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Newbie + Shorthorns

A

Anonymous

Guest
I am a 55 year old new to the Missouri Ozarks. I purchased a small older farm that has about 12 acres of permanent fescue pasture, and 9 acres of oak woodcut. One small 40' (but never dry) pond. Thirty years ago it was a 8 head dairy farm. The pastures are surprisingly in excellent condition, though overgrown. Brush-hogging and haying has solved much of that problem. It has not been grazed in a minimum of 15 years. One neighboring 80 acre (yet similar pasture) supports around 100 head of mixed charolais commercial, with limited supplemental feeding. To the rear my neighbor has been raising a simental/beefmaster mix heard of 12 on 30 acres with about 10 acres of pasture.

I have been told my place will support between 8 and 12 cow/calf units, with supplemental feeding some years in mid-winter for 2 or 3 months. My small 2 acre hay field produced 14 large round 500# bales on its first cutting. (it has been hayed last year). I also got 110 small square 60 pound average bales from 3 or 4 acres of the pasture I have finished a first cutting. I have a bit more left to cut and bale. The pastures and hay field are again in a permanent fescue.

I have just bought 2 Polled Shorthorn (Registered w/papers) purebred cows. One is 4 nearly 5 and the other is 3 years old. I have seen two sets of calves from each cow. The older is Roan, tending to white, and the other is Red. They have smaller udders than the "heritage" shorthorns I have seen in the past which were truly dual-purpose, but the compare favorable with other "beef" shorthorns I have seen locally.

I was around "heritage" Shorthorns a few years back and found all of them docile and the pure white ones most docile. The white ones also seemed to be better mothers. My local (older) vet will AI for a very reasonable rate, and I will have to provide the semen. I would like to breed towards white, but see that most of the current trend is towards red. I also would retain the heifers if they are good. Within three years I need (require) 6 or 7 cattle-auction-saleable head per year.

I am open to all suggestions. I apologize for this being wordy!

Thanks!



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A

Anonymous

Guest
Welcome to the MO Ozarks. You obviously are in an area that has been getting adequate rainfall during these past 3+ years of drought. Our pastures should be able to support at least 25 head with minimal wintering feeding. The realities are, about a dozen cows and calves with 6 months of feeding hay. Around here even the fescue has petered out from the drought, the only thing that grows well year to year is cheat grass that dies off in June. The cows are left with clover and lespedeza. I would recommend you winter/frost seed clover into the fescue to help dilute the endophyte, before things got bad with the fescue, just by adding clover we added 100 lbs to our weaning weights. 500# is small round bale, large rounds are 900 to 1100 lbs., have you weighed the bales or just guesstimated them? If you store your hay insdie, or we use a tarp actually made for storing hay on a thick gravel pad, you won't loose the nutrition or quality. I would hang on to all the hay I could and store it. Typically, late winter people are going crazy trying to find top quality hay and are willing to pay a premium for it. I'm a Shorthorn fan, but we sold our last one a couple of years ago. Shorthorns are so big in the show thing that it's hard to find good, solid production type bulls that don;t have a touch of something else and a "x" in their registration number. Around Springfield there is a "Milking Shorthorn" dairy, other then that they appear pretty scarce except in the Norht Eastern US. Depending on the part of the Ozarks you are in, Springfield has a fair and farmfest each year that always seems to have more Shorthorns then any other breed. Will the vet store the semen for you from year to year? If not, you may be able to find a dairyman that will store it reasonably, I also believe CRI/Genex will store semen, but I'm not sure if they have a minimum quantity/price arrangement. Back to the hay thing. Talk to your local USDA NRCS folks, they can advise you on fertilization, etc. to keep your fields in the best shape. Depending on the area you are in, I may be able to provide phone numbers, etc. for you to contact Good luck

dunmovin farms

> I am a 55 year old new to the
> Missouri Ozarks. I purchased a
> small older farm that has about 12
> acres of permanent fescue pasture,
> and 9 acres of oak woodcut. One
> small 40' (but never dry) pond.
> Thirty years ago it was a 8 head
> dairy farm. The pastures are
> surprisingly in excellent
> condition, though overgrown.
> Brush-hogging and haying has
> solved much of that problem. It
> has not been grazed in a minimum
> of 15 years. One neighboring 80
> acre (yet similar pasture)
> supports around 100 head of mixed
> charolais commercial, with limited
> supplemental feeding. To the rear
> my neighbor has been raising a
> simental/beefmaster mix heard of
> 12 on 30 acres with about 10 acres
> of pasture.

