While cattle prices are historically high, profitability in cow-calf production still depends on good management in many different aspects of production, marketing and financial planning, notes Mississippi State University Extension beef cattle specialist Jane Parish, PhD. Parish recently listed her “top-50 profit tips” for beef producers, covering a range of management factors. Here are her top 10:
1. Take advantage of hybrid vigor. Crossbreed.
2. Pay the extra money for a good bull. You will get it back several-fold when it comes time to market your calves.
3. Learn how to use EPDs. Then use them for every herd sire or registered female purchase and mating decision.
4. Pregnancy check cows within a month or two of the end of breeding. Do not let open cows run up a tab that they cannot pay.
5. Work with a good veterinarian. Be straight with your veterinarian when he or she asks questions about your management practices.
6. Vaccinate your cattle. Two doses of blackleg vaccine equals less than $2 per calf. One case of blackleg equals one dead calf that could have brought $700 or more at weaning.
7. Observe cattle frequently and closely.
8. Treat cattle injuries and disease conditions promptly.
9. When dealing with death loss, do not wait to have a necropsy performed. Track down the cause of death as soon as possible.
10. Parasites are thieves. Deworm your cattle. Control flies.