Finally it’s the cow calf producers turn to enjoy the strong side of the sector for a while. And with a 60 year low in inventory hopefully we can benefit for several years before the market corrects.
For the last two years Eden Shale has been retaining our own steer calves and grazing them the following summer. Our general plan is usually to coast them through the winter with the animals putting on frame but not a lot of flesh. In the spring we deworm and implant them before turning them out to grass to add the pounds. We then aim to market them in the first half of August as nine weights.
This year our plan worked well. First of all, we had enough rain through the summer to keep the grass growing which allowed us to carry the thirty 2022 spring born steers on our grazing ground. The steers performed well too. At turn out in April they averaged 744 lbs and at marketing in August they averaged 904 lbs giving them an average daily gain of 2.6 lbs/day. This was done on grass alone, with no grain. This group was also marketed a week earlier than last years steers and weighted 21 lbs heavier.
At load out we had 21 steers that averaged 954 lbs and brought $2.35/lb, and 8 smaller steers averaged 854 lbs that brought $2.40/lb. There was one steer that was an “out” due to an extreme case of pinkeye. In all I was very pleased with how the steers performed.
Speaking of pinkeye, we started the season off fighting a ton of pinkeye in the herd. We got the herd up several times and treated a third of the cows and calves each time. We have been vaccinating with a cultured vaccine, but the strain we have must have mutated slightly because it was no longer effective. So our local vet (Dr. Matt Parker) made an updated version of the vaccine and it seems to be working. We no longer have a massive problem with pinkeye, just the occasional bad eye here and there. We use a dart gun to treat those random cases as they arise.
Lastly I want to introduce you to our fall intern, Joel Olivas. Joel is a high school student at Owen County. He plans to attend lineman school after high school and work for the electric coop. He also plans to buy a farm and have his own herd of beef cattle one day. Joel is also an avid hunter and fisherman when he isn’t working for local farmers. Welcome aboard Joel, we are sure glad to have you at Eden Shale Farm.