices continue to remain high. Intakes have been good and the cattle seem to be doing well. The 4-weight heifers we bought this fall I have to some extent been limit feeding to keep them from getting too fleshy, but getting ready to bump them up with hopes of selling them in March/April. Some of our fats are getting big and I anticipate selling most of those in the same time frame.

As I close, I want to offer condolences to my good friend and fellow contributor, Trevor Toland, who lost his wife Jane who passed away last month. I appreciate their friendship and support over the years and words alone can comfort, but not eliminate the loss. God bless my friend and continued prayers.

Jeff Beasley

Jeff Beasley

Creal Springs, Ill.