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MANAGEMENT

Read how to improve your supervision of employees, financial matters, identification and record keeping. Learn more about land use issues that affect your operation.

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Estimates ranging from 650,000 head to nearly 1,000,000 head of cattle have left the drought-stricken states of New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma.

A lack of hay, high transportation costs, low water and a steady cow market, until recently, were all factors in herd reductions or liquidation.

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“In the cattle production system, your cattle are only as good as your weakest link – genetics, health, management, feedstuffs – all those things. We do everything we can with preventative medicine so that we don’t have to treat calves,” says Jim Lerwick of Lerwick Brothers, LCC. “Health management may not be quite as important as genetic management, but it’s really, really close.”

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One of the most important challenges facing feedlot operators, and the consulting veterinarians who service them, is the development of on-arrival strategies to maximize health in the most economic fashion.

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It is a tough year to raise cattle. As the Southern tier of the United States continues to struggle through one of the worst droughts on record, many Northern states are experiencing record precipitation and cool temperatures, which caused late planting and slow growth of forages.

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Somewhere today a family is watching its 2011 calf crop sell.

Whether it be through the sale barn, direct off the ranch or via video, selling cattle can be a nerve-wracking experience.

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Due to the reduced (and further shrinking) U.S. beef cow inventory, prices for cull cows (also referred to in a more consumer-friendly manner as “market” cows) have been extraordinary over the past few years.

It’s remarkable to see utility slaughter cows selling today for $70 per hundredweight (cwt). Over the past two years, they have consistently sold for around $60 per cwt.

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