What cattle producers should be thinking about in June
June is a month to let Mother Nature take her course. Assuming timely precipitation, native grasses are usually at peak production; therefore, little supplementation is needed, with the exception of some minerals.
• Provide plenty of clean, fresh water.
• Provide free-choice minerals to correct any mineral deficiencies or imbalances.
• Monitor grazing conditions and rotate pastures if possible and practical.
• Consider creep-feeding if it’s cost-effective.
• Monitor and treat pinkeye cases.
• Provide fly control. Consider all options; price and efficiency will dictate the best options to use.
• Monitor and treat for foot rot.
• To reduce heat stress, avoid handling and transporting cattle during the hottest times of the day.
Forage and pasture management
• Check and maintain summer water supplies.
• Place mineral feeders strategically to enhance grazing distribution.
• Check water gaps after possible washouts.
• Harvest hay in a timely manner; think quality and quantity.
• If using AI, do not expect all females to conceive. A common practice is to breed once or twice with AI, then turn out cleanup bulls for the balance of a 65-day breeding season. A 42-day AI season with estrus synchronization at the front end gives most females three chances to conceive by AI.
• Watch bulls for libido, mounting and breeding function.
• Record breeding dates to determine calving dates.
• By imposing reproductive pressure (45-day breeding season) on yearling heifers, no late-calving 2-year-olds will result. This will increase lifetime productivity and profits.
• Monitor herd performance. Then identify candidates to cull because of poor performance.
• Check equipment (sprayers, dust bags, oilers, haying equipment, etc.), and repair or replace as needed. Have spare parts on hand because downtime can make a big difference in hay quality.
Source: Dale Blasi, Extension Beef Specialist