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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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Fall is, depending on where one lives, the time to process calves. As producers, fall also is the last time we physically have the calf in our possession. We need to take the time to note or record the information we would like to have for each calf.

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Safe and effective cattle handling has always been important. In the past few years there has been a move toward what has been called low-stress handling, or as I prefer to call it, a return to sound stockmanship.

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There are several economic advantages to retaining raised calves or purchasing calves and selling them later in groups at heavier weights. These stocker (growing calves on pasture) or backgrounding (growing calves using mixed feeds or stored forages) programs add value to cattle for feedlots because they desire cattle that are weaned, are from a minimum of suppliers, are familiar with feedbunks and water sources and have minimal health issues.

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Freeze branding, also known as CryoBranding, was developed at Washington State University by Dr. R. Keith Farrell in 1966. This method of branding with extremely cold irons is characterized by white hair replacing the natural hair coat in the branded area of cattle.

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Technology has definitely changed over the years, almost to the point where some wonder who’s watching who. Look on many prominent Internet websites and you can find a satellite picture of the home place. Cell phones now come equipped with locators to help parents know if children are where they’re supposed to be. Military personnel are given serial numbers to track movements or identify deceased.

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Even with the best of intentions, situations exist where the calving season gets to be longer than ever intended. Conditions that result in poorer body condition at calving and breeding can lead to delayed return to estrus and a long calving season the following year.

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