Healthy Living Articles
We're always learning here on our farm. Every day. From raising grass fed Missouri beef, we constantly come across more healthy ways to live life easier and better.
So we like to share what we find out - and this is a selection of those lessons, as articles. As we can, we'll continue to post these, so stay tuned...
The last couple of years of drought have been hard on both cattle ranchers and corn farmers. Grass fed beef graziers have only had half of this problem. However, the grass they live on - unless properly managed - is under extreme stress and won't regrow at any speed with lack of moisture and increased heat.
Some solutions are to wean early and reduce calf populations and so reduce the need for grass intake. This of course runs into the problem of shipping calves off to a feedlot, where they will have to be fed higher-priced corn and soy supplements. Which then also means that the lighter-weight beef will be more costly to produce for the market...
Last year, many cows were shipped up to Iowa to out-last the dry Texas/Oklahoma weather. This year, the drought was longer and more widespread, so I didn't hear about this being done so much.
Our cows stayed right where they were. When our corn turned out to be a bust, it became forage. Especially since there have been a lot of weeds grow up in between, which need to be grazed down before I replant to wheat this fall. (Far better to maintain our cows and grow our calves than cut it all down. What they don't eat, they stomp - and the biotics living in their manure adds to that mulch-effect.)
The concept is to manage your grazing well to begin with and then convert any other land you have into grazing (or haying - if you can't get cattle to it)...
"If your ranch can support 100 head of 1400-pound cows, it should be able to support 120 head of 1100-pound cows – on the exact same inputs. That’s 20% more cows producing 20% more calves. Because smaller cows can wean a higher percentage of their own body weight than bigger cows, they will always produce MORE TOTAL POUNDS on the EXACT SAME INPUTS. I have NEVER EVER found a commercial ranch situation where bigger cows were more profitable than smaller cows."
We went with a Belted Galloway and that turned out to drop our average steer weights from about 900-1000 lbs down to around 700. Of course, with the prices going up, we were able to keep our prices the same and we were still at auction levels. It didn't please some regulars who got a lot less this year, but when I showed them the numbers, they were still grateful to get that quality...
The truth is that the production of animal products from perennial forages is the sustainable agricultural system. Many, however, are concerned about the carbon dioxide and methane “emissions” from livestock in general, and cattle in particular. Some folks don’t seem to understand that a cow grazing grass can only emit carbon that was originally in grass, and that the carbon in grass has to have come from the atmosphere. So it’s a cycle, not an “enrichment.” But there’s more to it than that!
Don't Miss Out - Get Your Name on The List!
Sorry we missed you this year. Our beef was spoken for in 3 days this season, as people can see the value of buying direct from the farmer at wholesale prices. The good news is that we have more steers coming on this next year, so will be able to help more people with this incredibly good-tasting beef. Fill out that contact form today so you can get your name on the list for next year!
We only process so many beef a year. Because we are a small, local farm that is more interested in delivering lots of value through our beef.
And our harvest season is in Spring, right up to June, not all year round.
As more people find out about our farm, more people want our product. Unfortunately, we can't provide our beef to everyone. And some people simply live too far away.
So we did some research and found U.S. Wellness Meats for everyone else. They are another Missouri grass fed beef producer, who also deals in other produce from local farmers nearby. And they ship next day to your front door. Well worth checking out.(Get more info here.)