Cold Winter Got You Thinking Later Calving?


For Fred and Linda Finke, calving at their ranch outside of Big Sandy, Montana, takes place between May 10 and the end of June.  By Memorial Day, he says that 85{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} of their calves are on the ground. 

Fred explained that moving their calving dates back has saved them extensive feed costs.

Besides feed costs, Fred said that their calving difficulties have become a fraction of what they used to be.  He added that the stress level is also truly lower, which is something that they didn’t think about when they made the choice to calve later.

With later calving, Fred explained the change in marketing for his ranch.

While Fred and his family have made the switch to calving later in the spring, Dr. John Paterson of Montana State University told us that he’s also seen folks make the weather-related decision to go towards fall calving.

As the Extension Beef/Cattle Specialist, Dr. Paterson gave us the advantages he sees for calving later.

However, he says that pushing the calving into the fall can bring up some negatives as well.

And what are those marketing opportunities/challenges for fall calves?

Dr. Paterson also added that if you want to move into a fall-calving program and you A.I., you do have to think about whether or not you want to be doing that in the winter.

© Northern Ag Network 2011

Russell Nemetz & Haylie Shipp


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