Thank you for reading our newsletter, we are well into March and winter continues to hang on in our area of South Central Montana. It is very interesting having conversations with people and hearing their thoughts about winter. The general trend seems to be that those that are tired of winter tend to have operations that are the most out of sync with the natural cycle we can observe in Mother Nature. While we are in the grips of winter it also is apparent that large areas are in the grips of drought and that without a change of precipitation there will be a lot of consequences that start to unfold. My heart goes out to those people, the unknown is scary and stressful.
So far this winter we have fed cows for about three weeks in one week increments with bale grazing while we had cows in areas of introduced aftermath fields with low quality grazing. Currently all the bred females are on stockpiled native forage and they are doing well. However, there is a sort going on as winter persists. That sort encompasses our promotion that we let the environment sort our cattle, not EPD`s. Quite frankly, humans aren't qualified nor do we have the technology that could perform the sort as well as Mother Nature. It is gratifying to have all the bred females in one bunch (including bred heifers) and to see the results of years of steady improvement in the adaptability of our cowherd. I believe we need to continue to put pressure on our cowherd or we will mask their weaknesses and no longer make improvement. That said, it seems this winter it has been very easy to put pressure on a cowherd and it takes careful observation and planning to make sure we are giving them a fair chance. That observation and planning causes me to wonder what might be going on in the minds of operations that are substantially out of sync with nature. Are these operators taking time to proactively plan and observe? Or does an old saying apply? "It is hard to remember that the objective is to drain the swamp when you are up to your ass in alligators."
Back to business and what's going on here. We have two puppies that hold great promise of becoming integrated team members of our livestock management. We also have a few more bulls to get delivered and look forward to those road trips and hopefully getting some time to see each customer's operation. We are looking forward to starting calving near the end of April. According to our preg checking we should be ninety plus percent calved out by the end of the first cycle. That is a fun time of year to see livestock, grass, and soil all springing to life at the same time. You can actually feel and smell new beginnings all around and it is humbling to witness and an honor to be a part of. Our challenge is how we fit in and compliment that system.
All the best,