• Winter is a good opportunity to catch up on equipment maintenance including lubrication and fluid change of tractors, packing wheel bearings on trailering equipment and checking tires on trailers, field equipment, etc., and replacing floors in stock trailers.
  • During December, some days are better spent indoors than outdoors. Now is a time to summarize herd records for the year and compare to previous year to determine the production direction of the herd. Valuable summaries include changes in 205-day adjusted weaning weights, monthly calving distributions, culling percentages, calf crop percentages, cow age and body condition and calving internal changes. 
  • December is a good month to summarize your your financial records. Determine your cost for mineral, supplemental feed, vet medicine, fertilizer, hay, weed control, etc. Knowing your cost to maintain a cow per year is very important and will aid in marketing decisions.  
  • Plan next year's budget and production plans.
  • Proper free choice mineral and fresh water is just as important in the winter time as in the summer time.
  • Do not use frost-damaged Johnsongrass as pasture for seven days after the first killing frost. Delay pasturing for least seven days or until the frosted material is completely dried out and brown in color. The Johnsongrass may contain prussic acid which can cause sudden death in cattle.  
  • Deworm cattle to prevent weight loss and inefficient use of hay and feed supplements going into the winter. For most locations in Arkansas the weather this past summer and fall were ideal for parasites and therefore cattle are probably carrying higher numbers than normal.
  • Monitor cattle closely for signs of respiratory disease. The large variations in temperatures can contribute to decreases in respiratory immune function which may lead to pneumonia.
  • Exclude cattle from access to oak trees whenever possible. Acorns are falling and are toxic to cattle causing kidney damage and death.