Culling Time

Key on Seasonal Markets and Good Assessments

 

By Victoria G Myers, Progressive Farmer/DTN

10/7/2019

 

As fall calving season wraps, many producers avoid the cost of carrying less-productive cows over the winter months by culling the herd. It's a sensible thing to do, but it's also traditionally the time of year when the cull market is at its lowest. What are the options this year?

 

Start with a herd assessment. Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University emeritus Extension animal scientist, stresses this should be a well-informed. Cull cows represent about 20% of the gross income for any commercial cow operation these days.

 

"Ranchers need to make certain cow culling is done properly and profitably," he says. "Selling cull cows when they will return the most income to the rancher requires knowledge about cull cow health and body condition. Proper cow culling will reduce the chance a cow carcass is condemned at the packing plant and becomes a money drain for the entire beef industry."

 

MAKE A SMART ASSESSMENT

 

Decide whether or not to cull, based not just on the projected availability of cheap winter feed and space (although these are key consideration) but also on the individual animal's pluses and minuses for the business as a whole.

 

1. AGE ... 

 

2. CANCER EYE ... 

 

3. FEET AND LEGS ... 

 

4. BAD UDDERS ... 

 

5. BODY CONDITION ... 

 

6. TEMPERAMENT ... 

 

7. OPEN COWS ... 

 

CULL COW MARKET ... 

 

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https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/livestock/article/2019/10/07/key-seasonal-markets-good