Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Take time for the $100/hour jobs, make plans to attend the Summer Beef Cow Profitability Seminar and Ranch Tour June 6 in Cut Bank
Kari Lewis, MSU Extension – Glacier County

This weekend as we sorted cows for, again, I began thinking about how much time do we
devote to doing the same activities, over and over?  When Dave Pratt from ‘Ranching for Profit’ spoke at the Next Generation Conference this winter, he talked about that in farming and ranching, we often spend most of our time doing the $10/hour jobs, that is those jobs that either we enjoy or are good at, such as checking cows or perhaps fixing fence.  While these activities must be done, we shouldn’t overlook the $100/hour or $1,000/hour jobs, that is taking time to learn about and make management decisions that can have large impacts on our operation’s profitability. 

Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.  This ties directly into Pratt’s concept, that to get different results, we must take time to focus on the $100/hour jobs.  Would you like to add pounds to this fall’s calf crop or increase your herd’s profit?  If you’re ready to entertain new ideas to do so, I encourage you to attend our Summer Beef Cow Profitability Seminar and Ranch Tour on Tuesday, June 6. 

The seminar will be at the Glacier County Extension Office (1210 E. Main) here in Cut Bank, beginning at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and rolls available at 8.  We should be done before noon, and the event is free with no pre-registration is required.

Dr. Karla Jenkins, University of Nebraska – Lincoln Cow-Calf and Range Management specialist, will cover tools to improve ranch profitability.  Jenkins specializes in cow-calf, range management, and feedlot research out of Scottsbluff, NE and brings a great perspective of the entire beef production system.  Jenkins’s talk will focus on implanting calves, vaccinations and pre-conditioning for the nursing calf, and cull cow marketing options. 

Implants can add 15 to 30 pounds at weaning.  Jenkins will cover how implants impact calf gain, calf sale price, ranch profit, feedlot performance, and carcass quality.  There’s some new data available regarding implants that I think you’ll enjoy seeing.

Jenkins will also delve into how Montana ranchers can set their calves up for success in the feedlot to increase both the rancher’s sale price and to create repeat buyers.  Lastly, she will cover strategies to increase cull cow revenue.  Cull cows typically make up 15 to 30% of a herd’s revenue, and their impact on herd profitability should not be overlooked.

The seminar will conclude with a visit to the Meiwald ranch, west of Cut Bank.  Guy Meiwald has been using Management Intensive Grazing on his operation for a few years now, and will be sharing how the practice has impacted livestock production, fertilizer costs, and ranch profitability.  Meiwald was featured at the 2016 Next Generation conference, this will be a great chance to see the system in action during the growing season!

Please contact the Glacier County Extension office for more information at 873-2239, and I hope you’ll take a few hours on Tuesday, June 6 to join us for the Beef Cow Profitability Seminar and Ranch tour.

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