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Follow practical information for the beef producer on essential topics including management, reproduction and calving, new technology, facilities improvement, beef quality, and feed and nutrition.

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In the first article in this two-part series, I focused on the leadership, parenting and mentoring required by parents from birth of their children to the time they do or do not return to the ranch or farm business.

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Many ranchers struggle to remain profitable. After all, cattle are an agricultural commodity, so prices fluctuate based on national or global supply and demand. While these prices naturally fluctuate, the cost of fuel and equipment tends to steadily rise over time.

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Whether we are watching an NCBA Cattlemen to Cattlemen episode covering a successful commercial operation or reading about a well-established, multigenerational seedstock operation, one management practice seems to be a common thread for success: culling.

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The financial success of your operation depends on one day of the year. We ask a cow to gestate for nine months, lactate for seven months and recover from calving in 45 days to maintain one calf per calendar year.

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This article is the first in a two-part series.

I meet ranchers and farmers who are in the fifth or even sixth generation. I have met a few with double-digit generations.

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By this time of year, breeding season is well underway, and summer is winding down. Between haying and harvesting, there isn’t much time left in the day to manage the cow herd, besides checking water troughs and rotating pastures.

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