> I have been told my place will
> support between 8 and 12 cow/calf
> units, with supplemental feeding
> some years in mid-winter for 2 or
> 3 months. My small 2 acre hay
> field produced 14 large round 500#
> bales on its first cutting. (it
> has been hayed last year). I also
> got 110 small square 60 pound
> average bales from 3 or 4 acres of
> the pasture I have finished a
> first cutting. I have a bit more
> left to cut and bale. The pastures
> and hay field are again in a
> permanent fescue.

> I have just bought 2 Polled
> Shorthorn (Registered w/papers)
> purebred cows. One is 4 nearly 5
> and the other is 3 years old. I
> have seen two sets of calves from
> each cow. The older is Roan,
> tending to white, and the other is
> Red. They have smaller udders than
> the "heritage"
> shorthorns I have seen in the past
> which were truly dual-purpose, but
> the compare favorable with other
> "beef" shorthorns I have
> seen locally.

> I was around "heritage"
> Shorthorns a few years back and
> found all of them docile and the
> pure white ones most docile. The
> white ones also seemed to be
> better mothers. My local (older)
> vet will AI for a very reasonable
> rate, and I will have to provide
> the semen. I would like to breed
> towards white, but see that most
> of the current trend is towards
> red. I also would retain the
> heifers if they are good. Within
> three years I need (require) 6 or
> 7 cattle-auction-saleable head per
> year.

> I am open to all suggestions. I
> apologize for this being wordy!

> Thanks!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> Welcome to the MO Ozarks.

Thanks, I am near Stockton.

> I would recommend you winter/frost seed clover into the fescue to help dilute the endophyte, before things got bad with the fescue, just by adding clover we added 100 lbs to our weaning weights.

That is good advice and I will winter seed clover into the fields and also get an AG Extension Agent up here to look at the needs of the land.

> 500# is small round bale, large rounds are 900 to 1100 lbs., have you weighed the bales or just guesstimated them?

Guestimated, one neighbor said 600 and the other said 500. They pick-up like 500 pounds.

Will the vet store the semen for you from year to year?

It looks like he will, but I could always get my own tank if I had to.

> Back to the hay thing. Talk to your local USDA NRCS folks, they can advise you on fertilization, etc. to keep your fields in the best shape.

I was told to fertilize and seed in the same winter application. Local MFA has a truck that will come in and do that, for a price.

> Depending on the area you are in, I may be able to provide phone numbers, etc. for you to contact

Again, I am just South of Stockton.

> Good luck
> dunmovin farms

Thanks!

[email protected]
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
That's further west then the counties I have contacts in, sorry bout that. Make sure you get a meaningful soil sample(s) before doing any fertilizing or liming. There should be a MSU extension office in your area somewhere. Also, shop around, there may be other fertilizer spreading companies (not to be confused with BSers) in your area that can do you beter then MFA. We're north and south of Lebanon, and MFA is the most expensive in the area.

dunmovin farms

> Thanks, I am near Stockton.

> That is good advice and I will
> winter seed clover into the fields
> and also get an AG Extension Agent
> up here to look at the needs of
> the land.

> Guestimated, one neighbor said 600
> and the other said 500. They
> pick-up like 500 pounds.

> Will the vet store the semen for
> you from year to year?

> It looks like he will, but I could
> always get my own tank if I had
> to.

> I was told to fertilize and seed
> in the same winter application.
> Local MFA has a truck that will
> come in and do that, for a price.

> Again, I am just South of
> Stockton.

> Thanks!
 

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