Megan Westerhold and Jamelynn Farney

(Megan) Hi I’m Megan Westerhold. I’m one of the Ag and Natural Resource Extension Agents in the Marais des Cygnes Extension District. I’m based out of the Paola office, but this evening we’re hosting the second Winter Ranch Management Meeting here in Mound City, Kansas. We’re located here at the First Baptist Church. And this year we decided to work with the Southwind District, that’s just south of Linn County which is the southern end of our district, to host one of these meetings and Mound City seemed like a good half way meeting point. We had a nice facility here to work with. So, we wanted to showcase part of our district since we’re a new district with Miami and Linn County. We wanted to be able to showcase some of what we had going on here in the district. And we ended up here in Mound City. We have several cow/calf producers located here in our district as well as Southwind. A lot of cow/calf producers as well as stockers. And with these record high beef prices that we’ve seen in the recent months, there’s a lot of folks that are looking into keeping replacement heifers when maybe that’s not something they’ve done in the past. And as they make that decision, learning how to develop those heifers, nutritionally, health and selection, those all become major decisions for those folks. And so hopefully we’ve… by providing this program we’ll be able to answer some of their questions for them. Here in the past couple of months, the Farm Bill enrollment has been a major issue for us, and so we’ve done a lot of education for our producers on some of the ins and outs of that program, the economics and how to get enrolled with that. And we’ll continue education on that piece as well. We’re also looking at doing some AI schools and working on some classes to help address some of the feral hog issues that we’re seeing in southern Linn County as well as Bourbon County. and working with Southwind District on that as well. We definitely encourage everybody to check out either of our district web sites. You can find those on the K-State web site. Ours is MaraisdesCygnes.ksu.edu. I believe Southwind is Southwind.ksu.edu. Or call any of our offices. We’re located in Paola and Mound City and then Southwind has offices, I believe, in Fort Scott Iola and Erie.

(Jaymelynn) Hello, I’m Jaymelynn Farney, the Southeast Area Beef Systems Specialist with Kansas State University. And I am just going to talk briefly about some of the nutrition topics for replacement bred heifers that we discussed at the Winter Ranch Management Meeting held in Mound City. Now first off, you know most of you are thinking we need to start having more replacement heifers because we need to start increasing our cattle herd. I’m saying it’s a great deal, but right now, the nutrition is the part to be very concerned about. Now, there’s a lot of different ways that you can grow heifers and interestingly enough the method of growing is not as important as the fact that you hit target weight. You want your heifers to be between 55 to 65 percent of your mature cow herd at the time of breeding. Therefore, if you have bigger cows, you need to have bigger heifers at time of breeding. As well, you want to make sure that as your heifers get close to breeding time, that they have adequate body condition. score. Body condition score of six is optimal. You don’t want to see any of the ribs. You want them to be nice and smooth and filled out over their hip but not so fat that they jiggle like a bowl full of jelly as they walk. If you can get your heifers in that optimal condition, it doesn’t matter if you make ’em rough it out through the winter on corn stalks with just a protein supplement or feed ’em really heavy. Just make sure they hit that target weight and that target body condition score. When you get your heifers bred, another important condition from a nutrition standpoint is making sure that those females have adequate nutrition to maintain growth following breeding. If you look at the growth productions of heifers, they constantly grow til they’re nearly three, four years old. So therefore, you don’t want your heifers to be bred and then just keep ’em at a steady maintenance. Or keep them at the same body weight as what they were. You want ’em to put on weight. So, that when they calf, they weigh about 85 percent of their mature body weight. So therefore, think about that in your nutrition program. If you have your heifers in a dry lot prior to breeding and then kicking ’em out on grass, you might think about supplementing those cows on grass some more. Make sure they get a positive plan of nutrition through their entire life until they get past their second calf. Those are just a couple of tips. If you need more information, go to our website or contact your local agricultural agent or any of us specialists.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.