Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
By Rayford Pullen
Jun 10, 2018
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Summer has arrived and with it comes a rapid decline in forage quality, milk production, breed-back and overall lower gains for both calves and mature animals.  Getting females to breed this time of year is also a challenge especially for first calvers and the only way to help this process is to supplement protein that is now lacking in our grass and hope itís not too hot for the semen quality to decline below what is needed for conception.

I realize many parts of the state are enduring droughts of varying degrees at this time but in North Texas we have been beyond fortunate in receiving enough moisture to keep our pastures going.  75% of our forage growth occurs by July 15 on the average each year, so if you are behind now, you may need to start making plans regarding stocking rates, cow numbers, hay, etc. 

We were honored to host a tour group in June from the World Meat Congress which is headquartered in Paris, France and had its annual meeting in Dallas.  This group had attendees from continents all over the world including Europe, South America, Central America, Asia, Australia, etc.  When asked about how we raise cattle, I was able to tell them how we have replaced antibiotics in our rations, how we vaccinate to minimize injection lesions, how we do use antibiotics if animals become sick, low stress handling, etc. In my opinion, when folks see how passionate we are about producing a wholesome product and that yes, we care what our customers both foreign and domestic want and try to respond accordingly, they can take this information back with them and respond accurately when negative issues arise regarding our product which is beef. We certainly hope they left knowing that job one for us is producing a high-quality product they have confidence in marketing and that we also feed our families what we produce.  While many of these folks needed an interpreter, the vast majority spoke English, probably better than I do.  And just like us, they are passionate about what they do and depend on folks on our end of product production to do what is right so the product they sell is wholesome and they know it is.

The tour was coordinated through the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association which works with many international groups promoting beef.  We were also glad to have the North Texas Farm and Ranch Magazine represented to help tell our story, the beef story, to consumers as well as producers in our area which has several million folks.

This is the betweener (sp) time of year when hopefully you have all calves worked or marketed, cows bred back and spring has passed and fall is not too far away and maybe we are more interested in finding a cool place to be than doing something, I know itís that way around here.  One thing that can be done indoors now is continuing education on the computer and that is keeping up with the Beef Quality Assurance program. 

I googled Beef Quality Assurance and low and behold, the website popped up.  Sponsored by the National Cattlemanís Beef Association, this site will explain BQA, and let you begin the process of getting certified or at least letting you know what BQA is all about.  If done indoors, youíll be cool and you and the beef industry will be better because doing the right thing is the only way to do it.

And while youíre at it, on the computer that is, check on the multitude of sites available that address issues that you are interested in or need to learn more about.  Thereís a world of information out there, and just like the coffee shop, some of the information is good and some not.  Check the source of the information before taking it to heart.

Itís a great time to be in the cattle business.