Beef Buzz News
Dr. Wesley Tucker Advises Ranchers Against Overstocking to Increase Revenue in the Long Run
Tue, 07 Jun 2022 09:37:14 CDT
In this episode of Beef Buzz, Senior Farm and Ranch Director, Ron Hays, features comments from University of Missouri's Dr. Wesley Tucker in a recent podcast put out by Dr. Jaymelynn Farney. Tucker talks about the importance of having an adequate amount of grass to sustain a producer's cow herd numbers.
Listen To Dr. Wesley Tucker on Sustaining Cow Herd Numbers with Forage Flexability
One of the keys to surviving and thriving in the beef business, Tucker said, is about having flexibility in terms of grass availability.
"I will argue that one of the biggest things I can do to protect myself is not being overstocked," Tucker said. "Because unfortunately, when we are overstocked, we really limit our options."
When a producer becomes overstocked, Tucker said, they are forced to take their cattle to town and sell regardless of how the market looks. Planning ahead, Tucker added, allows a producer to get the best price for their cattle.
Individuals with extra grass, regardless of herd numbers, have the flexibility to wait until the market recovers before they send their cattle to the feedlot, Tucker said.
"We all get this evil desire that we want to own more cows," Tucker said.
A term Tucker calls, "egonomics", refers to the event where producers have too much pride to reduce their cow numbers. Many times, Tucker added, a producer will equate their worth with how many cows they run.
"Our feeling of self-worth comes from how many animals we run, and unfortunately that gets us in dangerous territory as we continue to add just a few more and we lose all flexibility in our operation as to how we utilize that grass," Tucker said. "The other thing I will mention is the idea that forage sells a whole lot better wrapped in calf hide than it does cowhide."
Running the maximum number of mature mama cows, Tucker said, locks us into a situation where we can't have any flexibility in our marketing program for our calves.
"The market right now set us up to reward us for growing those calves bigger," Tucker said. "The market is preferring to buy a larger calf now."
Because of the cost of feed, Tucker said buying a larger calf and feeding him fewer days in the feedlot will make more money than putting a lightweight calf directly into the feedlot.
The market is rewarding us if we can use some of that extra grass on the calf herd, Tucker said, but you must have the flexibility to do that. If you are overstocked, he added, you don't have that option often.
Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Dr. Wesley Tucker talk about the importance of forage flexibility.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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